Righteousness By Faith

Q. RE: Is Grace Sufficient. I just have to make one comment about the homosexuality that the person questioned and one thing that you did not mention. 1 Cor. 6:9 – 10 says that homosexuals will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. If you are a homosexual, you cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. A homosexual must repent of his sins and literally change his/her life and never go back to that way of living.

A. You obviously have a very strong opinion about this, but it doesn’t mesh with the Bible. What 1 Cor. 6:9-10 actually says is,

Or do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

The Greek word translated wicked means unrighteous and everyone agrees that God who is righteous cannot accept those who are unrighteous into His presence. In Romans 3:21-22 Paul said those who believe in Jesus receive a righteousness apart from the law which is based on their faith. So all believers are considered righteous in God’s sight because of their faith.

Note also that 1 Cor. 6:9-10 does not single out homosexuals. It includes immoral heterosexuals as well, like adulterers. Jesus said anyone who even has lustful thoughts about someone they’re not married to is guilty of adultery (Matt.5:28). Applying that same standard to other sins means lusting after any other person’s possessions is as bad as theft. Becoming overly attached to any of your own possessions is idolatry. Failing to contribute to the needs of the less fortunate is greed. Periodically drinking to excess makes you a drunkard. Saying unkind/untrue things about other people makes you a slanderer. Being angry with another person makes you a murderer, and on it goes.

If you apply the same standards to the other kinds of sins Paul mentioned here as you apply to homosexuals pretty soon no one could be saved, not even you. Jesus said if you’re going to condemn others you’re in danger of being condemned yourself (Matt. 7:1). You have no way of knowing what kind of anguish other believers are suffering because of their sins. That’s why He said to leave the judging to Him (1 Cor. 4:5).

Finally, In 1 Cor. 6:11 Paul applied the standard of righteousness by faith to believers by saying,

And 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.

Do you think he knew they were no longer having impure thoughts? No, he knew they had attained a righteousness by faith. It’s not our behavior that saves us, it’s our faith.

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