10:30 am Sunday Worship
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Snatching Souls from Sexual Sin

Selected Scriptures

We are taking a break, as I mentioned, from our exposition of Luke’s Gospel, to address an important matter and a timely matter. End of last year, a bill in Canada has added a ban on conversion therapy to its Criminal Code. The bill in Canada is called Bill C4, and it not only rejects what the Bible teaches about sexuality, it threatens penalties for encouraging people to listen to what the Bible says, and to be helped by it. So that will be used to attempt to silence the truth of Scripture and to keep people enslaved to sins.  

Bill C4 passed very quickly through both houses of Canadian Parliament. Unanimous vote from both Conservatives and Liberals in Canadian Parliament. It received Royal Assent on December 8th of 2021, became law on January 8th, 2022, just a week ago yesterday. So, today, as I mentioned, pastors of faithful churches across Canada are preaching outlawed sermons. They are simply preaching what the Bible says about sexuality.  

We’re joining them. This is our peaceful protest. Welcome to the revolution, folks. The counter culture. We’re telling everyone what we believe. We’re telling everyone what we confess. We’re telling everyone what God’s  Word says about human sexuality, because this church is still in obedience to the Lord’s compassion to rescue souls from the fires of sin. We will not bow to the state on this matter, or anybody else. We won’t abdicate our holy responsibility, because Jesus Christ is Lord.  

So if you go back to passage we just read in Jude, gonna read this again just at the end of Jude. Jude 20, just to frame this properly, what we’re gonna talk about this morning. I’m going to say some strong things, but I want you to understand that we are not angry protesters. We’re passionate for the truth, and we’re compassionate rescuers of souls.  

We have compassion for sinners, but even our compassion for sinners isn’t foremost in our mind. What’s foremost in our mind is being pleasing to God. Sin offends God, and that’s why it’s wrong. And when people commit sin and offend God, there are consequences to that sin that ruins the sinner, ruins the souls of men. So we don’t separate our passion and zeal for the truth of God and our compassion and our concern for lost sinners. They are properly spoken of in Scripture as one and the same.  

We can see that in Jude 20 to 23. “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” 

 Notice those words, the affectionate term, “Beloved.” See the “most holy faith” there, the faith “once for all delivered to the saints.” See the practice of prayer. A private, quiet, not known by anybody around, but a private practice of prayer before God, which is how we truly love people and practice our religion.  

We keep ourselves in what? The love of God. And we wait for the mercy of Christ. Those terms, those virtues speak to the character of our God, and we know that it all points to and leads to, end of verse 21, “eternal life.” This is about life and death.  

There is a predominant prevailing attitude that is favoring right now, in a way that’s really hard to understand when you really know what’s going on, but it prevails and predominates toward the culture of death. It is a death culture out there, filled with death works that degrade, and dehumanize, and kill, and destroy. Who’s behind that? The Destroyer of Souls.  

Verse 22, “Have mercy on those who doubt.” These are perplexing times. It bewilders even faithful people, faithful saints who are waking up and saying, “Whoa, this is not the country I was born into. What happened? Who moved all the furniture around?” Have mercy on people who doubt. Teach ‘em the truth. Don’t let ‘em continue in doubt. Point ‘em to faith “Once for all delivered to the saints.” Have mercy on them. Do it mercifully.  

“Save others by snatching them out of the fire.” That’s the verb, very strong, harpazo. Same verb that’s used for the rapture of the church, when the Lord Jesus Christ will snatch his church away from the earth and bring them to himself as a prelude to the end of days. Snatch people out of the fire. Harpoon them.  

“And to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” That’s why we do what we do. And here’s why. Verse 24: “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling, to present you blameless before the presence of his glory,” his shining, spotless, pure, holy glory, “with great joy.” Blameless, spotless, perfect standing before that one on that day. “To him who is able to keep you” from that, “and to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, be glory and majesty and dominion and authority before all time and now and forever, amen.” That’s what we do. That’s why we do it, for his name’s sake.  

The Church exists in the world today by the will of God, by the sovereign right of Christ, because he died to purchase the Church, and by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Church exists to snatch sinners from the fires of sin. To show mercy to a lost world. And so no one has the right to command our consciences otherwise. No one. No one has the right to tell us we cannot obey our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Anyone who tries to keep sinners enslaved to their sins is on the Devil’s side, does the Devil’s works, because the Devil is a liar and a deceiver and a murderer from the very beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared, 1 John 3:8, was “to destroy the works of the Devil,” to obliterate them, and our salvation, our salvation is proof of that, because he set us free from the works of the Devil. And we will extend that same offer of salvation to other sinners as well, sinner after sinner after sinner, in different varieties of sin and different kinds of sin. All of us, all ground is level at the Cross. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” 

 So with that as my little preamble and introduction, let me tell you a little bit more about what’s going on. If you’re taking notes, I’ve got really two points, and these are just excuses for me to say a lot of stuff in between.      So, point number one, if you want to write this down: Snatching souls. Snatching souls, and then put a colon, The face of the battle. Snatching souls, and this is the face of the battle. This is what it looks like. This is what we’re facing out there. 

 Canadian bill C4, as I said, am it amends the Criminal Code in Canada to outlaw what it refers to as “conversion therapy,” “conversion therapy.” And the bill defines “conversion therapy” as “A practice,” I’m reading from the bill here, “A practice, treatment, or service designed to,” and then it lists six points, “A) change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual, B) Change a person’s gender identity to cisgender, or C) change a person’s gender expression so that it conforms to the sex assigned to the person at birth.”  

Pausing there in the middle of those points, so first, this is a saying it is against the law to “change a person’s sexual orientation” (that already is capitulation language to the culture), but “sexual orientation to heterosexual.” Second, it is against the law to “change a person’s gender identity to cisgender” (yet more capitulation language to the culture). If you’re wondering what “cisgender” means, I’ll come back to that. Third, it is against the law to “try to change a person’s gender expression,” to encourage him to express his gender “in conformity to the sex he was assigned at birth,” or to tell her she must live in conformity to the gender that she was assigned by God (he, they don’t say that), by God at birth. Crime to do that.  

