David Platt – The Cross and Christian Sexuality (Part 2 of 2)

Photo credit uhbcignite.wordpress.com

See PART 1 here

You can print out and follow along with the sermon notes here (4 pages) – www.radical.net/files/2650/MN_130630_c.pdf See VIDEO link at the bottom of this post (You will have to click on picture).

Text: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 – Sexual Immorality

  • The central exhortation in the text is „Flee from sexual immorality.” Don’t reason with sexual immorality, don’t rationalize it, flee from it as fast as you can. Last week we talked about what sexual immorality is.
  • The biblical clarification is- when the Bible says to flee sexual immorality, the Bible is saying to flee any and all sexual activity outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
  • The term porneia (used) is any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. That includes any and all fornication, prostitution, pornography, adultery, homosexual activity, any and all sexual thinking, desiring, looking, touching, speaking, acting outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. All of these things are sin, and we are to run from them. Quoting Kevin DeYoung: „The simplest way to understand porneia is to think about things that would make you furious and heartbroken if you found out someone was doing them with your husband or your wife.” So, if you think sexual immorality, think any kind of sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. That’s the key. This is not at all to say that sex is bad. But, that sex is good within the boundaries that God has designed for sex.
  • You had Corinthians then, saying just like Americans today, „Well, it’s 2 consenting adults, what’s the problem? This is what my body was made for. I was created this way. Just because I eat when I’m hungry, I do this because of my biology. And who are you to say this is sin? And what makes it sin? It’s just who I am.” And Paul says, „No, it’s not who you are. Your body is not just about biology. Your body is much more valuable than that. Your body has been created and designed by God for your good, and for His glory. And so it’s wise to listen about what God says about your body.” God says it as clearly as it’s possible to say: Sex is for marriage between a man and a woman, and any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is sin, it’s sexual immorality and we should flee it. (These are notes from the introduction, first 7 minutes).

In Part 2 – the topics of pornography and masturbation are preached on. Platt gives a list of clear biblical prohibitons in Scripture (17th min).

