Same-Sex Attraction, Mortified or Mortifying

For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.

—Romans 7:5

Our passions or desires are never neutral. Either they honor God or they don’t.

Paul writes about “sinful passions” in Romans 7:5. These are they that are contrary to the righteousness of God’s law.

John Gill wrote of these “motions of sins”…

by the motions of sin are meant, the evil passions and affections of the mind, the lusts of the heart, sinful desires, evil thoughts, the imaginations of the thoughts of the heart, the first motions of the mind to sin…these inward motions of sin arise from a corrupt heart and nature; are encouraged and cherished by the old man that dwells there; and men are enticed by Satan to a compliance with them…these sinful affections of the soul make use of to put them into action, and so they bring forth fruit; very evil fruit indeed, for nothing else can be expected from such an evil tree as the corrupt nature of man is: and this fruit is “unto death”: deadly fruit, worthy of death, and would issue in eternal death, if grace did not prevent

and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly…

—Romans 1:27

The Word of God reveals without ambiguity that homosexual passions are wicked. “Same-sex attraction” is a desire that runs in antithesis to the righteousness of the law of God. These and all like passions are not inert but work in us to “bear fruit unto death.”

The saying today that same-sex attraction is not itself sinful unless acted upon is a lie. It is a lie because the Bible condemns such passions as inordinate and perverse. It is twice the lie because it implies that these passions are not to be mortified. And it is thrice the lie because it suggests that these passions are not destructive unto death.

John Owen said, “Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you,” but the “enlightened” New Calvinist says, “You need not mortify that!” What should be a ministry of life, has then become a ministry of death.

It is the grace of God in Christ to mortify our sinful passions even if we must rise each day to see them put to death once again. The alternative is to let them live. In letting sinful passions live, we will die by them. They are never inert.

The gospel is good news because Jesus delivers us from such things.


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