MarriageOctober 29, 2023 | Brandon Cooper
This sermon discusses the seventh commandment against adultery. God rescues us from sexual immorality to his good design for marriage, and ultimately to the best, which is our union with Jesus. Brandon discusses why sexual immorality harms us and damages society. He also talks about how God’s design for sex and marriage within the context of a lifelong covenant points to our relationship with God. The sermon applies this teaching by encouraging guarding against temptation, pursuing God’s design for relationships, and proclaiming the gospel to a lost world in need of forgiveness.
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All right, you can go ahead grab your Bibles open up to Exodus chapter 20. We will be in verse 14 this morning. Exodus 20, verse 14. As you’re turning there, you may remember April 9, or April 15, 2019. As the world watched, Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames in Paris. And I think one of the reasons why the world paid such close attention to what was happening was because of the longevity of Notre Dame. It had been around for so long, it actually took more than 200 years to build the cathedral and had stood for over 800 years. And yet, despite all that, it was gone. Devastated in just a few hours. Really, this is a building that had endured wars and revolutions and the ravages of a time 1000 years of history destroyed in a day by one careless act. Why do I mention this? Because my topic this morning is adultery. Where a marriage built up over the years and even decades, can be destroyed in an instant by a careless act. This means we’re in for another heavy sermon. If you were here last week, you know what that’s like. And just as a reminder that the heaviness of the sermon is a pointer to the truth. We talked about, on week one, which is that the 10 commandments are good. What’s heavy is not the command. What’s heavy is when the command is transgressed when it’s broken and the devastation that results. God’s commands are for our good, I said, week one, and I will stand by it. Life would be so much better if everyone kept all the commandments all the time. We’re gonna certainly see that this morning, even as we enter into the heaviness, but at the same time, I don’t want heaviness to be the tone. I want to set the tone early on. I don’t always do this, but we need to remember the grace that is there in Luke chapter seven. A sinful woman comes to Jesus and by the way, sinful woman is euphemistic. It’s not that they didn’t specify what sin maybe she was a gossip. Maybe you know, she had a hard time forgiving her neighbor or something like that no sinful woman, man, sexually sinful, she was sexually immoral. She comes to Jesus but she comes in repentance, she wets his feet with her tears and drives them with her hair and the religious guy who is there Simon the Pharisee. Of course, he rejects her. If Jesus knew who this woman was, if he knew what she had done, he wouldn’t allow her anywhere near him. But Jesus knows. Jesus knows what Simon is thinking as well. And his last words to the woman are not words of condemnation, but your sins are forgiven. That is a reminder we need to hear and we need to have in mind as we go through this today, there is hope. There is good news for those who have sinned sexually. This is a sermon about grace because every sermon is a sermon about grace. Part of the grace is the warning. It is the warning not to sin. It’s something we need to hear again, that will help our lives go better if we listen to it. So this is a sermon that is all about salvation. In fact, I’ve got it right there in the main idea for you. So it’s in your head the whole time. When it comes to sex. God has rescued us. He is rescued, as we’re gonna look at what that means exactly in three parts God has rescued us from the bad to the better, for the best. And that’ll be our outline this morning. We live in a broken and fallen world sexually because we have abandoned God’s good design, as we’ll see. But God is making all things new. We need to see that too. A quick word to parents before we dive in, especially those of you who got kids sitting with you right now. I imagine some of you and preparing for this week, you read the passage and you thought this would be a great time for them to be downstairs. And so you might get questions after today. It might be words they hadn’t heard before that they asked you about and can I just tell you upfront I am so unapologetic about that. And here’s why. Because they’re gonna hear all these words anyway. And how much better that they hear it in church, and then get to go home and talk about it with their parents. That’s how this should go. So embrace the uncomfortableness that’s what we should be doing. At the same time. I don’t want to leave you adrift all on your own. So look at your Family Ministries weekly. This week. Kyle is going to include a number of resources that you can purchase that will help you navigate these conversations. These are great