The X-Rated Series

I have already shared with you three lessons in this series. On January 2nd, I shared with you the lesson, "Culture and the Church: Sexual Perceptions." On January 9th, I shared with you the lesson, "Sexual Perceptions: Passing Them On." On January 16th, I shared with you the lesson, "Boiling Over: Acceptance of Sexual Ungodliness." All three of those lessons are available to you on audio tape, on our Web site, or in hard copy. The three of them form a background for tonight's thoughts.

May I state clearly why I am sharing these lessons with you. Pornography is a major problem among Christians. Sexual intercourse among the unmarried is a major problem among Christians. Adulterous affairs are a major problem among Christians. Indulging sexual passions in sexual fantasies is a major problem among Christians.

Commonly, these problems are either ignored or denied in the church. We commonly choose to do one of three things: (1) we deny the prevalence of these problems. (2) Or, we declare that helping people with such problems is not the work of the church. (3) Or, we make sexual sin a Christian taboo and condemn it. Our condemnation sends this message: "if you are struggling against a sexual problem, stop the problem. But, whatever you do, don't come to us for help."

Jesus forgave people who wanted forgiveness for sexual immorality. The churches in the New Testament educated people who struggled with sexual immorality. The objective of education was to free them from their slavery. We need to allow Jesus and the churches in the New Testament to encourage us to help people who want help. If we do not, Satan will continue to use sexual evil to slaughter Christians.

  1. The book of Genesis was written by Moses to the Israelites who had been released from Egyptian slavery.
    1. Genesis had a specific message with a specific purpose for these people.
      1. The word Genesis means "beginning."
        1. The Hebrews or Israelites named their books by using the first word that appeared in the book.
        2. The first Hebrew word in this book means "in the beginning."
        3. Genesis is its English name, and it originated with the Greek translation of the Hebrew.
      2. "Beginning" is a very appropriate name for this book.
        1. Its basic purpose was simple: it explained to these freed slaves (1) their origin and (2) why they lived in Egypt.
        2. The material begins with God's creation and ends with Joseph's death in Egypt.
          1. Only two chapters of fifty are devoted to the creation, a total of 56 verses.
          2. One chapter of fifty, or twenty-four verses, is devoted to the origin of evil.
          3. Thirty-nine chapters of fifty are devoted to Abraham and his descendants.
      3. The book told the Israelites basically two things:
        1. It told them that every physical thing that exists, including them, has its origin in the living God who delivered them from Egypt.
          1. No Egyptian god delivered them from slavery.
          2. The living, Creator God delivered them from slavery.
        2. It explained to them that they were the descendants of Abraham.
          1. Abraham had a special relationship with the Creator God.
          2. They were delivered from Egypt so the Creator God could keep His promise that He made to Abraham.
      4. The book was not written to be a science book, a philosophy book, or a book on ethics.
        1. The book was written to explain to Israel their origin and their history.
        2. The book was written to help hundreds of thousands of freed slaves understand and claim their identity.
        3. It was not written to address 20th and 2lst century issues that did not exist when Israel was delivered from Egypt.
    2. Genesis contains two creation accounts; one is general and one is specific.
      1. The general account, Genesis one, briefly discusses how the Creator God brought the physical world, all physical things, and human life into existence.
      2. The specific account, Genesis two, discusses in more detail the creation of the man and woman, the human male and female.
      3. This is the information I want you to consider.
        1. The creation of the human was unique; the human was a unique life form.
        2. God made a special environment for the human and placed the male human in that environment.
        3. In that environment the man had only one need: the need for companionship because loneliness was not good.
      4. Genesis 2:18-25 deserves your special attention. Notice the progression of its information.
        1. First, notice the statement that the state of loneliness is not a good state of existence for the man.
          1. That was not a discovery God made after creating Adam; God knew that before creating Adam.
          2. But Adam did not know that, and Israel needed a better understanding of that.
          3. Adam needed a helper suitable for him; literal translation, Adam needed a helper "corresponding" to him.
          4. Make a mental footnote of that thought.
        2. Second, God had Adam name all the land creatures.
          1. In that process, Adam discovered that no creature was like him, was suitable for him, could be companion to him, had an existence that corresponded to his existence.
          2. God knew that. Adam did not know that. Adam had to discover that truth before he could appreciate the uniqueness of Eve.
        3. Third, God created Eve from Adam to be his equal, not his superior, not his servant, but his equal.
          1. When God presented Eve to Adam, Adam immediately understood.
          2. "She is unique! There is no creature like her! She "corresponds" in existence to me! She is a part of me!"
      5. We correctly understand that this is the origin of family.
        1. Humans were made to (1) be in relationship with God and (2) exist as families by establishing a relationship between a man and a woman.
        2. The individual was created to bond with another individual and bring into existence family life; we were created to be social beings.
      6. It was very important for Israel to understand those facts.
        1. Israel was family.
        2. Israel was family who belonged to the living Creator God.
        3. Because they as family were descendants of the Abraham who had a special relationship with the Creator God who just released Israel from slavery, they needed to understand that God was working through Abraham's family to bring a blessing to every family on earth.
        4. As family, they needed to commit to and cooperate with the Creator God.
    3. I now want you to think about a statement you have used all your life.
      1. Those of you who grew up in the church always have heard and taught that Eve was created to be a suitable helper for Adam.
      2. Question: help Adam do what?
        1. When Eve was presented to Adam, there was no evil in the world.
        2. There was no toil and labor.
        3. They lived in an environment designed by God to met every physical life need they had.
        4. He did not go to the office, and she did not iron clothes.
        5. He and she did not make money at different jobs to make ends meet.
      3. Marriage exists so that we can help each other. But:
        1. If that help is limited to cleaning house and paying the bills, we miss the core concept of helping each other.
        2. If that help is limited to making money and acquiring possessions, we miss the core concept of helping.
        3. Help each other do what?
    4. The marriage exists by God's design to destroy loneliness.
      1. We miserably fail to bring into existence what God intended marriage to do.
      2. There are more married Christians who are lonely than there are married Christians who live in a relationship that destroys loneliness.
      3. Too many Christians experience two common failures in marriage.
        1. Too many Christians, too many people do not understand how to destroy loneliness through marriage.
        2. Too many Christians, too many people do not understand how to create a healthy sexual relationship that nurtures marriage.

