A Biblical Perspective Of Sex & Sexuality

Join Us As We Look At The Biblical Perspective On Sex And Gender

Tim Lundy
Feb 13, 2022    55m
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As the culture changes, Christians need to know the Biblical perspective on sex and gender. The Bible tells us that all humans are designed as sexual beings, so learning how we are called to live out this truth in our sex lives is crucial. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

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This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

02-13-2022 - Venture sermon
Tim Lundy: [00:00:37] Well, good morning, Venture. It's a great day today, it's great to be able to worship together. It's fun that it's Super Bowl Sunday for those of us that are football fans, we can enjoy. I know, the Niners aren't in it, but still it's a fun day today. In fact, some of you guys are like, wow, Super Bowl Sunday and the preacher is preaching on sex, this is a pretty good Sunday out of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:01:02] So, as we look at it, and I'll just go ahead and start with a public service announcement for guys, I know today's Super Bowl Sunday, we kind of get focused on that, tomorrow is Valentine's Day. I don't know who set it up that the Super Bowl would be the day before Valentine's, but they're asking guys to fail in that process, so just a public service announcement in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:01:28] And we are going to be talking over the next few weeks, we're taking a time out of the Book of Romans to talk about sex, sexuality, and gender. And as I say that some of you are like, oh man, a sermon series on sex. It's usually, in the church, you know, how do you have a great sex life as a married couple? That's not the focus of this series, it really isn't, this series is for everyone, whether you're married, whether you're a young person, especially, whether you're a single adult in that, there's a lot the Bible says to all of us, and frankly, we need to talk about it.

Tim Lundy: [00:02:07] The one place where we don't talk about these issues the most is the church, but the reality is the culture is talking about it all the time, and every day they're talking, and they're training us, and they're training the next generation more than we realize. And I think in the church, we've gotten to the point that we're so scared of saying the wrong thing, then we'd rather not say anything. And in that fear, we've pulled back and we're allowing ourselves, but especially the next generation, to be discipled in the ideology of the world on these issues.

Tim Lundy: [00:02:47] So today, I'll just go ahead and warn you now, you need to buckle up. And I don't say that because we're going to hit all the hardest issues, I say that because we're going to cover a lot of ground scripturally. Before we can dive in, over the next couple of weeks, we'll look at what about same-sex attraction, homosexuality, what about gender issues, and binary and non-binary, all those things in it? We'll dive into those topics, but I feel like we have such a lack of biblical theology when it comes to sex, that if we don't lay some foundation, we're just diving into issues.

Tim Lundy: [00:03:22] And so today, if you're not a note-taker, I'd go ahead and encourage you to take the notes out. You'll see a lot of scriptures there, we're going to cover each of these points pretty quickly because I'm trying to cover a breadth today. And so even as I say that there'll be a point that you go, Oh, Tim, you could have talked about, or should have talked about, that so much more, but we want to get a foundation in place with that.

Tim Lundy: [00:03:43] As I say that I would just say out of the beginning, as Christians, our approach to sex and gender must be marked by grace and truth, it's got to be marked by grace and truth. One of the things I love about Jesus, when he was here, this marked his life. I love how John puts it, he said, "The word became flesh and dwelt among us." When God lived here, "We've seen his glory." We saw how awesome God is, "Glory as the Son from the Father, only Son from the Father." In other words, he showed us the glory of God. But look how it ends, when that glory is revealed, it's, "Full of grace and truth." That's what marked Jesus' life, that's what God's like, by the way, that's what John saying. When you see Jesus, you get to see God in that. And so when we watch how Jesus interacted with people, and Jesus walked around on this planet, it gives us some understanding of how we approach these issues.

Tim Lundy: [00:04:36] And it's interesting to me when you read through the Gospels, one of the things that was said about Jesus often, is that he is friends with sex workers, he's friends with people who struggle with all these issues. And his life, it's just amazing to me, this combination, the holiest person who ever walked on the planet, lived in a way that some of the most broken people felt comfortable around him. And I think this is important because if you look at the history of the church, and over the last few decades as we approach these issues around it, for a number of years, the pendulum swung so far over here, to almost a graceless approach to these issues. That people that struggled, people that are hurt, didn't feel like church was ever the place you could even talk about it, much less be open about your own life in it. People that have been hurt by it, maybe you've been hurt by it and things that were said. And it's so easy in that to want to judge, sexual sins or one of the most easy things to kind of point at, and I think part of it is fueled by our own guilt, maybe in ways, but in other ways, our own fears.

