See Luminosity

Part 5: The Power of Biblical Sex

Part 5: The Power of Biblical Sex

Read the other parts of this series here:

 

Part 1: Secular Sex Values: The New Standard for the World

Part 2: Comprehensive Sex Education, Secular Sex Coming to Your Children

Part 3: The Man Who Changed Morality: Sex Researcher Alfred Kinsey

Part 4: Alfred Kinsey and Cultural Moral Transformation

Part 5: The Power of Biblical Sex

Part 6: The Power of Sex Gone Wrong

Part 7: Sex and Worldview: A Battle for the Soul

Part 8: Summary: How Sex Has Changed the World

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Secular sexuality has changed the world.

Beginning with sex “researcher” Alfred Kinsey’s radical sexual agenda, based on poor science which included horrific sexual abuse of children, secular sexual values have largely replaced Judeo-Christian values in American culture. Kinsey’s “anything goes”, pleasure-based, homosexually-oriented view of sex, and his repudiation of sexuality within the confines of marriage, transformed the way the world understood sexuality, and has been inculcated into every part of American policy and education.

Academic sex educators are universally trained in Kinsey’s secular philosophy of sexuality, professional accreditation programs required adherence to Kinsey’s principles, laws around sexual crimes have been adjusted according to Kinsey’s “proof” that aberrant sexual behavior is normal, and modern comprehensive sex education programs for children are all created and disseminated by organizations begat by the Kinsey elite. The gay rights movement, the push for sex education for 5-year-olds, the rise of prominence of pedophilic organizations such as NAMBLA, the pro-choice movement, no-fault divorce, the proliferation of hard-core pornography, the acceptance of pre-marital sex and out-of-wedlock births, and the efforts to eliminate gender differences in public life are all branches of the same tree – planted, in large part, by Alfred Kinsey.

Sex as Power

Alfred Kinsey, and our modern culture at large’s belief, is that unrestricted sex brings pleasure and freedom. Under these values, limits to sexuality are hurtful, repressive, and damaging to one’s expression of self.

But secular sexuality fails to recognize one very important thing:

Sex is power.

And power is only beneficial if it is properly controlled.

Pick your power – guns, electricity, nuclear, weather, government, fire, majorities, water, corporate business – it is only useful for the good of mankind if it is limited.

Power unrestricted never brings pleasure and freedom – only destruction.

So this whole discussion of sexuality is actually much bigger than sex. When one steps back from the personal issues and political sound bites, a picture begins to emerge. A picture much larger than simply one researcher’s sexual obsessions, or even the sexual agenda of elite power players. A picture much more significant than the sex lives of individuals.

It is a picture of the power over people’s souls.

The sexual revolution has been one of the best, most highly effective weapons in a war – a spiritual war – over the lives of mankind. Sex has been used by Satan not simply to change the world’s views about sex, but as a means to usher in a secular worldview.

Satan has used the power of sex to draw people away from God.

God’s Intent For Sex

To see how this is the case, and to understand how sex is power, it is important to investigate the biblical view of sexuality. It can be summed up like this:

Sex is a “good”, created by God, to join male and female as part of a permanent, exclusive, comprehensive emotional, physical and spiritual union, intended to mirror and allow humans to participate in the nature of God.

From a practical standpoint, it looks like this:

The only “good” expression of sexuality is abstinence outside of marriage between a man and a woman, and faithfulness within marriage between a man and a woman.

God-imposed limits on the wonderful thing He created. Restrictions, confining sex to specific guidelines. But why?

To understand the restrictions, we must first understand the power –

The power for humans to embody the nature of the omnipotent creator God of the universe.

Male and Female, Like God

The power of sex comes first in the manifestation of God’s character within human beings through gender.

Sex is a “good” created by God, and is rooted in opposite, complementary genders that reflect the attributes of God.

 

  • “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them…  God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:27, 31

(Please note that I will use the pronoun “He” for God simply to avoid confusion, with a recognition that God encompasses attributes of both male and female).