In addition, Bill C4 also criminalizes, quote, “Any practice, treatment or service designed to” here are the last three, letter D) Repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behavior, or E) Repress a person’s non-cisgender gender identity.” It’s beginning to sound like a Doctor Seuss book or tongue twisters here. F) Repress or reduce a person’s gender expression that does not conform to the sex assigned to the person at birth.”  

So, it’s against the law “to change or to repress.” It is against the law to try to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. And it is against the law to try to repress any of the same. In other words, in biblical language, it is against the law now in Canada to encourage repentance. Repentance of any sinful sexual perversions, that’s unlawful. To discourage the expression of sexual perversion, i.e., “Beloved, live holy lives.” Saying that, in this climate is unlawful.  

And by the way, that’s Canada. There are actually many jurisdictions in the United States that are already there in some form or another. You can look it up on Wikipedia and see the list of jurisdictions in the United States that have bans on conversion therapy. State of Colorado banned conversion therapy on minors in February of 2019. Just three years ago. These governments, and especially Canada, has codified, they have codified their rebellion against God. They have put in print, and published for everybody, and made it a law of the land to reject God and his Word, to defy God’s created order. That’s now law. They have torn up the blueprint of God’s good design for humanity, and they consider themselves charting a course for humanity toward a brave new world. It is a delusion. All they are doing is tightening the bonds and the chains of sin and corruption on people. It is cruelty to the Nth degree. And they are speaking words of peace and harmony, and unity, and love, and compassion, and mercy and, and all the rest while they’re sticking a knife and twisting it.  

Don’t believe the lies. Bible says very clearly in Genesis 1:27, “God created man in his own image. In the image of God, he created him, male and female he created them.” Listen, this is a blessing. It is a protection from defilement, degradation, and sorrow, to live according to the design that we’ve been given. On the basis of human ontology of this gender binary, male and female, this biological binary, each one, male and female with their own distinct biology, on the basis of this complementary relationship between the man and the woman, Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife.” The verb there is talking about glued together with his wife or, even stronger, welded together with his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  

This has several implications, what God says in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, including a number of the sexual and relational sins that’ve become common in our day. Talked about this last week about divorce and remarriage and adultery. Jesus said in Matthew 19:4-6, going right back to the Creation ordinance, Genesis 1 and 2, Jesus said, I’m gonna bypass all of your controversies and arguments and questions and opinions, and I’m gonna go right back to the source. “He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and he said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and two shall become one flesh, so they’re no longer two, but they’re one flesh.’” They are no longer two independent sexual expression creatures. They are one flesh. “What, therefore, God has joined together, let not man separate.”  

So, verse 9, Jesus said, “I say to you,” to answer your question, “Whoever divorces his wife except for sexual immorality and marries another, commits adultery.” It’s just one of the implications of the one flesh relationship. The divorce, the severing of that one flesh relationship, divorce is a sin. It is a violent rejection of covenant before God, and any unsanctioned remarriage after divorce that is outside of the exception clauses of unrepentant adultery and abandonment by, of the marriage by an unbeliever, that is also adultery.  

God gave Adam one option for a wife, one option. Her name was Eve. And Adam wasn’t like, “Man, only one to choose from? Where’s, where’s that dating website?” You know, as in, start to scroll through all the faces. If dating websites were good, this is, I’m, this is not my notes, I’m always in danger when I get off my notes, but this one I need to say. Get off the dating websites. Get off the dating apps. They are garbage. That’s French for “junk.” Don’t look at ‘em. It’s teaching you a frame of mind, a pattern of thinking that prefers what you see rather than what you know. It’s decoupling relationship by putting an image before you and making you disconnected from the start. Don’t start relationships that way, young people.  

If dating apps and options and all kinds of faces were the good, God would have put it there in creation. He didn’t. He gave Adam one option for a wife. One and one only. And he called it good, and at the end of the whole thing he called it very good. Maybe we should go back to that. Adam was thrilled to meet her. To be fruitful with her, to multiply with her, to exercise dominion over the entire earth with her. That’s the pattern. One man marries one woman and stays married for life. It’s one obvious implication of that one flesh relationship.  

There are other implications that come from the pattern of creation, the one flesh relationship between a man and his wife, but we can sum everything up by saying this: Every extramarital sexual desire, sexual thought, and sexual behavior is sinful. Let’s repeat that. Every extramarital (outside the bonds of marriage) sexual desire, sexual thought, and sexual behavior is sinful. Any form of sexuality, if it’s outside the boundaries of marriage, it transgresses God’s design for marriage and design for sex and is therefore sinful, degrading and defiling. If it severs the act of sex from the marital relationship which sex is designed to serve and strengthen, then it’s sinful, and it’s harmful, and it’s defiling.  

It should be enough for us just to say, just look at the pattern that God set for sexuality in the first marriage. It should be enough for us to just say that. But due to the deception of Satan, the one who taught our first parents to second-guess God by asking, “Did God really say?” Well, because of that, and because we’re born in sin, and because we’re born with a proclivity towards sin, and because we always are born questioning God, and we grow up questioning God, God has been so gracious to respond to that not by snuffing us out immediately, but by providing more instruction. He’s been gracious to reinforce the marital blueprint of creation, and he does it by positive affirmation and by negative prohibition.  

So negative prohibitions, for example, turn back to Leviticus chapter 18. Leviticus 18. God told Moses to prohibit, write down laws that prohibit alternative forms of sexuality. They are, in God’s eyes, detestable, and abhorrent, and abominable sexual practices that were practiced among the nations of the world. So look at Leviticus 18, verse 1. “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying ‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, “I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan to which I’m bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes.”’” So where you’ve come from and where you’re going, bad. Do not look to the culture as an example. We’re pretty good, aren’t we, at looking at other cultures and seeing differences, and we can see differences in practices in pagan lands, and we say, “Oh, that’s terrible. Oh, that’s, boy they do that? Oh that’s, that’s awful.” We need to take a very careful look at our own culture. Because what’s been exported from this culture and around the world, well, frankly, let’s just call it what it is. It’s pornography. It is filth.  

