Sex Ed 101

Title: Sex Ed 101

Bible Book: Genesis 2 : 24-25

Author: James Merritt

Subject: Sex; Love; Marriage



You may wonder why I would dedicate a sermon just to the topic of sex. Pastor Bob Russell has one answer that I buy into. He said there are three topics which are sure to draw a crowd to church: sex, the end times, and will there be sex in the end times?

There are many of you here today who probably had the same experience that I had growing up in church and that is, in all my years of going to church, I never heard one pastor ever talk about the subject of sex. If you ever have heard a message on sex you probably could summarize the whole message in one word -"No!" It is both a tragedy and a joke (in a way) that you hear about sex everywhere except in church.

In the 1960s there was what is now known, in this country, as the "sexual revolution." The term "free love" was introduced into the culture. The pill was also introduced in the 1960s removing, for many, the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. At the same time, the church went into an ostrich mentality and buried its head in the sand instead of addressing the whole issue of sex head-on. So, the very people who should have been prepared to face the sexual revolution with biblical answers had none.

I am reminded of a six year old boy, who walked into the kitchen one time and asked his mom this question, "When you get married, does that make you pregnant?"

The question almost knocked her out of her shoes and she stammered for a moment and said, "No, getting married is not what makes you pregnant."

He said, "Well, how do you get pregnant?"

Nervously she looked at her little boy and said, "Peter, it is kind of a long story."

With a grin on his face he looked at her and said, "You don't know, do ya?"

Well, we had better know, because we are being bombarded with sex today everywhere we turn. You know the old adage, "sex sales" and it sells everything. It sells deodorant, cars, clothes, beer, razors and everything in-between. During just one year of average television viewing, a child ten years or older will be exposed to more than 9000 scenes suggesting sexual intercourse.

Television addresses and obsesses with sex explicitly and unapologetically. There is Desperate Housewives, 2 1/2 Men or the recent Sex in the City. We are being sent, deliberate, intentional messages about morality (or I should say immorality) from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed. Studies have shown that more than 90% of all sexual encounters on television and in the movies are between unmarried people.1

What has been the result of this sexual revolution? Venereal disease at an all time high, an Aids epidemic that still hasn't been cured, skyrocketing out of wedlock pregnancies, broken homes, destroyed marriages and fatherless families. Let me just give you this one statistic. In 1920, births out of wedlock were at 3%. In 1960, just before the sexual revolution, births out of wedlock stood only at 5%. Since 1960, births out of wedlock have increased 400%. The overall rate is now at 36.8%, including 70% of blacks, 48% of hispanics and 25% of whites.2

I want you to think about one other thing. What is it that drives a movie to an "R" rating? It is always one of two things: sex or violence. Have you ever thought about why that is?

Two cardinal teachings of scripture concerning every human being are these: we are made in the image of God and our body is the temple of God. What does violence do? It destroys the image of God. What does immoral sex do? It degrades the temple of God. Our culture, as well as our church, desperately needs Sex Ed 101. Key take away: God has an ideal for his idea of sex that is best for everyone.

I. God Has A Plan For Sex

Anytime anyone ever questions the love of God simply remind them of one thing and it will remove all doubts -God invented sex. I remind you again, sex was God's idea and he does have an ideal for his idea. The best place to begin any discussion of sex is to go all the way back to the beginning of all beginnings.

In one of those passages that, like so many in the bible, are so simple and yet so sublime, we read about the first truly sexual reference that even gives you a visual picture in Genesis chapter 2.

"for this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." (Genesis 2:24-25, NASB)

That is simple, straightforward, and succinct. It is real easy -two people, specifically a man and a woman, leave their respective sets of parents, come together in public covenant, become one flesh and start a new home. Look at all the benefits -an intimacy that has no embarrassment, the strongest bond that could ever occur between two human beings, total commitment, no guilt and no shame.

Two people, specifically a man and a woman, leave their respective sets of parents, come together in public covenant, become one flesh and start a new home. Look at all the benefits -an intimacy that has no embarrassment, the strongest bond that could ever occur between two human beings, total commitment, no guilt and no shame.

You would think that would be something easy to understand and practice, but when you look at our culture and our world it is a totally different story. A little girl walked up to her mother and said, "Mom, how old are you?" The mother said, "You aren't supposed to ask a woman her age. It is impolite."

Later, this little girl was talking to her friend next door about this conversation and her friend said, "All you have to do is look at her driver's license. It is like report card for adults. Everything about them is on there."

That night, the little girl walked into the kitchen and said, "Mom, you are 35 years old."

Her mom said, "How did you know that?"

The daughter said, "And you weight 130 pounds."

The mother said, "How did you find that out?"