God’s creation of sex was based on two genders, male and female. Why? Because these genders were the reflection of humankind being made in His image – in other words, maleness and femaleness are attributes that are found in God. Humans were made male and female in the image of God who encompasses the attributes of both male and female. What we understand as masculine characteristics can be seen in God’s powerful strength, commanding nature, warrior-like characteristics, and fatherly guidance. Similarly, feminine attributes are evident in God’s compassion, motherly nurture, tender comfort, and ability to create. Through these genders, God’s nature is revealed and embodied in a tangible way. Gender is not a social construct, or something simply “chosen”. Gender is a unique, inherent characteristic, with physical, emotional and spiritual elements, bestowed by God Himself as central to our personhood as made in His image.

Because God pronounced it so, everything that God created, including complementary genders, and the uniting of those genders through sex in marriage, is good. Good, and tremendously powerful.

A “One Flesh” Union

 

The power of sex is also manifested in the comprehensive nature of the union created through marriage – a wholeness, found in God Himself.

Sex is intended to unify male and female in a permanent, exclusive, comprehensive emotional, physical, and spiritual union.

 

  • “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

God made humans male and female as a reflection of his own nature, but humans could only experience one part of this nature at a time – either maleness, or femaleness – depending on which gender each person embodied. However each gender, by itself, was only a partial picture – an incomplete image – of who God is. It is through marriage, and sex as a part of it, that God created the means to join together male and female, these two distinct classes which embodied His nature, so that humans could experience the wholeness of His being. The coming together of male and female in marital sex emulates the union of male and female attributes that encompass the whole of who God is.

But this union is not merely physical, any more than God Himself is merely physical. The union of male and female was created by God to be holisitic, just as He is holistic, encompassing the physical, emotional, and spiritual. The union is to be “one flesh” – in other words, the coming together of male and female in marriage is to be all-encompassing; taking two things that were separate and making them into one.

The Hebrew word for sexual intercourse (such as in Genesis 4:1, when Adam “made love” or had sex with his wife Eve) is yada.  This verb means “to know intimately”. For example, the same word is used in Exodus 33:13 “Teach me your ways so I may know (yada) you and continue to find favor with you”.  Similarly, yada is used in Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know (yada) and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me”.

The same word used for sex between a husband and wife is used to describe the intimate experience God’s people are to have of Him.

This is not a picture of an “act”. On the contrary, it is the picture of an ongoing experience – a dynamic, personal way of being in relationship – in union. The biblical Hebrew expression of sexuality is comprehensive, all-encompassing, thorough, and intimate – involving body, mind, and spirit.  This panoptic union brings together into a whole distinct, complementary genders as parts that complete each other, just as completeness is found within God Himself. Marital sex confers the power of divine wholeness to humanity.

Sex: The Power of Participating in Who God Is

Why did God create sex, and then limit it to expression within marriage between a man and a woman?

Because marital sex between male and female mirrors the nature of God and allows people to experience and participate in who God is.

And, because it does, it carries with it phenomenal, soul-impacting power.

The marriage relationship, and sexual expression within it, allows us to take part in the nature of God in three fundamental, powerful ways:

  1. Companionship: To experience the companionship of simultaneous individuality and community, like that expressed in the Trinity
  2. Mutual Responsibility: To live out the reality of mutual responsibility and giving in relationships
  3. Power to Create and Nurture: To participate in the power to create and nurture persons who can live in relationship with God

Companionship

Not only do the complementary genders of male and female exhibit the attributes of maleness and femaleness within God, but the coming together of those genders in marital union mirrors the personhood, and the companionship, of the Godhead. The creation narrative uses the plural when God speaks in Genesis 1:26: “Let us make mankind in our image…”. Scripture refers to God with references (nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives) that are both singular (i.e. Gen. 33:20, Gen. 1:7, Num. 23:19, Zechariah 12:10, Is. 40:28) and plural (i.e. Gen. 3:22, Gen. 11:7, Isaiah 6:8, Ps. 58:11, Ecc. 12:1). Isaiah 6:8 uses both singular and plural references to God in the same verse: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I (singular) send? And who will go for us (plural)?”

