The Christian’s Hope of Resurrection

The Christian’s Hope of Resurrection


1 Corinthians 15:50-58; Romans 8:18-25; Revelation 21:1-8

For the past few months, we have known about the disaster that we are currently experiencing with COVID-19. Death, fear, anxiety, and violence is everywhere. On top of that we see lots of negative news that add to the severity of the current situation. Many in the world are currently suffering. However, this is not the only suffering the world has experienced. Throughout history, we have seen wars, plagues, murders, thefts, and other evil things. 

As Christians we also experience this suffering. We experience sickness, sadness, horrifying events, deaths and disaster. Perhaps we are currently sick from COVID-19 now! The effect of suffering is universal, it impacts both believers and non believers because the world has fallen into sin and lacks the Glory of God (Rom. 3:23). 

In a world like this, is there hope?

Thanks be to God, because Jesus Christ came down to earth. In Jesus we see God’s perfect love to this fallen world, and He shows us that God cares for the evil in the world. Jesus redeemed the world through His death and has given hope through His resurrection (John 3:16). Christ’s resurrection is the victory and hope for all who believe in Him. That includes all believers, us, who have been saved in the Lord. However, if Christ has died and resurrected, to be our victory and hope, why are we still suffering? The reason is because the whole works of the Lord are yet to be done. The Cross of Christ shows Christ’s work was finished, as Christ said “it is finished”. The cross is the climax, and the foundation of God’s whole plan. However the whole plan of God does not stop there. If it was the whole plan of God, then Christ would not have promised the Holy Spirit, nor commanded the great commission. Paul mentioned in Colossians 1:24 – “…I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church”. ‘What is lacking in Christ’s suffering’ does not mean that Christ’s suffering on the cross is insufficient or incomplete. This is Paul’s address to the church to be an extension of Christ’s hand, that as we carry out His plans  we will suffer just as He has. Therefore, there are still works of the Lord that the church needs to do. We are Christ’s ambassador to fulfill God’s plan in the world. 

What are the works that we need to do then?

Jesus has commissioned us in Matthew 28:19, To extend the Kingdom of Heaven, to make the nations His disciples, to preach the great news about Jesus’ death and resurrection. Furthermore, brothers and sisters, the bible tells us that when we do this commandment, we will suffer. It should be no surprise then that we will suffer, because if Christ suffered, why shouldn’t we? We are doing the same work! Christ clearly warned this, when He said to His disciples: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you…” (John 15:18-25). It should not surprise us that we will suffer if we obey Christ, because “A servant is not greater than his master” (John 15:20). Therefore, there is no suffering that we will go through that Christ has not already gone through.

Is all that we do now in vain? 

The bible clearly tells us that this is not so. Our sufferings, they are not for nought. In fact,God has promised a great and victorious hope for those who follow Him. This can never be replaced nor obtained by other means except from God and God alone, and God has bestowed this promise to His loved ones, us! What is His promise? It is the promise of eternal life! The life that has no end, no death, forever! How can this be achieved by man? It cannot! We are mortal beings, but God promised this gift, a very special gift to us who believe in Him! 

However, to go a little bit further what does eternal life actually mean? Does it only mean we’ll live forever? What will we do then when we have eternal life? Won’t it be dull if we have everlasting life without doing anything? Not so! In the bible, eternal life means a new heaven and new earth. Continuing the readings from John, Jesus said: “…  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also (14:3). Again, in John 16:21-22, “you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joyI will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you”. To conclude, Jesus has said that He will come again and He has promised that our sufferings and sorrows will be taken away in the end. Right now Christ is working, interceding for us, and preparing a joyful place for us.

What is this place that Jesus is preparing for us? It is the new heaven and earth – the New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is not a place in heaven, outside of the world, rather it is a restored current heaven and earth, where God’s Kingdom will be fully established. Revelation 21 presents to us an image of this: there we will be sinless, cloaked with His Glory, and there will be no suffering. We will be with all of our brothers and sisters who have been redeemed by His blood, sinless and perfected in the resurrected body of Christ. 

