We live in a sexual world.
- God created sex; it’s good, it’s for marriage, it’s enjoyable, and it’s useful for procreation
- Sin breaks God’s order; humans, relationships, marriages, and sex are now tools of rebellion.
This study is an effort to look at our current surroundings and then ground ourselves in what the Bible says about God’s created order, sin, and what faithful purity looks life.
To that end, this study has three (3) core goals:
- That we will understand God’s created order, purposes, and desired behavior for sex and sexuality.
- That we will repent of our sexual immorality, understand the forgiveness and grace of God, pursue purity, and find our satisfaction in God.
- That the parents and older church generations of Green Pond Bible Chapel will partner to raise up the next generations in God’s truth and faithful purity.
So what is the scope of the problem? (See reverse side for some more detail)
- Our society is obsessed with and advocates for the idolizing of sex and sexuality apart from God’s created design.
- Rom 1:18-28 [Gen. 18-19] – Sexual sin, advanced by culture, isn’t new but it’s still dangerous
- Our church is susceptible to idolizing sex and sexuality; forsaking God’s Word, accountability, and discipline.
- Rev. 2:18-29 – The church in Thyatira tolerated false teaching, it led to sexual immorality.
- Our homes are targeted by society to idolize sex and sexuality
- Titus 1:10-11 – False teachers were targeting families and homes to foster insubordination.
- Our hearts and minds are regularly persuaded to give in to sexual passion and lust, both from within and without.
- Prov 6:25 – The true source of sexual sin is the heart, many sources tempt our hearts.
It is clear that we need to address these issues immediately and biblically for the sake of God’s glory, our personal holiness, and the holiness of those around us.
The only way to faithfully address this issue is to study them in light of the gospel and orient our hearts, minds, and actions to the gospel.
- Gospel and marriage – The gospel promotes faithful marriage and is pictured by faithful marriage
- Gospel and sexual purity – The gospel guides and enables us to pure practices and beliefs
- Gospel and repentance and forgiveness – The gospel leads us to repentance and forgiveness
- Gospel and satisfaction in Christ – The gospel is our only means of being truly satisfied
- Gospel and identity in Christ – The gospel shapes who we are in who Christ is
The rest of our study will seek to explain and apply God’s gospel truths to our lives so that we may live in personal purity, help other to live in personal purity, and do so for the glory of God.
Some Stats on Sexual Immorality
Let me provide you with some more statistics that might drive home the severity of the problem that is facing us on a daily basis.
1. Nearly half (46%) of all 15-19-year-olds in the United States have had sex at least once.
2. By 15, this number is only about 13%, but by age 19, about 70% have.
3. 63% of 13-17-year-olds say they’ve kissed romantically, rising to 73% of those 15 and up.
4. 44% report sexual touching; among older teens, it’s 55%.
5. 19% of all teens, and 27% of older teens, say they’ve had oral sex or sexual intercourse.
6. 17 year-olds – 84% romantic kissing, 63% intimate touching, 43% sex
7. 80% of males and 59% of females have masturbated by the age of 18.
8. 42% of Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 had seen online pornography within the last 12 months.
9. Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography: 11
15-17 year-olds having multiple hard-core exposures: 80%
8-16 year-olds having viewed porn online: 90% (most while doing homework)
10. 20% of teens have sexted (sending explicitly sexual text messages or pictures)
Those are the “worldly” stats. But regrettably, If you compare these stats to the stats of those attending church, and those who profess Christ, the difference isn’t much.
These stats are eye-opening for some and confirming for others. My intention with providing these stats is to generate the sense that we need to talk about this subject, not only in this class but to each other, and especially to our young people. My other intention is to help us consider that just showing up to church or doing Christianity has barely any consequence on sinful habits. Only repentance and faith in Christ have a lasting consequence on our hearts, minds, and habits – this must be the goal of our interactions with others.
(For more info on the pervasiveness of pornography today, check out Tim Challies article 10 Ugly Numbers Describing Pornography Use in 2017 on challies.com – he has other great articles concerning sexual immorality and how the gospel triumphs over it.)
9 thoughts on “Designed for Purity – Session 1: Introduction (Notes)”
I’m a daughter of these and other purity culture lies. You’re taking another generation down a path of legalism, ignoring the wounded on the roadside who were hurt before them. Fear tactics and shaming sexuality are not the tools you ought to be using.
