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THEO 303 (Sp '16) T23 - Sexual Ethics (Part 1)

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Hartmut Scherer

on 7 April 2016

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Transcript of THEO 303 (Sp '16) T23 - Sexual Ethics (Part 1)

Sources and Image Credit
Adopted key thoughts from Dennis P. Hollinger,
The Meaning of Sex
(Baker, 2009), chapter 3.
Sexual Ethics (Part 1)
The Christian Worldview and Sex
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it
I see everything else.” (C. S. Lewis)
Distortions in Nature
- in a fallen world there will be chaos and confusion
Rediscovering the Meaning of Sex
- the meaning of sex in the context of creation, fall,
redemption, and consummation
- in creation we see God’s original intentions
A Good Gift of God
Imago Dei
- humanity is set apart from the rest of the created
Embodied Souls
(or Ensouled Bodies)
- Adam, a finite creature
gift of sex
- biblical commands protect the beauty
and meaning of God’s good gift
- Gen 1:26-27, the crowning point of God's creation
- part of the meaning is the relational capacity
- Christ, the perfect image
- Gen 2:18 -> created to be in relationship
- humans are sexual beings
- “helper” -> a sign of mutuality for carrying out
God’s stewardship designs within creation
- we always exist and relate to others as both
human and male or female
- in marriage sexual intimacy expresses the depth,
uniqueness, and fruitfulness that reflect
relationship in the Triune God
Givens in Creation with Regard to Sex
(Gen 1-2)
- understand the realities of sexual impulses and
temptations within the Christian narrative
Distortions with God
- Gen. 3:5-6
Distortions Within
- disproportionate longing for pleasure
- we are ensouled bodies or embodied souls (Gen 2:7)
- to give ourselves physically while holding back our
total selves in the sexual act is to miss the full
meaning, power, and beauty of God’s good gift
- sexual act is a giving of our total self to the other
marriage is the
for both (Gen. 2:18, 21f, 24f)
procreation (Gen. 1:28)
of sexual intercourse (Gen. 2:24)
- sex is still God's good gift to humanity
- sexual sin is first and foremost against God
- rejecting God’s design for sex
- sinful lust is impulsive and unrestrained desire
Distortions in Relationships
- Human relationships are now broken
- sex can be a tool to manipulate, control, and harm
the other
- 2 Samuel 13 (Amnon’s rape of Tamar)
- sexuality and sex is part of the created world
physical realm
human body
human sexuality
the goodness of
Jesus affirmed all three (Matt. 19:4-6)
In the dual creation of male and female, God gives
4 He answered, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."
5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
distorts God’s designs
- God calls humanity to God's created designs
- the fall of humanity affects the relationship
with God, self, others and nature
- biblical faith sees redemption as God’s work of
grace, personally appropriated by faith
- it is not redemption from, but within our created
sexuality, sex, or our sexual impulses
Implications of the Incarnation
God’s becoming fully human is an affirmation of
the human body
it's an affirmation of human sexuality, yet a sexuality without sexual intercourse
Justification, Forgiveness, and Sex
- justification is the work of God, not the work of
- the only human response is one of faith
(Rom. 5:1,9-10)
- many who have deviated from God’s sexual norms
have difficulty believing God could ever forgive them
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
- justification and forgiveness -> God will forgive us
Righteousness, Holiness, and Sex
- God’s work of grace not only forgives but also
begins a process of transforming character
- With the presence of the Holy Spirit in one’s life,
marital intimacy should reflect self-giving love
- there is a freedom in Christ that translates into our
sexual experience, but
freedom is never boundless
- sexual freedom occurs within a God given framework
- all things are made new by God
- God’s ultimate purposes will be fulfilled
- sex in heaven? (Luke 20:34-36)
34 And Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
- not asexual, but without marriage
- no death -> no need for procreation
does not belittle the significance and beauty of physical intimacy on earth
the pleasures of sex are unable to yield final satisfaction
Living in the Light of the Coming Kingdom
- is to be evident now in the lives of believers
individually and the church collectively
"Marriage is a sign of greater things to come."
- 1 John 3:1-3
1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
"We are called to live out our sexuality as a sign of the ultimate triumph over sin and the reign of God’s purity, love, and wholeness."
- the meaning of the physical intimacy between a
man and a woman is rooted in the very character
of God and his designs for creation
- we are created in his image, with bodies, sexuality,
and relational capacities
- the ultimate intimacy and communion with God
will fulfill all that we have longed for sexually in
this world
- the final consummation simply reminds us of what
sex is: a good, but finite, gift of God
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