Glorifying God with the Body in Marriage

1 Corinthians 7:1-5

Posted by Dan Jarms on June 25, 2023
Glorifying God with the Body in Marriage
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Sexual intimacy created, corrupted, and redeemed

Main Idea: The married are to honor God with their bodies by mutual, not selfish, sexual fulfillment.

  1. Seek exclusive fulfillment.
    Colossians 2:23
  2. Give each other what is due.
  3. Communicate until there is agreement.
    Three principles that should govern desires and expectations:
    • 1 Corinthians 13:5
    • Ephesians 5:25,29
    • 1 Peter 3:7

To the sexually broken:

To those with strife over sex:

To kids and singles: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6

  • Automated Transcription
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    Good morning. Happy hoop fest weekend for you in honor hoop this weekend I'm wearing high tops right now preaching high tops. It's great. Even even found a brown pair, my new preaching high tops. So fun to enjoy. But we haven't spoken that way. If you're new with us just adding what Brian said earlier, before we started that, we're so glad that you're with us. So if you've come from the neighborhood, you come with a friend, we're glad to have you here and love to meet, you get to know you a little bit better. Our aim really is to be a loving community making disciples of Jesus Christ. So we're as much about personal relationship as we are about structured groups and things like that. So we would love to get to know you a little bit that way. We are in first Corinthians chapter seven, as we are systematically going through First Corinthians. And so before we do that, I want to just kind of give you that heading that happens just just before this. And last week we finished with the statement, you are not your own, you were bought with a price, so glorify God in your body. But the Apostle Paul is going to do now in chapter seven is address a variety of situations in which we have to glorify God in our body, with our sexuality, whether it's married, or single, or not wanting to be married, or wanting to be married, but it's to let you know, all those kinds of situations are going to show up in this chapter. And it's gonna be really, really helpful for us. And as we read it, this is this is a passage that often gets used to manipulate a spouse. And we're going to talk about that very directly today. But it is God's good plan. God gave marital intimacy, sexual intimacy, in marriage for a good reason. And let's see how the apostle applies it to our hearts and lives stand with me for the reading of God's Word. We stand because we want to show with our bodies and our minds the honor that God deserves, as we hear from him. First Corinthians seven. Now concerning the matters about what you wrote, It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman says but because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman, her own husband, the husband should give to his wife, her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband, for the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the life does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may Devote yourselves to prayer, but then come together again. So that when so that Satan may not tempt you, because of your lack of self control. This is the word of the Lord. Our God, we thank you that the gospel redeems every part of our life, all the guilt of sin, and with the newness that comes from the Spirit, even how we treat the past and move forward in the present. And we would pray when it comes to how we handle our bodies, whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, including sexual intimacy, that it be for your glory, it can be you've made it that way. And now we would pray that your spirit would instruct us. I pray for those who are they hear this and they they are unable, they they have abuse in the past. They may have been deeply affected by overuse of sexual immorality or pornography and and now feel quite stained. This kind of passage can be very difficult, and I pray that You would help give us grace so that we could live out the new life that we have in Christ and those who are enslaved to these things, who are not yet following you. May they find freedom today. We would pray that Your Word would work powerfully and all in Christ's name, Amen. You may be seated. So what does the gospel have to do with sex in marriage? Turns out a great deal. What does the gospel have to do with sexual purity and singleness and celibacy? celibacy is the deliberate choice to abstain In from getting married and having sex it has a great to deal with do a great deal with that too. What does the gospel have to say about being married to an unbeliever and sexual intimacy? It also says a great deal if, if you're single and you want to get married, does the gospel have something to say about that? Yes. So at the end of chapter six, as we lead into the reading, I said this to you, you are not your own. For You were bought with a price. What is that bought with a price? That is by Jesus sacrificial death, our guilt was paid for, and redemption out of slavery to sin, to service of righteousness was acquired. So glorify God in your body. It is not only the grace of God, it is possible that your guilt can be removed, that you can be restored, it also is possible to glorify God through marital sexual intimacy. That verse, verse 19, the end of 1920 serves as the heading for all of chapter seven. Whatever situation you find yourself in, you can glorify God in your body. With how God has made you, we're going to talk about how married couples are to handle their bodies in sexual fidelity. We're going to talk about celibacy. Next week, Paul says, I wish you were all as I am. He did not need to be married, he did not need sex. Wish you were all as I am. But if you're not, that's okay, too. And then he talks about what to do if you're married to an unbeliever, there's intimacy, and you're wondering about that. What do you do if there is if if you want to get married, and you're single? How do you do that all of those things show up in this chapter. Now, next week, we're going to take a break from that we're gonna start the series this week. And then next week, Paul funchess, is going to be here who we planted Trinity Church with. So it's been almost exactly a year and a half. So we're both going to preach out of Second Timothy two about the resurrection of Christ, I'm going to preach it there to them. He's going to preach it here to us. And then we'll both listen to both of them and see how different we were. Because we will be different about that. But it should be a really sweet time. I'm looking forward to it next week for you to celebrate what God's doing at Trinity, and us to go out there and celebrate what God is doing at Faith and encourage the saints there. Well, if you're if you're not a follower of Christ yet, or in fact, if you are a follower, and have been a long term follower, you you might have baggage difficulty that you carry to this point about sex and the past. And now, the Bible is surprisingly candid without being overly graphic about sexual intimacy. And you might be wondering if you're not a follower of Christ, does the Bible really talk about this kind of stuff? It does. Talks about sex in marriage. If you're not a follower of Christ, and you have a whole bunch of baggage, you might have been abused, you might have abused yourself, you might have been, you might have given yourself away so many times now that that your relationships are meaningless. The gospel gives hope for sexual guilt and brokenness. So what I want to do, just as the introduction today is start with what God created sex for what's happened since sin has entered the world and what the gospel does to redeem it, but the gospel does to redeem our sexuality. Let's start with what God created for Genesis 127 gives us the first glimpse of what it what God made sex for it made it to image God so he makes all of mankind and all of the all that they do to represent God. Now, this is an interesting statement, Genesis 127, he says in the image of God, He created him male and female, He created them. So they are image bearers, they represent God to the world and all that they do represents God to the world. So that means sex is created by God to point to a reality about who God is. Says in to Genesis 224, he gave them to each other so that the two would become one flesh. So there is a spiritual reality in marital intimacy, that is a pointer to something. The apostle Paul makes it explicit. In Ephesians, chapter five I've, where he quotes that verse, the two shall become one flesh. And then he says, but I'm not speaking of this, I'm speaking of Christ in the church.

