A Picture of Something Greater
Sex is not just a physical act that brings pleasure. It is so much more. The Bible teaches that it was given to us so that we can become “one flesh” with our spouse. “To Know and To Be Known.” It is more than just a physical encounter. It is deeply spiritual. Sex was given to us for many reasons – companionship, procreation, intimacy, physical pleasure, and as a reflection of the Gospel.
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam, there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man and brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’ For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Gen 2:18-25
This is the first marriage. God designed man to need a companion for his work. He designed Eve to be his help-meet. God brought Eve to Adam in the very first marriage. Even before there were parents the concept of ‘leaving and cleaving’ – the very basis of marriage – was created. Two individuals coming together to create a new, complete, singular unit. We can see in other verses that God designed marriage and, therefore, sex, to fulfill the need for companionship.
“But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Mark 10:6-9
“On my bed night after night I sought him whom my soul loves…” Song of Solomon 3:1
“And God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28
Quite possibly the most obvious reason for sex is procreation. We were given a mandate to be fruitful and multiply.
God-honoring sex between a husband and a wife involves intimacy. The Hebrew words used for sex show a huge degree of differentiation between sinful sex vs God-glorifying sex. Yada is the Hebrew word for sex within the covenant of marriage. It means “to know and to be known” God designed sex for us to know our spouse on a deeper level than we know others. Sakab is the Hebrew word for sex outside of the covenant of marriage. It is also used to describe the mating of animals. It means merely “an exchange of sexual fluids.” Coarse. Gross. Cold. Not the intimate beauty of Yada. Not the intimacy that was given to us in order to point us to God.
“My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh which lies all night between my breasts.” Song of Solomon 1:13
“Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among young men. In his shade, I took great delight and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. Song of Solomon 2:3
“Let his left hand be under my head and his right hand embrace me” Song of Solomon 2:6
The Bible is clear that God-honoring sex should be physically pleasing to both parties. It isn’t dirty or merely a “duty.”
“May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.” Song of Solomon 1:2
Reflection of the Gospel
This was the way God designed it. Religion doesn’t impose these ideas on a pre-existing act. God designed this act to function in a certain way and for a certain purpose. It is a holy mystery; it is a powerful, bonding agent in a marriage. This is why a proper understanding of sex is so important. According to Scripture, marriage is living, breathing representation of the Gospel. Marriage is a portrait of Christ’s love for the His bride, the Church. Sex is a picture of the redeeming love that God has shown us.
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Ephesians 5:22-31
What exactly is sexual immorality? We can see throughout the New Testament the Greek word used is Porneia. This passage directly mirrors the sexual conduct laws in Leviticus. Any sexual activity outside of the covenant of marriage is sinful. This includes not only premarital sex but also homosexual acts. It includes adultery, incest, sexual acts with animals, masturbation, and remarriage after an un-Biblical divorce. Christ even said that sexual immorality includes sexual lusts committed in the heart. This is because sex was designed to ultimately draw us to God, in part by the way it reflects the Trinity.
The members of the Trinity are individual Persons. At the same time, they are One God. They retain their individuality yet are unified as a singular Deity. So in marriage we are individuals yet one united flesh. The members of the Trinity never treat one another as objects to be used for selfish purposes. They seek the glory of each other. They do not diminish the dignity of one another. This is why Porneia, fornication, masturbation, pornography, rape/degrading/humiliation sex is sinful. It dehumanizes and depersonalizes people by turning them into objects. God designed sex as the communion of two self-giving people. Sex within marriage reflects the Trinitarian relationship in that it is loving, permanent, self-giving and exclusive.
A Call to be Holy
When we fail, we are called to repent. To turn from our sins and call upon Christ. He is merciful and will forgive us. There is no sin that is beyond God’s forgiveness. He will not withhold grace from those who ask for it. We are to turn away from our sins and seek to live according to God’s standards. He urges us to daily learn to be more like Christ. We can receive forgiveness and move forward in life. We can embrace the promises He has made for us joyfully.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12
God’s goal for our life is our sanctification. That is the continual process of becoming holy. The goal of sanctification is to please God in everything. In all of our actions and thoughts. It is the process of becoming more and more like Christ.
Paul Washer said, “Striving to be like Christ should never create in your heart the idea that you do not measure up. Why? Because you are not striving to enter God’s love – you are striving in the midst of God’s love, in the context of a love that you already possess because of the perfect person and work of Jesus Christ. Your sanctification is not the totality of the will of God – there are many other things, many other aspects of the will of God, but sanctification is extremely important. In one sense, lack of sanctification shuts the door in your life to the rest of God’s will. Whereas taking sanctification seriously opens the door to so many other opportunities and blessings that are ours in Christ … Abstinence from sexual immorality is one of the most essential and basic requirements of the Christian life. If you have not mastered this you have not even arrived at the first rung of what it means to be a mature Christian.”
As we increase in our knowledge of God’s Word, we increase in faith God. As our faith in God grows so does our love for Him. The more we love God the more we can truly love others. And that love for others leads to sexual purity.
A lack of sexual purity is one of the greatest living examples of a lack of love for others and a continual love and devotion to one’s self. This self-idolatry is the very core of the various tenants of Satanism. A lack of sexual purity, a lack of devotion to God will destroy you. It harms you, your spouse and even your children.
You will have to deal with this – and it must be severe. Your life depends on it. Your soul depends on it. The joy of your home depends on it. View it as a poison, for poison it absolutely is. Sexual sin is a deed of the flesh. If you are a child of God then you are no longer flesh but alive in Christ. You have been regenerated and have the power through Christ to not give in to that sin.
“But among you, there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Ephesians 5:3
If you want to read the first part of this series go here https://strivingforeternity.org/gods-view-on-premarital-sex-part-1/
If you enjoyed reading this article you may also enjoy listening to the Podcast where Andrew discusses Is Jesus Polyamorous? https://strivingforeternity.org/is-jesus-polyamorous