[This post continues a series of posts entitled 'A Biblical Catechism on Sex and Marriage'. The intention is to provide basic material for further instruction by a trusted teacher of God's Word in a church that is committed to Biblical authority. The Church’s mission is to invite people to live under God’s righteous rule.]
Question 1. What are the bases for Christian teaching on sex and marriage?
Answer: God’s revelation through creation and His commandments in Scripture are the bases for Christian teaching on sex and marriage.
Comment 1: The Church of the New Testament took its teaching on ethics, including sex and marriage, from the Old Testament. There is, therefore, a consistent Biblical teaching on sex and marriage.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Comment 2: There are two sources of revelation from God: creation (Psalm 19.1-6) and the Law (Psalm 19.7-11). There are two sources of teaching in Scripture on sex and marriage: the way God the Creator made male and female for each other (not for homosexual unions; Romans 1.24-28), and what God has revealed in his Law. 1 Timothy 1.8-11 interprets the Ten Commandments for the Church, with the commandment not to commit adultery explained more broadly as a law against sexual immorality and homosexuality.
Comment 3: Jesus and New Testament authors repeatedly warned of false teachers who will misguide people, including about sexual ethics.
Matthew 24:10-13 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. [Note: ‘Lawlessness’ does not mean disobedience to a country’s laws but disobedience to God’s Law.]
Acts 20:26-30 Therefore I declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God1 that he obtained with the blood of his own Son.2 29 I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them.
2 Timothy 3:1, 6-7 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty…...6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
2 Peter 2:1-2, 10, 14, 19-22; 3.2-3 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed…. 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority…. 14 They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!... 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: "The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire."… 3:2 you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.
Jude 3-4, 17-18 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ…. 18 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, "In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions."