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Made for More Andrew Hopper | Mercy Hill Church Logo

Glorify God With Our Bodies (I Cor 6:15-7:2) - Caught Up

Made for More / Andrew Hopper | Mercy Hill Church
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2023 8:00 am

Glorify God With Our Bodies (I Cor 6:15-7:2) - Caught Up

Made for More / Andrew Hopper | Mercy Hill Church

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July 29, 2023 8:00 am

Message from Andrew Hopper on July 29, 2023

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All right. Well, hey, guys, at all of our campuses this weekend, I'm going to invite you to take your copy of scripture out and turn with me to 1 Corinthians 6 is where we're going to be today. But as you guys are turning to 1 Corinthians 6, let me just kind of go ahead and say this. Let's celebrate this together. Guys, this weekend, 170 of us are leaving for Student Youth Camp. All right. So let's let's praise God for that.

And I want to make sure that we are in prayer, a church that is praying over what God is going to do in these students lives. OK, I remember when I was in student camp as a kid, it was one of the funnest and most impactful times of my whole life. And if you wonder if I'm being serious about that or not, this is literally the 1997 Lake Yale Babish Youth Camp T-shirt. OK, I'm telling you. So they cut them a little different back then. The sleeves were a little more three quarter sleeve. OK, so but no, in all seriousness, one of my camp counselors back in the day had one of these shirts.

And I was talking to him a couple of years ago at my back where I'm from and he let me have this shirt. And I was like, man, I'm definitely going to use this as kind of a prop to show, man, it's very impactful. You know, when you're 14, 15 years old and nowadays getting away from technology for a whole week, spending time in community, hearing from the Lord. This is just going to be a radically impactful time for our students. Can I give you three things to pray for church? Will you pray for them?

All right. We're going to pray that students will get saved. We're going to pray the students will get free from sin and we're going to get prayed that many of our students over the course of the different youth camps that we have will be called into vocational ministry or called to be a sent one from Mercy Hill.

All right. To think about already at 14, 15 years old, man, I'm going to spend my first two years after college and I'm going to the mission field as one of our 500 that are sent out. So let's just pray specifically for those a couple of things there. And man, we'll, we're obviously going to celebrate it more later, but I wanted to call our church to pray. I think about Rachel, one of our student leaders that is on staff with us. Guys, she got saved at a student camp when she was 14 or 15 years old because somebody in the church paid a scholarship for her to be able to go. And the reason why she wanted to go so bad was not even all that about Jesus and church.

It was to escape the chaos of her home life. And I think about what students we're going to have that are in that exact same boat this week. Now, let's pray that God gets a hold of their life in a radical way. All right. We're going to dive into our series now. It's called Caught Up and it comes from 2 Timothy 2, 4. Now, I said it last week in the old kind of language. Let me say it this week in more of the language that we use now.

I'm going to put it on the screen for us just so we remember the passage. No soldier gets entangled. Another way to say that is caught up.

And so we decided to go with that because it didn't sound so much like a Disney movie. OK, so caught up in civilian pursuits since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. The idea is we have been grafted in to an army, if you will, for God's mission. And our aim is just like the aim of a soldier. It's not to be all tangled up in civilian life.

It is to think about pleasing the one who has enlisted us into his great mission. Now, what I've told you is being a lead pastor here for over 10 years, being in ministry for a long time before that, I've seen some trends and that's what this series is kind of about. The different trends of how people end up getting caught up and entangled is what we're engaging. OK, sadly, but this is true, different stages bring different temptations. And the sad part is they're almost predictable. You can all I mean, our elders, people that are working in ministry, like you can almost peg life stage with where someone maybe is going to stumble.

Now, it's not always that way. OK, but there are some things that I think are just right on the face of it, a little more kind of worrisome, depending on the life stage that you're in. And one of the life stages that we want to talk about in this series specifically is the season of singleness.

OK, here's the big idea that I want to I want to show you this weekend. The glory, the glory of God should shine in our singleness. But one of the quickest ways that that season gets robbed or we get caught up or we get entangled is because of sexual sin.

Now, let me just let me just say what I know we're all thinking. Are single people the only ones who get in trouble with sexual sin? The obvious answer to that is no. OK, all right. But what we are going to see is that the Bible gives a specific warning for those who are single not to burn with passion. And there are some things you can think about doing, namely marriage. All right. In order to have tools to fight against sexual sin.

