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What does the Bible say about human sexuality and sexual sin?

The Bible affirms human sexuality as a good part of God’s original creation. The Genesis account tells us that God created human beings in His image as male and female—a complementary pair designed to bond and work together for a greater purpose. Our Creator-God intended the first couple to use the gift of sexual union to reproduce His image across the earth[1] and to enjoy and deepen the unique bond between a husband and wife.[2] Jesus reaffirmed this when he quoted from Genesis: “‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’”[3]

The first couple’s rebellion against God caused sin to enter the world, setting in motion many ways human beings can “miss the mark” of the Maker’s design for our lives, including sexual union. Even within the marital context, husbands and wives can distort God’s purpose for sex and dishonor each other and the Creator’s design.[4]

God intended sex for a specific purpose, but there is nothing in the pages of Scripture that suggests human beings are to fulfill this purpose by any and every sexual practice. Nor does the Bible teach that all humans need to be sexually active (in whatever way they prefer) to be whole and complete. Human completeness and identity are found in being created in the image of God and being recreated in the image of the risen Jesus.[5]

From slandering to stealing to sexual immorality, the Bible shows that all sin affects us negatively and keeps us from flourishing as the men and women God intends for us to become in Christ. While some sexual sins can have more far-reaching consequences than others, the Bible does not encourage the people of God to single out one sexual sin as the worst. Nor are we to be offended by and condemn those who struggle with sins that we don’t. [6] Instead, Jesus calls us to compassionately meet people where they are and to humbly invite them by word and example to God’s new way of life found in Him, never losing sight of our own persistent capacity for sin. [7]

Both the Old and New Testament reveal the Creator of heaven and earth to be a God of love, mercy, and second chances.[8] He doesn’t write off the sexually permissive any more than He writes off the greedy or the gluttonous. He longs to show mercy toward those who confess to all forms of behavior outside of His divine intent.[9]

Though God’s forgiveness doesn’t absolve any of us from the present consequences of sexual sin, the pages of the Bible also show that we who fall short of God’s design can be forgiven and restored to live a new creational life found in Jesus.[10]

[1] Genesis 1:27-28

[2] Genesis 2:24

[3]  But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.'”  —Mark 10:6-8 (NLT)

[4] Hebrews 13:4

[5] 2 Corinthians 3:17; Romans 8:29

[6] John 8:3-11

[7] Matthew 9:12-13

[8] Lamentations 3:22-23

[9] Psalm 32:5

[10] Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17

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Does God Hold Me Responsible For What I Do In My Dreams?

It’s unlikely God holds us much more accountable for the fantasies that appear in our dreams than He does for the predispositions to sin that we all share, including temptations or evil thoughts that drift into our minds. In fact, some of the things that happen in the theater of our dreams may help us be more aware of our deepest longings, conflicts, and fears.

Sexual fantasy, rage, and violence often occur abruptly and seemingly uncontrollably in dreams. We don’t know how much we are capable of regulating behavior in dreams. Some of the ascetic church fathers thought we are responsible for what we do in dreams, but Scripture nowhere indicates that this is true.1

Dreams are generally things that “happen to us,” not things we consciously choose to do. To the extent that our dreams are “lucid”—that is under the control of our conscious mind—we may find we encounter some genuine temptation. (See What should I think of what I experience in dreams? and Is it possible that some dreams contain important symbolic meaning—or even a message from God?)

If troubled by dreams, we should commit them to the Lord, asking for protection as we sleep. We should also ask Him to instruct us as we sleep and strengthen our ability to resist both conscious and unconscious temptation.

  1. Furthermore, Scripture nowhere implies that we adopt the other extreme forms of self-discipline the ascetics embraced, such as living in isolation, eating starvation diets, tormenting themselves with hair shirts that constantly itched, remaining unbathed so that lice could multiply, and so on. Back To Article

 

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Is it wrong to ask God to provide financial gain?

Jesus made it clear that the measure of a person’s value has nothing to do with their material possessions. In fact, He declared that “mammon” (Syriac for wealth or riches) is one of the most common obstacles to having a right relationship with God (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:9-13).

If we pray for improvements in our finances, we are like a child asking his father for a new bicycle. There is nothing wrong with asking, as long as we are willing to accept “no” as a possible response.

Just as a father may realize that his child isn’t mature enough to ride a bicycle on busy streets, God may realize that we aren’t ready for a financial windfall. He may know that we still need to learn discipline and self-control in order to achieve financial gain and handle it when we have achieved it. Or he may know that would be better for the development of our character if we never gained it.

If we pray for financial gain, it should be worded something like this:

“Heavenly Father, if it is Your will for me at this time, please help me financially. I have (list them) serious concerns, and don’t know how to deal with them. Please give me guidance and wisdom.”

 

 

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Why did God Give our Pets Such Short Life Spans?

Although land tortoises can live over 150 years and parrots sometimes live as long as people, most pets have short life spans Perhaps the Lord gave our pets short life spans to keep us from getting more attached to them than to our fellow human beings. Since the love of some intelligent pets for their human masters is remarkably unconditional, they often establish a deep emotional connection with us. In fact, we sometimes find it easier to love them unconditionally than each other.

The emotional impact of the death of a family’s pet is like the loss of any family member, though on a lesser scale. It offers opportunities for learning important lessons in preparation for future losses that will be worse. The grief at a pet’s death can bring an awareness of our need for deeper relationships with the people in our lives.

 

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Should I Believe in the Doctrine of Eternal Security?

Many Bible passages emphasize the reality of our security as believers in Jesus Christ: John 10:27-30; 13:1; Romans 8:29-39; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; Jude 1:24.

But even genuine believers can backslide and lose the joy of their salvation. The New Testament gives many examples of believers who drew back from their fellowship with Jesus Christ: the disciples (Matthew 26:56); Peter (26:69-75); the Christians in Corinth (2 Corinthians 12:20-21); and the Asian churches (Revelation 2:4,14-15,20).

There is a stark difference between backsliding and apostasy—a permanent departure from the faith. A true Christian can backslide, be chastened, and then repent and return (Hebrews 12:6; Revelation 2:5). A person who has merely professed faith without a genuine encounter with Christ may depart, prosper outwardly, and never return. The apostle John said that some who had left the fellowship of believers and were now teaching false doctrine showed by their actions that they never really belonged (1 John 2:19).

The doctrine of eternal security is taught in Scripture, but it is intended to comfort true Christians who are earnestly concerned with living faithfully for Jesus Christ. People who once professed faith and are now living sinfully without remorse should not be comforted by assurances that their profession of faith guarantees their salvation. We gain nothing by examining the nature of the “decision” they made. We need to point out to them that their present lifestyle is out of keeping with their profession by showing them Scriptures such as 1 John 3:4-9. They must be led to self-examination. If they are genuinely saved, God will chasten them (Hebrews 12:6). They will repent and return.

It may be impossible for us to make a judgment as to whether a person is a backsliding Christian or an impostor. Sometimes only time will tell.

 

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