The Unadulterated Enjoyment Of Christ!

Jonathan Leeman writes:

One of the greatest ironies of the postmodern West might be this: that great symbol of pleasure in our culture for which it (consciously or not) most emphatically rejects God – sex – is the very thing God has given humanity so that it might have an analogy, a category, a language for knowing what the unadulterated enjoyment of him will be like in glory (see Eph. 5:22-33). In other words, we reject God for sex, but sex is exactly what he’s given us in order to faintly grasp the experience of a perfect union with him.

D. A. Carson writes:

It is as if the only pleasure and intimacy in this life that comes close to anticipating the pleasure of the church and her Lord being perfectly united on the last day is the sexual union of a good marriage. (Love in Hard Places, 191)

John Piper writes:

God created us with sexual passion so that there would be language to describe what it means to cleave to him in love and what it means to turn away from him to others . . . 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. (Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, ed. John Piper and Justin Taylor (Wheaton: IL: Crossway, 2005), 28, 30.)

(Jonathan Leeman, The Church And The Surprising Offense Of God’s Love (Wheaton: IL: Crossway, 2010), 112-113, and footnote 64.)

7 Responses

  1. Towne

    Perhaps this is a fitting place to posit a bit of tentative theology for discussion:

    How does the Church experience growth? How does it see new, true conversions?

    By analogy, the bride is fruitful when she draws near to the bridegroom; she brings forth children to adorn their union.

    So too the Church, when she draws near to her Lord in worship. Worship is the wellspring of true church growth.

  2. Joseph Randall

    Hello Mr. Hall,

    Thanks for your concern. May I never be irreverent with the Lord’s name!

    I do not feel like the title to this post is irreverent, but I am open to correction if, in fact it is.

    The title makes a simple statement that Jesus Christ is better than sex. God is greater than all His gifts is the basic idea.

    Sex is a glorious gift from God. It is not a dirty word. Using it in the same sentence with Jesus Christ is not bad, in and of itself.

    Furthermore, God Himself uses very sexually explicit language in the Bible to describe how His people have sinned against Him. For example:

    Ezekiel 23:5-22 5 “Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was still mine; and she lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians– warriors 6 clothed in blue, governors and commanders, all of them handsome young men, and mounted horsemen. 7 She gave herself as a prostitute to all the elite of the Assyrians and defiled herself with all the idols of everyone she lusted after. 8 She did not give up the prostitution she began in Egypt, when during her youth men slept with her, caressed her virgin bosom and poured out their lust upon her. 9 “Therefore I handed her over to her lovers, the Assyrians, for whom she lusted. 10 They stripped her naked, took away her sons and daughters and killed her with the sword. She became a byword among women, and punishment was inflicted on her. 11 “Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet in her lust and prostitution she was more depraved than her sister. 12 She too lusted after the Assyrians– governors and commanders, warriors in full dress, mounted horsemen, all handsome young men. 13 I saw that she too defiled herself; both of them went the same way. 14 “But she carried her prostitution still further. She saw men portrayed on a wall, figures of Chaldeans portrayed in red, 15 with belts around their waists and flowing turbans on their heads; all of them looked like Babylonian chariot officers, natives of Chaldea. 16 As soon as she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 17 Then the Babylonians came to her, to the bed of love, and in their lust they defiled her. After she had been defiled by them, she turned away from them in disgust. 18 When she carried on her prostitution openly and exposed her nakedness, I turned away from her in disgust, just as I had turned away from her sister. 19 Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. 21 So you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when in Egypt your bosom was caressed and your young breasts fondled. 22 “Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will stir up your lovers against you, those you turned away from in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side–

    Ezekiel 16:36-40 36 Thus says the Lord GOD, Because your lust was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your whorings with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children that you gave to them, 37 therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from every side and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness. 38 And I will judge you as women who commit adultery and shed blood are judged, and bring upon you the blood of wrath and jealousy. 39 And I will give you into their hands, and they shall throw down your vaulted chamber and break down your lofty places. They shall strip you of your clothes and take your beautiful jewels and leave you naked and bare. 40 They shall bring up a crowd against you, and they shall stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords.

    For these reasons, I think the post title is true and helpful, especially for those tempted to make sex an idol and love it more than Jesus – the creator of the good gift of sex.

    Why do you think it is irreverent?

  3. I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my concern. I don’t have any issue with the truth you are seeking to convey and I am well aware of the language that scripture uses at times.

    So why am I uncomfortable? Well it has to do with so many of the magazines that are sold nowadays and the titles they employ on their cover pages. I’m sure you have noticed the sort of thing I’m referring to . Magazines aimed at young women which as far as I can tell from the covers are obsessed with only one subject. Those magazines use fairly crass titles and frankly your title does remind me of them. And that does make me uncomfortable, particularly in reference to the Lord’s name.

    Having stated my discomfort with the title though I don’t want to overstate the matter and I do want to thank you for the article and your gracious response.

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