Do you realize that the first thought regarding sexuality originated with God? Before a single person was created, God determined that making man as male and female would be a good idea.
And aren’t you glad He had that thought?
Yesterday I had the privilege of officiating my first wedding since becoming your pastor.
There is something special and beautiful about young love.
But humans did not take long to twist or pervert God’s good idea.
This Thursday many of us will be disappointed in our spouse that the warm-fuzzies of our honeymoon will not be properly rekindled on this Hallmark holiday.
To some of us this holiday will be downright painful as you face the reality that nobody has been willing to commit to you until death do us part; or the promises made at an altar have been broken and each mention of Valentine’s Day is a fresh dagger.
Today’s text reminds us that these painful experiences are not God’s design.
While this command is only 5 short words and, on the surface, it is one that the vast majority of us can say, “At least this is one that I haven’t broken.”
Just like the railway to murder that we talked about last week, this one may be easier to break than we first thought.
Some think that this sermon may not be appropriate for children, but the best illustration of this command actually comes from a children’s story told by a pastor in Chicago.
One day, Sam's mother asked him what he would like to do for his birthday, which was going to be on the next Friday.
"Well," said Sam, "I'd like to have a party and a sleepover and then go fishing with Dad in the morning."
When his mom asked who he wanted to come for the sleepover, Sam knew right away.
"I want Johnny to come," he said.
"He's my best friend, and I want it to be just the two of us."
So the next day Sam invited Johnny to the party.
"It's my birthday on Friday," said Sam, "and I'd like you to come and stay for a sleepover, and then in the morning, we'll go fishing with my dad.
It will just be the two of us.
It will be awesome."
Johnny was really excited about the party plans, especially going to Sam's house for a sleepover.
"That will be great," he said.
"You will definitely come, right?" said Sam. "You're my best friend, and you are the only one I've invited."
"Of course I'll come," said Johnny, "I'll be there on Friday, I promise."
A few days before the party, Luke, another boy in the same class at school, spoke to Johnny.
"Hey, Johnny," he said.
"I'm having a party and I'd really like you to come.
We’re going to shoot bows and arrows, ride on 4-wheelers, then stay overnight at a hotel with a waterpark; everyone's going to be there!"
Johnny loved shooting, riding and swimming, and when he asked who else was invited, he found that his other friends were all going to Luke's party.
"That will be great," he said.
"When is the party?"
"It's on Friday," said Luke.
Johnny didn't know what to do.
He had promised to go to Sam's party, but now he felt like he wanted to go to Luke's as well.
Later that day, Johnny saw Sam on the playground.
"Look, Sam," he said, "I'm not sure if I can come to your party."
"Why not?" said Sam.
"Why not?" said Sam.
"Luke asked me to go to his party and I really want to go there."
Sam didn't say anything, but later when he arrived home, he cried and cried.
In fact, he couldn't stop crying.
Sam's mother found him sobbing and wanted to know what was wrong.
"Johnny told me he was coming to my party," said Sam. "He promised.
But now he doesn't want to come."
Then, after a while, Sam got angry.
"I don't care if Johnny doesn't come to my party.
I hate him, and he's never going to be my best friend again."
Johnny wasn't happy either.
He knew he couldn't go to two parties, and he had to make up his mind.
So when he was getting ready for bed, he decided to ask his dad.
"Dad, I've got a problem.
I promised I'd go to Sam's party on Friday, but now I've been invited to go to Luke's party as well.
Luke's party is at the ranch.
My other friends will be there and then they are having a sleepover at the hotel with a waterpark."
"Hmmm," said Johnny's dad.
"You made a promise, and then you got what seems like a better offer.
This is a big decision."
Then his dad said, "Johnny, what if I got a better offer for a wife?
You know, there are a lot of really smart women at my office, and some of them are really friendly."
"You can't do that, Dad," said Johnny.
"You made a promise to Mom."
"That's right," his dad said, "and that's why it's really important that we learn to keep our promises, even when we are young."
Early the next morning, Johnny phoned Sam.
"Sam, I'm sorry I upset you by talking about Luke's party.
If you still want me to come to your party, I'd really like to come."
Johnny had a blast at Sam's party.
In fact, he had so much fun that he didn't even think about Luke's party, and the next morning Sam and Johnny caught a fish that was so big, it took the two of them to pull it in.
A few days later, Johnny got a note in the mail from Sam.
It said, "Dear Johnny, thanks for making my party the best one I've ever had."
It was the best party Johnny had ever been to as well.
Johnny smiled to himself.
He felt good inside, and he was so glad that he had kept his promise.
Keep your Promises (Matt 5:27-28)
If last week’s command revolved around the sanctity of life due to image-bearing, this week’s command is the sanctity of the home based on promise-keeping.
Both in mind & body
At the very moment that God was giving this command to Moses, Aaron was crafting a golden calf at the bottom of the Mountain.
Gen 32:6 says that sat down to eat and drink and “rose up to play” that play is described in v.31 as “a great sin” which some see as a polite way of saying “acted sexually inappropriate”.
2. Jesus describe His society as an adulterous generation, history records that prostitution and pedophilia were both rampant in the Roman Empire.
I don’t know if those societies or ours is more sexualized.
3. America is a major producer of pornography for the whole world, sex-trafficking is a huge problem, and we live in an environment where it is extremely difficult to be pure in our minds, in our hearts, and in our behavior.
4. Purity of thought and of life is one of our greatest struggles.
5. Can I share with you some advice I heard over 30 years ago?
“Sex outside of marriage will either ruin a good relationship or prolong a bad one.”
Transition: One of the lies of the Evil One is that sexual misbehavior is without consequences.
So far I’ve said a lot about the negatives of breaking this command, but let me speak about the positives of keeping this command.
God’s Good Gift of Our Sexuality
Honor the Marriage Bed (Hebrews 13:4)
1. God designed two persons to complement each other.
God created the woman from the man, taking the rib from Adam, so that when He brought the man and the woman together in the first marriage.
When Adam woke from his sleep and saw Eve in all of her natural beauty, the Scripture doesn’t say that he needed any additional instruction on what to do next.
2. The book of Hebrews tells us that "marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure" (Hebrews 13:4).
The reason that it should be kept pure is that it is pure.
There is no guilt or shame when our sexuality is expressed as God intends, within marriage.
One Flesh (Genesis 2:24)
1. Becoming one flesh is more than a union of two bodies.
It is a joining together of two minds, two hearts, and two wills-the partnership of two souls and two spirits.
This unity begins at marriage, but God's purpose is that it should continue, grow, and develop as the marriage matures.
2. When a person is joined in faith to Jesus Christ, he or she is justified.
Justification is a decisive event by which you are forever bonded to Christ.
But that union is only the beginning of your sanctification, which is the lifelong process by which you grow in your relationship with Him.