King's Chaos, 12 February 2017

King’s Chaos
Series: Ideal Family
Psalm 3

Series Big Idea:
All families are messed up, including biblical families.

Big Idea: The “man after God’s own heart” was punished for his great sins yet experienced amazing grace.

Good morning! My name is Kirk and today we’re continuing our series entitled, “Ideal Family.” Whether you like it or not, you’re part of a family; at least one. Ever since God said it was not good for man to be alone, humans have lived with others…for better or worse. I have yet to meet someone who didn’t have a biological father and a biological mother. Most people have siblings. Aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents are a vital part of life for many of us. Family is God’s design. It was His idea.

There are two unfortunate things I’ve discovered about families. First, they are all messed up! That’s ultimately the result of sin, our disobedience toward God. Ever since Adam and Eve ate of the fruit in the Garden of Eden, we have struggled to get along. Pride divides. Greed corrupts. Selfishness hoards. Anger disturbs. Hatred destroys. Misunderstanding confuses.

The second unfortunate thing about families is the mistaken belief everyone else’s family is okay. Listen to me carefully…all families are messed up! This includes biblical families. We all need help…so let’s pray!


Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve been a collector of baseball cards. I never cared much for the gum that Topps used to include with their cards, but it continues to be a thrill for me to open a pack and see which players are inside. I’m much too young to see Babe Ruth’s face or Mickey Mantle’s eyes looking back at me, but I love to get players from the Philadelphia Phillies or Detroit Tigers—my two favorite teams—or rookie cards or superstars. My favorite cards in my collection include Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, and even a Michael Jordan from the year he tried to play baseball.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have Bible character cards. “Hey, I’ll trade you a Noah for a John the Baptist!” “What’s more valuable, the card of Abram or Abraham?” “I’ve got a rookie card of Jesus…in the manger!”

Obviously Jesus is the most important figure in the Bible—in human history—but if I were to collect cards of other biblical characters, I’d probably be most excited about David. First and foremost for me, he was a musician and songwriter. The psalms are my favorite book of the Bible, and he wrote most of them. As a boy, he killed a lion and a bear…and then Goliath the giant (1 Samuel 17). His music was so powerful, it would bring relief to the tormented king, even causing an evil spirit to flee (1 Samuel 16:23). David became so popular, the crowds would celebrate him over and above King Saul, the man whose thrown he would later possess (1 Samuel 18:7; 21:11; 29:5). David was a mighty warrior, a powerful king, and best of all a man after God’s own heart.

Now there was that whole Bathsheba incident that led to David committing adultery, murder, and likely rape. Oh, if only that never happened! Then again, as we’ve noted in this series, all of our biblical heroes besides Jesus are flawed. They sinned against God—and others. Like us, they needed the amazing grace offered by Jesus who died to provide forgiveness, salvation, and reconciliation.

But let’s not get bogged down with David’s dark chapter. He had a son named Solomon who built the Temple and was blessed with wisdom, wealth, and women.

Royal transition is always exciting. Queen Elizabeth just celebrated a record 65 years on the throne in England. Someday soon her heir, Prince Charles, will most likely reign as king.

Near the end of his life, King David assembled all the officials of Israel and said,

Of all my sons—and the LORD has given me many—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. (1 Chronicles 28:5)

So David blesses Solomon, he becomes king, and everyone lives happily ever after. Right? Hardly.

David said he many sons. Remember Cain and Abel, sibling rivalry? Imagine many sons with different mothers!

These were the sons of David born to him in Hebron:
The firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel;
the second, Daniel the son of Abigail of Carmel; 
the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; 
the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
and the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah. 
These six were born to David in Hebron, where he reigned seven years and six months. 

David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, and these were the children born to him there:
Shammua, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba  daughter of Ammiel. There were also Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, 
Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet—nine in all. 
All these were the sons of David, besides his sons by his concubines. And
Tamar was their sister. (1 Chronicles 3:1-9)

That’s quite a clan!

