Summary: A chance to recognize that the fence of God’s commands regarding our sexuality are a gift for a fulfilled life
Those guys who get on top of a Brahma bull, grab onto a rope with one hand, and nod for the other guys to open the gate – they’re nuts! It’s one thing to be on the back of that thing, hanging on for dear life and having your teeth rattled out of your skull. But after they let go or are thrown off, it gets worse. That bull, who has been pretty frustrated up to that point, suddenly realizes his opportunity. Now, it’s dangerous! Bull riders who are off the bull’s back have one goal in mind: the fence, and the nearest part of it. So, most of them also minor in sprinting. If they can just beat the bull to the fence, they’ll be OK. Then, they have to get over the fence. And I’ll bet, as they’re just starting over it, they wish it weren’t there or at least that it was shorter. But once they’re on the other side, “Oh, thank you, Mr. Fence, for being here!” and the taller the better! And that fence becomes their new best friend.
I begin with that thought this morning to remind us that the “fence” of God’s law, rather than restrict us, actually provides us with great liberty.
1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.
When God considers the commands He gives us, I don’t see Him looking at them as restrictions. They’re for our good and our happiness. Maybe more than any of the others, we need to hear that in regard to command #7. Exodus 20:14 You shall not commit adultery. (yes, this sermon will be PG13)
The world of which you and I are a part is denying that faithfulness is really that important. They’re asking, “Why faithfulness?” and we need to have some solid answers to that this morning. We need those answers, because the differences between Christian people and non-Christian people in this area of living are cloudier than ever. We need to answer it for ourselves. Why faithfulness?
I. Because Our Faithfulness is the Only Way to Safely Handle Our Sexuality
When it comes to God telling us what we need to enjoy an abundant life, we’re all treated the same.
The fences are there for everyone to get behind. And where our sexuality is concerned, this applies to all of us this morning:
Adultery means sexual contact outside of marriage. The fact that people are unfaithful is nothing new. In 1st cent. Rome, it was very common and widely accepted. Today, it’s still too accepted. The majority of Americans believe adultery is wrong, but our culture still glorifies adulterous relationships all over the place. How many of you can think of one movie or television show that taught adultery was OK?
This command also applies for the sake of a future spouse. If you’re not married but hope to be, consider how this question of faithfulness affects your future spouse, even though you may not know who that person is.
When Jesus pointed back to Exodus 20:14, he said this, Matthew 5:27-28 You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So, this issue of being faithful has application to all of us – married, once married, and hope to be married someday or else I’ll die!
If those reasons aren’t enough to have your attention, then consider this one:
1. We’re all identified by our sexuality.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
I’m pretty confident this morning that your sexuality has a bearing on who you are – that you’re one of those two things – male or female! I realize that even this has been toyed with and shoved around.
It’s your gender that determines whether you’re Louis or Louise. It also has strong bearing on your roles in the home and in the Church. Our gender has a bearing on who we are. Go ahead and deny this fact, but wander into the wrong locker room at the YMCA and you’ll lose your membership!
2. We all need a healthy respect for the power of sexuality
Ill – Remember “Crazy Glue”? It’s little, it’s fast, and once it sets up, it’s crazy strong. Our sexuality in marriage is a lot that way.
I love the story in Genesis 2 where God has Adam name the animals. God was having Adam not only name the animals, but also look for a suitable companion so Adam wouldn’t be alone.
Genesis 2:20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.