What advice can be given to homosexual Christians?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Not long ago, I received an email from a Christian who is struggling with homosexual thoughts and feelings. It is his hope and my hope that this Bible study will help many of the precious people who are caught between Christianity and homosexuality. Friend, there is hope, there is an answer, and here it is from God’s Word rightly divided!

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“I truly have placed my trust in ‘The Gospel’ that Paul taught. But I feel old feelings are still after me. I never married because I did not have an attraction to females and have always known how God feels—Romans. I will not act on my feelings but do give myself relief. I cannot find what God says about that. I think there are people out there that would have this question but too scared to ask. I love the Lord and pray he will take this unnatural feeling away and it makes me question my salvation. I believe in right division but too ashamed of the comments my brothers and sisters knew. In fact no one has ever known except the Lord. Looking forward to scripture that will address this. Love the site and great information. I have shared it with others.”

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Hello, —. I am glad to help you, brother. It makes it much easier that you are a Christian and not an unsaved person. You already know the doctrine, and now you need to reckon it as true in your own life. There needs to be a personal application by faith. I would be honored to instruct you in the Scriptures in this regard.

Firstly, let me begin by saying that you are not alone. All we believers struggle with certain types of sins. We all as individuals have tendencies toward particular sinful behaviors. It may be habitual lying, persistent pride, constant profanity, endless gossiping, incessant bad thoughts, et cetera. Your situation is not the actual behavior, but bad thoughts/feelings. Your thinking has to be corrected, so let us get to it.

You have to remember, friend, that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). That is true of both the saved man’s flesh and the lost man’s flesh. They are all connected to Adam. Our emotions deceive. Our feelings can deceive. While we who have trusted Christ are redeemed, we have not left these sinful bodies of flesh. We have to have our minds renewed by God’s Word rightly divided, the only objective standard we can trust. This Bible study must be done daily. Satan is always seeking to use our flesh to hinder God’s work, and the only way we can guard ourselves against these “wiles/tricks/schemes” is to arm ourselves with God’s Word rightly divided.

Romans 12:1-2: “[1] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. [2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

You said that “old feelings” are still after you. That is exactly what they are—they are indeed “old.” They are not who you are anymore. They do not describe your life in Christ. As you said, they describe sinful behavior, the actions of the flesh, not sound doctrine (Romans 1:27; 1 Timothy 1:10). Those illicit feelings/thoughts describe your former life in Adam. You are a new creature in Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). That old identity you had in Adam is no more. You need to think according to your new identity, the one you have in Christ.

Consider 1 Corinthians chapter 6: “[9] 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, [10] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. [11] 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.”

Notice what kinds of people the Apostle Paul had preached to there in Corinth: “fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate [feminine men], abusers of themselves with mankind [homosexuals], thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers [evil speakers of others], extortioners [cheaters]… and such were some of you.” They had been those things, but once Paul had preached to them the Gospel of the Grace of God, and they had believed that message with all their heart, they positionally ceased to be those things. God did not see them as sinners anymore positionally. Yes, they still sinned in practice (1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 1 Corinthians 11:21; et cetera), but they were now saved in Christ; they were now saints, although they were saints who did not act like the people God made them in Jesus Christ. This is where you are. Positionally, you are in Christ. Practically, mentally, you are not aligning with the standing you have in Christ. Let us read the rest of the passage: “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.” You need to reckon this verse as true. “I am sanctified [set apart for God’s purposes].” “I am justified [declared righteous] in the name of the Lord Jesus.” “The Holy Spirit has sanctified me and justified me.” Believe these truths in your heart, and God’s Word will effectually work in you (1 Thessalonians 2:13). That will activate God’s Word and power in your life to make the changes that need to be made.

Your flesh, my flesh, everyone’s flesh, always works in tandem with Satan. It causes you/us to think a lie is reality. You are having these feelings/thoughts because you have not let God’s Word renew your mind. Because you are in Jesus Christ, you are a Christian. You are not a homosexual. You are a saint of the Most High God, my friend!!! Whatever thoughts and actions do not align with your identity in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, throw them out. Be transformed by reading and believing Romans chapter 12, Galatians chapter 5, Ephesians chapter 4, and Colossians chapter 3. These are all excellent passages that touch on every major issue in life, and how to go about it as God Himself would.

Galatians 5:24-25 seem to be some of the best verses for your situation. You need to reckon them as true in your own life: “[24] And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. [25] If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

The fact is that you are Jesus Christ’s. You belong to Him. You are not Satan’s. You do not belong to him. All those old feelings—the affections and the lusts (not just sexual but also greed, pride, coveting, all those desires we experience)—have been crucified with the flesh. When Jesus Christ died, we died too. Romans 6:6 says our old man was crucified with Him. A dead man has no power. Do not let your old lifestyle and your sin nature control your life now. You know what God says about your particular sin. You know the Holy Spirit would not lead you to have those homosexual feelings. The Holy Spirit will guide you in these Bible truths. You are “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). Sin is not to have dominion over you. The Spirit of God is to have control of your life. You are “freed from sin”—not “free”—but “freed!” We still sin but we do not have to. A lost person has no ability to stop sin, but we in Jesus Christ have the ability to stop it. When we as Christians sin, it was because we thought like lost people. We thought that that was the only action we could take. We forgot that God’s power saved us from that sinful identity and now He can save us from that sinful behavior.

As you very well know, our culture is saturated with sex. Whether it is promiscuity, or scantily-dressed men and women, or pornography, or transgender issues, or the legalization of same-sex marriages, the media (television, radio, internet, newspapers, books, et cetera) constantly bombards us with garbage thinking. These are Satan’s methods of attacking Christians. We all have sexual thoughts and they are for the purpose of reproduction, but the media is more interested in perverting something good and emphasizing illicit sexual behaviors. If you saturate yourself with the media, you are sure to lose the battle against your particular sin. I would greatly distance myself from these news items, TV shows, et cetera, if you have not already done so. Friend, you would be better off reading your Bible than filling your head with all that worthless mass media. Satan is after your mind and you have to be sure not to let him have it!!! As long as your mind is controlled by God’s Word, Satan does not have a chance.