Tim Lundy: [00:05:59] I love how Jesus, remember when they brought to him the woman who was caught in adultery? So she's clearly in sexual sin. And the crowd came, and they want to stone her, they want to kill her, not because they really desired to, they kind of want to trap Jesus more. Do you remember how Jesus dealt with her? I love the combination of grace and truth, that he looked at all of them, they said, OK, the first one without sin, go ahead and throw your stone. If you want to condemn her, go ahead, if you're without guilt, and they all kind of drift away. And then Jesus looks at her, and this phrase is so important, he says, does no one condemn you? He says, I don't condemn you, now, go and sin no more.

Tim Lundy: [00:05:59] Do you feel the combination of the grace and truth? And it's important that you get those phrases in the right order because a lot of people think when it comes to these issues, what God is telling us, if you'll go and sin no more, then I won't condemn you. If you get your life together sexually, then there's no condemnation. And what you need to hear is, in Christ, it starts with no condemnation, that's what Grace is. The grace that's given to a person, I don't condemn you, but, and here's the other side of it, in Christ, he looks at them and says, go and sin no more. He's willing to call the behavior sin, he's willing to call them out of that life and lifestyle.

Tim Lundy: [00:07:35] See, as much as the pendulum has swung over here when it comes to grace. I think also we're living in an age where the pendulum has gone the other way, where we're scared to talk about the truth, and we're scared to say it explicitly, and we're scared to say what the Bible says about it. And we think in a way that's the loving thing to do, and I don't want to do that, and yet, what did Jesus say about the truth? Look how Jesus put it, "Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”.

Tim Lundy: [00:08:11] And I say this because, just hear me, over the next few weeks. I am praying, I'm reading through this, I want to do this in a way that's full of grace. That no matter where you're coming from, no matter what you're struggling with, I am so thankful you're here. Because I think it begins in Jesus, no matter where you are, it begins with a God who approaches us with no condemnation. But in the same way, I think the Bible speaks truth, and hearing that truth, depending on where you are, can be really painful at times. It can be painful, maybe for your own life, or someone you love that's really struggling with these issues and you feel their pain. And we've been so conditioned that as soon as we feel pain, we automatically assume, well, this is painful, what they're saying must be wrong. And I just hear this, I don't want to increase anyone's pain, but I want you to experience freedom. And Jesus has said, explicitly, his truth, his word, brings freedom. And so as we walk through this, how do we always approach with the grace of God, but how do we speak with the truth that people need to hear? Because Jesus loved us enough, that he not only brought truth, he spoke truth in that.

Tim Lundy: [00:09:41] Now, as we go, some of these core principles are going to seem pretty basic. We're going to spend a lot of time looking at passages in Genesis. And part of the reason for that is, by design, the Genesis stories are the meta-narratives, they are the story that explains life. It's interesting if you study cultures with it, every culture has meta-narratives, stories that explain how we got here, stories that explain life. I mean, they're described as the myths of those cultures, they're larger than life stories. And Genesis has those same qualities.

Tim Lundy: [00:10:13] Now, when I use that term, I don't say that like, oh, they're myths, they didn't really happen, that's the beauty of it. I love how C.S. Lewis describes it. C.s. Lewis was an expert, by the way, in myths and stories in that. And as he studied it as a nonbeliever, part of it is he came to it is, he looked at it and he goes, man, this is the beauty of the Bible, these are myths that are larger than life stories that actually happened, they're true. And that's why they speak so much to our life that we go, oh, I understand how we got where we are.

Tim Lundy: [00:10:49] So what do we see in these stories? Let me walk through some principles with you. All humans are designed by God as sexual beings, all of us, whether you're married, where you're not married, you're a sexual being. That doesn't mean everybody has sexual activity, but all humans are sexual beings. When he created us, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." This connection with male and female, and man and woman, from the beginning, they were created in that way, "God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth." Part of their core command is they're supposed to have sex so they can fill the Earth with image-bearers, they're never going to be able to carry that out unless he created them in a way that they are sexual beings. Not only that, they're designed in a way to be partners together to have dominion over the Earth. Dominion, to rule, to shape the planet for God's glory. And so both man and woman, male and female, are brought together in that.

Tim Lundy: [00:11:48] Now, as I use those terms, we've separated those in ways when man and woman refer to sex, in our culture today, and male and female refer to gender. And we'll address those in a couple of weeks, especially, we'll dive into how do we talk about these terms from a biblical mindset? But I just say at the beginning, all of us are designed as sexual beings. Now, sometimes we don't treat anyone other than married people as sexual beings. We talk about sex in church, and it's for married people, and the rest of you, well, you just kind of figure it out, and so part of it is recognizing, no, the Bible speaks to all of us.

Tim Lundy: [00:12:24] As we look at this, the second thing, sex, as designed by God, is very good. After Adam and Eve are there on that last day of creation, as God looked at it, "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.". He saw it all and he said, it's all good, not just good, very good. And this is right after Adam and Eve have seen each other for the first time, he's created them in that. And so I just say that because sometimes we don't say this enough in church, sex is very good, it's a very good part of God's creation.

