Sermons

God's Wisdom For Sexuality

October 9, 2022 Speaker: Reid Strahan Series: Get Wisdom

Topic: Wisdom Passage: Proverbs 5:1–23

This morning we are going to get into a specific area of wisdom teaching from Proverbs.  The first topic is sexual promiscuity, or bringing our sexuality and our sexual desires under God’s wisdom.  

Some may wonder “do we really need to talk about this in church?”  We do!  Paul warned against sexual immorality, in open letters read in the churches. In Proverbs sexual sins are addressed in chapter 2, all of chapter 5, much of 6, all of 7, and again in chapter 9.  To skip this issue would be like cutting a massive section out of Proverbs!

All of these passages begin with “My son”, or “Hear O sons, a father’s instruction.  Parents, (especially fathers) one of the most important responsibilities you have is to teach your children sexual purity and to model that for them. 

Why is this so important to God?  Because unlawful sex defiles the good plan of God. It is taking God’s masterpiece  and throwing garbage on it.  It is destroying something beautiful, something God made.

*God created us as sexual beings.. and that is what we are!  And God said that is good!  He made us a boy or a girl, a man or a woman.  In the language of Genesis, “He created us male and female, and he said go, be fruitful and fill the earth!”  God designed us for sexual pleasure in marriage!  And through the beauty of sexual relationship, babies would be born and the earth would be filled with people.  He commanded that!  He blessed it!  It’s good. It’s holy. 

The scriptures confirm the goodness of this gift again and again.  Gen. 2:24,25 God said,  “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” 

Proverbs 5:18-20 “Rejoice in the wife of your youth….Be exhilarated always with her love.”

1 Corinthians 7:3-5 “Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband….Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time.” 

Hebrews 13:4 “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”  Marriage IS honorable!  The holy, honorable use of “the marriage bed” is for the husband and wife in marriage. It is not to be defiled by sex with someone you are NOT married to.  God judges the sexually immoral because marriage is sacred.

*In the NT the primary reason given for sexual purity is because we are one with Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:15,17 “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!...But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.”  This scripture reminds us of the most remarkable spiritual blessings we have! “You are one spirit with the Lord.”  Christ is in you and you are in him.  To sin sexually means you are taking something(your body) that is united to Jesus and sinning with it.  That should horrify us!

Our spiritual union with Christ means our bodies do not belong to us but to the Lord!  Verse 18 “Flee sexual immorality.  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, within you, whom you have from God?  You are not your own...for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 

Your body is a temple.  God didn’t put his Spirit above you like a cloud.  He put his Spirit IN YOUR BODY!  That makes your body a holy place, for you to do holy things with.

That’s why Paul said, “But among you (the church, believers) there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of ANY kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people”.  Ephesians 5:3 (Sexual immorality is an all inclusive term for all sexual sin - sex outside of marriage, sex before marriage, homosexuality, pornography, any deviation from what God has said is good.)

*Now before we get any further into this, we have to remind ourselves that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  Christ saves sinners who have committed all kinds of sin, including sexual sins. Christ forgives our sexual sins!  And very few if any have escaped some degree of sexual sin at some time.  So it’s good for us to be reminded of Romans 4:7,8 “Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him!”  Through repentance and faith in Christ, all your sins are covered, and paid for, never to be held against you!

But we also see clearly that Christ came to release us from actually committing sexual sins!  This is where Proverbs comes in!  It warns us that all sexual immorality is foolish, and leads to calamity. And it shows us the blessing, safety of following God’s wisdom for sexual purity.

*So this morning we are going to focus on Proverbs strategy for dealing with sexual temptation. 

First: Listen to God’s word and highly value his commands.

Proverbs 7:1-5 “My son, keep my words, and treasure up my commands within you.  Keep my commandments and live! Keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart…. “to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress, with her smooth words!” 

Only the word of God loved, and treasured within you, will protect you from sexual sin. Why? Because sexual temptations are VERY deceptive.  Chapter 5:1-3 My son, be attentive to my wisdom; ...FOR the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil.”

The forbidden woman literally means strange woman, she is a woman you have not married and have no right to be with,   Without the bond of marriage she is not yours!  Yet she can make a relationship with her sound so sweet. Proverbs 7:13-23 “She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him . .  “I have perfumed my bed. . .  Come, let us take our fill of love till morning.” . . . With much seductive speech she persuades him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter.”

If you wander away from the word of God, and you become easy prey for the devil.  Only by loving God’s truth are you able to see the LIE of sin, and the misery of sin, and guard yourself from it. Stay in church where the Word is taught, loved and listened to!  Treasure God’s word within you!

*The second strategy of Proverbs for dealing with sexual sin is to set before our eyes the terrible price of sexual sin. 5:4  “The lips of a forbidden woman drip honey but in the end she is bitter as wormwood.”  Wormwood is an extremely bitter herb.  The Greeks called it undrinkable. Casual sex, immoral sex of any kind, may have a temporary pleasure, but the end is bitter and painful.  That’s what God says!

Verse 4 goes on, “she is sharp as a two-edged sword.  She is double sharp, sharp on both edges. She will cut you or kill you.  Her sweet promise of pleasure covers up the blade. But you’ll end up hurt, wounded, spiritually, morally destroyed.  Verse 5,6  “Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol.”  The path of sexual sin can lead to spiritual or even physical death.

