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The Sexual Captive

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
March 19, 2024 9:00 am

The Sexual Captive

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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March 19, 2024 9:00 am

As we continue our series called, Can’t Believe, we’re talking about an important but sensitive topic: sexual sin. Despite what many people think, the Bible isn’t against sex. In fact, God designed it! But sex can easily turn from a good gift, to something that enslaves us and holds us back from saving faith. We’re looking at two different examples from John Chapters 4 and 8.

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Today on Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. This woman has gone to the well of romance. She has gone to the well of sex to satisfy the thirst of her soul. And just like the water that she drank, it would satisfy her temporarily, but ultimately it would just leave her thirstier. What she has done every day with that water pot for her physical thirst, she is doing with sex for her soul thirst. Welcome to Summit Life, the Bible teaching ministry of Pastor J.D.

Greer. As always, I'm your host, Molly Vidovitch. Today we're talking about an important but sensitive topic, sexual sin. And despite what many people think, the Bible isn't against sex.

In fact, God designed it and celebrates it as a wonderful part of the marriage relationship, but it can easily turn from a good gift to something that enslaves us and holds us back from saving faith. Do you want to know how? Well, you joined us at the right time today because we are here to set captives free by the power of God's word. We've just began a teaching series called Can't Believe.

And if you missed the first message, remember you can hear it anytime at jdgreer.com. Now grab your Bible and pen and let's join Pastor J.D. in the book of John. We're going to discuss those who can't believe because they are sexual captives. And what I mean by that is people who are slaves to their desires and because of the enslavement they have to their sexual desires or their desires for romance, they can never really take the lordship of Jesus seriously. Sexual captives. I also mean by that a second group of people who feel like their sexual mistakes in their past mean that God would have no more real interest in them anymore. They're damaged goods.

He's got no real purpose. They're too far gone. Jesus deals with this group at least twice in John. And we're going to look very quickly at both of the stories to see how he engaged them, what he said, and where he points them. But let me just say it before we get into this that of all the different stories that we're going to look at, this one I would say probably is the most relevant subject that we will cover.

I feel like all of them are going to be things that are really good for people in our in Raleigh-Durham area, but perhaps this one most of all is going to be the one that kind of hits many of us where we live. I've read that there are two main reasons people lose their faith in college. Two. The number two reason people lose their faith in college is they encounter some question that they can't explain, some intellectual problem, the problem of evil. If there's a good God, then why is all this stuff happening? But that's the number two reason. The number one reason they lose their faith in college is because their desire for sexual freedom conflicts with the system of morality they've grown up with. And when that happens, you've got a choice. You can either live as a hypocrite or you can change what you believe. And many people opt for the latter because if what I want to do conflicts with what I believe, then if I don't want to change what I do, then I'll just change what I believe because nobody likes to live as a hypocrite. You see, there's this myth that we carry around and that is that what our heart feels is dictated by what our head believes, but it's actually the opposite. What our head ends up believing is what our heart wants to believe.

And when your heart wants to go a certain direction, then your mind will find reasons to believe things that justify that. And so for many people, they can't believe because their desire for sexual freedom precludes their ability to think through the lordship of Jesus with any seriousness. Furthermore, we have what anybody honestly would have to conclude is a cultural obsession with sex. I don't mean just that people enjoy it. Of course they do. I mean obsessed with it.

You can see that when you check out in the SuperMart aisle, can't you? And it's like every single magazine has got, you know, on the cover, 10 ways to drive your man wild, 30 ways to shake your bed across the floor. And then there is the shocking, if not downright disturbing success of books like 50 Shades of Grey, which CNN describes as mommy porn.

Barnes & Noble released a report to their shareholders last month saying that the foot traffic in their stores had increased substantially at the greatest rate that it has in a decade credited to one book now present at Barnes & Noble, and that is 50 Shades of Grey. There is nothing that will destroy your faith and dull your spiritual appetites faster, nothing, than captivity to sexual lust. So John chapter 4, let me get you to turn in your Bible there.

If you haven't there already is where we're going to encounter the first of these stories. John chapter 4. Let me start out by making very clear to you that God is the creator of sex. God designed sex. God designed the pleasureability of sex. God was not surprised by how much we liked it.

He wasn't like, oh man, I had no idea that's going to be trouble. He designed it that way. It is a good gift that is given to his children for their enjoyment and for his glory. But all gifts of God can go wrong, and the greater the gift, the more capacity it has for damage.

So if sexually is one of the greatest gifts that God has given to mankind, then it makes sense that it's also one of the potentially most destructive gifts because that which has great capacity for good also has great capacity for destruction. So we're going to look at how Jesus engaged two women for whom sex had gone desperately wrong. John chapter 4 verse 4.

Let's begin there. And Jesus had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came there to draw water.