And so that's what we're going to get into today. Now, when I say single, I might be talking about high school student, college student. We have young pros, people that are just maybe going to be single for their entire life. I know people that are this way, you know, not a bad company to be in. Like, you know, Jesus was single his whole life.

Paul was single his whole life. You know, so I mean, it's there are people that that's going to be what God has given them. Or maybe you've seen a gifting in their life. We're going to talk about that. We're going to talk about people that are single again.

Maybe you maybe you were married and now you're single again. In any event, there are some specific things in the scripture that I think give us merit to say if you're in that season of life, you need to be watching. As we're told, sin is crouching at the door. Now, this is one of those things that we can apply across the board, right? We can we all need to hear from this.

And that's why let me say this. That's why most of the sermon is just going to be the exposition of the text about what sex is. Thinking about one flesh, thinking about all that kind of stuff. And then at the end, what I want to do is I want to try as we get into chapter seven here for just a couple of verses.

I want to try hard to kind of turn it toward the single folks in our church and just say, hey, man, this is one of those things that we see pastorally. We see it in scripture. So let's all watch out. But certainly if we're in that life stage, let's watch out, right? If you're married here, I hope that I can show you a very high view of sexuality today. All right, we live in a culture with a very low view of sexuality.

And I want to try to show you a high view. I want to try to show you that it is a primary component in marriage. And it's not to be neglected, all right? So we're going to talk about that. But for those of us that are single, what I want to tell you is, hey, sin is crouching at the door. The deck is sort of stacked against you, thinking about the way that our culture views your sexuality. What do I mean by that?

Let me give you an example, okay? When Tiger Woods came out as a sex addict, the only reason people cared was why? Because he was married and his wife was pregnant and all this stuff. You remember? Okay, now that's the only reason why anybody cared.

You know why? Because even without the gospel, even in a non-believing culture, marriage sociologically is given in cultures in order to restrain wanton sexual behavior. Even if you're not a gospel person, there is something about marriage and family.

Let me ask you a question. Why are so much violent crime committed by young, unmarried men? I mean, it is just a reality to the world. There is something about marriage and family that is given common grace, even if you're not a Christian, to restrain some of the evil and some of the wanton sexuality. But what does our culture say? If you're not married, sow your wild oats, right? I mean, you got men who slap their son on the back when they go to college.

I know what he's going to be up to, you know? This type of idea in our culture. If you're single, there is so much of a deck that is stacked against you because the culture recognized marriage is supposed to be the boundary and that's not something that you have in your life, so go for it. Sow your wild oats, get out there on the college camp, whatever it is, okay? And I just want to caution you and say, hey, if the deck is stacked against you, then maybe we talk about sexuality. We see it as a high view and then at the very end, let's kind of turn and let's talk about what our singleness could be like rather than being caught up and engaged in all this sexual sin. 1 Corinthians 6 15 says this, Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?

Never. Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For as it is written, the two will become one flesh or one skin or one body. There's a oneness that is here. But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

Now he starts this discussion and we're going to start this discussion. We are admittedly coming a little bit kind of into the middle of it for the sake of time and trying to hit some of the high notes here, but he starts this discussion by saying, if you are a believer, if you are found in Christ, then you are a member of Christ's body. And it's a very spiritual thing that happens.

Man, when we accept the gospel, admit our sin, believe what Christ has done for us and confess him as the Lord of our life. A very spiritual union happens where we are grafted in to the family of God, to the army for his mission. There's a lot of metaphors in the scripture. And one of the metaphors that you guys probably know is the church is the body of Christ.

Right? We know that. You have been grafted in and are members of his body.

So here's the point that he's making. I think what we believe about the body and soul will lead to what we do with it. If we believe that we are members of Christ, that Jesus resides in us, that the spirit resides in us, that there is this spiritual union that has happened in the gospel, then we are going to act in our bodies and in our lives in much different ways than the rest of the world.

May it never be that we would be joined in these illicit sexual practices. Why? Because we are not our own. He's going to say later, you have been bought with a price.

I mean, he gives all these metaphors. You've been bought. You're not your own. Your body is not even yours.

There is a membership of the body of Christ that happens when we become believers. You know, this is why it's so important for us to teach our kids that evolutionary theory is exactly that, a theory. Okay. It's very important that we don't allow our next generation to be convinced that science has some kind of way proven that there is no God, which is de facto impossible.