The little girl said, "And that is not all. You didn't do very well in school either."

The mother said, "Why do you say that?"

The little girl said, "It is all on your driver's license. You got an "f" in sex."

When it comes to God's plan for sex, our culture is definitely getting an "f". Just as a starter, we now know that God's plan for sex totally excludes homosexuality, because sex is to be between a man and a woman. It excludes beastiality, because only humans are to be involved. It excludes pedophilia, because both the man and the woman are to be old enough to have a consensual relationship and it excludes fornication, because the man and the woman are to officially "leave" the first home until they "cleave" to each other and make a new home.

The leaving that is talked about in verse 24 is the announcement that a man and a woman make to the community at large. It doesn't matter whether this announcement is in the church or in a backyard. It removes a man and a woman from the dating market and automatically enrolls them in the University of Marriage.

That totally goes against the cultural thinking today that all sex is good and as long as there is mutual consent and physical needs that are met it doesn't matter whether there is a marriage or not, whether the genders are different or not, or even whether the species is the same or not. Man with man, woman with woman, self with self, group sex -it just doesn't matter.

Let's take a little test today. Researchers have concluded that there are three basic attitudes toward sex.




Let me define these groups and then you categorize yourself. The traditional group says that religious belief guides their sexual behavior and that premarital, extramarital and homosexual sex is wrong.

The relational group believes that sex should be a part of the loving relationship, but should not necessarily be restricted to marriage. The final group, the recreational proponents, believes that sex should be enjoyed for its own sake and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with love.3 Here is the shock. These researchers, who interviewed 3500 men and women, who claimed to be conservative Christians found that only 50% fell into the traditional category. That means half of evangelical Christians believe that sex does not necessarily have to be restricted to marriage between a husband and wife.

I can tell you as a pastor, more often than not, co-habitation is becoming the norm. Today, there are about 12 million people living with an unmarried partner in the United States. This includes both same-sex and different sex couples.4 Fifty-four percent of all first marriages began with unmarried co-habitation.5 The logic is that you ought to "sample the fruit before you buy the tree." Think about how foolish that is.

Do you know what pre-martial sex tells you about a person? It tells you one thing and one thing only he or she will sleep with someone who is not their spouse. It tells you that person doesn't have to be married to someone to sleep with them. It tells your partner the same thing about you. married to someone to sleep with them. It tells your partner the same thing about you.God knew the perfect context for sex is between two people, married and totally and permanently committed to each other. Sex cements that relationship. It permits that man and that woman to do physically what they have already done volitionally and what they want to do emotionally and that is to have the deepest intimacy. That deepest intimacy can only happen between a man and a woman committed to each other in a covenant of marriage before God where intimacy can take its very highest level.

God knew what he was doing. A report from the centers for disease control carried this shocking fact - 87% of all reportable disease is sexually transmitted.6 Sexual abstinence before marriage and then sexual fidelity within marriage absolutely prevents all sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, just simply following God's plan alone could eliminate 87% of all reportable disease. Yes, God has a plan for sex and it is a good one.

II. God Has A Purpose For Sex

This where some of you may begin to shift uncomfortably in your seats; but there is no need to, because God basically has two purposes for sex. First of all, sex is for pleasure. Sex is not something that was meant to be endured, but enjoyed. There is not a romantic novel you can buy at Wal-Mart that is more sensual and erotic and exciting than the Song of Solomon. In Genesis 26:8 we read this about Isaac and Rebekah, "Isaac was caressing his wife Rebekah." (Genesis 26:8, NASB)

The word for "caress" literally means "to sexually touch." God intended for sex and sexual pleasure to be a part of marriage, not just for the early years, but for the later years. Sometimes, unfortunately, we forget that.

One couple went out to dinner to celebrate their 25th anniversary and when they came back to their house they found a unique surprise. The house was beautifully decorated and a large "Happy Anniversary" banner was hanging in the living room. Next to a box of chocolates on the dinning table was a note from their teenage daughter that said, "Dear mom and dad, I hope you are having a wonderful time celebrating your anniversary. I am spending the night with grandma, so enjoy yourselves and do something I wouldn't do." The man looked at his wife and said, "You don't suppose she wants us to clean and vacuum her room do you?"

The truth of the matter is sex and sexual pleasure is one of the strongest supports in any marriage. We all know it is a challenge to maintain a marriage. Women, you discover that men can be sloppy and insensitive. Men, we discover that women can be moody and irritable. Let's face it, it is difficult for men to understand women and that is why marriage is so tough. That is why I agree with comedian Brad Stein talking about men marrying men. Do you know what he said? "Men marrying men? Cowards!" Sex is good and good sex is healthy.