    So in marital intimacy, there is a parable told or a portrait or a pointer to the spiritual reality of the union of God with his people and multiple times across the Bible. God is pictured as the groom and his people the bride, and explicitly in the at the end of the Bible, Jesus is the groom and his people are the bride. And so there is a pointer of fidelity and unity, and closeness in marital intimacy. That's what he's made it for. points to the glory of God, the glory of Christ. It's also made for an intimate relational union, the two shall become one flesh. Both speaks of the physical pleasure and the emotional, relational union, the Unity it's for cherishing each other, not exploiting each other. It's for producing children, sex and marriage is for producing children. That's the first thing that comes after the image bearings is Be fruitful and multiply. But it is just as well, for mutual pleasure. The bride and the song of Solomon's speaking of romantic sexual love says, I am my beloved's. And my beloved is mine. It was designed by God to create unity, union, closeness, pleasure, and above all, pointing to a coming day when God will be with his people fully. But since sin entered, the original design has been corrupted, there's been sexual abuse and rape. Many men and women according to Romans, one have exchanged natural desires for corrupt homosexual or transgender desires. And they have participated in that immorality, and they often carry with them permanent or ongoing physical ramifications. And instead of it being of marital intimacy, being a precious and intimate union, sex is one of the three greatest sources of conflict in marriages, just go ask our biblical counselors. Number one, problem and marriage money. Number two, sex number three the children. So if you experience tension or conflict over sex and marriage, I hate to say you're not extra special. But that's also good news. It's also good news because God has a good plan for it. Now, on top of that, that sin issue in marriage and sex, the curses also often resulted in physical problems, dysfunction, physical pain, and infertility. All of those things affect marital intimacy. But the good news is this God in the person of Christ took on a human body, which never experienced marriage, or sex in order to redeem His people and all that they are including their marital intimacy. Jesus died, Jesus died to redeem marital intimacy. That's a, that's a powerful reality. You were bought with a price. First is death paid for the price of guilt. If you are weighed down by a semi load of guilt of immorality in the past, that trailer can be unhitched. And you can be free from the weight of guilt, you may bear consequences. And the Spirit of God can help you grow through those consequences. The second he ransoms his children out of slavery, you don't have to be a slave to sexual passions. Instead, you can be in service to Christ. He rescues out from the kingdom of darkness and its immorality into the kingdom of light and its righteousness. 614 from last week, we saw this that our bodies belong to Him and He belongs to us.

