A 150 years ago, there wasn’t much confusion about the meaning of sexual immorality, the same was true 100 years ago, even 50, but today; that’s a whole different story. We have names for sexual practices and proclivities that none of us had even heard of when I was in my 20’s, and things that were frowned upon in society then are now matters of human rights and Constitutional protection, even though the authors of the Constitution would be mortified to hear of it.
Maybe these are the ramblings of someone who is just past his prime… you can judge that for yourself.
Not too long ago, a preacher friend of mine was telling me that he has people, mostly on the young side as he is, who ask him questions about sexuality, questions for which they seek answers, but which he has a hard time answering because they are asking about things that aren’t in the Bible, and even when they are in the Bible, he feels like the answers he gives are sounding very hollow in light of the changes in society, changes that have come upon us very quickly.
So what exactly is sexual immorality?
It strikes me that this might be the wrong question; maybe we should ask what sexual morality is, rather what sexual immorality is. In our investigation of the image of God and its significance, we have already found that answer, and it is such a significant answer that it is actually a central part of God’s eternal purpose from the very beginning. We have seen that God made us in His image, our bodies, souls and spirits comprise His image in both male and female. We have seen that because of this, a man leaves his parents and unites as “one flesh” with his wife in the ultimate expression of their love for one another, and that their physical union is symbolic of Christ and the church.
God’s love is expressed in His giving life to us; our love is expressed in giving life to new image bearers, so that in each case life is the result of love.
It is altogether fitting and proper for a man and woman to become one flesh in marriage, and their sexual union is a gift from God: It is also sexual morality, and we have already cited the Scripture to support this.
Sex outside of this relationship, whatever you might see fit to call it, is not the exercise of the gift as God intended it to serve His purpose and makes a mockery of His image, which is why the Bible makes such a big deal about it.
There is the information, simple and clear as it is; the real question before us is, “What will we do with the information?”
Next time, let’s think about that, and talk about it a bit…