We live in a world with all types of people, each with a unique life story. Uniqueness can create barriers, causing separation and intense distress.
Christ embraces our uniqueness with grace and truth (John 1:14). He unconditionally loves us, not based on our merit or performance. He hung out with the drunkards and gluttons, drawing them to Him (Luke 19:10). Yet He never compromised truth.
God opposes any thoughts or actions that fall short of His will (Romans 3:23). He is against them because He cares for us. He sets boundaries because He knows going beyond will destroy our relationships and ultimately lead to death (Romans 6:23).
Scripture, which is inspired by God, teaches us what is true and right (2 Timothy 3:15-17). But sometimes our emphasis on certain mistake is disproportional to its representation in the bible. For example, the Bible focuses significantly more on envy and greed than homosexuality, though many concentrate more on homosexuality. Learn to use Scripture to assess ourselves, not others.
God tells us to run from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18), which give us lots of guilt and shame. Sexual mistakes include pornography and sleeping with someone other than your wife.
Christ didn’t touch on LGBTQ issues, though there was homosexuality in His time on earth. Use the entire Bible, not one verse, to see what the Bible affirms as good and corrects—not condemns—what is wrong.
The closest Christ taught on LGBTQ was marriage, which He anchored on God’s original design (Matthew 19:3-5). In marriage, man and woman should be in a covenantal and committed relationship. One goal of marriage is to fill the earth with people to spread God’s goodness.
Paul discussed the practice of (not just the desire for) homosexuality, along with stealing, greed, drunkenness, slander, and swindle, considering all as practices leading to hell (1 Corinthian 6:9-10).
God knows all of us are broken and in need of a savior. We are called to trust Him to save us, forgive our broken past, and be purified (1 Corinthians 6:11). Trust that He knows best. Surrender to His will, even when we don’t understand. This will honor Him and exalt His name.
Summary of a sermon by Andy Wood:
基督用恩典和真理拥抱我们的独特性（约翰福音 1:14）。 祂无条件地爱我们，并不基于我们的优点或表现。 祂与贪食好酒的人在一起，吸引他们归向祂（路加福音 19:10）。 然而，祂从不在真理上妥协。
上帝反对任何不符合祂旨意的思想或行为（罗马书 3:23）。 上帝反对因为祂顾念我们。 祂设定界限，因为祂知道超越这些界限会破坏人与人，人与神之间的关系，最终的结局就是死亡（罗马书 6:23）。
圣经是上帝所默示的，教导人什么是真实和正确的 (提摩太后书 3:15-17)。 但是，有时我们对某些错误的强调与圣经中对其他的表述不成比例。 例如，圣经更多地关注嫉妒和贪婪，而不是同性恋，虽然许多人更关注同性恋。 当学习使用圣经来评估我们自己，而不是其他人。
上帝告诉我们要逃避淫行（哥林多前书 6:18），它会给我们带来很多内疚和羞耻。 淫行包括色情和与妻子以外的人发生性行为。
但基督并没有教导 LGBTQ+, 尽管在祂的时代有同性恋。 要使用整本圣经，而不是一节经文，来看圣经肯定什么是好的，纠正（而不是谴责）什么是错误的。
基督在LGBTQ+上最接近的教导是婚姻。 祂强调婚姻是上帝最初的设计（马太福音 19:3-5），男女双方在婚姻中是立约和承诺的关系。 婚姻的目的之一是让人充满全地，将上帝的良善扩展到整个世界。
上帝知道所有人都是破碎的，都需要救主。 祂呼召人相信祂来得拯救，赦免破碎的过去，并且得洁净（哥林多前书 6:11）。 当信靠祂最了解我们。 要降服在祂的旨意之下，即使我们有时不明白。 如此行就会荣耀祂，高举祂的名。
Today, dating typically starts with outer attributes. Is that person pleasant looking, sexually attractive, doing well, or well-connected? If yes, the next steps are dating, and then caressing and sex. If that works out fine, then both parties might consider commitment.
