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Why Sex Matters, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
March 8, 2023 9:00 am

Why Sex Matters, Part 2

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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March 8, 2023 9:00 am

Pastor J.D. continues in this message to help Christians know how to respond to a culture that says sex is no big deal and how to flee temptation with the help of the Holy Spirit.

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Today on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Y'all, even if you tell yourself that it's just casual, even if you tell yourself you're just messing around, that there's no connection taking place, I can assure you that it is happening because you cannot escape God's design, and therefore you can't escape the connectivity of sex.

This is how God designs you. Welcome back to Summit Life with J.D. Greer. As always, I'm your host, Molly Vinovich. You know, many people feel like Christians are anti-sex prudes and conservative to the core and rule followers, but someone who truly follows Jesus understands that the limitations God gives around sex are because of its immense power. Today, Pastor J.D. helps Christians know how to respond to a culture that says sex is no big deal and how to flee temptation with the help of the Holy Spirit. Now, like yesterday, we might suggest that this message is perhaps more appropriate for those 13 and over, so if you need to come back and listen to this sermon later, it's available free of charge at

Let's jump back in where we left off yesterday in the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 6. The act of sex itself is a physical illustration of the love of God. Our deepest desire, they say, is for someone to see us completely, to know us fully, and still love and accept us unconditionally. That's what's happening in sex as a symbol. Somebody sees you literally uncovered, and they embrace and they receive all of you.

It's why sex is not just thrilling. It is beautiful. It is because it is an echo of God's love for you. It resonates with your deepest heart because it is something that God created to say, this is how.

This is how I see you, and I see you, and you are fully known, and you are fully loved. Even the complementary nature of sex, meaning that it's between two different genders, male and female, even that was given to us as a picture of our relationship to Christ. Our union with Christ is not a union of identicals. I mean, Jesus is fully God and fully man. We're just fully man, or in your case, fully woman, some of you.

It is a union not of identicals. We are alike, but we are different. On the ultimate day of creation, what's he create?

Male and female, complementary. All that was a setup for salvation. We, humanity, are united to Christ. Christ is the God-human, and we're the human-human. Christ in this relationship plays the role of the male.

He's the life giver. We all play the role of female, the life receiver. So sex is a picture of our role as the bride of Christ. By the way, same-sex marriage destroys that picture. Marriage is supposed to be the union of two things which are alike, but different.

Complementary. The point is, every part of marriage and sex illustrates, it was given to us to illustrate the love and the nature of God. So far from being merely the satisfaction of a bodily urge, sexuality is central to our humanity and central even to our knowledge of God.

So what then is Paul's conclusion? Verse 18. He said, therefore, flee sexual immorality. Run from it. Why?

Why? Paul, verse 18. Well, because every other sin that a person commits is committed outside the body. But see, a person who is sexually immoral because of how integrated it is into who we are, they actually sin against their own body. You see, when you sin sexually, you're actually sinning against three things. First of all, you sin against God because you're rejecting his design, you're rejecting his lordship, and you are turning what he intended to be an act of worship and self-giving commitment to others.

You are perverting that into a selfish satisfaction of your loss. So you sin against God. Second, Paul would say, you're sinning against the person you're having sex with because you have reduced them to an object to satisfy your physical desires. These Corinthian men, Paul says, you're the worst because you're treating these prostitute women like they're disposable objects. I mean, these men did not see these women as divine image bearers.

They were something you can purchase, consume, and then leave. She's just an object to satisfy your desires. You have no thought of commitment to her, no thought of uniting your lives together. She's just an object that's satisfying a physical urge. Reducing her to an object is a sin against her. So it's a sin against God. It's a sin against the person you're having sex with. Finally, Paul says, it's a sin against you.

Sex is so integrated into our souls that what we do with our bodies deeply affects our souls. Other sins, he would say, primarily hurt others. I walk into a place and I punch you in the face. I sin against you. You're the one with the broken jaw.

You're the one with the bloody nose. It didn't hurt me that much. He says, sexual sin is different though. Sexual sin actually destroys you because it is doing damage to your soul.

When you join yourself to somebody and then you just walk away casually, it's damaging and deadening your soul and prohibiting your ability to actually experience what God intended for you to experience in sex. The more you do that, the more damaged your soul becomes. The easiest analogy that I've heard of this, and I've explained it to you before, is like putting duct tape around my arm. If I put duct tape around my arm and then just ripped it off, part of my arm comes off the duct tape. You take that same piece of duct tape and wrap it around some other guy's arm. Then you do it with his. It's actually going to hurt him less because a lot of the stickiness is still on my arm and a lot of my arm is already on the tape. You do that with him and it's a little less sticky, a little less cohesive, but it still hurts.