It was back in the 90s when I spent a little bit of time in the Middle East. I was talking to Muslims who said, “Yeah, of course we think that America is the great Satan. Why wouldn’t we? You undress your daughters and put them on big screens and little screens and you export it around the world.” Couldn’t argue with that. I mean, they’re no better. They’re covered in hypocrisy and shame and guilt and stuff as well. Look, let’s not think we’re moral, Christian, because we come from this country. What we’ve been exporting from this country for decades has been vile. And so God says, verse 4, “Don’t look at the culture you came from or the cultures you’re going into and want it. You keep away from that. “You shall follow,” verse 4, “My rules, and keep my statutes, and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules. If a person does them, he shall live by them. I am Yahweh, I’m the Lord.” You know me by name.  

As you keep reading, you see that verses 6 through 18 of that chapter forbids sexual contact among close relatives, sexual activity during a women’s menstruation (that’s prohibited in verse 19); sexual contact with someone else’s spouse is forbidden in verse 20. In verse 22, sexual activity among men is forbidden, by implication among women too. And in verse 23 sexual activity with animals is forbidden.  

“Well, to be tempted is human.”

Travis Allen

You go to the next chapter, Leviticus 19:29, and God forbids prostitution as well. And, and that’s an interesting one because it’s talking about anything that would turn sex into a commodity. Anything that would monetize sex into, monetize sex and turn it into a commodity, you have to objectify sex. You have to objectify the other person and treat them as nothing more than a tool. So I’ll say this: To objectify another human being, to treat another human being as nothing more than a means to an end, as a tool for genital stimulation, for self gratification, anything like that is rightly forbidden by God. How sad to treat another human being created in the image of God like an object, like a tool. So this principle obviously forbids pornography, as does God’s design for sex between a husband and a wife that forbids pornography as well.  

Reflect on, just in a positive way, reflect on the beauty of sexual intimacy in marriage, especially in the Song of Songs. And you’ll notice in the Song of Songs, how the Song of Songs veils the beauty of sexual intimacy in the marital relationship. It uses images, and figures of speech, and metaphors, and pictures, nature and all the rest. It’s absolutely lovely. Carefully covers that which is meant to be kept private between a couple, what should be treated with careful and tender discretion.  

By contrast, when God wants to portray the vileness of spiritual adultery, he uses sometimes the most graphic images of sexual immorality. Can see that in several chapters in Ezekiel. Pornography offers a, an evil, vile counterfeit to God’s good design for sex, not only by displaying on a screen all the vile practices, sexual practices that God forbids, but Romans 1:32 and Romans 2:3 condemns those who view that kind of thing and thus thereby approving of the sin. You say you don’t practice those kinds of behaviors. Really? Do you look at it? Through pornography, bearing guilt along with those who commit the physical acts. It’s terrible thing. 

And there’s a more insidious evil at work in the sin of pornography. Pornography is a disembodied experience. Disembodied sexual experience. It, it defies what God intends for sex and marriage as embodied personal experience. Pornography is dehumanizing. Sex within the covenant of marriage, with its procreative design, is inherently humanizing. It’s procreative, it’s life affirming. Pornography is inherently self-centered, driven by lustful impulse to gratify the self. Marriage is totally the opposite of that. Its intent is on pleasing one’s spouse, and it’s driven by love.  

Pornography creates all kinds of false expectations based on lies and delusions, and it destroys other people. Sex in marriage is not that, it’s, it’s a very real and a practiced and a learned experience between a couple, a man and a woman where expectations are set lovingly and shaped tenderly. There’s nothing degrading, nothing shameful in marriage, but for pornography and for all other extramarital sexual desires and behaviors, those that are practiced among the Egyptians and the Canaanites, those that are practiced among the sodomites and the Babylonians, those that are practiced among the Canadians and the Europeans and the Americans, all of it vile. God says in Leviticus 18:24, if you still in Leviticus 18, that they make people unclean. They are abominations before God. They are perversions of God’s good gifts and his perfect design.  

Let me be clear about another point. Any thought, desire, fantasy, longing, imagination, any desire to do what God forbids or to refuse what God commands to do, these thoughts and desires are sinful as well. David writes in Psalm 36 verse 1 and verse 4, “Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart. There’s no fear of God before his eyes. He plots trouble while on his bed. He sets himself in a way that is not good. He does not reject evil.” Prophet Micah says same thing in Micah 2:1, “Woe to those who devise wickedness, who work evil on their beds.” Let’s acknowledge that, then, up front: It’s not just the physical act of sexual immorality that falls under divine condemnation. It’s also the imagination of it. It’s also the thinking about it, the fantasizing about it, the planning of it. The thought life is fully under the scrutiny of God as well.  

It’s what Jesus tried to teach his people, the Israelites, in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5. You think it’s just the act? Oh no, no, no. Go down to the heart, the root of the act in the heart. That’s under God’s purview, even to be tempted by these sins. And we’ve all got to admit there’s a temptation in the heart of every single person here towards some of these sins, to be tempted by these sins. The fact that any sin, for that matter, is able to tempt us, that any sin, any covetous desire, is able to entice us or allure us, the fact that we are temptable, tempted internally by perversion, is a clear indication of our fallen condition, isn’t it?  

There’s one who was never tempted like that internally. So we don’t want, ever want to say, “Well, to be tempted is human.” No. The Lord Jesus Christ never tempted internally by any sin. And he is the utmost of humanity. That’s who we want to be like, pure from the inside out. And none of us are. Temptations reveal our need for deep regeneration. A conversion that doesn’t just deal with the outside, it deals with the soul. Temptations in and of themselves, on any matter that is against God’s command, reveals our need for repentance and faith, reveals our need for forgiveness, for cleansing, for complete and total redemption.  

