ON SEXUALITY AND SEX
‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination… For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the Lord your God.’ – Leviticus 18
Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done?
They certainly were not ashamed,
And they did not know how to blush… – Jeremiah 8:12
Since sin entered the world, socially accepted sexual sins never leave the next generation unaffected. Ask the boys of Sodom, the girls of Jericho (Genesis 18-19; Leviticus 18;1-6; 24-30; Deut. 18:9-14).
Today man remains convinced he knows what’s best when it comes to sexuality and sex. God doesn’t. Even professing Christian parents can default to the expertise of man. Embarrassed at the clarity of what Scripture says only brings God’s wrath, they guard their children from the truth by telling of a god who’s nice like… well, like them.
Here is God’s universal standard for sexuality and sex: God has blessed us with maleness and femaleness. He has lovingly decreed that a male and a female come together in a lifelong relationship called marriage. One of marriage’s fundamental purposes is to bring children into the world and those children be prepared for adulthood according to what God has said is right and true and good. Jesus tells us God established this standard from the beginning and it is the standard for all people for all time. God’s timeless standard is found in Genesis 1-2.
There we find the following:
+ Male humans are created in God’s image (the rest of the Bible makes clear males will be males forever)
+ Female humans are created in God’s image (the rest of the Bible makes clear females will be females forever)
+ God blessed males and females with the directive to be fruitful and multiply – to bring more image bearers of God into existence. God delighted in creating them with the ability to experience pleasure in procreation and to greatly value the children that come from this act as a blessing from Him. The act is a delight, the result is a delight
+ God confirms to us human males and females are uniquely compatible; no other combination (male/male, female/female) and no other creature can fulfill what He designed and blessed. This is a biological witness that marriage can only be between a man and a woman
+ We see man’s attraction to and delight in the woman’s body and their understanding they were uniquely designed by God for each other
+ Finally, we see the pattern established by God for future generations. One man is to join with one woman and become one flesh. And Jesus says, no man is to separate this union (Mark 10:9)
As we read on in Genesis and the rest of the Bible, we see humans rejecting what God clearly commanded, choosing to live life as though they were god – according to their self-centered imaginations and twisted desires of their own hearts (Gen. 3-6; Romans 1-3; Jeremiah 17:9).
While God stays true to His blessing, sinful man continues to defy, distort and dismiss what He blesses and designed for our good (Gen. 6:5-7:24; Gen. 19; Leviticus 18; Mark 7:20-23; Rom. 1-2; Eph 2:1-3; 4:17-19).
In the 21st century God’s blessing and standard for sex remain the same; it is to be enjoyed in the bounds of a marriage between one man and one woman for life. Against that kind of love there is no law. But every sexual act desired or carried out other than within marriage is sin. Jesus calls sexual sins evil, and unless they are repented of, they only bring His wrath and judgment (Mark 7:20-23; Romans 1:18-32; I Cor. 6:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:1-5; Hebrews 13:4).
Today in America, there is no civic institution that holds to God’s standard of sexuality and sex. Entertainment, news, education, courts, governments, health experts, psychologists — our society has embraced what God abhors. Worse, some churches, and individuals who call themselves followers of Christ, reject His clear standard for sex. What should not even be named among Christ’s people is, by many, considered blessed of God and celebrated.
The grace of blushing
Saving grace has an authority to it, a convicting weight to it that defines those whom Christ saves. Our Lord enables believers to see the truth and changes us to think and behave according to what He says has always been right and good (Titus 2:11-14; see also Ephesians 4:17-24).
Saving grace causes us to blush at and loathe what we once ourselves desired and/or did. It causes us to be humbly amazed at the grace by which we’ve been forgiven, and we become zealous for what God says is good (Ezekiel 36:31; I Cor. 6:9-11; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:1-10; 4:17-25; Titus 2:11-14).
Saving grace causes us to agree with God as to what He declares to be a blessing and what He declares an abomination. Saving grace causes us to blush at the perversity around us (Ephesians 5:6-12 – compare with Romans 1:28-32).
Saving grace reveals that no one in the new heavens and new earth contends with the Lord’s standard or His judgment (Revelation 22:10-17).
Can you blush?
Can you blush? Are there evidences of God’s saving grace in your life? Have you rejected the world’s view of sex and sexuality, and, as necessary, turned from your own immoral practices? If married are you seeking the Lord for wisdom and taking necessary steps to purify your own marriage (Heb. 13:4)?
If you have children in the home, God commands us to intentionally instruct and train them according to what our Lord says, not according to what’s presently socially acceptable and promoted (Eph. 4:17-24; 6:1-4). As you begin to teach them according to what God says, they may resist (particularly if they have been immersed in what’s accepted today). Be gentle and patient with them, be understanding (we do live in a confusing time; you are saying and holding to things you may not have clearly held to before; acknowledge you too have been deceived and confused). If they too repent and begin to believe and live according to what God says, what is written below is for them as well.
In turning to the Bible as our authority and Christ as our Lord, we find God gives us everything we need to live a life that honors Him and is for our eternal good. Included is suffering for believing and doing what our Lord has revealed to be true (Romans 8:18-39; Philippians 1:29; II Timothy 3:12; I Peter 2:19-23).
It will be difficult, for what is evil is now called good and what is good is now called evil. Family and friends may mock and reject. Public education may become extremely difficult to participate in. Jesus said these kinds of things would happen to those who identify with Him as their Master. Below are three contrasts to weigh and encourage.
+ What society says about sex and sexuality is from the father of lies. In Christ, God blesses us with unchanging truth – He cannot lie
+ What our society promotes comes with the darkness of denied guilt. Ever notice that our sexual freedom hasn’t fundamentally improved our contentedness and sense of well-being? In Christ, God blesses us with forgiveness and the constant pure light of His righteousness
+ What society embraces today it didn’t just a few years ago. Its anchorless confidence only brings confusion. In Christ, God blesses us with wisdom from above that is always pure
Believers in Christ today will have to count the cost: Will we prefer the world’s temporary approval, or blush now yet have the eternal blessing of God?
Do not love the world nor the things in the world… The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. – I John 2:15-17