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Sunday Service 20 Jan : When good things become god things - Topic: Sex

Romans 1:18-25

‘Who am I?’ This is a question we spend our lives trying to answer. We wonder what defines us, what gives our life meaning and purpose. But in fact this identity question is a worship question. The thing to which we dedicate our energy and focus becomes the thing that defines us.

"What we worship reflects who we are."

We either find our meaning, our purpose, our identity in the One that is worthy of worship, in the one true God. Or we find it in something else. As Paul says in Romans 1: 25 ‘They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator’. This is the heart of idolatry.

Our sexuality is the first place that this idolatry manifests itself. Author and psychologist John White, in his book Set Free!: Recognising and Healing Sexual Sin, says he believes that Satan’s starting point in his quest to destroy humanity is our sexuality.

Sex is good. Sex is a gift from God, designed to intimately connect a husband and wife. The Hebrew word for sex can be translated as a ‘mingling of souls’. True intimacy is about trusting, loving and giving oneself over - similar to our worship for God. It’s no accident that in the Old Testament God uses the language of adultery to talk about the breaking of trust that happens when his people turn away from him. But God’s greatest gifts can quickly become his greatest competition. Many of us struggle to put our sexuality in its rightful place.

When good things become ‘god things’, they begin to harm us. When the pursuit of sexual pleasure either inside or outside our marriage, becomes a focus or an obsession, it begins to harm us. Then, sex has become an idol. What the gods of pleasure offer looks like freedom and joy. But it ends up being toxic.

Kyle Idleman in his book Gods at War, has this to say about sex. ‘It’s a beautiful gift, and a tyrant of a god’. Sex has enslaved so many of us today, often through pornography. Pornography is everywhere, and is a temptation that is impossible for us to overcome alone.

So are we doomed to be imprisoned by sexual sin? No.

"Idols are defeated not by being removed, but by being replaced"

We are created for friendship and relationship with God and that is where our utmost joy can be found. In Jesus Christ alone can we find meaning, substance and purpose.

If you have known Jesus as your source of fulfilment, joy and peace – then ask forgiveness for losing your way and recommit to making Him your ‘number one’, your first love.

If you don’t know His perfect love, but have realised through experience that nothing else can bring you deep satisfaction and rest, then ask Jesus to show Himself to you. Give Him a chance and put Him in charge of your life.

Jesus is asking you, just as He asked Peter in John 21:15: ‘…will you love me more than these?’

How will you answer?

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