God’s Created Order
God has created and designed marriage and sex for his glory and as a picture of the gospel
God has created and designed marriage and sex for the good of the married couple
Intimacy, sacrifice, spiritual growth, trust, humility, provision, support, pleasure
Marriage and sex are desirable by design, but how and when we take part in them can be an issue
Sin tempts us to claim marital blessings outside of marriage, God’s design/glory, and purity
Dating is sin’s most influential arena for impurity, propelled by the world’s lust
God calls us to find our spouse through godly relationships, built on godly purposes, love, and purity
So what does the Bible say about purity, relationships, and dating?
Godly Relationships and Dating – Matt 22:37-40; 1 Thess 4:1-3; 1 Cor 6:18
Three biblical categories of relationships
Family – those who are blood/spiritual relatives, sexual relationships prohibited
Neighbor – those who are around us, sexual relationships prohibited
Marriage – the one person we are made one flesh with, sexual relationships commanded
In all relationship categories, Christ’s two greatest commandments apply: Love God, love people
In all relationship categories, we are call to trust and live out the gospel
Dating is an activity more than a category – dating relationships don’t exist in Scripture
Dating category is not distinct from the neighbor relationship – it is a subset of it
Outside of a marriage relationship permanent, secure commitment does not exist
How far is too far? You should have the same boundaries as family or neighbor
What are you doing to stay pure in your thoughts and actions?
What are you watching, listening to, reading? Does it bring you closer to God or closer to impurity?
What Are You Looking For? – Eph 5:25, 31-32; 1 Cor 7:1-9; SoS 2:7
Ultimately you as a godly person want to marry a godly spouse
Are you/they maturing in their faith? How can you tell?
Are you/they humble and teachable? How can you tell?
Are you/they helping or hindering your overall goal of glorifying God? How can you tell?
Determine the viability of marriage while preserving the guidelines of sexual purity as a ‘neighbor’
Get to know the opposite sex without the physical and romantic temptations and sin
We should share in Christ’s single-minded nature shown in His relationship with the church
Maintain your godly love for God and others
What If I Have Messed Up? – 1 John 1:9
Repentance and Forgiveness – turn away from sin, trust God for forgiveness
Remember the Gospel – God’s righteousness satisfies us in all things and leads us to holy living