Why does the Bible teach that sex outside of marriage is a sin? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, we pray you had a great weekend. I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.
We'd love to hear from you and our phone lines will be open for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number to call. It's 833-THE-CORE.
That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your questions on one of our social media sites, or you can email us your question at questions at corechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Crystal in Ontario, Canada. Crystal, what's your question for Adriel?
Yes. Happy New Year, people. God bless.
Happy New Year, Crystal. God bless you too. I just wanted to know why Christians, and especially comes from preachers as well, say that we're still sinners when Romans 5 and 8 says we were sinners, and Christ in Romans 8 and 27 says he ever lives to make intercession for the saints.
This is an excellent question. Romans chapter 5 verse 8, but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. In other words, it wasn't that Jesus died for us as the righteous because we deserved it, but that when we were still shaking our fists in rebellion against God, God sent his son, Jesus, into the world for sinners, to save sinners. Now, that doesn't mean that after we've been justified, that is, forgiven, our sins having been forgiven, given the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that doesn't mean that we don't still continue to struggle with sin.
It could be that that's one of the reasons. I know when I am preaching or teaching and I refer to us as sinners, that's what I'm getting at, but I think it is important for us to distinguish between our identity prior to coming to faith in Jesus Christ and after coming to faith in Jesus Christ, because we are, as Christians, justified. There's this definitive break within. We're no longer defined, if you will, by sin. I think Paul goes on to make that really clear, especially in Romans chapters 6 through 8. But one thing I would say, this comes out of the Protestant Reformation. There was this slogan that we are at the same time justified and yet still sinful. So you can be justified, forgiven, a believer in Jesus Christ and yet still struggle with sin. In fact, we are going to still struggle with sin until the day that we die. John said in 1 John chapter 1, if anyone says that he's without sin, he's a liar.
You don't understand the way things are. We all are still going to have and wrestle with what we sometimes refer to as indwelling sin, but that doesn't define us. That's not the core of who we are. What defines us first and foremost is our union with Jesus Christ and the fact that we're adopted children of God. I think sometimes, depending on how we're using that language, it can be unhelpful if a pastor is saying, I know you're still defined by your sin.
Well, then no. Look at what Paul says in Romans chapter 6 specifically. You're baptized.
You believe. You belong to God. You're a part of the body of Christ. But if somebody says, no, we're no longer sinners in the sense that now, as the justified, we're sinless or that we can reach some kind of sinless perfection prior to being in the presence of the Lord, I would say, well, that's a problem too. We're just and yet still sinful as the followers of Christ. We repent of our sins. We confess them to the Lord, but that's still something that we haven't experienced as Christians. Appreciate your question, Crystal, and may God bless you. Again, Happy New Year.
Thanks for reaching out to us. One of the passages of scripture that was really helpful to me when I was struggling with this whole idea is the section in Romans 7 where Paul is talking about the fact that even though he has been justified, even though he's been redeemed by Christ, he still struggles with the old man, still struggles with the flesh. And then, of course, that beautiful verse in Romans 8, 1, that there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. That whole section is so freeing, I think, freeing for anyone who's a believer who still struggles with sin.
Yeah, I would encourage, this is one of the places that I often point people to. I mean, that section of scripture, especially when they're wrestling with their identity, with how to understand this struggle that they have with sin, I say go to that section of the book of Romans. There are other places to look, but really that's one place to camp out and just to meditate on and pray that the Lord really gets that into your mind and heart as you continue to seek Him. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez.
Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we'd love to hear from you. Here's the phone number. It's 833-843-2673.
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Lewis for the 21st century. He's known for his persuasive apologetics, that is, being able to defend the Christian faith in a compelling way, in a way that's engaging to the non-Christian world. The Prodigal God, in that book, Keller takes his trademark intellectual approach to understanding Christianity and uses the parable of the prodigal son to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation. In this parable, we see how Jesus reveals the grace of God for both the irreligious, people who reject religion altogether, and also the moralistic. This is one of the things that Keller is known for, showing how just because you're religious doesn't mean that you don't need the Gospel. So get ahold of Tim Keller's The Prodigal God over at corechristianity.com for a donation of any amount. You know, this book would be very helpful for those who are grieved by family members who have wandered away from the faith. As you read it, you will find yourself stunned at the transforming power of God's grace.
