Counter the Culture: Gender and Sexuality

How should Christians think about these things.
If you had told me thirty years ago that the issue of my day as a 45 year old man would be that we as a collective culture can't define what a man or a woman is, I would not have believed you. If you had told me that we would have major medical groups actually advocating for letting children choose to believe a lie about what gender they are and permanently mutilate their bodies to live in a false version of reality, I would have thought you were in some kind of science fiction distopia and not in the real world or at least not the western world. We live in wild and unpredictable times.
And yet, gender and sexuality is in-fact, the issue of our times. Not only are we confused about gender but also about what kind of sexual behavior is acceptable. It is all over the news and many are using it as a call to arms for their specific political or social agenda. Unfortunately, we sometimes even find confusion on these issues in the chairs of churches. My goal today is to give you an apologetic for gender and sexuality developed from a biblical theology of gender and sexuality. This is a sermon and not a classroom so I want to proclaim the truth and then show how to apply this in your interactions with others. This is directly connected to last week's sermon on absolute truth. As you can imagine, there is a lot to cover here.
We are going to begin in the book of Genesis in the creation account. Go ahead and turn in your Bibles to Genesis chapter 1.
As you find that passage, let me point to a couple of resources that were immensely helpful in my study and preparation.
First is the article on Gender and Sexuality from the Concise Theology series by The Gospel Coalition.
Second is The 2019 47th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America commissioned study on Human Sexuality. This study included work by Bryan Chapell, Kevin DeYoung, Tim Keller, and others.
Third, Themelios Journal Volume 47 Issue 3
Fourth, Gender Confused by Denny Burk
Fifth, Male and Female He Created Them: Man and Woman in Creation and Redemption - Message by Kevin DeYoung at the 35th Annual Bethlehem Conference for Pastors
Sixth, 5 Questions About Homosexuality and What Should Christians Think About Same-Sex Marriage by Kevin DeYoung
Seventh, Capital Hill Baptist Church Core Seminary on Biblical Theology of Gender
With that said, let’s dive into God’s Word in Genesis chapter 1.
Read Genesis 1:26-31
Genesis 1:26–31 ESV
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Genesis 2:15–25 ESV
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

I. What does the Bible say about the genders?

You watch tv shows that push these unnatural gender roles and then the commercials will reinforce traditional roles… trucks driven by men and febreeze sprayed by women.
‌We have to start at the beginning. In the beginning God. God is the creator of humans. Of the entire earth.
When I say gender, I am referring to biological differences in male and female embodiment and also the different cultural ways in which the distinctions between the two genders are played out in life. To state it differently, gender should be understood as the cultural reality that results from men and women being created by God as biologically distinctly sexed.

A. God created humans as male and female. There are only two genders.

B. Men and woman have equal worth before God but different roles according to creation order.

From the very beginning God had created the two different genders to live in complement to one another within the marriage covenant.
Reword--- God created men and women with distinct and complementary traits, inclinations, and dispositions, which should be embraced and can be applied with wisdom by all men and women everywhere, with sensitivity to one’s culture, sphere or setting. And more prescriptively, men and women have distinct roles to play in the family and the church, and again these roles are designed to complement one another.

II. What does the Bible say about sex and sexuality?

A. Sex was created by God for one woman and one man to enjoy within the covenant of marriage for life.

Anything outside of this is sin and against God’s will and plan for humanity.
B. A Christian understanding is that sex is:
Gender Diverse
Capable of life
‌The great confusion surrounding IDENTITY...
As Christians today, we face challenges:
How do we address the modern identity crisis with it’s deeply held background beliefs about identity and freedom?
How do we address the historical narrative and the culture’s ignorance of what researchers call the first Christian sexual revolution?
How do we root our teaching as a church about sexuality in full theology and not simply declare the ethic of it or what’s allowable? Not simply do or don’t do but the why and the deeper theological connection behind why this is the case.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
2 Timothy 3:16–17 ESV
16 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 complete, equipped for every good work.
God’s Word is always relevant and profitable for declaring our response to any issues we are faced with today.
The Bible instructs us both in how to think about the issue of homosexuality and gender but also teaches us how to respond to those who are active in their pursuit of a lifestyle that God has forbidden.