Christ has redeemed us and now we work to extend His kingdom. We strive and toil to do the works of the Lord, even if no one sees, nor understands, or even if we are mocked. However, listen to the Word of the Lord: God accounts and sees all our toils, be it our relationships, our jobs, our studies, our ministries, He accounts all of it. Now it is not a coincidence that the Word of God starts in the Garden of Eden and ends in the City of New Jerusalem. This shows that in history, there is a progress to cultivate the creation, just as God has commanded Adam and Eve to tend the creation (Genesis 1:28;2:15). Therefore, God accounts for every good thing Christians do, because it is part of the preparation of New Jerusalem. Every study, every discipline, every ministry, every practice that is good in the eyes of the Lord will be accounted as work to extend His Kingdom, so what we do is not meaningless. Oh what a wonderful God! What a wonderful promise! That our hope is true and firm! Our tears, blood, and sweat, nothing we do will be in vain as Christ is resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:14-19;58).

A time is coming when Christ will be King and rule the world. The sins of the world will be purged, and the kingdom of the world will be the kingdom of our Lord (Revelation 11:15). At last, perfect justice will be here! No more political lies, no more fraud, no more abuse of power, and no more injustice, no more hunger and no more tears (Revelation 21:4). What Jesus had promised to us in John 16 will be fulfilled in the future. Our sorrow will turn to joy, for Christ, our Lord will reign. 

However, it does not stop there! In eternal life, Jesus will reign, but our relationship will not be as a king and his subjects, but as husband and wife! In eternal life, we will be able to know God, perfectly and fully (John 17:3)! We will finally be able to know Him who loves us! We will be able to know His loveliness! We will be able to know our Saviour! Now what we know about Him is too small, only a mere shadow of His magnificence compared to what we will know about Him in eternal life. What we believe, or hear about Him now will be revealed later in full glory. Revelation 19 gives us a clear image of our relationship with Christ as the church. Paul in Ephesians 5:22-33, mentioned how a husband should lay himself down for his wife, is to reflect Christ’s love towards His bride, the Church! See how Christ has loved us? He has laid down His life for us, sinners who reject God from the bottom of our hearts. Oh how we are undeserving to receive this love! How we are too insolent for His attention! But this does not stop Him from loving us. This is our hope then, that He died and resurrected for our sake, so we are able to finally know Him intimately, fully, eternally!

These are not a utopian vision to just console us in the grim reality, but this comes as a promise from God who never breaks His promises. His Words are reliable, and righteous! This is the Vision of His coming Kingdom that He has promised to all of us!

Let us be reminded this Easter, that because Christ has been resurrected we are able to receive the promise of eternal life. We are united with Him, so we can know His loveliness, and He walks by us as our Comforter –  He understands our struggles and leads us through suffering. Let us also be reminded of the future glory we will have, that all of these are not in vain because Christ is resurrected. There will be no tears, and all evil will be undone. Therefore Brothers and Sisters, take heart and heed this word: Christ had been resurrected so He is our hope and consolation. 

As Christ is risen, let us then take up our cross and follow Him. Let us deny ourselves, and let our zeal consume us (Psalm 69:9a). Let us tell this story to the nations, and let His name be heard, let His wonderful works be known. Let us keep on running this race, and persevere with the faith that God has given to us. Let us daily revere His name in everything, and keep living a holy life. Let us keep suffering for Him, let us keep our eyes towards Him (Hebrew 12:1-2) as we can cry out to Him who knows all our struggle, and see Him in all of our sufferings. Let us not be faltered, for Christ is with us, therefore who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) Let us endure all of these, because Christ is risen, and it is not in vain. Let us suffer for Him, for the sufferings now are incomparable to the glory we will receive. Look towards the future where we will be resurrected as He is, and let this be our consolation in this race, let the resurrection of Christ be our hope to the future. We now live by faith in these things, but when He comes we will live by sight – the sight of Him in the fullness of Glory. (JC)

