“Sexuality is designed by God as a way to know God in Christ more fully. Knowing God in Christ more fully is designed as a way of guarding and guiding our sexuality.” So argues John Piper in his book “Sex and the Supremacy of Christ.”
In order to help the reader better understand what he means, he restates these two points negatively. “All misuses of our sexuality distort the true knowledge of Christ. All misuses of our sexuality derive from not having the true knowledge of Christ.”
Still a little fuzzy? Try this one: “All sexual corruption serves to conceal the true knowledge of Christ, but the true knowledge of Christ serves to prevent sexual corruption.”
Clearly, Piper is taking us beyond a common sense view of sex to its deeper meaning. To say that the purpose of sex is intense physical pleasure for a man and his wife along with the obvious purpose of procreation would not be wrong, but Piper wants to show us the divine aspect of sex. Too often Christians have a distorted view of sex, having been influenced more by the world than by the Scriptures. In some circles, the topic of sex is even taboo and we forget that the Bible is far from silent when it comes to this subject (read Song of Solomon if you don’t agree with me). I remember one of my professors in seminary gave us his own personal paraphrase to Genesis 1:28, which the ESV translates, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” My professor’s paraphrase went something like this: “Have sex and have lots of it!” All humor aside, God created sex and it is clearly a “good” thing, when it happens in its proper, God-ordained context – marital love.
Few Christians would argue that we need to know Christ more fully. Paul even said in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ.” So how can we know Christ more fully? Obviously through prayer and bible study, fellowship and worship with other Christians, discipleship and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in our lives – these are just some of the things I came up with off the top of my head. But let’s return to Piper and his thesis – “Sexuality is designed by God as a way to know God in Christ more fully.” What? Sex as a way to better know Christ? Sex is certainly not something that came to mind when I thought of all the ways we come to know Christ in a fuller way. How could this be and what could he mean by that?
I am not going to try and unpack all the Piper says on this matter today, so you will have to tune in next time for that. I will say that Christians need to recover a biblical vision of sex. Sex is God’s good gift to married couples and it is wonderful and glorious and it teaches us a lot about our Creator. By the way, you might just want to buy Piper’s book if this has peaked your interest.