Well, after two doozies of previous posts, (I admit, they were long, but they kinda needed to be), today’s topic will not be as long, but just as important. In a nutshell of my two previous posts, perfection and purity can be achieved, and that happens when we accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. God calls us to this type of living, but it is only because of Him, and through Him that we can do it and this impacts how we view and act on our sexuality.
Now, with that being said, please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that we first need to be perfect and pure and then be saved. No, what I am saying is that perfection and purity comes AFTER we are saved through Christ. It is the work of sanctification, His ongoing work in our lives, where we then become Christ like. It is funny though, because while we go with Christ, we will continually see our sin, because we recognize that we still have areas in our lives that are nowhere near like Christ, but those around us will see us as Christ like.
I am explaining this because sexuality is one of the most intimate things about a human being. It is linked incredibly close to a person’s identity. A person’s sexuality, whether female or male, impacts everything, from thinking, likes, dislikes, habits, interaction with society and so on. And because it is linked heavily with a person’s identity, it is something that has to be constantly submitted to God. A person’s sexuality is one of the most powerful avenues that can project a person’s identity and therefore a powerful avenue that God uses to reflect His image, especially in the context of relationships and in marriage.
With that being said, all of us are a work in progress, and we will make mistakes from time to time, we will trip up, and we will commit sin; and sexual sin is definitely probable, from engaging in premarital sex, lust, unfaithfulness or cheating, masturbation, perverted toys, homosexuality, sexual abuse, porn, or manipulating your spouse with sex denying or granting depending on whether you’re sulking or trying to get him or her to do your “honey do list,” sexual sin is something that plagues the human race. Leviticus 18 and Deuteronomy 22 have an extensive list on what is considered sexual sin. Unfortunately, it is a sin that plagues us heavily today.
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I am going to get a little personal here, no; I have not had sex. However, my family has suffered from the generational sin (Exodus 20:5, Numbers 14:18) of sexual immorality. I have seen a lot of pain in my family caused because of it and I have suffered from it as well.
Have you ever seen a Spanish soap opera? I admit it I have seen about two. Anybody who is Hispanic would at least know a grandma or an aunt who watches this stuff. Like, you almost can’t have a Hispanic without someone in the bunch watching a novella. Watch out if 7:00 pm rolls around and your watching TV. The TV will get confiscated, and Univision will get put on. I have seen aunts kick out husbands who are watching their sports so they can watch their novella. Soap operas can get pretty interesting…until it becomes real in your life. Nobody wants a soap opera as their life, especially when there isn’t a cute guy in the mix, or a cute girl, but there are stories in my family’s history that can fill up a Mexican soap opera and make it look like child’s play. It is just something that we have struggled with. So listen to me when I say this….
Sexual sin is NOT the “unpardonable sin”.
I have seen God work powerfully in the lives of my family. They have gone through a lot, some very hard knocks, especially dealing with the consequences of their choices, but God did not lose His hold on them, instead, He went after them that much more. Guys, we serve an all-loving God, a God that gives us more grace where sin abounds (Romans 5:20).
I think that it is pretty powerful that when Jesus was here, John records in his book the adulterous woman. This story is the second instance in the book of John where Jesus specifically mentions of sins being forgiven and commanding to not go sin anymore. The Jews were ready to kill her, I mean sexual sin is a pretty big deal, because as Paul mentions it, it is a sin that you commit against your own body (1 Cor. 6:18), it is a sin that can really mess you up psychologically, emotionally, and relationally, moral credibility, and a bunch of other people around you. The Jews were pretty proud in keeping “their women straight.” Yet Jesus did not act towards her, as the typical Jew would have, instead, He gave her something else; hope, forgiveness, a clean slate, purity, virginity, and dignity, something else to look forward to and focus on; Him.
The church, unfortunately, sometimes acts like people caught in sexual sin, especially certain sexual sins, are passed the point of no return. As if all hope has been lost, as if sexual sin is definitely something that God just cannot forgive. And church, we need to Get.Over.It. If sexual sin was the unpardonable sin, then I think that the Bible would definitely had been incredibly clear on that subject, because then after all, it would become a salvational issue. But it is not, so instead of freaking out when someone is found in sexual sin and they want to change, then that is when we need to gather together and vamp up the spiritual family. We need to gather around these people, help them, give them resources, pray for them, give them accountability, encourage them, battle the fight with them, understand their struggle and suffering, to not belittle them and embarrass them and let them know that they are still sons and daughters of God and are welcomed into the fold.
And if by any chance the person who is reading may be struggling with sexual sin, listen very carefully, you are not too far gone that God cannot help you. God loves you and likes you and cares enough for you to want to help you get out. Get help. Search, humble yourself, and admit that there is a problem and go find help. Unfortunately, the SDA church does not have a powerful counseling arm for sexual sins in their denomination (that needs to change), but there is godly Christian help out there in other denominations and resources online. Just keep your head up, don’t lose hope, and know that God can and will pull you out of this if you just let Him be in charge. Patience and perseverance is key.
The opposite of sexual sin is not abstinence; it is holiness. You can still be abstinent and be lustful. The point here is not just eliminating the physical problem and that’s it, no, there has to be heart and mind change, a paradigm shift. And that starts by once again yielding your life to God. Letting Jesus be the center of your life, and He will make the repairs that He needs to make. He will not leave you in the dark.
And if you or any one you know have suffered from sexual sin and lack of church support, or placed in ridicule instead of being helped, I just simply ask that we, as a people, help change that. Us, as a church, make a stand, and help each other in this. It starts with God. It starts with us. It starts with you.