Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: 1Thessalonians 1-3

Our Sexual Expression

October 2 – Today’s Readings – Psalm 92 & I Thessalonians 4-5

Well – let’s dive into a delicate and very personal subject – Godly sexuality.

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (Chapter 4:3-7)

First of all, lets be clear that God has specific instruction about how our sexuality should be expressed. “sexual immorality” is defined Biblically as “anything that is contrary to godly sexual expression”. What does this actually mean? Godliness in our sexuality simply means respectful, consensual sex as expressed between a husband and wife. Giving our bodies only to our spouse is a necessity in Holy Matrimony. Controlling our bodies and not taking “advantage” of other people’s emotions and their sexuality is an absolute must if we are to be “holy and honorable” in our relationships outside of marriage.

We do live in a day and hour where moral values are referred to as ‘relative’. What this usually translates to however is, “if it feels good in the moment, do it”. Why then did God give us such strong sexual desires? Simple. It was so that marriage would be such a beautiful expression of covenant relationship. This relationship ultimately expresses Christ’s love for the Church – it’s a marriage. We separate ourselves from all others and make a covenant with God – it is pure – it is holy – it is exclusive.

Listen to what Paul the Apostle tells the Ephesians when he compares marriage to the love of Christ for His Church. – “For we are members of his body. ‘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 — but I am talking about Christ and the Church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:30-33)

Speaking of our sexuality – there are two attributes that we must aspire to. First we need to learn that good sexual relationships are not about what you can GET but about what you can GIVE. The greatest sexual fulfillment in marriage comes when you know your spouse is excited about being with you. How did Christ love the Church? He blessed her! He gave himself for her!

The second great sex lesson in marriage is that both the man and his wife need to strive for “soft heart” attitudes towards each other. It is tenderness that draws a couple together sexually – not just hormones. Later in life, when all hormones have “skipped the country”, tenderness towards one another provides the spark of love in a fulfilling sexual relationship.

Points to ponder:

1. If you are married, consider how better to love each other sexually so that your marriage can grow stronger.
2. If you are unmarried, consider how your relationship to Christ is a spiritual mirror of what a marriage should look like.

God’s Treasure

October 1 – Today’s Readings – 1Thessalonians 1-3 and Psalms 91

Chapter 2:19-20 of 1Thessalonians reads; “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.”

This perspective on “the true riches of the Kingdom” is the subject I would like us to focus on for a moment. We invest our time in many endeavors, always hoping to see the fruit of our labors – the outcome of time well spent. Paul makes it very clear in this passage that PEOPLE are the essence of God’s “economy”. It is the time spent or invested in people that will reap rewards of godliness, strong character, individuals being added to God’s family – all things that last forever – all things you can take to heaven with you.

Broken relationships therefore, are a problem in a Christian’s life. Friends who become separated because of offence or doctrinal dispute suffer a great deal because something spiritual is lost. Our relationships – when we follow Jesus – are spiritual relationships. We invest our lives in people every day – and every day we invest a part of ourselves in those we “connect” with.

Paul said in Ephesians 4:2-3, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

There is such a Biblical premium placed on good relationships that I once heard a preacher describe the top indicator of the Kingdom of God is “right relationships”.

What is your joy and crown? It is Godly relationships – evangelistic relationships – compassionate relationships. Read the following verses and see if you can pick up the heart of the great Apostle Paul –

1Thessalonians 2:7 “But we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.”

1Thessalonians 2:8 “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”

1Thessalonians 2:11 “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children”

1Thessalonians 2:17 “But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.”

Questions:

1. Tell of a time when you saw spiritual distress in someone because of a broken relationship due to personal offence.
2. Describe a situation where restorative healing came to a broken relationship.
3. What further lessons can we take from this topic?

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