resources. We have some of them in the Cooper household, so you’re not on your own here. But with that, let’s dive in. God has rescued us. First of all, God has rescued us from the bad. By which I mean sexual immorality God has rescued us from sexual immorality. We start with the bad because that’s our passage this morning. It is a negative command. You shall not commit adultery, short and sweet. Five words this week still just to in Hebrew, much like last week, but this is a prohibition. Right? You’re not supposed to do what will profane God’s holy design. And yet, like last week, when he looked at You shall not murder, this is about more than just what’s being prohibited. This is about more than just adultery. God is here prohibiting any sexual immorality, which is any sexual experience outside the covenant of marriage, whether that is desire or thought, or action. When you talk about a lot of things, you’re not going to spend a ton of time I think we know what sexual immorality is. But certainly, this prohibits all extramarital sexual activity. When that happens, and you’re not married, it’s called fornication when it happens and you are married. It’s called adultery. Both are forbidden, of course. And sexual activity is kind of a vague term and I’m okay with that. Because if your question in your mind right now is okay, but how far can I go? Your heart is in the wrong place. I guarantee you. The question of course should be how can I best glorify God. But it includes more than just activity. Certainly, this prohibits pornography. And as I mentioned that, of course, we need to acknowledge the fact that our media, movies, TV music, you name it has become increasingly pornographic, which means it may prohibit stuff you can find on cable TV, maybe even not cable TV, it prohibits lewd and leering and lustful glances. Jesus says in Matthew chapter five, anyone who even looks at a woman for the purpose of lusting after her, that’s the purpose right has committed adultery in his heart. So the look, the thought, the desire, all that counts as adultery as well, cultivating an epic fantasy life is prohibited here, not just here. But of course, that fantasy life breeds discontent, which is going to come up again in the 10th commandment, as well. And certainly, this prohibits our intentionally seeking anything outside of the covenant of marriage that would arouse or titillate. There’s plenty of that around us. That’s just a brief tour through the sorts of things that this commandment prohibits. But even that brief tour shows us why the Seventh Commandment might be the most irritating of all, at least in our culture. Because we live today in a culture that is zealous, I don’t have any other word for it. There’s zeal there, zealous for sexual autonomy, our culture’s mantras my body, my choice. So how dare anyone, even God, if he exists, keep me from pursuing what I think will bring me pleasure, happiness, and fulfillment. Uh, you need to get out of my bedroom. And maybe it’s a little weird that God’s so concerned about what happens in my bedroom, actually. And this is why we, as a culture, have gotten to the point where now consent is the only ethic that we have when it comes to sex as long as it’s not hurting anyone who cares. It is a victimless act. I mean, this might be something that’s happening literally just in my own mind. So why would anyone else care? If it is victimless? Well, because it’s not, of course, sexual immorality has many, many victims may take just pornography as one example. It’s a well-proven fact at this point that pornography use increases violence against women. And basically, funds, promotes sex trafficking. So think about that. The next time you’re tempted to look at porn by looking at porn here is directly funding the trafficking of young men and women.
This is not a victimless crime. But none of it is victimless it does irreparable damage, even if it’s just happening in your own mind is doing irreparable damage to you. We have to remember that God only prohibits what will harm us. What’s bad for us. Like God loves us. He wants what’s best for us. That’s why he prohibits what is not best for us. He is a loving father. I’m a father. Mother sweet loving. There are a lot of prohibitions. I got two little boys who are mischief makers in the extreme. You notice I didn’t throw the girls under the bus here, right? Just different – different categories for sure. So these boys are mischief makers, which means there are a lot of prohibitions in our household, you know, don’t touch the hot stove, you you cannot play in the front yard. When there’s no one else out there. You know, they’re too little, they could run into the street, get hit by a car or something like that. Why do I give them these prohibitions? Is it because I want to wreck their fun? Oh, it’s the opposite, right? It’s because I love them. And I’m imperfect. In fact, I know there have been times where I’ve really been at things where it’s just because it would inconvenience me personally, I’m imperfect. But