Scripture presents a mind-bogglingly positive view of human sexuality.
God intentionally created us as sexual beings. Sexuality is a precious facet of what a person is, not merely a description of what he or she does. Being male or female is integral to being created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28). This truth is foundational to our pursuit of imitating the loving Creator whose image we, both male and female, are intended to reflect.
It is readily evident that we were created as sexual beings for the sake of procreation, laying the groundwork for family. However, Scripture gives another purpose of even greater significance. God created us as sexual beings to allow us to better comprehend and experience relationships. In Genesis 2, we see Adam realize loneliness and experience a void in relationship. God declares that this is not good, creates Eve, and introduces sexual diversity.
The gift of sexuality is also used as a picture for the relationship between God and his people. Scripture is replete with sexual images and marital language to describe this relationship (Ezekiel 16, Hosea, Revelation 21:9). Paul explicitly states here (Ephesians 5:32) that the mystery is profound and refers to Christ and his people.
The most rapturous love between a man and woman is only a hint of God’s love for us (Romans 7:1–6; Ephesians 5:21–33).” – Timothy Keller
It is no wonder then that sexual sin is so extensively addressed in Scripture. Our rebellious relationship with God is systematically described in the sexual language of perversion, prostitution, unfaithfulness, and adultery. All sexual immorality is wrong in and of itself, because “the body was not meant for sexual immorality” and “he who sins sexually sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:13, 18). To the degree that our sexuality is broken, our relationship with God and others is warped, and we damage ourselves. Make no mistake, apart from Christ, our sexuality is shattered.
Thankfully, sexual immorality is not an unforgivable sin and the gospel call is a call to relational healing that redeems our shattered sexuality.
We need Christ. The prescription for sexual sin is the same as any other sin—repent, confess, seek forgiveness and reconciliation. The great shame and embarrassment intrinsic to sexual sin wars against confession in the believer’s life.
Confession is critical, and it is good to remember the admonition “confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed” ( James 5:16). Confess your sin to God and to those you have hurt directly through your sin; confess as well to your brothers and sisters in Christ and ask them to pray for your healing. This is the prescription for sexual sin.
Embrace the truth that physical lovemaking in marriage is as much a part of what it means to “be imitators of God” as refusing to go to bed with a prostitute, and rejoice!