On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court struck down that part of the national Defense Of Marriage Act defining marriage as between one man and one woman. This action made possible the extension of 1,000+ benefits to married gay couples. With regard to California’s Proposition 8 marriage ban, the justices had the opportunity to issue broad national guidance on the constitutional rights of gay couples to marry, but the issue was decided upon procedural grounds which, while allowing gay marriage in California, would allow other states to decide the issue for themselves.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isaiah 5:20)
The concept of ‘woe’ as used in the Holy Bible is taken from the Greek interjection ‘ouai‘, meaning ‘alas for’. Its use portends not so much a final judgment for sin as it portrays the miserable condition… in God’s sight… of those toward whom the interjection is directed. Their lives are being lived in direct and knowing opposition to God’s Word, and they are unaware of the misery that awaits them.
Verses in the Holy Bible relating to woe are as follows:
“Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’? Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to his mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’ (Isaiah 45:9-12)
And if you ask yourself, “Why has this happened to me?” – it is because of your many sins that your skirts have been torn off and your body mistreated. Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil. “I will scatter you like chaff driven by the desert wind. This is your lot, the portion I have decreed for you,” declares the Lord, “because you have forgotten me and trusted in false gods. I will pull up your skirts over your face that your shame may be seen – your adulteries and lustful neighings, your shameless prostitution! I have seen your detestable acts on the hills and in the fields. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will you be unclean?” (Jeremiah 13:22-27)
Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned! (Lamentations 5:15-16)
” ‘Woe! Woe to you, declares the Sovereign Lord. In addition to all your other wickedness, you built a mound for yourself and made a lofty shrine in every public square. At the head of every street you built your lofty shrines and degraded your beauty, offering your body with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by. (Ezekiel 16:23-25)
“Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it? Or an image that teaches lies? For he who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak. Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it. But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” (Habakkuk 2:18-20)
“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. (Matthew 18:7-9)
Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. (Jude 11)
I have mentioned the term ‘sin’ in 3 of the verses cited. Before anyone can be told they are committing sin, it is necessary to define what sin is. For this purpose, I will use the 3rd Edition of the New Bible Dictionary, pp. 1105-1106 (italic emphases not pertaining to terms, and “breaks” for the separation of terms, readability and the insertion of verses cited mine):
As might be expected of a book whose dominant theme is human sin and God’s gracious salvation from it, the Bible uses a wide variety of terms in both OT and NT to express the idea of sin.
There are four main Heb. roots.
ḥṭ’ is the most common and with its derivatives conveys the underlying idea of missing the mark, or deviating from the goal (cf. Jdg. 20:16 for non-moral usage). The vast proportion of its occurrences refer to moral and religious deviation, whether in respect of man (Gn. 20:9), or God (La. 5:7).
Then Abimelech called Abraham in and said, “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should not be done.” (Genesis 20:9)
Our fathers sinned and are no more, and we bear their punishment. (Lamentations 5:7)
The noun ḥaṭṭā’ṯ is frequently used as a technical term for a sin-offering (Lv. 4, passim). This root does not address the inner motivation of wrong action but concentrates more on its formal aspect as deviation from the moral norm, usually the law or will of God (Ex. 20:20; Ho. 13:2; etc.).
Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” (Exodus 20:20)
Now they sin more and more; they make idols for themselves from their silver, cleverly fashioned images, all of them the work of craftsmen. It is said of these people, “They offer human sacrifice and kiss the calf-idols.” (Hosea 13:2)
pš‘ refers to action in breach of relationship, ‘rebellion’, ‘revolution’. It occurs in a non-theological sense, e.g., with reference to Israel’s secession from the house of David (1 Ki. 12:19). Used of sin it is perhaps the profoundest OT term reflecting as it does the insight that sin is rebellion against God, the defiance of his holy lordship and rule (Is. 1:28; 1 Ki. 8:50; etc.).