Okay. And so there's all these claims that go out there. Why is it so important? Because if all we are is products of evolutionary theory, then of course, we're going to act like animals who view sexuality as just another appetite. I sleep, I eat, I have sex. I mean, it's funny. We look around the world like, why are we having all these sexual problems out of society?

Hello. I mean, if you get all the way upstream and you begin to teach people survival of the fittest and there is no God, how did you think people were going to act? Right? Well, we've got to go back to say, wait a minute. No, no, no. But you are as a believer, even just as a human, you are in a sense, a child of God. You have the image of God.

You are of ultimate worth. Now, as a believer, you have the spirit of God that is residing in you. There is more to you than evolutionary theory. And there is more to sexuality than evolutionary theory. So Christian, as a member of the body of Christ, do not be joined to a prostitute.

And I'm going to extend that and say into illicit sexual encounters that are outside of marriage. He actually says like this. May it never be. Never. He says, perish the thought. That's the idea. May it never be.

Why? Verse 16. Do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? There is all of this imagery that is going on about when you became a believer and the spirit entered you and now you are going on and you're going on with these illicit sexual encounters and you're spiritually and physically getting wrapped up with all these other people. Look what he says. For as it is written, the two will become one flesh.

He's pulling that directly. Y'all out of Genesis 2. And I think what he's saying is pretty simple. And I hope that we understand it today.

It's this idea. There is more going on in the sexual union than the interaction of physical bodies. We become one flesh, one body, one skin. This is where the world absolutely gets this wrong. What the world looks in at the church, the world says, oh man, you guys have a low view of sex because you put all these rules around it. It's like, no world, you have a low view of sex because you don't. I mean, what in your life is super, super important that's not guarded, right?

This is where the church, I think, gets it right. We live in a culture where, listen, I'm just going to tell you, when I was 17 or 18 years old, one of the biggest video game franchises in America that affects 12-year-olds, 13-year-olds is the Grand Theft Auto franchise. When I was in high school, Grand Theft Auto 3 came out. I'm not proud of it, but we had people that we knew that played it. We messed around with it or whatever. I remember to this day being 17 years old and realizing that the way that you got your life bar to go from empty to full in that game was to go pick up a prostitute. That's not a joke. That's the type of video game culture, the type of streaming culture, the type of movie culture that was here 20 years ago. Man, what do you think it's like now?

How have we cheapened it even now? The world says sex is an interaction of bodies. The Bible says sex is the mingling of body and spirit, soul. I don't even know how to really say it. I mean, the imagery is so vast in the scripture about what sex actually is, that the two become one flesh.

It's pulled directly from Genesis. The literal expression is that the two would become glued together, that they would be so tight. There is a bond. This is why when we talk to young couples about getting married, we're like, man, when you get married, there's none of this two bank account stuff. There's none of this like, man, it's your vision for your life. It's my vision for my life. It's my career.

It's your career. There's none of this. It's like there is a oneness. There is a loss of two and a forming of a new one. That's what the Bible is trying to get us to see in marriage. And it's a deep concept. If you can't tell, I even have a little bit of trouble trying to explain the exact union.

Why? Well, Paul calls it a mystery. But you know what he says in Ephesians 5? The mystery is actually how the imagery of sex actually plays into spiritually the gospel and what God has done in your life.

Here's what he says in Ephesians 5. Therefore, man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound. Now, what is he saying there? He's saying the mystery of the union, the Proverbs say this as well, that it's almost like, man, it's a miracle.

The way of a young man with a woman, it says. OK, what he's saying is it's a mystery to see these two become one. But the mystery that I'm referring to, he says, and I'm saying that it refers to Christ and the church. I mean, it's so deep, it's vast, this concept of sexuality and how it plays into even what God has done in your life. I want you to think about the gospel. In our sin, we're cut off from God and we're cut off from his blessing, all right?

But what happened? Jesus Christ came and died on the cross to take the consequences for our sin. Listen, including our sexual sin.

Man, there are so many of us right here and at our campuses this weekend that I'm halfway through the sermon. And you're probably already thinking, man, you have no idea what my background is. You have no idea what I'm coming out of. And it's crazy. And I'm still wrapped up in it.

And I understand that. But I also understand that Jesus Christ saw all that before the foundation of the world. And he went to the cross for you.

