Titus 2:11-14; I Corinthians 6:9-11
Sermon from January 16, 2022
Pastor Tedd Mathis, Pueblo West Baptist Church
This morning I am going to speak to the subject of biblical sexual morality. And here’s how I’m going to approach the subject.
First, what is biblical sexual morality?
Second, why preach on this subject now?
Third, what does this Canadian law have to do with us at Pueblo West Baptist Church?
Fourth, two implications and applications for me as your pastor and us as a church
First, what is biblical sexual morality?
When we use the phrase biblical sexual morality, what we are talking about is what the Bible says about males and females and what we desire and do sexually. With the word ‘morality’ we are now addressing this as a standard of right and wrong. What does our Creator and Judge state about sex.
The answer is established for us in the first two chapters of the Bible, in Genesis 1 and 2. Please turn to Genesis 1:26-28. God has created and blessed two sexes, males and females.
God blessed them as male and female. To be a male and to be a female gets God’s stamp of approval. But not only that, His intent and commission for males and females is that they come together physically so that they might be fruitful – that they may bring more image bearers of God into this world. God made males with the physical ability coupled with the desire to impregnate a female with his seed. And God made females with the desire and physical ability to receive that male and his seed and produce a child within her womb.
Look down at verse 31. Creating man – both male and female – on the sixth day, was the apex of His creative work. He said it was very good.
Turn over to chapter two. The coming together of a male with a female is something to be looked forward to, it is to be enjoyed. And when a child is produced that child is to be regarded as a blessing from God. This desire to, and act of coming together physically between a male and a female is one of the bedrock privileges of what is called marriage. This union of a man and a woman is to be for life and is not to be tampered with. Look at 2:24 and Mark 10:6-12.
So to summarize: biblical sexual morality is the universal standard for all humans. There are males and there are females. And it is right for them to desire to come together in a marriage union and enjoy the physical act by which they bring forth children.
That is the standard. And the Bible tells us that any desire or act on the part of a male or a female that seeks or acts to use their sexual organs in any different way is sin.
Any desire or act that defies that standard is sin. Any desire or act that defiles that blessing and design of God defies God and He will judge individuals for that.
Hebrews 13:4 — Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers (the sexual defiling of a marriage that already exists).
I Thessalonians 4:1-5 — Finally then, brothers and sisters, we request and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received instruction from us as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel even more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality*; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own [vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God… * sexual promiscuity of any (every) type.
Biblical sexual morality not only address sexual acts, God holds us accountable for our sexual desires…
Matthew 5:28 — Jesus: everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Mark 7:21-23 … from within, out of the hearts of people, come the evil thoughts, acts of sexual immorality, thefts, murders, acts of adultery, 22 deeds of greed, wickedness, deceit, indecent behavior, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile the person.
Sexual desires and acts outside of marriage of all forms only bring God’s wrath and judgment
I Cor. 6 — do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
Second, why preach on this now?
Several weeks ago I received an email from Pastor John MacArthur telling me of a law taking effect in Canada January 8 that makes conversion therapy a criminal offense. Conversion therapy is the term used to describe the counsel and aid offered to help people deal with same sex desires or who have become involved in deviant sexual acts or who have expressed their confusion about what gender they are. Note: conversion therapies are not all Christ-based or Gospel rooted. But conversion therapy exists because there is belief there is a standard for gender, and sexual desires and sexual acts. That standard is heterosexuality.
Without ANY opposition in the Canadian House or Senate, Bill C-4 bans all sexual conversion therapy. What that means is: if a biological male insists he is a woman, it is now a criminal act to tell him he is wrong and offer him aid to consider himself a male. Or, if a woman insists, she is sexually attracted to a female or an animal, it is now a criminal act in Canada to tell her that attraction is wrong.
Here is the preamble to the bill: I’ve edited it only to be slightly shorter and would be glad to get you the link to the entire document:
“Whereas conversion therapy causes harm to society because, among other things, it is based on and propagates myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, including the myth that heterosexuality… and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations… And whereas, in light of those harms, it is important to discourage and denounce the provision of conversion therapy in order to protect the human dignity and equality of all Canadians…”
According to Canadian law, as of January 8, 2022, God’s design for marriage and sexuality is to be considered a myth harmful to society and worthy of punishment by the Canadian government.