Then you do that three, four, and I don't know how many times, but eventually you do that enough and that duct tape loses all of its stickiness, loses all of its connectivity. Paul is saying, hey, look, when you do this, you're actually hurting yourself because you are inhibiting this ability that God gave you to reflect him and to experience his love and to unite yourself in this way. Y'all, even if you tell yourself that it's just casual, even if you tell yourself you're just messing around, that there's no connection taking place, I can assure you that it is happening because you cannot escape God's design. Therefore, you can't escape the connectivity of sex. Of sex. This is how God designed you. In fact, I thought this passage from Tim Keller's book, The Meaning of Marriage, captured it well.

Listen to this. Even if you're not legally married, when you're having sex with somebody, you may find yourself very quickly feeling marriage like ties, feeling that the other person has obligations to you, but the other person has no legal, social, or moral responsibility even to call you back in the morning. This incongruity leads to jealousy and hurt feelings and obsessiveness if two people are having sex but are not married. It makes breaking up vastly harder than it should be. It leads many people to stay trapped in relationships that are not good because of a feeling of having somehow connected themselves. The point is that it is impossible to have sex and not engage the spiritual dimensions.

God just designs you that way. A lot of people feel like Christians are anti-sex. We don't appreciate sex's goodness enough. On the contrary, we understand that the limitations that God gives are because of its goodness and its power. It's like Tim Keller says, sex outside of marriage is not a sin because it's so bad. It's a sin because it is so good.

Our culture says, yeah, sex is no big deal. I see your body. I want it. I'll just take it.

What's your name again? Or in the words of Ariana Grande, I see it. I like it. I want it.

I got it. Our culture's attitude is basically, hey, we've been dating for four months now. That means I've paid for enough dinners. I've earned the right to now use you like an object. Of course, I'll probably leave you in another two or three months because by then I'll be bored with your body. By then, after six or seven months, I would actually have to start dealing with you as a human and not just a sexual person. And not just a sex object.

And I am not interested in that right now. Church, we got to say, no, that person is more than an object. Stop. Covenant with them. Cherish them. You dare not use their body without covenanting with their soul. You dare not. You are sinning against God. You are sinning against them. And you're sinning against you. So Paul says, flee sexual sin.

You know, other temptations God tells us to endure or to withstand, but when it comes to sexual immorality, he tells us to flee. Get out of there. Don't even put yourself in a tempting position.

Do not be over at his apartment late at night by yourself. What do you think is going to happen? Like Martin Luther said, if your head is made of butter, stay away from the fire.

Sexually, we're all made of butter. To flee. Flee. Flee pornography. Our city may not have 30,000 prostitutes, but we have tens of thousands of pornographic websites accessible at our fingertips. Did you know porn traffic on the web every day brings in more revenue than the traffic of Amazon, Netflix, and Twitter combined?

The porn industry in our country takes in more money each year than major league baseball, the NBA, and the NFL combined. Recent studies show that 40 million Americans are regular visits to porn sites. And get this, a third of them are women. It is totally a myth that this is only a male problem. It is true that men and boys seem to have a particularly difficult time with it. 70% of men between the ages of 18 and 24 visit a porn site every month.

70%. That means a solid majority of our young men have a habit of objectifying the human body. Most people think that looking at porn is, they think it's not that big of a problem, right?

I mean, something to joke about. It's a victimless crime. What are you really hurting just looking at a picture? Well, first of all, men, you realize that that perfectly airbrushed woman that you were gazing at is the result of eating disorders, heavy editing, and based on the statistics, likely a horrible life of abuse, likely even sex trafficking.

So I hardly think you can just brush it off as victimless. But beyond that, there's some other very clear victims in that sin, Paul would say, and those victims are you and your future spouse. Because like other forms of sexual immorality, pornography rewires your brain in some fundamental ways. When you gaze at a pornographic image and you look at an image of a woman whose body you just want to use, that trains your mind to see all women in a certain way. And see, that starts to affect how you see other women in your life. When you look at pictures that reduce women to objects, and you start to see the real women in your life also as objects. And then you get married. Sexually, it's going to be hard for you not to see your own life as an object.

Because that's how you train your mind. And for a while, for a while, she'll be like your own personal live porn. But if your brain for mind has been rewired to think of sex as just the satisfaction of a bodily urge, then soon you're going to get bored with her and you're going to need new porn.

So you'll have to turn somewhere else for a hit. You'll have to turn to a new lover or a prostitute or just new porn images. No person in history has ever gorged himself on porn and then put it behind him after marriage because their spouse met all their porn fantasies. Instead, the opposite happens. And from the perspective of a pastor, it happens all the time.