Seems obvious, but I need to bring it up because there are those who think that they can chart a safe course through this culture of perverted sexuality by compromising with it. We’re seeing this in the LGBTQ phase of the modern sexual revolution, and I call it the “LGBTQ phase.” You could add QRSTUVWXYZ and you know, it’s all there, all that phase, this is only part four or 18 or whatever of a sexual revolution was started many decades ago. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that it, now’s the time that it’s bad. It’s been bad folks. So we’re seeing in this current phase of the modern sexual revolution, there are professing Christians who are teaching people that it is perfectly legitimate and probably even helpful to refer to themselves as “Gay Christians.” They say it’s not only acceptable, but it’s even good to use the adjective “Gay” or “Lesbian” or “Transgender” or whatever the term is as a defining characteristic of their identity as a Christian.  

Last month, December 3rd of 2021, an article was published in Christianity Today. It’s not my Christianity that they’re representing, but they are talking about something that’s going on in Christendom today, and they’re promoting this same view. They’ve been promoting it. The author, Becca Mason, she describes herself as a “Gay Christian” in an article titled, “Side B Christians Like Me Are an Asset, Not a Threat.”  

If you’re not up to speed on “Side A, Side B” language, “Side A” refers to those who claim that God makes people gay and he blesses their LGBTQ sins and lifestyles. OK? “Side A.” “Side B” differs from them, and they ref, it refers to those people who think they can walk a middle road. They say, “Oh yeah, that’s sin,” but they try to distinguish between sexual activity and sexual identity. So the LGBTQ behaviors are sinful, but LGBTQ identities are not sinful. They’re actually in some cases even helpful because of our evangelism, because you can identify with those people better. So it’s fine to be a Christian and still identify with LGBTQ sins. So “Gay Christian,” “Lesbian Christian,” “Transgender Christian,” all okay, even good. OK, so that’s “Side A, Side B.”  

In her Christianity Today article, Mason says that she and others like her have an elevated sense of what it means to follow Jesus. In other words, and she says this, you can hear it throughout the article, this tone that she and others like her are better than people who don’t struggle with any of those temptations. She writes, “We stay in the church based on principle, not for abstract political gains in a mostly abstract language war.” End Quote. Is that what this is? An “abstract language war?” Canadian Bill C4 just took it out of the abstract, didn’t it?  

She’s bringing, with that kind of language, and that kind of viewpoint, and promoting those kind of views, she’s bringing disunity to the church. She’s using “Us versus them” language. She’s promoting a tribalism based on identities, identity politics. That fractures unity, it doesn’t build it. Drop the adjectives. If you’re a Christian, you’re a Christian, period. She goes on to speaks disparagingly about good churches, saying quote, “It’s hard to be a gay Christian in a theologically conservative church.” End Quote. Number of things we could say about that, but listen. Good theology is exactly what people struggling with sexual sin need. Bad theology leaves them in their sin.  

In reading that article, I want to believe that Becca Mason is simply misguided. Her and others like her. I want to help her out of her gospel confusion, her ecclesiological and definitional confusion into true freedom through an unqualified identity in Jesus Christ and in him alone. I want to help her understand that adding adjectives like “Gay” to the word “Christian” is like carrying around the chains that bound you to your old sins.  

This “Side B” compromise does not provide freedom. It keeps people shackled to a sexual perversion as an identity. So-called “middle ground” positions are always like that. They promise freedom, but they are built on compromise. Because of that, they’re always deceptive, and they keep people bound to sin and confusion and error. Because freedom from sin is first and foremost a matter of defining sin as sin. Freedom is always, comes from the truth, and you’ve got to define the truth, and clarify the truth, and understand the truth. Comes from understanding truth, defining sin as sin, and then repenting of sin, identifying with Christ and Christ alone.  

Back to Leviticus 18, Leviticus 18:30. God warns for our good there. He says, “Keep my charge never to practice any of these abominable customs that were practiced before you, never to make yourselves unclean by them. I am Yahweh your God.” And the reason why to do that? Two verses later, next chapter, Leviticus 19:2, “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” We’re not after happiness. We’re after holiness. If you put happiness before holiness, you’ll get neither. If you put holiness first, God will add happiness to your life as well. 

“Well, to be tempted is human.”

Travis Allen

Leviticus 20, God prescribes punishments for each of the sexual sins that he described in the earlier chapter. In the case of adultery (verse 10), incest (verses 11 to 12), homosexuality (verse 13), sex with a mother and her daughter (verse 14), and bestiality (verses 15 and 16), those sexual perversions, those are so serious, they bring such defilement, that they require the death penalty.  

“For although they knew God, they didn’t honor him as God or give thanks to him.”

Romans 1:21

What’s the message here? What do we discern from that? What is God saying when he prescribes such severe penalties for Israel in these sexual sins? Message is this: Once these forms of sexual perversion take root among a people, it’s game over for that society. Sexual depravity signals the end of a culture, so God says, “Cut it off. Or else your whole culture is dead.” So he prescribed the death penalty in Israel for some sexual sins: adultery, incest, homosexuality, sex with mother and daughter, bestiality, and the intent is to preserve Israel as a nation chosen from among the nations of the earth.  

For the rest of the nations of the world, however, God hands them over to their sins, and he does that as a consequence of their idolatry. Turn over to Romans chapter 1, Romans chapter 1. And we see wh, how God thinks about sexual sin with the rest of the cultures of the world, with the non-Israelite cultures. Same principle is true in Israel as well as other cultures. But in Israel they had a law that would deal with those things. In the rest of the world, the descent into depravity is evidence that God has handed a people over to the consequences of their idolatry. You can be sure that whenever you see sexual perversions prominent in a culture, i.e., as we’re seeing right now in Western culture, you can be sure that those cultures will not survive very much longer.  

Look at Romans 1:18. “Wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes; namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made, so they’re without excuse.  

“For although they knew God, they didn’t honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking. Their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, and birds, and animals, and creeping things.” So God says, “Fine, you want to exchange me and my glory for the lesser glory of my creation? I’m gonna hand you over to it. There’s going to be an exchange of everything that’s good for everything that’s bad.”  

Should be no question like, that a society like ours, one that untethers people from divine authority, that denies the Bible’s origin story, one that claims human beings are nothing more than advanced animals at the end of a long chain of evolutionary processes, the product of blind chance who move from simple to complex, and we’re continually evolving (this is the argument of the transgender revolution, saying, “This is an evolution, this is the best me”), this is the secular myth that’s used to justify all kinds of animalistic, gross perversion.  