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:56-58

Spiritual Warfare: A Battle of Truth and Lies

Do we realise that every day and every moment, we are in the middle of a spiritual war? In it, there are 3 main foes to the Christian: the indwelling sin in us, the world, and the Devil. The Apostle Paul talks throughout his letters on the fact that we have to mortify the indwelling sin in us. While we have been truly justified and saved by faith in Jesus Christ, there is still indwelling sin that continually pushes us to do things that are not in accordance to God’s will (Romans 7:22-23). As the great Puritan John Owen (2006) said, we should make killing sin our daily work. Being saved by faith in Jesus Christ does not mean a pass to live sinfully. As James 2:26 (ESV) says, “faith apart from works is dead.” This faith that saves is by very nature one that produces good works in the lives of believers. More than that though, succumbing to sin is to trample on the blood of Christ and to show that we are not of God (Hebrews 10:29; 1 John 3:9). With these being said, it is clear for believers to wage war against sin at all times.

Waging war against the world is not understood as taking arms and murdering people, nor does it mean hating unbelieving people. The Bible talks about the world in mainly 2 different ways. It can talk about it cosmologically, in terms of the universe or the physical earth (1 Samuel 2:8; John 1:10). The world in this sense is not negative—God does not have a negative view towards His physical earth per se. However, another way that the world is presented to us is that of sinful humanity as a force opposing God. The world as it is used in this sense is necessarily negative. According to this understanding, we are asked to “not be conformed to the world” (Romans 12:2). We are told that “the wisdom of the world is folly” (1 Corinthians 3:19). Believers in Christ used to be dead in our trespasses, walking in the course of the world (Ephesians 2:2). We are to deny worldly lusts, to remain unspotted by the world (Titus 2:12; James 1:27). Identification with the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). Loving the world means that the love of the Father is not with us (1 John 2:15). The world is passing away, and it does not know God (1 John 2:17 & 3:1).

But how are we to make sense of hating the world, but not the people that is a part of the fallen system? Kevin DeYoung (2015) says it well, “…the world as the fallen system is to be rejected even as the Father has a love for His lost people in this world and so seeks them out…” So like our Heavenly Father, we should love unbelievers in this world and seek them out. However, we should reject it as a fallen system. While we realise that culture is a messy mixture of sin and grace, we have to reject the sinfulness in it, no matter how much grace we find (Turnau, 2012).  So waging war against the world ought to be understood as waging war against these sinful values. These values are opposed against God, and they will drag us away from Him. What should wake us up is that the world is everywhere, all the time, even at our fingertips. It permeates our likes and even dictates our habits. We ought to wage war in the sense of not succumbing to the values of the world and be so enamoured by it that we simply follow the flow of the world, forgetting that we are not of it, even though we are in it (John 17:16). Instead, we are not to take part in the works of darkness and expose it (Ephesians 5:11).

Satan literally means ‘the adversary’. He is the enemy of God, and thus is the enemy of His people. The Devil is the one behind the world, being its ruler (Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 5:19). The Apostle Paul pushes us to stand against the schemes of the Devil (Ephesians 6:11). The Apostle Peter says that the Devil is like a ‘roaring lion’ that is always out there to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). Jesus said that the Devil steals the seeds of the Word of God, not allowing them to grow in people’s hearts (Mark 4:15). So the Devil is under control of the sinful system that we are in, and is always scheming to devour our faith in God. We ought to realise this and resist the Devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9).

So the war is clearly here. However, the realisation of this war—let alone these specific elaborations—has waned in Christianity today. Professing Christians are continually letting sin live and destroy themselves. Many are loving the world and cannot be distinguished from it. Following the modern Christian mindset, many do not even believe in the existence of the Devil. The eternal fate of these professing Christians are worrying. Maybe some will be saved, but how sad it will be to look back from eternity and see that throughout our lives here on earth, we have not glorified God as we could have!

Jesus Himself fought in it while He was in the world. Indeed, He was the one that gave the decisive blow through the cross (Genesis 3:17; Colossians 2:13-15; 1 John 5:5). The Bible said that He was tempted in every way, though without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He kept warring against sin, not leaving even a small opportunity for it. As Christians, we are called to follow His example. If our Lord fervently waged such a war in this world, why should we expect any less for ourselves? Let us wake up from our spiritual slumber and follow our Captain.

