Sermon – May 21, 2017


Deuteronomy 22:13-30 – The Holiness of Sex (mp3)

Sex is pervasive in our culture.  From the wide acceptance of pornography, to the cheeky double-entendres in children’s movies, our culture is obsessed with sex.  Sex is neither as important nor as seemingly unimportant as our culture makes it out to be.  Rather, understood biblically, it is a good gift from God to be enjoyed inside of marriage, and helps us to understand something of the nature of our relationship with God.

1. Sex unifies
From the very beginning, sex was meant to unify a man and a woman together, to be one flesh.  This union is not just physical, but social, emotional, financial, and psychological (Gen 2:23-25; Deut 22:28-30).  This unity has far reaching consequences for humans rarely reckoned with in today’s culture. Further, just as God’s image in humans has factored into our understanding of authorities and murder, it also becomes important here.  Our union one to another speaks of the very nature of God, and our union with him.

2. Sex is of public interest
Sex is not simply a private matter.  Our culture, which once cried with a loud voice that what happens in private should stay private, now knows better.  So it was in Israel: because of the image of God engraved into humans, and the important matter of how that image was portrayed in sex, the very nature of sex in Israel was of corporate importance.  Therefore, the punishments were public (22:21, 24) and involved whole cities; their sin said something important about the nature of God and God’s relationship with Israel. The act of sex is never truly private.

3. Sex can invite violence
Sex, when not handled correctly, always involves some sense of violation and is inherently violent.  This is not just in cases of rape, which is far more than just physical violence.  But the tearing apart of what has been unified together will always cause violence.  Because of the violence done in offense, God demands a violent punishment.  This is not for the church to hand out, nor for us to legislate.  But it is for us to warn of, as Christ himself will come to judge (Rev 17).

We are given a great gift and powerful from God in sex.  Therefore, handling that power in the right manner is of obvious importance.  When it is mismanaged, sex leads to a destruction of the image of God, violence upon both men and women, and the unraveling of society. But we have good news! In Jesus Christ the sins of the past can be forgiven, God’s image can be newly remade in you, and a new and holy kingdom has been established.  Let not our sexual sins define us, but rather our true and abiding faith in Jesus Christ to undo even the most disastrous of sins, and to make us pure and holy before him in love!