Speaker: Tim Bollinger
Scripture: Genesis 2:18-25

Marriage…a complicated word in today‚Äôs world. No matter what your beliefs about marriage, this powerful and historical bond is an important part of our lives, past, present and future. Can we look beyond politics and rhetoric to discover what our Creator says about marriage? The answer goes way beyond what most people think…and affects all relationships in a profound and challenging way.

From the series Part 1

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Additional Resources
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Full Sermon Transcript

Good morning. Thanks for joining us today here at Shepherd’s Gate. Whether you’re here in person, you’re watching online or maybe you’re watching later on demand. We’re just glad that you’re with us this week. If your guests, we definitely want to warmly welcome you. Maybe this is your first time with us. Thanks so much for being here. I’ll actually be three of those doors after the service. And we’d love to just meet you and thank you for checking us out today and answer any questions that you may have. As you’ve heard a couple times already, as we’ve been talking about the message series that we’re in, what we’ve been doing is actually going through one of the books of the Bible, Genesis. And some of the themes on certain weeks are PG-13. So FYI, today is a PG-13 Sunday. Okay, so I think we got to everyone in the room if you have kids. Just want to let you know what does that mean.

Well, last service, I had my 12-year-old here, so I wanted him to be here. I wanted him to hear the message. My 9-year-old was not here. My 9-year-old is actually in the kids program right now. But if you’re here and you have a kid, we just want you to make that choice for your family because we’re going to be looking at marriage today. But we’re also going to be looking at some of the sins that tend to creep in when it comes to talking about marriage and especially sexual issues. So just heads up on that, or if you want to keep your kid in and I say something at some point, you’re like, “Eh, we’re out. Don’t feel bad if you have to leave and go out in the fellowship hall and the ushers can help you.” Does that sound good? Has everyone got that? All right, because I know last week you were like, “You didn’t say anything PG-13 last week to him.” Hopefully you all rested. If you were here, hopefully you rested.

This also gives those that are watching online a heads up in case your kids are in the living room with you. So as I mentioned, we are going through the book of Genesis. It’s 50 chapters. It’s going to take us two years to go through the entire book. And it’s really important that we actually read every single word of Genesis, which is what we’re going to do. And so some of you that have already read ahead, you’re like, “You’re actually going to read chapter five in church because chapter five is nothing but a genealogy.” Yes, we will read every single word. That’s how committed we are whenever we do a book of the Bible. So we’re so glad that you’re tracking in that. So today what we’re going to do is we’re going to look at Genesis chapter two verses 18 to 25. And so if you want to grab a chair Bible that’s right in front of the seat in front of you there, if you’re in the front row, they’re underneath the seat.

If you’re watching online, grab your Bible or hit the Bible tab on the screen and we’re going to go to God’s word and see what it is that he has to say for us today. As we’re doing that, if you don’t have a Bible and you’re here, we’d love for you to take one of our Bibles home with you. We love giving Bibles away. We think it’s the greatest gift you can give someone. So on behalf of our church, please do that. Feel free to do that as well. So Genesis chapter two, beginning in verse 18, this is what God’s word says. Then the Lord God said, it is not good that man should be alone. And all the married men in here said, this is why we’re doing this sermon. Okay. I will make a, I will make a helper fit for him. Now we need to pause for a moment. This is also our kids verse, by the way. So those of you that kids in the kids program, this is the verse they’re honing in on that you can talk about later today.

We live in a day and age, right? When, when people are hypersensitive to certain English words, the Bible wasn’t written in English. It was written in Hebrew and Greek, the Old Testament and Hebrew, the New Testament and Greek. So oftentimes people will read this simple passage and say, here we go. This is going to be the sermon where all the women are told to come under the divine authority of their husbands and how the, you know, the husbands get final say and all this other stuff. That’s not what this message is about today. What I’m here to tell you is that this word helper in this text is actually a Biblical word in the original language. It’s actually the same exact word used to describe the Holy Spirit in relation to the Trinity. And that cool? And all the women said, Amen. So there’s a partnership that takes place in marriage and we’re going to see as we read these out now out of the ground.

