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Sex: Homosexuality – Part 4

Transcendence:
God’s design within the composition of creation is meant to magnify His glory, majesty, and wonder.  The intrinsic design of creation exemplifies His eternal character and divine qualities.  Moses attributes God, in the creation account, as being other and/or separate.  Moses’s description: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 ESV) is a clear depiction that God is outside of time, space, and matter.  His otherness, or more specifically holiness (to be set apart), is a quality that is infused into the natural created order.  In His infinite wisdom “God created by establishing distinctions, by separating things out, and giving each thing its place and function.  This is the essence of what the Bible means by the act of creation.  This is why separation is immediately associated with ‘goodness.’”1 The seperation of creation was made visible with light and darkness, land and sea, animals of the air and of the sea and of the land, and so forth.  All of which is to point to the holiness of God.
Sexuality plays an enormous piece in the makeup and framework of humanity’s spirituality.  Just as separation, or otherness, was placed upon creation so was separation instilled in the design of mankind in the imago dei.  The descriptive narrative called forth that “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27 ESV).  This reality establishes man and woman as two distinct transcendent individuals.  Humanity, embodying the imago dei, is built for relational union.  Therefore, as God is other “we experience the otherness of God in the nearness of our human neighbor — but only as we understand our neighbor as a transcendent mystery that can never be seen as tool or object.”2  This otherness, or transcendence, is an intentional design to mirror and reflect forth God’s infinite attributes — namely His holiness.
“Thus personal distinction must appear in the creation He makes.  The primary distinction between God and creation is reflected in all the other differences He puts within the creation.”3
Homosexuality Contrary to God’s Design:
The natural created order is designed to reflect God’s character and divine attributes.  From a design standpoint God has maneuvered all of creation to image forth His divine character.  Through the fall of Adam and the infusion of the sinful nature into the human heart, humanity’s bent toward sin has defiled the purpose of the created order and has perverted, for our particular purposes, sex.  Sexuality, societally and individually, becomes a lens into the spiritual climate of humanity.  “Our thinking, our worship and our sexuality are fundamentally related.”4
Therefore, Paul addresses this notion in Romans 1 by inferring that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18 ESV).  The unrighteousness of man stems from the outworking of the fall so that “every person has a built-in, natural, compelling desire to suppress and oppose God’s truth.”5  The Apostle Paul is quick to point that “regardless of their relative opportunities to know God’s Word and hear His Gospel, have internal, God-given evidence of His existence and nature, but are universally inclined to resist and assault that evidence.”6 Henceforth, humanity has exchanged the truth and has bought into the lie.  The lie, not limited to but consist of, two ideologies: (1) worshipping creation over the Creator and (2) exchanging natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.
Romans 1:26 – 27 ESV, “26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Worship of Creation:
The Apostle Paul leans into the heart of humanity’s downward spiral by insisting that “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves” (Romans 1:24 ESV).  Humanity’s default position imploded upon itself and had caused the worship and uplifting of creation rather than the Creator.  Creation became the centerpiece and standard to which divinity was defined.  “When men seek to glorify their own ways and to satisfy their bodies through shameful indulgence in sexual and other sins, their bodies, along with their souls are instead dishonored. . .  The body that indulges in sexual impurity is itself dishonored; it is debased, disgraced, and degraded.”7 Therefore, sexuality was a perversion into lustful desires, indulgences, and excitements centered around the body.  Sex, designed as an avenue to reflect the grander of God, became the climatic pursuit which terminated upon itself rather than the glory of God.