  1. No sex outside of marriage. OT says it, Jesus says it, NT reiterates it. Having sex with your spouse is the sign that you are in covenant with this person. Having sex outside of marriage makes a mockery out of that covenant.
  2. No sexual worship. Sex is good, but sex is not God. Throughout the history of God’s people, Deuteronomy 23, Exodus 32, 1 Corinthians 10, we see God’s people fall into the trap of worshipping sex. It’s happening today as part of our culture. I’m convinced this is what’s at the root of so much that’s going on in our culture right now. People thinking, „If only I had sexual freedom this way or that way, then I will be happy.” But, this too is a false God, it’s a broken cistern that does not hold water. So, let’s be there when they see that the broken cistern does not hold water, and say, „There is one who satisfies. And satisfaction is not found in this gift (sex), but it’s found in the giver of the gift. Sex is good, but it’s not God.”
  3. No sexual prostitution or violence. Scripture speaks clearly against all forms of violence, including sadism, masochism, any kind of spousal abuse. God has not designed sex to be hurtful. He has designed the marriage relationship to mirror that between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5) which sacrifices for one another’s good.
  4. No homosexual activity. You have deny Scripture altogether to miss this. (Platt speaks on this subject more in the first video- see here) It is impossible to biblically justify homosexual activity.
  5. No sex with animals, relatives, or children.
  6. No sexual lust- having wrong sexual desires for others. Jesus is clear in Matthew 5 „Everyone that looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. It is wrong for you to think about, entertain the thought of, or desire in any way, sex with someone who is not your wife or your husband. That’s lust.
  7. No sexual immodesty – provoking wrong sexual desire in others. This is huge. Men and women across this room, it is wrong for you to provoke sexual desire in someone else who is not your wife or your husband. Romans 14:21 „Don’t cause your brother to stumble.” Specifically speaking to women, 1 Timothy 2:9-10 „Women should adorn themselves with respectable apparel, with modesty and self control, with what is proper for women who profess godliness with good works.” In other words, women dress modestly, not in a way that draws attention to yourself sexually. This is so huge. Let’s just be honest. In our culture, we are extremely loose when it comes to what women wear- skin tight clothes, low necklines, short dresses, short skirts, short shorts, it goes on… it’s the norm among us and it falls dreadfully short of God’s standards for us. And I say this in general, but even when it comes to the gathering of the church, the Bible says to the women of the church, and with all due respect, even to sisters in this room right now: The way some of you are dressing around your brothers are at best, a distraction from honoring God, and at worst, an attempt- whether you realize it or not, to seduce men in this church into sin. The Bible says, „Don’t do it.” For the sake of your brothers, for the sake of your body: Dress modestly. And don’t miss what 1 Timothy is saying there. It’s not saying, „Don’t adorn yourself with anything.” But don’t adorn yourself with physical immodesty that draws attention to you. But adorn yourself with good works that draw attention to God. I urge you church: No sexual immodesty, for your good, for our good, ultimately for God’s glory, to whom we want to point attention. They have lowered the standards in the culture around us and the church thinks: As long as we’re above that we’re okay.” Don’t buy it.
  8. No sexual allurement- including inappropriate emotional attachment outside of marriage. Now the Scriptures that I’ve listed here are particular to a woman alluring a man, but this could go either way, and often goes both ways. Emotional attachment is often the gateway for many people into a sexual affair. You remember those feelings when you were first attracted to someone. You thought about that person all the time. You looked forward to every interaction with that person, even if it was something small, you just wanted to be around them. You were emotionally attached to them. But then, after time goes on, years of marriage, years even and the shine off the romance begins to fade as you watch them brush their teeth on a daily basis. And the reality is that no man, no woman can consistently measure up to that sweaty palms, butterfly feelings that you once got. And so, another man, or another woman can come along, and he or she can start to make you feel like your wife or your husband once made you feel. And so you find yourself thinking about that other person, beginning to look forward to interaction with that other person. And slowly, you start to think about and turn to that other person in the way that you are supposed to think about and turn to your husband or your wife. And you rationalize it, thinking, „This isn’t an emotional attachment, it’s just enjoying time with someone else? What’s so wrong with that?” And maybe it’s the sort of thing your soul is starving for because you’re not getting it in marriage. And so, you think it’s not physical and so it’s not harmful and the reality is that the more you become attached in your thoughts and your emotions, the more you will find yourself wanting to attach to that person physically. You read both Provers 5 and Proverbs 7 and you see an emotional attachment that eventually leads to a physical relationship. I just want you to listen to how the author describes it. In this case, it’s a woman luring a man emotionally: „With much seductive speech she persuades him. With her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter. As a stag is caught fast as an arrow pierces its liver. As a bird rushes into a snare. He does not know that it will cost him his life. Oh sons, listen to me and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her ways. Do not stray unto her paths, for many a victim has she lain low and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.” And this can go both ways (a man can also sexually allure). No sexual allurement. Don’t allow yourself to be sexually allured. This is happening. I know this is happening in people’s hearts and minds all across this room tonight. It’s happening. Don’t do it! You’re like an ox going to the slaughter.
  9. No sexual looking or touching outside of marriage. Job 31 „I made a covenant with my eyes..” Great picture, making a covenant with your eyes not to look at another woman. So, don’t look at someone else sexually who is not your husband or your wife. And this is not just lusting, this can involve taking advantage of another person, when you are able to see something in private that you should not see. That’s exactly what happened with Ham and Noah in Genesis 9. And then it pertains to what you touch. The Bible prohibits touching in any way that you would not normally touch your friend or neighbor, in any way that is sexual in nature.
  10. No entertaining ourselves with or joking around about sex outside of marriage. This is huge. Ephesians 5:3 „Sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” It goes on to say that it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. The reason this is so huge is that in our culture, even as Christians, even for those who say, „Okay, I am not gonna indulge myself sexually in these ways,” so many of us are entertaining ourselves with those who do indulge themselves sexually in these ways. You say, „What do you mean?” Well, you think about the books we read, the music we listen to, the movies we pay to watch, the TV shows we turn on, how many of them make light of or even exalt sexual immorality? Movie after movie, song after song, so many songs we listen to and we sing by heart that are talking about sexual activity outside of marriage. Book after book, bestsellers like the 50 shades of gray, and countless other subtle versions of the same thing, that are filling leisure reading among Christians. We read these things, we listen to these things, we watch these things and it is as if we say to the world, „We’re not gonna do the things you do, but, we’ll gladly pay money to read about, to listen, and watch you doing them in front of us.” Ephesians 5:3 says, „It must not be named among you. It’s shameful to even speak the things they do in secret. Don’t miss this: God’s standard doesn’t just start with us avoiding these sins, but with us not entertaining ourselves with others’ sins. Now, I am not presuming here that just to talk about sexual immorality is sin, that would make this whole sermon a sin. But, the key is we’re not talking about sexual immorality in a way that views it as good, but as something that we are to avoid. And so much of what we’re exposing our eyes and our minds to, and so much of what we’re exposing our kids’ eyes and kids’ minds to  is dulling our spiritual senses to the point where we see sexual immorality  as not that bad- in the end, kind of entertaining to us, when it should not be. We should grieve over it an run from it. God’s word prohibits entertaining ourselves with jokes or books, or movies about sex outside of marriage. (34:00)