Think of this, the Lord God had formed every beast as we’ve been looking at the last few weeks of the field and every bird of the heaven 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. Well, why did God allow man to name all the animals? We don’t really know. I don’t know because he felt like giving man something to do. He thought it would be cool. Some of you, you enjoy naming your pets, don’t you? Some of you labor over this for weeks and months at a time and just trying to figure out what to call those little furry things that you allow in your home. What goes on to say this, the man gives names to all the livestock, to the birds of the heaven, to every beast of the field. Look at what it says. For Adam, there was not found a helper fit for him. And we all say, poor Adam. Can we just say it together?

Poor Adam. So wouldn’t you know the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man and while he slept, he took one of his ribs and he closed up its place with flesh and the rib of the Lord God had taken from the man he made in two eights. And look at this, so cool. He brings her to the man. Brings her to the man. Now, I want you to think about this because Genesis also tells us that God took dust from the ground and he breathed into the nostrils of man and created man. He created him a living being. For women, he does something completely different. And the first woman, this incredible and beautiful kind of creation story that he would cause man to go into a deep sleep and take one of his ribs. Now, you notice, it doesn’t say that he caused the man to go into a deep sleep and he took one of Adam’s hair.

He didn’t take it from the top of his head. He didn’t go while he was in a deep sleep and go down and take one of his toes so that Adam would always know that his wife is underneath him. No, what does he do? It’s his rib. They’re side by side. Their identity, first and foremost, is in Jesus Christ. They’re made in the image of Almighty God. And so you get this beautiful, beautiful imagery of the partnership of a husband and wife in marriage, in godly marriage, co-equals as they live out their calling on this earth in what God has purposed and planned for their life. So this is what it says. So man says, “This is at last, his bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” Finally, someone looks like me around here. Right? So what are you saying? “And she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.”

Now, next verse. “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become…” Now, wait a second. This is the first man and woman. How is Adam supposed to leave his father and mother? What are you talking about? This is literally the next verse in the past. “You shall leave your father and mother and hold fast to your wife.” Who is this passage written for? Us. I quote this verse at every single wedding that I do. It is so important that they become one flesh. And it says what? “The man and his wife were both naked and they were not ashamed.” You know, they weren’t ashamed because sin had not come into the world at this point. We’re going to get into that in Genesis chapter 3, even though we’ll look at it in a few moments. And so here they are. They’re in this world, this earth that God has created.

They’re surrounded by all these animals. God has everything exactly the way that he wants it, including man and woman. And how beautiful and incredible that moment, that time was for them. Perfect peace. They didn’t have the hardships that we have. They didn’t have the pain that we have, at least not yet. And so here they are naked and there is no shame. And so as you kind of look down and you drill down into this whole idea of one flesh, it’s a sacred union that God brings together. And so often in marriage, or even in that covenant of marriage, so often people just instantly go to the physical aspect, the physical union between husband and wife. And certainly that’s part of marriage. There is a physical union between husband and wife. But did you know that there’s also an emotional union that takes place?

That your heart is connected to your spouse. Animals on this earth don’t have this emotional connection. Human beings have this connection with one another. And the one that gets talked about the least is the spiritual union that only God can produce in the hearts and lives of a man and a woman. And I’ve been fortunate enough because I’ve attended enough weddings. I’ve presided over enough weddings where I get a front row seat. I mean, usually it’s over here and they’re right here. And I can’t tell you how many times almost every single day you just watch the Holy Spirit sweep over the couple. You know that God is present in that moment, that this isn’t just their emotions and butterflies that are taking place as they’re vowing to one another. You know that the Holy Spirit is actually present right there in that time, in real time for them as they are joined together as one. And so we know from scripture that God gives them these instructions.

