What You Need to Know About the Sexual Revolution By: Dr. Daniel Dickard

“What You Need to Know About the Sexual Revolution”

America is on the brink of disaster. We are on the verge of a moral implosion. Our nation is on the precipice of an ethical collapse. A nation that doesn’t safeguard the dignity of human sexuality is a society on its way out. God has set definite boundaries for human sexuality and without these boundaries a nation, a city, a society, and a family cannot exist. You may be familiar with the term “the sexual revolution.” The sexual revolution of the twentieth century had a defining purpose. The movement purposed not to push the moral boundaries of the United States; it purposed to destroy them. The goal of the sexual revolution was to destroy and redefine what the Bible says about God’s design for sexuality. The ramifications of the sexual revolution and the sex-crazed culture we live in are materially evident today:

  • The normalization of pornography inundates us
  • The acceptance of adultery surrounds us
  • The regularity of sexuality immorality pursues us
  • The approval of cohabitation consumes us
  • The standardization of homosexuality engulfs us

And what is most alarming:

  • The desensitization of sexual perversion does not seem to shock us

It doesn’t upset us. It doesn’t offend our consciences. We are so inundated with sexual sin, inside the church and outside the church, that our sensitivity to it has completely been seared to the point of indifference. Our nation finds itself in a dangerous place. And it was the same place the city of Corinth found itself. Corinth was a city known for its rampant sexual immorality. She was a city known for her sexual indulgence. The church at Corinth was supposed to set the temperature for the culture, but the culture set the temperature of the church. The church was supposed to change the city, but the city had changed the church.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-20, the Bible offers a God-focused way to view human sexuality. Four times in eleven verses Paul uses the phrase, “Do you not know?” The repetition of the phrase indicates there are some things we need to know about sexual sin and, for that matter, the sexual revolution. Three times in 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 Paul uses what we call a verbal imperative. It is the highest and strongest way to communicate an action in the Greek language. It is the equivalent of the exclamation mark in English grammar.

1. Imperative # 1: Do not be deceived by the sexual revolution (v.9)  

The idea is do not be misled. Do not wander aimlessly. Do not go astray. Do not think you can live an immoral, unrighteous, and scandalous life and still go to heaven. A scandalous body and a sanctified heart do not live in the same zip code. An immoral lifestyle does not reflect a perfect and holy God. Paul is speaking to the mocker of morality. He is addressing the scoffer of sanctification. He is speaking to the person who says, “what is the big deal?” There is nothing that will destroy the work of God faster in your life than sexual sin. There is nothing that will dull your spiritual cravings quicker than captivity to sexual lust. It blinds the eyes. It dulls the heart. It corrupts the motive. No sin that a person commits has more built-in pitfalls, problems, and potential downfalls than sexual sin. It harms deeply, controls quickly, and devastates painfully.

Whereas the focus of 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 centers on the three verbal imperatives, there is a great point of application in 6:12-17. It may appear that verses 12-17 seem disconnected from Paul’s exhortation toward purity. But, in actuality, Paul quotes several prevailing mantras of his day. He’s reminding Corinthian believers of cultural slogans and principles that guided the moral behavior in Corinth. And, in each instant, he qualifies the slogan or offers a different principle in place of the cultural saying. For example:

  •  “All things are lawful for me” (6:12). Paul is qualifying the doctrine of Christian liberty. Some in Corinth had misunderstood, perhaps intentionally, that Christian liberty meant they could do whatever they wanted.

  •  “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food.” (6:13). Here Paul quotes another prevailing sentiment of his day, which was shaped by the philosophy of Plato. The philosopher said it didn’t  matter what you did with your body, because your soul was the only thing that really mattered. The argument went something like this, “Well, my stomach was made for food and food was made for my stomach,” so automatically you put them together and there’s no problem there. And the implication was that’s how they also looked at sex also. “Well, my body was made for sex and sex was made for the body, so they go together.”

Paul is combatting the cultural lies of his day. And we are responsible for doing the same.  Have you considered the common lies that our culture believes about sexuality?
  • You can’t tell me what to do with my body. It is my property. As a follower of Jesus Christ, your body is not your property. Even if you’re not a follower of Jesus Christ, your body is still not your property. You are created by God and, as such, there are moral ramifications attached. The issue of abortion is the number one moral crisis of our day. The church cannot see abortion as primarily a political issue. It is a theological issue. It is a biblical issue. It is a moral issue. Since 1973 (the year of Roe v. Wade), our nation has been in a downward spiral. 1.2 million abortions are performed each year on average. Here in Greensboro, 38 abortions occur each week. The New York legislature introduced a bill last week (Reproductive Health Act) that legalized abortion in the third trimester and removed the penal code for third trimester abortions. The governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, went one-step further on a radio show last week to support a bill that would legalize the killing of children, at 9 months in the womb, and publicly stated that physicians should be able to leave infants to die if they were born alive after failed abortion attempts. That is called infanticide. Life begins at conception (Jer. 1). God created our bodies. Not us. He owns the right to life.

  • Sex outside of marriage is normal. The prevailing sentiment these days is that sex outside of marriage is normal. Culture will tell you, “it is only natural for a person to fulfill the desire for sex.” But just because God has given a desire that does not mean we are free to satisfy those desires in a sub-Christian manner. I am afraid that we have mistaken lust for love and called it the new normal. A "test-drive it before you buy it" approach to sex falls short of God's standard for sex and should be rejected by the church.

  • It is just a harmless physical thing. In an article by The Telegraph (the UK’s version of the New York Times) one author said, “Sex is no more a moral issue than eating a good meal. The fact that we eat most meals at home with spouses and partners does not preclude eating out in restaurants to sample different cuisines and ambiences.” Sex outside of marriage is a lot like seawater. It satisfies you for a moment, but a split second later it leaves you thirsty and empty.

2.  Imperative # 2: Flee from the sexual revolution (v.18)

Flee sexual immorality. The picture embedded in the command is that of a man who sees the dangers wrapped-up in a certain situation and consciously runs from it. The idea is not simply to avoid it, but move away quickly. Avoid it. Shun it. Escape from it. Run from it. Do not reason with it. Do not rationalize it. Flee from it as fast as you can. Flee fornication. Flee prostitution. Flee pornography. Flee adultery. Flee homosexual activity. Flee cohabitation. Flee lust. Flee any sexual thought, desire, speech, or act outside of the marriage covenant. God knows best. God knows more about this than you do. Accept by faith that God loves you. God's laws are for your welfare. When God says “no,” He is saying, “do not harm yourself." When God says, "Yes," He's saying, "Help yourself to happiness." Why should you flee sexual immorality? Consider these thoughts:

  • Flee sexual immorality because God said to.
  • Flee sexual immorality because, if you are married, it will kill your marriage.
  • Flee sexual immorality because, if you are single, it will endanger your future marriage.
  • Flee sexual immorality because it takes your heart away from God.
  • Flee sexual immorality because it is one of the greatest dangers to society.

3. Imperative # 3: Glorify God amidst the sexual revolution (v.20)  

The Holy Spirit Lives in You. You are marked under new management. You have a new owner.

Jesus Purchased You. You were bought at a price. The sexual revolution may objectify women and, for that matter, men too. But, to God, you are a treasure. You are priceless. Jesus purchased you, not with a marked-down red sticker tag, but the ultimate price of His crimson blood flowing down from Calvary's cross. 

God created you. We are drowning in a culture that screams out, “Please your body,” and yet the Bible screams, “Please God.” We were created not for self-gratification but for God-glorification.

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