Porn retrains your appetites to crave more of that. And I just say to you guys that are dating a girl right now, or you're engaged to be married, if you've got a problem with this, if you do this, and you're not making any plans to stop it, then you owe it to her to tell her that. Because I can predict with accuracy what your future is going to be. And so she has the right to know. You ought to tell her that this is just something I think is harmless and that I want to do.

She has the right to know. You're listening to Summit Life with J.D. Greer. To access our entire preaching library free of charge, visit today. And while you're on our website, I want to share with you another way to stay connected with Pastor J.D. and hopefully deepen your understanding of God's Word. Have you checked out the Ask Me Anything podcast yet? It's a great resource where Pastor J.D. answers all your questions on all sorts of topics, from theology to Christian life and relationships.

It's not a long program, perhaps 10 to 15 minutes tops, so it's perfect for your morning commute or an evening reflection. Why not take advantage of every free minute and fill it with the truth of God's Word? You can find this podcast online at slash podcast, or download it from your favorite podcast app. Stay informed and grow in your faith by tuning into the Ask Me Anything podcast today.

Now let's return for the conclusion of this important message here on Summit Life. Just say, I'm not trying to judge you as a parent. I'm not trying to tell you that I know what you should do, right? I got plenty of my own questions, but parents, I will say this. If you let your kids have phones in their rooms, and especially if they've got no filter on their internet, I just have to think you're not being wise.

You might as well give them a loaded gun that they can put under their pillow. Again, I'm not trying to judge you. I'm not trying to tell you how to parent your kids. I'm just telling you to wake up to what is happening. Now again, I directed a lot of this discussion toward men, but in our society, like I told you, it has also become one for women.

Let me just go ahead and connect another dot here. Romance novels often function like pornography for women. They're not just romantic or harmless fantasies.

They ruin marriages, and they are destroying you because they are rewiring how you see sex and sexuality. The Fifty Shades of Gross erotica series, or whatever it was called, sold more than a hundred million copies worldwide. Flee that stuff. Romance novels are often just porn for the soul. He cannot be a poetry writing vampire who loves you, okay?

That guy is not real. Flee it. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his or her own body. Flee sexual immorality. Flee means taking radical measures to separate yourself from it. I love what John Mark Comer says.

He says flee. That means get filters on your internet. That's a really easy way to apply that.

My family uses a service called Covenant Eyes. It's on every single device in our house because me, all the kids, all of us, why? It's a way of fleeing it.

I'll tell you what, get rid of your computer for a while. I know that sounds radical. I know of one college student at Duke University in our church who gave up his computer for a month to a friend and just said, I'm going to the library.

I'm going to use it there. He said, I got to break this habit. He said, it's a dramatic step.

It's terribly inconvenient, but I have to break the habit. I asked him like, was it worth it? He said a thousand times over it was worth it. Jesus is worth it.

My future spouse is worth it. Flee. Flee means don't go to her apartment at night. Don't put yourself in a situation where you're going to make stupid decisions. And if you're afraid of being somewhere where you're going to be tempted and you can't help it, then ask somebody to hold you accountable. I was going to be somewhere not long ago where I knew temptation would be around me.

And so I told a friend, ask me at this hour and then ask me right after that if I just told you the truth about what you just asked me about. Because I know I can't escape the situation. I've got to flee it. I'm going to flee it by making myself accountable to you. Flee.

Flee sexual immorality. How? Listen, he's not just saying try harder. Try harder. You've tried harder, right?

And it didn't work. I want you to see, he does not end this passage by saying just try harder. He says flee not by willpower. Flee sexual immorality by fleeing to Christ. Do you see it in verse 19?

Don't you know? Don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is now in you? You've got him from God. You were bought with a price.

You were bought with a price. God doesn't waste his possessions. So now you can glorify God with your body. Paul says there's two things that will give you the power to actually do this.

One is the blood of Jesus. You see, Jesus shed his blood to purchase you back from sexual sin. And if Jesus gave his blood to wash you from sexual sin, then his blood will also give you the power to overcome sexual sin.

So don't walk out of here saying, I'm going to do better and I'm going to become a better man or a better woman. You put your faith in Jesus. You put your faith in Jesus. You put your faith in Jesus' blood, which was shed for you to wash away that sin. And because Jesus shed his blood for you, Paul said, he deserves your sexual purity and he will give you the strength to live in it. Which leads me to the second thing he points to, the Holy Spirit. You may feel like you don't have the strength to overcome this and you are probably right, but Christ in you does. And so Paul would say, look, I'm crucified with Christ. My physical body has no power to do anything, but I'm crucified with him, yet I'm still alive.