When you look back at all these prohibitions it’s because God forbids sexual activity outside of marriage. God has designed sexual activity for marriage. Sex is not bad, sex is good within the boundaries that God designed it for.  It is at this point that people start talking about gray areas, and there’s tons we can dive into, but there are 3 common practical questions here I want to delve into when we talk about sexual immorality. Questions like:

How far is too far between a single man and a single woman? 

And it’s questions like these when we start looking for specific Bible verses and when we don’t find one, we conclude: I guess I’m just gonna have to figure this one out on my own. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with this question in the church, in a way I’m convinced has been disastrous for teenagers and men and women all across the church. I would even go so far as to say that a lack of an objective biblical answer to this question has been disastrous in my life. So I wanna be completely honest with you in this question. Before I got married, particularly in high school and college, I had I don’t know how many conversations with friends and church leaders about this question.  And I cannot ever remember hearing a well reasoned objective biblical answer to this question. Instead, what I heard over and over again to something like this, people would say: Clearly no sex outside of marriage, the Bible prohibits that, but after that the Bible doesn’t give specifics. So you need to pray and set some boundaries, basically build your own list of sexual standards that you’re gonna live by. So I and my christian buddies would sit around and talk about what those standards should be. We all came up with different answers, some guys said kissing was okay, some guys said- as long as clothes stay on it’s okay, in reality, the guy with the lowest standards would usually win out in the discussion. You put together a bunch of guys who are sexual sinners, what else are you going to expect? And so, this is an area where I struggled. I struggled to set boundaries, and I struggled to keep boundaries, and I  found myself in this dangerous gray area that led to all sorts of confusion and guilt and failure. By God’s grace, Heather and I have never had sex with each other or with anyone else before we got married, but that did not mean that we glorified God with our bodies. And I share all that, to say that I remember well what this struggle was like. And I want to say tonight, what I wish somebody had said to me, or maybe they said and I just wasn’t listening. I want to show you what is a biblical objective answer to this question. And I am going to warn you that many of you will think that it’s extreme, restrictive and many of you will be likely to say, „Well, that’s easy for you to say since you’re married now. But, I’m saying it from out of a heart of hurt from past sin, out of a desire for our good, and ultimately out of a desire for what Scripture teaches.