The Bible condemns this myth, along with all other myths as “suppressing the truth.” Those who believe it, they refuse to honor God as God. They refuse to give him thanks. This myth, our myth, their myth, it’s a lie. Exchanging the glory of the immortal God for an illusion and imagination that’s nothing but futility, darkness and folly. There are consequences for that, for embracing the lie. Look at verse 24. Therefore God said you want to exchange me for that? OK, I’m going to hand you over. “God gave them up in the lust of their hearts to impurity to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves.”  

What is that about? That’s about promiscuity, sex before marriage, sex outside of marriage. It’s about divorce and remarriage, and divorce and remarriage, and all the rest. It’s about adultery and porneia and all kinds of vileness. Why? Verse 25, because “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and they worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator who’s blessed forever, Amen.” So God says, “You wanna worship that? Have at it. Throw your whole body, soul into it. See what happens.”  

It’s not merely a punishment that’s intended, just rub their noses in it. It’s a punishment that rubs their noses for the purpose that they smell it, and it stinks, and they wake up and say, “No more! Somebody save me from this body of death.” When they don’t do that, verse 26, “For this reason, God gives them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for tha, that’re contrary to nature, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”  

Some people say, “See there’s AIDS right there.” No, the due penalty for their error, what’s due, what is appropriate, what’s fitting for their error, is that they would look at mirror images of themselves and want that lustfully. God says again, “You wanna worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator? You want to abandon me for the creation? You wanna be in love with yourself? Look in the mirror and that’s what you’re going to defile yourself with.” That’s the due penalty. It’s degradation. I mean, diseases have been flowing through the heterosexual, homosexual community for decades, all the way since from the beginning of time. Flesh eating diseases and all the rest. It’s gross, it’s cons, consequent, it’s connected. The due penalty of their error is, “You love yourself so much and don’t love me? Fine, have at it.”  

What is the point? Why is God handing them over? To awaken them to their need for salvation. Notice that that language not only describes the acts of sexual immorality, the behaviors, it also describes the desires of the heart, the wanting to engage in immoral acts. Let’s go back to the preamble of the Bill C4. The Government of Canada says that all I’ve just described, from Leviticus to Romans, it’s all a harmful myth. Genesis, the origin of everything? Myth. It’s harmful to the individual, and it’s harmful to society.  

According to the Canadian government, and according to the language of that bill, what the Bible says, quote, “is based on and propagates myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, including the myth that heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity, and gender expression that conforms with the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.” End Quote. That’s how they start out their bill. That’s their opening salvo. Everything you’ve believed, everything that Canada was built on: Myth, lie.  

What God condemns in Romans 1, Canada has chosen to call all that a myth and a stereotype. When God’s Word makes it plain that every extramarital sexual desire, thought, behavior is sinful, Canada has chosen to call that “harmful, propagating a myth and a stereotype.” What God calls “Good” in his creation, one man, one woman for life, Canada calls that the “myth” that biblical morality is better than idolatrous immorality.  

The result then is a flood of perversion. It’s everything we’re seeing in our world today. Hits like a tidal wave, results in the destruction of culture, the dismantling of all society. Look what results when a people refuses to wake up and repent of sexual sin. Romans 1:28, “Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” It’s what we’re seeing today in transgenderism. Men and women and boys and girls denying their biology. In the language of the Canadian preamble, they are refusing to accept “the sex assigned to a person at birth.” They are refusing to accept how God created them.  

20 years ago, if I heard someone say, if we heard someone say, “I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body,” we’d think they’re making some kind of a weird joke. 30 or 40 years ago, we’d say that qualifies them for some treatment. Today the statement, “I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body,” that person’s taken seriously. Considered a candidate for hormone therapy, considered a victim of oppression. Considered a candidate for sex reassignment surgery. Cutting off parts of their body. It’s tragic, absolutely tragic. People permanently altering their bodies with chemicals and with even the knife under surgery.  

There are children doing this, destroying their bodies with chemicals to conform to what they feel that they are, to what their friends tell them that they should feel that they are. They’re submitting to an internal tyranny. Bowing before an internal idol, the psychologized self that destroys reason, that enslaves them to following their arbitrary feelings.  

There’s a whole movement of people who’ve gone through the hormone transitions and the gender sex assignment surgeries. They’ve gone through that, there’s a whole world of them saying in their 30s and 40s, “This was a total, brutal mistake. We have ruined ourselves. Woe is me.” And they are shut down online. You cannot hear from them.  

Guess it’s a good place as any to stop and explain what the word “cisgender” means. “C-I-S-gender.” It’s a made-up word, it was coined in order to explain and support and promote the sexual revolution. The prefix “C-I-S” is Latin, “Cis” means “on this side,” and it’s used in contrast to the Latin “trans,” which means “on the other side.” So what’s “This side?” What’s “The other side?” Well, “transgender,” the word “transgender” means “on the other side,” that is, “On the opposite side of the gender” God assigned a conception, and “cisgender” means “On this side,” that is, to live in agreement with the gender that God assigned at conception. So if you’re confused, “Cisgender,” that’s what they call all of us Bible-believing Christians living according to the sex that’s assigned, that God assigned at conception.  

I looked into the etymology of that word “Cisgender.” Came across the work of someone named Avery Dame, D-A-M-E. And though Avery Dame was born female, she now looks and sounds like a man. And she says that she came out as “trans” in 2007, and since then she’s adopted a, very clearly, a male persona, obviously using hormone therapy to deepen her voice and grow some scrawny facial hair and appear masculine in number of ways. In 2017, Avery Dame published an article for the American Historical Association called “Tracing Terminology,” researching early uses of “cisgender.” And in the article she says that the Oxford English Dictionary only added “Cisgender” as an entry to its dictionary as recently as 2015.  