Obviously the other purpose of marriage is pro-creation. God said to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:28, "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." (Genesis 1:28, NASB)

It is like I have told my sons many times, "You didn't get here by Fedex!" The way we all got here is when our mom and dad looked at each other one day and said, "Let's be fruitful!" So here we are!

That is God's purpose. God wants us to populate the earth, but specifically to populate it in a home where one man is married to one woman building a home that is dedicated to his glory. Sex fulfills that purpose.

III. God Demands Purity With Sex

This is where the message is going to get, not only deeper, but tougher for a lot of us. If there is anything that is "uncool" and unrealistic and just simply outdated it is the two words "sexual purity."

As I have already stated, the culture today basically says two things about sex: consent makes it right and need makes it right. If it feels good and it is okay with the other person then you do it. Over against that, let me tell you what God definitively and dogmatically says. He does it without stammering or stuttering. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality." (1 Thessalonians 4:3, NASB)

I cannot always look someone in the eye and tell them dogmatically what God's will is for them. Many times, people come to me and try to get me to play God in their life and tell them, but I can't do that. In this instance, I can tell every one of you in this room, dogmatically, without a shadow of a doubt, a moment of hesitation, or an ounce of uncertainty what God's will is for you. You don't have to pray about it, you don't have to talk to anybody else about it, because God plainly tells us it is his will that we abstain from sexual immorality and His will includes sanctification. That is a big word, but it is a simple word. It literally means "to set apart." In other words, God's will is for you to set your body apart and to save your body when it comes to sex for the person that you will be married to Washington, D.C. and rent the Hyatt Regency, but you can't go to Washington, D.C. and rent the White House. Why? The White House is sanctified, that is, has been set apart for a special purpose for a special person. The same thing is true for you when it comes to sex.

That is why we are told to, "abstain from sexual immorality." That word "abstain" doesn't mean "be discreet." It doesn't mean, "don't get caught." It doesn't mean, "safe sex." It means to stay away from any sex outside of the married relationship.

Where we get into trouble with sex is this -we underestimate the power of sexual temptation and we overestimate our ability to handle it. That is the reason why children touch hot stoves. They underestimate the danger of what that hot stove can do to their hands and they overestimate their ability to handle what they have never touched. In fact, this is a good thing to remember. Sex is just like a fire. A fire handled correctly can cook a delicious meal. If it is handled incorrectly it can burn your house down.

Let me address two groups of people as I bring this to a close. First of all, for all of us, where we are right now, how do you maintain sexual purity? Even though it is not going to be easy, it is going to be simple. Commit to God's standard for you regarding sex. God's standard is abstinence before marriage and faithfulness within marriage. Remember that God wants what is best for you. If that is true, then God wants the sex that is best for you and the best sex is sex between a husband and a wife totally committed to each other in the bonds of marriage.

The second thing you have to do is control your environment. Only a fool puts himself in a foolish situation where he can wind up doing a foolish thing. I've said it many times and I'll say it again, "You cannot do the wrong thing if you are never in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person." Two questions will always help you in this matter, "Should I be here?" and "Should I go there?" By the way, the answer to the question, "How far can I go?" is simple -not very far! A good rule of thumb would be, never do with a member of the opposite sex what you would not want someone doing with your son or your daughter one day.

The second group I need to address, however, are those of you, today, who are wallowing in guilt, because you have messed up. You have been guilty of sexual sin and maybe even now are guilty of sexual sin. You are wondering if God can forgive you and the good news is he absolutely can and absolutely will if you will ask him. I got this email from a couple just a few weeks ago and I will share it with you, because they represent where so many of you are and so many of you could be right now.

"Dear Dr. Merritt,

My girlfriend and I have just attending your church. Church has never been a big thing for me, nor has regular attendance to any place of worship. The message you delivered this past Sunday really hit me hard. I am engaged to a girl, who you met after the service of our first attendance, three weeks ago. We have lived together for about two years. Following last Sunday's service, we had a heart-to-heart discussion and we need to change some things.

“Starting that night, I began sleeping in the guest room and prayed for, maybe, the second or third in my life. I am going to move out, because we both believe our marriage will be much better with God's blessing."

After I received that email, I had dinner with that couple and they expressed to me how they had confessed, repented and they had gotten right with God. There is no more serious sin than sexual sin, but there is no more forgivable sin than sexual sin and that is the conclusion to Sex Ed 101.



2 David Wells, Losing Our Virtue, p. 57

3 cited by Steve Farrar, Finishing Strong



6 Joel Belz, The Price of Immorality, World, November 1997, p 5.

2 David Wells, Losing Our Virtue, p. 57

3 cited by Steve Farrar, Finishing Strong



6 Joel Belz, The Price of Immorality, World, November 1997, p 5.

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