Now here’s how David’s story ends:

David son of Jesse was king over all Israel. He ruled over Israel forty years—seven in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. He died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor. His son Solomon succeeded him as king. (1 Chronicles 29:26-28)

But let’s back up. Last week we noted how sins can be passed from one generation to the next. Blessings work that way. Curses work that way. We often become like our parents, and our children follow our example. Jacob was deceitful like his father Isaac who was deceitful like his father Abram.

David’s sexual sin with Bathsheba may have some connection to a horrific event that would occur among his children. David’s firstborn son, Amnon, fell in love with his half sister, Tamar (2 Samuel 13:4) and raped her (2 Samuel 13:14) causing chaos in David’s family.

When King David heard all this, he was furious. And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar. (2 Samuel 13:21-22)

Understandable, right?

Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I given you this order? Be strong and brave.” So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules and fled. (2 Samuel 13:28-29)

Do you see why I entitled this message, “King’s Chaos?”

We simply don’t have time to cover all of the stories of David and his family, but if you turn to 2 Samuel chapter 15, we see Absalom wreaking more havoc on his family. He decides he wants to customer service for the king’s subjects!

Reading from the
New Living Translation

After this, Absalom bought a chariot and horses, and he hired fifty bodyguards to run ahead of him. He got up early every morning and went out to the gate of the city. When people brought a case to the king for judgment, Absalom would ask where in Israel they were from, and they would tell him their tribe. Then Absalom would say, “You’ve really got a strong case here! It’s too bad the king doesn’t have anyone to hear it. I wish I were the judge. Then everyone could bring their cases to me for judgment, and I would give them justice!”

When people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn’t let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and kissed them. Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel. (2 Samuel 15:1-6, NLT)

You see where this is going, right? David’s son, Absalom, tries to seize control

A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, “All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!” (2 Samuel 15:13, NLT)

“Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!” David urged his men. “Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.” (2 Samuel 15:14, NLT)

“We are with you,” his advisers replied. “Do what you think is best.” (2 Samuel 15:15, NLT)

So the king and all his household set out at once. He left no one behind except ten of his concubines to look after the palace. (2 Samuel 15:16, NLT)

It is in this context that we read Psalm 3

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
LORD, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me! 
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the LORD,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. 
I will not fear though tens of thousands 
assail me on every side.
Arise, LORD!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked. 
From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people. (Psalm 3)

David flees his son and in 2 Samuel chapter 18, we read

During the battle, Absalom happened to come upon some of David’s men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great tree, his hair got caught in the tree. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air. One of David’s men saw what had happened and told Joab, “I saw Absalom dangling from a great tree.” (2 Samuel 18:9-10, NLT)

“What?” Joab demanded. “You saw him there and didn’t kill him? I would have rewarded you with ten pieces of silver and a hero’s belt!” (2 Samuel 18:11, NLT)

“I would not kill the king’s son for even a thousand pieces of silver,” the man replied to Joab. “We all heard the king say to you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘For my sake, please spare young Absalom.’ And if I had betrayed the king by killing his son—and the king would certainly find out who did it—you yourself would be the first to abandon me.” (2 Samuel 18:12-13, NLT)

“Enough of this nonsense,” Joab said. Then he took three daggers and plunged them into Absalom’s heart as he dangled, still alive, in the great tree. Ten of Joab’s young armor bearers then surrounded Absalom and killed him. (2 Samuel 18:14-15, NLT)

This is great news, right? Not to David.

Then the man from Ethiopia arrived and said, “I have good news for my lord the king. Today the LORD has rescued you from all those who rebelled against you.” (2 Samuel 18:31, NLT)

“What about young Absalom?” the king demanded. “Is he all right?” 

And the Ethiopian replied, “May all of your enemies, my lord the king, both now and in the future, share the fate of that young man!” (2 Samuel 18:32, NLT)

The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.” (2 Samuel 18:33, NLT)

So What?

