Professing Christians commit adultery, fornicate, use pornography, and watch sexually charged movies. But God’s will is “your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thess. 4:3). Before you judge the world judge yourself. Without holiness we have nothing to say to the world. And without it we will not see the Lord (Heb. 12:14).
Popular opinion concerning sexuality is changing rapidly. “It took more than a century for the homosexual movement to win cultural affirmation. Transgenderism’s acceptance happened much more speedily, partly due to the path carved out by the homosexuality movement.” The traditional boundaries defining appropriate sexual activity are nearly obliterated. Of the manifold sins prohibited by the Seventh Commandment only a few are generally considered negative today. Even these—rape, incest, and polygamy—have their advocates. Before we can process what these cultural changes mean we are already being pulled onto the bandwagon.
On top of the ideological pressures placed on us by a changing culture we have our own sexuality to properly steward. We need Scripture’s clear testimony to how God views sex and how we can honor his plan for our sexuality amidst changing sexual mores.
How Does Scripture Address Sex?
Our sexual ethic must be shaped by a standard more settled than shifting human opinions. Both nature and Scripture tell us that there is a God who created the universe and who tells us how his world works best. And he says a lot about sex.
Early in the Bible God assures us that he approves of sex. After crafting Adam and Eve with different but compatible sexual body parts he said, “This is very good” (Gen. 1:31). From the start he urged properly married couples to be sexually active (Gen. 1:28) while providing grace to single people to practice sexual purity (1 Cor. 7:7–8). Appropriate sex is good. But we must “flee sexual immorality” because sexual sin is uniquely destructive (1 Cor. 6:18).
Sexual integrity has always been challenging. But few sexual issues are currently troubling the church more than homosexuality and transgenderism.
How Does Scripture Address Homosexuality?
God recognizes as a legitimate conjugal union the committed, exclusive joining of one man and one woman. “From the beginning of creation,” Jesus said, “God ‘made them male and female…For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh’” (Mark 10:7–8).
Homosexuality is a sin that violates God’s design. God judged Sodom because her people had “given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh.” They became an “example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7; Genesis 19). God forbids men to “lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination” (Lev. 18:22; cf. 20:13). This is abiding moral law, an expression of the seventh commandment by which God forbids fornication and sodomy (1 Tim. 1:10). Those who express “vile passions” in homosexual acts contrary to nature have “suppress[ed] the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18, 26–27). Along with everyone who allows sin to define them, neither “adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality … will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9–10).