Tim Lundy: [00:13:02] And I say this for young people, God is the one who came up with it, he's not weirded out by it, he's not ashamed of it, it's not this dirty little secret for him, he's like, no, this is a core design, it's a core part of it. And so as a young person, especially as you start and you go through puberty, you go through life with that, and you just suddenly have these desires and this attraction and all that, that's part of the design that God has made, and it's good. He knows that, he knows this is going to be a powerful force in your life, he knows this is going to be something that, according to his design, doesn't mean he designed all people to get married, but according to his design, even self-control and sexuality is a good thing.

Tim Lundy: [00:13:47] And we would do well, and here's why I say this, because sometimes it's parents, in our efforts to want to raise young people to stay pure, I was never really a fan of the kind of the whole purity culture that came out of it, and there's a lot of people that they've struggled as a result of it. And you say, well, what are you talking about? There was a movement, and again, it was all out of good intentions, of how do we protect our young people so that they save themselves until marriage because that is God's design? But somewhere along the way, it's almost like in that protection and the purity of the good thing there, sex becomes this bad thing, and this taboo thing, and dating is a bad thing because anything can lead to sex. And so this culture of condemnation instead of control, instead of teaching self-control, it's almost a culture of just let's condemn sex until marriage.

Tim Lundy: [00:14:38] And then, by the way, I've heard from a lot of people that have stepped forward and said, you know, I kind of was taught as long as you save yourself and then you get married and then everything's going to be fine sexually, it's just all fixes. And it's not true for a lot of people, and then they struggle with it, and they almost feel like, wait, it was a bait and switch out of it. That is part of the reason we need to, as a church, as people with young people, with adults, with single adults, that we talk about this in an open way where people that are struggling, where they're learning in it because it is such an important part of life.

Tim Lundy: [00:15:14] And so I encourage you in that, that as we talk about it, we learn together. The human body is very important to God, God made bodies, and again, even as Christians, sometimes we so emphasize the spiritual life, we don't emphasize our human bodies. And yet, when you were redeemed in Christ, you actually redeemed your body. When God created us, look at the time he spent forming the body, do you realize he formed the body before he gave the spirit, before he breathed life into it? Look at it, "The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed." God literally reaches in the dirt and does a sculpture and creates a human. And then out of the man, "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. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman." That word made literally means fashioned, it wasn't just like, OK, let's slap something together, it's like fashioned the woman, "And brought her to the man."

Tim Lundy: [00:16:35] Now, just think about this for a moment. Everything in creation, all the beauty of creation, all the great things we've seen, all of it, he spoke into existence, except those who would bear His image. And he cared enough about their bodies that he stops, he literally forms the man, he fashions the woman. And I just say this, because as we talk about the body, as we talk about these issues with it, at a foundational level, your body matters to God, what you do with your body matters to God. You can't just dismiss it, because it's easy to say, there was a group even in the early church, the Gnostics, they would say, well, as long as you're spiritually OK, what happened spiritually is all that matters, what you do with your body, it really doesn't matter. We've probably have more Gnosticism in the church today than we like to admit, and these principles show us, no, I've got to go back to how God does design it.

Tim Lundy: [00:17:40] All of us were made for relationships and companionship. So when Adam was alone, God looks and everything was good, except for one thing, "Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” I will make a partner. Fit means, corresponds. In other words, I'm going to bring a partner to him to bring what he cannot bring, and together, they're going to be able to fulfill the command. Remember the command? Fill the Earth and rule the Earth, and you need both of them to do both, and so, he says, I bring this partnership out of that.

Tim Lundy: [00:18:14] Now, that's how he fulfilled it with Adam, but in the world today, that's not how he fulfills it with everyone, not everyone is called to be married. If you look in the New Testament, especially, it really teaches, there are different parts. But here's what I would highlight, none of us were called to be alone. None of us were called to be alone, all of us have a longing. And why do I say that? Because remember, we were created an image of a relational God. And so God's always been a relationship, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, have always loved each other and known each other. And so when we're created in his image, there's a core part of us that longs to love, and to be known, and to be in a relationship.

Tim Lundy: [00:18:57] Now, marriage is one way of fulfilling that relational need, but it's not the only way. And I think it would be really important for those of us who are married, we look at our friends who are maybe single adults, and we know, I mean, we always think about, well, they have these sexual needs. If you talk to a lot of them, they would say, do you know what I long for the most? I miss the relationship, I miss companionship, I want to be known in life. And it's one of the reasons the church should be the one to lean into this the most, we are the only group on the planet, we're the only organism on the planet, that has been united by the Holy Spirit so that, relationally we open up our lives, we open up our homes, we create companionship that isn't just marriage-based. And it's important for those of us who are in a marriage to look around and go, how am I doing that, how am I fulfilling that in the way that Christ designed?

