Show Me the Way: Finding God's Direction for Human Sexuality
Sermon Summary
This message deals with the topic of God’s design for human sexuality. God gave us directions for the true enjoyment of this part of our lives. God never intended our sexuality to be evil, dark or dirty, but when we ignore God’s instructions regarding this very intense aspect of life, we invite disaster and destruction. This message is based on the story in John’s gospel of a woman caught in the act of adultery and brought to Jesus by the religious leaders of the time. They wanted to use her predicament to put Jesus and His grace message to the test! To be sure, Jesus passed the text and in the process gave us some good guidelines for dealing with our present day issues with sexuality. Basically we are not to judge, cast stones, condemn or condone. We must drop our stones, but never let go of our God-given convictions, principles and standards! Hope this message helps as you navigate the difficult waters of this topic. Here is a list of good resources on the topic which come recommended by your church staff.

Recommended Resources

Preparing for Adolescence: How to Survive the Coming Years of Change by Dr. James Dobson
The Gift of Sex by Clifford and Joyce Penner
The Struggle  by Dr. Steve Gerali
Pure Eyes and Eyes of Integrity by Greg Gross
God on Sex by Daniel Akin
Ministering to Gay Teenagers by Shawn Harrison

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. When you were growing up did your parents and church give you good help on finding God’s direction for your sexuality or did you have to just figure things out on your own or through peers?

2. The Bible doesn’t say our sexuality is an evil thing. God created us to be sexual beings. How important do you think it is that we know and follow God’s directions for our sexuality? Explain.
1 Cor 6:18  Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
1 Cor 6:19  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
1 Cor 6:20  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

3. The world is pushing ever harder for the acceptance of any and all sexual lifestyle choices. If God’s Word is true, and I believe it is, then there will be serious consequences to face if we just throw out our convictions, and principles. However, we are told to love everyone whether we agree with them or not. How can we hold to our beliefs without being judgmental, condemning or throwing stones? How can we be loving to those living ungodly lifestyles without condoning their sin? Maybe the way to do this is found in Jesus’ example...
John 8:1  But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
John 8:2  At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
John 8:3  The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
John 8:4  and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
John 8:5  In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
John 8:6  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
John 8:7  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
John 8:8  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
John 8:9  At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
John 8:10  Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
John 8:11  "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

4. We are sometimes tempted to pick and choose the sins we think are worse than others and make our judgements based on those things. I can’t understand another man’s temptation, but I understand my own and I know how God has changed my life, so I want to lovingly help others find the same grace not matter their type of sin. How can we  show that grace?
Gal 6:1  Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
Gal 6:2  Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3  If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Full Sermon Notes
Once again we are confronted with the question…"Is it well with your soul?"Our world is a troubled world in so many ways. I could list the top ten troubling news headlines from this past week, but I don't want to depress you! You've already been inundated with those things. What I want to tell you this morning is this: God is still God and we are still called to be His hands and feet taking His love and light to a desperate world. In order to do that effectively we need to first know God's direction for our own lives so we can show them the way! Jesus is still the way, the truth and the life in all areas of our lives.
As we get ready to discuss a very sensitive and important topic this morning, we need to pray and seek God's direction. By the way, our topic will be rated PG. Parental Guidance Suggested! So let's request the parental guidance of our Heavenly Father!

Father God we know You have divine designs for each of us in every area of our lives. Our work, our recreation, our family, our friends, our spirituality, and even our sexuality. I pray with all my heart for You to grant me the leadership of Your Precious and all wise Holy Spirit. Guide us to rightfully discern and divide Your Word of truth as we discuss the subject of Human Sexuality this morning. The world tells us one thing, but You tell us something very different. You want what is best for us, always, but the world tries to tell us Your ways are archaic, old fashioned, out of sync with the times, and even irrelevant. The consequences of ignoring Your design and Your guidance in this area of our life is catastrophic. We can't even begin to imagine just how catastrophic for our families, our children, our grandchildren, and our society as a whole. So teach us, and help us to receive Your teaching with grateful hearts. And as we apply and implement Your principles in our lives and find Your freedom, forgiveness and direction, help us never become conceited, prideful, hateful, or forgetful. Help us never forget we are but sinners saved by Your loving grace and mercy! Help us to love every person no matter their position in life or their struggle in life! Thank You so much for hearing and answering this prayer, amen!

Dr. Nave spoke here! His text follows and he has a few Scriptures which I have included.

