Sermons

Summary: Since 'sex' is a topic we hear and read about everywhere in our society, doesn't it make sense we hear about it in church as well?

“Getting A Clue: What Do I Need to Know About Sex?”

Gen. 2:18-25; 1 Cor. 6:12-20

I imagine today’s sermon title, “What Do I Need to Know About Sex”- raised some eyebrows – and maybe even some temperatures. Some perhaps stayed away – some perhaps came – because of the tile. But since it’s a topic we hear and read about everywhere else, doesn’t it make sense we hear about it in church as well? Since people, especially youth, are being told to equate sexuality with identity and to wear sexuality as a badge of honor, doesn’t it make sense for the church to speak up?

Let’s be honest. Most of us were raised with the conviction that there was something wrong if a person had sex outside of marriage, at any age. Today the norm is that there’s something wrong if one has not had sex before or outside of marriage. That is what is promoted in a majority of media that bombards us everyday. As Carolyn Ross has written: “Today, children are being sexualized earlier and earlier, in part because they are exposed to sexual material in movies, television, music and other media earlier than ever. With widespread access to the Internet, curious teens may accidentally or intentionally be exposed to millions of pages of material that is uncensored, sexually explicit, often inaccurate and potentially harmful…Children as young as 8 and 9 are coming across sexually explicit material on the Internet and in other media. Although research is just beginning to assess the potential damage, there is reason to believe that early exposure to sexual content may have (numerous) undesirable effects. (i)

Consider this: you can add the total yearly revenues for the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and the National Basketball Association and not equal the revenue for one year of the pornography industry. The latest figures I could find showed an annual revenue for pornography, just in the United States, was 13.33 billion dollars. That means that in the United States alone, $3075.64 is spent every second on pornography.(ii) I could give many more statistics but that would be to digress. Suffice it to say we need to decide who will give the message to the current and future generations. We can leave it up to the government, the schools, and/or the media – or we can decide it’s time for the church to speak up loudly and clearly.

There is a story about an English teacher who allowed her car to roll through a stop sign. She was immediately pulled over by a young police officer. The officer turned out to be a former student of hers who immediately recognized her. He couldn’t resist saying: “Mrs. Smith, a stop sign is meant to be a period, not a comma!” We need to reinstate the stop signs in our society. Our sexuality is a gift from God. It is to be exercised with discipline. (iii) That brings us to the Apostle Paul and his first letter to the church at Corinth.

In 6:12-14 Paul lifts up the Corinthian Christians CURRENT THINKING about sex – which in actuality sounds much like today’s thinking. The first line of thought is that since we are free in Christ – a teaching they had received from Paul - EVERYTHING IS PERMISSIBLE FOR ME. It’s like a free agent athlete who has the power to sign with anyone – what he does is entirely up to him. So, said the Corinthians, since we are not under the law but have great freedom, we can sign on with anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Paul first responds, NOT EVERYTHING IS BENEFICIAL. Paul doesn’t deny their freedom; rather he gives them a principle, a question, to ponder – is it beneficial? Who or how does it benefit? For example, we can build a fire in a fire ring or we can build it in the open field next to our house. I have freedom to do both. The one in the fire ring can be very beneficial. It can radiate warmth, and we can roast hotdogs and marshmallows and make hobo pies over it. But the other in the field will burn wildly and cause great damage. Similarly, Paul points to the fact that sex without boundaries is a wildfire that leads to great damage and brokenness. The Bible makes it clear. The Bible shows severe consequences for abusing sexual freedom. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were removed by God. The incest of Lot with his daughters produced two nations of wicked people who troubled Israel. Revenge on Shechem’s violent relations with Dinah resulted in the murder of every man in the city. The sexual sin of Reuben in Genesis 35:22 is exposed and punished later in 49:3-4. The lust of Potiphar’s wife sent an innocent man to prison and the lust of Samson brought his and his nation’s downfall. David’s adultery led to the death of an innocent man and also of his infant son. Amnon’s violent relations withTamar prompted Absalom’s murder of Amnon. Solomon’s sexual partners caused him to stray from God and bring judgment on the nation. Do you see this important biblical pattern?(iv) Everything is not beneficial.

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