Tim Lundy: [00:20:03] So you look at it as well, God's design for sex is for a man and a woman in a lifetime commitment of marriage. Just let me say this explicitly, this is God's design, this is what scripture teaches, and you see it from the beginning. When Adam and Eve came together, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.". That one flesh connection, it's talking about sex is a part of that, it's the core way of consummating that marriage. "The man and his wife were both naked and they were not ashamed.", there's no shame in it, there's openness, there's vulnerability. Now, some have looked at this and they say, well, OK, yeah, of course, that was the Garden of Eden, everything was perfect, is that still the standard for today? If you look through the Bible, when the Bible talks about marriage, you know what, the most quoted verse is? This one.

Tim Lundy: [00:20:59] When Jesus talked about marriage, look how Jesus described it, because they were talking to him about divorce. They said, can we divorce? Divorce was very prevalent in this day, and so they said, shouldn't we be free to divorce? And Jesus said, well, let's go back to God's design, "But from the beginning of creation.". Notice what Jesus is telling us, hey, why don't you go back to the first stories? Why don't you go back to how God launched it? Why don't you go back to the original design so you can learn from it? "God made them male and female.", so he's emphasizing, in a marriage, it's a man and a woman, male and female, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8and the two shall become one flesh." so he's quoting that verse again. And then he says, "So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” So Jesus even adds to it, he says. hey, this is the standard, learn from the beginning, and what God's brought together, you hold fast to that.

Tim Lundy: [00:21:55] And I just say this because you'll hear a lot of people today when they talk about this and all with it, they want to redefine it. And guys, God said it pretty clearly and explicitly, and he designed sex to be between a man and a woman in that lifetime commitment of marriage. Why, because God's anti-sex? No, remember, he's the one that created it, he knows how it's designed, he knows how it's most fulfilling, he knows what's important about it, and he knows the context that he created it for. And as you look at this, and especially how sex is today in our culture and it's used everywhere, you know, I think of God's response to what we've done to it, and I think we always picture God mad. I think God is sad, if anything, because he knows how beautiful it is, he knows what a gift it is.

Tim Lundy: [00:22:55] It'd be like, let's say I was a billionaire, had money to burn, and I wanted to bless you. And I said, do you know what, do you like art? And you go, oh, we love art? I go, I want to give you a piece of fine art, I mean, a world-class piece like Monet water lilies, or Van Gogh's Starry Night, I love Starry Night by Van Gogh. You know, they sell for $80-90 million upwards even now. If I gave you, if I had the ability and I gave you that piece of art and I go, this is my gift to you. And then a couple of weeks later, I come over to your house, and as I'm walking into your house I look down, and you're using the Van Gogh as a doormat. I mean, I'd be shocked, that'd be like, hey, what are you doing here? And if you looked at me and he said, oh, you're one of those strict art people, art has to be on the wall, has to be in a frame, you can't touch it. We're very free with our art, we're more open than you are, your categories are too limited. I would walk away frustrated, I admit it, but really sad that you've taken this thing that's so beautiful, and as you've lowered the standards, you're actually destroying it. And the problem with sex is, it's so powerful, it's not just what you do to it, it's what it's doing to you as well.

Tim Lundy: [00:24:43] So, God designed it, he said it's in this context for a couple together. Human sexuality was impacted and distorted by sin. we recognized the fall, when sin came into the world, it impacted how we treat each other, and it impacted our sex lives, it impacted how we think, it impacted, for some people, their sense of attraction, it impacted identity in different ways. Sin has this distorting effect with it.

Tim Lundy: [00:25:06] Look at it from the very beginning, right after Adam and Eve committed sin, "Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked." That's the first thing they know about themselves, isn't that interesting? "They look at each other and they go, woo, I feel vulnerable, "And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 8And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.". They suddenly feel this nakedness, they feel this shame, they feel a need, and notice this, and I think it runs true whenever their sexual sin in our lives, a need to hide from God, to be away from him.

Tim Lundy: [00:25:51] Notice what God does, "But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid..." there's fear connected, "...because I was naked and I hid myself." Remember when I told you these meta-narratives, they explain life, man, does this not describe how all of us respond in different ways when there is sexual sin, or we struggle? "And God said to him, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Sin has marred your life, and this is the first evidence that just comes out in spades with this.

