Joseph & Purity

This morning I had the honor of preaching a sermon on the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, which can be found in Genesis 39. The sermon is part of the Everyday Virtue series at Grace Church, and I was able to draw on some material I had already written here at the blog. (See the posts Biblical Marriage and Gay Marriage for a fuller treatment of those particular subjects.)

The lesson that we learn from Joseph is that purity requires distance. Sexual temptation is not something that you’re able to resist when it’s up close and personal because you are designed to give into sexual desire. That’s the way that God has made you, for the good of humanity. You are supposed to indulge in up close and personal sexual activity. But it’s also supposed to be channeled toward that one person of the opposite sex with whom you have covenanted before God. You are not built to say “No.” That’s why you have to keep your distance from disordered and misdirected sexual desires. Purity says “No” in order to shout “Yes!”

There is also a lot in the message about the Christian Sexual Ethic, which I have defined this way: The Christian Sexual Ethic is for one man and one woman, upon covenanting with one another in the presence of God, to enjoy sexual union together, in the hope of bearing and raising children, and doing so exclusively with one another, and with pure hearts toward all people, for as long as both of them live. The ethic is built upon a foundation of the theology of creation (Gen. 1-2), the theology of the body (1 Cor. 6), and the theology of marriage (Eph. 5). This ethic stands in stark contrast to the sexual ethic of the West, which is built upon the principle of consent.

There’s a lot more in the message, and I hope you find it helpful and edifying!