Today’s Christians face a culture in which pornography, media, and advertising idolizes sexual pleasure while debasing the purpose of sexuality and denying God as the creator and the power in which God has provided it. While culture desires to deny certain distinctions and to untether identity and purpose from sexuality, Scripture provides clear teaching on this topic and brings the male-female distinction to its culmination in the Christ-Church relationship. A foundation of truth for gender and sexuality begins with understanding that each find their origin, structure, and purpose within God’s will for creation. Identity and sexuality are enchanted realities permeated with divine meaning and purpose. This truth stands in contrast to culture’s view that identity and sexuality are determined by consent and human will alone.
Outside of scripture, the term sexuality equates to sexual identity, attraction, and experiences which may or may not align with sex and gender. Sexuality is considered a social construct, a concept created by people and assumed by the current culture. Essentially, sexuality is a man-made idea that varies across culture, time, and place. For our Western society, it is believed this idea of one man and one woman in a heterosexual relationship derived from the Victorian era in the late 1800s. It is assumed that Queen Victoria established the cultural norms of heterosexual relationships being the natural and normative position of human sexuality. Queen Victoria sought to cease sexual relationships between male aristocrats and charged her physicians with studying this occurrence. The terms ‘heterosexual’ and ‘homosexual’ were created, and these physicians were directed to find an applicable cure to homosexuality. As a result, many people who do not live according to the Word of God, believe that it is the responsibility of culture to interpret the expression of sexuality, and the idea of sexuality is historically variable.
Currently, our culture has accepted the belief that sexuality is composed of an individual’s sex, gender identity and roles, sexual orientation, pleasure, intimacy, and reproduction. Culture believes sexuality is expressed through thoughts, desires, attitudes, behaviors, actions, and relationships. Culture considers influential factors of sexuality to vary across biology, psychology, social settings, fiscal factors, history, religion, and identity, as defined by how you see yourself. Culture states our sexuality is always changing because it is self-defined, based on many different components. Culture has led many to believe that their sexuality can be understood through what feels good and makes sense in the moment.
In 3 simple verses found in Genesis 1:26-28, our purpose and identity is affirmed. In community we reflect God’s image and realize His purpose in this world. We are created for intimate community, free from shame. We are created and embodied as male and female. For a man and a woman, this intimacy is expressed and consummated sexually when they are united, as one flesh, in marriage. The pleasure of this sexual union is meant to express intimacy of heart, soul, and mind, in addition to bodily intimacy. The divine purpose for sexual union is to extend our legacy and contribution to the Kingdom of Heaven. We are commissioned to reproduce children who represent God and extend God’s rule to the ends of the earth. God created sexuality, on purpose and for a purpose. Our created sex and sexuality are gifts from the Creator to be embraced with gratitude and worship. Any rebellion against God’s perfect design separates us from God, confuses our understanding of our true identity, and distorts intimacy.
To be made in God’s image means that no part of our humanity is purposeless or irrelevant to God’s creative intention. The identity of who we are as sexed humans is not a mystery. Male and female genders imply substantive differentiation and are fixed realities; not interchangeable or eradicable. This differentiation is observed down to the chromosomal, anatomical, reproductive, physiological, and emotive levels. As outlined in 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, our bodies are sacred, made holy by the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit and therefore to be used in a manner that glorifies God. Our understanding of sexuality should be celebrated for its rightful excellence, and we are called to rigorously guard against its betrayal and distortion, as noted in Romans 6:12. Sexuality misses its purpose when treated as an end in itself or when cheapened by seeking to satisfy our own pornographic or perverted sexual interests.
While it is important to reiterate the truth only found in Scripture, this truth must always be expressed with the Spirit of Grace found only in Jesus Christ, who provides it to us out of His fullness as described in 1 John 1:16-17. This reproach is intended for the Body of Christ, as we walk together in our sexual brokenness toward maturity in Christ. We are loved in our brokenness, with a love so boundless that God sent Jesus to redeem what sin had misrepresented. God inundates our sexually brokenness with mercy to wash our sinful natures clean and makes us new creations in Jesus Christ (Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Out of forgiveness- not condemnation- He empowers us to pursue purity through laying down our desires, and choosing His freedom, from the lies of sin. God is restoring His creation, including His purposes for sexuality, through Jesus Christ, the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15–20).