Sermon: Sex and the Christian Marriage
Scripture: Matthew 5:27-30
In this week’s lessons, we learn how contemporary culture approaches sex, and see how Christians are to think and act differently, as Jesus taught.
Theme: He Who Runs Away
The second thing we must recognize is that in this world, if we are to live as God’s children, there are times when we shall simply have to run away from the temptation. I do not believe that this is the whole answer, as you will see in a minute, for the answer to any evil is never entirely a negation but always a more powerful good. Yet it is a partial answer and, at times, the only one. Did you know that this was Paul’s advice to his converts? For he wrote to the Corinthians that they were to “flee fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18). In addition, to Timothy, a young preacher, he wrote, “Flee also youthful lusts, but follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim. 2:22). In other words, Joseph who fled from Potiphar’s wife, and not David who invited Bathsheba over to the palace, is to be imitated.
A moment’s reflection will show why in some instances this must be so. In most of the temptations of this life, although they may well be severe, the Christian has an ally in reason. He may be tempted to cheat on his income tax. But if he is, his reason will tell him that the computers today are very thorough and that the gain (if there is one) is entirely out of proportion to the loss of money, time, and reputation if he should be caught. Thus, reason unites with his knowledge of the good and the internal witness of the Holy Spirit to save him. It is the same in many other temptations. It is entirely different with love or with the sexual instinct. There is something here that operates apart from reason or even against it, for it will make lovers of a Montague and a Capulet, or of a Duke and Duchess of Windsor. What couple ever sat alone in an apartment reasoning out the relative advantages and disadvantages of pre-marital sex and then either had sexual intercourse on that basis or avoided it?
It does not work that way. Consequently, if you are in this situation, or if you find yourself in this situation, you must start running like Joseph. Get out of the apartment, if you are there. Start the ignition, if you are sitting in a car by the roadside. Go to a movie. Visit your friends. Even go to see your pastor. But whatever you do, get moving. For neither you nor anybody else is one hundred percent able at all times to avoid these sexual temptations.
While sometimes merely running away from temptation is the first and only thing to do, why is this not the whole answer to confronting evil?
Give some biblical examples where people ran away from temptation. Recount the details of the stories.
Application: How can you avoid evil by not putting yourself in a situation, or by not allowing yourself to be placed in one, where you need to run away from it?