What is sex? (Part II)

Here’s my outline from the message I gave at the Bridge on Sunday.

What is Sex?

2/14/10

*This message leans heavily on The Meaning of Sex, by Dennis Hollinger (Baker, 2009)

Creation

If:

–          God created the world with meaning and purpose.

–          Sex is part of the created world.

Therefore:

–          There is meaning and purpose in sex.

In Genesis 1, God creates the heavens and the earth, and he declares it “good.”

–          In Genesis 1:31, he declares man and woman to be “very good.”

“The metaphysical goodness of the human body is affirmed not only by creation, but also by doctrines such as the incarnation and the resurrection of the body in the consummation.” (Hollinger)

Genesis 1:27 – The image of God is present in us as a gift of God, and is cited in parallel to our male-ness and female-ness.

–          What is the image of God?

–          Some theologians see this passage as teaching that the image of God is our relational and sexual capacity (that we reflect the relationality of the trinity in our relationship to one another).

“No animal falls in love, writes profound romantic poetry, or sees sex as a symbol of the ultimate meaning of life because no animal is made in the image of God.  Human sexuality is that image, and human sexuality is a foretaste of that self-giving…that is the heart of the life and joy of the Trinity.”

Buechner quote about our longing for connection with another person.

Pleasure and creation

Fall

But we don’t live in Eden. We don’t experience pleasure in the way or the measure that we ought.  Much of our sin is wanting good things in wrong ways, and the better the thing, the greater the perversion.

–          This is not a surprise to the author of Genesis – Sexual sin is littered through the book.

  • Can you think of any passages?
    • Lot and Sodom
    • Noah and his sons
    • Lot and his daughters
    • Joseph and Potipher’s wife

Ephesians 4:18-19 – “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in the them due to the hardening of their hearts.  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity.”

The fall leads to treating sexuality through power plays and domination, rather than the partnership we were meant to experience:

–          Genesis 3:16 – Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Redemption

Christ comes as a man, fully incarnate and fully masculine

“Christian piety does not have to be nervous about the sexuality of Jesus.  He was a male, and his masculinity shaped his human life from the his hormones to his soul.  God did not become a third sex; he did not become neuter.  He became a male and lived among women and men as a male.  It is true that Jesus did not get married, and this fact tells us something about the possibilities of being a sexual human being without having genital sexual relationships.”  Lewis Smedes

What does it look like to live a redeemed sexual ethic?

–          More than just “restraint” though it certainly includes that

The forgiveness that is available to all who sin, whether sexually or otherwise, is a great consolation.

Consummation

Will there be sex in heaven?

Luke 20:34-36

Rob Bell – “Are these brief moments of abandon and oneness and ecstasy just a couple seconds or minutes of how things will be forever?”

What is Sex?

2/14/10

*This message leans heavily on The Meaning of Sex, by Dennis Hollinger (Baker, 2009)

Creation

If:

God created the world with meaning and purpose.

Sex is part of the created world.

Therefore:

There is meaning and purpose in sex.


In Genesis 1, God creates the heavens and the earth, and he declares it “good.”

In Genesis 1:31, he declares man and woman to be “very good.”

“The metaphysical goodness of the human body is affirmed not only by creation, but also by doctrines such as the incarnation and the resurrection of the body in the consummation.”

Genesis 1:27 – The image of God is present in us as a gift of God, and is cited in parallel to our male-ness and female-ness.

What is the image of God?

Some theologians see this passage as teaching that the image of God is our relational and sexual capacity (that we reflect the relationality of the trinity in our relationship to one another).

“No animal falls in love, writes profound romantic poetry, or sees sex as a symbol of the ultimate meaning of life because no animal is made in the image of God.  Human sexuality is that image, and human sexuality is a foretaste of that self-giving…that is the heart of the life and joy of the Trinity.”

Buechner quote about our longing for connection with another person.

Pleasure and creation

Fall

But we don’t live in Eden. We don’t experience pleasure in the way or the measure that we ought.  Much of our sin is wanting good things in wrong ways, and the better the thing, the greater the perversion.

This is not a surprise to the author of Genesis – Sexual sin is littered through the book.

o Can you think of any passages?

§ Lot and Sodom

§ Noah and his sons

§ Lot and his daughters

§ Joseph and Potipher’s wife

Ephesians 4:18-19 – “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in the them due to the hardening of their hearts.  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity.”

The fall leads to treating sexuality through power plays and domination, rather than the partnership we were meant to experience:

Genesis 3:16 – Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

Redemption

Christ comes as a man, fully incarnate and fully masculine

“Christian piety does not have to be nervous about the sexuality of Jesus.  He was a male, and his masculinity shaped his human life from the his hormones to his soul.  God did not become a third sex; he did not become neuter.  He became a male and lived among women and men as a male.  It is true that Jesus did not get married, and this fact tells us something about the possibilities of being a sexual human being without having genital sexual relationships.”  Lewis Smedes

What does it look like to live a redeemed sexual ethic?

More than just “restraint” though it certainly includes that

The forgiveness that is available to all who sin, whether sexually or otherwise, is a great consolation.

Consummation

Will there be sex in heaven?

Luke 20:34-36

Rob Bell – “Are these brief moments of abandon and oneness and ecstasy just a couple seconds or minutes of how things will be forever?”

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