There is a lot going on in the news these days regarding sexual immorality. The LGBTQ agenda has made huge strides against the Church in America. Sadly, there is a great falling away from Sound Doctrine in many so-called evangelical churches and denominations caving in to the world’s pressure to redefine sex, sexuality, identity and sin. I had planned a different topic for this week’s Bible Study, but I think we will spend our time looking at what the Bible has to say about sex. Many anti-christians start by attacking the Mosaic laws first, but I’d like to begin with something Jesus said as recorded in Matthew 19.
Matthew 19:1-9 (ESV) 1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”
The heading in my Bible for this passage is “Teaching About Divorce”. Why did I choose to start here? Because I first wanted to point out that sex and marriage are linked and instituted by God when He created Adam and Eve.
Genesis 2:20-25 (ESV) 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
The union of man and woman is part of the design, part of our creation. God didn’t form men and women separately and then allow them to unite their flesh; He created them with this purpose in mind. Eve was formed out of Adam, and since then all men and women have been formed from the joining of one man and one woman. Sin has since perverted that, and we’ll get to that in a bit, but for now, know that in dealing with a legal matter, a test or question regarding the Law of Moses… Jesus went all the way back to creation and defined clearly the purpose of His creation. Remember our introduction to the book of John.
John 1:1-5;14 (ESV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Okay, so Jesus is the final authority on the purpose of Creation. He is the Word of God. But we also have the written Word of God as inspired by God the Holy Spirit; therefore, every word in the Bible is authoritative. My goal here is to point you to the words Jesus spoke while He walked the Earth for those who place undue emphasis on the “red letters” (all of the letters should be red). Getting back to the passage in Matthew 19, look at what happens next as Jesus speaks with his disciples:
Matthew 19:10-12 (ESV) 10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”
The disciples got the message loudly and clearly. You see, even in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, divorce had become an acceptable course of action. There was much more ritual involved then that what we have now, but the end result remains unchanged, it is sin. The breaking of God’s design. The disciples were correct in their assertion that since divorce was not a part of God’s design for man and woman, that if anyone might be considering the possibility of relying on divorce down the road, that it would be better for that man NOT to marry at all. However, Jesus makes it clear that not everyone can take that road. Why is that? Because the sin of divorce is not the only sin. Sexual immorality is a powerful sin that works evil within our flesh, and in-fact is part of our flesh from our birth as a result of the original sin. When Jesus mentions that some are “eunuchs from birth”, he is referring to those whose struggle is not of a sexual nature. I’m sure you’ve met people who just don’t seem to have that “sexual drive” that you have… and at times you’ve envied them or maybe thought ill of them. That is not to say they are “immune” to sexual sin, but that the drive isn’t there. In today’s sexualized culture, these folks are most often labeled “weird” or maliciously labeled queer/questioning, or now the world has developed a new attack called “gender confusion”. Regardless, my point being here that Jesus made it very clear that some are called and equipped to NOT marry. The Church has done a very poor job on teaching this truth from God’s word, for too long we’ve focused on Marriage and procreation as a Holy Sacrament. While it is the ONLY allowable context for sex, marriage in and of itself is not a prerequisite for serving God. We’ll explore this truth more. The next option (Jesus truly did cover all of the bases), is that some men are made eunuchs by the hands of men, and finally some choose to make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Some do so by choice. They choose, not necessarily to castrate themselves physically, but to forgo marriage (and sex) for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.
Remember, however, that the very context of this conversation is under “teaching about divorce”. Once you’ve married, you are joined with your spouse in the flesh until death. So, Jesus is clearly saying if God has given you the gift and calling to go your entire life single without falling into sexual sin so that you can devote yourself fully to the kingdom of heaven, do it. Otherwise, understand that in choosing to marry, that decision is to be made permanent in keeping with God’s design for marriage… one man with one woman. Paul also teaches on the call to ministry and being a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom.
