In society today, many meaningful Christians say things like: “That person will never go to heaven because…” or “That person must not be a Christian because…” First of all, our behavior does not determine where we will spend eternity. Our behavior is determined by who is in control of our lives.
In the Old Testament, people were to obey the Law. Their salvation was by faith based on keeping the Law. People were always sinning. And because they were always sinning they were also offering sin offerings to get things right with God again. I believe God did this so we would understand that it is impossible to achieve salvation through our own efforts.
When Jesus came to live on the earth, his primary purpose was to become a perfect sacrifice for our sin. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Through his resurrection, Jesus overcame death. He was able to become victorious over the death of sin brought on by the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Because of Jesus death and resurrection, every person will have eternal life! The ones who accept this gift of salvation will live eternally with God in the New Heaven. Those who do not accept the gift of salvation will live in eternally in the “Lake of Fire”.
When we accept the gift of salvation, we also receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit communicates with God on our behalf. He is the intercessor between God and man.
What do most people mean when they say ‘right’ or ‘wrong’? What they really mean is that if it is ‘right’ it will bring glory to God the Father through the Holy Spirit. Likewise, if it is ‘wrong’ it will bring dishonor to God and not glory. In fact, it will usually bring glory to the flesh or in other words the ‘natural man’.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21(NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26(NIV)
In Galatians 5:19-21, we have a list of behaviors or actions one will take if they are following the flesh. These are the actions that will dishonor God. These are the actions that will ‘make us happy’ for a short period of time. Frequently these are the actions that also make us feel ashamed after we have committed the action.
In Galatians 5:22-26, we have a list of behavior that take place when we are following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. These are the actions that glorifying God. These are also the actions that people like to see in others.
Here are four questions that you can use to test to see if an action will be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. For example let us look at the action of homosexuality. This is a problem that has been in the church before Paul set out to establish the churches. Homosexuality is not a new problem.
Here are four questions that you can use to help you determine what is right or wrong. I will use the act of homosexuality to illustrate how it works,
Question #1: Does homosexuality appear in the list of fruit of the Spirit?
If the answer is ‘no’, then it does not bring God glory. If ‘yes’ then it brings God glory.
Question #2: Does homosexuality appear in the acts of the flesh?
If the answer is ‘yes’, then it does not bring God glory. If the answer is ‘no’, then it may or may not glorify God. It needs to be tested further.
Question #3: Does the Bible mention homosexual behavior anywhere else?
Leviticus 20:13 speaks about homosexuality.
“‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. Leviticus 20:13(NIV)
Question #4: If you find a place in the Bible where it mentions homosexual activity, “What was the outcome”? Did it bring God glory or did it bring about judgement?
In this case of homosexuality referenced in Leviticus 20:13, did it bring God glory or did it bring judgement to man?
If one reference is not sufficient, than look for another reference in the Bible that mentions homosexual behavior. The church in Rome had problems with all kinds of sexual behaviors within the church, perhaps Romans 1 would be a good place to look.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:26-27(NIV)
Here again the actions of homosexuality mentioned in this passage brought judgement to the person who exercised those actions. Based on the Biblical information, there is evidence that shows homosexual behavior is wrong.
Perhaps you try justifying the actions by saying ‘you could not control yourself’. If that is the case begin back with question #1. Does the behavior of ‘self-control’ appear as a fruit of the Spirit? The fruit of the Spirit indicates that self-control is one of the spiritual fruit. If you are unable to control your sexual desire, then you are not controlled by the Spirit.
You can test self-control with question #2. Is the ‘lack of self-control’ mentioned in the acts of the flesh? If you are following ‘your selfish ambition’, then you are obviously following the flesh and not the Holy Spirit. If you are still not satisfied, go to questions 3 and 4.
The primary purpose of Christians is to glorify God. Throughout the life of Jesus, there was evidence that Jesus was seeking to be glorify the Father and not himself. So if we are going to follow Christ’s example, we should glorify God in all that you do and say.
NOTE: scripture in this article was downloaded from http://biblegateway.com