The New Testament provides the framework for understanding the existence of both singular and plural references to God – that God is simultaneously one and three at the same time. One God, a Trinity of persons.

God the Father sent Jesus the Son into the world in the flesh, and the Holy Spirit was given to all people at Pentecost. Jesus references the Trinity in Matthew 28:19, when He gives the Great Commission to his disciples: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”.

Father, Son, Holy Spirit. 3 persons in 1.

The God of scripture is simultaneously a singularity and a plurality – somehow both individuality and community at the same time. It is, through marriage, that he gives his creation the opportunity to experience this incredible, unique aspect of who God is.

  • “Let us make mankind in our image…” Genesis 1:24
  • “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him….That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:18, 24.

The “one flesh” emotional, spiritual, and sexual union of marriage reflects the nature of the Triune God – complementary individualities coming together to create a unified whole. Simultaneous singularity and plurality, distinct separateness and complete unity, individuality and companionship. Through marriage, and the sexual bond within it, God created the means for the most intimate level of companionship, based on the essence of God’s character –a companionship that exhibits oneness and wholeness, while still retaining the distinct, individual nature of its members. Through the marital connection, God brings to humanity the ultimate experience of His/Their nature.

Mutual Responsibility

Marriage ushers humanity into the essence of God and His power in a second way – the living embodiment of the principle of responsibility in relationships. The triune God not only lives in simultaneous individuality and community; the relationship amongst these different persons of God is one based on mutual obligation and service to one another. This principle is also demonstrated in the relationship between Christ and the church, which marriage emulates.

  • Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:21-33

There are probably no passages more misunderstood than this one where, in our hierarchical world of power, concepts like submission are used for the degradation of others. Our world understands relationships, and sex, as opportunities to take; to extract what we need from others. God gave us marriage, and the sexual relationship within it, to show us that the opposite is how we were created to live.

The marital relationship is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. That picture is one of chosen mutual submission, based on the innermost needs of each party. It is the act of voluntarily giving up oneself to the other – even, as Christ did, to the point of dying for the other. For men, this voluntary giving up of self for the other manifests in the form of self-sacrificing love for his wife, since love is what women crave most. For women, this voluntary giving up of self for the other manifests in the form of giving respect to her husband, since respect is what men crave most. Neither involves power differential or inequality. Neither involves coercion or control. On the contrary, Christ lives out what being the “head” of something means:

  • Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me…. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” John 13:8, 13-16

In the world of the Trinity, being in charge means having a greater responsibility to serve; having more power with which to choose to put oneself beneath another. In marriage, and through the act of sex, husband and wife demonstrate the example embodied in the Trinity, lived out by Christ, and modeled by the relationship between Christ and His people – one in which members receive by giving.

  • “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10

Sex is not an act of gaining pleasure for oneself from others; it was created as a sacrament as part of the marital relationship in which the principle of simultaneous giving and receiving is lived out. Through marriage, and through the physical act of union within it, God gives mankind a tangible way to live out the principles that manifest in the Trinity, and in the relationship between Christ and the church. God demonstrates that fulfillment in relationships means living out of responsibility – out of the desire to give and serve – and that, through doing so, everyone in the relationship receives all they need. Through marital sex, mankind participates in the power of God to receive by mutual giving, to experience fulfillment through obligation to another.

Creative Power

There is a third way the marital relationship allows people to participate in God’s nature and power – it provides humans with the power to create.

God is Creator. His essence is One that brings forth newness, life. Throughout scripture, God’s creative nature is revealed, as well as His disposition to cultivate and nurture of the fruits of his creation. From physical creation of the earth and its inhabitants, to the development and protection of the nation of Israel, to the establishment and support of the church, to His plan for a new heaven and new earth at the end of time – God is perpetually in the business of generating being, and then lovingly taking care of that which He has brought about.

  • He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:5.

And through marital sex, God shares that opportunity with us.

  • “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” Genesis 1:28
  • “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.” Jeremiah 29:5-6
  • “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain…Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:1,3-5

Through marriage, and the sexual union within it, God bestows his unique creative power to mankind. The coming together of husband and wife, male and female, the union of two separate but complementary parts, releases to humans a power that is unique to the Trinity – the ability to create life that will then be capable of participating with God.