He not only gives them instructions, he blesses them and he says, “Be fruitful, increase in number, fill the whole earth, subdue it.” And this is what we’ve been looking at, how man has dominion over the earth. So not only do we understand these unions that take place, but the blessings that come from the sacred union that God brings together in a husband and a wife and a marriage. There’s the identification, the two becoming one. There’s procreation, which we just looked at. People go and they make babies, they have kids, right? God says, “Go and fill the earth.” And here’s the other part of this whole thing, that we often, you know, there was a time in the church’s history, believe it or not, where they never talked about this because it was considered gross. Or they just didn’t want to go there, or you shouldn’t talk about this, you know, on Sunday morning in a service, that there’s a recreation to this, that God designed our bodies for pleasure.

That it’s good, that sex is that thing that brings couples together and that there’s enjoyment in the marriage, that. And all of you that are married, right? Amen? Okay. That was weak, but we’re going to work on this. And I guarantee you, because a lot of you are just uncomfortable with it. It’s what it is. A lot of you, you’re just from a generation where you’re trained to not, “Ahhh, it’s okay, recreation, yeah.” But here’s what we know, here’s the world we live in, this is one of our themes throughout so far, is that everything God creates, the devil, counterfeits. Every single time, any issue, any sin, any problem that we face in our world, just go back to Genesis 3.1. Fill in the blank for yourself. And so, of course, in our day and age, the big question in this whole passage of understanding God’s word, and as we look at the beginning verses of Genesis, is this.

Well, did God really say that marriage is between a man and a woman? Is that really, truly what the Bible says? Or is the Genesis account one version or one kind of narrative of marriage? And this is the struggle. This is what I know that many people are trying to figure out. And so what’s fascinating is that here in Genesis 2, when you go to the Gospels, there’s four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, two of them repeat these words, Matthew and Mark. And specifically, these words are repeated by Jesus. And so Jesus, when he’s talking about marriage, and he’s talking about divorce, actually in the passage, he goes back and he quotes that at the beginning of creation, so at the very beginning, back to Genesis, he made them male and female. He gave them their genders. And for this reason, a man is going to leave his father and mother, be united with his wife, the two will become one flesh.

So they are no longer two, they are one. And then he adds this onto the passage, and he can add it on because he’s almighty God, and he wrote Genesis, so he can write Mark and Matthew as well. And so he adds this part on, therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate. And here’s one of the things that we’ve kind of lost sight of. We don’t realize in our world, in our lives, how sacred and how serious God actually takes marriage. We live in a day and age when so many people walk away from their marriages, it’s so easy to kind of just dismiss marriage, or if I don’t feel like I love the person anymore, or, you know, there’s circumstances that come in, or, you know, my husband screwed up the checkbook one too many times, and so I’m just going to walk away from this covenant that God actually established in holy matrimony, in the covenant of marriage. And then when we look at just even what’s happened in our country here in the United States, some of you might follow this just even in the last 30 years.

In 1996, do any of you remember 1996? 1996 was the year I graduated high school, and it started my first year at Bible College in Minneapolis. Well, in 1996, who was the president? Oh, you guys are good. Bill Clinton. And he signs into law with the approval of the 104th United States Congress, the Defense of Marriage Act. I want you to think about this, because this is what the Defense of Marriage Act stated less than 30 years ago. The act banned federal recognition of same-sex marriage by limiting the definition of marriage to the union of one man and one woman. And it further allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. So even if there were states that had passed their own laws and allowed marriage outside of a man and a woman, the federal government, Bill Clinton, just came in and said, nope, that’s not going to be what the precedent is from one end of our country to the other.

Now, a very short time ago, and what I mean a short time ago, just a few weeks ago, the Respect for Marriage Act was passed by the 117th Congress, and it was signed into law by President Joe Biden. And this is what it did. It basically reversed the previous act. It replaced provisions that define marriage between a man and a woman, and it basically said marriage is between any two individuals, and this is going to be across the board in our entire country. And now I know. Some of you were saying, okay, I know that, or we’ve seen that, the Supreme Court was in between that, the ruling, and so that was kind of what led to what was just designed in December. And so often when we talk about this, or people talk about this, kind of the two things that come up are this. Well, aren’t all sins the same, right? Is it really a sin to be in a same-sex marriage? Or who am I to judge? Or why do I care what anybody else is doing? Or how does this impact me?