    So if you're here and you feel that great, wait, I just want to start by saying there is forgiveness in Christ. If you forsake your sin instead, turn to Him. And as we turn to First Corinthians seven, God gives us now a roadmap of how to glorify Him in the body. Here's the big idea for this morning, we're going to look at one through five. So he's going to various stages the married the single the celibate, he's going to at various stages to this week, it's to the married the married are to honor God with their bodies by mutual, not selfish sexual fulfilment, by mutual, not selfish sexual fulfillment. When I say that, I can't address the myriad of concerns here. I'm not Dr. Ruth, as a preacher, which is an old reference. I'm not a therapist, about these, we're gonna we're gonna unpack God's word, but I will hit a couple of concerns along with it, but I can't possibly do that. What it means is some of you hear this, and you're just feeling the burden, as I'm about to preach this, because you know, you're supposed to do something and you don't either, you're chafing against it, it's hard, you're guilty. What I'm saying right at the outset is, as I go through this, you're going to need to find a trusted friend or a trusted counselor that you can talk to you you might need to do that. As we look at the passage, this is just five versus the mutuality, not the individuality of fulfilling sexual desires dominate the passage, sex is not for him alone or for her alone, but for them together. And you can see it by the each or likewise kinds of statements. They're, they're both balanced. There's no just the man No, just the woman, there's an each and, and both and together are one another. Both are to seek the fulfillment of the other. Now well, sexual passions, sexual values in the church, match the pagan culture in Corinth in the last chapters up all the way from one to six, Paul has been clear, stop doing this, this is sinful, start doing this. In chapter seven, he shows Paul as the masterful carrying Shepherd. Because so many people live in so many situations, he removes all of the absolutes. And he starts talking about the various kinds of situations not that there aren't absolutes here, but he passed orally applies the variety of principles to the variety of situations that are here. One of those is interesting. So one through six, the only thing you think of current is this divisive, immoral group until you get to chapter seven. And there's a group in Corinth, seven one that wrote to Paul and said, you know, instead of all this immorality, we think this this seems to be a quote from them. It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman you know, if immorality is so bad, let's let's just be done with sex altogether. Since it's so corrupt, let's just be done with it all together. Let there be none of that, that that word literally is to touch. Let it's good for a man not to touch a woman that it has the right translation here of sexual relations. And so what they did is a handful or a segment of Corinth overreacted against immorality and said well then we all should produce celibacy. We that's what we should pursue celibacy. It's a version of asceticism. asceticism is when you deny normal earthly pleasures like food or water, or other experiences, in this case, sexual intimacy and marriage for the appearance and purpose of super devotion to God. an ascetic was trying to show extra devotion.

    Paul answers that by saying this is not a good idea. This is not a good idea. With all the temptations that you're still going to have, with all the morality that's still around you. That's not going to work. And what he does then for us is give us some enduring principles about sexual intimacy in marriage. And given where Paul is going to end up in First Corinthians 13, where where it says love is not self seeking as I've memorized it young I think in the ESV is its its does not seek its own. One of the things we could say about this is this is not a passage to be Used by one spouse to demand selfish desires to be met by the other. The most natural understanding is that now each take on the mindset that would be the Christ like mindset of seeking to give to the other. So we're gonna look at three principles about mutual fulfillment that honors God with the body. That's what verse 20 tells us chapter chapter six, glorify God, God in your body. Here's how we're going to do that, in marriage, three principles about the mutual fulfillment, about mutual fulfillment that honors God with the body. Number one, seek exclusive, mutual fulfillment. I think in the notes I just had exclusive but the mutual is is unavoidable in the sex crazy Roman culture. Here's what's ironic or interesting, Paul, the single celibate Paul is saying that God has given a wonderful alternative to rampant immorality. It's called sex and marriage. It's a wonderful alternative. It was the original plan, monogamous sex and marriage is God's wonderful alternative. So he answers the asceticism by saying this first too, but because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband, and that have is the same have that was at the beginning of chapter five, where a man was having his father's wife and stepmother. He was having sexual relations. Notice that the each man and each woman their own, you get this idea of exclusivity? And so on one practical way, hey, there's a really good alternative to immorality that you all had. It is called sexual intimacy and marriage. On the other hand, the man could be saying, or the wife could be saying, you know, I want to be especially devoted to God and avoid all the corruption of, of my deep, lustful heart passions. So I'm going to be celibate. And Paul is saying, Yeah, but the other spouse may not agree. You know, I'm going to be celibate. And this other spouse is saying, Does that mean I'm going to be too