“Good morning again. At our pastor’s gracious invitation, I have been given the opportunity to say a word of introduction before he begins to share with us the message from God’s Word that he has prepared for us this week. Our pastor, and others on the ministry staff at Northshore, work hard to make sure that every word shared from this stage is true to the Word of God revealed in scripture. We consult numerous resources, talk together with each other and those we trust for helpful feedback, and most important of all, we spend time in prayer seeking the illumination of God’s own Spirit that lives in every one of us who has called on him for salvation. Today, our pastor will share with us a message focused on the clear and straightforward teachings of God’s Word on relationships and sexuality. As Christians, we believe in a God who loves us and wants the best for us; who sent his son to die on the cross in order to restore us to a relationship with him through which he intends to bless us.

While others may look on the teachings of God’s Word with suspicion or distain, we acknowledge that God is God, that he knows what is best for those he lovingly created, and that his Word represents the best plan for our lives. In a world that is increasingly hostile to faith and moral standards of any kind, Christians may find it difficult to live according to God’s Word. Our beliefs and standards for conduct are ridiculed and challenged, and many faithful Christian’s are afraid to stand up for what they believe at work, at school or in the market place.

It’s possible that we have made it harder on ourselves by arguing where we should simply keep silent, or telling others what they should believe rather that showing them that we have discovered a more excellent way. It is true that we have been called to bear witness, but we should be mindful that not everyone we encounter is prepared to receive the fullness of God’s truth. Jesus knew that his early disciples and his modern followers would encounter people who were antagonistic to the moral teachings of Christianity.  And in his comprehensive instructions for those seeking to live for him, the Sermon on the Mount, he gave us some simple rules for responding to those who reject the authority of God. While the whole of God’s Word is rich in wisdom and instruction, we could likely live faithful to Christ’s teachings if all we had was Matthew chapters 5-7. Included in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount are the Lord’s Prayer, The Golden Rule, and instructions for responding to those who oppose us and our beliefs as Christians.

Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

God does not withhold his common grace from any man or woman. No matter what they believe or say or do, God gives the same basic blessings of life to all people. As Christians, he calls us to reflect his grace in our conduct toward all people. But, it is also important for us to understand the futility of explaining in detail all the commands of scripture to someone who rejects the authority of God and his Word. We’re just better off staying out of arguments about right and wrong with people who refuse to acknowledge any standard of truth or morality apart from themselves.

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

We are not called to defend the virtue of Christian teachings to those who reject the authority of God. This may seem inconsistent with Christ’s command to us to carry the Gospel to all nations, but it is not. We are called to share with others the truth about God’s love for them and his plan to save them from sin, but until they are willing to seek God and receive his offer of salvation, they are in no place to receive the truth about his plan for their lives. So as our pastor comes to share with us God’s plan for our relationships and sexuality, don’t get twisted up about whether you will be able to explain it all to your co-workers. Let God direct your life, and live the truth before others as you seek to be a source of light and God’s grace in
their lives.

If you find yourself challenged aggressively to defend a specific teaching of God’s Word, take a deep breath seek to discern the position of the one asking the question. You can even ask the person who seems to want to provoke an argument, ‘Do you think God has authority over your life?’ If they don’t believe in God or are antagonistic to faith and religion, you are free to gently and humbly say, ‘I am not going to argue with you the virtues of the teachings of a faith who’s God you reject. Perhaps we could talk about something else.’

But, no matter how difficult our relationship with a co-worker, friend or family member, we should always be willing to share how we came to believe in God and accept his teachings as the source of meaning in our lives.”

End of Jeff's part of the message!

Thanks so much Dr. Nave! Such good wisdom and I want to build on that as we spend a few moments today on the subject of God's direction for Human Sexuality. Many books have been written on this subject from a Christian perspective so I will only be able to scratch the surface this morning. I'll include a brief bibliography of some of the ones I recommend, in the sermon notes on our web-site. And it goes without saying that the most important book ever written on the subject is God's Word and I want us to turn to our text for today!

Some might question my choice of this passage, but I think you will understand why I did so by the end of the message. This story is not found in the oldest manuscripts we have of the Bible, but there was such early acceptance of this story as authentic that Scribes evidently inserted it in The Gospel of John. I believe God has protected the integrity of His Word and so I accept it's authenticity completely. So now you know why this portion of your Bible may be in the margin or is set apart from your regular text with a note. It's a powerful story and very clearly shows the view of Jesus on the topic we come to today. Let's read John 8:1-11...

John 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.
3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group
4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”
6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them,  
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first,
until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

How about that? Let me make a few observations….

It's not our job to round up the sinners so God can judge them!

None of us have the right to cast stones!

