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Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Bible and Sexual Morality

The Bible and Sexual Morality
 
The Bible starts right out by telling us that God created humans and He created us in His own image. He created us as sexual beings, male and female, and with a free will to do whatever we want to do.  Already that sounds dangerous, doesn’t it?  And God said that that was all very good!
 
Scripture says that the first man God created was named “Adam”.  (Genesis 2) God loved Adam and said that it was not good for man (Adam) to be alone.  So, God gave Adam a woman (Eve) to love and to become his wife. And God told Adam and Eve to have children and take care of the earth. (Genesis 2) God, the Creator, Father and Giver of all good gifts, gave Adam and Eve and all us humans the gift of marriage and sex and love and responsibility and family. And God said that that was all very good. 
 
But along with God’s good gifts of sex and marriage, God also gives us boundaries and rules for how we are to use these sexual gifts of His. God loves us and knows what is best for us. He wants to protect us and our loved ones from harm.  And warn us that our sexuality can be used the wrong way. As a fire burning out of bounds can cause great destruction, burning up everything in its path, so our sexuality, burning out of bounds, can destroy our families, harm our children and weaken our communities.  And leave us and our children alone and disillusioned as well.
 
But if we use our God given sexuality inside of His boundaries, we and our loved ones can live the good life!  The life God desires for us.  He desires that we find “true love” if we want it and that our sexual love, like a fire, will brighten and warm our families and influence and bless our communities.
 
God plans for us to enjoy a strong loving marriage and share our life with a faithful husband or wife, if we wish.  God gives us our sexuality to help make this happen and to bond us together in a great love affair and marriage union and children. A marriage union that He personally blesses (Proverbs 5:3-20, Malachi 2:14) God dreams such big dreams for us, but to make those dreams happen we need to do our part and stay within His boundaries and obey His laws.
 
There are good reasons why the Bible is full of prohibitions against any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman.  God’s Word forbids sexual prostitution. (Leviticus 19:29; Deuteronomy 22:25-27; Proverbs 6:25-26 and sexual violence (Deuteronomy 22:25-27) God’s Word forbids sex with animals (Leviticus 18:23; 20:15-16) and forbids sex with relatives (Leviticus 18:23: 20:15-16) and other laws regarding sex outside of His boundaries. (Leviticus 18:22: Romans 1:26-27)  
 
The Bible also forbids sex between a man and a woman who are not married to each other. Sex between a man and woman who are unmarried is called “fornication” in the Bible.  Whereas sex between a married person with anyone other than their spouse is called “adultery.” This command not to commit adultery is one of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:14) These commands were given by God during Old Testament times, but they were given again by Jesus and the writers of the New Testament.  (Matthew 19:7-9; Romans 13:9; Hebrews 13:4) These laws were given to add joy and romance to our lives and to protect and stabilize marriage and family and community. 
 
Jesus even spoke against a man looking at a woman with lustful intent.  (Matthew5:28) The Bible speaks against wearing immodest clothing (1 Timothy 2:9-10) and using seductive speech (Proverbs 5:1-23: 7:1-27) Scripture even speaks against crude speech or entertainment that revolves around sexual immorality.  Ephesians 53-5 says: “Sexual immorality and all impurity and covetousness must not even be named among you…”   I would think that porn on the internet would fit into these forbidden categories. How many marriages have been damaged by pornography?
 
Scripture also says that God hates divorce. (Malachi 2:16)  Jesus said that, unless there is unfaithfulness in the marriage, we should not divorce. (Matthew 19:9) I do not believe that God wants a person to stay in an abusive marriage.  Scripture says that God also hates war and killing, but when a warring nation attacked the Jewish people, God would fight and help His people in their battles. We live in a sinful world where wars and divorce happen.  We cannot stop what others do, but we can do our best to try to avoid divorce – (and war) when that is possible.
Sex sells, and big businesses often do not want to stop selling sex when it is so profitable.   But Scripture says: “You cannot serve two masters, either he will hate the one and love the other, you cannot serve God and money.”  (Matthew 6:24) God planned for our marriages to be grand love affairs. But they may never become what they were meant to be if we spend time entertaining ourselves with cheap sex and pornography and lusting after young air brushed bodies.   
God prohibits sexual worship – or the idolization of sex and sexual activity, expecting it to bring us ultimate satisfaction.  The first commandment of the Ten Commandments in the Bible says that God wants first place in our lives for Himself. (Exodus 20:3) Sex is good, but sex is not God.  And it will not ultimately fulfill.  There is an empty hole in our hearts that can only be filled by God! 
You may be thinking that there are too many sexual prohibitions in the Bible.  That God seems to want to take all our fun away.  But God, the Creator of sex, and our loving heavenly Father, gives us these laws to protect us and our loved ones from pain and sorrow.  Sex is not a mechanical act between two objects: but a relational God given bond between a husband and wife who have committed their lives to one another in a covenant relationship.  (Proverbs 5:3-20: Malachi 2:14)
 
The Bible emphasizes the importance of our bodies when it says “the body is not made for sexual immorality but for the Lord.  And the Lord is for the body.” …Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ Himself? “(I Corinthians 6:13,15) Scripture says that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, if we follow Christ. 
 
Our sexual activity is a moral decision.  But some people argue that infidelity is in our genes. If that were true would that mean that if a person desires to be unfaithful to their marriage partner that he must fulfill his desires to be true to himself or to be fully himself?  As followers of Christ we are not to act out on every bad thought or desire we have!  Adultery is not inevitable.  It is immoral.  We are not pre-programmed robots. We choose our reactions to our temptations.  And God promises to make a way out of our temptation if we will take it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Scripture says: “Flee from sexual immorality.”  It’s as simple as that!  Run the other way!  Just say “no”. And God says: “for you were bought with a price. (the blood of Jesus)” (1 Corinthians 6:18,20) As Christians we all have sinned.  But God in Christ has forgiven us and we are headed in a new direction through Christ. 
 
Jesus calls us to a new direction when He says: “If anyone of you would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) One of the things we are to deny ourselves in this life as Christians is any sexuality outside of God’s boundaries. Repentance is costly.  But Jesus is asking us to say “no” to who we are in our sin; in order to find an entirely new identity of who we are in Him!  Jesus is calling you!  What will your answer be?
 


Many ideas in this blog were taken from David Platt’s book, “Counter Culture” 
 

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