RAP SHEET 11/19/23
Series: Cancelled Conversations
Sermon: Sex & Sexuality
Scripture: Matthew 19:4-6
ICE BREAKER: Would you rather only be able to talk in full-voice shouting or only be able to barely audibly whisper?
This week we looked at God's ethic for sex and sexuality. We took a historical perspective to understand that the constraints and ideals of Christianity transformed a world where sex was a tool of power and dominance into a world where sex was seen as something positive to pursue.
We also saw the tension in today's world as the Church is now seen as the primary oppressor of sexual liberty. The irony, of course, is that the belief in inherent rights those who are seeking sexual liberty fight for - is a uniquely Christian concept as well.
This tension has led to a "sex-positive" culture that has sought to remove every constraint to sexual license, other than consent. And yet, as the world becomes increasingly sexualized, the quality of life continues to decrease. Mental health, relational satisfaction, loneliness, and more are at all-time-lows and only getting worse!
In scripture, Jesus affirmed the long-standing view of sex from the Old Testament. Sex is reserved exclusively for marriage - and a Biblical view of marriage is:
So what does that mean for the issue of SEXUALITY?
While "sex" refers to SEXUAL ACTIVITY, "sexuality" refers to SEXUAL ATTRACTION. If you are not attracted to the opposite sex, and marriage is only between a man and a woman, and sex is only permissible in marriage - then where does that leave you?
Much damage has been done by not understanding the difference in ACTIVITY and ATTRACTION. Most churches have tied those ideas together and either CONDEMN both of them or AFFIRM both of them. Both sides have major holes when you try to line them up to scripture - our final authority!
What the Bible shows is that ANY Sexual Activity outside of a Biblically defined marriage is in fact SIN. However, in the passages on sexual prohibitions, they talk specially about ACTIVITY, not ATTRACTION.
This makes sense - we typically do not choose our attractions. Whether you are attracted Heterosexually (to the opposite sex) or Homosexually (to the same sex), the expectation is the same - to not move from attraction to LUST, or from attraction to activity.
Our bodies are the temple of God, bought a price. Sexual activity is not a RIGHT that we have to leverage over God. The expectation of the believer is to submit our lives to Christ and understand what he has asked in his word.
Throughout this series we are using the template from week 1 to help us know how to apply these truths to our life. In week 1 we learned that ANYONE can come to Jesus and be given eternal life. Believing in Jesus is completely free!
We also learned that to FOLLOW Jesus costs us! Jesus said:
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
The Invitation to BELIEVE in Jesus Is COME TO THE CROSS And Gain Eternal Life
The Invitation to FOLLOW Jesus Is CARRY YOUR CROSS & Die To Yourself
The culture pushes HARD on issues of Sex and Sexuality. Even if what scripture reveals is difficult, or unpopular, we are expected to follow Jesus!
As a reminder, both Jesus and the Apostle Paul speak HIGHLY in scripture of those who choose singleness in order to maintain celibacy and follow Jesus. In fact, Paul says this is how you dedicate ALL of your attention to building God's Kingdom. Singleness is not a "Plan B" or a "Lesser path." It is a Holy blessing that will be richly rewarded by Jesus!
The questions for this series are the same every week...
Based on what we have learned about this topic:
What does it mean to DENY MYSELF
What CROSS am I supposed to carry?
If you are struggling with clarity on the questions above, stop and ask God for that clarity. Pray for those who may be struggling with this issue and that God would give you a soft heart for the controversial topics in our world.