Bible Study Guide #1: Sexual Intimacy

Getting Started:

 It may seem somewhat awkward to talk about this issue, but it is very important we do look at what the Bible teaches regarding sexual intimacy.  Can you think of any reasons we should discuss this in a biblically appropriate way as a church?

 The Big Idea:

Sometimes people talk as if Christians thought sex were something bad. But that is not a biblical idea at all. God is the one who created sex and He has a good design for sex. The fact that God created and has a design for sex means however He has standards, a plan, a way He wants us to go about enjoying this good gift and that going outside of those standards is sin. It is possible to pursue sexual intimacy in a way that is sinful and harmful to yourself and others. Doing so is a big problem because not only does sinning in this way steal our own joy, it also makes God angry. He will judge sexual sin. Therefore, as believers, we need to think carefully about how we are going to pursue obedience to God in this area. During our time together this evening, we are going to spend some time looking at some passages that will help us know how to fight sexual sin and also discuss with one another how to honor God in this particular area of our lives. 

Into the Bible:  

Let’s take a step back and try to get an overall picture of what the Scripture has to say about sexual intimacy.  I want you to read the following passages together and make observations about what we can learn about God’s design for this area of our lives. Some of the Scriptures may speak more directly about this issue and others may be more indirect, but try to think of how all these Scriptures might help us think more clearly about God’s will for our sexual behavior. After you read the passage you might simply ask:

What does this passage say about God’s design for sex and the marriage relationship? 

Can we learn anything from this passage that is important to remember as we think about God’s commands in this area of our lives? 

Genesis 2:24-25

Proverbs 5:18-20

1 Corinthians 7:3-5

Exodus 20:14

1 Corinthians 6:18

1 Thessalonians 4:3

Deuteronomy 10:12-13

1 Corinthians 10:31

Shooh. That was a lot of verses! But believe it or not, now I am going to give you one more thing to read that sums it up. Read through the following quote and then answer the question that comes afterwards. 

“Sex exists for the glory of God. Certainly there are other secondary purposes for the gift of sexuality — procreation, expressions of love, pleasure, consummation of marriage — all those things are true, but they’re secondary purposes. The ultimate purpose of sex as God has given it is his glory.

 This is important because it changes the way you think about sexual activity. If you relate all of your life to the glory of God, that presents you with a certain ethical framework that sometimes other frameworks don’t allow. In some frameworks, the question is “What is allowed?” And people begin to mine the Scriptures for laws or rules concerning sexuality. Now, everything the Bible says in terms of laws or rules is important, but that’s not the ultimate question we have to ask. The ultimate question we’re asking is “What glorifies God?” Not what is lawful alone, but what glorifies God. So, that to me is a bottom line value we have in pursuing ethics this way.”

I want you to try to summarize what you have learned from that paragraph and the verses you read in a sentence or two. Now, imagine someone asks you what is the Christian view of sexuality? Take your summary and use it to share how you might respond to them?

As we said earlier, this is good news! God is the great and wise creator of the Universe and He knows what is best for us and He has spoken on this very important topic. But, the fact that He has spoken means it is possible to disobey Him in this area, and as we know, many people are living in rebellion to God in their sexual lives.  

Let’s think for a moment about how seriously God takes sexual purity.  Read the following verses and note what they say about what God expects and the importance of obeying God in this area. 

You might ask: 

How does this verse illustrate the seriousness or danger of sexual sin?

How does this verse explain just how pure God expects believers to be? 

Matthew 5:27-29

Ephesians 5:3-6

Proverbs 7:21-27

Hebrews 13:4

Job 31:1

Genesis 39:7-9

Bringing it Home:

Now, it is one thing to know that God has a good plan for us when it comes to our sexual behavior and to know the danger of disobeying God in this area. It is another thing to know how to honor God in this aspect of your life in the face of many different temptations.

Let’s talk together about this by answering the following questions:

A young man comes to you and says that he is struggling with looking at pornography on the internet and needs help staying pure. What are some suggestions you would make to him?

You have been asked to disciple a friend of yours who recently became a Christian after living a number of years in a fairly promiscuous heterosexual lifestyle. He is truly attempting to live a godly life but is struggling with mental flashbacks, periodic pangs of guilt and urges to resume sexual activity which he knows to be sin. He asks you for some practical suggestions. What do you tell him? Would your suggestions differ significantly if he was a homosexual when he came to Christ? If so, how? (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Titus 2:11-3:7)

You are trying to raise your family in a godly way, but there is so much sexual temptation all around. What steps are you taking to protect and train your children when it comes to sexual purity?

Summing Up:

What are some of the main encouragements or challenges you have taken from what we have studied together today? Is there any specific word of praise you would like to give to God for what you have learned about Jesus today? How about questions? Do you have any thing you are still wondering from what we have talked about? What are some of the practical differences what you studied makes on your life? What would you like to share with someone else? Is there any specific issue that this study has brought up that you want the members of our Bible study to be praying for you about?

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