The Truth About Sex and Gender
1 Corinthians 6
18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
One of the greatest revelations God will ever give mankind; we are created in the image of God. Yes, hard as that may be to believe at times, little ole you and I were fearfully and wonderfully made by God Almighty, to reveal His glory to the heavens and the earth. He then proved each one of our created values by paying the highest price for our lives, His shed blood.
He made each one of us, male or female with no other options available to choose from, and without any opportunities to switch gender, based on our own desire. Each of us have been created as a perfect reflection of His image and glory on the earth and have been certified to be pleasing to Him, by His own Word. (Genesis 1:27). There is nothing more fulfilling for you to be, who God created you to be. In fact, until you accept who you are in Jesus you will never truly be satisfied. You may get excited and feel momentarily empowered by forming your identity to satisfy your desire. Just as feelings are fleeting, so will your satisfaction be until you are ready to be secure in who you were created to be.
In the same way, we were created to be male and female. We were also created with a sex drive. I know it is totally awkward for your pastor to say that. Alas, it is true. We were given sexual desire so that one male and one female can come together in covenant before God, and in marriage, creating healthy intimacy that produces new life. Just another one of many incredible ways we reflect God's image. Creating a new life, what an awesome privilege. Of course, this perfect plan was all we knew until humanity invited the Fall onto itself through disobedience to our created design (Thanks Adam and Eve). Now, all of us are subject to the curse of sin and the Fall (Romans 5:12). That means, although we are made in God’s image, we have to learn His nature as we unlearn our broken human nature, which is dominated by sin and fleshly desire. We do this by submitting our will to God’s Word despite how we may feel about it at the moment. When we choose to yield our will to God, He gives us His power, through His Holy Spirit, to be able to submit to Him and reverse what we inherited from Adam and Eve’s rebellious act in the garden of Eden. Thus, we can discover and learn to be secure people as we are created to be, in God’s image.
So let's go back to that awkward part about us all being created with a sex drive. It’s still true, and it's also true that all of us have had our God given sexuality perverted by sin and the Fall. Everyone on earth. You, me, granny and grandpa included. I know I’m cringing too. All of us have a sex drive that has been perverted by sin. So what is a person to do? Well, as far as I can tell, you have three options that I want to address. Spoiler alert, option three is the only one that is good for you…
You can hide from that reality and be ashamed of the way you feel and the fact that you struggle with sexual brokeness. In my observation this is what most church folks do. The product is people stuck in a self defeating cycle of accusation and shame. Never able to address their brokenness because the weight of shame keeps them bound and accused by the flesh’s unbridled desire. A few people can make it work for a lifetime, but most people will run from the church to find communities that won’t judge them for the way they feel about themselves. It’s exactly the reason people move to option number two.
You can make your desire your identity. You can’t ignore the way you feel forever. If you don’t have the power of Holy Spirit dwelling within you, then the Word of God will always seem out of reach and condemning, instead of available and empowering. Eventually, you will define yourself by how you feel. Which is not to your benefit, because you never had the right to define yourself to begin with. Unless, you were able to create yourself. Which you weren’t, and are not able to do. Just like you can’t overcome kleptomania by identifying as a thief, you can’t overcome sexual brokeness by creating your identity around sexual brokeness. By the way, for those who say that the Church is especially cruel to those who struggle with sexual brokeness… I as a pastor have never experienced someone come into the church to demand that people accept and promote them as an angry, deceptive, adulterous, lazy, murderous or prideful Christian. On the other hand, many times I have seen people try to come into the Church and demand people accept, promote and identify said person based on their sexual brokeness. That said, the only way to wholeness is by becoming intimate with your Creator so you can discover who He has created you to be. Church is the only place I know where people are safe to do that, no matter what form of bondage or brokenness they are struggling with.
You can submit your sexual desire to God’s Word as you were created to do. This is your destiny. Being consumed with His love and satisfied in your identity. As you lay down your life and broken desire, you pick up the life of Christ and find wholeness in His image. Does this mean that you are completely perfect as soon as you recognize the problem? Not at all, but you certainly learn the satisfaction of a life rooted in Jesus the Word, as you let go of an empty life defined by fleeting desire. No, not one of us will ever completely reflect Him and become perfect as Jesus was. But as we become more like Him, we will most certainly be more secure within ourselves and more satisfied with this life He has gifted us.
Because of Jesus’s atonement on the cross and His resurrection into eternal life, there will always be hope for the addict, the thief, the murderer and of course, the sexually broken like you and me. The first step is to recognize and repent, so we can receive His grace and really begin to live.