    says because of temptations to sexual immorality, your plan is not going to work. Your plan is not going to work. It commitment to no sex at all will not work, because of all the temptations that are around you. The apostle Paul says that you write down a note, we don't have time for all of you to turn there. But write a note for Colossians 223 asceticism, you're denying bodily pleasures with the appearance of spirituality, they can't help you against the temptations of the flesh, because asceticism is trying to fight flesh with flesh. And at some point, a greater desire of flesh is going to weigh out against another. Classes to 23 says these indeed have an appearance of wisdom and promoting self made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. That's why legalism doesn't work. Legalism doesn't work, because that is self made law for self made satisfaction, and in which some other outstanding passion at any given moment is like the horses being ready to let out of the gate. When the gates are open, one of them's gonna run. The only thing that fights against the flesh is ongoing, active, faith and communion with Christ. The life we live we now live by faith in the Son of God. life we live in the body, the apostle says in Galatians 220. So Paul's saying you need to get this right. God gave sex as a gift and marriage, and it is the proper way to handle the body. Now notice that the mutuality here this this is and each, there's a both and he doesn't list one and then just move on. Yeah, it was. It was this idea that the man should do this, but it's like no, you need to understand the mutuality here.

    But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband in the have is in both not trans slated in the ASB, they're both to have each other. This isn't averse to guilt a wife into sex lust or husband be tempted. I've heard that a lot. You mean, if a wife doesn't give into her husband's desire, whenever he has a desire, then it's my fault if he goes somewhere else, it's not what this is saying. Often gets used as a lever or a guilt tactic. Remember that, remember the situation, the person saying I'm going to be super devoted to God, and I'm not going to participate in sexual intimacy, and the other person isn't in the agreement.

    In Roman culture, this is a powerfully liberating statement, because in Roman culture, the paterfamilias, I'm not saying the Latin right, the head of the household, the father over the whole family was the head of the slaves. He was over the slaves, the property, the wife and the children. They were all in some sense, considered property. And in the pagan culture, the potter familiarise could have relations with a slave girl, or others, and that would have been his prerogative. And what Paul's saying here is, the first half is what you expect. Well, the husband should have his own wife, oh, but the wife should have her own husband. There is a mutual submission, in marriage, in sexuality for the Christian couple.

    If she has a Christian wife wanted to say the same thing. I'm going to devote myself to God, and we're not going to participate in this anymore. He's like, wait a second, to both, now have mutual care for the other. Clearly, immorality is not God's plan in marriage. asceticism is not God's plan in marriage. So having affairs is not God's plan. Neither is asceticism, God's plan in marriage. But exclusivity in mutuality, is God's plan in marriage. And it's a good plan, God made sex good in marriage when pursued to honor God. And cheer cherish your spouse. Number two, give each other what is do give each other what is do so first, seek exclusive mutual fulfillment, second, give each other what is due. And that's another fascinating set. The Bible speaks of sexual intimacy as something that is due the spouse, the husband should give to his wife, her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband, I want you to notice two words give and rights. Both should give rights to the other. And again, I want to say this as very often we get this from the men, that the men now take this as a demand from the women. The spouse gives up or gives to the other spouse doesn't take from it doesn't say one spouse can take from rights to themselves. It's no each is to give up what is due. Now, this isn't new in the Bible. And this this language is really interesting if you notice, because it's a reverse of what you would expect in Roman culture, the husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights. But this isn't new in the Bible. In Exodus 2110. There's there's a legal scenario that has shown up there. There was a very poor family in Israel. The man had a number of children who even had a daughter and they were near starvation. And so in that poverty, he has to give a daughter away or sell a daughter as a slave. She is going to get care and nourishment she's going to serve. And on the year of Jubilee, she would get let go. And sort of it's like the indentured servant idea. But still, they call that slaves. So here was a girl by the poverty of her family and needs to be sold as a slave and now serve in a new household. And that wealthier household that took her and as a slave, there is a boy, I have a son who falls in love with the slave girl. She pleases Him. And He says to Mom and Dad, can we get married? Sure, you can get married, that was legal. That was now maybe even a nicer way to take care of this girl and elevate her status. But then he changes his mind. So he doesn't quite have the status of a free girl at this point. She's still enslaved, but Exodus 20 110 says that if that son stops giving conjugal rights, she is free to leave the family. So if a slave girl, a slave wife was free to leave because she wasn't given her conjugal rights, naturally, a free woman would have the same freedom. So for some reason, the son who might have gotten married to a free girl says no to her, this woman now is free to go. So there was a conjugal obligation because even a slave girl, even a slave girl has the right to expect love and cherishing from her husband.