The Oxford English Dictionary cites, as justification for doing that, a 1994 post online by Dana Leland Defosse, in a transgender Usenet newsgroup. “Usenet newsgroup,” that refers to connection, in, interconnection around the world with people in di, different chat rooms and groups before, kinda, the World Wide Web that we know. So Dana Leland Defosse is, in a transgender Usenet newsgroup, is the first to use the term “Cisgender,” according to Avery Dames’ Research. Avery Dame also cites another origin story that credits a Dutch transgender man for creating the term in 1995. So 94-95, mid 90s.  

The use of “Cisgender” became from there more widespread among those who sought to make transgenderism socially acceptable. Part of common language. As a society, you have seen this. We have been forced to learn. I’m giving you an education on terms, speech, definitions. They want to force everyone to use an entirely new vocabulary. This is how revolutions go. Whoever defines the terms, frames the debate. Whoever frames the debate wins the debate. These are lawyer tricks. LGBTQ revolutionaries, they’ve already won the debate in this culture. Everyone is using their terms, speaking their language, accepting their definitions, and conforming to ‘em. And it’s happening in the school systems.  

If it were for that reason alone, I want to encourage you not to use the term “Cisgender” in order to describe normal biological, God-designed masculinity and femininity. Because by using their language we’re handing over the keys to them, to the sexual revolutionaries, letting them define the terms, frame the debate, and win. But it’s more than that. It’s not just a protest. More than that, according to Avery Dame. She says that the gradual adoption of this term “Cisgender” has become a sign of “allyship.” It’s a made up word too, “Allyship.” Means “to be an ally.”  

But those adopting “Cisgender” language, they were allies back in the mid 90s with the transgender, the “T” in the LGBTQ movement. They affirm acceptance. Dame writes this, “These individuals push to establish transgender individuals not as abnormal, but as one part of a value-neutral binary with cisgender.” End Quote. One part of a “value-neutral.” You hear that language all the time these days. “Value-neutral” means “I’m not going to judge you. You can make up whatever you want, and I’m not going to judge you for it.” But notice it’s a “value-neutral binary.” So they’re tryna say there’s a binary: Cisgender (sex God assigned you at conception), and transgender (not conforming to the sex God assigned you at gender). They say it’s a “binary.” You know what they’re saying now? “Uh-uh. It’s not a binary, there are a whole bunch of options.”  

You start monkeying with the definitions according to human feelings, it’s gone. This is how revolutions go, so Christian, don’t use their language, don’t accommodate to their revolution. Don’t speak in such a way you conform to the internal delusions of the psychologized self. These people are self-deceived. They are lying to themselves, and they demand that you live by their lies. Don’t do it. Why? Because we don’t want them to win the revolution? Forget the revolution. It’s because it’s not loving.  

Far from speaking with compassion, that’s not compassion to affirm that. It’s like affirming the cruelty of someone’s jailer. They’ve just come out of the Holocaust and the Nazi concentration camps, or come out of the Gulag and Soviet Union, and speak about how great their jailers are, how wonderful those people are. No! Speak the truth in love. Inform the conscience. Remind people of the truth that they’re trying to suppress in unrighteousness. Point sinners, all sinners, sexual sinners and everyone else, to the only hope, the hope of Christ’s Gospel.  

We’re going to go on to get to the more profound spiritual level and talk about, Number two, “snatching souls.” The heart of the battle, the heart of the battle. This point is shorter. Canadians, Americans, all the rest, listen. Let’s don’t let the government, don’t let anybody else lie to you about what constitutes harm and happiness. Don’t let ‘em lie to you about that. The sexual revolution is lying to the world, they’ve been lying to the world for decades. Extramarital sex does not make people happy. Sexual sin may give a temporary pleasure boost to the body, but we’re more than bodies. We’re not animals rooting around in the earth looking to satisfy, gratify sensual impulses. Sexual sin leaves people sad and unfulfilled. It leaves people defiled and unclean, personally degraded, dehumanized, spiritually guilty before God, self conscious of all that, and totally ashamed. So don’t believe the lies of the world.  

But let’s just assume for a moment the Canadian government means what it says, that it wants to prevent harm to individuals, harm to society. Let’s assume they mean that. I, I don’t believe that, by the way. I believe quite the contrary, that these MP’s, these Members of Parliament, especially the conservative ones, they’re either capitulating as cowards, or they’re behaving like political animals, intoxicated by money and prestige and power, and they are not acting in the best interests of the Canadians that they represent.  

Anyway, let’s assume for a moment that only a concern for human flourishing is driving this legislation in Canada, that they want to prevent harm to individuals, harm to society, protect the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that’s the good that they seek.  

First of all, what constitutes “harm and happiness” has become psychologically defined, and when it’s psychologically defined, it makes it inherently subjective and relative. It atomizes the idea of harm and happiness, and individualizes it, so that no one can say. So what’s gonna happen then? The mob rules. The mob is gonna rule, pursuing any altruistic goal like “harm and happiness,” preventing harm and promoting happiness, is doomed to futility because it’s gonna be a moving target. Only socially-approved definitions of “harm and happiness” pass muster. Currently, that which passes muster is that which supports the LGBTQ revolution. All other voices are silenced. 

Modern world is the age of the psychologized self, the expressive individual, as Carl Trueman writes about in his book, “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self.” You should read that. Promise of material wealth, health, wealth and prosperity has been proven over time to be vapid and hollow and empty. But rather than seeking God, people have turned to a different promise of health, wealth and prosperity, and it’s in the psychology of the self. So today, people, they make use of technology now, drugs, chemicals, surgeries to conform their external reality to their internal feelings.  

External reality, like laws, conform to the individual will of the psychologized self, to shape the body in conformity with the psychologized identity. And sadly, their psychological sense of identity is as elastic as their feelings. So it’s not a reliable guide at all. Whatever it is that constitutes “harm and happiness,” they cannot find it by looking inside. Definitions of “harm and happiness” are as fluid as today’s plastic people.  