Tim Lundy: [00:26:37] And if you look to it, and here's one of the things I love about the Bible, the Bible is not shy about talking about sex and sexual sin. I mean, if you start just in Genesis, start at the beginning of Genesis from this point forward and look how many times sexual sin shows up even in the first 25 chapters of Genesis. When you go to Genesis 6, do you know why it describes why the world was flooded? The way people treated each other, and there was just this rampant sexual immorality. Right after the flood, one of Noah's sons sees him naked, and there's some sexual shame or sin that he committed in that. You go a little bit later, there's Abraham, Father Abraham having sex with his slave, Hagar, because he's trying to figure out a way to fulfill God's promises in his own way.

Tim Lundy: [00:27:30] Go a little bit later, you see Lot, there's Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah. And angels come to see him, and a group in the city that come for a gang rape, and a Lot of offers his daughters. And then Lot gets out of the city, and a little bit later, Lot and his daughters, they're there, they get their dad drunk so they can sleep with them so they can have babies. Now, even as I'm walking through that, some of you you're like, eww, and this is the Bible, and by the way, it's only focused on the people of God. I say this because the Bible is not shy about representing, man, sex has impacted us and sin has impacted us, and we struggle with ways, and it shows up in this.

Tim Lundy: [00:28:17] And so as we look at this, this distortion that's come because of sin. And yet, even as I say this, and I hope you feel this today because as soon as you talk about sex, you talk about these issues, some of you sitting here, maybe you're struggling with something in your life, and your immediate response is exactly like Adam and Eve. There's a part of you that's terrified that if anybody knows this about me, there is a part of you that's ashamed. And here's one of the number one lies that the enemy wants you to believe, that God is sitting there just so mad at you, waiting for you to get your act together, waiting for you to clean up your life. And yet, go back to the first story, what is God doing in that story? He's looking for them and he goes and finds them. Even in their shame, even in their nakedness, even in their rebellion, even in their sin, God is a God who looks for us. And even in the middle of that, he makes a promise to them that through your seed, through sex, through a baby that will come, will be a Savior, and there's a hope, and there's redemption. See, I love that because redemption in Christ brings forgiveness and healing to every area of our lives, including our sexuality. There's nothing beyond the pale of Christ's redemption, there's no sin, there's nothing you've done, there's nothing beyond what Christ has accomplished for us.

Tim Lundy: [00:30:03] I love how Paul puts it in First Corinthians, and just to give you a little context, First Corinthians talks a lot about sex because Corinth was a very sexual city. There was sex everywhere, and the church was struggling with it, by the way, in different ways. And so Paul, when he writes them, look how he puts it, he says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?" People who are not right with God are not part of his kingdom. "Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral..." And that category is any form of sex, married or not . "Nor idolaters..." People that have made an idol of something in your life. "Nor adulterers..." Now is talking about married people. "Nor men who practice homosexuality, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers." Now if I stop at this point, "Will not inherit the Kingdom of God." Something on this list gotcha, does anybody here struggle with greed? Isn't it funny, though, that's not the sin we go to. We're like, oh yeah, those bad sexual sins. Paul goes, hey, greed is just as bad, any of these sins will keep you out of the Kingdom of God. But then look what he says, "And such were some of you." That's not you anymore. Why can he say that about them? Because they so got their life cleaned up, and they're such perfect people? No, he wrote a whole letter dealing with their issues. But here's what's true about a believer in Christ, "You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." This is why he can say that about them, that's not you because of what Christ did for you.

Tim Lundy: [00:31:58] And so remember, I taught in Romans, our last message in Romans, and over the next several weeks, we're going to walk through this. It's why we're teaching through this book, is as Christians we don't often embrace, this is what it means to be justified, I've been washed by Christ, I've been declared righteous. And if God says it about me, it has to be true because God can't lie. But I know some of you are going, yeah, but Tim, I still struggle with it. And that's where that sanctification, that's where that journey and Christ comes, of how do I walk in my struggles living in my identity in Christ? And here's the core thing I want you to take away on this, especially on this point, our culture is trying to tell you today that your identity is your struggles. That if you're struggling with it, that's who you are, and that's not what scripture says. If you are a Christian, your identity is Christ and all that he is, and all that he's done, and all that he accomplished, and all of his righteousness, that's you, and you've got to embrace that. And then you go, yeah, but I struggle. He'll deal with the struggles, but you've been declared righteous in Christ. And if we don't start with that identity, and this is one of the reasons I think we've got to talk about this more, because we're allowing the culture to convince the next generation they have a different identity based on real struggles. And we've got to call them unashamedly, your identity is in Christ, your identity is in Christ,

Tim Lundy: [00:33:40] As we say that, as well, then, God's good purposes for sex are still fully in place today. And if I were to ask you right now, why did God design sex? What's the purpose of sex? I don't know what your answer would be, we'd probably have different ones in that. Bruce Miller is a pastor in Dallas, he wrote, and he talks about the four-fold purpose of sex that you see in scripture. Four reasons God gave us sex.

