Note: This talk was given to High School guys.
“All things were created through Him and for Him.” – Col. 1:16
We host Let’s Talk every quarter because of that verse. If your view of the Bible is that it is only a helpful guide when dealing with “spiritual” things, like church, prayer, and salvation, then you will choke on passages like this. ALL things were created through Christ and for Christ, therefore there is never a time in our life when Christ must not be at the center. Scripture tells that even in regards to the minutia of eating and drinking, we are to “do all things to the glory of God,” (1 Cor. 10:31). From the dirt on the bottom of your sneakers to the asteroids floating in the Milky Way, and everything in between, all was created by and for Christ. Jesus is the sun around which the solar system of everything in existence revolves.
This tells us that we need to recalibrate the thinking of the average church-goer from viewing the Christian life as following a list of do’s and don’ts, to a picture of a God-centered reality. All things were created through Him and for Him – God is the center of everything.
God Made Sex
Sex can be a confusing topic for us to think about as Christians because when we hear about it out in the world it sounds like we need to be having as much of it as possible, and when we hear about it in the church we only hear about it described as something sinful. So how are we, as Christians, to think about sex? Well, the Bible is very clear: God made sex.
In the beginning, God creates humanity, and designs them as male and female, Adam and Eve. These two beings are both made in the image of God, equal in dignity and worth, but also unique and different from one another. This is evident both in their roles they serve, but also more simply, in their very design. A man’s body is different than a woman’s body. At the end of the song of creation God officiates the wedding ceremony of Adam and Eve and then declares, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed,” (Gen. 2:24-25). These two very different and uniquely designed persons, are brought together as one under the covenant of marriage, and display and experience the height of that one-flesh union through sex. This is God’s design for sex: one man and one woman, within the confines of marriage, coming together as one flesh.
And, at this point, we could simply say, “God made sex this way – so don’t do it any other way,” –claiming that God made sex, so we must obey Him with it. But remember, sex is not only made through God, but for God, so we must ask, “In what ways is sex for God? In what ways is sex about God?”
Our working definition of “sex” for the night: any intimate contact…that involves arousal, stimulation, and/or a response. Our purpose for this definition is to prevent anyone from assuming that just because they have not / are not having literal intercourse with someone else, they are not in sexual sin. I do not think it is necessary, nor helpful, to name a detailed list of what counts as inappropriate sexual contact besides intercourse. The Bible teaches us that there should not even be a hint of sexual immorality among us (Eph. 5:3). The term “sexual immorality” (porneia) refers to any sexual action, not just limited to intercourse, that violates God’s design for sex. If you are uncertain about a certain act, then ask your parents, or a godly person you look up to in our church.
Sexually Confused Corinthians
The passage we are looking at tonight is from a letter that Paul is writing to a young, urban church in the city of Corinth, and Paul is writing in response to another letter that the Corinthians actually sent Paul. So in the passage we are looking at (1 Cor. 6:12-20) you’ll notice that there are a series of quotations that Paul is using. These are things that the Corinthians were writing to Paul about, and Paul is now attempting to answer their questions and correct some of their wrong assumptions.
One particular area that the Corinthian church was confused on was the subject of the body, and more specifically, what they did sexually with their bodies. The entire passage we are looking at tonight all centers on the issue of sex and the Christian life. The Corinthians were not too different from our own sexually confused age we are now living in. So let’s pay close attention to what the Apostle Paul has to say to us today. In our passage we are going to see the Limits of Sex, the Purpose of Sex, the Power of Sex, and the Glory of Sex.
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. — 1 Cor. 6:12-20
The Limits of Sex (vs. 12)
“All things are lawful for me.” This is the popular saying that the Corinthians have been throwing around as a means to justify their sexual deviance. We read back in chapter 5 that some of their sexual sin involved a man in the church having sex with his mother-in-law, and he is bragging about it! At church nonetheless! This horrifies Paul (1 Cor. 5:1-2).
What may be most troubling to Paul is that they are using his own teaching to try and prove that this is okay. Paul teaches clearly that Christ came to fulfill the law, so we as Christians, are no longer “under the law” (Rom. 6:14; Gal. 3:23-24; Eph. 2:14-15). So the Corinthians took this to mean that since they are no longer under the law, they could now do whatever they wanted and just be forgiven. But Paul immediately pushes against this conclusion with two warnings, ““All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.”
Paul’s first response is this, “There are limits to sex – love and lordship.”
