Homosexuality is the sexual relations between people of the same sex. When discussing homosexuality, the biblical emphasis is on behavior and the verdict is always that it is sinful.
Homosexuality is a consequence of rejecting the created order. The prima facie case against homosexuality in the Scripture is found in God’s creative plan for human sexuality. God created mankind as male and female, to procreate within the context of marriage (Genesis 1:27, 28; 2:18-24). This creation order for human sexuality received the endorsement of both the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 10:6-9; Matthew 19:4-6) and the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 5:31). On the surface, homosexual behavior should be recognized as sinful because it violates God’s original plan for heterosexual monogamy.
Against this background of God’s creation scheme for human sexual expression, Paul makes a theological argument in Romans 1:18-32 that homosexuality is one consequence of rejecting God as Creator and His created order. Paul indicates that both male homosexuality and female lesbianism result from a denial of God. He begins by showing that through rejection of the “creation” (1:20) and “the Creator” (1:25) women “exchanged natural sexual intercourse for what is unnatural” (1:26 HCSB). He adds also that the men “left natural sexual intercourse with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males” (1:27 HCSB). Paul’s argument: Because these people reject God, He gives them over to the desires of their own sinful hearts. In the course of this text, Paul uses several other negative terms to describe homosexuality, such as “uncleanness,” “dishonor,” “vile passions,” “error,” “debased mind,” and “not fitting.” In addition, homosexuality is included here in a serious list of vices that are deserving of death, not only for those who practice but also for those who approve (1:32).
As to modern notion of “homosexual orientation,” a scriptural perspective will view any same sex inclinations at least as harmful as proclivities toward any other sin, as negative consequences of fallen human nature that is inclined towards sin. In light of Romans 1, homosexual predisposition may also be an indication and outworking of earlier and other sin(s).
Homosexuality is a sin that results in judgment. The first mention of homosexuality in the Bible depicts God’s judgment upon it as sin. It was the outstanding transgression of Sodom and Gomorrah. The severity of the judgment, which came because of homosexuality, indicates the seriousness of this sin (Genesis 19:1-11). Both cities were destroyed as “the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire” (19:24 NASB). The New Testament commentary on this event is that these two cities were turned to ashes as a matter of God’s holy wrath, specifically because their inhabitants had given themselves to “sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh” (2 Peter 2:6, 7; Jude 7 NKJV).
(NOTE: The author, Jerry A. Johnson, then devotes three paragraphs refuting pro-homosexual interpretations pertaining to the judgments of Sodom and Gomorrah, such interpretations according to this website editor as somewhat unnecessary due to the clarity of Scripture regarding the subject – website editor)
Homosexuality is a violation of Old Testament law. The Holiness Code, which conveyed God’s demands for ordering the life of His covenant people, contained two clear prohibitions against homosexual activity. In a large section on sexual morality which should be viewed as an extension of the seventh commandment, “The Lord spoke to Moses saying . . . ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female”” (Leviticus 18:1, 22 NASB). Then later, repeating with 18:22 that homosexuality is an “abomination,” (Leviticus 20:13 adds, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them . . . shall surely be put to death.”
Homosexuality is a violation of New Testament ethic. In 1 Timothy 1:8-10 Paul discusses the value of the Old Testament law in the present era, if used wisely. It is to be used to judge “sinners.” Then he includes “homosexuals” (arsenokoital) in his vice list, which delineates those who are “the ungodly.” Also in 1 Corinthians 6:11 “homosexuals” appear in a similar vice list, and Paul comments that anyone who continues in these sins will not inherit the kingdom of God. Arsenokoites refers to the active partner in the homosexual act. However, in addition to “homosexuals” in 1 Corinthians 6:9, Paul adds a second word, “effeminate” (malakoi). Malakoi refers to the passive member in the homosexual relationship. The point is that both passive and active kinds of “homosexual” behavior are sinful, ungodly, and disqualify one from entrance into the kingdom of God.
Homosexuality is forgivable and changeable through Jesus Christ. However ungodly and undeserving of heaven any homosexual might be, there is the opportunity to be forgiven, changed, and declared righteous through Jesus Christ, Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 6:11 (HCSB) to say, “Some of you were like this.” The Corinthians church evidently contained some former homosexuals who had been converted. Furthermore, Paul adds of them, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” The homosexual who repents and believes receives the same cleansing, sanctification, and justification as every other believer who turns from sin to Christ.
(NOTE: It should be noted that Mr. Johnson apparently interprets the “inheritance” of the “kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6) as “entrance into heaven” (i.e., receiving “eternal life;” or more correctly, the “salvation of one’s spirit”). In reality, a Christian’s “inheritance” speaks of a Christian’s entrance into the Millennial Kingdom, the thousand year reign of Christ upon the earth just after the Tribulation Period (7 years), which is the “salvation of the soul.” The reader is encouraged to read the book, Salvation of the Soul, by Arlen L. Chitwood, which may be accessed from the link on the homepage of this website – editor of this website)
*Taken from the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary – 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers; Nashville, Tennessee. At the time of the writing of this article, Jerry A. Johnson was the Dean of Boyce College, of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.
The following paragraph is taken from an article on the biblical teaching on sex in the Holman Illustrated Dictionary, written by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President and Professor of Christian Theology of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky:
Just as the biblical writers present marital sex as holy and natural, all other forms of sexual activity are presented as condemned and sinful. In addition to adultery and fornication, the Bible expressly forbids homosexuality, bestiality, incest, prostitution, rape, pederasty, and all other forms of sexual deviance (Exodus 22:16, 17, 19; Leviticus 18:6-18, 22, 23; 20:15, 16; Deuteronomy 27:21; Proverbs 7:1-27; Romans 1:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13).
Applicable Scripture Passages (NKJV)
Genesis 1:27, 28
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (28) Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 2:18, 21-24
And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (21) And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. (22) Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. (23) And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (24) Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Genesis 19:1-11, 24 (cf. 2 Peter 2:6, 7)
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. (2) And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.” (3) But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. (4) Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. (5) And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.” (6) So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, (7) and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! (8) See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.” (9) And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. (10) But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. (11) And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
Matthew 19:4-6 (cf. Mark 10:6-9; Ephesians 5:31)
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? (6) So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Romans 1:18-32 (cf. 1 Timothy 1:8-10)
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (19) because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. . . . (22) Professing to be wise, they became fools . . . (24) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves . . . (26) For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. (27) Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. . . . (32) who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
1 Corinthians 6:9, 10
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, (10) nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (Please see the “Note” above – editor of this website)
Jude 6, 7
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; (7) as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.