Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Place of Marriage in Our Own Heart

Everyone who reveres the gospel has compelling reasons to champion biblical sexual ethics. It is falling to our generation to raise up a prophetic counterculture in the face of the sexual revolution’s direct attack on Christ and his marital appeal at the heart of the gospel. The fact that we too are sinners does not exempt us from taking this stand. Our own sinfulness simply means that we take our stand with humility and honesty. But we must not be silent. What is at stake in our sexuality is nothing less than the gospel itself. We need a massive spiritual cleansing coming down from above upon our generation, because a tsunami of sexual defilement has slammed us in the face. For example, every Christian man and woman who cannot stop looking at Internet pornography must have the humility to go to his or her pastor and say, “Pastor, I have a problem. I’m out of control. I am viewing, and thereby participating in, the violation of women and children. I am living in active denial of my Savior and everything he stands for. I love the Lord. But I can’t stop. I don’t make sense to myself. I need help.” As the Holy Spirit renews our vision of our own sexuality, married and single, men and women, and as the Spirit stirs our hearts to care more about the glory of the Lord than our own face saving, the pastors of our churches today will be wonderfully swamped with inquiries from honest sinners longing to be clean again.

The blood of Jesus God’s Son powerfully cleanses from all sin (1 John 1:7). But nothing will change until we get radical. Why not stop posing? Why not stop today? Why not face our sexual sins without a moment’s further delay and fight together by faith for the recovery of our integrity before the Lord? Again, it is sinners whom God wants to use in this generation. Sin as such does not disqualify us; it is only unconfessed sin that disqualifies us. But the blood of Jesus wonderfully cleanses away every sin that we will honestly confront within the community of a safe, gospel-centered church. When the world sees more repentance in our churches, our churches will see more repentance in the world.

If the Bible is telling us the truth about reality, then Ryan Anderson is not overstating the matter when he calls every one of us to rebuild in the present for the sake of the future, whatever the cost to us today:

The church needs to find a way to capture the moral imagination of the next generation. It needs to make the truth about human sexuality and its fulfillment in marriage not only attractive and appealing, but noble and exhilarating. This is a truth worth staking one’s life on.

If the Bible is telling us the truth about reality, then the time has come for all Christians and churches to pray for power, to think with clarity, to confess with humility and to shout with joy on behalf of God’s priceless, blood-bought gift of marriage.

And to God alone be all the glory forever.

Excerpt from Marriage in the World Today which is based on Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel by Ray Ortlund

No comments:

Post a Comment