6:32 “He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.” People say if we love each other, it doesn’t matter what we do. We’re not hurting anybody else”.  But you are!  It is a sin against God, against the body of Christ, it wages war against your own soul.  And Paul said “other sins are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually sins against their own body!”  1 Corinthians 6:18

Sexual sin destroys you on so many levels.  The guilt wars against your soul and weighs heavy on your conscience. You begin living a lie, covering up, living in fear of getting caught. You lose your confidence before God.  And then so often it destroys home and damages the children. 

And..no matter how common sexual sin is today, it still is a blot on your reputation and honor. Proverbs 6:33 “He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.”  Look at the reproach so many celebrity pastors bring on themselves and on Christ and on the church, when they get caught in sexual sin.  5:14 “I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”  Yes there is forgiveness, but they have lost something precious - a life above reproach! 

Proverbs 7 Describes this sad progression from temptation to misery and destruction.  Wisdom looks out the window of her house, and she sees a young man, lacking sense, “passing along the street near her corner”.  “And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.” She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; ..With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him.” “All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, “he does not know that it will cost him his life.”  

Then verse 26,27 “many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.”  It is the lie of the devil that sexual sin is harmless! God seeks to spare us from the heartache of sexual sin by telling us the ugly end results.  

*The third strategy Proverbs gives us for dealing with sexual sin is to flee! Run from sin. 5:8 “Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.”  Proverbs 7:25 “O sons, listen to me!   Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; DO NOT stray into her paths!” 

Several years ago I met with a young couple. The husbands  pornography was destroying their marriage.  But he viewed it as just a problem he had and his wife had to live it, and they had for a long time.  So I said, “If you were raping women, or robbing Casey’s stores every night would you expect me to tell you to just keep doing it, only try to do it LESS?” No! Go home and determine before God and your wife you will NEVER look at it again!  You died with Christ and he who died is freed from sin.   Flee from this sin like you would flee from a building that is on fire!     

You can’t get away from ANY sin by accommodating it, hanging around it. Proverbs 6:27,28 “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?”

It’s foolish to think I’m only going to look at this for a little bit, we’ll go so far...  but we won’t actually sin.  Proverbs says, “Do not go near her house!”  Don’t say I’ll go to her house and spend the night but we won’t do anything wrong. A man who used to go to RLC talked his wife into letting a woman he worked with live in their basement.  That was very foolish. He committed adultery with her.  And broke up his home and destroyed his relationship with his kids.  

If you are in a sinful relationship, or even flirting with someone inappropriately, or having romantic feelings toward someone who is not your wife, break it today, do not go near her again. Flee sexual immorality!

*The Fourth Strategy is for the married: Enjoy pleasures within marriage with your own spouse.  

5:15 Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?

A man is to go to his own wife alone for sexual enjoyment!  Verse 18,19 “Let your own fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth!”  Your own fountain is your wife. 

The old Bible Commentator John Gil said, “Let thy fountain be blessed,..Thy wife; make her happy by keeping TO her and FROM others; by behaving in a loving, affable, and respectful manner to her; by living comfortably with her, and providing well for her and her children:  Reckon her a happiness, a blessing that God has bestowed;” 

Men we have the greater responsibility to cultivate blessing, enjoyment and pleasure with our wives.  But both husband and wife have a responsibility to make the marriage relationship enjoyable, including the sexual relationship. It is dangerous to deprive one another of this God given pleasure within marriage.   

The big idea in chapter 5 is to fight against sexual sin by focusing on the legitimate pleasure in marriage that God has given to a husband and wife. So how does this work for single people?  Paul reminded those with the gift of singleness that you have the freedom and the pleasure of undivided attention to the Lord.  And you will have less trouble in this life. So both married and single people fight the temptation of sexual sin by rejoicing in the legitimate blessings of their God-given situation. 

*The ultimate safeguard for sexual temptation is: To know and enjoy God.  There is nothing better in life than to have friendship, and fellowship with God!  Nothing is better than to experience His presence, to be filled with His Spirit!  Peace with God is better than ANY pleasure life offers. Psalm 107:9 He (The Lord) satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. 

The battle against sin is a battle over what we believe will give joy, pleasure and satisfaction. People fall to sexual temptation because they are looking for something to fill up the empty places in their soul, something to finally make them happy.  They turn to forbidden love and sex. But it doesn’t work.  Only Christ can satisfy your soul and make you whole.  “Jesus said, I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” John 6:35  

The ultimate solution to all sin is to be filled with Jesus Christ. Paul said, “Do not get drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit!” Paul could have said, do not commit sexual sin, but be filled with the Spirit.  The big reason people fall into sexual sin or ANY SIN, is because they are not walking in and enjoying the infilling of God’s Spirit. Galatians 5:16 “I say to you walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” A heart filled with the Spirit will be a heart guarded from sexual sin.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 “For it is God’s will that you should be holy: You must abstain from sexual immorality; each of you must know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God; and no one should ever violate or exploit his brother in this regard, because the Lord will avenge all such acts, as we have already told you and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us to impurity, but to holiness. Anyone, then, who rejects this command does not reject man but God, the very One who gives you His Holy Spirit.” 

Most often we glorify God by something we do. But we also glorify God by what we do NOT do. We worship God by abstaining from sexual immorality.  It is a key way we show that we belong to Christ, and that we love him.  Young person, single person, married person, glorify God by keeping yourself in the path of sexual purity.  This is God’s wisdom for you, and it’s God’s protection for you. 

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