    Obviously, this speaks to the reality that sex is not always as pleasurable a pleasurable experience for both and there are reasons that couples withhold from each other. But there is a commitment that Paul sets forward that is a commitment to love and marital union, and marital unity. Paul turns the culture upside down, by telling the women that the husband's body is their body. Verse four, for the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. But likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Everybody expected the first half. But the second half is, is the surprise. And then it culminates with this, Do not deprive one another, don't withhold from each other. Don't deprive one another. There's a couple of caveats to make no sex is not a need. There's all kinds of justification that a man needs something. No, it's not a need if it was a need. Why did Jesus not experience it? Jesus never had sex. So it just can't be a need might be a strong passion, it might be built in and in marriage, that there might be a natural outworking of sexual intimacy, but it's not a need. But marriage is the right place to express this. So couples should not deprive each other. Again, the second caveat I want to make, there may be physical factors, psychological factors, there might be past trauma, there might be, there might be some other issues that are at play, and we're gonna talk about how to talk through those in a little bit. You may need a doctor or you might need a counselor. But the general principle if you're getting this whole idea is, is not selfishness and self gratification, but generosity, and pleasing, or loving the other. So first, commit to exclusive mutual fulfillment, second, give each other what is do. Third, communicate until there is an agreement communicate to others in agreement. That's not the main point. I'll tell you what the main point is. The main point is, you know, if you want to show some time of special devotion, don't make it too long unless one of us tempted. That's that's the next point. Look at look at verse five. Look at verse five. Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may Devote yourselves to prayer. Okay, so that first statement, it's good for a man not to touch a woman. And there is a spiritual motivation to a denial of, of selfless self pleasure, okay, there's a there's a time for that. Perhaps, because the language here is like perhaps I can imagine such a situation. Can Paul the master pastor, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time that you may devote, devote yourself to prayer but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self control? All right, you want to go on a fast for intimacy, okay. But don't make it too long. Because your bodies when you're married, are built to fulfill the other and to be fulfilled. You could break your commitment far too easy. That's the main point. But I want to camp on this point. This word agreement, this this word agreement

    except perhaps by agreement for a limited time now what does it take to come to an agreement about how long you're going to wait between When you express marital intimacy, what take was it take for agreement communication. It takes communication to do this, communicate until there is agreement. Now a couple of things to observe about the passage. To have agreement meant to communicate until both were genuinely willing to have the same amount of time. Apart from sexual intimacy. One of the things that it means is that the frequency of sexual intimacy was regular enough that giving it up would be noticed. So if you're a couple who who are married and you never have sex, then this doesn't mean anything to you, you just pray. So Paul was assuming that there was a kind of frequency that you could actually noticeably fast from, I'm not going to go into the details. But Jewish rabbis had various ideas and prescriptions for the frequency of sex and marriage. I'll spare you all of that. And the expectations because Paul doesn't, Paul doesn't do that. Because Paul says, it's up to the couple to talk it through. It's up to the couples to talk it through. We remind couples in premarital, very often that not too long into married life, work pressure, child demands. Eventually age will probably require you to plan for sexual intimacy. It might even require you to put it on the calendar. Like how unromantic when you get married, you're gonna heart start having to plan for romance, you're gonna have to put romance on the calendar, all kinds of life gets in the way. And if you're not one of those couples, I don't want to talk to you. Likewise, in the counseling center, we see that no spouse has the same level of sexual desire as the other. One wants more than the other one is more about romance one is more about the pleasure one is more about the relational closeness one is more about guarding the relationship. And so these have to be turned from points of tension to points of loving sacrifice. Let me say that again. These have to move from points of tension to points of loving sacrifice. That that is true about what happens in sex too far too many people bring their porn infected past into marriage with expectations on a spouse. Three passages should guide all our communication about sex. They guide your communication about all kinds of things, but let's specifically apply it to sex and marriage sexual intimacy. First Corinthians 1313 Five says 34 says love is patient and kind love does not love. Love does not envy or boast it is not arrogant or rude it if it does not insist on its own way. And that's true about the communication, of desires and wants in sexual intimacy. A sincere desire to please not to be pleased should be the rule in marital intimacy. Let me say that again. A sincere desire to please not be pleased should be the rule in marital intimacy. And as a side note, very often the barriers in a healthy God honoring sex life are barriers that are due to other parts of your marriage. Other parts of your marriage make you so hostile to each other. You don't even feel like marital intimacy. Those need to be dealt with. So first passage that governs the communication second passage that governs communications from Ephesians chapter five, we don't have time to turn there. But Ephesians 525 says Husbands love your wives how as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. So that means whatever the communication is the husband who sees Christ's death for him because he's part of the church sees Christ's Glorious love and future for him because he's part of the church looks to his wife and wants to love her sacrificially and lovingly.

