by Eric Davis
Life can get dicey this side of Genesis 3. Crops fail. Weather fails. Nations fail. Health fails. Resolve fails. Much of life is simply about learning to navigate disappointment and pain. But there is one thing which perhaps causes more pain than anything else; sexual sin. There’s the betrayal; the lying; the deception. There’s the severing of trust; severing of families; severing of relationships. Sexual sin in spiritual leadership packs an added severity. Churches are damaged; ministries are damaged; witness is damaged.
Sin’s damage upon the human race is severe. Read the news for just one day. Look honestly at your own thoughts. Within each of us dwells, as the Puritans called it, a “dark guest.” The pull of the flesh is strong. We need to be aware of sin’s capabilities. We need to fight ourselves. You can pretend that the flesh is not that strong and cowers at the swinging of a spiritual butter knife. But you’ll be overtaken by its skill and strength.
I don’t want to go down this path. I once heard someone say that they’d rather have the Lord kill them than commit adultery. I know that I’m capable of it. By the grace of God, I want to fight against this. Though sexual sin is forgivable in Christ, there are consequences to consider. It’s helpful to consider the reaping of sowing. In a recent doctoral course, Steve Lawson helped me in the fight by describing several consequences of sexual sin.
It robs God of his glory.
Our body has one supreme purpose; to glorify God. We didn’t design or make our bodies. God did. Even more, our body and soul have been purchased by Christ. We’ve been bought out of the slave market and we belong to Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 6:19-20Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). Sexual sin robs God of the glory that is duly his.
It desecrates the temple of God.
A temple is set apart for a specific purpose; the place where worship is to be conducted and praises are offered to God. Our body is God’s temple (1 Cor. 6:19Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). So, every act of sexual sin is committed in God’s house of worship.
It attaches Jesus Christ to the act of sin.
We are in union with Christ. Our bodies are one with him. Christ lives in us and we live in him. This means that when we commit sexual sin, we join Christ to that act. It’s to drag Christ into the bed of adultery.