Born this way: sexual sin + serving God

One of the most controversial issues that has faced Christianity over the course of the past 20 something years is – what to do about homosexuality? While some denominations are allowing homosexuals to pastor their congregations, and others are allowing them to marry in their churches, it’s important to note that we were all born in sin. (Ephesians 2:1-3) (Titus 3:3)

God has given us the ability to become “overcomers” regarding all types of sin – not just homosexuality. (1 Corinthians 10:13) While yes, we’re human and we can and easily do fail, we don’t have to be slaves to what we know is not God’s design for us. We can leave behind our old ways and support each other to make sure we don’t stumble again.

While some denominations have boldly spoken about their support of homosexual behavior, we must not lie to those who are struggling with sexual sin – they must change their behavior. (2 Peter 2:9-10 )It’s important that Christians stress that we can’t serve both God and our old sin nature. We have to make a choice and we must speak the truth at all costs.

“You adulterers! Don’t you know that friendship with the world means hostility with God? So whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.” – James 4:4

(I posted the following to Quora on July 16, 2017 in response to the following:

“I’m queer, short and small (some of my body parts are girly in size) (5′7″), fatherless, unemployed, neglected, lonely and lost… But I still believe God exists& that he has the right to do whatever he wants to cause he made, despite it, in my own way try to love& serve him even if he hates me.” [SIC])

God doesn’t hate you. God hates sin, because He is Holy and because He loves you. I want to let you know that when it comes to sin, we were all born this way. Sexual immorality, lust, hatred, greed, hatred of God’s laws – these were our default behaviors. (Psalm 51:5-6)

The difference is that when we decide that we are going to reject Satan’s authority and transfer that authority over to Jesus, we become “new creations.” (2 Corinthians 5) This is much like renouncing your citizenship of your birth country when you swear allegiance to a new country in which you’re becoming a citizen.

When we’re Christians and we sin, it grieves us because this attitude, this behavior, is incompatible with our new life as a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) We want to be back into our new default behavior, which is “Holiness.” (Romans 6) God is Holy, so we must be Holy. (Leviticus 20:7)

Because we live in a fallen world and do not yet have a glorified body with Jesus, (1 Corinthians 15) we have to make the decision every day to die to ourselves and the desires of the flesh. It’s hard! It’s uncomfortable! It’s a struggle! (Romans 7) But… we are victorious in Christ and through Him, all things are possible. (Philippians 4:13)

You have to make a decision, do you serve one master – sin nature, desires of the flesh, Satan – or will you choose to die to yourself every day, to serve God? You can not serve 2 opposing masters, so you must decide for yourself. (Revelation 3:15-16)

Christians, even back in Peter’s day, came out of a sinful lifestyle. The people you used to run with will question why you are no longer choosing to do the things that you once did. If it happened to those in Jesus’ day, it will happen to you too.

“Therefore, since the Messiah suffered in a mortal body, you, too, must arm yourselves with the same determination, because the person who has suffered in a mortal body has stopped sinning,

2 so that he can live the rest of his mortal life guided, not by human desires, but by the will of God.

For you spent enough time in the past doing what the gentiles like to do, living in sensuality, sinful desires, drunkenness, wild celebrations, drinking parties, and detestable idolatry.

4 They insult you now because they are surprised that you are no longer joining them in the same excesses of wild living.” – 1 Peter 4:3-4

Now onto the second matter. It does not matter if you’re small, thin, have feminine features – (Exodus 4:10-14)there is not a default look that men must have, so put that out of your mind. Likewise God is not a respector of persons (Romans 2:9-13) – He is not impressed, nor disappointed by your material goods or social status. He is a champion of the widows and the fatherless. (Psalm 68:5-6) He will be your refuge (Psalm 9:9) – if you’ll make the decision to make Him, rather than the desires of your flesh, the Lord of your life.

Photo: Levi Saunders

If I’m “saved by Grace,” why shouldn’t I live a sinful life?

One of the larger misconceptions about Christianity is, “why would I stop sinning if Jesus has already died for my sins?” Christians unfortunately have a poor track-record explaining the concept of “salvation apart from works” vs. “heavenly rewards based on our works.”

While of course Christians don’t want to grieve God by sinning, (Ephesians 4:30) many are unaware that Christians will face judgement before God. This judgement doesn’t concern the ultimate salvation that they have in Jesus’ Christ finished work on the Cross, but it is one where they will give an accounting for the works that they did here on earth before God, and will be rewarded, or have their rewards taken away.

(The following was originally posted on July 14, 2017 on Quora.)

People make this a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

To even be considered a “Christian,” a Christian must “bear good fruit” or produce the works that show that one has truly put their faith in Jesus Christ, rather than give Him lip service only. (Matthew 7:15-20)

While Christians are “saved” by putting their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and as such, accept God’s grace, Christians will also face judgement. Now this judgement is not one concerning salvation, but one where our deeds will be judged. (2 Corinthians 5:9–10) We will be rewarded or our rewards removed, based on our works. We aren’t saved by our works, but we are held accountable and rewarded based on our works at this judgement:

“1 Brothers, I couldn’t talk to you as spiritual people but as worldly people, as mere infants in the Messiah. 2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you weren’t ready for it. And you’re still not ready! 3 That’s because you are still worldly. As long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, you are worldly and living by human standards, aren’t you? 4 For when one person says, “I follow Paul,” and another person says, “I follow Apollos,” you’re following your own human nature, aren’t you?

5 Who is Apollos, anyhow? Or who is Paul? They’re merely servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord gave to each of us his task. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God kept everything growing. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is significant, but God, who keeps everything growing, is the one who matters. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have the same goal, and each will receive a reward for his own action. 9 For we are God’s co-workers. You are God’s farmland and God’s building.

10 As an expert builder using the grace that God gave me, I laid the foundation, and someone else is building on it. But each person must be careful how he builds on it. 11 After all, no one can lay any other foundation than the one that is already laid, and that is Jesus the Messiah. 12 Whether a person builds on this foundation with gold, silver, expensive stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 the workmanship of each person will become evident, for the day of judgment will show what it is, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s action. 14 If what a person has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If his work is burned up, he will suffer loss. However, he himself will be saved, but it will be like going through fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:1–15

Photo: Christal Yuen