Better Than Wine!
Many unbelievers mock Christians as ignorant of the pleasures of sex simply because we strive to avoid their sexual jokes and their sexual immorality. We Christians, however, have the fullest tap into the goodness of God and his gift of sex to mankind. In fact one whole book of the Bible is dedicated to the physical love between a husband and his bride. “The Song of songs, which is Solomon's. Beloved: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for your love is better than wine. Your oils have a pleasing fragrance. Your name is oil poured forth, therefore the virgins love you. Take me away with you. Let us hurry. The king has brought me into his rooms” (Song of Solomon 1:1-4 WEB). Read the whole book of Song of Solomon and discover for yourself that God and believers know that sex is better than wine.
Before The Curse – A Beautiful Flower
God created marriage between one man and one woman from the very beginning to bless mankind with companionship and pleasurable physical union, and this without shame. “Yahweh God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ Out of the ground Yahweh God formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock, and to the birds of the sky, and to every animal of the field; but for man there was not found a helper suitable for him. Yahweh God caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. He made the rib, which Yahweh God had taken from the man, into a woman, and brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh. They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:18-25 WEB). Wowzer! Sounds good to me!
Under The Curse – A Trampled Rose
However, Adam and Eve sinned and so sin entered the world and every individual person. Consider the terrible account of King David’s sexual sin. “It happened at evening, that David arose from off his bed, and walked on the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful to look on. David sent and inquired after the woman. One said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in to him, and he lay with her (for she was purified from her uncleanness); and she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, I am with child..... David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. He wrote in the letter, saying, Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire you from him, that he may be struck, and die..... The shooters shot at your servants from off the wall; and some of the king's servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also..... When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she made lamentation for her husband. When the mourning was past, David sent and took her home to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased Yahweh. Yahweh sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, ‘There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and raised. It grew up together with him, and with his children. It ate of his own food, drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was to him like a daughter. A traveler came to the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man who had come to him, but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man who had come to him.’ David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, ‘As Yahweh lives, the man who has done this is worthy to die! He shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity!’ Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man. This is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that would have been too little, I would have added to you many more such things. Why have you despised the word of Yahweh, to do that which is evil in his sight? You have struck Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword will never depart from your house, because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.' This is what Yahweh says: 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he will lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.’ David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against Yahweh.’ Nathan said to David, ‘Yahweh also has put away your sin. You will not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to Yahweh's enemies to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.’ Nathan departed to his house.” (2 Samuel 11:2-12:15 WEB). Even true believers sin greatly and are punished by the Lord. David committed adultery, murdered to cover it up, and was severely punished by God even to the loss of his child.
Inside Christ – A Precious Gift for the Christian Family to Protect
“Pharisees came to him, testing him, and saying, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?’ He answered, ‘Haven't you read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall join to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?' So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, don't let man tear apart.’ They asked him, ‘Why then did Moses command us to give her a bill of divorce, and divorce her?’ He said to them, ‘Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been so. I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries her when she is divorced commits adultery.’ His disciples said to him, ‘If this is the case of the man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry.’ But he said to them, ‘Not all men can receive this saying, but those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake. He who is able to receive it, let him receive it" (Matthew 19:3-12 WEB). Jesus restores his standard of excellence for marital commitment and also reminds us that some have forsaken marriage for the sake of Christ’s kingdom.
Paul’s letter to Corinth reminds us again that true believers can sin in grievous ways and that grace demands a firm response, even disassociation if no repentance. “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles, that one has his father's wife. You are puffed up, and didn't rather mourn, that he who had done this deed might be removed from among you. For I most certainly, as being absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as though I were present, judged him who has done this thing. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, are to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole lump? Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed in our place. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, neither with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my letter to have no company with sexual sinners; yet not at all meaning with the sexual sinners of this world, or with the covetous and extortioners, or with idolaters; for then you would have to leave the world. But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Don't even eat with such a person. For what have I to do with also judging those who are outside? Don't you judge those who are within? But those who are outside, God judges. ‘Put away the wicked man from among yourselves’ " (1 Corinthians 5:1-13 WEB)
God’s people are called to holiness. “Flee sexual immorality! ‘Every sin that a man does is outside the body,’ but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20 WEB).
The New Testament teaches that sexual union is blessed within the bonds of marriage for his people. “Now concerning the things about which you wrote to me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But, because of sexual immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection owed her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife doesn't have authority over her own body, but the husband. Likewise also the husband doesn't have authority over his own body, but the wife. Don't deprive one another, unless it is by consent for a season, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and may be together again, that Satan doesn't tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:1-5 WEB).
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled: but God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers” (Hebrews 13:4 WEB). Sex within marriage is blessed, but sexual immorality will be judged.
Outside Christ – Sexual Sinners Judged
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21 WEB). The sexually immoral will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
“But for the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8 WEB). The sexually immoral are sentenced to eternal fire... if their sins are not paid for.
Adultery and Homosexuality as Judgment?
“The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit: he who is under Yahweh's wrath will fall into it” (Proverbs 22:14 WEB). This Scripture says something extremely difficult to fathom. People fall into adultery following the wrath of God. Men fall into adultery because they are under God’s wrath for other provoking sins.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse. Because, knowing God, they didn't glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error. Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:18-32 WEB). This Scripture is also extremely difficult to understand. People are handed over to homosexuality because of God’s wrath. He does this because they 1) didn’t glorify God or give thanks and 2) traded the worship of God for the worship of corruptible man, birds, animals, and creeping things.
How could our good God do something this terrible?!?! Consider a father who loved his child and gave that child a beautiful Christmas present. The child rather than being thankful to his dad for the present instead played with that toy and worshipped it. The father attempted repeatedly to reach out with tender affection to that child intent that thankfulness and affection would be returned. But the child no longer responded to his father’s voice nor would even look him in the eyes, but only toward his precious Christmas present. I tell you that because of that father’s intense, jealous, fiery love for his child he found a crude mallet, placed it into his child’s hand, wrapped his own hand around his beloved child’s, and smashed that precious Christmas present to smithereens with great passion! Then... then that child looked into the eyes of his father with astonishment and they finally began to have a conversation, though difficult at first. Such is God’s purpose should he hand his chosen ones over to their idols, as understood by one who had his own toys smashed.
Lord God, in wrath remember mercy!
My Teacher Eats Food, Temptation is Common, and Escape is Available!
The story was told of a child who saw his teacher shopping for groceries. The child exclaimed, “Mom, I can’t believe it! My teacher eats food!” That child’s egocentric world was pretty small. He had only ever seen his teacher sitting behind his desk and never once in the lunch room. Such was my case when I first began to face temptation as a youth. Self-centeredness kept me from seeing that other good Christians also struggle with sin. Paul teaches us, “No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 WEB).
Yes, everyone is tempted, but do you want to find that way of escape. Let’s move from silence, fear, and ignorance in Christ’s family so that we can encourage one another to receive forgiveness for sexual sin, strive for purity, and, yes, enjoy sexual pleasure within Christian marriage as God blesses.