When Paul says that not all things are “helpful”, that is a plural word, addressing a group of people. Paul is saying that we, as those who have been set free from the law, now are under the weightier law of loving others. Paul elsewhere explains that the essence of the law being fulfilled is found in loving your neighbor (Gal. 5:14). What does this mean? This means that whatever we do sexually, we must always be asking ourselves, “What is going to lead to the greatest possible good for the community around me?” I won’t make the argument in depth here, but it is painfully obvious that when a society makes sexual integrity a high priority, the families in that society tend to flourish, and where a society prizes sexual liberty the opposite is true. There are few things that can destroy a relationship, family, or church quite like sexual sin.
What does this mean for you? This means that whatever sexual desires you may have, whether you think they are a total secret and will never affect anyone but you, you must process them through this question: What is going to lead to the greatest possibly good for my future wife? My future children? For those around me that my life is influencing? Lastly, a word of caution to you: your sin will never remain a secret. At some point, it will catch up to you, and the longer you wait to confess and come clean, the worse it will be. And not just for you, but for everyone around you.
The other limitation on sex is the idea of lordship. Paul says that he will not be “dominated” or “mastered” by anything; this is the express language of something acting as a slave master over you. Paul says that he has the highest commitment to let nothing other than Christ have control or mastery over him (1 Cor. 7:22). What does it mean to be mastered by something? I find the image of a puppet and a puppet-master to be a fitting illustration. A puppet is absolutely helpless to do anything other than what the puppet-master demands. Paul is saying that we must pay careful attention and heed the danger of the enslaving power of sexual sin. For those of you in here who are wrestling with addiction, you know what Paul is talking about. Sexual sin is one of the most addictive and controlling sins there is. Let us not be so arrogant or foolish to think that we can enjoy the pleasure of this sin and it’s hooks of slavery not sink themselves deep into our hearts. This is why we do not take sin lightly or try and excuse it with cultural phrases like, “I’m just a teenage boy, isn’t this normal?” No, friend – this isn’t what God designed sex to be like, and it wants to consume you. Don’t play with this – kill it.
Do Christians Hate Sex?
Perhaps you aren’t a Christian and you are listening to this and thinking, “This is why I don’t like you church people! You’re all about rules, telling people how to live their lives, and spoiling their fun. Why can’t we just live our lives and do what makes us feel happy?” Well, that’s a great question and I’m so glad you asked that. Is that what we are as Christians? Fun-killers? Well, the short answer is “no”. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Christians don’t think that the problem with our culture is that they have too high of a view of sex, but too low, or as C.S. Lewis famously says, “It would seem our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak.”
Our world today defines happiness (especially in regards to sex) as being totally free: the ability to do whatever we want, whenever we want. But is that really the apex of happiness? What happens if we are wrong? What if we assume something will make us happy, but in time it hurts us? Let’s say I think that it would make me most happy if I did nothing but eat fast food for the rest of my life. It makes me happy, I don’t see any immediate harm done, and it tastes good. Will that lead me towards living a fully-orbed, happy life? Well, not really – why? Because my body was not designed to eat nothing but highly saturated fats, chemically altered meat, and buckets of sugar. What I think is leading towards the fulfillment of happiness is in reality destroying me.
Perhaps we could offer a different definition of what true happiness is: living my life according to the way I was designed. True happiness isn’t found in bucking off every limitation in my life. True happiness is found in finding the limitations that were designed for me, and following them. No one in the name of absolute freedom would go skydiving without a parachute, right? The rush and the freedom that they feel while soaring through the air will quickly turn to horror as they realize the ground is rushing towards them. Let me use one more illustration to make this point. A fire is a great thing. A warm, crackling fire place makes a home feel just a little more homey. But what happens when we remove the limitations on the fire, and the fire is now out of the fireplace and in the middle of your living room? It goes from being a good thing, to a destructive force.
That’s exactly what sex is like, friends. Sex is a powerful, beautiful, good thing – provided it remains within the confines of the covenant of marriage. When it is experimented with or experienced outside of the bounds of marriage it leads to harming those around us, personal addiction, and bondage (even when we don’t see the immediate consequences). This means that any intimate contact or communication that involves arousal, stimulation, or response of any kind, outside of marriage, is in direct conflict with God’s design for sex, and therefore outside of the bounds of its true enjoyment. This may sound completely ludicrous to the world around us, but we can confidently say that our motivation to save sex for marriage does not flow from sexual indifference – quite the opposite. We are not masochistic monks who view sex as wicked or unspiritual. We want the best sex there is. Again, in light of how careless and flippant the unChristian world is with this gift, it doesn’t appear that we are the ones who care too little about sexual pleasure.