I’ve heard stories of some dysfunctional families, but David’s is one of the most bizarre. Incest, rape, murder, adultery…yet the patriarch, David, is called a man after God’s own heart.

After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ (Acts 13:22)

But what does this have to do with us thousands of years later?

1. David’s passion is endless. Sure, it is misdirected when seeing Bathsheba bathe, but he has a deep love for God. Read the Psalms. He loves his family, even when they go off the deep end. When his son Absalom—who is trying to destroy David and his men—is killed, rather than rejoicing at the death of his enemy, he weeps at the loss of his son.

The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.” (2 Samuel 18:33, NLT)

Parents love their kids, through thick and thin (even teenagers!!!). It’s a special bond. They say love is blind, and while that usually refers to romance, it can sometimes apply to parenting. David loved his kids. Our heavenly Father loves HIs kids, too. Always.

2. One spouse is enough! I don’t want to make light of this, but so much of David’s chaos came from multiple wives bearing multiple children and a family tree that looked more like spaghetti than an oak. One man marrying one woman and creating children mirrors the Trinity of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all One, doing life together, each serving a unique, complementary function.

3. Sin always has consequences, whether immediate or over time. We can only imagine David’s legacy had he (and Solomon) avoided sexual sins (there’s so much we don’t have time to cover here).

4. God’s grace (unmerited favor) is sufficient. Despite his flaws, God used David…and his family, both then and thousands of years later.

Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. (2 Timothy 2:8)

His amazing grace is available to you and me today.

  • You can listen to this message and others at the First Alliance Church podcast here.
  • Thyatira: Sexual Sin, 24 July 2016

    Thyatira: Sexual Sin in the Church
    7 Letters: Revelation 2-3
    Revelation 2:18-29

    Series Overview

    Revelation is the Gospel according to Jesus. In chapters two and three, he speaks to seven churches, offering both correction and encouragement. Each is relevant to our church today.

    Big Idea

    Jesus is serious about sexual sin in the church…and holiness.


    Like many of you, I found the last book of the Bible to be confusing, weird, and even a bit scary. This series is focusing on the messages of Jesus to seven churches in modern-day Turkey. We looked at his words to the churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamum. This week’s church is Thyatira. Thyatira is another inland locale like Pergamum, the least important of the seven cities. It was built for defense and known for its textile and wood industries. It also had trade guilds of artisans who worked in copper and bronze.

    There are few ruins today, just one block. Perhaps the most famous person from Thyatira was Lydia, a woman mentioned in Acts 16 as a dealer in purple cloth, a worshiper of God. Other than our text for today and the brief Acts mention there are no other references to Thyatira in the Bible. This does not, however, diminish the importance of Jesus’ message to their church.

    Revelation 2

    “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

    These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. (Revelation 2:18)

    These words are powerful, holy, and speak of judgment. They also describe feet like burnished bronze, a common element among Thyatira artists. Local coins featured the deity of the bronze trade, Apollo Tyrimnaus.

    I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. (Revelation 2:19)

    Faith without works is dead. We are saved by faith but good works should result. They are also filled with love, something the church in Ephesus lost. There are actually six things for which Jesus commends the Thyatira church:


    That’s a great list! They have faith and deeds. They love one another and serve others. They have persevered amidst the hostility of the Roman empire. I love the idea of continuous improvement…of growth…of sanctification. I would love for Jesus to commend us for such things! But…

    Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)

    Jezebel may be an actual person or symbolic for the Old Testament woman who brought paganism to the people of God. King Ahab’s wife Jezebel promoted Baal worship (1 Kings 16-21; 2 Kings 9). We’ve been reading in our One Story Bible reading plan about the good and bad kings of Israel and Judah. Some were led astray by people like Jezebel. One common problem then and now is people who claim to speak for God who are actually false prophets. How can we discern the difference?

