A little sex education

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

-- 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, ESV

Sex is as old as the Scriptures. "Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived" (ref Genesis 4:1). This does not mean he knew who she was, or knew she was in the room. This means they had sex. But it's OK. They were married, after all. And, they were in a covenant relationship with God, subject to His commandments.

God's view on sex has not changed since the beginning. It is a gift best enjoyed by one husband and one wife for one lifetime. This rule applies, with little exception, to people in a covenant relationship with God.

Sure, there was some weird stuff going on in Old Testament times. In Levirate marriage, a widow was given to the closest kinsman of her deceased husband. But, I think this was providing he did not already have a wife. If so, then another kinsman down the line would do. That's how Boaz wound up with Ruth, in spite of the presence of a closer male relative.

I'm not sure what to make of dudes like David who had multiple wives. Obviously, he loved the Lord, but he made some whopping mistakes, including in this area, that came back to bite him on the backside. Eventually, such sin by him and his son, Solomon, led to the demise of Israel.

"Sexual immorality," as referred to in 1 Corinthians 6:18, is anything outside the perfect parameters God has set for sex. This would include fornication, which is any sex outside of marriage. Adultery is forbidden sex by or with a married person you are not married to. Though homosexuality and the marriage of two is legal in 50 states, it is not compatible with God's word to God's people, so the church should classify it as immorality, also.

God said to "flee" from it, an interesting word used often in the New Testament. It means to run away from something awful, hurtful, destructive. It is used in God's word to warn God's people to flee from danger, persecution, killers, and wrath. This puts sexual immorality in bad company, as it should be, for it damages and destroys souls, marriages, families, churches, and entire cultures.

The only validity of sexual immorality is it offers a permissible reason to divorce an unfaithful spouse. Along with abandonment, these are the two principal reasons a Christian would ever seek divorce and remarriage. Having the hots for someone else or so-called irreconcilable differences didn't make it into Scripture.

One important note. This commandment is given to those whose "body is a temple of the Holy Spirit." In other words, it applies to true, born again believers in Jesus Christ who are members of His church. The law of the land may apply to everyone else, but God's word on any subject is the gold standard for Christians.

I cannot take issue with those outside the church who engage in biblically defined immorality. As a matter of fact, I have had many family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors through the years who lived alternative lifestyles. I show them love, respect, and kindness. If and when the opportunity presents itself, I also show them a better way.

What I am advocating is for God's people to take God's word seriously and show love and respect for God, and for one another, by keeping His commandments regarding sex and marriage. I do not know of anything that has done more damage to the church, and subsequently, the society to whom we bear witness, than sexual immorality among the leaders and members of the church.

If this hits you where you're at, there is some good news. We don't stone sexually immoral people in the New Testament. We love them, forgive them, and offer them a little sex education.

Chuck DeVane is the pastor of Lake Hamilton Baptist Church. Call him at 501-525-8339 or email [email protected].

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