Seeking A Mate (Part 6)

This is the last message in the series on Seeking A Mate. It contains Biblical teaching on important issues affecting everyone, especially young adults, that is seldom found but often needed. Walking Purely and Chastely 1. A study like this would be incomplete without addressing the sexual aspect. A. Next to the instinct for survival, the sex drive is the most powerful force of human nature. It is part of life with which Christians must deal and it is best that they do so from a Biblical perspective. B. Scripture has much to say about the topic, both positively and negatively. C. The Law of Moses has numerous graphic references to sex, body parts and bodily functions. (1) Besides routine Levitical instruction from that law, it was to be read in the hearing of all Israel every seven years. DEU 31:9-13. (2) This would have been what was read before all the people in Nehemiah's day and expounded distinctly with primary definitions. NEH 8:8. (3) All scripture is profitable. 2TI 3:16. D. Paul did not shun to declare “...all the counsel of God” (ACT 20:27). 2. Clearly, the Bible teaches that fornication is forbidden. GAL 5:19; EPH 5:3. A. The importance of proper understanding on this is evident. (1) An informal survey at Kent State University asked college students their impressions about the word "immorality." Frequent answers were "Vietnam War," "air pollution," etc. a. When asked, "What is sexual immorality?," answers like "having sex with someone you don't love," or "having more than one boyfriend at a time," or "one- night stands" were offered. b. None of the respondents said, "sex before marriage." (2) A few years ago a survey conducted by eight denominations polled 1438 'evangelical' teens. a. Nearly half of them had already been sexually active. b. Only one-third of them would brand sex outside of marriage as morally unacceptable. B. Fornication: "Voluntary sexual intercourse between a man (in restricted use, an unmarried man) and an unmarried woman. In Scripture, extended to adultery." (1) Intercourse: “Sexual connexion.” (2) Connexion / connection: “The action of connecting or joining together.” (3) These definitions forbid all sexual interplay between unmarried people; fornication cannot be limited to penile-vaginal penetration. C. To deny that Scripture proscribes against unmarried sexual intercourse is to deny the plain definition of "fornication." The importance of a non-subjective word should stand out here. D. In Scripture, fornication also extends to sodomy, adultery and incest. JUDE 1:7; 1CO 5:1. E. In the law of Moses, a penalty was assigned to a man who had sex with a woman before marriage. DEU 22:28-29. (1) Betroth: "To engage (a woman) in a contract of marriage." (2) Note the contractual nature of the relationship. It speaks of being bound by covenant and commitment. (3) Those who engaged in premarital sex were obliged to marry until death separated them. (4) If a woman whose virginity had been voluntarily violated chose to marry another man and the latter discovered that she was not a virgin, serious penalties applied. DEU 22:13-21. a. Such promiscuity was considered whoredom and punishable by death. b. "To play the whore" means "to commit fornication or adultery." F. Even before Moses' law, premarital sexual intercourse was deemed wrong. The man who deflowered a virgin was considered to have defiled her. (1) Defile: "To render morally foul or polluted; to destroy the ideal purity of; to corrupt, taint, sully." (2) This is what happened to Jacob's daughter, Dinah. GEN 34:1-2. (3) Mark how premarital "defilement" contrasts with liberated sexual expression within marriage. HEB 13:4. (4) Sexual activity is not the problem. Bad timing and the wrong partners are where the law is violated. (5) Mark how the Holy Spirit makes it plain that what Shechem did with Dinah was wrong. GEN 34:6-7. G. If premarital sex was permissible, then what sense could be made of Paul's words in 1CO 7:1-2, 8-9. (1) Note that God does NOT prescribe premarital sex as the solution to overwhelming sexual attraction between man and woman, but MARRIAGE! (2) See this again in 1CO 7:36. a. For sexual companionship, Paul says "let him do what he will...let them MARRY." b. He does not say, "let him do what he will and go ahead and lie with her, and later let them marry." 3. From early adolescence the thoughts and desires of the average person will be very much preoccupied with the idea of having sexual relations with someone. This is not new nor unique to our current sexually overcharged culture. A. As the body grows, physical and chemical changes naturally increase this desire and having such desire should not be considered dirty or sinful. In the absence of some form of release, the tension of sexual desire can be emotionally and psychologically troubling. B. As already proven, believers must wait for marriage to experience sexual intercourse so what relief from sexual tension, if any, is available? (1) God has put within humans a mechanism of involuntary release through things like nocturnal emissions. (2) Not everyone experiences these things but God has not left them without a sinless form of sexual relief. 