By Zac Poonen, from the book “Sex, Love and Marriage”
The word “sex” itself has an impure connotation in the minds of most people today because of man’s repeated abuse of this God-given function. The cinema, the advertising world and much of the cheap literature sold on book-stalls today have all served to give a crooked and perverted conception of that which God intended to be pure, beautiful and holy.
There is abundant evidence to prove that our thoughts about sex are perverted. In `Christian Behaviour’, C.S. Lewis writes, “You can get a large audience together for a strip-tease act – that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you came to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the light went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, wouldn’t you think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And wouldn’t anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us?”
A Christian is called to shine as a light for God in this perverted world. He must therefore stand against the world’s low views of sex, which reduce it to a mere physiological phenomenon and a source of pleasure. He should allow the Spirit of God to so renew his mind that he begins to look at sex as God looks at it – not as something sinful to be ashamed of, but as something sacred and intrinsically beautiful. Many religions and philosophies hold perverted views of sex either because they look upon the human body as something evil to be cast off at the earliest opportunity, or because they go to the other extreme and worship the body, fulfilling its every desire without question.
The Christian view is that the body is as much a part of God’s good creation as the spirit and the soul – although of lesser importance than these latter. The body therefore has a definite purpose in God’s plan. The Bible teaches that the Christian should glorify God in his body since it is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:13-20). We are exhorted therefore to present our bodies in an act of worship as a living sacrifice to God (Rom. 12:1).
Martin Luther reminded those who felt that the body was the cause of sin, that the Lord Jesus had a body on earth, but was yet sinless, whereas the devil who has no body, is full of sin. The root of sin is to be found not in the body but in the human heart. Deliverance from sin comes not by eliminating the body and its desires but by the change of heart. We do not have to pray, as some do, that God will remove our sexual desires. That would mutilate our manhood and destroy a part of God’s temple. God wants us to be complete men living in victory. The fire in the fire-place does not have to be extinguished. We have only to be careful that the house does not catch fire.
Even in the realm of sex, God permits us to be tempted with a purpose – the same purpose with which He permitted Adam to be tempted in the garden of Eden. Adam was innocent but God wanted him to be holy. Holiness is more than innocence. Adam could have become holy only as he made a moral choice and overcame temptation: so it is with us.
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Copyright – Zac Poonen (1971). This book has been copyrighted to prevent misuse. It should not be reprinted or translated without written permission from the author. Permission is however given for any part of this book to be downloaded and printed provided it is for FREE distribution, provided NO ALTERATIONS are made, provided the AUTHOR’S NAME AND ADDRESS are mentioned, and provided this copyright notice is included in each printout.