God is the perfect father. He only ever prohibits what will harm us. And sexual immorality harms us. Science has proven his watch finally caught up to the Bible. That’s how science works. So what happens during sex, scientifically? In women, the hormone oxytocin is released. This is known as the attachment hormone, by the way, it’s also released when mothers nurse their babies. And so it’s meant to create this attachment, this bond between two people. And so that’s what’s happening during sex. The same is true for men. It’s a different hormone. It’s not oxytocin as much as vasopressin there, but it’s the same idea. In fact, they’ve nicknamed vasopressin, the monogamy molecule, because it binds you to the person that you’re sharing your body with. There’s one sex therapist that put it in this again, sex therapists, we’re not talking Christian, I’m not quoting the Bible here or anything like that. This is just well-known knowledge. When we have sex, we create an involuntary chemical commitment. There’s no such thing as no strings attached sex. The strings are there chemically, regardless of whether or not you want them we are designed to bond. First Corinthians six verse 16, expresses it. Well. Paul says, Don’t you know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body for it, it said the two will become one flesh. There’s the binding, there’s the uniting that happens. As a Duke University professor, again, not a Christian, who is almost riffing on this passage, when she writes, don’t you know that when you sleep with someone, your body makes the promise, whether you do or not. And so you see, the problem with sexual immorality is trying to create a divide between physical intimacy on the one hand, and emotional spiritual relational intimacy, on the other hand, like people assume that there’s a clear dividing line between them between the emotional and the sexual aspects of a relationship. Where does this come from? This comes from Descartes and his dualism, it kind of the divide between a body and soul. And so you know, the body that’s just matter, and matter doesn’t matter, right? It’s your soul. You know, this, you can do whatever you want with this, this one, maybe you want to reserve for marriage, but it doesn’t actually work. Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw and his play, Too True to Be Good. He writes this, he says, when men and women pick one another up just for a bit of fun, they find they picked up more than they bargained for. Because men and women have a top story as well as the ground floor. Right? What he’s saying there is you can’t divide it right? Like you’re in the building, you’re in the building. And it’s got two stories, there’s body, but there’s soul as well. So I think this is one of the reasons why there’s so much anxiety and depression today. Because people are looking to sexual fulfillment, in essence, to save them to provide them with that meaning and fulfillment that they’re seeking. But it’s doing the opposite. Instead, it’s deeply, deeply wounding them, because sex is meant to be an expression of covenant commitment. The binding uniting that happens. This, by the way, of course, is why adultery is so devastating. Because it is the rendering of that covenant, maybe permanently, if it ends in divorce, what is the breaking of vows? That’s why it’s so hurtful. Again, not just to the spouse but just concentric circles around the marriage being devastated by this – kids, of course, but families I mean, perhaps you’ve experienced this where you know, you effectively lose an in-law is somebody you love that was a part of your family. Now they’re not any longer you lose friends, it just goes on and on and on. It’s like tossing a hand grenade into a situation devastation results. It’s so hurtful and it’s hurtful because it’s sinful. Sinful and what is sin? Sin is this selfishness. Right we basically have been given one command we talked about this a lot. We talked about it already in this series. Your one command is love. That’s it. It’s all supposed to love God with all your heart soul, mind strength, love your neighbor as yourself. And sin says Actually, no, I’m gonna love myself, and God and neighbor are on their own sexual immorality is inherently selfish. You’re using abusing people for your own pleasure. Jen Wilkin says it well. She says, if the sixth commandment You shall not murder prohibits seeing people as expendable. The Seventh Commandment forbids seeing people as consumable just objects of consumption, which is so inherently dehumanizing. You have to treat someone as less than human and treat them instead just as objects for your own pleasure really tools for your pleasure. This has reached such a point that today you can read theories of they call it sexual economics. What a satanic phrase that is. Sexual economics as though this were transactional. What’s happening in this moment, people are just a good to be consumed, even purchased. Maybe not with money, maybe it’s dinner and flowers, but it’s still being purchased.