Why can’t we all just get along? Why do we even need to talk about this in church? And here’s why. This is why. Because as we go to other parts of Scripture, as we read what it is that God has given us as His guardrails, as His guidelines for our lives, we go to the book of 1 Corinthians, written by the Apostle Paul. And so as we look at the first questions, well, aren’t all sins the same? Are all sins the same? Are all sins the same? This is what Paul would say. “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” See kind of that same language that we have from Genesis in the beginning? It says, “Flee from sexual immorality.” Well, what’s sexual immorality? Who gets to define what sexual immorality is? He goes on to say, “All other sins a person commits are outside the body. But whoever sins sexually, sins against their own what?”

So not only do we not take marriage on the covenant marriage seriously and fully understanding that, I don’t believe that we truly understand how precious our bodies are to God. And that really is honestly going to be the focus of the message today. The flesh that you have, this little jumpsuit that you walk around in all day, and you spend a whole lot of time and money maintaining, and you’re precious to almighty God because he’s the one that created it. More on that in a moment. Let’s go back to the first question I asked you in this verse. What is sexual immorality? And I know, and there would be people that will say, “Well, let’s just go to the top. Let’s just point out the ones that are prevalent. Let’s point out the ones that make us uncomfortable.” And so often what happens in the church? People go right to homosexuality, don’t they? That’s number one, Tim.

Let’s put that one on top, and then let’s go through, and we’ll go through, and we’ll kind of point out all of the other ones. And then we don’t actually realize that maybe there’s sexual sin in us. Maybe there’s things that we have done, and that we have committed, and that we continue to do. But somehow we have this kind of level system where we determine which one’s higher than the other, or which one’s worse off than the other. And here God says, “No, no, no. Hold on a second. We’re all sinners.” And Paul comes along and says, “No, no, no. All sexual sins. Anything that you can do is sin, and it’s actually sin even against your own body.” So what if we looked at it this way? Lust. Jesus is out teaching on a mountainside. He’s going through all sorts of things, and he gets to a certain point where he tells the crowd that if you look at someone lustfully, that you have committed adultery in your heart.

He took one of the ten commandments, which says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” which people thought, “Well, I haven’t cheated on my spouse. I haven’t done anything wrong.” And he brought it to a whole other level. And here’s what I know about every single person in this room. You have all lusted. Every single one of you. You have had thoughts, impure thoughts about somebody else. When you were young, when you were a teenager, when you were a young adult, when you were in college, and even when you were married. Your brain went to a place it shouldn’t have went. You dwelled on something. You scrolled through something. You went to a website. You did something that you shouldn’t have done. We have all sinned, just so you know this morning, sexually against God. Let’s go on adultery. That one gets picked on. Well, we know if something comes out and we find out someone has cheated on their spouse.

Sure, that’s a sin. You shouldn’t have done that. But what we don’t talk about are the emotional affairs that happen all day, every day in our places of work. How many times things aren’t good at home, and all of a sudden we find ourselves hanging out with somebody of the opposite sex that’s not our spouse. And all of a sudden we’re starting to text message, or we’re having private messages, or we have side conversations, and we’re spending even more and more time than maybe we should be with that person. And it’s not so much that we haven’t actually gotten to bed with that person or physically slept with that person. It’s the emotional affair that’s taking place. And if that’s you, you’re here in person, you’re watching online. You know what God is saying to you this morning? That’s not what’s best for you. Stop that behavior. You are going down a road that you are not going to be able to turn around from on your own.

You are going to wreck your life. You are going to wreck your marriage. You are going to wreck your family. It’s quiet in here. How about the big fancy church word fornication? Sex before marriage. I know so many pastors that won’t even have this conversation, even when pre-marriage couples come in to meet with them. And I always say, “Why?” And they say, “Well, we’re just glad that they want to get married in the church.” And I think to myself, “Have we done anybody any service if we don’t tell them the truth?” Like, this is what we signed up for, to have uncomfortable conversations. That we love you enough and care about you enough to tell you, “This is what God’s word says, that the marriage bed should be kept pure.” That’s what it says in Hebrews. That over and over again in scriptures that the marriage bed is in the covenant of marriage between a husband and a wife. And I can tell you, every single pre-marriage couple that I have met with, they can tell you, because there’s plenty of them that are in here this morning, I say the same exact thing.

