Abbotsford – June 3, 2012 – Various Passages
Sex. The word alone draws attention.
We are sexual beings, created male or female, with sexual identities and desires. Our culture is inundated with sexual images, pressures and expectations; the myriad of values and messages portrayed can be overwhelming and confusing.
So what does sex mean to Christians? What is it for? Is culture right or wrong in the sexual values it endorses?
This sermon series looks at God’s intention for sex, the boundaries He designed for sex, and what happens when we disregard those instructions.Looking at Songs of Songs, we see a beautiful picture of God’s design of sexual desire and passion. Songs of Songs is a series of poems, possibly sung during wedding feasts, exploring the feelings, hopes, fears and passions between a man and a woman. It is a celebration of male and female sexuality. While themes of sexual enjoyment and consummation run throughout the poems, the central theme is one of commitment. The author embraces the idea that sex is a gift from God to be cherished by both men and women within the bounds of marriage.
Proverbs 5:15-23 is a call to men to embrace the beauty, feminism and allure of their wife, and essentially, to enjoy sex with their wives. Mutual delight builds faithfulness. The short story: God has provided you with an amazing companion, so find pleasure in her and with her, and be fully satisfied!
We begin to see cautionary instructions in Proverbs 7:6-27. These are warnings for men against temptation and adultery—Solomon, for all his wisdom, was a weak man when it came to women, and this eventually lead him away from the Lord. Proverbs 7 also contains warnings for women against being deliberately seductive. These warnings are to ensure that we don’t miss out on the joy that God intends for us in Songs of Songs and Proverbs 5.
2 Samuel 11 is the infamous story of David and Bathsheba. Ultimately, David is an example of a man who did not heed the warnings of Proverbs 7. David shirked his responsibilities by remaining at the palace instead of going into battle and used his power and authority to seduce Bathsheba. What followed these sins was a steep slope of moral decline and chaos.
The biblical view of sex is vastly different from that of both our culture today and the early Church. In 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 Paul cautions the church in Thessalonica to reject the sexual code of the Roman culture—pagan practices which fell far short of Jewish or Christian standards for sexual behaviour. God intends for sex to be between one man and one woman. Sexual promiscuity deprives a husband or wife—whether future or current—of what is rightfully theirs. We are called to self-control, to treat our bodies with holiness and honour, not to succumb to passionate lust.
We can see that God gives us great freedom within certain boundaries, starting with Adam and Eve in Genesis 2. God’s guidelines and limitations for sex are for our good and are the recipe for a lasting, fulfilling sex life.