Tim Lundy: [00:34:09] The first one is, sex is a celebration of the marriage covenant. It's a celebration of the marriage covenant, and so, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is Jesus talking, "They are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”. So, Jesus is emphasizing that, when a couple comes together sexually in that, it is an ultimate celebration. And I would just say this as a married couple, every time you have sex, you're renewing your vows, you're renewing your commitment to each other. It's one of the reasons Scripture commands that sex is so important in a marriage relationship, it's that renewal of commitment, it's that vulnerability together, it's that openness together in that. What it's teaching here is, sex is not just sex, you can't just go well, it's just sex, I'm not really making that kind of commitment to him when I have sex. Maybe you're single and go, it's just sex, it's just a hookup, it's not that big a deal.

Tim Lundy: [00:35:07] I'll go back to Corinth because Corinth was struggling with this, they struggled with, even in the church, people going to see prostitutes. Now we may look at it and go, ooh. It wasn't this taboo in that culture. In fact, if you go to Corinth, you can go today, a bit of Corinth, there was this thing called the Acrocorinth, this big temple on the top of a mountain filled with temple prostitutes for Aphrodite, thousands of men, and women, and young people. And they roamed the city, and it wasn't even considered, you know, really sex if you had prostitution sex because it's just transactional, there's no relationship there. You didn't mean it, it was just sex, it didn't matter. Probably the closest thing to us today would be a hookup on Tinder. And so, you know, it's just a hookup, it's just Tinder, I didn't mean anything by it. Look how Paul describes it, though, he says. "Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her?". In other words, don't you know, you're making that same commitment that God designed sex for, as a marriage commitment, "For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh." So he says, you don't get to rewrite the design, and as much as you tell yourself it's just sex, it's never just sex, you're writing a check with your body that you may not intend on fulfilling. That's why it's so powerful, by the way, as well.

Tim Lundy: [00:36:34] The second reason for sex, sex is for pleasure between a husband and wife. It's for pleasure, I mean, the Bible explicitly teaches that. If you read through the book Song of Solomon, Song of Solomon is one of the most erotic, explicit books that you will read, about this couple who can't wait to get married, they get married, and once they get married, they get busy, and they enjoy it, and they describe it. And I remember, especially after studying Hebrew, and then you've learned some of the innuendos there, the more you read it, you're like, Whoa! Some of you are going to spend some time in Song of Solomon now, with that. And it's explicit enough that a lot of the early church fathers were like, uh, this is really an allegory, it's not really about sex. No, it's about sex, because it is supposed to be a celebration.

Tim Lundy: [00:37:22] Look how Proverbs puts it, he says, "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth." And then he's describing this wife, "A lovely deer, a graceful doe." I don't know if tomorrow when you give your Valentine's card, you know, if you describe her as a deer, you remind me exactly like that 14 point buck, or actually the doe with it. We don't use that language today, back in that culture, that was like, you're saying, she's really sexy. "Let her breast fill you at all times with delight." And look at that word, "Be intoxicated always in her love." Man, he's talking about celebration.

Tim Lundy: [00:38:01] Now notice how he puts it though, he says, "Rejoice in the wife of your youth." He doesn't say rejoice in your young wife. Nor, is he saying only rejoice in your youth. What he's describing here, and here's the picture in scripture, it's supposed to be a lifetime celebration, a lifetime enjoyment. And it's one of the key reasons, and I just tell you, as young people, you think that the church and God are trying to rob you of all these sexual experiences when you're young. What God is trying to protect, is to give you the best opportunity to have a lifetime of enjoyment of sex, and so that's one of the reasons we protect it in that. That doesn't mean it's without struggles, you may go through illness, you may go through struggles in your relationship. Again, I don't like it when we paint it in terms like, oh, if you just do this. There are struggles in everything, but there's great joy out of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:39:05] The third reason is, sex is for the procreation of children, it's to make babies, and sometimes as the evangelical church, we pull back from this. I don't believe in the Catholic Church teaching, that birth control is wrong. But again, I wonder if we've pulled back so much into controlling, that we forget the miracle of birth? I love in Genesis 4, when Eve has a baby for the first time, she's amazed by it. In Genesis 4:1 it says, "Now the man was intimate with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. Then she said, "I have created a man just as the LORD did!" Or the Hebrew also says, with the help of the Lord. She literally can't believe, in the same way I was taken out of Adam, a baby is taken out of me. I get to do this, I get to be a part of this, this is unbelievable, what a gift.