What are you going to do to keep yourself pure until you are married? And if you have crossed that line, if you have gone outside of those boundaries, you need to realize that it’s wrong. Confess it. Give it to God. He’s faithful and just. He forgives us. Come together as a couple, confess it together as a couple, and then now figure out how you’re going to live from this moment forward, walking in God’s ways, because I want you to be free from your sin. This isn’t to torture people. That would be like every time we meet at the pre-marriage couple, I’m like, “Man, I can’t wait to torture another couple.” How many months do you have until you’re getting married? “Oh, you’re never going to make it.” No! This is God’s best for you. This is what God wants for you. How about the perversions? Those ones are easy to call out as well. Probably shouldn’t have more than one spouse. I think we all agree there’s some things that have happened in our world and even in our communities that just make us sick to our stomachs.

Sin. Does God’s grace and mercy cover these things? Is what Jesus did on the cross, is he able to cover those sins as well or are those just beyond our minds and so we just don’t want to offer forgiveness for those? Man, pornography. Sometimes you just get sick and tired of reading the statistics on pornography. Our youth ministry told me this week, because they’re the ones keeping up on youth stats, that by the time a kid is 12 years old, which is my son, that 60% of boys have viewed some type of pornographic material by age 12. 40% for girls. Switch over to adults and the men are in the 80 percentile. Almost 80% of men view porn. You know the most popular time to view porn is? It’s not at night when a spouse goes to bed. It’s during the work day. It’s on lunch breaks. It’s when people are in their car and they think nobody else is around because all of a sudden we have this computer, this little tiny computer, and we can hide tabs or we can go into ghost mode or we can have albums that nobody else can see.

Or we can even download apps that nobody is ever going to figure out because we have this little deep dark secret that is actually destroying us. That’s actually terrible for us. And yet here’s God in his love and his grace and his mercy saying, no, no, no, no. I want to break you free of that. I don’t want you to be in bondage to that anymore. And the damage that it’s probably doing to your marriage because there’s statistics on that and they’re through the roof about how the covenant of marriage has been blown and the sin that is caused because of pornography. Divorce. Divorce. Is that a sin? Is that breaking God’s covenant? Does divorce break God’s heart? Talk to anybody that’s been through divorce. They’ll tell you it’s one of the most awful, painful things that they’ve ever been through. And the ripple effect, even if they’ve received forgiveness and wholeness that they still feel to this day.

No, folks, when God puts a couple together, man, he puts them together. I told the pre marriage couple I met with this last week. I said, you know, our goal here at Shepherd’s Gate is to get you to your 50th wedding anniversary. That’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to stand by you. We’re going to love you. We’re going to support you. We’re going to do everything that we can because we know that God is the one that is bringing the two of you together. And of course, finally, I put this one last on purpose because we like to put this one first. Homosexuality. Same gender sex. We believe it is a sin because that’s what the Bible teaches us over and over and over again. And in all of these, it doesn’t mean that you don’t love the people that fall into these things. It doesn’t mean you don’t have a relationship with the people that fall into these things. It doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden just banish them from your life or you never talk to them again because again, we are all sexual sinners.

If you actually read 1 Corinthians, and I would encourage you to do that. Paul even goes on to say that not only is your body not your own, that your body is for your spouse. And the reason that God brings us together in marriage because he knows the pressure of sexual sin. And so you come together often so that you avoid the sexual temptations that the world and the Satan are constantly throwing at you. One of the other things that I believe is so powerful as we look at these things is the power of testimony. When you hear from others that have walked that road, that have gone down that road. Because one thing I can guarantee you about every single person in here, those of you that are watching online, none of us would want our sexual sins listed on the screen, would we? None of us would want to sit in here with our friends or our church and be like, you know what? We’re going to go back and we’re going to play when you were in high school.