It's just not me anymore. It's Christ living in me. And it's not by power, not by might. It's by my spirit, says the Lord, because greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. And he's greater than my shame. And he's greater than my addictions. And he's greater than all the things that I feel like I can do. He's just greater than all of it.

And now he lives in me and I can do all things now through Christ who strengthens me. So flee to Jesus. Now I know some of you are sitting there thinking, you're like, well, this is way too late.

We should have heard this 15 years ago. I already got a sexual rap sheet a mile long. I skipped the best part of this passage on purpose. Go back to verse nine where we started. Very first verse, look at it. Don't you know? Don't you know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God. Don't be deceived.

Neither the sexually immoral nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men. Verse 11, and that is what some of you were. But you watched. You were sanctified. You were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God. You see, when you accept Christ, that verse tells you at least three things happen right there on the spot. When you accept Christ, number one, he washes you.

He takes away your guilt. There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. Though your sins are like scarlet, Isaiah says he could make them as white as snow. There is no sin.

There is no mistake. There is no choice that the blood of Jesus is not capable of making new and washing clean. He says he washes you and then he sanctifies you. You know what sanctifies means? It means he sets you apart. He makes you holy.

He makes you pure. Maybe you're somebody, maybe you're a teenager, a young adult. Maybe you're an older adult who's given themselves away sexually and now you feel permanently defiled.

That's not true. Maybe physically it would be true if there were no Jesus, but he can sanctify you by his blood and by his spirit. If any man or woman is in Christ, he or she is a new creation. Just like God brought beautiful creation out of nothingness in the beginning, he can create a new man or woman out of you. All things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new.

Maybe you feel like porn has already damaged your soul beyond repair. I can tell you with the authority of scripture that is a lie from Satan. He can restore you. He can sanctify you. He can make you new. He says, I will restore the years that the locust have eaten, which means I can through the power of the resurrection make even the most damaged thing.

I can make it new. And then he justifies you. Justifies you means he removes your guilt before God. Friends, Jesus died for your sexual sin.

He paid the full price for your disobedience. So now you can say there is therefore no condemnation to those of us who are in Christ Jesus. There's no condemnation for sexual sin. There's no condemnation for any sin because God made him who knew no sin to become sin for us. That's what he got out of this marriage so that I could become the righteousness of God in him.

Now one last group I want to talk to you here before I close. Maybe you are one of the ones who struggle with same-sex attraction. And you saw that little thing in Paul's list where he actually calls that out. And you say, I want my body to glorify God, but I've got desires that I feel like I can't control. And Scripture is telling me that they're sinful. Friend, I want you to hear me, okay? That's okay.

It is okay. All of us, all of us have desires that go opposite from God's will. That's why Jesus crucified not a part of his body, but the whole thing.

What God wants for you is for you to submit yourself to him, which means realizing that he loves and accepts you just as you are. And that he will not only wash away the guilt of your sin, he will also give you the strength to obey his commands, even though it might be difficult. I will tell you there is more forgiveness and acceptance and help in Jesus than there is sin in you for all of us. Those with sexual sin, for those with messed up desires, those with twisted desires, all of us alike can be washed. We can be sanctified. We can be justified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. Church, that is good news for a sexually broken culture. Amen. No matter your sin, no matter your shame, you can have a relationship with God today. Give him your life. We are so glad that you've joined us today for Summit Life with J.D.

Greer. J.D., our latest resource addresses some pretty big questions. What are some of the topics that you cover in this latest Bible study from 1 Corinthians? When we follow Paul's teaching through 1 Corinthians, we come across such a wide variety of topics.

We just chose 14. I know it sounds like a lot, but we've divided them up into little five-minute increments. We start with salvation. How do you know that you know that you belong to Jesus? And then we cover topics like leadership, judging others, relational discord, God's views on sex and marriage and singleness.

And we'll even answer questions like the always popular, do women really have to submit to men? Does the Bible actually teach that? And how do you know what idols you're worshiping? How can you identify those and address them? And what's the right way to worship in church?

And how do you know that you're doing what you're supposed to be doing in church? We'd love to give you a copy. We'd love for you to reserve a copy when you give today at Thanks, JD. That's actually super helpful. We'd love to send you this set of 14 five-minute devotionals when you donate to support this ministry or when you become a monthly gospel partner.

The suggested giving level is $35 or more. Join today by calling 866-335-5220 or give online at I'm Molly Vitovich. Thank you for joining us. And we'll see you right here tomorrow as Pastor JD tackles the topic of singleness right here on Summit Life with JD Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by JD Greer Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-08 10:37:33 / 2023-03-08 10:47:45 / 10

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