7/20: Let’s Be Clear

7/20: Let’s Be Clear

 

As a very serious Christ-follower on the currently unpopular side of the homosexual marriage debate, I’m a bit tired of having the scriptures I understand, love, and have studied extensively being thrown around and twisted as if I have no intelligent sense of what they mean. This matters so much to me because some people even present their arguments as if Jesus was somehow separate from those scriptures, and that His love somehow separates Him from the full counsel Scripture. So let’s be clear about some things.

First, let’s be clear understanding that Jesus cannot be separated from the Scriptures found in the Bible. Jesus Christ is His word.

  • In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him
and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. (John 1:1-5, 14, NLT)

Second, let’s be clear that the giving of Jesus to the world was first and foremost about God. Without something being done, all of mankind would have been inescapably subject to God’s wrath and would have perished. The love being spoken about in John 3:16, was demonstrated in God’s action of sending His Son to satisfy His wrath. This verse says nothing about loving man regardless of what choices he makes or regardless of the lifestyle he decides upon. John 3:16 is about a provision that is offered; it is not a blanket everyone-gets-into-heaven-free ticket. The way to avoid God’s wrath has been provided for certain folks. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (NKJ). Those spoken of who “should not perish but have everlasting life” are those who believe (Gk. pisteúō) in Jesus, meaning those who “have confidence in” Jesus, and that includes living by all the words He says as well (because remember, Jesus cannot be separated from His word).

Third, let’s be clear about the meaning of John 3:17. It says, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (NKJ). The use of the verb “condemn” in this verse is not referring to Jesus condemning or not condemning the actions of people. This verse is about the reason why God sent Jesus. The point being made follows the idea started in verse 16. God sent Jesus at that point in history to provide salvation from His wrath. He came this first time to save rather than to condemn; He’s coming a second time to condemn. Read the book of Revelation.

It’s time out for equating disagreement with a lifestyle with condemnation. It’s time out for accusations about not being loving like Christ loved. Everyone who truly loves others warns them when they are traveling in the wrong direction, or racing headlong toward hurt, pain, or destruction. It would be the unloving thing to remain silent.

Anyone who has honestly read the Bible realizes that God has laws, rules, and standards. Anyone who has honestly read the Bible knows about the existence of Heaven and Hell. We are freed from God’s wrath and we go to Heaven thanks to the supply of God’s grace that has been freely provided thanks to what Jesus did on the cross. Then, our belief in what Jesus has done moves us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to live in obedience to His laws, rules, and standards. His word is clear on everything, including Old and New Testament directions prohibiting same-sex intimate sexual relations.

So again, let’s be clear.

  • When Christians say what the Bible says against theft, they are not hating the thief; they are simply saying that theft is wrong. The thief ought to change his or her ways and line up with what God’s word says, regardless of how his/her impulses move him/her to steal.
  • When Christians say what the Bible says against gossip, they are not hating the gossiper; they are simply saying that gossiping is wrong. The gossip ought to change his or her ways and line up with what God’s word says, regardless of how his/her impulses move him to gossip.
  • When Christians say what the Bible says against same-sex attraction, they are not hating the homosexual; they are simply saying that homosexuality is wrong. The homosexual ought to change his/her ways and line up with what God’s word says, regardless of how his/her impulses move him/her to be attracted toward those of the same sex.

If we are “feeling” anything contrary to God’s design and purpose for us (found in the Bible), the onus is on us to confess it to God, commit it into His hands, and determine to allow Him to change us. We aren’t to operate by our feelings; we’re to operate by faith.

Finally, let’s be clear. Living by faith means we trust that God can transform us into the image of His Son, and a transformation—by definition—means we will turn out different than how we started. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” Romans 8:29 (NKJ). We are jealously and stubbornly grasping and defending our identity as liars, cheaters, thieves, gossipers, fornicators, drunkards, drug abusers, racists, idolaters, and yes, homosexuals, rather than handing those identities to God so He can transform us into the image of His Son.

________________________

©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

Pick up a copy of Sharon’s book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available now from New Hope Publishers, and get ready for Sharon’s newest release, Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children, coming this fall from Judson Press.

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~ by sanewriter on July 20, 2013.

2 Responses to “7/20: Let’s Be Clear”

  1. Speak the Word: they are spirit, and they are life.

  2. Amen!

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