Who are we to condemn someone else for their sin!

Refusing to judge others, cast stones, or condemn does not mean we condone!

Here's the crux of our present problem concerning human sexuality. We are routinely told if we don't condone, accept, encourage and even promote sexual lifestyles that are clearly unBiblical, then we are being judgmental, casting stones and condemning. Now to be sure, there have been people who in the name of Jesus have been very quick to judge, cast stones and condemn. They walk around with signs that say "God hates people involved in certain lifestyles!" Let me just tell you what the Bible has to say about that...

1 Timothy 1:15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst.
16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited
patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.

There you have it! God loves sinners. All sinners, all kinds!

You see, Jesus looked at the woman caught in the very act of adultery, but did not condemn her! He loved her so much He would go to a Cross and allow Himself to be sacrificed for her sin. And let me tell you Jesus didn't just die for people who commit heterosexual sin, he died for people who commit homosexual sin!

You see, we like to think other people's sins are so much worse than ours! This was so clear in our story. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery! Wait, caught in adultery? Unless I'm just not very smart, I would say it takes two to commit adultery! Ok, where is the guy? Humm???

Talk about injustice and hypocrisy! Why? Because the Pharisees would pick and choose which sin they would punish! Jesus didn't buy into that thinking. We don't know what He wrote in the sand, but I'm thinking it may have been secret sins He knew were going on in the lives of the religious mob that had gathered. Or it could have been dates and times they had visited this lady! I don't know, but they dropped their stones and went away. So the first thing we need to do is drop our stones and stop condemning others. Now, I said drop your stones, not your convictions, principles, and God-given moral standards!

Don't miss this part of the story...

John 8:10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

So Jesus in essence said, "I don't condemn you, but neither do I condone your life style!" Why didn't Jesus condone her lifestyle? Because it was destructive, demeaning, and definitely not the lifestyle God had designed her for! Jesus wanted her to know His love. Jesus' love was so different. It was based on what was best for her, not some greedy, lustful, selfish ambition for personal gain. You see, God created us not because He needed anything from us, but because He had so much to give and no one to give it to. So the very act of creation was an act of selfless giving. And God's design, His principles and His direction for our sexuality was never intended to straight-jacket us and keep us from enjoying our sexuality, rather, He gave us direction because as our designer, He knew how we would work best and be most fulfilled and happy. When we deviate from that we invite dysfunction into our lives.

Let's look back at the beginning...

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. ”

So God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number…" This let's us know that family was in God's plan from the very beginning. A father and a mother who would have children. Folks, God designed a family so children would have a Daddy and a Mommy.  Little boys need the example of their father and the nurture and encouraging love of their mother! Little girls need the example of their mother and the loving attention of their father. It's the way God designed things and it works when there is a Godly father and mother partnering to parent their children. A mom and dad working together can help the children grow up with a healthy acceptance of who God created them to be. However, in this modern world we have distortions of this natural order being pushed through very sophisticated media campaigns, and we now have surgeries and medications that can aid this transformation.

Here's the sad thing…instead of teaching our children to accept who they were created to be, we are telling them it's okay to be something or someone else. Now I know some girls are more Tom-boyish and would rather play with Tonka toys than Barbie dolls. They would rather fish and hunt, but that doesn't mean they were meant to be boys! My wife was a Tom-boy, and was her dad's fishing buddy. I tell her she was the cutest tom-boy ever! And not all guys are weight-lifting athletes who love to track down Bambi for dinner. They may have a God-given talent for design and fashion, but that doesn't mean they were meant to be girls or have to embrace the homosexual lifestyle! Did you know some parents, if their boy seems more feminine, they'll give him drugs to suppress his male hormones as he is developing. That's just scary! And some of those same people would never think of eating genetically modified food! Go figure! So, no, I don't believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is in God's design for our human sexuality. Now, before you cast a stone at me or unfriend me on Facebook, let me say this...

I have friends who are homosexual and they are friends, and they know I love them, even though they know I don't agree with their lifestyle. Now some of you might ask me if I think a homosexual person can be saved? "Doesn't the Bible say homosexual offenders can't inherit the kingdom of God? Ok, two things:

First, the Kingdom of God is "Where God rules!"
And there's other things on the list which puts all of us in a bad way!
Let's read that passage in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11...

