Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
21 November 2021
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
There will be a Carol Service in the building at 2pm on 19th December.
The late Billy Strachan, Principal of Capenwray Bible College spoke at our Church Weekend-Away back in the early ‘80’s when I was a member of Ivy Cottage. It was a brilliant weekend with his excellent teaching on the life of Elijah / Elisha. On the Friday evening he introduced himself and shared how at one time he led a homosexual lifestyle. However, through committing his life to Jesus he was set free from this and happily married with 3 children.
Reading: Rom 1:18-32
Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way men abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.Rom 1:26-27
At Bible College we were taught that sound exegesis, rather than (my) eisegesis, was vital to get at the truth of Scripture. What does that mean? It means that in seeking to understand what a passage of Scripture truly teaches we must let the original author (here Paul) …
“… say what he does say instead of attributing to him what we think he ought to say”
Today there is pressure on churches to bless gay marriages. Is this coming from the Lord or from the world? If the Bible states gay marriage is okay then we all must bless these marriages. If the Bible teaches that it is not okay then we shouldn’t. There are churches that now bless gay marriages, e.g., United Reformed Churches; Methodist Churches; Church in Wales; some 100 ‘progressive’ Catholic Churches in Germany defying the Vatican’s pronouncement that God cannot bless sin, and so it goes on.
There again, there are many churches who refuse to bless gay marriage. It must be confusing to the ordinary person looking on. So what does Scripture teach? It seems clear here, that Paul, inspired by the Spirit (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21), teaches that all homosexual behaviour is wrong, a consequence of the wrath of God, of God giving people over to their sinful choices,
Because of this, [exchanging the truth of God for a lie – Romans 1:25], God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.Romans 1:26-27
The gay lobby are challenging this, contesting that they are gay by nature, and that these relationships are natural to them. The Greek words used here for ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ were …
“… very frequently used … as a way of distinguishing between heterosexual and homosexual behaviour”
R. B. Hays
“We have no liberty to interpret the noun ‘nature’ as meaning ‘my’ nature, or the adjective ‘natural’ as meaning ‘what seems natural to me.’ On the contrary, ‘physis’ (’natural’) means God’s created order. To act ‘against nature’ means to violate the order which God has established, whereas to act ‘according to nature’ means to behave ‘in accordance with the intention of the Creator’.”
John Stott, quoting parts of Cranfield
Questions for Discussion
- “Sexual perversion is the result of God’s wrath not the reason for it”?
- Why do people hate the truths in this passage?
- What is your response in prayer to the realities in this passage?
- How should the church relate to people who are homosexual and lesbian?
Quote of the week
“Ignoring good theology, by ignoring God, leads to misbehaviour.”
Verse of the week
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.Rom. 8:28
Gracious loving heavenly Father, these are difficult issues and cause much pain, hatred and aggression. Help us, Your Church, to respond in love to all gay people, whilst at the same time teaching them what You have revealed in Your word regarding the lifestyles they are living. May many be brought into Your kingdom; Lord in Your wrath remember mercy, in and through Jesus Christ, Amen