Now there is a slew of details in there that are all very important and are not random because they're setting up the story that's about to unfold. You see the Samaritans were a small hated community. It lived kind of in the northeast part of Israel. The animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans stretched back nearly a thousand years.

Around 900 BC the northern part of Israel had seceded from the southern part and they set up their own capital, Samaria, instead of Jerusalem and they essentially existed as two separate nations from that point onward. Well the northern kingdom grew really unfaithful to God so in 722 BC God punished them by sending the Assyrians to conquer them. Now in those days when you conquered a people what you did not want is the children of the people that you conquered having children and them having children and gradually they're rising up these generations who are bent on avenging what you did to their parents and grandparents. So the strategy that many of these countries pursued when they conquered a nation is after you killed most of the men what you would do is you would take a bunch of them off into captivity in your kind of home country where you would make them slaves and concubines. You would intermarry with them so they would ultimately lose all of their kind of ethnic identity. They wouldn't have any left. The other thing they would do is they would send a group of their people back to the homeland so that anybody was left there as a remnant. They would do the same thing with them so the whole strategy was designed to just wipe out any kind of ethnic identity that was left among those people. Now a lot of countries when that happened to them would just resist that integration.

They would fight to hang on to their their cultural identity but the northern kingdom of Israel did not resist at all. They just integrated right in with the Assyrians. They syncretized religions. So the southern kingdom of Israel which thought of themselves now as the only real Israel left viewed the Samaritans as compromisers and as half-breeds. Then in around 100 BC a renegade Jew by the name of Manasseh declared that all the Jewish places of worship in Jerusalem were corrupt so he defected to Samaria and established new places of worship around some ancient historic sites in Samaria. Places like Jacob's Well claiming that the Jewish temple you couldn't worship there anymore you got to worship it at Jacob's Well. So the Samaritans were like a cult.

That's how you got to think of them. The Samaritans used some of the same Old Testament books like the Pentateuch but they also admitted several others out of the Old Testament that they thought were too pro-Jewish like the Psalms. They thought the Psalms were way too pro-Jewish so they just left them out of their Bibles. There was so much animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans that if you were trying to get to the northern part of Israel rather than walking through Samaria which was clearly the easiest way to get there, Jews would walk around Samaria. It would add six days to their journey.

Six days. But they were willing to do it. There are two reasons. One, if you were a Jew walk through Samaria you might get killed.

Number two is if you did make it through you would feel defiled when you got to the other side. This woman was a Samaritan and notice by the way the detail about it being the sixth hour when she went to the well. You know what hour that is? That's noon. This is noon in the Middle East.

Ever been to the Middle East? You know what happens at noon? Nothing. Everybody goes inside because it is way too hot you walk around outside. That's not the time to go outside and do your daily chores. The fact that this woman is coming at noon scholars say is an indication that she's a social outcast. The other women do not like her. In other words this woman is an outcast of the outcast. She is hated by the hated. This woman is at the absolute bottom of the food chain.

Which is what makes this whole story so shocking. And especially Jesus's next statement. Jesus said to her, give me a drink.

For his disciples, verse 8, had gone away into the city to find a Zaxby's or a Chick-fil-A or something to get some food. The Samaritan woman said to him, how is it that you would you ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria? Now in your Bible that looks like only a real small pause there between verse 8 where Jesus asked her and verse 9 where she answered. In actuality it was probably more like a 10-minute really awkward silence where she just kind of stared at him.

Because it says there, Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. So finally after about 10 minutes of awkward silence she says, why you talking to me? Verse 10, Jesus answered her, if you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you give me a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. Now at this point of course she thinks he's talking about H2O. So she says to him, verse 11, sir, you got nothing to draw water with and this well is deep.

Where are you going to get that living water? And are you saying that you're greater than our father Jacob? Is that what you're saying? He gave us, us the Samaritans, he gave us the well and drank from it himself just like did his sons and his livestock. You hear that edge in her?

You hear that? She don't like him. Verse 13, Jesus ever unflappable said to her, everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again and the water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. So the woman says to him, sir, give me this water so that I'll not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water anymore. Now I can see the first evidences of faith at work in her in that statement, but she's still mostly clueless. You're listening to Summit Life with Pastor J.D.

Greer. We'll finish today's teaching from the book of John in a moment, but I am so excited to tell you about our brand new featured resource this month. It's called Come Back to Me and it's a 21-day scripture guide through all 12 of the minor prophets.

If you were here with us for Pastor J.D. 's recent teaching series on Summit Life by the same name, I think we all learned that these books should not be overlooked. The messages within each are incredibly powerful and applicable to our life today. Each daily reading will help you study, pray, and apply the scripture you're focusing on and it's a perfect supplement to your daily time with the Lord or it could be used as a guide for small group discussions.