Tim Lundy: [00:39:55] That's why Psalm 127 says, "Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from him." Do we recognize that a key part of sex is to be able to have kids? And I only say this, I would just encourage you because there's a lot of young couples today, and I know it's hard out there, but there's almost this emphasis so much of, we make sure we have our education, and make sure we're financially stable, we make sure all these things in place, and we keep pushing all the markers back, and one of the things that keeps getting pushed back is kids as well. And I just encourage you, Scripture talks about the delight of having kids. And I say this, I have seven kids, five of them were bore biologically, and they're really expensive, they just are, and messy, and hard, and taxing, but the joy they bring. I mean, if you were to ask me of all the joy that sex brings, which it does, I just told you it's so pleasurable, and all the joy of children, I would say this far surpasses it. And so, I'd just encourage you, sometimes we so control and want to be on top of everything so much, that we lose out on this gift that God's given, it should be celebrated.

Tim Lundy: [00:41:29] The fourth reason is, sex is a celebration of God's loyal love to us. It's God's loyal love to us. Do you realize that when a couple is committed in a sexual relationship for a lifetime, and they protect that, you get the privilege of modeling how God treats us? That's why in the Old Testament, over and over again, when the children of Israel would chase after other gods, or other religions, or put anything else that was an idol in their life, how does God describe it? He calls it adultery because that's what it feels like to him, that I love you, and a sacrifice for you, and I'm committed to you, and you just go chasing after others.

Tim Lundy: [00:42:12] In the New Testament, it describes it the same way, that's how Christ loved his church. "Therefore..." Paul says in Ephesians 5, again, he's quoting Genesis again. Do you see the same quotation? “A man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”. He's talking about, they come together sexually, "This is a mystery, it's profound that two could become one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." And so one of the reasons that we get this privilege, in not only experiencing a sexual relationship but protecting a sexual relationship, is we get to model to the world how much God loves us, and how faithful he is to us in that.

Tim Lundy: [00:42:52] Let me give you a few more things, and then we'll roll out. A few more. One, as Christians, our bodies are not our own to do with as we please. As Christians, our bodies are not our own to do with this as we please. If you are a Christian, you know, you hear the phrase my body, my choice, that's not true as a Christian, it's not true, it's not your body. If you, I have said before, well, it's my body, as long as I don't hurt anyone else. it's kind of my body to do with that. As a Christian, that's not true. Why do I say that? Go back to Corinth again, remember, Paul had to write a lot to this church about it. He says, "Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body." Sex, when you commit sin in it, it actually hurts your own body. And we'll talk in the next couple of weeks about the ways that this shows up scientifically, you see this as well. And then look what he says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you?". If you're a Christian, this is true of you, "Whom you have from God.", you got your body from God. And then he says it explicitly here, "You are not your own, 20for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." And so everything you do with your body, everything you experience, it's under his authority because he's the one that paid the price for you. And I think for all of us, if we just embrace that, the health that brings, but it also may change our thinking in some fundamental ways.

Tim Lundy: [00:44:36] A couple of other things. As husband and wife, we have sexual responsibilities to each other in marriage. So if you are married, look at this when Paul says, "The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4For 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." So if you're a Christian who's married, you doubly don't own your body, it's God's first, and it's your spouse's next. Do you realize that? And Paul goes on in the passage, he says, "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." Paul says you may go through a period where you're not having sex as a couple, you've chosen to do that because it's a time of prayer, he says don't let it be too long, because Satan is going to tempt you. Do you see how he's emphasizing how important sex is in marriage with that?

Tim Lundy: [00:45:36] And we have to be careful in this passage and let me just say this, this passage has been used over the years to the detriment of women. Because a lot of times it was taught, and men, in particular, go, hey, your body is mine, you've got to do what I want, I'm in control. Not realizing how radical this passage actually is for women, because when Paul taught this back in that culture and that day, men owned everything, they owned everything in the house, and they owned their wife. And when Paul suddenly goes, yeah, but in the same way that you have authority over her body, she has authority over yours, remember your joint heirs, it was a core command to both of you. And in that moment, it's this radical thing that empowers women and protects them because you can't bring power or abuse in, if the other person has authority over you. So there's actually a protection that's there, that she matters just as much as you do, especially sexually.

Tim Lundy: [00:46:49] As it continues with it, a couple more things, a committed relationship and/or cohabitation are not the same as marriage in God's design. And I just say this, because if you read the numbers, even in the evangelical Bible churches, of people under the age of 40 or so, it's spiking 60 to 70 percent somewhere in there, and some numbers would say, as long as a couple is in a committed relationship, as long as they love each other, as long as they're committed to each other, as long as they're maybe living together in that, then it's OK to have sex in it. And again, that's not what scripture says. Look what Paul says, he says, "Concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own..." What does he say there, committed relationship? No, he says, wife. If you want to stay away from sexual immorality, you have your own wife, or she has her own husband.

