I’ve not blogged or preached on sex for a long time and so it’s way overdue. This article is adapted from Phil Moore’s “Straight to the heart of Hebrews and James”
The Roman empire basically worshipped sex. The largest temple in Rome was built to honour Venus, the goddess of sexual love. They worshipped her by having sex with one another or with one of the many prostitutes in the temple. Our culture’s promiscuity and attitudes to sexuality are not a modern progressive phenomenon. The early Christians reading the New Testament were as challenged and embraced as different a view to sex as the people around us. While our culture may not build temples to Venus, sex is still a god. From the sexual revolution of the 1960’s to Miley Cyrus naked on a wrecking ball, viewed 100 million times in its’ first six days on Youtube.
Many Christians find it easier to raise Jesus’ compassion to the woman caught in adultery in John 8:11 “I do not condemn you”, than to accept teh rest of what He says to here – “No go and leave your life of sin.”
As Phil Moore writes “Many Christians use the same excuses as unbelievers. They call pornography their addiction. they call same sex attraction their identity. They treat sex before marriage as part of growing up and adultery as part of being human. But Jesus is not fooled. The writer of Hebrew reinforces Jesus teaching in the gospels that sex is only for a man and woman within marriage. He repeats Paul’s teaching that lustful glances and sexual sin are the outward fruit of inward idolatry. They are evidence that we have not fully surrendered our lives to Jesus as Lord.”
Sex is a beautiful gift from God. Hebrews 13:4 tells is “marriage should be honoured by all and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” The Greek word for marriage bed is koitus where we get the English word coitus for the act of sex. Sex is a great gift from God and Genesis tells us it glues a married couple together as one flesh for the rest of their lives. What we discover if we break God’s design for sex is that “misusing this glue causes even more pain than misusing superglue.” The words of Hebrews assure us that God takes sexual sin seriously judging the adulterer (a married person having sex with someone other than their spouse) and the sexually immoral (the unmarried person having sex with anyone at all) Strong stuff.
That was as unpopular in the the first century as it is today! While a quarter of internet searches are for pornography and the NSPCC reports that 90% of children between 8 and 16 have watched pornography online, we need to show the world a better way. Pure sex proclaims to a sex obsessed world that there is a better way.
What can you do?
Realise the grace of God neither condemns you or leaves you stuck. Come to Jesus for forgiveness and cleansing from shame and to the Spirit for fresh power to be holy. Sexual sin is filled with shame, which the devil uses to isolate and embarrass.
Confess your sin to a trusted friend, which will take the sting out of the hidden nature of shame and accountability empowers for purity.
The Apostle Paul exhorted young Timothy “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” Turn off late night TV, the internet and pursue godly pursuits and fellowship – notice Paul’s exhortation “along with”. There are dozens of “one another” verses in Scripture and US pastor Andy Stanley says one of the main jobs of the church is to one another one-another. Having close friends, especially in a life group, who will encourage, challenge and hold you to account is a powerful tool for your growth in Christ and blessing.
If you are really stuck in an issue in this article, we have a pastoral team, who can help. Get in touch with the office!