I am indebted here to a good book on this issue ‘Sex, Dating, and Relationship’, by Pastors Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas. They observed 42% of single evangelicals- so single evangelicals, Bible believing Christians between the ages of 18 and 29 are currently in a sexual relationship. 22% have had sex in the past year, and an additional 10% have had sex at least once.  Assuming the accuracy of that data, that means only 20% of young Bible believing christians have remained abstinent. They continue on saying the pastoral community must shoulder much of the blame here. Simply put, we pastors are not quite  certain how to counsel single and teens on appropriate sexual boundaries. We either offer subjective biblical standards, like the Bible says, „Be pure,” which can be massaged around like a waxed nose. Or, objective opinion: Keep it above the neck- which lacks any real authority. Singles need an objective Biblical standard of premarital sexual ethics and we pastors are the ones responsible for providing it. So I want to provide it.

The Bible gives us 3 God ordained categories for relationships between men and women. When you look at relationships in the Bible, there are only 3. And all 3 categories have God given standards for sexual activity in them.

  1. First you have the neighbor relationship: sexual activity prohibited.We are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves and in that relationship that we see all over Scripture, sexual relationship is prohibited. The Bible says: If you have a strong sexual desire, then get married. The Bible doesn’t say experiment with your neighbor and then decide whether or not you’re gonna get married.
  2. Then there’s the family relationship; sexual activity prohibited.
  3. The third God ordained category is the marriage relationship between a man and a woman, and there sexual activity is commanded. The Bible commands a man and a woman to be together because that is sexual union, as a sign of the covenant relationship that they have before God. So it’s commanded there.

Now, you put all that together and you realize: God, in His word, has no category for 2 people who aren’t married, but kinda, sorta, in some ways act like they are, particularly sexually. That is not a God ordained category of relationship. There is not one place in this entire book (Bible) where we are ever encouraged to engage in any sexual activity outside of the marriage relationship. Instead, we are discouraged. Remember porneia- meaning sexual immorality, sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. I would be furious if anyone hugged, or touched my wife in a sexual way, yet many guys don’t have a problem doing any or all of those things with a woman who is not their wife. Which leads me to ask the question: Would it be acceptable for me, as a married man to kiss a woman who is not my wife, to do these things to a woman who is not my wife? And you say, „Of course not.” But, the reality is guys, any single woman that you’re talking with, statistically is going to be somebody’s wife. So, why should you be doing these things with somebody else’s wife? You say, „Well, she might be my wife, she’s gonna be my wife…” and the Bible says: Well, then make her your wife and then kiss her all you want. But aside from that, 1 Corinthians 7 „It is not good for man to have sexual activity with a woman. She is your neighbor and sexual activity is prohibited with your neighbor.

And then you take this a step further, because Scripture takes it further. 1 Timothy 2 Paul tells Timothy to treat older women as mothers and younger women as sisters, in all purity. So follow this, the Bible ties pure treatment of the opposite sex with the picture of the family relationship. So in singleness, single men and women, what does purity looks like with your brother or your sister? There you have it, a standard for purity in your relationship with a single woman in Christ. Absolutely nothing sexual. Why not? Because she’s my sister, and certainly your sister in ChristOr single women, your brother in Christ deserves all the greater purity in Christ than even your own family member does.

So I want to encourage you single men and single women in this room, based on the 3 God ordained relationships in the Bible, I want to encourage you not to do anything sexually with another person who is not your husband or your wife. Looking for a guideline? Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do with your brother or your sister, because any and all sexual activity is for marriage. Regardless whether you are single or married, flee all sexual activity outside of marriage. (46:00) At the 47th minute David Platt talks about masturbation. There are 24 minutes left from this message.

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2 comentarii (+add yours?)

  1. gabebogdan
    sept. 15, 2013 @ 03:52:21

    One of the pastors that we all know said that he doesn’t even ask anymore in premarital counseling if the candidates has sexual relations… he is afraid of what he might hear and he doesn’t want the candidates to lie….
    Excellent transcript, thanks for sharing.
    I listen to part one my mp3. Platt is a blessing from God for the church.

    • rodi
      sept. 15, 2013 @ 14:00:41

      second one is over 70 min and very frank, esp where Platt looks out and says he knows some of them are involved in emotional affairs and exhorts them to flee! Very poignant, straightforward and courageous. I have more and more respect for him as a pastor and as a man of God who speaks the turth, yet with humility and love.

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