Listen:  81 Question 4

Let’s read those verses that you refer to.  Leviticus 20:9-16, “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them. If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you. And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”  Surely we can see from these verses that the Lord regards purity and faithfulness very highly.  The Lord had already instructed His people in Leviticus 18:22 by telling them, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”  In the day we are living, most of these things would be considered acceptable, or at least tolerable.  Your question concerns homosexuality, but we can easily see that this portion deals with much more than that.  I encourage you to read the rest of this chapter to see other things the Lord warns His people against.  In many of the more severe breaches of the law, capital punishment was declared to be a fit punishment.  The penalty for homosexual acts was death.  The penalty for adultery was also death.

There is no injustice with God. His actions were not limited to one particular sin, and many other examples from the Old Testament show His involvement in dealing with different sins. This emphasis on judgment for idolatry, homosexuality, and other sins should not surprise us since part of the purpose of the law was to reveal sin as sin, and God’s righteous standard as foundational.  The Lord, Himself, determines what is right and wrong.  The Apostle Paul understood the value of the law as the revealer of sin.  He wrote in Romans 7:7, “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

The Biblical teaching concerning homosexuality is that it is wrong, but God’s grace, just like it did for us, offers freedom from sin to all people.  In this day of grace, or church age, in which we live, we need to understand that sin in the Old Testament is still sin.  That has not changed.  However, the way the Lord wants us to deal with sin in ourselves and others is different in this dispensation in which we live.  Consider how the Lord dealt with the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery.  His words to her are so instructive.  We read in John 8:10-11, “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”  When this lady addressed Jesus as Lord; that indicated that she bowed her heart to Him and accepted Him as her lord.  He told her in no uncertain terms that He forgave her, but he wanted her to stop this sinful practice.  Sin is still sin, but at the feet of Jesus there is forgiveness.

In 1 Corinthians 5, we have the story of a man that had committed a terrible sin: he was having relations with his father’s wife…probably his step-mother.  Let’s read 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”  This was such a terrible sin that even the unsaved people did not commit such an act.  The Apostle Paul instructed the church in Corinth that it was their responsibility to discipline this man by delivering him over to Satan.  This means to excommunicate this man from among themselves and leave him in the hands of the enemy.  This would lead to a destruction, or total humility of these fleshly lusts to that this man might be brought to repentance and restoration.  Did this act of discipline work to restore this man?  Yes it did.  I encourage you to read 2 Corinthians 2:6-11 for that account.

As I said earlier: sin is sin.  Homosexuality was sin under the law and it is still sin today.  How are we to treat those who practice a homosexual lifestyle?  We should treat them with love.  We should let them know the Lord loves them and longs that they would turn from their wicked ways and come to Him for salvation.  We can see remarkable evidence of the Lord’s ability to change the hearts of unbelieving and wicked people in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 which says, “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, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 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.”  These people had committed some of the worst sins.  They were fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals.  They gave into the vilest forms of sexual depravity.  Yet, as we read in this portion, “such WERE some of you.”  Through the power of God’s forgiveness and salvation, these people had ceased from living sinful lifestyles.  (81.4)