You are more than your sexuality.

You were made to reflect the beautiful glory of the Lord.

This is much greater than a cultural-given identity…this is your God-given identity.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” -Genesis 1:26-28

We were created in His image to bear His glory and rule the earth.

But when tempted and deceived by Satan for what we thought was better, mankind disobeyed God and lost that divine connection with Him.

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. Genesis 3:6-7

When Adam disobeyed God, sin and death entered the world.

Sin is what eternally separates us from the true and living God.  It’s missing the mark.  It’s us trying to determine our own standard of goodness, or righteousness,  apart from the God who created us.

Our personal standard of right living will never measure up to God’s standard because of sin.  Because of sin, we’re deeply inclined to rebel against God and live for ourselves in every way.

So without God, even the best of intentions will always be self-seeking and self-serving.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. -Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 6:23

You may feel you’re a good enough person, better than most, but know that God’s standard for righteousness isn’t other people – it’s His perfect law.

"I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say." -John 12:46-50

Jesus Christ, the light of the world, was sent by God to seek and save the lost.

Both fully man and fully God, Jesus stripped Himself of all deity to come and live His life in perfect submission to God, something both you nor I can do. 

He died on the Cross and rose again three days later with all power and authority to restore us back to God.

And because of this, He has something literally priceless to give you…

His new nature: complete with all righteousness, goodness, holiness and love.

"Salvation doesn't come by trying to do good or be good."

It comes by faith in what Jesus Christ did at Calvary alone.

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. -John 3:16-18

Because Jesus never sinned against God, God raised Him from the dead. The power of death and hell had no legal right to hold Jesus.

Jesus was raised from the dead by God’s power, stayed on the earth to encourage and strengthen His disciples, and finally ascended into the highest Heaven.  He’s now eternally alive and seated at the right hand of God.

And this same eternal life – redemption, restoration and newness – is what He’s offering today.

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. -Romans 8:11

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. -John 10:10

When you confess your sin to Jesus and repent…He takes it away along with all the shame, and gives you a new, holy nature. His nature.

Its a beautiful exchange. All the shame of falling short…He takes that guilt from you and gives you His eternal life. Along with peace and freedom.

He then fills you with His Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, who empowers you to live a life of freedom from the bondage of sin. That’s what He does for you.

And because you are now in right standing with the Father, you will be with Him forever.

There are so many promises in the Bible of your new salvation and living by faith in Jesus. Your sins are forgiven. You are washed clean and made new. Amen.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” -Acts 4:12

In God’s eyes there are two identities:

those who believe in Him…and those who do not believe.

Those who have been saved by Christ, and the rest of humanity, who are destined for eternal judgment because of sin.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. -John 3:36

Remember this isn’t about joining a religion…it’s accepting the good news, the salvation of Jesus Christ, wherever you are in life.

This is much bigger than sexuality as well. No matter where you fall, gay or straight, conservative or liberal, professing Christian or not…these are the two identities that God recognizes.

Do you believe or do you not believe?

Without confessing our sins, repenting, and genuinely giving our lives over to Jesus, we’re still in that fallen, condemned state, on our way to hell, a place created for the devil (the enemy of your soul) and his angels.

“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.’ -Matthew 25:41

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. -Matthew 10:28

For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment. -2 Peter 2:4

Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. -Jude 1:7

And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ -Mark 9:43-48

But we’re going higher. We’re saying yes to Jesus.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. -Ephesians 2:10

Know that you are worth everything to Jesus.

You were worth dying for.

Jesus gave up His life so that you could be free and transformed into His image. Yes, you can live free.

That sin that you want to be free from? Jesus already paid for it, so that you could confess it, repent from it, (means to turn away), and then give it to Him.  And He will give you the power to resist when the temptation to sin comes again.

Come to Jesus and be made new.  Let Him wash you clean from head to toe and save you from a life of sin, death and eternal punishment.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” -Matthew 11:29

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

"I haven't been perfect, but I haven't stopped following Him." -Ryan, Jesus Image Church

How the world wants to groom you is to talk only about love, justice, compassion and acceptance. Without truth, these concepts have no foundation. But God wants to invite you into learning about His Kingdom. Your identity is not your sexuality, or who you are attracted to and identify with. You may call yourself a ____, but God calls you by a different name.