Pastor James Coates from Edmonton, Alberta Canada states the following: “The Bill’s definitions are intentionally broad, and can clearly be used against any preacher or church teacher or leader who either speaks against homosexuality/transgenderism or who counsels a person to obey Christ and abandon their homosexual/transgender actions and lifestyle. This means that as of January 8, 2022, it is against the law to preach, teach, or counsel regarding God’s design for marriage and sexuality.”
Some of you may remember we prayed for Pastor Coates and his church GraceLife Church in Edmonton about a year ago when he was jailed for more than a month for holding church services during the covid shutdown.
At the urging of Coates and other Canadian pastors, today, January 16, all around the United States, Canada, and the world, pastors are preaching about biblical sexual morality. That’s why I am preaching on this subject on this Sunday. In solidarity with those pastors and churches in Canada, by God’s grace I join them. and will continue to preach, teach and counsel what the Bible says is a blessing from God and therefore is good for society.
Third, what does this Canadian law have to do with us?
Let me answer three ways.
First, what is happening in Canada is an organized, intentional suppression of truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18ff). That same suppression of truth is occurring here in Pueblo West and our state and nation. Let me give you five examples of how that suppression of truth is being practiced here.
- In June 2015 the US Supreme Court determined that same sex marriages were effectively legal in all 50 states. Within hours of the announcement of their decision, masses of people around the globe indicated their approval of sodomite marriage. Parades in the streets of major cities, little icons of the rainbow flag of the homosexual movement appeared on hundreds of millions Facebook accounts.
- The Democratic Party here in the US has now for years officially committed themselves to defying and defiling God’s good design for males and females and marriage.
- The Republican Party platform says “the family is the foundation of civil society and the cornerstone of the family is natural marriage, the union of one man and one woman.” However, leaders of the party have rejected that in practice. For several years the RNC has sought out openly homosexuals in the party and organized efforts to attract more homosexuals to be active in Republican politics.
- In 2019 here in Colorado, our governor Jarod Polis signed a law that makes conversion therapy for any person 18 or younger illegal. Colorado is one of 20 states that has laws that would punish therapists or educators who would counsel children according to what God has revealed and decreed to be true and good. At the time of signing it into law, Polis called any reparative therapy a “tortuous practice” that harmed children.
- Finally, in denominations and Christian agencies – ministries that state they believe the Bible is the word of God – pastors and experts are defying or undermining the standard of biblical sexual morality: What has become known as Side b gay Christianity –teaches that same sex attraction is not a ‘morally culpable issue. Although it is a consequence of the brokenness from the Fall (of Adam), Side B teaches against homosexual sexual practice, but only for the sake of Christian tradition. It sees sexual orientation as an accurate category of personhood (i.e, there is such a thing as a gay person – that gayness describes who someone essentially is).Side B gay Christianity in no way allows for an understanding of why homosexuality, even at the level of desire, is sinful and needing the grace of repentance. To the Side B Christian, homosexuality is a sexuality – one of many’ – Rosaria Butterfield. In other words, there is a third KIND OF HUMAN CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD – THE GAY HUMAN. In our own convention of churches, the Southern Baptist Convention, thousands are being taught that “God whispers about sexual sin…” Current SBC president Ed Litton teaches this. Another prominent pastor teaches that while homosexual acts are sin, homosexual desires are not to be regarded as sin.
So my first answer as to what this has to do with Pueblo West Baptist Church is that there is no fundamental difference in what is going on in Canada and what is going on here in our country. The same truth that is being suppressed in Canada is being suppressed in Pueblo West.
My second answer as to what this has to do with us is as follows.
Christians, true Christians, are those who have been rescued by God from the domain of darkness, and transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son– Col 1:13. Before conversion we too lived according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Until God’s grace made us alive to Christ, we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh – Ephesians 2.