“All our righteous deeds are like filthy rags”

Isaiah 46:6

But second, we have good news for everyone. We already know what constitutes harm. God told us. We’ve read through that. The passages we surveyed tell us that sexual sin is harmful, even in some place, mortally so. We also know what constitutes true happiness. Happiness is to be right with God. Happiness is to enjoy his favor, his approval. Happiness is that which comes by faith in Jesus Christ. But listen, to define and frame sexual issues as simply a matter of “harm and happiness” keeps us all on a human level. Sexual sin is bad, fundamentally, because it violates God’s holiness. But holiness leads to happiness.  

So many passages we could turn to, but let’s just go one book to your right if you’re in Romans. Go to 1 Corinthians. First Corinthians chapter 6, verse 9. Paul says, “Or do you not know the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God?” “The unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” The Bible says, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). The Bible says, “All our righteous deeds are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). We translate that Hebrew word ida with a more polite term, “filthy.” It actually means something that is vile. I won’t say it right now, but it is intended to evoke our revulsion and discomfort, because that is how God looks at the very best that we think we have to offer him.  

Our message to sinners is not about making unrighteous people righteous in and of themselves. Our message is not about making homosexuals heterosexual. We’re not in the business of transforming transgendered people into cisgendered people. That’s why our message really is not conversion therapy at all, and that’s, still that’s how unregenerate sinners are going to misunderstand us and misinterpret our message. So be it. “Conversion,” yes. Conversion is the only hope. But therapy? No. No way. “Conversion therapy,” that’s just yet another failed form of worldly psychology methods deeply infused into this useless psychology.  

Many Christian counselors are trying in vain to do the same things, to turn homosexuals into heterosexuals, to turn transgender people into cisgendered people. They are totally in the wrong, they’re not even in the ballpark. Actually quite cruel to give homosexuals, or any of these other sinners, the “gospel” of heterosexual monogamy: That their only hope is in being happily married with 2.5 kids, living in suburbia with a white picket fence. Is that the Gospel? What good does it do to convert a homosexual, if it means turning someone into a heterosexual, if that person remains in his sins, and dies in suburbia, and then stands before God facing God’s terrifying judgment?  

We’re not preaching morality here. We’re preaching the hope of true conversion to become alive, to become truly alive. We’re promising the love of God. We’re promising the privilege of partaking of the divine nature itself. The joy of eternal life, an entirely different existence than has ever been known before. We preach a salvation of spiritual regeneration. We preach a new nature, one that longs for righteousness. We preach a Gospel that promises forgiveness of sins, of all sins, even the grossest forms of immorality.  

So for all who repent and believe the Gospel from the heart, longing for righteousness, longing for life, we tell them that the penalty of their guilt can be paid for in Christ, that their shame can be removed from them, that their conscience can be cleansed. They can be covered with Christ’s perfect righteousness. Our message isn’t about the reformation of the sinner. Our message is not a message of moral modification. The Gospel is about the death of the sinner, and the resurrection to new life that’s found in Christ and Christ alone. The good news of our Gospel is that it’s the end of you. It’s the end of your old self. It’s the beginning of new life in Christ. And so our identity is in Christ, dying with him in his death on the cross, buried with him in the grave, raised to new life with him in his resurrection. That is the gospel we preach.  

First Corinthians 6:9, “Don’t be deceived” about righteousness and unrighteousness. “Don’t be deceived” about your condition, your need for salvation. “Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.” 

“Sexually immoral.” Broad term, pornos, from which we get the term “pornography.” Porneia is a very broad category of, covers all kinds of sexual sin. You’ve looked at pornography. Such a pervasive, insidious form of sexual immor, immorality in these days. Well, then, you’re guilty of that, committing porneia. Jesus said, Matthew 5:20,I duh, “I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  

Adultery, fornication, any kind of sexual play, and all that stuff is a form of porneia. Earlier in the service, we read about porneia. I won’t repeat all that, but I’ll just add Galatians 5:19, “The works of the flesh are evident,” and at the head of the list is porneia, “sexual immorality.” And it follows with the result of porneia, which is impurity, and uncleanness, and defilement, and then the driving force of porneia, which is sensuality and idolatry, Galatians 5:19.  

We come to, next in the list, 1 Corinthians 6:9, the sexually immoral are idolaters. Idolaters are adulterers. And the list of sexual sins continues in the ESV with this: it combines two Greek terms in a single category. “Men who practice homosexuality,” that’s actually two different terms in the Greek: Malakos and arsenokoitos. Malakos literally means “soft or effeminate.” In this context, it refers to the one who submits his body to be used as the passive partner in homosexual sin. The other word, arsenokoitos, refers to the sodomite or the pederast, the one who is the aggressor, takes the active role in homosexual behavior. These terms graphically portray both the active, passive partners in homosexual activity. You put that into female language as well.  

Notice how the terms that describe the sexually immoral precede terms that broaden the scope of what it means to be unrighteous. Sexual immorality is the expression of idolatry. Idolatry perverts the entire personality. So look at your terms there. “Thieves,” those who steal from others. They’re dominated with a heart of greed and covetous desire. “Drunkards” (not “Alcoholics,” mind you, don’t use their terms). “Drunkards:” those who indulge in substances that en, dull the senses, and weaken the resolve, and shirk responsibility.  

S, “Revilers:” Those who slander, abuse other people with their speech. “Swindlers,” harpax, literally “ravenous people, rapacious.” Like wolves, they eat people, devour them. “Merciless,” “greedy,” all those people characterized by all those different kinds of sins. Don’t be deceived, they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Revelation 22:15 says they’re outside of the Kingdom with the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, murderers, idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.  

Canadians, Americans, it doesn’t matter what laws our government pass. If they are lying to us, if they approve what God condemns, they are loving and practicing falsehood. They’re selling a false hope. They promise happiness when there’s nothing but sadness and sorrow and grief in this life, and eternal judgment in the life to come.  

But look at the good news. First Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you.” If you’ve never rejoiced in grammar, can you join me right now, rejoicing in grammar? Now is the time to love grammar. This is a past tense verb. It is an imperfect tense, which indicates that some of these believers in the Corinthian church used to be characterized by those sins, and they did so over an extended period of time in the past. “Such were some of you.” Such good news, that you are not defined by your past, no matter how vile, no matter how deep the enslavement, no matter how dominating the sin, and how much it has tormented your heart and your, defiled your conscience, and deformed you, and plagued your thoughts, and ruined all your relationships.  