The Purpose of Sex (vs.13-15a)
Now, that first point is predicated on the point I made that “true happiness is found in living life in light of how we were designed.” This means that the real question we must ask then is, “What is our design? How are we to live?” This is what Paul tackles next, specifically in regards to our sexuality.
“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other.” Paul now turns to another error of the Corinthians: believing that sex is essentially an appetite, and that our bodies (and what we do with them) is unimportant because God is going to destroy them anyways. The Corinthians were influenced by a popular false-teaching from the Greeks that the material world was innately evil, or at the very least unimportant, and what really mattered was the soul. Therefore, they viewed what you did with your body as inconsequential. Similar to our own culture today, they embraced the idea that sex is essentially an appetite – if you’re hungry, you eat, if you’re horny, you have sex – after all, you only live once. Sound familiar?
Paul corrects this false teaching by rooting the purpose of sex in something infinitely deeper than a craving appetite, “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” Paul is saying that our bodies were not designed for sexual sin the way our stomachs are designed for food – this is what we just looked at in the last point. Rather, our bodies are for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. Notice how Paul is mirroring their erroneous teaching with the same sentence structure (Food for the stomach, stomach for food…the body for the Lord, and the Lord for the body). It is like Paul is saying, “Yes, you’re right in noticing that the body is designed for something, but just not that – this.” In fact, Paul sees our bodies as being so committed to the Lord that he actually talks about our bodies as being the very members of Christ’s own body (13a; see also 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4:15-16).
So, what does it mean that the “body is for the Lord” or that we are “members of Christ”? He is saying that whatever we do with our bodies (including sex) is meant to be for God’s purposes in the world. He is saying that whatever we do with our bodies, they must be an accurate representation of what Jesus is like. Your life has a purpose and your body has a mission – to be used for bringing glory to God in all of life. The Bible teaches us that we are “made in the image of God” (Gen. 1:27), designed for the express purpose of reflecting the character and nature of God to the world around us. Much like the way a mirror reflects rather than creates, so too are we to be more concerned about portraying the reality of God than our own agenda to the world around us. This is why when we use our bodies, our lives, for anything other than God’s glory we become dominated by it, and it begins to hollow out our lives. We aren’t honoring the design, but subverting it.
All of this is painfully true with sex, possibly the most sacred thing we do with our bodies. The over-arching purpose of sex is to be used, received, and enjoyed in such a way that brings glory to God. This is God’s purpose for sex. Now, there are several subordinate purposes as well: pleasure (SoS. 7:6-10; Prov. 5:15-19), procreation (Gen. 1:28), comfort (2 Sam. 12:24), protection (1 Cor. 7:2-5), and consummation (Gen. 2:24). All of these, however, are purposes that stand under the banner of the one ultimate purpose of sex: to bring glory to God.
The Power of Sex (15-16)
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” After Paul has both hemmed in the boundaries and exalted the purposes of sexual love, he brings his theology down to earth with a real life scenario: having sex with a prostitute. Does your theology influence what you do with your sex life? What you do when you are alone on the internet? What you do when deciding whether or not to date? It does for Paul, and it most certainly should for us.
Paul is outraged that the Corinthians are sleeping with prostitutes – why? Notice, he doesn’t say, “Don’t you know that it says in the book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy that we aren’t supposed to commit sexual sin!?” He could have done that (see Lev. 18; Deut. 22:13-25), but instead he chose to highlight the original design of sexual union and the power therein. Paul quotes from the book of Genesis, describing the very words of God as He officiates the first wedding in the history of mankind, and the description of the consummation of that marriage. Adam and Eve, two different persons and two different genders with two different roles are brought together as “one flesh” in their marriage, and ultimately in their sexual union. “One flesh” doesn’t simply refer to the physical closeness of the sexual union, but refers to something much more profound than that – being “one flesh” doesn’t just mean having sex. When Paul warns the Corinthians that sex with a prostitute makes them “one body” with the prostitute, he makes a slight distinction between the “one flesh” union of Gen. 2:24, but shows that it mimics, or approaches it in some form. The “one flesh” union of a husband and wife is profound and all encompassing. This doesn’t mean that there is a mini-marriage every time someone sleeps with a person who isn’t their spouse, but it does mean that extra-marital sex creates a monstrous Frankenstein-esque mockery of the sacred union that is between a husband and a wife alone.