    • - Pray for wisdom
    • - Compare with scripture
    • - Consult with elders and church leaders
    • - Look at their track record/fruit

    False prophets were real…and they are still real today. The Thyatira church wandered from the truth. The voice of the world became louder than the voice of God. They pursued happiness rather than holiness, pleasure rather than purity, sin rather than sanctification. Last week we read Jesus’ critique of the Pergamum church:

    Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. (Revelation 2:14)

    Some there embraced false teaching about sexual immorality and meat sacrificed to idols. Similar language is used in Jesus’ critique of Thyatira.

    Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)

    As I mentioned last Sunday, in the Roman empire there were temples for and worship of false gods. People often ate meat sold in the public markets ritually slaughtered and dedicated to these Roman gods. This was not mere nourishment, but often led to sharing in the pagan festivals of the unbelievers of the day, which often included sexual immorality. If you wanted to find a prostitute, the pagan temple area would’ve been a great place to look. Many believed the spirit was all that mattered so the body was unimportant. Our bodies matter, friends. We are to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and body. It’s unpopular to say but our bodies belong to God…and our spouse, if married.

    Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

    Jezebel led many in the Thyatira church to engage in immoral acts of various times, including the sexual. Jesus says to stay away from pagan practices of all kinds. Jezebel will appear again in Revelation chapters 17-19 as the recipient of great judgment.

    Sexual Immorality

    Let me be clear: God loves sex. He created it…for a purpose. Several, actually, but always to be in the context of marriage. Our culture is so confused and broken over sexuality. It’s tragic how something so beautiful has become so distorted and the source of so much pain.

    When it comes to sex, the world scoffs at the “traditional” view, yet it has worked for thousands of years and is God’s design. In fact, while the world cheapens sex, God’s Word views it as sacred, holy, and special. It’s not that God doesn’t care about sex, it’s that He cares about it so much. That’s why He instructs us to have boundaries, to treat it with respect, and to maintain purity. Here’s just a small sample of the texts dealing with sexual immorality. Let’s start with Jesus’ words:

    For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matthew 15:19)

    The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (1 Corinthians 6:13b)

    The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; (Galatians 5:19)

    Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)

    It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; (1Thessalonians 4:3)

    In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 7)

    Perhaps the most ominous verse is found in Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth:

    Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

    Sexual sins have dire—and sometimes deadly—consequences. I wish we had time to fully unpack this subject, but suffice it to say God made you, knows you, and wants what’s best for you. Really. He’s not a killjoy. He’s not about stopping your fun. He wants you to flourish and avoid the heartache of disease, regret, shame, unwanted pregnancy, embarrassment, and guilt by engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage. This includes pornography, lust, infidelity, fornication, and adultery.


    What tempts you? Most—if not all of us—are tempted in the area of our sexuality. Are there ways to avoid it? Jesus taught us to pray

    And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’ (Matthew 6:13)

    Prayer is one way to avoid temptation, but often other actions are required. Temptation is NOT sin. We only sin when we inappropriately respond to temptation. Jesus was tempted. The book of Hebrews contains one of my favorite verses:

    For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

    Some people feel guilty when tempted. It’s only when we sin that we should feel guilty, confess, repent—which means to turn 180 degrees—receive the forgiveness Jesus offers us through His death on the cross, and follow Christ. If you hear nothing else today, know that God forgives. No matter what you’ve done, how you’ve sinned, you can receive forgiveness by surrendering your life to Jesus Christ, making him your Savior and Lord.

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)


    Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. (Revelation 2:20-23)

    Jesus says he will cast Jezebel on a bed of suffering, perhaps a double entendre since she used her bed immorally. Sin leads to suffering and often even death. But we can repent. We can turn away from our sins. We can change…with the help of God and others. You can’t do it alone, though. Don't buy into one of the lies of the enemy that you can be holy without help.