“Such were some of you, but,” strong adversative there, “but you once were, but you are not any longer. You, you once were identified as pornos, as “Idolator” or race as moichos, as malakos, as arsenok,koitos, as LGBTQ, but, praise God, no longer! Washed, sanctified, you’re justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  

Listen, you’re not a “Gay Christian.” You’re not in your own class. You’re not suffering your plight among the happy heterosexuals in your stuffy theological conservative church prison. You are a Christian. Your identity, praise God, is the same as every other Christian. Same! You’re in union with the same Lord Jesus Christ, and your salvation, like everyone else’s, is by the power of the Spirit of our God.  

You’ve been set free. “But you were washed.” It’s an immersion, pictured in baptism, symbolizing the complete cleansing, the full pardon for all your sins in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the Spirit of God. Your sins are gone, gone! To be washed, aorist tense, once for all, full, final break from the sinful past. It’s in the passive voice, because this washing has happened to you. This is the promise of Ezekiel 36:25, “I will sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.”  

Because of Christ’s atoning work on the cross, dying for your sins, because of the Spirit’s power, regenerating you to new life, you are fully forgiven, you are finally free, you are utterly and totally clean. As God promised through the prophet Isaiah, Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they’re red like crimson, they shall become white as wool.”  

“But you were sanctified.” The verb hagiazo, “To be set apart as holy, to be consecrated unto God,” again, this verb is in the passive voice, which means this is something that’s been done to you by God, the Spirit. It’s in the aorist tense, so it means this is a once for all act. It’s a finished condition. It’s never to be reversed, never to be undone. And now because you’re sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God, as Peter wrote, 1 Peter 2:9, you now belong to “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light.”  

First Peter 1:15-16, “As he who called you is holy, you also therefore be holy in your conduct, since it’s written, you shall be holy, for I am holy.” Again, promise of new covenant in Ezekiel 36:26-27. He says, “I’m gonna set you apart. I will give you a new heart, a new spirit I’ll put within you. I’ll remove your heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I’ll put my Spirit within you and I’m going to cause holiness to happen. I’ll cause you to walk in my statutes, and you’ll be careful to obey my rules from the inside out. This isn’t moral modification. This is regeneration. Because you’re sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by the Spirit of our God, you’re holy. You grow in holiness. You will live forever in holiness.  

There are no separate classes of Christians. There are no adjectives in the front of the word “saints.” You are either Christian or you’re not, and if you are a Christian, we are all set apart by God, for God, to God. We’re all part of the same consecration. And then Paul says, “You were justified.” Dikaioo, it’s to justify, to declare righteous, once again aorist passive. Justification is a past act of God. It’s one that’s declared upon us. It’s declared about us. It’s a once-for-all pronouncement. We are declared righteous. Again, it’s in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the Spirit of our God.  

Not justified by our own works, but by his works. Justified because of his passive obedience (what he suffered on the cross), and by his active obedience (what he fulfilled and merited, living a perfectly righteous life, pleasing God in all things). Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:21, bringing those two together, “He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” That’s the heart of the battle. The heart of the battle is for the souls of sinners, and it’s to bring them the Gospel.  

To proclaim the Gospel in our day, it’s to the modern sinner. It’s to the expressive individual that wants, based on the psychologized view of the self, wants to make his external reality everywhere around him conform to his internal feelings. That’s the kind of sinner that we have to bring the Gospel to. Terribly confused people in the modern world. We exist to snatch these sinners, these sexual sinners, out of a raging fire, promising God’s salvation in Christ and setting them free.  

So with all due respect to modern governments, as the Church of Jesus Christ, we stand ready, 1 Timothy 1:3-4 says, to “charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths.” As governments jump out of their lane and enter into the church, I have to tell those governments not to teach any different doctrine. Not to devote itself to myths. They’re accusing us of the same. I say back to them, “Get back in your lane and do what God has commanded, commissioned you to do.” They desire, 1 Timothy 1:7, governments seem these days very willing to b, “desire to be teachers of the law without understanding either what they’re saying or the things about which they make confident assertions,” as they’re passing unjust and immoral laws.  

Paul goes on to tell Pastor Timothy, tell Pastor Travis, tell pastors and elders here, tell all of you as church members, And we know that the law if good if one uses it lawfully; understanding this, the law is not laid down for the just, but for the lawless and disobedient. You know those laws that they just passed in Canada? They’re trying to lay that down for the just, for the obedient, not the disobedient. They’re tryna tell us that how we’re living, and what we’re promoting, and what we’re practicing is wrong and to be punished.  

Law’s not laid down for the just, but for the lawless and the disobedient, for the ungodly and the sinners, for the unholy and the profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, purjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the Gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which we’ve been entrusted.” That’s what the Law’s for.  

Beloved, we’re not gonna bow. Not now, not ever. By God’s grace we will stand firm, we’ll plant our flag, we’ll fly that banner high. We’re gonna declare the righteous Law of God to all the ungodly, that they might find salvation in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why? Paul tells Timothy, verse five, 1 Timothy 1, because “The goal of our instruction is love. Love from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” Grace Church, are you with me on this? Let’s pray.  

Father, thank you so much for this dear church, and their loud, “Amen” to affirm what you say about morality, about life and death issues, about righteousness and unrighteousness. We thank you so much for a church that is standing firm and strong and faithful. And Father, that’s your doing. That’s because you have favored us with the truth, and you’ve kept us faithful. Please don’t let us fall away. Don’t let us follow the track of apostasy. Don’t let us depart from the faith. Father, so many sinners need your salvation. They need to see and savor and love the Lord Jesus Christ, and to worship him, put for faith in him. And that’s what we preach, as we preach salvation in Christ. Not a moralism, we preach deep conversion. We thank you, Father, for saving us, and we thank you for the opportunity now to celebrate that salvation around the Lord’s table. Please prepare our hearts and minds for that even now, in Jesus name, Amen.