He's not scared of that part of your life. And as bad as it is, it ain't bigger than the cross. OK, so what we've got to understand is that when we come to the foot of the cross and we give our life over, the blood of Christ is washing all of that clean. OK, so when he washes all of that clean, he separates as far as the east is from the west.

What happens? Man, we stop short sometimes. The Spirit enters us. The Spirit is inside of us. This is the mystery that we become. Look, we don't become God. OK, there's a difference between Jesus and you and God and you. But there is an interconnectedness that happens in your life. And the best metaphor for it is vine and branch is a good one. Sexuality is a good one.

And that's what the Bible gives us. You know, I mentioned this before. But one time we were up here on a Thursday night, you know, and we did a song. I had not heard the song. It was like a brand new song for our worship team. And man, it was a good song and everything. But it was also, it was one of those songs that was like kind of pushing this lover metaphor a little bit. And I was uncomfortable with it. OK, and I think most of the men were just kind of like looking down. OK, so and I went to our worship team after and I said, hey, listen. I was like, man, I know what we were going for there. But that that song, it just I don't know.

It kind of it kind of made me uncomfortable. It kind of felt like you guys had me and Jesus out in the beach in the rain, walking hand in hand or something. And I don't I don't really know. And listen, this is what one of our worship leaders with respect said. Exactly what is your problem with the metaphor of Jesus as lover? I mean, right between the eyes, man. I was like, look, I don't know.

We're still not doing that song. OK, but but I'm going to tell you, I'm going to tell you, I mean, she's right in a lot of ways because you read the Old Testament and what is one of the dominant metaphors that you see about God pursuing his people? So we've got to understand that God has picked out this aspect of our life to show us something so much bigger than our, you know, than our individual selves. He's he's he's picking this part of our life out to show us something about what he is doing in our life.

And so he's saying, man, you're going to be reckless with that. You can just run around prostitutes outside of marriage, whatever. No, we're not going to do that, says verse 18, 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. You are bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Now, this is interesting. OK, don't you understand that the Bible is telling you here, flee sexual immorality. Another place in the Bible says resist the devil. OK, the devil you can resist.

Sexuality, sexual immorality. You better run. I think that's what he's getting at. It's a little bit of the it's a little bit of the pot of pot of his wife and and Joseph Genesis 39. It's like, dude, she's got your coat. You better run. It's like Proverbs five, Proverbs seven. You better run.

Why? What does he say? For this sin is against your own body. Now, admittedly here, commentators are very torn on exactly what he's saying. Here commentators are very torn on exactly what this means. OK, and I've read them all different ways and different guys are going to preach this different ways.

I think there's some different pathways, but you end up at the same conclusion. All right, probably the pathway that I'm going to take is that the Corinthian believers or the Corinthian culture probably had a slogan. The reason I'm going to say that is because I think Paul is going to do another slogan that they do here in just a minute. OK, there's probably some kind of slogan or some kind of thought in Corinthian culture that was like this. Well, sin is just a spiritual thing. Sin is just a soul thing. It's not a body thing. OK, so even sexual sin is not a body thing. It's a soul. And I think what he's trying to get them to see is, no, there is not this hard line in a Christian's life between body and soul.

OK, we're all sort of wrapped up in one being. And so if you are sinning in this way and you think it's just against your spirit or soul, then what we have is a problem in theology. It actually is a sin against your body. And I think what he's trying to get them to see is that this is one of those sins that will affect your physical health. It is a powerful force. If it wasn't a powerful force, why would all the secular institutions still be trying to control it in middle schools and in high schools? I think we would all look at it and we'd be like, man, you're still taking a low view. And until you take a high view, all the answers that you're given to our culture will be wrong.

And they'll be unhelpful. But I can't get off on that. What I've got to just see here is it's powerful and we know that it's a force.

Mental health, physical health is at stake. You know, Proverbs 5, within the context of adultery, here's what the wisest man that ever lived wrote about adultery and about engaging in sexuality like this. At the end of your life, you groan when your flesh and body are consumed.

So I think he's trying to make a point that's real simple. Like, man, your body was not made for sexual sin. Your body was made to be a temple of the Holy Spirit. And therefore, you were made to glorify God with your body and your whole body has been purchased. I want you to think about the imagery that he's doing here, okay? The imagery, I think, he's doing is saying, oh, you go to a prostitute, you are buying a piece of their humanity, which is one of the reasons why it makes us so evil and heinous.

And destructive and oppressive in a lot of ways, right? But what he's saying, no, what God has done is not that. He didn't come to buy a piece of you.