We’re just going to show clips. And then we’re going to show the clips from when you were in college. And then when you were a young adult and you were, you know, sewing your wild oats. Or even now, no, nobody would ever want that to take place. I would not want my sins or a playbook of my life on these screens. But what I do look to are people that have come out of certain things, certain sins, and the testimonies and the kind of the theme that you can see as people begin to share how God has changed and transformed their lives. I am a former lesbian. I’m very passionate about this topic because I really embraced that life. I won’t talk about how or why I went into that lifestyle, but I fully embraced it and I was confident in who I was and I sought it out. And I was a champion for the LGBT and I really even like to just be out there and promote it.

So I had fully believed in this lie that gets perpetuated that people don’t change. They can’t change. And if you try to change them, it’s detrimental to their health. And I just want to say that’s a lie. I almost missed out on some of the best and most precious moments of my life. I wasn’t going to get to get married. I wasn’t going to meet my husband. I wasn’t going to get to have my own children. This is not something that my mind was even open to. I didn’t know that it was a possibility for me. And I stand before you now. A changed woman. I don’t struggle with same sex attraction. It’s almost like it never was for me. And so I just I would like for that lie to stop being perpetuated. It’s just simply not true. People can and do change if they want. And we need to be allowed as free Americans to seek that out. Nobody has the right to tell you you can’t be what you want to be. And I did want change. And through the power of God, the creator of heaven and earth, this was able to happen.

These days were able to happen. These moments. And I’m a happy woman. I don’t suffer depression. I don’t suffer with anxiety. I don’t drink myself into stupors like I used to have to. I was often suicidal or out of control. I came out during my early 20s and found solace and comfort in the LGBTQ community. They were my family. I was pursuing the path of an ordained pastor in the LGBT affirming church movement when I began questioning my faith. That long journey led me ultimately to question my sexuality as a lesbian. Over time, as my faith brought deeper emotional health, I also experienced an unexpected change in my sexual desires. Today, I’ve been married to my husband for 14 years. I no longer experience same sex desires and I no longer have symptoms of bipolar disorder.

I’ve seen the restoration I have in countless lives of other Christians. Our faith compels us to share what we have received. We simply want to offer vision to those who feel conflict in their sexual orientation. But also to ask that America recognize there are multiple options for people who experience LGBTQ. People deserve the right to choose their own path and follow their religious convictions, especially in matters of their sexuality. Yeah, June 8, 2002, an incredible experience happened to me. Jesus transformed me. I chose to go the root of Christ. I chose to change my sexual identity. I needed help to do that. I chose to follow my faith, my belief in the Bible, professional counseling, psychiatrists and psychologists, as well as pastoral counseling I received. And bills like H.R. 5, H.R. 3570 and Senate 2008 would not have allowed me to get the help that I needed or anyone on this stage or anyone who wanted to change their sexual attraction or behaviors. I’ve dealt with same sex attraction since the seventh grade.

No one ever forced me to change. No therapist, my parents did not, my pastor did not, my heart, my mind, I chose to change. What’s the common denominator in every single one of their testimonies? Jesus. Jesus. Kind of answers the second question, are we supposed to judge people? No. We’re supposed to present Jesus to people, to be the presence of Jesus in every single person’s lives that he allows us to cross paths with. A few months ago, my wife and I hosted a surprise party for a really good friend of ours. And I hate surprise party, but it’s always fun to torture other people with surprise parties. And so we were in charge of obviously our home and cleaning our home and the decorations and they took care of the food and the drinks and the list, the invite list. And his wife called me and said, Tim, I just want to make sure this is okay, but we have two really good friends, two men that are married to each other.