Hi Evalyn. I hope you are well and good. I agree with you that many have been hurt and shamed by a legalistic view on sex and sexuality. I have talked with people who have felt left behind due to this rhetoric, feeling as if they are unlovable, unredeemable, or useless. We know that sin, living outside of God’s created order, does bring shame (we see this in Genesis 3 with Adam and Eve feeling the shame of nakedness after eating the fruit). But God loved the world so much He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. In this sacrifice God shows us that despite our sin, despite our active lifestyle outside God’s created order, he loves us. In love, Christ dies for his enemies. In love, Christ redeems sinners by faith. In love, he removes sin’s horrible shame. And in love, he enables people to live a life that follows his created order. This is the good news of the gospel. I hope to teach this good news in the class we are having. I hope to leave no one with the guilt, shame, and hurt that sin heaps on people, instead I desire to point people to the love of Christ in hopes that they find joy, contentment, and awe in God. Thank you for your comment Evalyn, I hope my reply was helpful.
Created order teachings are bowing to the idol of traditionalism due to the fear of the erosion of patriarchy’s powerbase in our egalitarian society. Purity assumes untouched innocence, something not everyone has a choice in. It lies and says if you aren’t a virgin you have no value. It promises doomed relationships and emotional baggage. It has no grace, hope, or redemption.
Your claim that there are people who abuse power and authority, especially men, and even in the church, is true. The abuse of power and authority has been a problem since sin entered the world. Regrettably, those who abuse their power and authority often trace their “power” and “authority” back to God, whom they claim has given them the right to do whatever evil it is that they do. And regrettably, many of these abuses have become repetitious throughout human history. But we cannot condemn God and his created order for how we have lived contrary to it. We are all impure because we have all lived, and choose to live, in rebellion to God, myself included. None of us are innocent and each of us are doomed because of it. But the good news of Jesus Christ is that we are still valuable to God, still loved by God, still redeemable by God. This is pictured in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection on our behalf. The purity we could never earn, Christ earned for us and gives to us through faith. This is only possible because God is perfectly powerful and authoritative. A misuse of power and authority in the name of God leads to physical, emotional, and spiritual damage. A misuse of power and authority often leads to legalistic teaching that attaches a person’s value to their actions. Yet, a right understanding of God’s power and authority bestows upon someone grace despite what they may have done in the past, have had done to them in the past, or even desire to do in the future. A right understanding of God’s power and authority gives someone hope that no matter their actions, or someone else actions, their God and his promises cannot be thwarted and their eternal life is secure in his hands. A right understanding of God’s power and authority offers redemption to all those who believe, instilling in each person a value based in who God is and what he has done instead of a value based in who they are or what they have done.
We are not called to rule and be ruled, but be equals – a husband is not above his wife in God’s eyes.
By God’s design men and women are equal in value while having different roles. Submission to authority or having different roles doesn’t lower someone’s value, it emphasizes their value. In fact, Jesus humbles himself to the authority and plan of God the Father and because of that he fulfills his role as the sacrificial lamb for the sins of mankind. The same holds true for husbands and wives – yes a husband has a God-given authority over their wives, but that does not mean he is more valuable than his wife. Nor does this mean he should Lord it over her as a god, instead he ought to be sacrificing all he can to lift his wife up in honor before God.
The roles are unequal! Isn’t it the shadow of segregation? “Separate but equal” vs “different but equal”? Masters and slaves were likewise called to authority and submission as different roles – inequality abounded.
Good afternoon Evalyn. In our business driven world personal value is tied to personal roles. CEO’s are more important to their companies than laborers are, they are payed more, and they are praised more. But a person’s intrinsic value isn’t determined by what role they have, or how well they perform their role, but in whose image they are created in. The human being is infinitely and incorruptibly valuable because he or she is created in the image of the infinitely and incorruptibly glorious God. In addition to that a person’s role is not tied to their value, it is based in God’s created design (this is pictured in the Trinity as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all of equal value and yet serve different roles). Therefore, due to a person’s value being tied to God’s value, a human being cannot lose their value. And by God’s design, males and females have different roles that emphasize their value, not depreciate it. So much so, that even masters and slaves, husbands and wives, parents and children (each sovereignly put in that position by God) are called to love each other sacrificially through their faithfulness to their roles. Different roles are meant to image the humble love of the gospel, not drive people apart in selfishness. But you and I can agree that throughout history and in our current day people fail at loving others through their roles. Due to sin we are more prone to propagate inequality and pride than humbly working toward equality in Christ’s redemption and under Christ’s authority.
All three persons of God are one and the same being. Husbands, wives, masters, slaves, parents and children are distinct individuals. Roles are assigned more value than others. You never see a church praising its janitors the way they do their pastors. It’s always Mr and Mrs, him before her. You fail to see Jesus’ kingdom as upside down and inside out because you match the secular trap of power and authority. Worse, you silence women because you claim only men may speak on God’s behalf per their role.