Two People, One Flesh
The “one flesh” union of a husband and wife is the combining together of two distinct persons into a bonded marriage where all of their life now is brought together in complete transparency, unity, and intimacy. This certainly includes far more than sex – this is a union of the entire person of the husband and wife together – the sexual union is the consummation, the capstone, the final flowering and display of that whole life union. Sex is meant to be the final note in the song of marriage – nothing else. Now, do you see why Paul sees the idea of having sex with a prostitute as being so grotesque? It has nothing to do with the nature of a prostitute, but has everything to do with the sacredness and holiness of sex itself. You can’t have sexual union with someone that you don’t have whole life union with. When the final note is severed from the rest of the music, what could be sweeping and beautiful sounds flat, pointless, and stupid. Sex simply can never be enjoyed to the extent that it is meant to be enjoyed when it is taken outside of the union of marriage. This is why even when people claim that they are “married in their hearts”, sex is not permissible – you must be united in a covenant of marriage that is not just emotionally or physically, but legally binding.
Sex as Fusion
Sex, as the Bible describes it, could be compared to two plates of metal that are welded together – the more the two distinct pieces are in contact with each other, the more they will be fused, and the stronger the bond will be. If two metal plates are only connected by the corners that are slightly touching, the connection will be weak and easily break, but if the two plates are perfectly lined up with one another, the fusion will be solid and it will be tremendously difficult to pull them apart.
Now, don’t get me wrong – when we get married, we are not perfectly and wholly connected to the person we are marrying. Far from it. But, we are entering into a covenant that says for richer or poorer, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part, we will stay committed to each other and grow in becoming more and more connected with each passing day. As you grow in your marriage, you are growing in greater transparency and connection, and thus are able to enjoy the fusing power of sex more fully. So like good wine, your sex in marriage improves with age. I know that it is the exact opposite of what our culture commonly tells us right now, but believe it or not, statistically married couples tend to have higher levels of sexual satisfaction, and tend to have more frequent sex than unmarried singles.
Our Brains and Sex
There is actually a fascinating amount of science recently done on our brain’s role in sexual activity and the neurochemicals it produces. When we have sex, our brain releases a powerful chemical called “dopamine”, which is essentially the “feel-good” response in our brain. Our brain is flooded with dopamine when we do something that excites or pleases us, so that it trains our brain to desire more of that behavior. Sex is one of the most powerful dopamine generators there is, and thus very powerful. But this isn’t the only chemical released; for men, there is also “vasopressin” and for women there is “oxytocin” (though “oxytocin” is slightly present in male brains as well). Both of these neurochemicals could be called the “bonding agents” of our brain. Both of these chemicals are released uniquely when we experience meaningful, intimate, physical contact with someone else – especially when we are having sex. But, we should note, this bonding chemicals are not reserved only for intercourse – any meaningful, intimate, physical contact (see our definition of “sex” above). These chemicals serve the purpose of bonding us to the person that we are in contact with, strengthening synapse connections in the brain that are related to relational and emotional attachment to a mate. So, when you have sex with someone else your brain is literally attaching you to that person, whether you want it to or not. The more sexual contact you have with that person, the stronger the neurochemical connection becomes, and the more enjoyable the sex becomes.
What is this telling us? This is telling us exactly what the Bible is telling us about God’s design and the power of sex. Our bodies were created with the ideal of having sex with one person, for the rest of our lives – sex is powerful, not just an appetite or meaningless action that we may assign significance to if we so choose. It is so powerful that even if you partake of it with the most shallow sexual relationship there is – a paid sex-worker – there is still some kind of bonding union formed (“one body“). See, while the power of sex, just like fire, is fantastic if it remains within the purpose and limits of its design, it also is horribly destructive when taken outside of that design. If you begin having sex, or experimenting sexually with someone other than your spouse, you create this bond to them that can only be broken with a tremendous amount of emotional pain. If men have a repeated pattern of different sexual partners or become habitual users of pornography, it actually damages the parts of their brain responsible for creating vasopressin, and will reduce their capacity to fully enjoy sex.  Imagine it like a piece of tape that has been repeatedly peeled off of different surfaces, losing its stickiness.
