Jesus and Identity – Part 1

Is it possible that someone can be completely wrong about a significant biblical, theological, or ethical issue and still be a good Christian worth learning from? How does an awareness of a Jesus-centred approach to community help you consider navigating this issue of sexual identity? In today’s message we kick off our Jesus & Identity series by looking at Galatians 5:6, Acts 10:34-36; Galatians 5:13-16. Through it we learn that a Jesus-Centred approach puts spiritual orientation before sexual orientation.

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Jesus and Identity – Part 1

Speaker: Paul Kiss
Date: February 10, 2019

A Jesus-Centred approach puts spiritual orientation before sexual orientation. Text: Galatians 5:6, Acts 10:34-36; Galatians 5:13-16

1. Why are we talking about this?

1. It is a prevalent conversation in our society.
2. Talking about it is a chance to grow and learn together.
3. The Church is often characterized by two extremes on this issue.
4. This conversation is causing much division in the church as people take sides.
5. It’s an opportunity to consider a different approach to the conversation.

2. Common Approaches:

Bounded Approach
● Only acceptable behaviour is included. The community determines what is acceptable behaviour, based on how they read and interpret Scripture.

Fuzzy Approach
● Everything goes. Inclusion is actually fuzzy and unclear. No clear understanding of what constitutes faith or what is required of a person.

Centred Approach: (A Third Way)
● The focus isn’t on predetermined behaviour. Neither is it fuzzy. There is a clear understanding of inviting a person to turn towards Jesus (salvation) and then move toward him in their spiritual journey (holiness/following Jesus).
Text: Acts 10:34-43; Acts 15:1-35; Romans 14; Galatians

3. What does Scripture teach?

Key Biblical Passages related to homosexual practice:
Text: Genesis 19:1-29; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:23-27; 1 Corinthians 6:10-11; 1 Timothy 1:8-11.

And Scripture also teaches:
Text: Acts 10:34-36; Galatians 5:6, 13-26; Matthew 22:34-40; Luke 10:30-37; Romans 7:14-8:39; John 3:16; 1 John 3:18-20; 1 John 4:7-21; Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 5:10(6-10).

1. How much interaction do you have with anyone in the LGBTQ community? Share what that experience is like for you?
2. How much do you agree with Paul’s statement at the end of his notes?
3. Is it possible that someone can be completely wrong about a significant biblical, theological, or ethical issue and still be a good Christian worth learning from?
4. How does an awareness of a Jesus-centred approach to community help you consider navigating this issue of sexual identity? Where is this approach weak?
5. Read over the following verses that talk about when it’s ok to divide in the church? Talk about what you discover. (Credit to Bruxy Cavey).

a. 1 John 2:18-23; 2 John 7-11 – Preaching a different Jesus?

b. Galatians 1:6-9 – Preaching a different gospel?

c. Matt. 18:15-17; 1Cor. 5; 2Thess. 3:14-15 – Abusing God’s grace?

d. Rom. 16:17; Titus 3:10; 3 John 9-11 – Stay away from divisive people.

6. How surprised are you to learn that Christians have very differing interpretations of the key verses about homosexuality, that are listed above in the notes?
7. How should we approach any differences we might have with other Christians on this issue? What does it look like to be loving when we disagree? What will it take for you to be accepting of someone who sees things differently on this issue?
8. Where would you like to grow and mature in relation to this discussion about sexual identity? How can you make that happen?

1. Read over these sermon notes, look up the Scriptures listed, think about them, study them, pray through them. Consider other Scriptures that might help you that Paul didn’t list. Let these help you develop some convictions on this issue, but let those convictions be grounded in love.
2. If you have a story to share about your own journey, related to this topic (yourself, a friend, a family member, a question, a struggle), please share it with me. paul@newlifecollingwood.com

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