The marriage covenant celebration of sex not only points a husband and wife to their one-flesh union, but for the one who has eyes to see it, it also points to the union we enjoy with Christ. Even the bliss we can experience in sex points ahead to the bliss of the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Knowing Jesus really does change everything. Not only does it mean that I know that I have a relationship with God, that my sins are forgiven, and that I will be in Heaven forever after I die–but knowing Jesus changes all of life now.
Knowing Jesus changes how I think about work, finances, friendship, parenting, marriage, and yes–also sex. You might even be able to say, “especially sex.”
For example, knowing Jesus changes how I think about work being for God’s glory, but some of the biblical principles that change how I work are also principles that are often still looked upon highly in society–working hard, for example, or providing for my family.
But the ways that knowing Jesus changes how I think about sex are not something that our culture usually agrees with–or even comes close to understanding. I think as believers, we have to be ok with that to a certain degree. After all, without knowing Jesus we would surely think about sex very differently than we do. Here are three ways that knowing Jesus radically changes how you and I think about sex.
1. Knowing Jesus shows me that sex is for only within biblical marriage.
When I was in High School and heard the “locker room talk” from other guys around me, it was obvious that there was a huge difference in the way that the world generally thought about sex, and the way that followers of Jesus are called to think about sex. But I had no idea then the complexities that the current “sexual revolution” was bringing to the way that people would think about sex just two decades later. In my first week of Spanish class, I learned words like “food” and “homework.” In my son’s first week of Spanish class, he learned the word “bisexual” (yes, it is spelled the same in Spanish and English). Yet all societal changes aside, whether in the 90s or 2020s or the 60s or the time of the Roman Empire, knowing Jesus shows me that sex is for only within biblical marriage.
No matter how much our cultural tides may come and go, God’s design for sex continues to be obeyed only within the committed monogamous covenant relationship of marriage between a man and a woman.
The Apostle Paul saw this understanding of sex as so basic to knowing Jesus, he wrote an entire paragraph about it to the young church in Thessalonica: “…For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” (1 Thessalonians 4:2-8)
God knew what he was doing when he created sex and the parameters that would ultimately bring us joy and human flourishing. He knew that sex is powerful like fire, and that it can bring great destruction like when a house burns down, or great warmth and joy like when a fire stays within a fireplace on a snowy night.
It takes faith to really believe this today. But it doesn’t take a lot of analysis of the consequences of sexual sin to realize that the Creator knew exactly what he was doing when he loved us enough to give us the gift of sex, and loved us enough to give us the parameters for sex.
2. Knowing Jesus shows me that my sexuality is a power to be used for my spouse’s benefit.
Everybody knows that sex is powerful. Advertisers leverage this. Abusers take advantage of this. All sorts of people experiment with this. Christians, however, in obedience to God’s commands, use this power to benefit their spouse (1 Corinthians 7:1-5).