  2. I do not wish to offend anyone, but we cannot address one of the fundamental reasons for marriage distress without speaking frankly.
    1. There are two fundamental reasons for so many marriages experiencing deep distress.
      1. The first is that the two people in the marriage are not in a healthy relationship with God.
        1. In a January 8 article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette entitled, "Christians more likely to divorce than non-Christians, Survey finds," the results of a Barna Research Group of almost 4,000 adults reveals that the divorce rate is higher among born-again Christians than among those who declare themselves to be atheist and agnostics.
        2. The results also seem to indicate that there is some relationship between conservative beliefs and divorce: it seems that the more conservative the beliefs of the group, the more likely people in that group are to divorce.
        3. You may interpret those results as you wish, but, whatever your interpretation, the evidence indicates that people professing to be born again Christians do not create the kind of relationship with God that nurtures marriage.
      2. The second fundamental reason many marriages experience deep distress is this: many married Christian men and women do not understand each other well enough to destroy loneliness.
    2. Men and women are fundamentally different as persons.
      1. The magnitude of that difference is seen in the monthly cycle of a woman and the sex drive of a man.
      2. No man understands the power the monthly cycle has in a woman's life.
        1. That is totally outside a man's life experience.
        2. He does not even observe that reality until he is married.
        3. It takes a while for him to grasp that the effects of that cycle are real.
        4. Because he never experienced those experiences, many men decide, "It is all in your mind; get tough, forget about it, and don't think about it."
        5. He does not understand, and his wife experiences the loneliness that comes from realizing, "He does not understand me as a person."
      3. No woman understands the power of a man's sex drive in a man' life.
        1. That is totally outside a woman's life experience.
        2. She does not even observe that reality until she is married.
        3. It takes a while for her to grasp that the effects of the sex drive are real.
        4. Because she never experienced those experiences, many women decide, "It is all in your mind; get tough; forget about it, and don't think about it."
        5. She does not understand, and her husband experiences the loneliness that comes from realizing, "She does not understand me as a person."

  3. A fundamental purpose of marriage is to destroy loneliness.
    1. The objective of the unique companionship shared by a man and woman in marriage is to destroy loneliness.
      1. A key component of that companionship is a mutually healthy, nurturing sexual relationship.
      2. That relationship cannot exist if the husband and wife are not committed to understanding each other.
      3. Without that commitment, marriage cannot accomplish one of the primary objectives of God's design--the destruction of loneliness.
    2. Having good sex does not create marriage.
      1. Good sex alone cannot create successful marriage.
      2. The understandings that destroy loneliness create a successful marriage.
      3. Those understandings will build a good sexual relationship.
      4. A healthy, nurturing sexual companionship is critical to a healthy, nurturing marriage that destroys loneliness for both the husband and the wife.

The church will not be successful in helping people leave pornography, unmarried intercourse, and adulterous affairs until we help people understand that God designed marriage relationships to destroy loneliness.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Evening Sermon, 5 March 2000
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