    This past week I had two front-row seats to see the pain of sin and the hope of healing. The first was at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting I attended with my daughter Rachel…for her class at the University of Toledo. We heard stories of anguish and brokenness…amidst a devoted group of people present to support and encourage.

    On Friday afternoon I was with two different groups at the Cherry Street Mission Life Revitalization Center. Both were filled with people who hit bottom and finally recognized their need for help. The work at Cherry Street was so exciting to see first-hand as men and women are truly becoming revitalized one day at a time.

    Perhaps today you need to repent. First you need to confess and agree with God you have sinned. That’s the easy part. The hard part is doing the hard work of change. That’s where the church is so valuable. You can’t do it alone. You need friends, a small group, a Bible study, a Sunday School class. It all begins with that first step of agree with God that you have sinned and sharing it with someone else.

    The good news: there’s no perfect people allowed here so anyone you tell will have their own sins to confess.

    The better news: our sins can be forgiven because of Jesus’ death on the cross.

    Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’ (Revelation 2:24-25)

    Satan may have secrets but God’s truth is revealed openly through His Word and the Holy Spirit. The church was short-lived.

    To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’ —just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 2:26-29)

    In a passage filled with bad news for the sinners, there’s encouragement for the saints, those who obey. The works of Jesus are contrasted with the works of Jezebel. The faithful will be given authority. They will be given the morning star, the hope of the Church. Here the morning star is likely the planet Venus at its pre-dawn brightest, a sign of the dawning of the day when Jesus rules and reigns forever. Jesus’ birth was announced by a star, a symbol of authority and royalty, and this description has echoes of Psalm 2. The great reward is Jesus Himself.

    The Church is to be holy, heaven’s representative, God’s holy people. We cannot tolerate sin of any kind, especially sexual sins which can harm us with devastating consequences.

    Paul wrote this to the church in Ephesus:

    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)

    The word “holy” means devoted to God, special, separate from common usage. It means to be devoted to God and therefore separate from evil, satan, and sin.

    Theologian Scot McKnight says, ““Holiness is the inevitable outcome of a person who loves God heart, soul, mind and strength. Holiness is whatever is an inevitable outcome of a person who loves his or her neighbor as themselves.”

    The people of God are to look different, act different, be different than the world. Every day we choose to follow God or follow our own selfish, worldly desires. It’s hard. It’s a battle. But following God is always worth it.

    Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)

  • You can listen to this message and others at the First Alliance Church podcast here.
  • Sex, 4 May 2014

    Big Idea: God loves sex. He created it! Like fire, it is beautiful within its proper boundaries and potentially deadly beyond.

    Several months ago I came across an article entitled, “5 uncomfortable issues the church needs to talk about.” I read those words as a challenge! The article reads:

    It has been said that the Church is not a museum of saints, but a hospital for sinners. Yet, most of us would much rather pretend to be a saint on display than call for an ambulance.

    Week after week, many of us walk into a church, sit by people we have known for years and yet would never dream of sharing our innermost struggles with. While a large part of this is our pride, another factor is a Church that seems unwilling to talk about certain uncomfortable issues, choosing rather to ignore them, try to cover them up or simply reject people who bring them up.

    There are many issues the Church as a whole needs to address, such as creationism, activism, environmental stewardship and many others. But there are many more issues that individuals in the Church are dealing with—issues that the Church Body should be talking about. In Galatians 6:2, Paul urged the Church to "Bear each other's burdens," so maybe with more grace and love we can turn on the light in the darkened rooms of each other’s hearts and let our churches become safe havens for the uncomfortable things we have to deal with.

    Many of these issues need to be dealt with professionally first. But that should not be the end of it. Research shows just listening to someone and showing them you genuinely care for their situation can be a huge part of that person's healing process.

    This is far from a comprehensive list—these are a few of the issues many people in churches around the world are dealing with, whether they admit it or not. And as people increasingly leave the Church, often over issues such as these, it is becoming more urgent that the Church talk about how to care for every one of its members.