There's also a journaling activity to help you personalize the message, maybe something new for you to try. To get your copy, give your gift of $35 or more today by calling us at 866-335-5220 or visit us online at jdgreer.com. Now let's get back to today's teaching. Once again, here's Pastor J.D. Verse 16, so Jesus goes on. Jesus said to her, well, okay, go call your husband, get him, get him, bring him back, come here, and I'll tell both of you about it. Now if you were writing the musical score for this movie, this is where you would cue the awkward crickets because the woman looks back at him for probably another several seconds awkward stare and then she answers him, I have no husband. And Jesus said to her, you are right in saying I have no husband for you have had five husbands and the one that you are shacking up with now is not your husband.

And I just wanted you to know that I knew about that so in the statement that you made that you don't have a husband what you said is true, boom roasted, that is in the Greek for that last part. But then, listen, then I think all at once, all at once, I think it suddenly made sense to this woman. This whole water discussion, it made sense. You see, just like this woman came daily to this well to get water, would drink it, have her thirst quenched and then get up the next morning and be thirsty again and go through the same process and has to go back to this well over and over and over again, always finding temporary relief for her thirst but never permanent relief for her thirst. This woman has gone to the well of romance. She has gone to the well of sex to satisfy the thirst of her soul.

And just like the water that she drank, it would satisfy her temporarily but ultimately it would just leave her thirstier. So she would get out of one marriage and into another. This time she thought, this is going to be the one that works right because I'm a little older now. I'm a little wiser. I know what I'm looking for. I know better how to choose somebody that I can get along with.

I'm not going to make these foolish choices I made when I was a teenager. So this marriage, this second marriage is going to be the one that does it for me. And again, it worked for a little while, maybe longer than the first marriage, we don't know. But after a while she woke up thirsty again. So she got out of that second marriage and went back to the well of romance and got into a third one and then a fourth one and then a fifth one. And then she gives up on the institution of marriage altogether.

And she says this commitment stuff is just ruining great romance and sex. So I'm just going to now go to new lovers because that's going to be what quenches this thirst. What she has done every day with that water pot for her physical thirst, she is doing with sex for her soul thirst. So verse 19, the woman now with a little more understanding says to him, sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Quick one, this one, yep.

Verse 20, our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is a place where people ought to worship. You see what she's doing? You see what she's doing? She's getting uncomfortable. So what she do? She asked a controversial worship question. She doesn't want to go five marriages down deep into what's really wrong inside of her. She'd rather fly around up here in the intellectual with hard theological doctrinal questions. You ever see this?

I see it all the time. I start talking with somebody about Jesus and they start saying things like, oh yeah, what about people that have never heard? Oh yeah, what about homosexuality? Oh yeah, what about abortion? And these are all great questions.

But you and I both know that's not really the issue right now. What happens is Jesus comes to you and he starts to ask you the most basic questions about your life. Things like, where are you going? Who do you belong to? Why aren't you happy?

Who's the Lord of your life? And what you want to do is start throwing out the furniture at him. Oh yeah, what about this? What about this?

What about that? You get to all that, but you will never get anywhere with Jesus until you let him start asking the questions that he wants to ask, which are questions about the core of who you are. A little thing I say to people all the time, because I get this on a college campus, somebody, what about the homosexual? And I say this, you know what? There's a number of issues in the Christian life. You got to learn to punt.

Any good football team knows that they got to punt sometimes. And I don't mean that you refuse to answer the question because there's an answer, but you know what the real issue is? The issue is the lordship of Jesus. Why don't you take some time to think about whether Jesus is Lord? And then if he's Lord, he'll lead you in those other areas when it's time.

So let's just put this area up for right now. Let's punt the things that you can't understand, and let's just deal with this question, is Jesus the living water for your soul? Because if Jesus is the living water for your soul, then when we get to the questions that you're asking, you'll find that you go into them with a much different perspective. So Jesus C. calls her out on that, which leads to this long conversation that basically ends with Jesus telling this woman that God wants to know her in spirit and in truth. Spirit and truth. This woman hadn't lived in truth for a long time. For years, she's been living a lie, just covering over her shame and her hurt and her disappointment with more sex, like a bandage, a way of papering over the void in her heart. There was a part of her that was dead and had been so for a long time. Her sexual shame and her hurt kept her living in truth and from knowing anybody in the spirit. You see, when you don't live in truth, you can't know and engage somebody with the spirit of who you are.

You have to live protected because you got lies that won't present the real you to them because there's too much that might be exposed and too much that might get hurt. So this woman lives shut off from others, shut off from God, shut off really even from herself. And she had chosen the easier path to deal with her void. Just find a new lover, just find a new thrill, find somebody else that can do it for me for a little while, a new exciting kind of adventure that'll never get to the real issue of what's wrong with me. This woman, her theme song would have been, your love, your love, your love is my drug, right?