4. Masturbation (sometimes called autoeroticism or self-pleasuring) is the only form of voluntary sexual release other than marriage that is not condemned in Scripture. A. The Argument from Silence applies. B. If the Bible does not condemn it, it is not condemned. ROM 4:15. C. Men, even godly men, have stood and do stand in condemnation of masturbation but they do so based upon their own biases, not Scripture. D. However, whereas the Scripture does not condemn masturbation, it also does not directly prescribe it nor deal much with the topic. Therefore, my teaching on this topic is not intended to push anyone contrary to their conscience nor into a total preoccupation with the practice. 5. Masturbation is not, contrary to unfounded opinions, medically harmful. A. “Despite terrifying warnings given to young people historically, it does not cause blindness, weakness, mental retardation or any other physical problem. If it did, the entire male population and about half of females would be blind, weak, simpleminded and sick. Between 95 and 98 percent of all boys engage in this practice — and the rest have been known to lie. It is as close to being a universal behavior as is likely to occur. A lesser but still significant percentage of girls also engage in what was once called “self-gratification,” or worse, “self- abuse.” (Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family web response) B. See: http://www.focusonyourchild.com/develop/art1/A0000553.html 6. Masturbation in and of itself is not sinful. A. If it is willfully done outside of a private context for erotic purposes, then it becomes an occasion to sin since Scripture limits the public exhibition of the "privy member" (DEU 23:1) for sexual reasons to marriage. B. If it is done with unclean (morally impure or defiled, unchaste) thoughts (e.g. bestiality, sodomy, rape, incest, pedophilia, adultery), it becomes an occasion to sin because Scripture condemns such actions. C. If it is done to the defrauding of a spouse's sexual due (1CO 7:4-5), it becomes an occasion to sin since Scripture forbids defrauding a spouse of sexual favors. D. If it is done without a clear conscience, it is sin inasmuch as “...whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (ROM 14:22-23). 7. Consider some texts which are misused to condemn masturbation. A. GEN 38:8-10. (1) Mark that the thing which displeased God involved the motive for Onan's spilling of seed, i.e., "lest he should give seed to his brother." (2) The law later codified this principle that a man should raise up seed to his childless, deceased brother in DEU 25:5-10. a. This shows that Judah was apparently on the right track in what he ordered Onan to do. b. It was Onan's failure to do this that displeased the Lord. (3) Also note that the text does not specify HOW Onan spilled his seed on the ground. It may have been masturbation or it may have been coitus interruptus. (4) LEV 15:16-18 accounts for the seed of copulation being spilled elsewhere than in a woman's vagina. B. 1CO 6:9. "Abusers of themselves with mankind" refers to sodomy, not masturbation. See LEV 18:22. C. MAT 5:28. This text is sometimes brought up relative to fantasizing while masturbating. (1) This text is expressly dealing with adultery. (2) Adultery: “Violation of the marriage bed; the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with one of the opposite sex, whether unmarried, or married to another (the former being technically designated single, the latter double adultery.” (3) An unmarried person who deliberately looks and lusts after someone known to be married is thus condemned in God's eyes as an adulterer whether or not his lusting is found out or whether or not he commits the physical act of adultery. (4) A married person who deliberately fantasizes sexually about someone other than their spouse would also fall under this censure. (5) The issue of the violation of the marriage covenant is at stake here. (6) Mark the nature of the marriage covenant: it is a covenant of the eyes. Job 31:1. (7) Mark also the specific nature of the censure here, "whosoever looketh on A woman..." a. Such “a” woman in context is someone with whom a sexual relationship would be adulterous. b. This is not a warning against desire for the female form in general. (8) It is natural for desire to be stirred by the sight of the eyes. DEU 21:11. (9) The stirring of desire via the sight of the eyes may be wholesome or errant, depending upon the circumstances. PRO 6:24-25. a. Nakedness is to be covered. GEN 3:21. b. Uncovered nakedness is a shame. ISA 47:2-3; REV 3:18. c. The following passages define the nakedness that is to be covered: ISA 20:4; 1SAM 5:9 c/w PSA 78:66; HAB 2:15-16; DEU 23:1; 25:11-12; LEV 20:11, 18; EZE 23:3, 18-21; PRO 5:19-20. d. The above passages and numerous other similar passages (such as are found in LEV 18-20) censuring the uncovering of nakedness (in a sexual sense) outside of marriage demand a conclusion that nakedness of another is not to be viewed outside of marriage. e. These facts censure the exposure or exploitation of another's nakedness for sexual gratification outside of marriage. f. This censure would include the (sexual) viewing of images of nakedness outside of marriage. i. EZE 23:14 in context denounces graphic images. ii. 1CO 11:27 shows that abuse of the image of something is as the abuse of the thing itself. g. Fantasizing is going to happen. Pretending that it will not is not going to help matters. i. Avoid fantasizing about someone who is specifically “off-limits” (a married person, for example, would be so for a single). ii. A suggestion: Let any fantasizing for sexual arousal be somewhat vague if you are single. If married, one's spouse is the God-given and holy object of dreams and fantasies. Read the Song of Solomon with an open mind!
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