He bought the whole thing. He has redeemed all of you. You are not your own.

You are bought with a price. And now, listen, you glorify God with your body in singleness or in marriage, but nothing in between. Either you glorify Him or you glorify Him. Either you glorify Him this way or you glorify Him this way, but there's nothing in between.

And many of us, I think, with our sexuality especially because of how it has played into the culture wars and the sexual revolution and feminism and some of these things that have come out of our own philosophies over the last 50 or 60 years. Now, I think what we want to do, there's a story that's told about the old crusaders. I don't know if this is true or not, but they would get baptized before battle and they would be baptized with everything but their sword.

And the idea was, God, I'm consecrating or washing off or whatever, I don't know exactly what the imagery was, but something about God, I'm doing this for you, but I know what I'm about to do with this. And I'm not giving you this sword. I'll give you the rest of me, but I'm not giving you this sword.

And don't you understand we live in a culture that wants to be baptized with our wallah in the air and our sexuality in the air. God, I'll give everything over to you. Just don't talk about those two things.

Don't talk about my money and don't talk about my sexuality and we'll be good. You can have it all, but I'm not going to surrender those two things. But what he's saying here is, no, no, no, you were made to surrender it all. You were made to be a temple of the Holy Spirit. You were made to be a member of Christ.

You were made in order that you would give everything over and glorify God with your body. Now, chapter 7, verse 1 and 2, last two verses we're going to read together here, right? Now, concerning the matters about which you wrote, and this is in quotation marks in a lot of our Bibles, okay? Here's what it says. It is good for a man not to have sexual relationship with a woman or sexual relations with a woman, but because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. Now, here's what I think is going on.

I'm just going to cut right to it, okay? I think what he's doing is this. He is quoting back to them their letter or he is quoting some type of slogan that has become kind of popular within the Corinthian church that says something like, it is good for a man not to have sexual relations, or your Bible might say not to touch a woman, but the implication there is not to have sexual relations with a woman. And here's, I think, what Paul is trying to get them to see. Maybe they have started saying that it's not good to have sex whether you're married or not married. It's that no matter what state you're in, that you're just supposed to abstain, and that's the holy thing to do. And I think what Paul is trying to tell them is this, wait a minute, in singleness, we don't have sex, but if we are tempted toward that end, marriage is a help and a good thing that God has given us. So I think he's trying to get them to see, wait a minute, this concept of, yes, it is good for a man not to touch a woman, that is the right thing, but not within marriage. That's, I think, what he's trying to say. And now here's what he said, now he said this in other places, too, all right? Is it good for a man not to touch a woman unless they're married? Absolutely. And by extension, I think what he's trying to say is, if you can, if you're single and you can stay single without sin and without a divided mind, you should probably do that.

That's counterculture for us. But he's going to say that in another place, too. Look at 1 Corinthians 732, here's why he says it, I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord, but the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. This flies directly in the face of culture, but I think this is exactly what Paul would tell us, he told us, I think he would tell us again today, is something along the lines of, y'all, the general expectation for most believers is going to be that they end up getting married because they can't do this, okay, or because they feel like, man, I'm going to be divided in my mind, I'm going to be thinking about marriage, I'm going to want marriage, but there is a select group of people within the Christian church, and you know who they are?

I think they're Navy Seals, that's who I think they are. That's the idea. The idea is that the church would be supported by a group of single people who are the elite forces of the church, why? Because he said it, they are living a life that is not as divided as I'm worried about my wife, and I'm worried about my kids and their activities, and where they're going to go to school, and I'm worried about all this congregation, I'm talking about me. I've got a first congregation in my home to pastor, right? They're my first ministry, first congregation, man, does that make sense? First congregation, man, disciple, those four kids and my wife, that's my role. That's what I'm called to do. Now, that will absolutely take a bunch of stuff out of me that I could pour out for the kingdom in terms of pouring it out for missions or pouring it out for the sake of Mercy Hill or whatever, but that is my call.

I am thinking about them. That's my first kind of ministry here. I think what he's saying is there are a group of people in single people, maybe they're few and far between. Just statistically, most people in life get married at least one time, but if you can stay this way, stay this way. I think what Paul is trying to get you to see is, man, this idea in a world that is so full of temptation is this, I don't think he's saying marriage isn't evil. I think he's saying marriage is a safeguard for many people who are not going to be able to live the single life without an undivided mind and with an eye always thinking about marriage. Man, we live in a crazy culture, don't we, inundated with pornography and modesty, sexual revolution, feminism.