Tim Lundy: [00:47:50] Look, a little later, he addresses it explicitly, "If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed." So he's talking to a guy, you're engaged, you're in this relationship, and you keep crossing the line, "If his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.". Do you hear his prescription? Get married. Get married. And even as I say that some of you may be here today, and you're living together, or you're in a sexual relationship as a couple, and as I say that you just feel you feel the weight of that. Or a lot of times you feel stuck, you just like, OK, we want to, but we can't in that. Again, here's my commitment to you, I've got to speak to you the truth of what the Bible says so that you know what that truth is. And then here's our commitment as a church, let us walk with you. Talk to someone, I promise you, we only teach this because there's freedom. But if your temptation is to hide or to ignore it, you're not going to experience the freedom that Christ offers.

Tim Lundy: [00:49:04] I'll give you my last point here, and then we're going to close out. According to God's good design, sex will be surpassed in the New Creation. You say, what do you mean by surpassed, no sex in heaven? I don't think so, from what I can tell. Look, how Jesus puts it, "Jesus said to them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.". They're trying to trap him with a question, he says, "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven." And so that marriage oneness, that bonding that comes out of that, it's not in heaven. Now, we'll still have relationships in heaven, I have the full expectation to see my wife and family and all that, it's an all things new out of that. But from what I can read out of it, sex is not a part of that. Now, as I say, that some of you are like, I don't know if I want to go to heaven without sex. I remember hearing this as a teenager, my first thought was, oh, crud, I got to get married and have sex before Jesus comes back. I mean, I did. And maybe you feel that right now, the reason you feel that, it's those desires that God's given you, they are good desires. Remember, sex is a good thing, do not be ashamed of that.

Tim Lundy: [00:50:19] But just for a moment, if we can't conceive of a place that is good without sex, what does that say about the position we're giving sex? If Jesus says, in Revelation, that he can make all things new. And the reason I use the word, surpass, God's got something better than sex for you. Now, my mind can't conceive it in some ways, more joyous, more pleasurable, even greater, and no one's limited from it, whether you're married or single, whoever you are, we enjoy that together. See, it takes faith to actually believe that doesn't it? But that's what Christ offers.

Tim Lundy: [00:51:16] If you look in your notes every week, I'll give you some resources, here's a couple of books. This one's a great one for parents, addressing all these issues, we'll reference it again next week. This one, you may not like it, it's more of a theological look of sex, that looks at sex through scripture, it's written by a number of authors. But it's got a lot of weight if you really want to know the theology behind that.

Tim Lundy: [00:51:36] I just say as we close, and I'll close us in prayer because we're at our time now. If you're here today, and in my blitz, I hit something that you're struggling with. Right now, the emotion Satan wants you to feel the most, is hide, don't tell anybody. Because he likes you trapped, and he likes you where you are. And so I say that, no matter what issue I talked about, and no matter what issue we'll talk about over the next few weeks, of people who are struggling, struggling with adultery, and struggling with sexual immorality, people in this church struggling with pornography, struggling with same sex attraction, struggling with sexual identity, the church has all that. And by the way, this is the place to be to struggle with all that, because we serve a God of grace and truth, the Grace who doesn't condemn us, but the truth that can lead us into freedom. I just say that maybe as the service ends, you need somebody to pray over you, you're just feeling the weight of conviction. After the first service, we had some who came down, you might not be in a place you can tell someone yet, just ask them to pray for you, come down with prayer.

Tim Lundy: [00:52:56] You might be in a place where you need to connect, especially if you're struggling, like, we've got some awesome groups, and I'll tell you more over the next couple of weeks. But Warrior Men is a group of men who get together, and they're really honest about these issues. They support each other and they talk so that they can walk and freedom. And Journey Women, who struggle with the same, but also support in the same. And it's done, by the way, your identity is not known, no one knows that you're a part of that, it protects that. But it's people going, yeah, I want to get real about this, I want to walk in truth. You can look online, the resources are there, or ask one of us.

Tim Lundy: [00:53:33] Maybe you're here, you're struggling as a couple, you heard about biblical life coaching today. That's what these couples and individuals, they're trained to just walk with you on the journey, and so that you're not just listening to the voice inside. Maybe you need counseling, it's one of the reasons we work with the Christian Counseling Center so that you can learn and experience grace and truth, and to be able to walk in it. No matter where you are, hear me, I'm glad you're here. And hear me, God's truth actually does bring freedom, even if it's hard to hear.

Tim Lundy: [00:54:14] Let's pray, Lord, I do thank you, I thank you for just Your truth. I thank you for the way that you don't pull punches on these issues, you tell the stories as they actually happen, you present the brokenness in our lives, which makes us see the beauty of Christ that much more. Lord, I pray for anyone today that maybe they're struggling here, would you give them the courage to invite someone in, would you give them the courage to take that next step, to believe they don't have to face this alone, and that there's no condemnation in Jesus? Lord, we pray these things in Christ's name. Amen.



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600