But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the Lord will perish. (Isaiah 1:28)
And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their conquerors to show them mercy; (1 Kings 8:50)
‘wh conveys a literal meaning of deliberate perversion or ‘twisting’ (Is. 24:1; La. 3:9). Used in relation to sin it reflects the thought of sin as deliberate wrongdoing, ‘committing iniquity’ (Dn. 9:5; 2 Sa. 24:17). It occurs in religious contexts particularly in a noun form ‘āwôn which stresses the idea of the guilt which arises from deliberate wrongdoing (Gn. 44:16; Je. 2:22). It can also refer to the punishment which is consequent upon the sin (Gn. 4:13; Is. 53:11).
See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants – (Isaiah 24:1)
He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked. (Lamentations 3:9)
we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. (Daniel 9:5)
When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall upon me and my family.” (2 Samuel 24:17)
“What can we say to my lord?” Judah replied. “What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants’ guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves – we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup.” (Genesis 44:16)
Although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me,” declares the Sovereign Lord. (Jeremiah 2:22)
Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. (Genesis 4:13)
After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:11)
šāḡâh has as its basic idea straying away from the correct path (Ezk. 34:6). It is indicative of sin as arising from ignorance, ‘erring’, ‘creaturely going astray’ (1 Sa. 26:21; Jb. 6:24). It often appears in the cultic context as sin against unrecognized ritual regulations (Lv. 4:2). Reference should also be made to rāša‘, to be wicked, to act wickedly (2 Sa. 22:22; Ne. 9:33); and, ‘āmal, mischief done to others (Pr. 24:2; Hab. 1:13).
My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them. (Ezekiel 34:6)
Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have erred greatly.” (1 Samuel 26:21)
“Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong. (Job 6:24)
“Say to the Israelites: ‘When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord’s commands – (Leviticus 4:2)
For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I have not done evil by turning from my God. (2 Samuel 22:22)
In all that has happened to us, you have been just; you have acted faithfully, while we did wrong. (Nehemiah 9:33)
for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble. (Proverbs 24:2)
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves? (Habakkuk 1:13)
The principal NT term is hamartia (and cognates), which is equivalent to ḥṭ’. In classical Gk. it is used for missing a target or taking a wrong road. It is the general NT term for sin as concrete wrongdoing, the violation of God’s law (Jn. 8:46; Jas. 1:15; 1 Jn. 1:8). In Rom. 5–8 Paul personifies the term as a ruling principle in human life (cf. 5:12; 6:12, 14; 7:17, 20; 8:2).
Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? (John 8:46)
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:15)
He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. (John 1:8)
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned – (Romans 5:12)
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (Romans 6:12)
For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. (Romans 7:17)
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (Romans 7:20)
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)
paraptōma occurs in classical contexts for an error in measurement or a blunder. The NT gives it a stronger moral connotation as misdeed or trespass (cf. ‘dead through …’, Eph. 2:1; Mt. 6:14f.).
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, (Ephesians 2:1)
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14)
parabasis is a similarly derived term with similar meaning, ‘transgression’, ‘going beyond the norm’ (Rom. 4:15; Heb. 2:2).
because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. (Romans 4:15)
For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, (Hebrews 2:2)
asebeia is perhaps the profoundest NT term and commonly translates pš‘ in the lxx. It implies active ungodliness or impiety (Rom. 1:18; 2 Tim. 2:16).
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (Romans 1:18)
Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. (2 Timothy 2:16)
Another term is anomia, lawlessness, a contempt for law (Mt. 7:23; 2 Cor. 6:14).
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:23)
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
kakia and ponēria are general terms expressing moral and spiritual depravity (Acts 8:22; Rom. 1:29; Lk. 11:39; Eph. 6:12). The last of these references indicates the association of the latter term with Satan, the evil one, ho ponēros (Mt. 13:19; 1 Jn. 3:12).
Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. (Acts 8:22)
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (Romans 1:29)
Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. (Luke 11:39)
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. (Mathew 13:19)
Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. (1 John 3:12)
adikia is the main classical term for wrong done to one’s neighbour. It is translated variously as ‘injustice’ (Rom. 9:14), ‘unrighteousness’ (Lk. 18:6), ‘falsehood’ (Jn. 7:18), ‘wickedness’ (Rom. 2:8), ‘iniquity’ (2 Tim. 2:19). 1 Jn. equates it with hamartia (1 Jn. 3:4; 5:17). Also occurring are enochos, a legal term meaning ‘guilty’ (Mk. 3:29; 1 Cor. 11:27), and opheilēma, ‘debt’ (Mt. 6:12).
What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! (Romans 9:14)
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. (Luke 18:6)
He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. (John 7:18)
But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (Romans 2:8)
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:19)
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4)
All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death. (1 John 5:17)
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” (Mark 3:29)
Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 11:27)
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12)
The definition of sin, however, is not to be derived simply from the terms used in Scripture to denote it. The most characteristic feature of sin in all its aspects is that it is directed against God (cf. Ps. 51:4; Rom. 8:7). Any conception of sin which does not have in the forefront the contradiction which it offers to God is a deviation from the biblical representation. The common notion that sin is selfishness betrays a false assessment of its nature and gravity. Essentially, sin is directed against God, and this perspective alone accounts for the diversity of its form and activities. It is a violation of that which God’s glory demands and is, therefore, in its essence the contradiction of God.
Sin is a refusal of the lordship of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost over one’s life, a choosing of rebellion rather than a choosing of obedience to God’s Word, a denial that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than our thoughts and ways, a turning away from an acknowledgement and acceptance of His Son Jesus Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice for the salvation of humanity, and a prideful desire to usurp the divine privilege of being in God’s place, having His omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence.
Now that it is better understood what sin is… the question can be asked: is homosexuality a sin?
In the eyes of God, by the testimony of the Holy Bible… the answer is yes.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)
” ‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. (Leviticus 18:22)
” ‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. (Leviticus 20:13)
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? (Matthew 19:4-5)
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. (Romans 1:18-27)
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)
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 male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
“Food for the stomach and the stomach for food” – but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (1 Corinthians 6:13)
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-19)
I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged. (2 Corinthians 12:21)
The acts of the sinful nature 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)
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Ephesians 5:3)
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. (Colossians 3:5-6)
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Hebrews 13:4)
Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home – these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 5-7)
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:6-8)
“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:12-16)
All people… ALL PEOPLE… are enticed to sin by their sin nature, which has been an unfortunate inheritance of all humanity since the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Understand that God does not tempt anyone to sin, but that any occasion of sin starts with one’s innate sin nature, further aided and abetted by the evil one (italic emphasis mine):
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15)
In the end, one thing is quite certain: no person will be brought to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ unless God the Father has convicted that person’s heart… all of the arguments that can be mustered, rational or irrational, will, by themselves, come to nothing… Jesus Christ Himself said:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. (John 6:44-45)
There will be those who will say, ‘Nonsense, all of it… I don’t believe anything that you say about sin, what is or isn’t sinful behavior, and God judging and punishing me for how I choose to live my life.’ I could leave my response as your personal perceptions do not alter realities, but very well; as I have mentioned already, no one can compel anyone because if a heart is closed to the Word of God, then the mind and the body are closed to God as well. Only bear in mind what the Holy Bible says about all who choose, after having heard the truth, to live their lives apart from God:
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)
Christians must tell the truth, and must tell it in a spirit of love… nowhere in the Holy Bible will you find a verse that states that God hates any who violate His commandments. If that were true, then everyone who has ever lived or will ever live would be condemned without mercy, for we are ALL sinners, as the Holy Bible testifies:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)
However, the above verse is only a part of the story… the only differentiation between sinners are those sinners who have accepted the sacrifice of God’s only Son Jesus Christ as the blood sacrifice covering their sins, resulting in their justification before God… hence the full context and meaning surrounding the above verse (italic emphasis mine):
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26)
If you are a sinner who does not know the free pardon of sin, and the sure and certain promise of eternal life, by the blood that Jesus Christ shed for you, please be willing to read about it here:
Welcome back! I pray with all my heart that you have been convicted in your heart of the love that Jesus Christ has for you. God bless you!!