The culture pushes this stuff so hard. Paul lived in a similar day, and I think what he was trying to get the church to see, if I boil it all the way down, is this. In our culture, here's how we view it a lot of times, married good, single, bad. And I think what he's trying to get the church to wake up and be counter-cultural in this moment is to say, marriage good, single, honestly better for the sake of the ministry and the sake of what God is doing.

And so if you can stay there, stay there. And if not, and if God opens the door, then it's permissible. Man, be married and engage in sexuality to the glory of God.

All right? So here's what I would call us to do by way of application this weekend. Glorify God with your body, whether single or married. Glorify God with your body. Reject the low view of sexuality that is peddled by our culture, that is peddled by Pride Month, that is peddled by all the stuff that we see, all these educational programs, many of them at different schools and all this stuff. It's a low view of sexuality. And the church is called, no, no, no, rejected and adopt a high view of sexuality. Man, our culture wants us to believe this whole thing. I mean, you remember the song, you and me, baby, ain't nothing but mammals.

I mean, did you, do you realize, I saw this, one of the guys I listened to referenced this study, 2016, I'm trying to get it right, 34% of those polled said viewing pornography was wrong, 54% said not recycling was wrong. You think about that. We have a low view, culturally speaking. Man, can we reject that?

And can we bring in a high view? So let me talk to those of you who are married. Then I want to talk specifically to our single folks where sin might be crouching at the door and we'll be done. All right, if you are married, here's what I want to call you to do. Man, I want you to see how important it is to practice one flesh. You could say it like this, sex is one of the highest priorities in marriage, biblically speaking. Now, I understand that age, injury, sickness, man, it will take this ability from us, from all of us at some point in our life, if we live that long, I get that. But what I would say in that moment is, well, then we need to find other ways to think about intimacy and we probably need to mourn something that is lost and grieving.

It's that serious. But for those that are not in that situation and are just simply neglecting this part of your life, I just want to call you and I just want to say, man, we need to reorient this. We need to think about it in a better way. Men need to think about this in a better way. Our women need to think about it in a better way. Man, if you're married, let's hold up a high view of sexuality. And then the second thing I want to address is just for our single people that are here with us across all of our campuses, no matter what stage, maybe you're single again, maybe you're a young pro, maybe you're older than that and you're like, man, it just never happened.

Maybe you're a teenager or you're in high school, college. I want to call you to this, all right? Do you know why it's so important not to waste this stage of your life? Because single-minded, single people can be single-minded for the mission, but they can only be that way if they are not caught up or entangled with the sin of the world. Man, if you can stay single, I would call you to stay single.

Be a Navy Seal, elite force, have the speed and mobility and single-minded track to be able to be on mission. You know, but if not, then let us think about marriage. Now I know what some of you are going to say. Some of you are going to say, man, okay, I don't know that God has gifted me in singleness. I desire to be married, but it's not happened.

And you know, Andrew, if you just haven't noticed, you can't just kind of like snap your fingers and make something like that happen. I do understand that, right? And so here's what I want to call all of our single people to do. I want you to invest in your first marriage as you wait for the second. Now you say, what do you mean my first marriage? Okay, what I'm saying is that you and I as believers, every single one of us, we are the bride of Christ. There is a marriage supper of the Lamb of which we will be in attendance.

All right, so you have a first marriage as a bride, and we need to invest in that. Man, think about the one who pursued us and brought us into relationship with himself. I want you to imagine, man, you're just thinking, I want you to put yourself in the place of, man, you're broken, you're ashamed, you're living in somebody's house that you barely even know. You can't tell anybody your real story because you can't imagine how anybody on God's green earth could leave the husband that bought them out of prostitution and the kids that you bore to him and leave them and go live a promiscuous lifestyle filled with wanton sexuality, drunkenness, all this kind of stuff. And now you're in the house of another.

Can you imagine the shame and the guilt that comes when all of a sudden one day you hear a knock on the door and all of a sudden you hear a voice and you're like, there's no way that it could be him. And actually it's a guy standing on the other side of that door named Hosea. And Hosea has come to buy you back again.

