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Sex: A Good and Beautiful Gift From God

10 Commandments Blog Post

     In August of 1991, the all female hip-hop trio, Salt-N-Pepa released their hit song, "Let's Talk About Sex."  At the time of its release, the title didn't have much shock value.  After all, three decades earlier, the Sexual Revolution had begun in America.  By the 90's, what had once been taboo was now clearly mainstream.  Now, nearly 30 years later, even a song explicitly about sex is nothing to write home about.  In fact, the majority of songs on pop radio are about sex or deal with sexual themes.

     When it comes to sex, the rule of the day could probably be summarized as: do whatever you want with whoever you want...YOLO!  That stands for "you only live once" by the way.  In the bedrooms (and elsewhere) across America, if you can dream it up, it's probably been done and/or being done, and likely there's videos of it all over the Internet.  We live in a world that is dominated by an insatiable desire for sex, especially of the cyber variety.  Current statistics on pornography usage are staggering and saddening.

     But pornography is only a piece of the bigger problem surrounding our overwhelmingly sinful attitude towards sex as a culture, and even within the Church.  Rather than serving as a positive influential force and a source of light and truth in culture, largely the inverse is happening.  The Church is being negatively influenced by and catering to the cultural "norms" of our day.  The United Methodist denomination is the latest mainline denomination to see this destructive influence, as they have recently voted to affirm same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy, leading to a split between conservatives and liberals within their ranks.  Honestly, at this point, even terms like "conservative" and "liberal" are becoming less clearly demarcated in our culture.

     Formerly strong and stable institutions like marriage and the family have been decimated.  Over half of all marriages end in divorce.  Millions of children are growing up in broken or single-parent homes.  Many young adults are choosing to reject marriage all together, preferring to instead simply engage in casual relationships, many of which are sexual in nature.  Children as young as elementary school are being exposed to pornographic images in movies, shows, and video games.  "Sexting," that is, sending nude photos of oneself to others via online messaging, is common practice.  In fact, some apps, like Snapchat, encourage such behavior by automatically deleting the images you send to help "cover your tracks."

     As a Christian man, I find myself in a constant battle against lust.  As a husband, the purity thoughts and desires for my wife alone and the protection of my marriage is a constant concern.  And as a father, I am literally terrified of the dangers that are ever-present and lurking in the shadows seeking to consume the innocence of my children.  We live in dangerous times.  With all of this bad news, is there any hope to be found?  The answer is yes!

     Despite the many ways in which sin has perverted it, sex is a good and beautiful part of God's creation.  It was given to man for his flourishing, and so that it might be enjoyed.  But like all good things, it must be enjoyed within the boundaries that God has established for it...namely, within the safe an loving confines of a male-female marriage relationship.

     In his message, Cody pointed us to numerous places in scripture where we can see God's deep desire that husbands and wives not just engage in physical intimacy, but that they do so often and with great joy and pleasure.  In fact, a healthy sexual relationship is vital for not just the physical well-being of the marriage, but also for the emotional and spiritual well-being as well.  In Genesis, the act of sex is described as the two becoming one flesh physically.  This physical act, which consummates the covenantal union of marriage, serves as a picture of the gospel through which we are covenantally united with Christ as one through our spiritual union.  This is one of the many reasons why the relationship between Christ and the Church (often called his bride) is so often likened to the marriage relationship by the New Testament authors.

     This is good news, because it means that sex, and our unhealthy attitudes towards it, can be redeemed through the power of the gospel.  Statistically speaking, there is a strong likelihood that you are one of the many people who have struggled with some form of sexual immorality.  Be it pornography, fornication, homosexuality, adultery...or all of the above, you likely have felt the sting of failing to live according to God's commands in this area.  I know I have.  In fact, I think it is safe to say that no other individual sin struggle has been more detrimental to me in my lifetime.  And I have the scars (and the baggage of deep regret) to prove it.

     One of the things I have learned in my many struggles (and failures) is that, as with any sin struggle, but particularly this one, we need to foster and encourage open dialogue and communication.  Perhaps it is because so much of  what is related to sex is personal and private, that there is an intense desire for many of us to cover up and hide our struggles. Part of this has always been a natural inclination for man when he sins, but perhaps even more so in this area.  Regardless of why we tend to hide, what can be said for sure is that the more we seek to keep our struggles hidden in fear and darkness, the more power we are granting them and the longer they will continue to maintain control of our lives.

     We need our churches and Christian communities to be safe places for people to share their struggles; to receive loving, gospel-saturated correction and accountability; to hear the truth of God's Word being taught and followed; and to see genuine repentance modeled.  Without these four ingredients, we, as the Church, will continue to lose the battle and live in disobedience to the Seventh Commandment.

In Grace,
Chris Morris

If you missed this week's sermon (or just want to listen again), follow the link below to listen. Or subscribe to our podcast in iTunes.

Part 7 - The Seventh Commandment

Questions discussed in this sermon:

1. Why does God put boundaries around sex?
2. How are we to fight sexual temptations?
3. What if you've already broken this command?

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