Summary: What the bible says on sexuality and how the bible has had it right all along.
1 Corinthians 6 - Christ shaped sexuality
Today’s generation want their sex and they want it their way. Pure and free. Stripped of all the guilt and restrictions of a former age. Freed the boring chains of marriage . Expressed in whatever way suits them, within limits that they define. It’s been that way for a while now. Since the sexual revolution that swept the Western world in the 1960s and 70s, it’s been this way. But that revolution didn’t deliver. More than 30 years on, we find ourselves not in a sexual heaven, but in a sexual war zone, with broken relationships, hurt, guilt, and confusion on all sides.
What I want to show you today, are some of the ways the bible has had it right all along. How the West has messed it up badly. And I want to send a clear message to our African friends: don’t follow us down this road of so-called sexual freedom. It will only mess up your marriages, your parenting, your sex-life, and your salvation.
But I also want to remind us all of God’s forgiveness. That in Jesus, there is forgiveness, no matter what we’ve done, if we repent. That’s where we’re going.
Our passage today starts with the stern words of 1 Corinthians 6 verse 9. 9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God
It’s an abrupt start. It sounds like language of another age - the wicked. Who uses that word anymore? I mean, it was in old fairy tales - The Wicked witch of the West was in the Wizard of Oz. Or it was a way to praise things in the 80s and 90s. "That’s wicked man". But we don’t use the word like Paul does here anymore. Who does Paul mean by the wicked?
The wicked are those who do these certain things unrepentantly. I explained how you see this last week. There’s a list of character traits. Greedy, Swindlers, and so on. And it can’t mean those who have ever done such things. For all people who sin and repent in the name of Jesus are welcome into the kingdom of Jesus.So it must mean those who do these things unrepentantly.
But what we are given here is a list of what these things are, these character traits, that we must not do unrepentantly: sexually immoral,idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes,homosexual offenders, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers.
Now some of these are easy to take. We still don’t think thieves or swindlers are good. The greedy we’re fairly down on, unless we work for Macquarie Bank. Likewise adulterers, though maybe not for much longer. But more and more, the rest of this list seems outdated and irrelevant, especially the sexual ones.
Let me make this clearer, by explaining what the original Greek means. The sexually immoral means those who have sex outside of marriage. Male prostitutes isn’t quite right - it’s better to see this as the passive partner in male gay sex. And homosexual offenders means the active partner in male gay sex.
And clearing this up makes it seem even more outdated. You might be thinking - who is it hurting to have sex outside of marriage? If the couple is consenting and adult and not related, who is it hurting? Let me start to answer.
See in 1998, the Australian government released a report called ’To Have and To Hold - strategies to strengthen marriage and relationships’. It’s a report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. The results were both fascinating and disturbing. Now I’m going to cite some of the studies from that report, which include results about divorce, separation and more. Now if you’re a child of divorce or divorced yourself, I’m not saying this is you. These are just averages. I’m sure you’re not like these averages. But the point here is to show the evidence that God’s way really is the best way.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies had a Family Formation Project cited in this government report. The study found that after ﬁve years of marriage, 13% of those who had cohabited were divorced, compared to 6% of those who had not cohabited - that is, not lived together before marriage. Ten years later, the proportions were 26% for those who had cohabited and 14% for those who had not. After 20 years it was 56% compared to 27% These ﬁndings have been supported by similar studies in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Sweden. So in every case, if you want a stable long lasting marriage, it’s clearly better not to live together before getting married.