To get Pastor Keller's book, Prodigal God, for a donation of any amount, just head over to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. That's corechristianity.com forward slash offers. And of course, you can always call us for any of our resources. 833-843-2673. That's 833 the core. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core. You can call us anytime, 24 hours a day at that number and leave us a voicemail message.
Here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Kyle. My question is about premarital sex. Where in the Bible does it say that it's wrong? Because I got a person that's questioning that. Hmm. Yeah, I appreciate that question.
Super practical. And I guess there are just a couple of passages. It seems like you're wondering in scripture where specifically do we have any indication that premarital sex is wrong? Two passages come to mind. The first, I'll go to 1 Corinthians chapter 7. Listen to what the Apostle Paul said. He's given some principles for marriage here. 1 Corinthians chapter 7 verse 1. Concerning the matters about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to have 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.
The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights and likewise the wife to her husband. Now everything that the Apostle Paul there says presupposes that sex outside of marriage is a sin. That you should only be having sex within the marriage covenant. This is also confirmed in places like the book of Hebrews in Hebrews chapter 13 beginning in verse 1. Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Remember those who are in prison as though in prison with them and those who are mistreated since you also are in the body. Then he says this in verse 4. Let marriage be held in honor among all and let the marriage bed be undefiled for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Sexual immorality being, there's different ways to, different things that fall under that sort of umbrella of sin, certainly sex outside of marriage. Adultery being consensual sex within marriage with someone that isn't your spouse. And so both of those things, the author of the Hebrews is saying defile the marriage bed. Now look, it sounds to me like you're having a conversation with someone who maybe they're dating another person, they're not married, but they want to engage in this act of intimacy that's reserved for marriage.
Here's what I think you need to focus on. One, it's not that God is just being restrictive here, right? We were made as human beings to fill the earth, to grow, to be fruitful, and to multiply these desires or natural desires, good desires that the Lord gives us within the context of marriage. And so it's not that the Lord is withholding something good from his people, from us or that he's being cruel, but it's within the context of marriage that this is to be enjoyed. And you've seen, we've seen, and I know you can speak to this as well, the pain and the hurt that's all around us because people have rejected these principles. I mean this idea that it's just like, hey, love whoever you want, do whatever you want, and that's going to give you a happy, fulfilled life.
We've seen over and over again how actually what that does, at least people feeling empty and used, and there's just so much pain there and hurt. Now the good news is through Jesus Christ and the gospel, what does Christ do? He calls us to himself. There's grace, there's forgiveness, there's love, and certainly you see that exhibited throughout the New Testament, Jesus calling all people to himself, even people who have struggled and fallen with regard to sexual sin. So there's hope, but we're called to follow the Lord in this. And this is something, you know, an area where many people in our culture have a difficult time.
Wouldn't you say, Bill? Oh yeah, without a doubt. You're right, it does unfortunately leave an emotional and spiritual wreckage behind you, and all the research would indicate that's true, especially when it comes to trust, because we know, especially for women, so much of intimacy is based on trusting the person that they are with. And so, yeah, I think we take it way too lightly, and unfortunately there are many voices in our culture, including some like Planned Parenthood, that just encourage, hey, you know, we're basically just like animals, and there's no repercussions, and do what you feel, and that's completely contrary to what God tells us in his word, and the way he designed us to best function. Yeah, that's right, and so I hope that you can be an encouragement to your friend, and maybe point him to those passages, 1 Corinthians chapter 7, and then Hebrews chapter 13 as well. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.
833-THECORE is the number, that's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Danielle, who's calling in from Missouri. Danielle, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, my question is, can the devil work through somebody who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit? Now, just to follow up with you, Danielle, when you say can the devil work through someone, do you mean can the devil possess someone who has been filled with the Holy Spirit, or can a person be deceived by the devil? More specifically, what are you thinking of here?