    529 He says no But he hates his own body. He's talking to the men. Nobody hates his own body but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. So he has to now look to her, and nourish and cherish. So whatever you agree on, should be to express nourishing and cherishing, not self gratifying. It should express nourishing and cherishing first it shouldn't be your own way. Secondly, it should be to express nourishing and cherishing. The third principle, or the third passage is First Peter three, seven. Again, those apply to all areas of marriage, we're just talking about sexual intimacy and marriage. First Peter three seven says, likewise, husbands live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel since they are heirs with you have the grace of life so that your prayers may not be hindered? What does it take to live with your wife in an understanding way, it takes a lot of communication about all of life.

    sexual pleasures in a pornified world can be perverted. So you need to seek to honor not degrade. You need to talk about it. The communication should be to seek understanding. And it's good to ask each other, how can I love you better in our marital intimacy. So if there's a commitment to mutual pleasure, not selfish pleasure, this ends up being a glorious protection in marriage against immorality. Back to our passage with those three communication, you're going to need to come to agreement about all kinds of things come to one heart, one mind, in agreement about all kinds of things in your marital intimacy. If you've agreed, perhaps to set aside time for prayer and devotion to God fast from sexual intimacy, where you come together again, and why do we come together again, so that the Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self control, there's a real issue that you have a weakened fallen body, and you have natural desires and passions that are difficult to control. So don't make it too difficult on the other partner.

    With all of these, then, Paul gives principles for glorifying God with your body. Let me finish with a couple of key applications. First, to the sexually broken by your own sin, or by another sin against you. You might be sexually broken or may have you may have very deep emotional scars or difficulties. And this whole idea of mutual giving seems impossible. You feel so guilty.

    The good news of the gospel of Christ is that any sin that you've ever committed, is forgiven under the blood of Christ. You may have consequences. But you don't have to have guilt. And we have counselors who can help you. You might have physical issues beyond your control. You might need to see your doctor. You might have a situation where sex simply is not possible. But you're not an inadequate person because of that. You're not a less than person because of that. Remember, we said last week sex may be important but it's not ultimate. It's not ultimate, the Lord is ultimate. We were made for the Lord our body was made for the Lord first. your spouse's body was made for the Lord first, so you could still honor God in your body. Second, to those with great strife over sex, that might be one of the tensions your communication about sex may be non existent, or filled with quarreling because that's the way your whole married life is. This has got all kinds of conflict. So we don't talk about money very well. And I don't expect you to talk about sex very well. Either. Unite might need to get help talking about it. But I want to say this to comfort you remember what I said at the beginning the three greatest conflicts that the Counseling Center sees in marriage money Have Sex and the children. So if you show up to a counselor or to your growth group shepherd or to a trusted spiritual friend, and you say we're having problem in this area, you are so cliche. You're so cliche you're you're having arguments and tension over sex in your marriage. Why don't you give me something new. I say that kind of funny. Because I want to comfort you, you're, you're just normal. It's a normal problem that has real help by the power of Jesus Christ with the gospel. But you may need to set aside your shame and your shame may be real. Your feelings of inadequacy may really be real, but you won't get help. Until you talk it through with a wise spiritual friend who has the Bible ready.

