How can sex be a means of knowing Christ more fully?

Yesterday I quoted from John Piper and his book Sex and the Supremacy of Christ. “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.” There are a lot of questions that might arise after reading this and in my blog post yesterday, I asked one of them – how can sex be a means to knowing Christ more fully? Once again I’ll let Piper speak for himself:

“God created us in his image, male and female, with personhood and sexual passions, so that when he comes to us in this world there would be these powerful words and images to describe the promises and pleasures of our covenant relationship with him through Christ. God made us powerfully sexual so that he would be more deeply knowable. We were given the power to know each other sexually so that we might have some hint of what it will be like to know Christ supremely. Therefore, all misuses of our sexuality (adultery, fornication, illicit fantasies, masturbation, pornography, homosexual behavior, rape, sexual child abuse, bestiality, exhibitionism, and so on) distort the true knowledge of God. God means for human sexual life to be a pointer and foretaste of our relationship with him.”

One of the ways this can be illustrated is found at the start of Genesis 4. “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain.” Adam’s knowledge of his wife obviously refers to sexual intercourse. There is a much deeper intimacy and knowledge that results from sex and than any other type of relationship, which is why God has reserved this privilege only for those who are married and have become “one flesh.” The wonderful thing about marriage is that husband and wife get to grow in this “knowledge” of one another for the rest of their married lives. This knowledge only grows deeper and more intimate day by day, month by month, and year by year. And as Piper stated earlier, God intends for sexuality to be a pointer and a foretaste of our relationship with him. God does not intend for us to simply know a few things about him. I have met Christians who equate knowledge of God with knowing facts about the bible or being able to quote scripture by memory. In contrast to that, God’s desire for His children is that they might move beyond mere “head knowledge” of Him to a deep, intimate, growing understanding of their creator. It is fine and dandy to know things “about” God, but it is much more important to truly “know” God through Christ.

To be sure, marital love is only a foretaste of what awaits God’s chosen ones at the coming of their redeemer, but what a powerful reminder it is. As it says in 1 John 3:2, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” What a day that will be when we shall see Jesus face to face in glory. Truly we cry, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

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