Deceived more. Yeah, this is a great question. Yeah, I mean, I would say that someone who's a genuine believer in Jesus Christ can be tempted, deceived, led astray by the evil one. The hope is, and the good news is, that the evil one can't fully take over, that Christ keeps his own. I mean, you think about what Jesus says to Peter. You know, Peter, Satan has desired to sift you like wheat.
He wants to take you out, but I have prayed for you. In other words, my prayers, Peter, are going to sustain you against the assaults of Satan. But you think about Peter and what he experienced in his life. There was a point where he denied Jesus there while Jesus was hanging on the cross. I mean, it seemed like the devil got the better of him in that battle, if you will. And yet, Christ was still for him and sustained him.
And I think that's the case for all of us. As believers in Jesus Christ, we can't experience those temptations of the evil one. We can be led astray for a season even. But we have the hope that Christ himself is going to keep us. And that's precisely what John says in places like 1 John 5, verse 18. We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And so there's this relationship that we have with God, with Christ, belonging to the Lord. And it's through that that we know that we're kept safe by Jesus Christ in the hands of Almighty God. But we are in a spiritual battle, Daniel, and we do have to be vigilant, prayerful, as the Apostle Paul said to the Ephesians, putting on the armor of God so that we might stand in the day of temptation.
The devil can't possess, you know, demons can't possess God's children, those who have been justified, filled with the Holy Spirit. But we are subject to temptation and deception, so we need to be vigilant. God bless. Daniel, thanks so much for your question and for listening to CORE Christianity. By the way, just a reminder that CORE Christianity is a listener-supported ministry, so we count on people just like you to help us pursue our mission, and that's to share the gospel, equip believers, and of course answer the question of non-believers. We don't receive any money from a church or denomination, we rely on you and your regular donations. And if you'd like to make a gift, you can easily do that by going to corechristianity.com, clicking on the donate link.
You can also learn more about becoming an ongoing supporter by joining what we call our inner CORE. Let's get back to the phones. Chris is on the line from Las Vegas. Chris, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hello, how you doing? Thank you for taking my call.
I listen to you guys every day. I'm recently new in Christ. I was raised in church but fell away.
And so I've been really digging in, trying to find out as much as possible. And so at the church I go to, I signed up for some extra Bible classes that they're giving. And the first class was yesterday, and I didn't agree with what he said, and it's never came up in church service. So I don't know if it's just the guy teaching the class or if it's the church in whole that believes this, but we were going over the Atonement of Christ. And he had said that Christ died for the world's sins, and from what I have been looking at, it's Christ died for the sins of people who are saved, not for the entire world, correct? Chris, so two things. One, I am just grateful and thank the Lord that you're back in church, and not only are you back in church, but you're wanting to dig in and study theology and grow deeper in your faith. And I'm also just encouraged by the fact that you say you listen to the broadcast every day.
I hope that we can continue to be a blessing to you. We're getting here at a debate related to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Did Christ atone for the sins of every single person who's ever born, or was his Atonement specifically geared towards those who would believe in Jesus?
Here's one, I think, helpful way of talking about this. Look, when we're talking about the death of Jesus, we're talking about the death of the eternal Son of God, God the eternal Son, who took humanity, died in that humanity, if you will, so that he might atone for sin once and for all, definitively. Because we're talking about the death of the eternal Son of God, the death of Jesus Christ is fully sufficient, right?
There's nothing weak about the death of Jesus Christ. We're talking about the precious blood of God the Son. But when it comes to its efficacy, if you will, those who benefit from the death of Jesus Christ is only those who believe.
This is what we see all over the place in the New Testament, places like Romans chapter 5, for example, and in many other places. So we might say that the death of Jesus Christ is sufficient in one sense for wiping out the sin on a million planets. But it's only efficient, efficacious, for the children of God, that is, those who believe and have faith in Jesus Christ. That's one helpful way, I think, of talking about this, because it isn't that Jesus died for the sins of all, and therefore it doesn't matter what you believe, everyone is just saved. No, we're called to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. We're called to lay hold of this promise of the Gospel that's been given to us. And so in that sense, the effect of Christ's work for us, there's this limited nature in that it's only those who trust in Christ who receive that great salvation that God has given to us.
