The Sin of Sodomy And The Glory of God
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Ro 1:16-32)
The Great Exchange: God’s Eternal Glory for Fleeting Homosexual Pleasure
What makes sin sinful is the fact that it is a trade. Paul stated that there was a trade off of the glory of God for idols (Rom 1:23), and a trading of the truth of God for a lie (Rom 1:25). This change is not a transforming change such as that which happens when a tadpole becomes a frog. It is rather an exchange such as that which takes place when one changes his dollars into Mexican pesos.
The first dark exchange is a trading of the glory of the immortal, undecaying God for a man-made idol.
Jeremiah recognized the sin of idolatry as setting something up in the place of God. He plainly let it be known that to do so would result in depending on a failing source of joy as opposed to God, the eternal joy.
Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (Jer 2:11-13) KJV Imagine the folly contained in the act of trading a free-flowing well for a broken bucket. The well is the source of water. The bucket only holds water that comes from another source. How foolish it is to forsake God, the well of living water for a busted bucket that can hold no water. That is precisely what we do when we seek our pleasure in self.
Jesus also spoke of how we can sin by serving something, or someone other than God. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Mt 6:24) KJV We serve money by seeking our joy and satisfaction in it. It is in the same manner that we serve God. Idolatry is seeking our pleasure outside of God. In fact, the Scriptures plainly tell us that greed, the unbridled desire for something or someone, is idolatry (See Col 3:1-5).
The next dark exchange, however, is much more extreme than the first. While the first exchange at least retained the unde that man’s object of worship should be external to himself, this exchange involves man’s worshiping of himself. It is a trading of the Creator for the creature. It is a trading of Him who is infinitely worthy and joyful for one who can never give joy, but can only derive joy from the Creator. Worship has moved from an external object to self and the passions of the flesh. Homosexual sin is the result of setting one’s self up as God in opposition to the infinitely bountiful and joyful Creator and seeking joy in self and self’s passions and longings.
These things being so, it is no surprise that today we see a religious sort of fervor among those who are seeking to legitimize the homosexual lifestyle. It is a religious issue. One worships the eternally happy God of the universe, a god of his own making, or his own flesh. Homosexuality is the worship of the flesh.
The Greater Exchange: Christ’s Righteousness for Our Sin
The glory of the gospel is that God’s glorious righteousness becomes ours by faith. No matter how wicked that we have been, we can be set free from sin by the grace of God. Our text tells us that the good news of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose from the dead, is God’s method for giving to us righteousness. Yes, Jesus’ righteousness will be accounted to everyone who believes the gospel. Isn’t that amazing? Jesus’ righteousness is exchanged for the believer’s sins. Paul spoke of this when he reminded the Corinthians of their conversion. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1Cor 6:9-11) KJV Looking at the list of sinners contained here we find that homosexuals are there, too. They are not beyond hope. You are not beyond hope. If you will believe Jesus to forgive your sins He will trade His righteousness for your sin. He will give you joy forever more. After all, He is the eternally joyful God. There is no limit to His pleasures, nor to the pleasures that He offers to you and me (See Ps 16:10,11;1Tim 1:9-11;6:17).
Isn’t that a much greater trade than swapping the eternally joyful God for the small-time pleasures of the flesh?