    The list includes doubt, loneliness, mental illness, addiction, and today’s topic, sexuality.

    This series may frustrate you because we can’t fully unpack such important and challenging issues in thirty minutes. I hope to acknowledge the subject and provide resources for further study (see below). Once again, this will not be a comprehensive presentation but hopefully a starting point on a very important subject churches often fail to address. Tragically, our world never fails to address this issue of sexuality…and they are messed up! John 10:10 says

    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

    As we said a few weeks ago, we are in a battle. We have a real enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy you, me, our families, our planet. He cannot create anything. He can only distort and destroy that which God has made.

    The contrast between God’s view of money and the world’s view is stark.
    The contrast between God’s view of power and the world’s view is stark.
    The contrast between God’s view of sexuality and the world’s view is stark.

    Following Jesus is a radical endeavor! What I’m about to say may sound old-fashioned. It is. It’s about 6000 years old…and it still works today!!!

    1. In the beginning God…

    The Bible is the story of God. History is His story. While we are included, it’s not about us. It’s about God. God was in the beginning (John 1:1-2)

    In the beginning God… (Genesis 1:1)

    In the beginning God created… (Genesis 1:1)

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

    As the song says, this is my Father’s world. He created it. He entrusted its care to us, but it is not ours.

    2. God creates human beings in His image.

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him… (Genesis 1:27a)

    That is one of the greatest truths in the Bible. God created us in His image. We’re not junk! We’re not an accident! Every human has value, dignity and worth. Every human!

    3. God creates human beings in His image as two distinct genders, male and female.

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

    Male and female are different…by design. By God’s design.

    When one of my kids was little, I began the sexuality conversation by asking what’s different about boys and girls. This child said, “Girls have long hair and boys have short hair!”

    We are different, and it’s just our bodies that are different. We are wired completely differently. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus! It’s easy to see this in the toys children enjoy and the way they communicate.

    Men and women complement one another (yes, they can compliment one another, too!).

    Our differences create challenges and conflicts, but those grow and shape us.

    Men, don’t try to be women. Women, don’t try to be men. God created you male or female and He wants you to flourish in your gender, in your sexuality.

    One of the reasons people are so confused about their sexuality is we are bombarded with messages that say we’re the same. We should wear the same clothes. We should wear the same cologne. We should act identically.

    Men and women are not the same. Men and women are equivalent!

    One dozen is not the same as twelve, but they are equivalent.
    Four quarters is not the same as two halves, but they are equivalent.

    God created male and female different. We are both equally important and loved. We are to celebrate and enjoy our differences, and there are many!

    4. God’s commanded our ancestors to reproduce.

    God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28a)

    Be fruitful and multiply. Have babies!
    One flesh. Leave and cleave.
    Sex was God’s idea. It was a command! Just do it! With one caveat.

    5. Sex is like fire.

    Several years ago I was talking to one of my children near our fireplace. I said, “Sex is like this fire.” I wish you could’ve seen the response!
    When the fire remains within the boundary of the fireplace, it brings great warmth and beauty to our home.

    However, if the same fire were to go beyond the fireplace, even a few inches, it would consumer our house in flames and destroy everything in its path.

    The same is true for sex. Within marriage, sex is a beautiful gift from God. Outside of marriage, sex can be a destructive act, not only potentially leading to unplanned pregnancy or diseases but also permanent memories and scars. It can literally kill you.

    I’ve often thought of sex as somewhat unique from other sins. When is murder acceptable? When is stealing acceptable? When is idolatry acceptable? When is sex acceptable? On the wedding day and beyond, but not a day sooner.

    Why? It’s a powerful force. God created it for marriage, literally bringing together a husband and wife. Our bodies are beautifully designed to fit together, and doing so causes a sacred bond, like glue, making the two become one.