III. How should we interact with a world that is confused on gender and sexuality?

A. First - Our lives should reflect a Biblical understanding of gender and sexuality.

Are you going to be a Christian? You don’t get to decide which parts of Christianity you believe. You take it all or leave it. That sound very extreme. It is. You either go with God or you go with the world. You can’t have it both ways.

B. With love and the gospel

Walk through a biblical theology of sexuality and gender while walking through the gospel. Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration. Let me illustrate this.
1. God created the man first and put him in the garden before Eve was created.
2. God gave the man the authority to name the animals.
3. God created the women after the man and literally from the man’s rib.
4. The man names the woman.
5. God charged the man to “work” and “keep” the garden. His name, Adam, refers to the ground from which he was formed – in Hebrew, “Adamah.”
6. God made the woman as a “helper fit” for the man. Her name, “woman,” refers to the “man” from which she was made.
2 jobs or commands-
-excercise dominion
-be fruitful and multiply - cannot fulfill this alone
We see clear leadership from Adam in marriage - names wife, works ground, etc… We see the roles.
Fall: Brokenness and confusion entered in
Disunity in the relationship
Genesis 3 presents the previous roles being distorted
Redemption in Christ.
Christ presented as the second Adam. The new and perfect man.
Colossians 1:15 ESV
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Through repentance and faith in Jesus’s substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, we are made a new creation and united to Jesus. Since we have been redeemed from the curse of the fall, what does the Bible teach us about living now as men and women?
Galatians 3:28 gets used by some to say there are no more distinctions in God’s kingdom in roles. But that’s not what is being said here. We, male and female are one in Christ Jesus. However, as we take the whole council of God into account, we see in Ephesians 5 that under the new covenant in Christ, God has called us husbands to lead our wives by sacrificial love and God also calls wives to submit to their husbands.
I Timothy 2 - only men should have teaching authority in the church
Redeemed male leadership is not oppressive but blesses.
But when Christ returns, He will set all things right. All will be made new. Romans 8:21
Romans 8:21 ESV
21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Human marriage will be no more in the new creation. Gender was a good gift from God so I have every reason to believe that we will be in our glorified bodies and that we will be glorified, gendered beings.
I Cor 15 - Paul teaches that we will still be ourselves… there is continuity… a seed becomes a plant… Jesus is still Jesus, a man, in His resurrected body.
God created us in His image as male and females. It seems like that gift of gender will continue as we bear His image perfectly in the new creation. How awesome to be there when the curse is no more and we will no longer have any conflict between men and women and we won’t have any internal question about the gender God has gifted us with.
Keep the end in sight.
A Challenge to You: 4 Points in your life to represent a Christian view of sexuality and gender to a confused world:
### a. In our actions.
Standing against wicked behavior in your workplace with your eyes on people coming to know Jesus and turning from their sin.‌
### b. in our words
We must not approve of what the Bible calls sin.‌A Christian should not attend a gay wedding because it gives the appearance of approval and celebration.
Walk people through the biblical teaching rather than just saying the ethic of it. Be prepared to give a reason.
I would not attend a child sacrifice or an armed robbery either. Culturally those are not approved… well, child sacrifice is in a lot of places.
### c. in our marriages
### d. in our parenting
Walk your kids at each life stage and age level through the biblical understanding of gender and sexuality. If you don’ t disciple your kids, their friends or school will and you may not like how that turns out.
Repent where we have sinned. Show the fruit of repentance - change your way of living toward these things.
Provide a list of resources on the Hope Blog...
Kevin DeYoung’s two books
Carl Truman
Show these in person
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