So don’t buy what the guys in music and movies are selling. The more women you have sex with, the less and less you will be able to actually enjoy sex – plain and simple. They are bragging over a cheap counterfeit, when we can enjoy the real thing. They are showing off their Lunchable™ crackers when we can enjoy a fine steak. The power of sex is seen in the beauty of the fusing together of two people together for the rest of their lives, and is seen in the destructive consequences of it being used outside of its limitations.
There are limits to sex, there is a purpose to sex, and there is power in sex.
The Glory of Sex (17-20)
But there is a problem – most of have deviated from His design. I would be willing to bet that most of you in this room have sinned, or been sinned against, sexually. I spent a my teenage years hopelessly addicted to pornography. I hated it and hated myself for it, but not matter how hard I tried, how many books I read, how many people I confessed to, I could not get rid of it. I constantly felt a frustrating mixture of shame over my sin, but a persistent craving for it. On numerous occasions I was certain that God would (rightly!) give up on me.
For a long time I simply assumed that the only thing that would fix my problem was getting married and having sex. But I knew married men who were having sex and still struggling with an addiction to pornography, so that couldn’t be it. I found no freedom from bondage of sex idolatry until I realized two things: (1) understanding the end of sex, and (2) experiencing the overwhelming love of God. Both of which are displayed in the final passage.
The End of Sex
When I was young there was a popular Christian book series out that was about the end of the world and Christ’s second coming. I didn’t particularly like it, but I do remember at times secretly praying that Christ would wait to return so I could get married and have sex. Jesus teaches that in Heaven, there will be no such thing as marriage (Matt. 22:30), and therefore no sex. So this life was my only shot.
Christ’s teaching on this always puzzled me – why would there be no marriage? Why no sex? Aren’t those good things?
Absolutely – they just aren’t ultimate things. Look at Paul’s peculiar wording in verse 17, “But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.”
Notice the parallels between verse 16 and 17, “…he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her… But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.” Notice the similarities (he who is joined…becomes one with), but also notice the differences (a prostitute vs. the Lord…one body vs. one spirit). This is shocking. Paul is comparing the Corinthians being sexually joined to a prostitute to being spiritually joined to God and saying, “Don’t become connected to that when you are connected to this!” What is Paul saying?
Simply put, here is what Paul is doing, he is showing us the ultimate purpose, end, and glory of sex: a picture of God’s love and connection with us. He is outraged that they are sleeping with a prostitute, not merely because of the nature of a prostitute, but because of the holy, sacred purpose of sex. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he shows the purpose of marriage itself is to do the same, ““Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church,” (Eph. 5:31-32). Paul, quoting Gen. 2:24, is explaining that marriage actually points towards the deeper marriage between Christ and His Bride, the Church. In fact, one of the most commonly used metaphors in the Bible for God’s relation to us is that of a marriage. This means that the purity and intimacy of Adam and Eve’s union in Gen. 2:25, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed,” (Gen. 2:25) is meant to be a symbol of the deeper reality of God’s own union with us. We are to stand before God, naked and unashamed, entirely vulnerable and entirely accepted; fully known and fully loved.
This is the “end” (notice the double entendre) of sex – it is a window to God’s own love, desire, and union with us. The great joy that we are longing for and have come to believe is found in sex, isn’t actually there. It was never in it, but came through it. And what came through was a longing for God, our True Spouse – a longing to have full Gen. 2:25 union with Him. Someday, we will have it, and we won’t need sex anymore. In the same way a returned soldier no longer needs the wrinkled photograph of his wife to look at when she is in his arms, so too will we no longer need another metaphor. We’ll have the real thing.
Friend, you will save yourself a thousand problems if you can see this truth. Sex is not ultimate. Sex will not fix you. Sex will not fill you, redeem you, or transform you. If you are strongly tempted to idolize sex, let this truth deflate it a little. Sex is about God.
Experiencing the Overwhelming Love of God
If we are honest with ourselves, as great as all of this sounds, the thought of standing utterly exposed, revealed, vulnerable before God is what we fear most. The thought of every desire, every thought, every word, every action I have ever committed being laid bare before the holy God– that sounds horrifying.
The focus on sexual sin in this talk is actually fitting because one of the most prominent metaphors in the Bible for our sin is that of spiritual adultery, and prostitution. Repeatedly, Scripture portrays God as a faithful husband, and us, His people, as an unfaithful wife. The story of Ezekiel 16 describes us as forsaking God’s faithful love and turning ourselves into a spiritual whore – but instead of taking money from others for having sex, we pay others to take advantage of us and are left in a prison of debt and emptiness. (The metaphor of God being the faithful husband and us being the cheating, prostitute-wife is remarkably common in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament prophets .)