That's what was playing on her iPod. Jesus would heal her by giving her the assurance of his love for her, the love of her the love of her Heavenly Father, the love that she had craved first in her earthly father. And then perhaps when he disappointed her, or maybe even abused her, the love that she then sought in the arms of her first lover, the first guy she gave herself away to, and then in her first marriage, and then from her first affair, and then from her second marriage, and then from her third marriage, and her fourth, and her fifth, and now in the arms of yet another lover.

But Jesus' love would give her the one thing that she had craved all of her life, and that is to be loved by somebody who knew her fully and loved her unconditionally. I've told you about the human dilemma before. The human dilemma is that in our deepest part of who we are, we want to be known and loved, because to be loved but not known is just sentimentality. Somebody doesn't know and love the real you, they just know this caricature of you, and you got to keep them at a distance. They can't get close to the pain and the shame. They can't see all the mistakes of the past. You got to keep them out here in this projection of who you are.

And that works for a while, but it's not satisfying. On the other hand, if you're fully known but not loved, that's rejection. So the dilemma is how do you let somebody come in and see all these things, see all the mess, see all the junk, see all that, the fact that the condemnation that you feel is worthy, that there are reasons for that.

How do you let them see that and then have the assurance that they won't walk away from you? This woman, this woman wants to be known and loved, but she's never been able to find it. Jesus is going to give her that love, but he knew everything about her. He showed her that by the questions with the husbands, and he spoke complete acceptance to her. From there, I want you to flip over in your Bible, go to John chapter 8.

Let's look at the second of these really, really quickly. John chapter 8, we're going to look at verse, begin in verse 3. Some of you might notice a little footnote in your Bible asking some questions about this passage and whether it belongs right here in the Gospel of John.

I don't have time to get into the explanation. I actually have an awesome footnote right here. You probably can't read it, but if you get the transcript offline, it will give you all the kind of the reasons why I feel like we can still use it as a part of, you know, what I'm doing.

So feel free to access that if it's helpful. Chapter 8, verse 3. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in adultery. Now, the Greek syntax there literally says she'd been caught in the very act of adultery, which implies that, you know, she had been caught, like, while they were in the act of it, which had to have been awkward. But it is why a lot of commentators say that she might have been naked here. She might have been half-dressed. Personally, I think that's a little bit of a stretch and kind of overly dramatized, but regardless, she is shamed and humiliated. You're like, well, where's the guy? We don't know. It's not fair.

I understand that, but it's just her. And placing her in the midst, they said to him, Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now, in the law, you see, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say? They're setting up a test for him to see what he's going to do. And so Jesus, if you know the story, kind of kneels down. He starts to write in the dirt.

What was he writing in the dirt? I don't know. Nobody knows.

Anybody that tells you they do know is just making that up. We don't know. I don't know if he might have been drawing pictures.

He could have been playing tic-tac-toe. I don't know. But after a while, Jesus looks up and he says, all right, you want to stone her? Let he who was without sin in this group, let he who was without sin cast the first stone.

Now, another awkward silence pursues as they all kind of stare at each other, knowing that they all have sinned, and one by one, they drop their rocks and go home. So then this woman looks back at Jesus and she says to Jesus, are you going to, or essentially, are you going to stone me too? Because are you the one without sin that could stone me? Because, hey, little secret, he was the one without sin and he could have stoned her for that reason. And Jesus said, you see rocks in my hand?

Where are your accusers? He said, I have none left, Lord. And he says, verse 11, what is probably the most remarkable statement that gives us the greatest picture of the gospel that you might ever have heard, Lord? Neither do I condemn you. Go and from now on sin no more. Religion says change first and then be accepted. But the gospel says, come to Jesus and then he can change you. What an encouraging message here on Summit Life from Pastor J.D.

Greer. To listen again or to listen to other solid biblical teaching anytime, go to jdgreer.com. If you enjoy listening to Summit Life, and we hope that you do, you should know that everything we do is made possible of the generosity of our financial supporters and especially our gospel partners who give faithfully and generously each and every month. When you give a gift of $35 or more, we will say thank you by sending you a featured resource. And we choose these resources specifically to grow you as a disciple making disciple. This month we are offering Come Back to Me, a devotional and 21-day scripture guide, which takes you through all 12 books of the Bible we call the Minor Prophets, books that often get overlooked.

And it's a great way to take your study of scripture, and particularly the Old Testament, to the next level and maybe even bring along a friend for the ride. To support this ministry with your generous gift, give us a call at 866-335-5220. That's 866-335-5220.

Or give online now at jdgreer.com. That's j-d-g-r-e-e-a-r dot com. I'm Molly Vidovitch, and tomorrow, find freedom from the captivity that sin brings as Pastor JD continues this study on the dangers of sexual sin. Join us Wednesday on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-19 10:36:31 / 2024-03-19 10:47:12 / 11

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