It’s devastating. It’s why consent isn’t an insufficient ethic as well. Read an article recently, I mean, remember where but the woman was talking about the failure of the sexual revolution. Again, not a Christian or anything like that. But she said, you know, consent is enough because I might have consent have consented to the sexual act, but I didn’t consent to be ghosted the next morning. Because again, there’s the commitment that was made, and then it’s broken. That’s not enough. You’re just the way so many of us treat it today. Proverbs 30. Verse 20, says it well, this is the way of an adulterous woman. She eats and wipes her mouth and says I’ve done nothing wrong. Just fulfilling an appetite. Just physical, nothing more than that. But we know that’s not true. We’re doing irreparable harm. Consuming people and damning self in the process. Thomas Watson, the Puritan preacher has a good analogy. He says sin is like the predatory lender who feeds a man with money that makes him mortgage his land. Sin feeds his soul with delightful objects, that make him mortgage his soul. And some of you are living that right now. With all the devastation that comes with it, so no wonder God prohibits this. He loves us too much to Let us destroy each other and ourselves God has rescued us from this bad from this great evil, to something better. Let’s talk about that. Now God has rescued us to the better, which is his good design. I do sometimes think that we can spend a little bit too much time thinking about what we’ve been saved from, and not enough time on what we’ve been saved to. And again, the image of the Exodus, which is right where we are in biblical history is a good image here, right? So God rescued the people of Israel out of slavery bondage in Egypt, but then when there were they’re in the wilderness because they gotta get from point A to point B from Egypt to the Promised Land. They spend all their time thinking about what they lost. And so they start complaining almost immediately against God. Why did you bring us out here? You know, back in Egypt, we had cucumbers, yes, we were in chains, mistreated, beaten, abused, but we had cucumbers, and the desert is hot, and I’m cranky. Now. Why? Because they didn’t think about what they were being saved to. They’re almost there. Where was God taking them? If not taking them to the desert? It had cucumbers in Egypt, you know what they had in the Promised Land. They get there, they scout it out. They get a cluster of grapes, it takes two people to carry it. It’s so big God is bringing them into a land flowing with milk and honey, they’re giving up nothing. And neither are we. The better is implied in this commandment. We’ve talked about this throughout the series. That’s the Westminster larger catechism. It says you know where an activity is prohibited. The contrary, duty is required, commanded. So there’s a duty here there’s a positive vision that’s built into this negative command. So it prohibits the breaking of the marriage covenant, sure, but that means it promotes the keeping of the marriage covenant. This command tells us that marriage is good. Marriage is good. That maybe needs to be said one more time because man, I tell you what, you watch TV or something, you’d think that marriage is a prison sentence, which is nonsense. Of course, marriage is good. Of course, it is. God invented it. It is a gift to us. God Himself performs the first marriage ceremony. It promotes human happiness and stability. The statistics are overwhelming you want them, I’ll direct you to them happily. But despite what you know, sitcoms, say marriage is not a prison sentence. People are happier in marriage, just about uniformly. Not only that it is the foundation of a healthy society. Like this is a communal command here. We don’t think of it that way. We hear it as individuals because we’re a highly individualistic society. But this command, like all the commands, is about a healthy society. You see this most obviously, with kids, the best thing you can do for your kids is have a strong marriage. Again, statistics are overwhelming, happy to direct you to them. So you could almost put this command with the fifth commandment honor your mother and father as saying the strength of a human society depends on two relationships, relationship with a husband and a wife. And a relationship with a parent and a child. But against society depends on those relationships. This is why it probably sounds quaint to our ears today. But for large chunks of history, adultery was actually a crime. A public crime. Why? Because it damages society as a whole. Where family breaks down, society breaks down, as we’re seeing every day around us. The rise of cohabitation. And by the way, not shockingly, adultery is much more common in cohabiting relationships instead in marriage relationships. It’s almost like if you don’t have a commitment, you don’t feel committed to the relationship. Just shocking. I know. We’ve got the epidemic of fatherlessness in our culture, of course, the scourge of no-fault divorce, we can go on and on and on. Can I just make a quick aside here too? Because it needs to be said increasingly in our culture. If marriage is good, then you should pursue it. Like I understand that some people are called by God to singleness. Absolutely. We’ll talk more about singleness as we go. But don’t confuse culture with calling as some of you are single because you just give in to our culture’s drift away from marriage as a God-given gift. Proverbs 18:22 says, He who finds a wife finds what is good. I like that, uh, speaking to the men there because it’s probably a word for the men, right? Like single man, it’s okay. Go find what is good. Right? You should have a little checklist with you, man and woman there. Okay, check. Does he or she loves Jesus. Good, then you can make the marriage work. That’s it. That’s all that’s needed. Okay, I’ve seen a lot of marriages in my day. That’s the one that matters. I worry about the perpetual adolescence that’s gripped our culture today and what is it that is leading us in adolescence, it’s a worry about losing our freedom. Like I’m married I’m able to play video games as often as I’d like it’s true by the way I’ve not played video games for a long time. Blame the kids not the wife but still it’s there. It’s real. And you know what if you asked me to choose between Amy and Halo, okay, if you’re confused about that choice, like let’s talk okay, because that is a bad choice you’re making right there. This is true increasingly for women as well. I saw something I am not on Tiktok. I think it’s so important you know that I don’t think you should be either but I saw someone on Tiktok. This is a woman and she was made a videos where she had the engagement ring. And she started to put on her finger and it flashed to like what life was gonna be like as a married woman. And this young hip, single woman, you know, there she was. She’s scrubbing toilets, and she’s doing laundry and stuff. And she’s like, why would I choose this domestic servitude when I could be a free woman? And I love what somebody said in response. Do you not clean your toilet and do laundry as a single woman? But that might be why you’re still single actually, sweetheart. But what do you see there’s just the abdication of responsibility. And that’s what’s concerning like, marry and have kids do it. That is what most of you are called to And it’s okay marriage is good. And what that then also means though, is that sex is good. Read Song of Songs. read Proverbs chapter five, the Bible is not squeamish about sexual pleasure, you will probably blush as you read these passages. God invented it. Because of that thinking God invented sex. And he’s all for it in its proper place. It is part of his good design.
