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Combining Conviction and Compassion

Homosexuality is not God's design or will, but a reflection of the broken sinfulness of humanity.

What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Since I have been at this church, I have had to answer this question as well as a number of related questions multiple times. There have been dozens of people, both men and women, both heterosexuals and those who are conflicted about their own homosexual orientation, who have come to see me and expressed their own dilemmas about precisely this issue.

Some have come to see me as married people involved in secret homosexual relationships outside the bounds of their marriage. Some have come to see me as single people who have committed themselves to a pattern of celibacy. Some are single people who are sexually active as homosexuals. Others are people who are in committed homosexual relationships. In every case, each person asked questions regarding their faith and understanding of the Bible in relation to their homosexuality.

In this sense this question is not just for "them" but a question for believers.

To ground my sermon, I want to first consider some assumptions and experiences that I bring to the topic of homosexuality, and then I want us to look closely at what the Bible teaches.

Two guiding assumptions

My first assumption is Jesus Christ is Lord over all of life. There is no terrain of life somehow protected from Christ's interest. He is interested because he has made us. Jesus Christ is Lord over all of our lives, not just over some parts of it.

As we study the Gospels, we discover the lordship of Jesus Christ is expressed through his conviction and compassion. Christ's conviction and compassion are inseparable, and we never see them driven to extremes. If Christ was solely motivated by his convictions, his ministry, like the Scribes and Pharisees, would have resembled extreme ...

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Mark Labberton is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley in Berkeley, California.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction: What does the Bible teach about homosexuality?

I. Our understanding of human sexuality begins with creation, not with the Law.

II. Our entire selves are affected by sin, and all of us need redemption.

Conclusion: Homosexuality is a reflection of the broken sinfulness of our humanity.