The debauchery surfaced as a direct impact of the sinful nature within the human heart which “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25 ESV).  Rather than seeing God as transcendent through the grand design of creation, mankind forfeited their affections toward God and allowed their hearts to serve lesser things — namely creation.  The imperative to gain from the Apostle’s thesis is that worship “of anything other than God always ends in the worship of self and the individualization of things that are designed by God to connect us to things that are bigger than our wants, needs, and pleasures.”8 Humanity’s worship, designed to be directed toward God, became infatuated with itself and found its affections upon the created order.  The misuse of sex and the dysfunction of society’s sexuality does “not exist because sex itself is bad but because we have put it in a place that God never intended it to be.”9
Same Sex Attraction Derives From Broken Worship:
The sin of worshipping creation dug itself into a deeper hole through the expression of same sex involvement.  “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.  For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves and due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:26 – 27 ESV).  Homosexuality becomes a resemblance of the human heart’s desire to not see itself as other, reflecting the nature of God, but rather embracing the sinful worship of creation through the expression of wanting not the opposite gender but him/herself.  This is done because the person “who [rejects] the Creator also reject the notion of the created ‘natural’ order.”10 Therefore, the “rejection of God as Creator plays out as a rejection of God’s holy creation structure (the natural).  If you dismiss the Creator of the ‘natural’ you will eventually reject the category of ‘natural’ and move to the ‘unnatural.’  Worshipping creation as divine produces ‘unnatural’ uses of the created order.”11
“This desire for sameness is, on the sexual level, an expression . . . [and] belief that all is one and all is the same.”12  The solution or remedy is not to look into oneself to find true identity, but rather to seek out the transcendent God who is the Author, Creator, and Designer of all and who can point us back toward wholeness, purpose, and fulfillment.  Our engagement in sex “is an act of worship, and the true worship of God will determine what happens in [our] sexual life.”13
Conclusion:
I would like to state as clearly and explicitly as possible that hope for any sinner rest in the work and person of Jesus Christ through His death, burial, and resurrection.  Homosexuality is not a sin greater than any other sin, but it is a sin that, in our time, needs much attention due to the societal exposure.  The hope of the cross points to the reality that our struggle with sin is not fought bound to its chains nor mastered by its deceptive ways, but rather we are set free to engage in the power of God through the Holy Spirit to experience victory, freedom, and joy.  In His infinite wisdom He has “created us with sexual passion so that there would be language to describe what it means to cleave to Him in love and what it means to turn away from Him to others.”14 His Word promises us that “when Christ unites Himself to you, He doesn’t leave His grace at the door.  He brings to this union all of those provisions of grace that you and I need to be what we’re suppose to be and to do what we’re supposed to do, in sex and in everything else.”15 The inner transformation by the Holy Spirit in the Christian life “is an ongoing change process.  It involves a continual turning motion, turning toward God, and turning away from the riot of other voices, other desires, other loves.”16  As image bearers we “were made to see and savor with everlasting satisfaction the supremacy of Christ.  Our sexuality points to this, and our sexuality is purified by this. . .  And we must know the supremacy of Christ — we must know Him in His supremacy — in order to experience our sexuality as sacred and sweet and Christ-exalting and secondary — quietly, powerfully secondary.”17
Footnote
1 Peter Jones. The God of Sex: How Spirituality Defines Your Sexuality (Main Entry Editions: Escondido, 2006), 128.
2 Andrew Root. Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation (IVP: Downers Grove, 2007), 170 – 171.
3 Peter Jones. One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference (Main Entry Editions: Escondido, 2010), 193.
4 Ibid., 188.
5 John MacArthur. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Romans 1 – 8 (Moody Publisher: Chicago, 1991), 67.
6 Ibid.
7 Ibid., 102 – 103.
8 Paul David Tripp. Sex and Money: Pleasures that Leave You Empty and Grace that Satisfies (Crossway: Wheaton, 2013), 85.
9 Ibid., 88.
10 Jones. The God of Sex, 158.
11 Jones. One or Two? 172.
12 Ibid., 182.
13 Tripp, 84.
14 John Piper. Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, ed. John Piper and Justin Taylor (Crossway: Wheaton, 2005), 28.
15 Tripp, 93.
16 David Powlison. Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, ed. John Piper and Justin Taylor (Crossway: Wheaton, 2005), 83.
17 Piper, 38.

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