He looks at creation, He says, It’s not good for man to be alone. He brings the woman to, to Adam, and they’re naked and unashamed. Like sometimes Christians get accused of having too low of a view of sex, sex is dirty, we shouldn’t talk about it. And certainly, the church has been guilty of that, but not the Bible anyway, no way. The Bible does not have a low view of sex. Doesn’t have a crazy high view of sex either. Like some people today have made sex apocalyptic because it’s like it is going to be the fulfillment of everything I’m seeking in life. No, it’s not. We’ll get to that in a moment. The Bible has an appropriately high view of sex, which is why we’re careful with it. The more valuable something is, the more careful you are with it. You got a ’67 Shelby GT Mustang, you probably be a little bit careful about who you toss the keys to. Because it’s worth more than the Junker or something like that. And so it is with marriage. We care because it’s valuable. So what care do we take the biblical standard and since Christopher Yuan’s language I think it’s exactly right. It’s chastity and singleness, and faithfulness in marriage. That’s what God does: chastity and singleness faithfulness in marriage. I do think it needs to be said when we say it, you hear. You can experience the fullness of life in singleness. And I know this, because the most joyful man who ever lived who experienced the most fullness in life that human ever lived, never married and never had sex. His name is Jesus. By the way. You do not need sex and marriage to be fulfilled. But within marriage within its proper context, sex binds right unites a man and a woman who have covenanted together, the two become one flesh, as the Bible says, And as science shows, so that sex functions like a covenant renewal ceremony as Tim Keller’s language I love. The marriage initiates the Covenant, the wedding ceremony, but the sex, every time you have sex as a couple, you’re renewing your vows. You’re renewing that sense of self-giving. Not taking but self-giving, loving, not using. That seals covenant oneness. And that, by the way, is what we most want to be fully known, and yet fully left, naked and unashamed covenant oneness. That’s the good that we’re protecting in the seventh commandment. But that good, that better takes us to the best. Let’s turn there. Now God saves us from the bad, sexual immorality, to the better is good design for the best. What I mean by this is that sex is not the highest good. Marriage is not ultimate. Both are a pointer to the ultimate good. You’re pointing to the gospel to our union with Jesus. So that sex within covenant marriage is in CS Lewis’s words, a foretaste, and we’re looking ahead to glory here, a foretaste of the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to God, in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. That’s it exactly marriage is good. But Jesus is better. God made us for himself and our hearts are restless until we find a rest in Him. So the marriage covenant is meant to image our spiritual union with the Triune God. It is in Piper’s famous words, a parable of permanence. So, Piper’s book on marriage is called this momentary marriage. What a great reminder that is, your marriage could be long I have friends, like could you not have been married 72 years, which is awesome. 72 years in light of in light of eternity is a blink of an eye, right? It is a momentary marriage, but it is a parable of what is permanent. So it’s a living enacted parable of this truth. Ephesians 5:31 and 32 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery. We’re tracking with Paul so far. And then he says, But I’m talking about Christ and the church. And you go, No, you’re not Paul, you’re talking about marriage. Right? Now. He’s talking about Christ and the church. Our marriage is meant to be a parable of God’s love for the church and the church’s devotion to Christ. That changes how we think about marriage. It’s not an end in itself, but as a sign pointing to something else changes how we think about adultery too, doesn’t it? There’s What does adultery then say about God? In fact, adultery throughout the Old Testament is a picture of spiritual unfaithfulness. It’s spiritual adultery. When we leave God and go chasing after idols. This is why God commands His prophet Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman, knowing that she will commit adultery, she will abandon him, she will leave him and actually, Hosea has to go and literally buy her back. The word for that is redeem, see if that’s important later, buys her back from her pimp effectively. And God says, That’s it. That’s me and you. he redeems us from our spiritual adultery brings us back into covenant marriage with him. But our adultery then distorts the parable, because it suggests that the covenant bond between Christ and his Church could be broken. And so it proclaims a false gospel. And that idea of proclamation what your marriage proclaims is so important. Here’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his wedding sermon from a