The Centrality of Sex in Scripture

These are somebasic notes from a Sunday school lesson I taught a while back. Feel free to use or repurpose them in anyway that is helpful to your church.

1. Sexuality is central in the creation and design of mankind.

To belong to mankind is to be male or female (Gen. 1:27). No one is an androgynous being. Every human will forever exists as a man or a woman. Binary sexuality is an essential part of God’s perfect and enduring design.

The creation mandate commands mankind to be “fruitful and multiply.” This command was given to man in the state of perfection and after the fall (Gen. 1:28, 9:1). The plain meaning of this command is to have biological children and raise them to love God. This command can only be fulfilled by embracing our God-given sexuality.

The fulfillment of the creation mandate requires both men and women. By himself, it was impossible that Adam would fulfill the God’s command. Therefore, God said “that it is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). The solution to Adam’s aloneness didn’t just require another person. It specifically required a woman. It is important to note that the only thing not good in the creation was the temporary lack of binary sexuality. This again emphasizes the goodness and centrality of binary sexuality.

Biblical binary sexuality in no way denies equality. Both man and woman equally bear the image of God (Gen. 1:27). However, equality doesn’t not mean sameness. The distinctions between the sexes are intrinsic, undeniable, and good.

The biblical ordering of the sexes consist in the man being the head of the woman and the woman as supporter of the man (Gen. 2:18, 20). Headship for the man means the task of leadership and direction in marriage, church and society. It is required that this headship will be done in dedicated selfless love, imitating Christ. The position of supporter for the woman means a loving subordination under male leadership and a completing of the man by her special gifts as a woman.

2. Sexuality is central in the fall and resulting curse of mankind.

God’s hierarchy of authority is attacked by the devil in the fall. God established Himself as King over mankind, man as head over woman, and mankind as rulers of all creation. In the fall, part of the creation deceives the woman, the man then listens to the woman, and mankind ultimately blame God (Gen. 3:1-13). The fall is essentially a reversal of God’s created order.

The centrality of sexuality is again emphasized in the fact that curses are sex-specific and related to the tasks associated with each sex. The man’s curse is related to his work of shaping the world (Gen. 3:17b-19). The woman’s curse is related to her work of child rearing and supporting the man (Gen. 3:16). In essence, man’s work in the “world” is cursed and the woman’s work in the “home” is cursed.

The fact that male headship existed in the state of perfection is again demonstrated in the basis of God’s cursing of man. God doesn’t just curse man for disobeying in the eating of the fruit. He also says, “because you have listened to the voice of your wife” (Gen. 3:17). Adam’s sin is compacted by his abdication of male leadership. This is why, as Roman 5 makes even clearer, we fell in Adam and not in our original parents.
Sexuality is central in our redemption and restoration.

3. The redemption of mankind is the result of sex.

This is first demonstrated in the fact that the Messiah (the seed) will be a descendant of Eve (Gen. 3:15). However, it is also demonstrate by the great emphasis that Scripture places on genealogies. God will bring the Redeemer into the world through mankind’s obedience to the creation mandate (i.e. be fruitful & multiply). This emphasis reaches its climax in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38.

The redemption of mankind will be the result of the obedience of male head. This is first seen in the genealogical emphasis placed on sons throughout Scripture. This emphasis reveals that they, at some level, knew they needed a new “Adam.” Romans 5 confirms that they were right. Jesus is the new Adam and consequently the new federal head. This again shows the importance of male headship and leadership.
The redemption we have through the new Adam weakens the effects of the fall and results in an ever-increasing return to the pre-fall created order. Mankind’s renewed hearts increasingly desire to obey and honor God as Lord (Rom. 10:9). Renewed men increasingly desire to take on the initiative as leaders in the home, church, and society (e.g. Eph. 5:23-33, 1 Tim. 5:8, 1 Cor. 16:13). Renewed women increasingly desire to respond to male initiative as support in the home, church, and society (e.g. Eph. 5:22, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Tim. 5:14-15).

4. A few more reasons we must emphasize sexuality in our ministry…

Scripture speaks frankly about incest, homosexuality, and beastiality (e.g. Lev.20:10-21, Rom. 1:26-27, 1 Cor. 5:1).

The vast majority of the books of the Bible directly address a multitude of sexual sexual sins and do so repeatedly.

The New Testament addresses the nature of Christian relationships using familial language that are sexual in nature (1 Tim. 5:1-2). It should be mentioned here “sexual” doesn’t always mean erotic. Sexual just means having to do with sex.

Male leadership is taught and emphasized explicitly and repeatedly throughout all of Scripture (e.g. Acts 1:21, 1 Tim 2 & 3, Titus 1).

Leaders in Scripture don’t deal with sin in the abstract but rather deal with the specific sins of an individual or culture (e.g. John 4, Acts 24, 1 Cor. 5:1, etc).

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