This potential is not merely reproduction for the continuation of the species, as with animals. The animals, who were “formed out of the ground” (Gen. 2:19) and did not have the stamp of God’s likeness upon them, were commanded to simply “be fruitful and increase in number” (Gen. 1:22) – to reproduce their kind. However, man, who was formed “in His likeness”, and into whom God breathed His Spirit (2:7), was told to not only “be fruitful and increase in number”, but to fill the earth and subdue it” (1:28), and to “rule” over the creation (1:26, 28).

Unlike the animals, mankind’s creative potential was unique.

  • “These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe …so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.” Deuteronomy 6:1
  • ”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates….And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”” Deuteronomy 6:5-9, 25
  • “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life,” Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Man was not only to perpetuate his species, but to create beings that would choose to love their Maker.

Like God is able to do, humans were given a unique power, like none other in the created world – to bring new potential out of creation; to combine creative ability with responsibility in the form of nurture. Man’s creative power, like God’s, had the capability for eliciting and guiding development.

Humankind was not simply given the ability to create; he was bestowed the ability to develop personhood – the cultivation of beings who are able to live in relationship with God.

  •  “The people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.” Isaiah 43:21

It is the marital union that not only creates life, but simultaneously creates the framework (the family) in which that new life can be nurtured to full potential – the potential to then participate with its Creator. God’s creative potential to humans through marriage, then, is twofold:

  1. The ability to beget offspring made in God’s image, and
  2. The establishment of family, the unit created from the physical/emotional/spiritual bond of husband and wife, for the nurturing of that offspring into God’s image  – so that they can live in relationship with Him.

These are opportunities that bring with them phenomenal power – the power, like the Creator, to create and nurture unique, irreplaceable, eternal souls.

Conclusion

Contrary to the voices of the world, sex is not first a pleasure, but a power – the power of God Himself. Sex is a fundamental sacrament that, as part of the marital union, helps us to experience our Maker. Male and female, two aspects of God’s character, coming together in a physical-emotional-spiritual connection, mirrors both the nature of the Trinity and the relationship between Christ and the church.

Incredibly, through the union of marriage, God unleashes His power to humans. Within the marital relationship, men and women are able to participate in the Trinity’s power of community, mutual responsibility, and creation and nurture. When used appropriately, this tremendous power serves to draw people closer to one another and to the Lord. Far from being simply a physical act, marital sex is a sacrament due our highest level of respect and reverence – as a means through which God allows His creation to participate in His nature and essence. Sexuality, as part of the comprehensive union of marriage, ushers people into an experience of the Lord in a unique way that no other human experience provides.

Sex is power – the power to experience and participate in the nature of the God of the universe. It is a mind-blowing, awe-inducing idea: that the I AM, the eternal Being who created something out of nothing, has seen fit to share Himself, and His power, with us, His creation. Yet this incomprehensible privilege comes at a price – the price that accompanies all power, but that is immeasurably steeper because of its divine source. It is the price of proper channeling. The power of sex – this opportunity to be the nature of Yahweh – can only reap its benefits when enjoyed in the context for which it was created, marriage. Its consequences can only be good when it reflects the nature of God, as it was intended to do. Only when the power of sex is channeled into a permanent, exclusive, comprehensive physical/emotional/spiritual union between a man and a woman can it bring us to participate in God’s nature and therefore be “good”.

The Lord’s limits on sex do not restrict an experience of goodness from those who might otherwise be able to enjoy it; they channel power that can only be beneficial when it reflects the nature of Goodness. Through the marriage relationship, sex draws humanity to each other and to God Himself.

Yet it is that boundary, the limit of marriage, that is the key. The power of sex unrestricted, like any power, has the potential to destroy. Sex as God intended ushers us into an experience of God – pleasure, companionship, freedom, and life. Sex outside of God’s intent draws us to an experience of the opposite of God – pain, isolation, bondage, and death.

Sex is no less than a battle for the soul.

 

 

 

 

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