James Gomez read for us I Corinthians 6 — Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such WERE SOME of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
There are members in this congregation represented in this list. Some were sexually immoral in their fantasies and pornography and fornication. Some adulterated their marriages. Some were homosexuals. But we are here today because our lives have been cleansed by Christ. God has caused us to repent of our sins. He has given us the desire to honor Christ with our minds and bodies.
He also read for us Titus 2:11-14 — For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of]our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
It is impossible for the sinner saved by God’s grace to consider what’s happened in Canada as insignificant, or an improvement, or blessed by God. Whoever calls evil good and good evil – whether it is a legislative body, a president, a governor, an educator, a psychologist, or your own spouse, parent, or child – is defying God’s universal blessing and standard and denying what saving grace does.
Which leads me to my third answer as to what this Canadian law has to do with us at Pueblo West Baptist Church. We are a body of saved people who are to be lights in this crooked and perverse generation that surrounds us (Philippians 2:15-16). According to Christ, Pueblo West Baptist Church exists to be the pillar and support of truth (I Timothy 3:15), and that truth includes declaring what God says about sexual morality. Look with me at I Peter 2:13-17 (Romans 13:1-5). Notice that those who govern are supposed to honor and encourage what is good and right and discourage and punish that which is evil and wrong. And note that governors and government are established by God Himself. These texts assume that governing authorities will rule and govern according to what God says is good and what God says is evil.
When a government calls evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20-21), who is to expose what that government is doing? It is Christ’s people. We are to be the light of the world.
The greatest threat to our nation is a negotiable moral law and insignificant Gospel preached in its churches. Jesus decreed those who embrace him as their Savior and Lord are the salt of the earth. They are also to be the light to the world. If His people negotiate God’s standard for sexual morality then by default their gospel is neutered. They offer no light and their influence does little to nothing in the restraint of evil. The only hope for our nation of sinners is for local churches to be faithfully proclaiming the law and the gospel from God’s unchanging Scriptures.
Fourth, two implications and applications for me as your pastor and us as a church
Are we to storm the borders of Canada? No. Nor am I convinced we organize marches around our capitol here in Colorado. Let me offer the following:
First, we as a church are to faithfully preach what God has given us in the 66 books of the Bible. And that public proclamation is the primary duty of the pastor. – II Tim. 4:1-5
I as your pastor am to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it. – Titus 1:9. That is what Christ commissions pastors to do in caring for His people. Ephesians 4 says Christ gives pastors and teachers to His church so that His people will not be blown about by every wind of teaching.
In preaching the word the desires of hearts of those hearing will be exposed and confronted.
“the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind – Jeremiah 17:9-10. The Lord does this through His word preached.
His word addresses our coveting – Exodus 20; Romans 7:7 — Paul: I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”… Sin is not first an ACTION. It is first a desire from within us, our own minds.
When through the preaching of the word the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, it addresses our desires. This is why the sinner under the saving conviction of the truth will acknowledge there is no good thing within himself (Romans 7:18). His desires and mind are corrupted. And therefore the one truly under the conviction of the Holy Spirit cries out, Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 7:24. And therefore Christ and His cross become sweet and precious to the sinner. “Thanks be to God, I am set free through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Christ sets the sinner free from the penalty of his corrupt desires (Romans 8:1).
Further, the indwelling knowledge of who Christ is and what He has done on the cross for the sinner enables the sinner to recognize and confront his sinful desires and put them to death with the desire to honor Him who has saved him. – Romans 8:11-14 — if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13 for if you are living in accord with the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Second, as Christ’s church we are not to offer any means or methods to merely clean the outside of sinners’ cups. We are not to offer methods or systems or programs that only address sinful actions. And there are conversion therapies that do so. But in the end they are eternally deadly, for the change they bring is merely external and not rooted in Christ and His cross.
Titus 2:11-14 – The grace that brings salvation in Christ is the same grace that instructs us and enables us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age. The indwelling knowledge of who Christ is, what He accomplished on our behalf in His first coming, and the anticipation of His second coming is the impetus for our denying worldly desires (See I John 2:28-3:6).
God’s conversion therapy is rooted in and honors Christ, and addresses the whole man and all that sin has defiled. All other conversion therapies only damn the sinner, because they cannot do what only Christ can do.