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1 Corinthians 6 v 12 – 20 Sex and Purity

February 1st, 2010

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The first experience of sex in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2) was without shame, there were no hang ups. But Adam and Eve fell away from God into rebellion and immediately were ashamed. One of the many results of our rebellion is a sense of shame and embarrassment associated with nakedness and sexuality. We now no longer use sex to worship God but now we can worship sex itself.

God’s model for us is to enjoy sex within a covenant relationship, a lifelong marriage commitment made before God of the body and soul to one another.

In sex we are looking for pleasure
We are designed to look for and find our pleasure in God. God intends pleasure for us and ultimately only He can give it to us. We look for it elsewhere but it can only give limited returns.

Sex is a magnificent gift from God but in itself it makes a terrible God.

In sex we are looking for love and security
We crave physical intimacy because we are looking for love, support, security, protection etc. Again God intended that this need was ultimately fulfilled in Him and Him alone.

A lifestyle pattern can develop of desiring physical intimacy and this, or the person who gives it, can become our saviour.  This can lead to a blinding dependence on people which can lead to abuse.

Defilement and the answer
The reason we are left feeling defiled is really the same reason we feel guilt. We feel guilt because of guilt. We feel defiled because we are defiled.

In the end something has to objectively be done to set us free and the fullest true answer is what Jesus alone can do. Through real repentance, which is rediscovering the person we should have been worshipping in the first place, we can be free. The route to freedom is finding our joy in Jesus.

Through the cross we can receive forgiveness and also cleansing from our sin. Part of the work of the cross is the removal of shame from us. It’s taken away. In our place Jesus has became the scapegoat, he became shame for us.

Jonah 4 Bitterness

February 2nd, 2009

This is a hilarious chapter. The first sentence genuinely makes me laugh out loud.
 
Then I notice myself in Jonah and stop laughing.
 
God is not a liberal or a conservative. Jonah is a conservative and thinks it only right that God should waste Nineveh. He is outraged that they should escape the very stiffest sentence. But true to form, God doles out more mercy. We have no reason to think that Nineveh stuck to their repentant behaviour. The Assyrian Empire (of which Nineveh was capital) continued in its idolatry – as nations do. But God is so kind.
 
Much of our ‘mercy’ does not truly reflect God’s extravagant ways. He is scandalous in his mercy. And if we’re honest, we are very uncomfortable about this sometimes.
 
But that’s when we show that we still don’t get it. We think we have some kind of claim on him. Only when we see that God owes us nothing do we begin to grasp his mercy for what it is.
 
God plays a game with Jonah to point this out. Jonah’s highly unbalanced emotional life is fruit of the fact that he is still all out of perspective. His eyes are not on God – but on himself and his own superficial comforts. God uses the plant to show Jonah still cares far too much for trivial matters.
 
Jonah, again, points to Jesus by contrast. Jonah would rather die than see mercy on the city. God would rather become a man and die than see destruction on the city…
 
(The curious mention of ‘cattle’ in the last verse is not so odd when you see it as a reference to the city’s economy.)

 

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