But sex is a powerful force. It can muddle up our thinking. Relationships should start from friendship to see if both sides can understand, accept, appreciate, and work with each other, preferably towards common goals. Then they move on to deeper friendship, romance, and commitment, before going to sex.
Fulfillment in sex comes from deep physical intimacy and full commitment from both sides. So, sex and marriage should be tied.
Masturbation focuses on just giving ourselves satisfaction. After reaching climax, one can feel emptier and lonelier. Also, masturbation depends on fantasy and is addictive. Don’t let it control you.
Don’t try to know everything about the other person before committing. We are imperfect. Your relationship with your spouse depends on God, and your intent to honor Him and to honor your commitment. Also, God continues to work on us. So, don’t be too cautious. After we have spent some time with a person and we really like that person, we should trust God and commit.
What if we are constantly being rejected in dating? Try to identify the reasons. Ask your close friends for suggestions. Then move on and seek out other opportunities.
Some want to remain single. That can be a good choice. Paul recommended being single (1 Corinthians 7:1-7), and Christ was single on earth. Though God said it was good for Adam to have Eve (Genesis 2), happy marriage is difficult to have because we are imperfect. A spouse can reprogram your self-image, which could inflict damage on you.
So, don’t be fixated on getting married or being single. Some idolize being single because they value independence. Others treat being single as a plague. Avoid both.
For some, being single comes easily. That is a gift. But for most, it is better to be married.
Ask God for guidance, and thank God for the outcome, whether you are single or married.
Summarized from a Tim Keller sermon:
Traditional culture discourages being single, but we are imperfect. How can imperfect couples live happily ever after? Couples need to give up their independence and work together to resolve many conflicts. 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 even describes sex as being controlled by one’s spouse. So, it is understandable that many are cynical towards marriage and glorify independence.
But remember that God did not just create Adam. God created Adam and Eve to be together.
Having said that, for Christians, it is also fine to be single. Paul even suggested not looking for a wife in 1 Corinthians 7:27-28. In other words, don’t be too eager to get married.
A few other issues.
Our culture puts too much emphasis on sexual immorality. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 describe a list of bad characters. They include the sexually immoral, thieves, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers. Both greed and sexual immorality are on the list. If we define greed as an intense selfish desire for wealth, power or food, then both greed and sexual immorality focus on selfish needs. But our culture treats the sexually immoral much worse than the greedy.
How do we control our appetites? Learn from those who diet. They bear hunger for something desirable, such as health. Similarly, we should abstain from frivolous sex for something desirable, such as more fulfilling sex, a happier spouse, or a better relationship with God.
For those who could not forgive themselves for their past sexual mistakes, remember that we are imperfect. We constantly love something else more than God, committing adultery against Him. But the blood of Christ has cleansed us. Christ has forgiven us, like He had forgiven the adulterer in John 8:8-11. So, forgive our past mistakes and leave our former life of sin.
Focus on God. Only God can truly satisfy us.
Summarized from a Tim Keller’s sermon:
The hope of Christians reshapes their view on sex.
Some consider sex as an appetite, like their urge for food (1 Corinthians 6:13). Some consider sex as something dirty that should be avoided (1 Corinthians 7:1).
For Christians, God created sex and considered it as good. Via sex, two become one flesh, united not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, fully committed and giving totally to each other (1 Corinthians 6:16-18). So Christians should flee from sexual immorality and sex outside marriage, and instead give up their independence for intimacy with their spouse, just as God voluntarily sacrificed His independence and became a vulnerable human to have intimacy with us.
However, being single without romance and sex is fine too (1 Corinthians 7:27-31). Traditional culture emphasizes family. In the olden days, women were nobody if they were single. Nowadays, many believe life on earth is everything, so finding sex, romance and one’s true love are paramount. Christians hold different views. Whether married or single, Christians shouldn’t be too eager to change their status (1 Corinthians 7:27-31).
Christians’ views on sex, singleness, and marriage are based on their hope in the ultimate family, journey, and love.
Christians anchor their hope on the ultimate family of God, not on their spouses or children. The world in the present form is passing away; don’t be too attached to it (1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 10:29-20).