And here's what Hosea says to his wife, Gomer, who left him in the same ways that we leave our God so many times. Here's what he says, you will live with me many days and you will not be promiscuous and live with any other man and I will act the same way toward you. And he lays the money down and he buys his wife back out of this crazy relationship that she is in and brings her back into his home. Can you imagine the feeling of shame and guilt that is all of a sudden washed away when you see the money change hands and you see this husband that is willing to pursue and say, you will come live with me for many days.

I hope you can imagine the feeling because if you're a believer, you've been in that spot, you have been there, you and I are not Hosea, we are Gomer. We have left our first love over and over and over again. And what does he do?

He hems us in, he pursues us, he comes after us. Man, that's a husband. And I want to call you church to think about investing in that marriage and invest in your relationship with the Lord, invest in the ministries that he has called you to. I would say it like this, man, invest in your first marriage. Make your first marriage enough, even if God never decides to give you a second one. You know, I know that many of us desire marriage and it's like, man, it can, it can end up making us want to jump early, wrong person. It can, it can throw us into all types of sexual sin. And what I would say is, wait a minute, no, the scripture tells us this first marriage is enough. The spirit is in us. We can bear the fruit of the spirit.

So I don't want anybody to get the wrong idea. It's like, is marriage a help in the fight against sexual promiscuity? Absolutely.

I don't know how you can read the Bible any other way. If you're not married, do you then have an excuse to go headlong into sexual sin? Of course you don't. Why? Because the Bible has given you everything you need. You have a first marriage. You have the spirit that is within you. And so I would call you to that. Man, we need maturity to understand this.

Man, don't jump early. Don't think about being unequally yoked. Don't get wrapped up in all this sexual sin.

And the way to do that is continually focusing on the God who pursued you. I think about married people in the room thinking about our single brothers and sisters of which there are so many in this church. Can you invite some of them into your life? You know, for many of us, group semester ends. Listen, I've got a wife, four kids, like group semester ends. And it's sort of like, man, I mean, we're just, you know, I mean, we got a little small group in our house all day, every day. OK, so but for single people like group ends and then it's like, man, maybe I don't see anybody other than who I work with for like three weeks other than coming to church on the weekend. You know, can we invite them in to our life?

Parents, let me let me talk to you. Mission, you know, community groups, let me talk to you here for just a minute. Are we constantly pushing single people to marriage as if we think that's the ultimate goal for their life? We should be pushing them to mission. That's what we should be pushing them to.

Not to waste, but to leverage this season of their life. And the last thing I'll say is this is just a bunch of little popcorn kind of applications here, the last thing I'll say is this. Listen, man, if you are if you are single and that is turned into cynicism because God is not giving you something that you thought maybe it's even turned into anger. I just want you to understand today, man, that's not a single problem. It's not a married problem. That's a human problem.

It's a sin problem, man, because every one of us can get in a cynical place because we didn't get that promotion or our kid didn't make that team or we didn't get into that school or whatever it is. You know, my kids, when they were younger, it used to drive me nuts. They would be at the end of the day, they're falling apart because they didn't get the big scoop of ice cream.

They got the little scoop of ice cream. And finally, I would just sit them down, look right in their face, and I would say, do you understand that every single thing we have done today has been about you? I mean, the whole world has revolved around you all day today, you know? And I feel like I was even telling others the other day, oh, man, that has been, you know, sometimes God used our kids to teach us something about ourselves. To teach us something about ourselves, I'm like, man, how much of that is so true in my life where instead of thinking about all the things that I could be grateful for, I'm just hung up on the one thing that God hadn't done the exact way that I wanted him to do it, right? And so I think about that for those of us that maybe are feeling lost right now, or maybe you're in a season of singleness right now, then one thing we can do is as part of investing in that first marriage and our relationship with God, can we count our blessings and name them one by one? All right, let's pray. Father, we come before you, and Lord, we are grateful for your teaching.

It's so practical for us. Lord, we know the destruction of sexual sin and the epidemic that we face in terms of pornography and cohabitation and just all the things that are going on. Lord, I pray right now, Father, that you would fortify our church by bringing us back to our first love. And God, I pray that all of us, married or single, would understand the implication of being a member of the body of Christ, not joining with any other person outside of the sexual union in marriage. And Father, I pray that if there is sin, God, in our church here, Lord, that you would uncover it through the relationships that are here. God, I pray there would be confession and we could see freedom and forgiveness. In Christ's name we pray. Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-29 16:24:16 / 2023-07-29 16:42:30 / 18

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