When examining what the Bible says about homosexuality, it is important to distinguish between homosexual behavior and homosexual inclinations or attractions. It is the difference between active sin and the passive condition of being tempted. Homosexual behavior is sinful, but the Bible never says that temptation is a sin. Simply stated, a struggle with temptation may lead to sin, but the struggle itself is not a sin.
Romans 1:26–27 teaches that homosexuality is a result of denying and disobeying God. When people continue in sin and unbelief, God “gives them over” to even more wicked and depraved sin to show them the futility and hopelessness of life apart from God. One of the fruits of rebellion against God is homosexuality. First Corinthians 6:9 proclaims that those who practice homosexuality and therefore transgress God’s created order, are not saved.
In 1 Corinthians 6:11, Paul teaches them, “That is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (emphasis added). In other words, some of the Corinthians, before they were saved, lived homosexual lifestyles; but no sin is too great for the cleansing power of Jesus. Once cleansed, we are no longer defined by sin.
The temptation to engage in homosexual behavior is very real to many. People may not always be able to control how or what they feel, but they can control what they do with those feelings (1 Peter 1:5–8). We all have the responsibility to resist temptation (Ephesians 6:13). We must all be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). We must all “walk by the Spirit” so as not to “gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
Finally, the Bible does not describe homosexuality as a “greater” sin than any other. All sin is offensive to God.
Romans 1:26–27; 12:2; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 6:13; 1 Peter 1:5–8