prison cell shortly before he was murdered by the Nazis for his faith, he writes, This marriage is more than your love for each other. And your love you see only the heaven of your own happiness. But in marriage, you are placed at a post of responsibility toward the world and mankind. Your love is your own private possession. But marriage is more than something personal. It is a status and office. We take marriage vows seriously because we are enacting a parable of God’s unbreakable love for us. We take sex seriously because we’re imperfectly imaging the depth of union, we can know with a living God. Marriage and sex are not the best, they are appointed to the best to the gospel to God’s love for us. Jesus gave himself for us, to redeem us to win us back to our hearts, and to establish the covenant in his blood. That love should motivate our joyful obedience. But can quote Thomas Watson again, he writes in his book on repentance till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet. I love that image. It helps us understand what needs to happen in order for us to obey, experiencing the sweetness of God’s love or taste and see that the Lord is good. So I’m 34. Experiencing the sweetness of God’s love exposes the bitterness of sin. And you’ve done this before, right? Where you had something sweet and you had something bitter and it’s really bitter by contrast, or how about this one, you probably have done this one at least once you ever brush your teeth, and then have a sip of orange juice. You do that once right? And never again. That’s what the gospel is right? we brush our teeth with the gospel so that then we look at sexual immorality and go nope, not a chance not drinking that orange juice. That will be disgusting. Right and so creates that joyful obedience. And so what does joyful obedience look like? We need to get there of course. So I’m just gonna look briefly at the bad, the better and the best with an application for each when it comes to the bad word of application is be very careful. If you wanted to a word it would be this guard or guard yourself. Set up a watch against temptation. Guard your eyes job 31 One I’ve made a covenant with my eyes not to look lovely on any young woman. So you’re guarding against lustful glances, you’re guarding media habits, all that kind of stuff. You need to guard your mind what you think about. I think about this, I always think about Joseph, you remember Potiphar his wife kept hitting on him, and eventually, like, seriously tried to seduce him. Joseph knew this moment was coming. If he had played that out in his head just a couple of times. It was just, kind of imagine, what this would be like. I guarantee you he does not flee sexual immorality. A disciplined mind will lead to a disciplined life
we guard our hearts against distorted desires. And all of this means that we’re going to watch our habits very carefully. Watch the company you keep, of course. Are they dragging you down or building you up? Watch the words you listen to and the words you speak. scripture prohibits coarse joking for a reason. Watch the situations you put yourself in. Those reading the Puritans on this commandment again and again, it’s probably gonna sound really quaint to our ears again, but one of the things they say is, be really careful with mixed dancing. And we go right, you know, HL Mencken was right when he said puritanism is basically just the fear that someone somewhere is having a good time. laughably nonsense, by the way, but still, that you know, like is that all you know, the Puritans understood that certain situations are going to promote sexual temptation. And by the way, mixed dancing is probably one of them. Have you ever heard anyone engage in sexual immorality after homecoming turnabout or prom? Yeah, maybe we should be a little more careful. I’m not saying you don’t do it. I’m saying be careful with the situations you put yourself in. Modesty is another one. Our culture is not modest. You should not look like culture. People should be able to look at how you dress and say that person is different. And what’s your idleness as well, devil’s workshop and all of that, when it comes to the better pursue God’s design, know and delight in His Word, and in his promises, singles whether you’re single for a season, or for a lifetime, it’s your calling. Part of this means learning believing cherishing the truth that you don’t need to live the parable to live the ultimate that you can experience that fullness of joy with Christ. And so practice contentment marrieds look maybe you got all that guard stuff needs to happen okay, but if you’re in a marriage where sexual temptation is not I mean it’s always a danger but you know it’s not like a pressing danger. It may be that your takeaway from this sermon is not you need to guard against sexual immorality but you need to work on your marriage because the reality is your marriage does not proclaim Christ on thinkable love for the church and the church’s uninhibited devotion to Christ. You just need to go look, we’re just roommates at this