Part II: God’s Values and Design for Sex, Sexuality & Relationships

Exemple

Part II: God’s Values and Design for Sex, Sexuality & Relationships

(N.B. This article has been written with a careful progression of thought and should be read in the context of previous articles.)

In Part 1 of this series we considered the fact that there are 2 major ways people view and determine life and values (for a copy of Part one of this article please contact the church office).

  1. The Human view (Secular Human View).
  2. The Biblical Christian view.

The Secular Human view either does not believe in God or believes that if there is a God, He hasn’t revealed defined values (or to be precise) hasn’t clearly revealed them to humanity so that we can follow them (or not.)

The Biblical Christian view is that God is the creator and designer of all things and therefore determines what our values should be, including the way humans should live.
As Christians we believe that God has revealed himself to humans and that the record of that revelation has been preserved and passed on to us through the Bible. God’s ultimate revelation of who He is was given to us through His Son Jesus Christ.

  • The question today however is whether the bible clearly identifies God’s values and design for sexuality and relationships

 

This is an important question, because the bible is not written as a point-by-point how to guide with an index so to speak. It has many different types of expression, stories, instructions, poetry, songs, covenant agreements, and teaching. Some of these were intended for the people of the time, some of them were universal in their intent and application.

The way we read the bible can influence our understanding of what God thinks and what His values and designs are.

There are two basic types of revealed values and design in the bible.

Universal Values and Design
The first is the universal principles that apply to all humans for all time. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So His values and design reflect His character and nature and don’t evolve or change with situations or cultural context. His values and design reflect who He was, is and is to come. His revealed values and design for all humans (whether they acknowledge them or not) are expressed throughout the bible.

An example of universal values and design is when God gave Israel ten key commandments on two stone tablets. Although given to Israel, these ten commands are also the basis of his universal values and design for all humans.

Jesus endorsed these commands and summarized these them into two commands.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.”

“Love your neighbor as you love yourself (each other).”

These two commands reveal God’s core values and design for our relationship with him and with each other. They do not overlook or replace the ten commands, but explain the basis of the ten.

Specific contextual values and Design

The second set of values we see expressed in the bible are specific, contextual values, designs, principles and laws given to either Israel or the New Testament church.

The ten universal commands were part of 613 commandments God gave Israel to follow. 603 were specifically for Israel, such as commands about circumcision, Holy Days, sacrifices, festivals, the temple, the priests, food to eat and not eat, length of your hair, fabric in your clothes etc

N.B. Christians today often consider the 603 commands given to Israel as bad. They do this because they identify legalism in keeping the commands as a way of pleasing God as bad. And they rightly do so. However those commands that Paul referred to as “the law” (which include the 10) are all good. Not one of them was bad. Each command was given for the good of the individual and society. The reality is however that although the commands are good and good for anyone who keeps them – even non-Jews – no one can keep them perfectly. So we all end up guilty of breaking them and in need of grace and mercy.

So I ask myself, if the commands are good for a person who is not Jewish, should I/we follow those commands?

There is a clear example of this in the New Testament. The early church faced a controversy when Jewish followers of Jesus demanded that Gentile followers of Jesus needed to uphold the Jewish laws.

The apostles’ advice to them was this: to reinforce three commands from the 603 – “abstain from food offered to idols, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality” (Acts 15:29).

Three commands from 603 addressed the key areas that were a part of their former worship before they became Christians.  In other words these values were expressed in the Old and New Testament and are universal for all time.

So as you read the bible, begin to look at what you are reading and the context. As you study and research ask yourself, is this a command for all humans? Is this command, value or principle expressed throughout the bible, or was it something that was given for a particular time, people and place?

In Part III of God’s Values and Design for Sex, Sexuality & Relationships we will discuss how God has revealed his universal value and design for sexuality and relationships in the bible from the beginning to the end.

If you would like to discuss these articles or have any questions please contact me so we can make a time to meet.

Ps Paul