And so I think it's helpful to make some of those distinctions there. And there are different ways that Christians have talked about this, and there's even debates about the extent of the atonement. It's not something I think that we need to break fellowship in terms of, this person is a Christian, that person isn't a Christian because of how they talk about this.
We're trying to make sense of the biblical data, but I think, again, a real basic formula for talking about this is the death of Christ being fully powerful, sufficient, but efficient only for those who believe that is only for the children of God. God bless, man, and may you continue to grow as you seek the Lord and get further plugged into that church. Hey, Chris, thanks so much for your call and for listening to Core Christianity. We really do appreciate you.
Well, our phone lines are still open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can call us in the next few minutes, 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Dale in Kansas. Dale, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, yeah, I'd like to know, as I've been studying the Word, and by the way, I listen to your show quite often.
I really like it. God bless them. God bless you guys. But the question is, when the veil was torn at Jesus' death on the cross, the Jews, who didn't believe in him, quit sacrifices.
Why is that? So, I mean, sacrifices are really put to an end. I mean, they should have been put to an end at that moment. I mean, this is the ultimate sign that the Lamb of God, right, there's no more sacrifice for sin. Jesus, the Lamb of God, has suffered and died for us. Doing away with all of those types and shadows, those sacrifices of the Old Testament, this is precisely, Dale, what the book of Hebrews is all about, right? This is why we don't go back to animal sacrifices and these ceremonies of the Old Covenant because they're fulfilled in Jesus.
To go back to those things would be, in essence, to say that Christ's death was not sufficient, that he really didn't fulfill the purpose for those sacrifices in the Old Testament, those types and shadows. And so the veil being broken was this picture, this vivid, miraculous picture of the throne room of God being opened for us through the death of Jesus Christ. Now you and I have access to God's throne of grace not by means of the blood of bulls and goats and the sacrifices of the Old Covenant, but by means of the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That's what gives us confidence to come to God.
Broken as we are, sinful as we are, imperfect as we are, we plead the blood of Jesus, our great high priest, and we have a place in the very presence of God. Now the Jews continued to sacrifice, I think, even after that point when the veil was torn in two. Really what brought an end to the sacrificial system was the judgment that Jesus prophesied, what would take place in 70 AD when the temple was destroyed by the Roman legions. And so that's when you had the full cessation, if you will, of the sacrificial system, the temple being destroyed, because now there's no place to perform those rituals, those sacrifices. But the truth is, from the moment Jesus died on the cross, he brought an end to those types and shadows because he was their fulfillment. And so we really should be, I think when we see that and we think about all the blood of bulls and goats that was shed throughout that period, that period of redemptive history where the temple had been erected and God was using these types and shadows to point us forward to the cross, when you see that brought to an end through the once-for-all death of Jesus, you realize how significant Jesus' death was by his once-for-all offering. He put away sin for all time.
And we give thanks to God for that. Just a follow-up question for you, Adriel, we often hear from callers who will say, you know, I'm a Christian, but I still practice some of the Old Testament things because I believe that that somehow is being obedient to God. And you've talked about this before, but I'm just curious, how would you respond to those who seem to hold on to some of those Old Testament rituals? Yeah, holding on to the trappings of the Old Covenant.
Well, it really concerns me. Now, I realize there's some people who say, we just like to do kind of, you know, like the Passover Seder meal, and it's sort of a fun thing. But look, at the end of the day, none of those things are binding on us as believers in the New Covenant. We are bound by the Lord's Supper, right? I mean, that's our quote-unquote Passover meal, the fulfillment. But to go back to the types and shadows of the Old Testament and to resurrect them, if you will, for righteousness before God, well, that's a serious problem, and that's why books like the book of Galatians and the book of Hebrews were written, and so we want to be careful that we don't fall into the same error that the Christians in those days were falling into. God bless. .
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