9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

So all of the above can be saved! You can't pick and choose the sins you don't struggle with and say those are the really bad ones and those people can't be saved! Remember our story from our text, don't judge, cast stones, condemn or condone!
Now let me ask you a quick question. It's deep, it's tough! What does it take to be saved? Perfection? That rules me out! Get forgiven and never mess up again? That rules me out! If it's not by grace, God's grace then we're all in trouble! Now I'm not saying since we aren't perfect we just throw up our hands and give up on living a Godly life!

No indeed! Why? Because if you keep living in those sins God can't bless your life and while you may have a relationship with God through salvation, God can't fellowship with you if you are willfully living in disobedience in any area of your life, not just in your sexual lives. Listen...

Galatians 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Now remember, the Kingdom of God is where God rules, and if you are living under the rule of any of these sins, and you're not allowing God to rule in those areas of your life then there are consequences. Let me give you an example or two of how ignoring God's direction for our lives sexually can hurt us. The world has been telling our youth for a long time, pre-marital sex is ok as long as you use protection so you don't make a baby or catch an std. The sad thing about this is what they don't tell you. They don't tell you about the psychological and emotional damage you'll incur. When you break up and realize you've given away something you can't get back! Now God forgives and God heals, but you must understand there are scars. You can, with the help of God overcome those scars, but anyone whose been there done that will tell you it's better to follow God's direction to begin with and avoid the scars. You see, it's like this…I used to make flight cases for musicians. Pretty cases made with plywood, laminate, and aluminum trim and corners. When you build those you use contact cement. You put it on the plywood, then on the laminate. You let it adhere to both of these and then when you put them together, the cement bonds on contact! You better have the laminate lined up perfectly with the plywood or your in trouble. If you try to take it back apart after it has bonded on contact there will be damage. The same way with sex before marriage. God intended that union to permanently bond two people together for life.

When you tear that apart their's always damage and that kind of emotional damage is hard for a young person to overcome and can impact their life when they do find someone they decide to marry.  

Matthew 19:3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’
5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ?
6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

Why does He say "What God has joined together, let man not separate?" Because He knows the pain and the suffering that comes from such a separation. Did you know the Bible says God hates divorce? He doesn't hate divorcees, He hates divorce. Why? Because it hurts the individuals involved, the spouses, and the children.

Now you might be here and your thinking, "Well there's no hope for me, I've been there done that! I'm a hopeless case! I'm not married and have lost my virginity. Is there any hope for forgiveness and hope of a happy marriage?" Yes indeed there is! God is the God of second chances and of great mercy!!

Would it have been better if you had followed His rules in the first place? Absolutely, but, we can't change the past, but God can take care of your past and give you a future that will be amazing if you'll trust Him, follow Him, and turn from those wicked ways! God wants what's best for you. Satan only wants to destroy you.

John 10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Now I want to close with a concept and a scripture. First the concept. Remember, Jesus told the lady caught in the act of adultery that He did not condemn her, and while He did not condemn her, He did bring conviction to her by telling her to leave her life of sin. There's a difference between condemnation and conviction, a big one!

Condemnation is designed to hurt, conviction is designed to help!  

Condemnation says, "You're no good! God is angry with you! There's no hope for you!"

Conviction says, "I suffered and died because of that sin! This will hurt you and others! You can do better with my help!"

Reject the condemnation of the enemy, but accept and welcome the conviction of The Holy Spirit!

No matter what you struggle with, God wants to help you discover His design for you, His best for you, His plans for you! God has a plan for the expression of your human sexuality. James Dobson wrote a book called "Preparing for Adolescence" that is a great guide for parents and young youth. It will help your young person understand the natural development of sexuality, and curiosity. It can help you help them understand that sex is not evil when a person understands God's direction and purpose for that part of our lives.

For young people and singles, there's another good resource, "The Struggle" published by NavPress written by Dr. Steve Gerali. This book will be helpful especially for young men.
For married couples struggling in the area of intimacy, there's a book by Christian therapists Clifford and Joyce Penner titled, "The Gift of Sex." There are other good materials for those struggling with finding God's direction for their human sexuality. Let me read one quote from "The Struggle" by Dr. Steve Gerali and then end with a Scripture. First the quote...

"Sadly, we have reduced a God-given gift to something repressed and dark. We have given ground to Satan by letting him deceive us into thinking all of our sexual impulses are lustful. Then Satan makes lust, or a counterfeit of lust, the focus of our thinking. It becomes all-consuming, self-absorbing, and defeating. Instead of focusing on the Lord of our sexuality, we channel all of our energy in working to eliminate something we can't eliminate. This only puts us in a position to be defeated, shamed, and burdened." Dr. Steve Gerali.

Now the Scripture which is really good news for us all...

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not  
live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

Let's Pray!!