Sex and the Word of God

Jun 11, 2020 by

by Keith Sinclair, Church Society:

We are all here because of sex. A man and a woman have sex (married, perhaps) and we came along. Sex, like death, like life, is universal. We need no apology for speaking about it. This edition of Crossway should be a resource for the Mothers’ Union, Youth Groups, school lessons, home groups and sermons. In this article I want to consider the sweep of the word of God, as it talks about sex and marriage and love, to see how the Spirit of God wants to speak to us and shape us to be his community in this hour of the life of the world.

I want us to see how all pervasive the words about sex and marriage are throughout the Bible, not only in law and instructions and doctrine , but also in the lives of those who show what it is to receive the word of God and live within it, and especially how these show the reality of our flawedness and brokenness and sinfulness in sexual matters, as in so much else. In the Old Testament, the references can be broadly grouped into “Gift and Promise”, “Sex and Marriage”, and then “Rebuke and Warning”. In the New Testament the texts are more mixed, both Gift and Rebuke sometimes in the very same verse, but all given for the wellbeing of the community as well as the life of the individual believer.

First, “Gift and Promise”, which begins with the beautiful core texts from Genesis 1 and 2. How could there be a higher description of our dignity than to be the image bearers of God? God says to us in his word: ‘You are like me. You think, you love, you trust, you desire; you are men and women.’ People say that my older son, Peter, looks just like me and he does. I am different from my son and the living God is different from us, gloriously different, but we bear his image, just as Peter bears mine.

Everything else in the whole of Scripture about sex, men and women, and marriage, comes from this text. The Spirit of God in the second account of creation, in Genesis 2, speaks of the physical union: ‘Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, one flesh’. This is sex. And as this is Genesis, before the fall, the man and the woman are naked and not ashamed. And, as Genesis 1:31 tells us, ‘It is very good’. This text is quoted by Jesus in Matthew 19:4-6, and by St Paul in Ephesians 5:31. This is God speaking and he has not stopped speaking: Sex is still for a man and woman and sex is still for marriage between a man and a woman.

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