Are you okay if we invite them to your home? And I said, absolutely. Here’s part of it. I feel like we have lost the ability to be civil in our society. We’ve lost the ability to just have conversations with people and love people unconditionally. Whether they agree with us or not, or they agree with our view of scripture or not, or how we interpret scripture or not. You know, this couple came into my home and one of them in particular, I ended up spending most of the evening with him. He was fascinated by what I do for a living. I was fascinated by what he did for a living. Next thing you know, we’re sitting there on the couch and we’re talking about our physical ailments. He’s talking about how he has back issues. I’m talking about how he has stomach issues and we’re like trying to figure it out. And it was like, we’re like two old men just sitting on a couch. And at the end of the night, we hugged, said, hey, so glad to meet you. And we laughed.

That’s what we’re called to do. I heard Jesus said, be salt and light is the same message. He said, if you commit adultery in your heart, that it was the same exact teaching moment when he said you are in the world. You are the light of the world. You may be the only presence of Jesus that people receive. And whether or not he has faith or doesn’t have faith isn’t up to me. That’s up to God. God’s the one that produces faith in the hearts and the lives of every single person, including those that have sexual sins because it includes us. So God help us. God help us navigate the times that we live in God. Help us because I know parents, this is tough because how do we talk to our kids about this and what does this look like and to what degree do we do that? You know how you talk to your kids? You go back to Genesis and you read them the account in Genesis. You go back to Matthew Mark and you read them the account Mark. You go to 1 Corinthians. You say, here’s the passage. Guys and girls, this is what God says. These are the parameters. These are the guidelines. By the way, God loves you and I love you and I will always be part of your life. Paul said this.

Do you not know that your body, remember this is what we’re talking about today, is a temple of the Holy Spirit that is within you whom you have from God. Going back to Genesis, God created you. You are not your own. You were actually bought with a price. That’s why we don’t believe in my body, my choice. This isn’t my body. This is God’s body that he gave me. I want you right now to go ahead and pinch your skin. Okay? Go ahead and pinch your skin. And if you’re next to somebody you know, go ahead and pinch their skin as well. This is the part of the gospel account that people don’t like. You will have this flesh for all eternity. That’s how precious it is to God. When you die, whether they put your body in the ground or you are cremated, that at the resurrection, when Christ gets the nod from God Almighty and comes back and there’s the resurrection of the dead, your remains will be reunited with your spirit and you will keep this body for all eternity. That is how much God values your body.

That is why he writes these words. You are not bought, you are not your own. You’re bought at a place and glorify God with your body. So I know you’re wondering, so what are we going to do as a church? Where do we go from here? How do we navigate this? Number one is this. We have to admit we’re all guilty of sexual sins. And I hope today that you’re willing to do that and good thing we’re going to receive your communion because if there’s a sexual sin that you’re dealing with, you need to get that out and confess it to God and instantaneously he’s going to forgive you of that sexual sin. We as a church are going to continue to live out our mission and vision to love everyone unconditionally. You’re here and you don’t agree with me. I’m so glad that you’re here. I hope you come back next week. I want a friendship with you. I want to walk with you. I want to talk. I want to hear your side.

I want to hear what it is that you’re processing and how you’re handling all of this or what it is that you believe we will live out our mission and vision. Shepherdsgate. Amen. You better have been loud on that one. All right. Last one is we’re going to serve others with compassion and community. This is it. This is the end of my message. Because we have been placed in a world in this time in this day in this age and what people hear is rejection. What people hear from the churches. I’ll never be welcome there. All they’re going to do is hate me. They’re going to tell me I’m wrong. This or that. In church, we have the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to be the arms of Jesus as we embrace people no matter their sexual sin and to love them and to serve them. As a church, we’re still trying to figure out what that even means and what we can offer even our community. Many of you know a few weeks ago we announced that we’re having this class that starts actually today at 12 o’clock. If you don’t know about this, listen.

This is a class for those who are parents who have kids that are LGBTQ. It’s a support group to come together to hear stories, to share. Last week they had a meet and greet. From what I’m told, the class went really well. Everyone was able to kind of network with one another. And I feel like this is just us tipping our toe in the water. I feel like this is just one of many classes that are to come in our care program. As we look and we see where God is calling us to serve others again with compassion and humility. Amen.