1 Corinthians 7:1-9 (ESV) 7 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Here, the issue of marriage is presented as both a binding covenant, and a remedy for sexual temptation. That’s right, in the same light that Jesus taught His disciples, Paul is exhorting the believers who are single, if you lack self-control, better to be married (so that sexual intimacy can be enjoyed in its proper context without sin) than to fall into sexual immorality. Notice also that marriage is not an automatic remedy for sexual temptation. Paul first exhorts married believers not to deprive one another of intimacy so that Satan cannot take advantage of a lack of self-control. For if burning with passion as a single person weren’t bad enough, allowing sexual immorality to take place within the context of marriage burns up both spouses, for neither of them owns their flesh, but the 2 are made one flesh in marriage.
Paul is not anti-marriage. He is instructing the church, a persecuted church, on how to fulfill the great commission (Matt 28:16-20). I don’t understand why it is that we preach the Great Commission in our churches when the topic of “how to live a Godly life” is concerned, but regarding sex and marriage we reach back to Genesis 1:28 (ESV), “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth”? The earth is filled with sinners, slaves to darkness, and a world that hates God. The Great Commission is our commission, our duty, not just “the pastor’s”. Paul is simply being practical in his encouragement and instruction for believers. He explains himself perfectly in the following passage:
1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (ESV) 32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
So we’ve established the connection between sex and marriage as being integral in the very design of mankind at Creation. I also hope to have reduced the “necessity” of sex and procreation in light of the Great Commission and working for the kingdom of heaven. Sex is still a gift for those of us who lack self-control, but that gift is very specific and has very specific boundaries. There is only ONE context for sex that is acceptable in God’s sight and that is within marriage. The institution of marriage was set at creation, when God made them male and female.
So what about the notion of homosexual marriage? Unbiblical. God’s design for marriage, from the beginning and throughout scripture is for a man and a woman to become one flesh. The world does what it does, and it will be judged (again and finally). There is no room for the church to accept homosexual marriage. The world will sometimes try to make it about “love” rather than the sex. Irrelevant for 2 reasons. The first, as we’ve established, sex and marriage are inseparable. The second, because God is love. He defines love. Therefore, anything God declares to be sin cannot be called love, for God is also Holy and Just. I mentioned earlier that the LGBTQ lobby has developed this new concept of “gender identity”. It is merely an extension of the claim “God made me gay”. This new approach is to circumvent what the Bible says about homosexuality by making about “identity”. The logic follows that a person might have been born in the wrong body (God’s fault) therefore their sexual orientation shouldn’t be labeled based on their biology but how they self-identify. Clearly this tactic isn’t embraced by the LGB folks, but the QT folks are growing in number. These are all lies of the enemy.
Romans 1:16-32 (ESV) 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Yes, there are laws in the Mosaic covenant that we are no longer bound to for Jesus Christ fulfilled those laws on our behalf. The laws regarding sexual immorality remain, for they are nature’s laws, and God created them. The definition of sin has not changed. What was sin is still sin… in fact, under the new covenant, we now know just how inescapable our sin nature truly is, and just how much we need a Savior to atone for our sins that we might be made right with God.
Mark 7:20-23 (ESV) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Matthew 5:27-30 (ESV) 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
Pornography & Sexual Fantasy = Adultery=Sin. There is simply no room for any church or any person to redefine sexual immorality. We dare not call evil, good. The Law remains to convict us of our sin, so that we might remain in the Grace of God, Jesus Christ. Let me be clear, unrepentant homosexuality is no more acceptable within the church than murder, incest, adultery, polygamy, or idolatry. There is forgiveness at the foot of the Cross for all who repent. If we preach Gospel without the Law, we minimize the Gospel. We must preach both Law and Gospel so that the Holy Spirit can perform His sanctifying work on the Body of Christ by the seed of God’s Word being planted in our hearts.
1 Timothy 1:8-17 (ESV) 8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
May the Lord Bless you and keep you,