We read in 2 Corinthians chapter 10: “[3] For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: [4] (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) [5] Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Here is that battle between good and evil, of which we are all part. “Imaginations” are fantasies, concepts that we invent in our minds. They are not reality. They are literally “figments of our imagination.” Whatever does not agree with “the knowledge of God” (His Word rightly divided), throw it out. This helps you concerning your “feelings”/thoughts. You are to “bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” This is not you making your thoughts obedient to Jesus Christ. Rather, it is you taking your thoughts and seeing whether or not they agree with Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork (His obedience to Father God; Romans 5:19; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:8). “Do my thoughts agree with my new identity in Christ?” (Yes/No) “Does this activity belong in my life?” (Yes/No) “Is this effectively communicating to others the doctrine of Calvary that I believe?” (Yes/No) “Is this a good work that the Spirit of God produced in and through me?” (Yes/No) Whenever you answer “no,” replace that bad thought/deed with a verse and its resulting action. Try using the verses I cited earlier, especially Galatians 5:24-25. If you need more, let me know.

Brother, while I am on the subject, let me also tell you that you have no reason to ever tell anyone about these feelings, including your siblings. That is like someone going around saying, “I like to steal, lie, cheat, et cetera.” That is your business what specific sins you are struggling with, and you seem to be trying to let God deal with the matter for you. It is not like you are content where you are in the sin. You have no reason to confess your sins to anyone. God already knows your sins and He already took care of them at Calvary! Think like that. “Jesus put away my sins by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:26) and now I put away my sins by the sacrifice of Him, too. I have been raised again to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).” All of Romans chapters 6 through 8 are great help.

No, the truth is that God will not take those unnatural feelings away, so do not set up yourself for disappointment by asking Him. We all have bad thoughts of some kind, and we will have to daily suppress them with verses until we get to heaven. But, there is good news. What God has done is provided a way for us/you to think on something else. We can think on His Word and what He has done for us on Calvary’s cross so long ago. The power of God over that sin is manifested when you overcome that sin by faith in Christ, not when that temptation is removed.

As 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Bear the temptation, brother! The Holy Spirit has equipped you to bear it! (If it helps, try procrastinating. Try putting off the temptation long enough, and it will go away for a time.)

What did Paul finally learn about his troubles in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” God’s grace is enough to get you through all temptations. His grace is the strength you receive by way of the Holy Spirit using verses you studied, to cause you not to grow weary or fall apart when you face trying times/difficulties/troubles.

Let me tell you right now so you will not misunderstand. You will have your downfalls. Brother, it will take some time before you can wrap your mind around these Bible truths. That is what spiritual growth is all about. There are times when those immoral thoughts will come back. That is when your mind is drifting away from reality. You just bring your thoughts back in line with what you know about the doctrines of grace. “That is not who I am anymore. That is the flesh. That is not sound doctrine and that does not belong in my life. I am a new creature in Christ. I am dead to sin and alive unto God. Those affections and lusts have been crucified with Christ. He died for that sin. He put it away and now I put it away. Christ liveth in me. I live by His faith, His faithfulness.”

It is so unfortunate that you question your salvation, brother. That must be quite miserable. Remember, the Corinthians were the most carnal (fleshly/worldly) Christians in the Bible. They were drunken, they sued one another, they abused spiritual gifts, they fought and argued, one believer was sexually involved with his stepmother, they questioned Paul’s apostleship, they were dabbling in false religion—certainly not the epitome of righteousness, huh?! Never once did Paul question their salvation. In fact, he wrote to them in 1 Corinthians 1:8-9: “[8] [God] Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. [9] God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” The Corinthians were unfaithful, no question about it. They had so hindered the Holy Spirit from having any affect on them. They were such poor examples of Christian living, and yet Paul said that God would confirm them “blameless” until the day they would go to heaven! Jesus Christ had taken care of their blame at Calvary (same with you). God is “faithful.” We should be glad that our salvation unto eternal life is not dependent upon our faithfulness. We would never be saved! Father God is “faithful” and the fellowship Jesus Christ has with Father God, we have that relationship with Father God. It is all because of Jesus Christ and what He did, not because of what we do or do not do.

Paul even called these Corinthians “brethren” in 1 Corinthians 1:10. Paul never doubted their salvation. He knew the Corinthian believers were “the temple of God,” “that the Spirit of God [dwelt] in [them]” (1 Corinthians 3:16). He just asked them, “Know ye not…?” to cause them to remember something they had forgotten. Like the Corinthians, you have been distracted from your Christian identity. You are living inconsistent with who you are in Jesus Christ, and you are “beating yourself up” over it. You have a problem but Jesus Christ took care of it. Your performance never saved you and your performance will certainly never keep you saved. Let go of the burdens! Friend, enjoy God’s joy and peace in believing these simple truths (Romans 15:13)! God accepts you in the Beloved, His Son (Ephesians 1:6). You need not look for love or acceptance anywhere else.

I did not intend to go on this long, but perhaps I have given you enough to correct your situation. I will certainly keep you in prayer, and please do not hesitate if you need additional counsel. You can also see our study, “Does “once saved, always saved” entitle us to abuse God’s grace?” (This talks about how to correct “loss of salvation” feelings.)

Also see:
» Does “once saved, always saved” entitle us to abuse God’s grace?
» Must I maintain fellowship with God?
» What is the Lord’s will for my Christian life?