    For Kids and singles you need to understand that your control of your body may well be for a spouse someday. And you want to do everything you can with your body to protect it for that spouse someday because your body will be that person's body. So here's what First Thessalonians four, three through six says. For this is the will of God, your sanctification, Your Holiness, that you abstain from sexual immorality, all kinds of immorality, that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of less like the Gentiles who do not know God. That no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, how do you transgress or wrong your brother in this matter? Well, if you as a guy, pursue a girl she's a she, she is a believer, and you have immorality with her and you're not going to marry her that that sexual relationship was for potentially a brother in Christ. So it's true for immorality. It's true for fornication sex before marriage.

    He says the Lord is the avenger and all these things. Fighting for sexual purity is fighting to reserve your future spouse, what belongs to him or her alone. And I know some of you were gonna go back to the guilty and weigh down and sin. Some of you are saying it's too late. I've already given it all away. There is forgiveness and cleansing. There is renewal. And perhaps by God's grace, there is a future understanding spouse who will also forgive you

    What's this all moving toward? It's moving toward the glory of God in the body. When pursued selfless, selflessly for closeness and pleasure for the other. There's an important finale I want you to see. And Ephesians 531 through 32. I've already referred to this let me read it directly. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and the two shall become flesh, Paul's quoting Genesis 224 That one flesh union that is both about pleasure and unity. He says this mystery is profound and I am saying that it refers to Christ in the church. That means that marital intimacy, pictures something. The exhilaration, like you see the bride and groom have in the whole Book of Song of Solomon, that exhilaration in that marital union points to something. It points to the day when Christ fully dwells with his people. Does the gospel have anything to do with sex and marriage? Yes. You were bought with a price Christ died for your sexual sin to purify you for a great day to come. It's called The Wedding Supper of the Lamb. You remember what bought with a price refers to guilt and slavery? Bought, the purchase of your guilt is removed forgiveness. Redemption from slavery is granted. And there's this great day coming

    Turn to Revelation 19. The end of your Bible

    revelation 19 There is a massive feast prepared a supper and the multitude there in 19 one cries out, hallelujah, salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for His judgments are true and just for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality. He's making a judgment of immorality and as avenged on her the blood of his servants. Once more, they cried out hallelujah. The smoke goes up forever and ever verse for the 24 elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God who was seated on the throne saying, Amen, Hallelujah. And from the throne came a voice saying, praise our God, all you His servants, you who fear Him small and great. Then what seemed to be the voice of great multitude, like the roar of many waters, like the sound of mighty peals of thunder crying out hallelujah, the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns, let us rejoice and exalt and give Him glory. For the marriage of the Lamb has come. Christ, the groom, the Lamb, who died to purchase a bride for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready and look at it, and it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure granted to her because she was not, she was not bright and pure. The price of Christ's death brings us a righteousness. If you're struggling with sexual sin, guilty of sexual sin, there is a purchase and there is a future. It was granted to her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure for the fine linen as the righteous deeds of the saints. And so what God has done by making pure his people carry out in purity. There is a great day, a great wedding day coming in Revelation 21. It talks about the New Jerusalem which is God's people and God's new dwelling coming down, dwelling with God as their God, He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will be with them as their God. This is the portrait or the parable of marital intimacy and it is worth preserving in marriage. This is why God is so adamant against immorality, because faithful monogamous sexuality in marriage, pictures, a great day of full closeness of a full, shameless dwelling between God's people and God, the shame will all be gone and all will rejoice.

    How do we glorify God in our body waiting for that day, to the married, commit yourself to exclusive mutual fulfillment? Glorify God until this day comes Let's pray. Father, we thank you for the power of your word to address really common issues in our lives. The first thing that I pray is that those who are selfish, would see the selflessness of Christ and be brought to conviction of sin and repentance to those who are guilty and heavy laden. I pray that they would come to you for rest. To those who have been deeply, deeply, spiritually and emotionally hurt because of past things done to them and now find themselves married. I pray that you would give them a renewal in their hearts, patient and caring love from their spouse. While we will probably never talk about it, I pray that it would be true that the marriages of faith Bible Church would glorify You in this exclusive marital intimacy that each of us Because of that, generosity, wood long all the more for the final day when sin is eradicated, and we see you walk with you face to face. It's in Christ's name we pray. Amen.

Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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