On July 7th the pastors of Lake Bible Church held a Q & A panel on why every Christian needs to be grounded in understanding God’s design for sexuality through the truth of Scripture, this truth must always be expressed with the spirit of grace found in Jesus Christ, who came to us full of grace and truth (John 1:16–17). Instead of arguing with the world about what’s right and wrong about sexual choices.
**What I have below are our notes and thoughts taken away from this time together.
God’s Intention: Creation, (Genesis 1:26–28)(Genesis 2:24–25)(Genesis 2:24)
Sexuality is created by God and is good. In community we reflect God’s image and accomplish His purpose in the world. The divine purpose for sexual union is to reproduce children who represent God and extend God’s rule to the ends of the earth (Genesis 1:26–28). Sex and sexuality are gifts from the Creator to be embraced husband and wife with gratitude and worship.
Our Distortion: The Fall
Any rebellion against God’s perfect design is sin. It separates us from God and distorts intimacy. (Genesis 2:25; 3:7)(Genesis 3:16)(Romans 1:24–27)(1 Corinthians 6:16; cf. Genesis 2:24)
Because of the Fall, our struggles with sexuality cannot simply be reduced to environmental background, but our choices remain significant.
Our Redemption: Jesus
God loves us in our brokenness with a love so boundless that He sent Jesus to redeem what sin had distorted. You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:11)God floods our sexually broken world with grace and mercy to wash our sinful natures clean and makes us new creations in Jesus Christ (Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17). God is restoring His creation, including His purposes for sexuality, through Jesus Christ, the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15–20).
Our Hope: Fulfillment
While Jesus’ death on the cross freed us from the penalty and power of sin, only His Second Coming will free us completely from the presence of sin. While Jesus inaugurates the restoration of all creation, its full restoration is not yet realized. However, because of Christ’s provision, it is our privilege to choose to “walk by the Spirit” and by so doing “not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:16). We can experience the promised blessing that God desires with all joy and peace as [we] trust in him, so that [we] may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). Therefore, we are freed from condemnation (Romans 8:1) and can overcome the power of sin (Romans 5:17) and Satan (Revelation 12:11) by the power of the cross of Jesus Christ!
When we see Jesus face to face (1 John 3:2; 1 Corinthians 13:12), we will enjoy a true intimacy without shame. The battle for purity will be won (Revelation 19:8), and we will be presented blameless in His presence with great joy (Jude 24).
Notes from Panel Discussion:
**I tried to cite which pastor was speaking as close as possible. However there is definite crossover.
Pastor Asa: Both our cultural and personal stories often demonstrate sexual pain, confusion and brokenness. We need to reclaim the truth of Gods Word as the people of God. Our aim should not be to win an argument about sexual morality, but to capture the lost territory of human hearts teaching them about grace. God does pardon and forgive. We are all sinners for life but it’s not over-Our God is the redeemer…in His grace he can reach into that mess and straighten it all out. Because of His grace we are not ruined for the rest of their lives. God, in his compensatory grace can make things work in his divine plan.
Pastor John: The gospel promises eternal life. It doesn’t promise earthly utopia or tranquility. Obedience often means resisting our earthly desires and longings. Unlike secularism, Christianity does not teach us that all desires are equal and worthy of acceptance.
Every Christian needs to be grounded in understanding God’s design for sexuality. The world challenges us to rethink both the cultural and traditional religious narratives of sexuality, encourages seeking the pleasure above the purpose.
Pastor David: The modern clash in sexual ethics is not surprising, because secularism and Christianity are based on competing conceptions of reality.
-Secularism teaches that a person’s gender can be disassociated from his or her biology.
-Christianity rejects this dualism. Christians believe that masculinity and femininity are not just psychologically or socially constructed realities they are immutably tied to our biology and chromosomal design. Sex is sacred territory—(it belongs to a husband and wife) when we break out of that mold, sexual anarchy (non recognition of authority) ensues.
However, God created everything with a particular order in mind-so where ever there is a breakdown of God’s holy Word and order, there is corruption. When we redefine what love is, or what marriage is…we get very close to the destruction of society.
We need to separate people in our minds…a person vs LGBTQ, or the sexual revolution. When we treat anyone like a person…not an agenda, not a project, we can have proximity. Where there is proximity, there can be relationship. With relationship comes the ability to share where truth comes from. Our kids need to know. Your kids need to know. Our truth comes from God, through His Word. It will never happen if our goal is to “debate them into the kingdom”.
What we often overlook is that our turn toward sin causes us to rebel not only against God, but against our own createdness. When we abandon sound ethics, we not only harm our relationship with God; we also harm ourselves. Sin harms us spiritually, in that it deadens us to heavenly obligation. It is also physically and mentally destructive. A person who acts on every sensual desire or psychological perception is not a free person. Instead, he becomes enslaved to disordered impulses.
Conversely, sexuality is rooted in the broader context of God’s heart and His work for us on earth. We need to understand the big picture of sexual challenges and wholeness and recognize that every sexual question is ultimately a spiritual one. It then shifts the paradigm from combating sexual problems to confidently proclaiming and modeling the road to sacred sexuality.
Pastor Brian: God didn’t create man because he was lonely but out of his abundant love for us…
Pastor Jim: In our homes we must be intentional and not reactive. Be pre-emotive, don’t wait for it to show up…get in front of it. Your kids are sexual beings and you are going to have trouble. There is no fail safe method but we must try to navigate these waters.
-Be an example
-CHOICES MATTER-BE DILIGENT
-Build their conscience at an early age-teach them a sense of right and wrong
-Be reasonable/reason with them…when appropriate
-Don’t just tell them, “this is right or wrong”, but why is it right or wrong?
-Help your children understand the concept, If God said no, then that may have to be good enough for you and me.
-get them in the word…not just moralistic…by being in the word yourself!
-flee fornication-WHY? Tell them the consequences!
Teach them about grace-they are going to mess up. Sometimes our kids will go through hard stuff to become who they are supposed to be. It is a fundamental command of Christianity to love others unconditionally. We are called to love even those who insult and hate us. If God gives us the grace to do this, surely we can love our children, even if they challenge our values. Think of the story of the Prodigal Son and his boundlessly gracious father. If we are truly to live as Christians, we can only cast ourselves on the Father’s loving forgiveness and extend the same grace to others. Only God gets to judge, pardon and forgive.
Christ calls all of us to a life of holy obedience. And He calls us to love others as He loves them. This means we must not only live by a sexual ethic—we must also love others, regardless of whether they live by that ethic or not. We can and we must affirm the dignity of each and every person, giving them the love they deserve as a child of God. What we cannot do is affirm individuals in what the Bible tells us is sin.
Pastor Brian’s dad would ask him to explain tough moral questions to him…why? Made him think about it, and come back to it…
Can we believe that His Word is consistent and true? YES!
We must constantly be reminded of our commitment to sexual integrity, always remembering in both the grace and truth of Jesus.
Similarly, we ought to approach others with that same spirit of grace and truth.