Menu iconFilter Results
Topic: Uncategorized

Piper to conference audience: God gave sexuality that believers might know Him fully

December 17, 2004

God designed sexuality so that believers might know Him more deeply and by the same turn, knowing God more fully serves to guard and guide our sexuality, pastor and author John Piper said during a recent conference in Minneapolis.

God designed sexuality so that believers might know Him more deeply and by the same turn, knowing God more fully serves to guard and guide our sexuality, pastor and author John Piper said during a recent conference in Minneapolis.

The conference, hosted by Desiring God Ministries, unpacked the theme “Sex and the Supremacy of Christ.” In the opening address, Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church and council member of The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, said all misuses of sexuality–including homosexuality, fornication, adultery, bestiality, rape, pornography, sexual child abuse, and masturbation, among other perversions–distort the knowledge of God. All sexual corruption serves to conceal the true knowledge of God in Christ, he said.

“We’re here to prepare you to cut off your hand and gouge out your eye and, if necessary, be beheaded in the cause of the supremacy of Christ in this world,” Piper said. “God created human beings in His own image, male and female He created them, with capacities for intense sexual pleasure and with a calling to commitment in marriage and continence in singleness.”

Piper argued that God has endowed humans with personhood and passions so that there would be sexual language and images which would point to the promises and pleasures of God’s relationship to His people and His people’s relationship to Him. The two-day conference was held earlier this fall and attendees heard from a number of well-known evangelical speakers such as R. Albert Mohler Jr., C.J. Mahaney, Mark Dever, and David Powlison.

“Sexual images depict what it is like to belong to Him in faithfulness and [also depict] the horror of what it is like to turn away from the living God,” Piper said. “Ultimately, that’s why you are sexual…God made us in His image as sexual people so He would be known more deeply and fully.

“The language and imagery of sexuality is the most graphic and the most powerful in the Bible to describe the relationship between God and His people, both positively, when we are faithful, and negatively, when we are not…We were given the power to love each other sexually so that we might have some hint, just a hint, of what it will be like to know Christ supremely.”

Piper said those who claim the name of Christ–even pastors, priests, and theologians–and yet continue to participate in sexual sin, either do not know God or do not know Him as they ought. The true knowledge of Christ serves to prevent sexual corruption, he said.

To prove his argument that truly knowing God guards, guides, and governs a believer’s sexuality, Piper pointed to numerous biblical texts. He pointed out that the word “know” in Scripture often has a sexual connotation. Well-known texts include Adam’s “knowing” Eve so that she bore a son and Joseph taking Mary, but “knowing her not” while she was expecting the Christ child.

“I do not mean that we have sex with God or that God has sex with man,” he said. “That is a pagan notion. It is not Christian and it is not true. But I do mean that sexual intimacy and the ecstasy of sexual relations points weakly to our enjoyment of God and His delight in His people.”

The book of Hosea makes this clear, Piper said, particularly in Hosea 2:14, which speaks of God’s restoration of his “marriage” to His covenant people after they have been unfaithful yet again. The passage speaks of God “alluring” Israel into the wilderness and “speaking tenderly to her.”

“I think it is virtually impossible to read that text and say that knowing God is mental awareness or intellectual understanding or merely acquaintance,” he said. “Not in a million years is that what that text means. When this text says, ‘you shall know the Lord,’ in that context of betrothal, this is not the knowing of a scholar; this is the knowing of a lover.”

Did you find this resource helpful?

You, too, can help support the ministry of CBMW. We are a non-profit organization that is fully-funded by individual gifts and ministry partnerships. Your contribution will go directly toward the production of more gospel-centered, church-equipping resources.

Donate Today
CBMW Gender & Sexuality Curriculum Male and Female He Created Them: A Study on Gender, Sexuality, & Marriage, by Denny Burk, Colin Smothers, & David Closson

This new curriculum is aimed at Christians who are facing challenging questions with the rise of LGBT ideology on topics like homosexuality, transgenderism, gender dysphoria, intersex conditions, preferred pronouns, and more. The study is broken down into eight chapters that guide readers through the Bible’s teaching on gender, sexuality, and marriage. Male & Female He Created Them gives Christians with a biblical foundation that starts in Genesis 1 and 2 with God’s good design in making mankind male and female in His image.

Male & Female He Created Them: A Study on Gender, Sexuality, & Marriage can be purchased online at Christian Book, Christian Focus, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.