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Mar 24, 2019

Intimately Acquainted, part 1

Intimately Acquainted, part 1

Passage: Matthew 5:27-30

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: The Highest Good

No extended sermon on what outlines the highest good would be complete without discussing the intimacy of body and soul that has the power to work both great good and enormous harm. Christians are often accused of being fixated on sexual union, but only because the accusation doesn’t respect the great regard Scripture ascribes to such a union.

*The sermon topic for this message addresses adult themes of lustfulness and intimacy. Parental discretion is advised for younger children.

Do you have questions related to this week's topic? Email Patrick at and he'll answer your questions on a live stream on Tuesday, March 26 at 12pm on our YouTube Channel.

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text: 1 Corinthians 6:12
Call To Worship: from Psalm 29
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 2:18-25
Sermon Title: Intimately Acquainted, part 1
Central Text: Matthew 5:27-30
Benediction: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Post-Service Text: Isaiah 62:5

Song Selection

Oh The Deep Deep Love, Samuel Trevor Francis and Bob Kauflin 
From The Inside Out, Joel Houston
Create in Me Clean Heart
Mighty To Save,
Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan
Beautiful One, Tim Hughes

03.24.19 Sermon Notes

Readings & Scripture

Pre-Service Text: 1 Corinthians 6:12
12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

Call To Worship: from Psalm 29
LEADER: Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

ALL: The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.

LEADER: The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.

ALL: May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Old Testament Reading: Genesis 2:18-25
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.

Central Text: Matthew 5:27-30
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Benediction: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

Post-Service Text: Isaiah 62:5
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

Related Scriptures:

  • Genesis 2:24-25
  • Exodus 20:14, 17
  • 2 Samuel 11
  • Proverbs 5:1-23
  • Proverbs 6:32; 28:13
  • Song of Solomon 2:3-10; 8:6, 7
  • Isaiah 61:10; 62:5
  • Matthew 19:3-12
  • 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
  • Ephesians 5:25
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

Discussion Questions & Applications:

  1. How would you evaluate the job parents or mentors did to acquaint you with wisdom concerning sex and marriage? What was helpful or less than helpful? If you’re a parent, what do you think is essential to share with children now becoming curious about (and being bombarded with) information about those issues?
  2. How would you answer someone who accused Christians of being far too concerned with sex and marriage? Why is the instruction Jesus gives more than merely meddling in a private matter?
  3. How does the bible’s storyline of portraying God as a faithful husband to His people (Isaiah), one who seeks to win back even a wayward wife (Hosea), and which culminates in God dying to make a people His bride (Ephesians, Revelation) meant to help us think about intimate union in marriage? How can our intimate acquaintance with God help us be properly intimate with another?
  4. Think of the moments when Jesus responds to those who’ve transgressed what he outlines here about lust, marriage, and divorce--e.g. The woman at the well in John 4, the prostitute who anoints Jesus’s feet in Luke 7. Was his primary goal to shame them for their transgression, or invite them to a better way in His love? How does that inform the way we think about failures to follow His wisdom--whether others’ or our own failures?

Quotes

  • While the church discouraged / Any lust that burned within me / Yes my flesh, it was my currency but I held true - The Lumineers, “Cleopatra”
  • Our bond to Jesus Christ permits no desire without love. Dietrich Bonhoëffer
  • I still prefer to believe that sex is a substitute for religion and that the young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God. - Fr. Smith in Bruce Marshall’s The World, the Flesh, and the Devil (see some of the history of this quote here)
  • For me the real evil of [self-gratification] would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another. . .and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself. . . ..it is not only the faculty of love which is thus sterilized, forced back on itself, but also the faculty of imagination. . . .After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of ourselves, out of the little, dark prison we are all born in. - C.S. Lewis in a 1956 letter to Keith Masson
  • If you’re my beloved, I want to touch you unveiled. I don’t want clothes or other human beings or the accidents of bread to be what it seems to me I’m touching. I want it to seem to me that what I touch is you, skin to skin, unveiled. I want that from Jesus, too, more, in fact, than with any human beloved; and I want it with any human beloved only because I want it with him. - Paul Griffiths
  • Trying to get sexual pleasure to fill our fundamental yearning for human happiness is a recipe for disappointment. - Rebecca DeYoung

Sermons & Resources

Books

  • The Intimate Mystery & Intimate Allies by Tremper Longman and Dan Allender
  • False Intimacy by Dr. Harry Schaumburg
  • The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason
  • The Meaning of Marriage by Tim and Kathy Keller