Struggling with Lifestyle Sin

Dear Brother,

I need your advice. On Saturday my friend Mark (A Christian from a Pentecostal Church) told me that he is hmosexual (He thanks God he doesn’t practice it.). But he needs help because he sees that hmosexuality is against God’s Law.

Everything what I could offer him is our regular meetings (maybe with some other Christians) every 1-2 weeks in pubs, sports-games, DVD movies – to protect him in spending evenings alone. He lives in a Student House in 1-person room. I also asked him to come to our prayer meeting.

Do you know of any hmosexual Christians whom God saved from this particular sin?

What would you counsel in that situation? How would you help this kind of person? As I said he doesn’t practice it and he wants to change. He loves God and His Word and I know it was hard for Mark to tell me about it.

In Him,

Paul

Hello Paul,

It sounds like what you’re already doing with your friend will help. I’d add the following:

The enslavement to our passions is the most terrible thing. Enslavement to a passion that seems so natural and so “right” is very hard to break out of. I’ve never met anyone who was converted from homosexuality, but I’ve heard of folks who have been successfully changed in heart and mind (especially in other areas of sinfulness).

The Bible treats hmosexuality just like other sins except that in Romans 1 it says that homosexuality is God’s wrath being poured out on mankind for not acknowledging him as God and for not being grateful to him. But God loves to forgive sinners, so you should treat this kind of sin just like you would treat any other kind of sin. With this in mind, evangelism and discipleship should follow the same track it follows for all other sins. Folks need to turn away from their sin and follow Jesus.

If a guy is a Christian and is struggling with a sinful past he needs to commit himself to following Christ. He needs to forsake his sin, and its roots and its accompanying lifestyle. Doing this alone, however, won’t do anything for his rampant desires or for the ways he’s trained himself to think for the past 10 years (or however long). He needs, therefore, to change how he thinks about life now to think about life the way God thinks about it (which is really what repentance means).

In the area of hmosexuality, he will need to learn to think anew about men, women, marriage, , family, covenant, church, etc. in the same way that God teaches about it in the Bible. He will need to stop thinking the way he has been and be transformed by the Word of God into thinking the way God thinks about all these things. To do this he must offer himself to Christ to be molded by Christ to be who he ought to be.

As part of the process he must cultivate a hatred for sin in general and the sin of his passions specifically. The Bible says he must “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: ual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Col. 3:5). Putting your various parts to death in this way is a violent action and should be thought of in this way. Putting sin away, tearing down idols, breaking with habits we’ve loved for a long time, is a violent and vicious undertaking. But if a man is to walk with God he has to realize that Satan is not playing a games, he is deadly serious and would have our souls locked in Hell. Sin must be thought of this way if it is to be overthrown.

Sometimes God just takes our sin away with no struggle, but many more times whole life sins (or lifestyle sins) can have the kind of grip on us that take a whole lot more drastic measures to really deal with them. Jesus said that we had to take up our cross daily and follow him. Again, the language is strongly violent and active. Sin must be dealt with aggressively in a warlike (or execution) way if it is to be overcome.

All of this assumes the empowerment of God’s spirit. A guy can struggle with sin until he dies and goes to Hell, but he will never overcome it unless he is empowered by the Spirit of God. But God’s spirit works in us as we set our hearts and minds on him to obey him and then obey. This is what walking in faith means.

So, to make a long letter a little longer, I’d ask your friend to read his Bible regularly: looking for the character and nature of God. As he reads he should ask God to give him a new heart and a new mind. He should pray that God would translate him from a citizen of this world into a citizen of God’s world. If he has time it would be good for him to read Doug’s family books (esp. Reforming Marriage, Federal Husband, Future Men, and Fidelity). He should also be reading other books like Mother Kirk, stuff by CS Lewis, things that will help him realize that the world of Christ is different than the world he has lived in. And you should meet with him regularly to help him in his struggles with s.

Also, he will need to know about confession of sin, repentance, and keeping short accounts, so when he falls he can confess the sin, receive forgiveness, and start again.

I hope this helps,

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