Today you read and finished Jude – let’s go to 2 John next. It’s only one chapter also so you can finish the entire book in one day!
Jude 1:17-19, “But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.” (NLT)
This one’s controversial.
It’s an old fashioned idea, unpopular, perhaps even antiquated. Sex is not love.
Our culture has been thoroughly deceived and promotes the lie it believes. We celebrate physical intimacy as the highest, most fulfilling expression of love. But that’s not the case. Sex is only one expression of love. Sometimes sex isn’t an expression of love at all, but the fulfillment of a selfish desire, the physical intimacy of using someone else for your own satisfaction. When this happens it’s not love at all. It’s something else.
Don’t get me wrong. Sex is good…check that – sex is great! In the right context sex is holy, blessed and encouraged as a gift from God. In the wrong context sex is a fire that slowly sears the conscience and distracts us from ever having a deeply intimate and loving relationship with someone else.
Scripture teaches that God blesses and encourages sex in the context of marriage. He clearly defines marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. Today we scoff at this idea. We argue that two people who love each other should be able to express that love through physical intimacy, regardless of their commitment to one another, their spouse, or their gender. And certainly we can. But just because we can do a thing doesn’t mean we should do that thing. Just because we enjoy it doesn’t make it right. Just because I want it doesn’t mean I should have it. Scripture calls sex outside of marriage immoral. It’s a line in the sand that says, “On this side of the line sex is beautiful, good, right, holy and blessed by God. On the other side of that line sex is the wrong way to express love. It gets in the way of genuine love.”
Now let’s face the truth. You draw the line too. You may not draw it where Scripture does, but you draw a line.
Few people would deny the strength or significance of a mother’s love for her child, but would be horrified at the suggestion that her love is somehow incomplete without the physical intimacy of sex. This is true regardless of whether or not they are ‘consenting adults’. Most people condemn sex with minors. Those who passionately argue for same sex marriage often argue just as passionately against polygamy or pedophilia.
We all draw the line somewhere.
This is what Jude is talking about. He starts by saying we should defend the faith that has been entrusted to us. He encourages believers to draw the line, not where they think it should go, not where it feels right, not based on convenience or culture, but on conviction. God drew the line. It’s our responsibility to stick to it.
There are some who want to move the line. Certainly we can try to do that, but it doesn’t change the Scriptural standard. In the right context sex is encouraged, blessed and even holy in the eyes of God. It is a remarkable expression of love. Outside that context sex is something else.
We’ve lost something when we limit love by equating love with sex. Men can have significant, masculine and loving relationships with other men without sexual intimacy. Women can have deep, loving friendships with other women without crossing the Scriptural line. Unmarried men and women, and those who are married can have caring, meaningful and loving relationship with others who are not their spouse without sex being an issue.
There are some who would argue that Scripture doesn’t really speak to this. They would suggest this is an antiquated part of Scripture we can choose to ignore, rewrite or reject. But that’s not the case. While culture may have changed, God’s view of sex hasn’t. In the right context it is a beautiful, blessed and holy, expression of love. Outside that context it’s something else.
Jude warns us to be careful where we draw the line. He uses sex as the example, but there are other issues in our lives where lines are drawn. Do you draw lines based on your own opinion or do you let God determine what’s right and wrong?
Help us know where you draw the line. Give us the strength, courage and patience to stand firm on the lines you have drawn. Help us overcome temptation and live according to your will. Thank you for the gift of sex. May we experience that gift in the context you intend. Teach us to have deep, meaningful, significant, intimate and loving relationships with others, regardless of gender and based on your standard of love. I’ll finish my prayer with the last few words of Jude, “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To God our Savior who alone is wise be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.”
I love you, in Jesus name –
Now for something funny – here’s a video on the topic to make you laugh.
Here’s how this works.
Each day I’ll read and S.O.A.P. one chapter of the Bible. S.O.A.P. is a simple way to focus on what God is speaking to you through what you read. It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, & Prayer.
Every time I read a chapter God always focuses my heart and mind around a specific part of that chapter. Sometimes it’s just a verse. Sometimes it’s more than that. That verse or group of verses becomes the focus of my devo.
There’s one other practice that helps me know, understand and follow scripture – memorization. Consider memorizing the verse or verses you S.O.A.P.