- 7 Wonders of God's Word
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Devotion by J.D. Greear
“Our society wants to push the idea that sex is just physical. It’s like food: when you’re hungry, you eat. When you’re feeling sexual, you sex. No big deal. It’s draconian and needlessly old fashioned to talk about what morality when it comes to sex. The only relevant question is, “What do you enjoy?”
But something within us just can’t seem to accept the idea that sex is just physical. If sex is just physical, why is it that adultery is so devastating to a relationship—moreso than other types of betrayal? If sex is just physical, why is that when someone sits in my office and says, “Pastor, I’ve never told anyone this before,” that 99% of the time, it’s something sexual? Our experience screams that sex can’t just be physical. Something bigger is going on.
The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 1 Cor 6:13-15
In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul wants to show the Corinthians that there is a spiritual dimension to sex because God made us a (here’s your nerdy word for the week) psychosomatic unity. This means that our soul (psycho) and body (soma) are one; what happens with one affects the other. Paul argues that because our bodies and souls are one, sex is far from a meaningless physical activity. Whether we want it to or not, sex has an inherently spiritual dimension to it.
When we think about sex as solely physical, we totally miss the wonder that God built into sex. In sex, two become one. We understand that physically, but sex is so designed that this physical oneness is supposed to happen in a context of an entire life. Finances become one, families become one, futures become one.
This is why sex outside of marriage is so devastating. It separates the physical oneness from the oneness of everything else. It is us saying, “I don’t really want all of you, at least not yet. I just want your body for now.” As C.S. Lewis said, a guy wanting to sleep with a girl without marrying her is approaching her like a bulimic approaches food: he wants the taste but not the calories; he likes the pleasure she gives him, but doesn’t want her.
Using sex like this isn’t just damaging to the people we’re using; it hurts us, too. Because we aren’t just animals, and whether we want to or not, every time we have sex we unite ourselves to another person. Social scientists, for instance, are beginning to show how casual sex re-wires the brain. Having multiple sex partners makes genuine, lasting, selfless relationships much more difficult. As Tim Chester put it, “You can no more ‘try out’ sex than you can ‘try out’ birth. The very act of sex produces a new reality that cannot be undone.”
I fear that for most people who have bought into our culture’s lies about sex, they already know this from experience. They know—and feel—how damaging their sexual decisions are. This is where the social scientists don’t offer much hope. They can explain the problem, but not the cure.
But praise God, we have hope. We have a cure for sexual sin. Though our past may be littered with mistakes, our future can be as pure and perfect as if we had never sinned. Though our sins blot our soul like scarlet, God can make it white as snow. In Christ, we stand before God whole—not because we’ve avoided sins, but because we’ve been clothed in Christ’s righteousness. Christ’s blood can make the foulest clean, and I know this, because his blood availed for me.”