Search
  • Brett Imamura

Holiness (Dating, Sex, and Sexuality): Introduction


We recently went through a Friday night study on holiness in regards to dating, sex, and sexuality. The reason I went through a study on such awkward and even contentious topics is because we are all (but especially our young people) are being "discipled" by attitudes and worldviews all around us, whether we know it or not. The shows we watch, the articles and blogs we read, the conversations we have with friends, the curricula taught in schools, the laws put forth by the government~ these things (and more) form the means by which we are taught to think and see the world; hence the term "worldview".

The following is a condensed version of what was covered during that study. Because of sensitive nature of some of the topics, I knew that having this study would not put to rest every question and objection regarding holiness. However, the purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to INFORM as to what the Bible had to say about holiness and (2) to EQUIP in knowing how to respond to unbiblical stances with both conviction and grace.

This post is Part 1 of the Friday night study on holiness. Part 1 is entitled “Biblical Foundations of Holiness”.

One way we see holiness in the Bible is Positional Holiness, which is the moment we are declared righteous before God, by faith alone in Jesus Christ. We see biblical evidence for this in Ephesians 2, where upon faith in Christ, we who were once dead in our tresspasses became spiritually alive. This transformation is instantaneous. This, the apostle Paul writes, is not our own doing but rather the work of God. We also see this in Romans 3, where though all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory and perfection, those who are saved are justified by God through faith in Christ Jesus who was a perfect atoning sacrifice for sin. We also looked at Progressive Holiness, which is our gradual growing in righteousness. Another word for this is sanctification. We see biblical evidence for this in Philippians 2:12-13, where Paul says that we are to "work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling", as well as James 2, where James says that true faith is demonstrated through our works. Though we are indeed saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus, to say you have faith in Jesus but without any sort of evidence of that faith is problematic.

The following are a few reasons we may not pursue holiness:

1. We may have misguided ideas of what holiness is.

Sometimes we may equate holiness or purity with "don't drink, smoke, dance, gamble, have premarital sex, etc." Indeed, it is important to understand that there's an element of abstaining from certain things when it comes to cultivating holiness. However, it is misguided to believe that that's ALL there is.

Another misunderstanding regarding holiness takes on the attitude that "I'm saved, I got baptized, so everything is good~ I don't need to worry about my behavior." Granted, we are saved by God's grace, not by our own merit. And yes, following a set of rules does not save us. However, true faith leads to good works; true faith leads to living holy lives.

2. Pursuing holiness is hard.

It IS hard. However, Philippians 2:5-11 tells us that Jesus did the hardest work, which was laying aside the privileges of deity, humbly living a perfect obedient life before God the Father, and humbly dying a cruel death on behalf of sinners like us. Because Jesus did the hardest work, for those who claim his name are called to be obedient to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that, just as he graciously saved us, he also empowers us to live holy lives (Philippians 2:12-13).

So...

When it comes to dating, holiness informs what you will do on a date, what you will do with whom you date, what you won't do... even the kind of person you choose to date. When it comes to sex, holiness informs with whom you'll have sex, with whom you will not, and at what point in your life is sex okay. Because you are positionally holy, as part of your progressive holiness, you are discerning and wise with your choices in dating and attitudes regarding sex.

When it comes to matters of sexuality, sexual identity and to whom you are sexually attracted does not define you. Your identity in Christ (positional holiness) supersedes any other form of identity we may have, including sexual identity.

Ultimately, we must remember that Jesus did not come into the world because we have bad habits that need to be fixed. He came into the world because we are sinful people that need to be made holy. Holiness is not an option for believers.

#Holiness #Dating #Sex #Sexuality

0 views
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon

133 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002 | 1-212-254-3886

@2020 by Church of Grace to the Fujianese