So when we sin (sexually or otherwise), we are not just breaking a rule, but breaking God’s heart (Eph. 4:30). We rejected the goodness of God, trusted in other lovers and then sunk ourselves into an ocean of debt at the whorehouse of sin. But note how Paul ends the passage in 1 Corinthians, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” What is Paul saying? Paul uses this phrase, “you were bought with a price,” only one other place in his writing. He uses it just one chapter later when explaining why the Corinthians shouldn’t turn themselves into slaves of men because Christ bought them with a price, and they now are both freedmen and slaves to God (1 Cor. 7:22-23).The image is that of God walking into a slave auction and purchasing you, but not to exploit you as a slave but to set you free, and then in light of His generosity we kneel down and in love pledge to serve Him for the rest of our lives. And in chapter 6 he is saying that when we have sex with a prostitute we in some way become a prostitute, but then concludes, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” The image is similar as to before. He is saying that Christ, the Son of God, King of the Universe, Lord of All, the One our hearts truly long for but don’t deserve, went in to a whorehouse and bought you – but not to exploit you, but to free you. But also not just to free you, but to marry you.
You will one day stand naked and unashamed before God – not because you have nothing to be ashamed for, but because at great cost to Christ, He covered, healed, and forgave your shame.
The beauty of the gospel is that Christ could take a treacherous whore and make her into His beautiful bride. That’s our story. And that is the kind of love, and acceptance, and thrill we are actually looking for, but never getting, in the sheets of the prostitutes and the porn sites. All sexual intimacy outside of marriage involves some aspect being only partially known, and therefore partially loved. To be fully known and fully loved simultaneously is an overwhelming love that can only be experienced in the gospel of Christ. Satisfy your hungry heart with this love of Christ so that the temptations to sexual sin can be seen for what they really are – a cheap counterfeit that leads to death (Prov. 5:1-6).
So, if you are a sexual sinner in this room (which we all are) then be encouraged – your debt for your sin has been paid. Be encouraged – there is something more beautiful than the allure of your sin, the beauty and overwhelming love of Christ and His radical commitment to you. Be encouraged – God has given us the gift of sex to be enjoyed, and to be enjoyed rightly, and ultimately to reveal more of His own love to us. Let’s pray.
 Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children, Dr. Joe S. Mcilhaney Jr. and Dr. Freda McKissic Bush. Pg. 16
 Ibid. Pg. 20
 Ibid. Pg. 38
 Ibid. Pg. 41, 43
 I get this from the Bible’s teaching on divorce, Moses’ certificate of divorce, and Christ’s allusion to it (Deut. 24:1-4; Matt. 19:8; Mark 10:4). The only way a divorce could happen in the Old Testament was if a certificate of divorce, an official written document, had been issued. When Christ is challenged on this by the Pharisees, He corrects their wrong interpretation of it, but does not contradict Moses’ certificate. Jesus teaches that marriage should never be broken, except on the unique case of marital infidelity. Then is a certificate of divorce permissible to be given. However, notice the subtext of this – the Bible has no concept of the idea of being in a marriage that does not have legal ramifications if the couple separates. If a couple is sleeping together and is “married in their hearts”, but at some point separate, they can do so without any legal complications (that I am aware of). This seems to not fit within the Biblical parameters of marriage, nor the binding, permanent nature of marriage itself. Also, it is worth noting, that every single person I have spoken with who has tried to make this argument to me has never done so unbiasedly. I have never had a person find this to be a convincing argument unless they are already sleeping with someone and looking for an excuse to justify it. That isn’t a great way to try and live a life submitted to God and His Word.
 Ex. 34:11-16; Lev. 17:7, 20:4-6; Num. 15:38-40; Deut. 31:16; Judges 2:16-17; 8:27-33, Hosea 1-3; Jer. 2-13; Ez. 16, 23; Isa. 1:21, 57:3; Micah 1:7; Matt. 16:4; Mark 8:38; James 4:4-5
Further books I read for preparing for this talk were:
- The Mingling of Souls, by Matt Chandler
- The Meaning of Sex, by Denny Burk
- Divine Sex, by Jonathan Grant
- Sex and the Supremacy of God, by John Piper
- Designed for Joy, by Owen Strachan
- God’s Unfaithful Wife (New Studies in Biblical Theology), by Ray C. Ortlund Jr.