Back in 2011, while preaching through Leviticus, I addressed a number of sexual issues when I came to chapters 18-22 in a message entitled “Pure Living in a Pagan Culture.” In light of the themes of Jesus’ letters to Pergamum and Thyatira, I thought these excerpts from that sermon were timely and appropriate for God’s people in a day that, sexually speaking, isn’t too far removed from the first century.
“Essentially, all of their ‘to- do’s’ were rooted in a single ‘I AM.’ Truly, God’s sovereignty doesn’t simply suggest obedience; it demands it.”
“We see a predominant theme surfacing — God valued obedience and purity. It was his expectation that they [Israel] would belong to him and him alone, and so he set up ways that they could exhibit their allegiance and loyalty to him. This was one of the primary reasons behind the call to purity.”
“Out of all the issues in Lev. 18-22 (physical, ceremonial, moral, etc.), the most common one addressed is sexual. In fact, out of the 151 verses in these five chapters, sexual issues are referenced in approximately 45 of them. That’s about 30% of the 5 chapters. Clearly, God valued sexual purity. And he still does! Frankly, sexual perversion was — and is — spiritual adultery. It was — and is — a violation of their spiritual marital covenant to Yahweh. But when they lived sexually pure lives physically, it was at least one way to say to God spiritually, ‘I’m completely and exclusively yours.'”
“Because sexual perversion is such a devilish and deceptive god, we create all kinds of insidiously wicked ways to bypass God’s clear instructions. Simply put, we want our sex our way. This is why …
…homosexuality has been geneticized — we want our sex our way.
…abortion has been legalized — we want our sex our way.
…divorce for unscriptural grounds has been civilized — we want our sex our way.
…adultery and fornication has been normalized — we want our sex our way.
…pornography has been supersized — we want our sex our way.”
“When it comes to sexual desire, a ‘my-sex-my-way” type of attitude leads no where but down. This is the plain and obvious sense of Romans 1 — continued and increased immorality is the divine consequence to continued and increased idolatry. When you say ‘no’ to God over and over, don’t be surprised if you find yourself saying ‘yes’ more and more to sexual perversion as well.”
“Though homosexuality — and all other sexual perversion — is clearly forbidden in Scripture, the good news is it is clearly forgivable through repentance. God loves and wants to forgive those who struggle with sexual sins, whether of a homo or hetero nature. 1 Cor. 6:9-11, in fact, states that the church in Corinth was filled with those God had washed, sanctified, and justified. Included in that list are adulterers, homosexuals, fornicators, thieves, greedy, drunkards, etc. But Jesus made them fit for the kingdom of God through his grace upon their repentance. They, like all of us, had a past marred by sin, but through Jesus they received a future marked by the Savior. That’s why we must embrace and extend the grace of God for all of us. After all, Romans 1-3 teaches that we are all on the same footing in front of God — condemned — so it’s grace that we stand in desperate need of! Fortunately, the gospel pours out grace, and for anyone who believes its message, grace will rain down in buckets with a watershed of forgiveness.”
Additionally, here are helpful links to some of the items I addressed in my message Sunday (3/20/2011) regarding Leviticus 18-22 …