point. That’s not what marriage was meant to be, to pursue God’s good design and all of us whatever our context, we had the opportunity to set aside selfishness, and practice self-giving sacrificial love in all of our relationships, which will also overcome our dehumanizing tendencies to use people instead of love them. We can to see people as God sees them as image bearers and of course that takes us to the last one when it comes to the best when it comes to the best. Remember the mission? Remember that our marriage right? Our sexuality is meant to proclaim the gospel. So we should probably proclaim the gospel. Here’s my concern is that sometimes we forget that we’re dealing with a spiritual war and we only focus on the culture war, which is not the one that matters. Our culture needs the gospel. Look around you, the fields are ripe for harvest. But here’s the problem. A lot of that raping that grain is what we would consider sexual deviance the bad people the people who want to keep outside but that sort of bunker mentality I heard Trevin Wax say this at the gospel coalition. I thought it was so good. He said we can’t look at the fields are positionally. like they’re the enemy. They’re not. They’re victims of the enemy. Okay, so when we look at the field, you can’t have a bunker mentality because that kind of bunker mentality means we will miss the Samaritan woman at the well. The sinful woman who comes to Jesus in tears. Sexual deviance needs welcome here. And many of them are looking for welcome here because here and only here can they find the forgiveness they’re seeking. The sexual revolution has just chewed people up and spit them out. They need what only we can offer again it’s Luke chapter seven when it comes to in repentance. What are they here? What do we communicate to them Your sins are forgiven? I’ve gone long and I’m not sorry about it. But let me close with Word with a word For three groups, all here today I’m taking my cue from Kevin De Yong and his book on the commandments, but he offers a word to the tempted to the wayward into the brokenhearted. And I want to do the same in the word will be directly from Scripture. If you’re here and you’re tempted to engage in sexual immorality, which again is probably most of us in one way or another, first of all, I would say, look ahead, like walk down that road and see where the temptation leads, it leads to death. Like if you’re thinking of committing adultery, for example, just like, you know, go ahead and play this out in your head. When you’re packing your bags, and saying goodbye to your kids, that you won’t see every day anymore. You’ll see every other weekend. You know, as you’re talking to family that you won’t see anymore, because you’re the bad one. Now all that like work that out in your head, see if it’s worth the choice you’re about to make, but don’t just look down the road of temptation look up as well. Because that’s what you’re actually seeking is God was Chesterton, who said the man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for Jesus, looking for intimacy right, which is found in God, your word is Lamentations 3:22 to 25. Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. There are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks to the wayward. And by that I mean those of you who are living in sin and thinking you’re getting away with it. The word is very simple. Repent. Repent now, before it’s too late. Your word comes from Galatians chapter six, verses seven and eight. Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked, man reaps what he sews, where we’re supposed to please their flesh in the flesh will reap destruction over souls to please the spirit in the spirit will reap eternal life. You will reap what you sow and lastly, the brokenhearted. To those of you who have sin sexually who know you’ve messed up revel in grace. If you come to Christ like that sinful woman in Luke chapter seven, what does Jesus say to you? Paul reminds us Romans chapter eight verses one and two, therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because, through Christ Jesus the law, the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. If you the Lord kept a record of sins, who could stand but with you there is forgiveness. Therefore you are feared God has rescued us from the bad or sexual immorality to the better, his good design for the best, the Gospel. Let’s pray now. Lord, we want so desperately to be known fully, and yet loved fully. And in order to get that love, we will make a great many stupid choices for what is just a cheap imitation and one that will actually leave us more broken and feeling less loved than we did before. Would you give us the courage and the wisdom to pursue the love we’re actually seeking in you? The only perfect, unconditional love that which is found in Christ. Help us now to repent, to turn from our sin to turn to you, and to find the abundant life that we are seeking. Whether single or married, may our lives proclaim the goodness of the gospel to a watching world we pray through Christ our Lord, Amen.