January 10 Sermon Excerpt
Before you read the below from this past Sunday it may be helpful to read Ruth 3 in order to gain a context for the sermon excerpt.
In chapter 3 of this amazing story we find that Ruth took a risk, but not for one night stand, but for marriage. This was an incredibly awkward situation, Naomi gave poor advice, but Godliness prevailed. If you remember Naomi told Ruth to "wait" until Boaz told her what to do… Ruth didn’t "wait," in fact she told Boaz her intent immediately: marriage.
Boaz didn’t take advantage of Ruth and Ruth didn’t seduce Boaz. And while the scene could have become sexually provocative, the writer of the story consistently shows the holiness and Godliness of both Ruth and Boaz. Even in the midst of temptation and trial, they stood firm, did not waver, and clung to the Lord.
I just want to speak to something briefly, we live In a culture that promotes and even flaunts sexual promiscuity and sexual hedonism. Even among Christians sexual relationships outside of marriage have become the norm. Through the Bible, the Lord is crystal clear: live, act, and be different than the culture… Yet, in an area that we, as Christians, have an opportunity to show that Jesus really does change our lives, we can’t keep our clothes on. And we wonder why the watching world calls us hypocrites.
The world promises much sexually, does it not? Whatever you want, whoever you want, take it, you deserve it. Sleep with her, she’s hot. Sleep with him, then he’ll love you. The world promises peace in taking what we want sexually, but there is no peace living in sin, sexual or otherwise.
Paul Miller in his book A Loving Life wrote this, “Sexual intimacy outside of marriage is fed by an idolatry that puts pleasure before the commitments of covenant. It breaks God’s speed limit by demanding immediate gratification. When that happens, love becomes disordered.” You see, culturally we’ve been fed and have believed the lie that how we live, who we take advantage of, simply doesn’t matter.
We cannot, nor can the culture play the moral compass, the Bible reveals to us what is truth.
Now there are plenty of verses I could read in regards to this, but here is just are just two: But, sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints (Ephesians 5:3) and For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3). There is so much we could exposit from these passages, but let me boil it down to this, the Christian is to be sexually pure.
Here’s the beautiful thing though, God redeems. Many of us have sinned sexually, confess, repent, Jesus forgives, Jesus loves, and He’s calling us to Godliness and holiness in all of life. He is worth surrendering every aspect of our lives, including our sexuality.