Marriages among imperfect couples are a long and hard journey (1 Corinthians 7:28). Even if you’ve married the perfect person, they will change.
A Christian’s hope isn’t confined by the worldly journey, but instead rests on the ultimate journey of helping their spouse to become holy and blameless (Ephesian 5:25-27).
Christians also hope for the ultimate love, to be united with God (1 Corinthians 6:17). When the Samaritan woman asked Christ for living water, Christ talked about her sex life (John 4:15-18). No man could satisfy her. Only Christ could. Christ is the ultimate lover we need.
Whether we are single or married, our hope should be in God. For those looking for a spouse, find one with the same focus. For the happily married, don’t make the other side your idol. For the unhappily married, put your hope in God.
Summarized from a Tim Keller’s sermon:
有些人认为性的渴望就像对食物的胃口一样（哥林多前书 6:13）. 有些人却认为性是肮脏应该避免的（哥林多前书 7:1）。
对基督徒来说，上帝创造了性,认为它是美好的。夫妻两人通过性行为合而为一，不仅在身体上，而且在情感、理智和属灵上全心全意地投入，完全地给予对方（哥林多前书 6:16-18）。所以，基督徒应该逃离性的不道德和婚外性行为，放弃自我完全的独立，与配偶保持亲密的关系，就像上帝自愿地失去自己的独立, 成为脆弱的人来与我们建立亲密关系。
然而，没有浪漫和性生活的单身独处也很好（哥林多前书 7:27-31）。传统文化强调家庭，在过去单身的女性一无所有。如今，许多人认为世上的生命就是一切，对他们寻找性、浪漫和真爱变得至关重要。基督徒持有不同的观点，无论已婚还是单身，基督徒都不应该太急于改变身份（哥林多前书 7:27-31）。
基督徒将盼望寄托在上帝最终的家庭，而不是自己的配偶或儿女身上。现今的世界正在消逝; 不要太执着于它（哥林多前书 7:29-31，马可福音10:29-20）。
基督徒也盼望那最终的爱，就是与上帝的联合（哥林多前书 6:17）。当撒玛利亚妇人向基督求活水时，基督谈到了她的性生活（约翰福音 4：15-18）。没有男人能满足她，只有基督才能。基督是我们需要的终极爱人。
Lust is powerful and addictive. Look at the huge pornography industry. But Christ said, “I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
Yet, the Bible rejoices in sex and sexual desire. Genesis 1 depicts God creating sex through male and female. He called His creations very good. In Genesis 2:23, before God, naked Adam characterized naked Eve as bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. The Song of Solomon celebrates sexual love, for example with one admiring the other’s body when the other was going in for sex (Song of Solomon 5, 7).
Sex should unify two persons, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
But sex without marriage means the parties only want to be united physically, with each holding onto their own life. They are splitting their bodies from their souls.
Sex should be an integrated act. It should re-confirm each party belonging completely and exclusively to the other. Thus, sex should be limited to marriage.
Lust is different from sexual desire. When a man lusts for a woman, he wants her body only, but not any other parts of her. He has dehumanized her.
Lust is also an excessive desire. One can be totally driven by lust, making it the center of one’s life. It is like an idol. After getting the other’s body, one still feels empty. There is no deep fulfillment in lust.
The passage on lust (Matthew 5:27-30) also points to eyes and hands. Eyes refer to what one perceives, and hands refer to actions. Have the right perception. Know that physical attraction is good but is just skin deep and can’t be meaningful. Also take the right action. Run away from lustful environments.
Sex in marriage is wonderful, but it cannot replace God as the center of our life.
Christ constantly refers Himself as the bridegroom, who accepts and loves us, His bride. Through faith, we become absolutely beautiful in Christ’s eyes. Christ becomes the center of our life. Only He could give meaning to our life, with deep fulfillment.
Summarized from a Time Keller sermon:
情欲也是一种过度性的欲望。一个人可能完全被它控制, 使情欲成为这个人生活的中心。情欲像一个偶像， 即使得到对方的身体，仍然会感到空虚，无法给予人深深的满足。