    I wish I had time to read through the Song of Solomon this morning. It is the romance book of the Bible and gets quite steamy. Some prudes have said it’s nothing more than a metaphor for Jesus and the Church. WRONG! There may be parallels, but it is love poetry and required reading for every married person…and singles, too (but be careful!).

    Paul wrote these words to the church in Corinth:

    Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. (1 Corinthian 6:15-17)

    Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)


    6. We are to glorify God with our bodies

    We just read that we are to honor God with our bodies.

    If you are single, glorify God with your body.
    If you are married, glorify God with your body.

    Tragically, I’ve known too many singles who misuse sex and don’t glorify God with their bodies. They’ve bought the lie that their “pursuit of happiness” is life’s highest priority and ignore the boundaries of marriage established by God. The fire leaves the fireplace.

    Tragically, I’ve known too many married people who misuse sex and don’t glorify God with their bodies. They have selfishly demanded from their spouse or withdrawn from their spouse and become selfish with their bodies rather than recognizing God delights when husband and wife surrender themselves to one another. They seek intimacy through pornography, flirting at the office, or fantasy rather than pursuing their life partner and intentionally creating time and space for mutual submission, love and pleasure.

    Paul, again speaking to the church in Corinth wrote:

    The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)

    Translation: married people should have great sex…with one another! This honors God.

    Years ago I served at a church in Chicagoland and the pastor did a sermon series on worship. One of his messages was about worship in the bedroom. His premise was when a husband and wife come together to serve one another, it is a sacred act of worship.

    I have never thought of worship the same ever since!!!

    Seriously, though, we are to glory God with our bodies.

    Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)


    God created sex. It’s His idea. He created us male and female to compliment one another, to procreate, to bond a husband and wife, and for pleasure in marriage. Like fire, it can destroy or delight. Few topics are more important. If you’re married, I pray you will have a fantastic sex life, serving one another. If you are single, I pray you will honor God with your body, too. This is a challenge for all of us in our sex-crazed, sex-confused culture.

    Many of you here and listening online may be feeling guilt and shame at this moment. Know that forgiveness if available. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. From this day forward, you can honor God with your body.

    One More Thing

    Some religions are so sensitive about male/female relationships that they avoid any relationship with members of the opposite sex. This is far from the teachings of scripture. So how now shall we live? How do we treat one another?

    Paul says as siblings.

    Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2)

    For those of you dating, this is a great approach. That’s not to say a dating couple should never kiss—though I had a friend in college that saved his first kiss for his wedding day…and they courted for more than five years! I’m not suggested a kiss is necessarily inappropriate for a dating couple, but we are to treat one another as siblings. After all, we are a family…and we’re all related by blood…Jesus’ blood.

    Recommended Resources For Further Study by Married Couples

    Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Kevin Leman
    A Celebration Of Sex: A Guide to Enjoying God's Gift of Sexual Intimacy by Douglas Rosenau
    Intended for Pleasure: Sex Technique and Sexual Fulfillment in Christian Marriage by Wheat M.D., Ed, Gaye Wheat and Dennis Rainey
    What Wives Wish their Husbands Knew about Sex: A Guide for Christian Men by Richard Rupp, Ryan Howes, and Stephen Ph. D. Simpson

    Recommended Resources For Further Study by Singles (note: I have not read these but they look valuable)

    The Sacred Search: What If It's Not about Who You Marry, But Why? by Gary Thomas
    Sex and the Single Christian Girl: Fighting for Purity in a Rom-Com World by Marian Jordan Ellis
    The Single Christian: Your Sassy Saved Single Girl's Guide to Sex, Dating & Relationship A series of encouragement... by Loria Hubbard
    Praying for Your Future Husband: Preparing Your Heart for His by Robin Jones Gunn aRobin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer
    Every Single Woman's Battle: Guarding Your Heart and Mind Against Sexual and Emotional Compromise by Shannon Ethridge
    Every Man's Battle: Every Man's Guide to Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time by Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker and Mike Yorkey
    Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

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