A Battle of Truth and Lies

One of the aspects of the spiritual warfare that people most certainly do not believe is that of the war of beliefs. This is not just in terms of believing whether or not the warfare exists, but on believing in God’s truths as a whole. What I mean is that the moment that God reveals the truth, the Devil, the world, and our indwelling sin will retaliate against the truth. There are a lot of voices that fights against God, around us and in our hearts. We live between the Truth and alternatives. If we are not sensitive on differentiating them, we will be caught by the flow of error and sin. We are creatures of belief, hardwired to always believe in something. In fact, we can say that unbelief is not absence of belief per se, but belief in something else. When we do not believe God who is the Truth Himself, we are not just showing unbelief in God, but we are believing in something else, which is a lie.

This all started in Eden, where the Word of God was opposed by the serpent (Genesis 3:4). Jesus said that the Evil One who speaks in this story is the ‘father of lies’ (John 8:44). Adam and Eve was tempted by the contra-God ‘word’ that was given by the serpent. Here they show unbelief against God and belief towards something else, which is not true at all. In this way, they fell into sin, bringing the whole human race with them (Genesis 3:7; Romans 5:12). Because of this event, we all naturally choose sin and the lies of the Evil One, living as a part of the world. In the past, Adam and Eve could choose to obey and believe in the Truth. But after this fall into sin, it became a certainty that human beings would not want to listen to God’s Word, because we in our sinful nature hates God (Romans 5:10). But once more, we give thanks to God through Christ who saved us from sin. Being in Christ, we are enabled to choose to not sin, to be able to listen to the Word, leading us to lives that can glorify God once more.

Even so, the father of lies have not stopped in doing his work. In this period before the Second Coming of Christ, the Devil still has power, and continues to work (Ephesians 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8). Even now he is still spreading lies to the human race, to pull them from God and closer to death, which is the legal wages of sin (Romans 6:23). Even now, we as the people of God who are given the same choice with Adam and Eve: to believe in God’s truth or the Devil’s lies. This is one of the aspects of what Paul said, “take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11). We are caught in the battle between God’s truth and the lies of the Devil in the world.

All Truth is God’s Truth

Before continuing, we have to take note that what is being said in here does not mean that we should believe in Nuda Scriptura, the believe that the Bible is the only truth in the universe, and everything else are lies. When I say that we either believe in God or something else, I am not dichotomising between the Bible and everything else, as if there is nothing true in the latter. Our belief is that the Bible is the highest authority that governs everything, Sola Scriptura. But we do not believe that it is the only place where the truth is found. Rather, all other truths can be said to be true if they are consistent with this highest authority. Because of this, we can trust what people or the news say, as long as they do not contradict the Word of God. We can trust what is being said in our field of studies and vocation as long as they are tested according to this principle too.

“All truth is God’s truth”, as St. Augustine says. So, when we believe in 2+2=4, we are believing in God’s truth. If something is true, it is true by the virtue of it being consistent with God’s character and vision of that fact. Truths and facts are not separated from God. Facts in the universe are inherently, intimately related to God. This makes every pursuit of truth, be it in human relationships, studies, and everything else inherently ethical activities, for they are done in the presence of the God to whom they belong, who is the Truth Himself (John 14:6). To make it more concrete, when we make mistakes in our exams, for example, we are sinning, as we are producing falsehoods—lies, which are against the character of God. This realisation should wake us up to an all new vision of truth in the world and an increasing hatred of falsehoods.

This battle in our lives

As mentioned above, the Devil is still very much active in his lies this very moment. It takes many different forms. In the Old Testament, he fooled Cain into thinking that killing Abel could satisfy him. In the New Testament, he lied to Judas into believing that Jesus was worthy to be sold for 30 pieces of silver. A prevalent lie in the Western world is that he is continually lying to people into thinking that God does not exist or at least that we cannot know about His existence. Recently, his prevalent lie is that it is okay for people of the same sex to marry. In the Eastern world the prevalent lie is that other gods really are the true ones. These are just some examples. It does not take long for us to realise more and more lies as we walk on this earth.

Regardless, I believe that the problem is that though many of us already know about God’s truths, we still allow ourselves to be tossed and turned around by the Devil who continues to give us his contra-truths. It is clear that God has declared that sex is a sacred and beautiful thing in the time and place that He has given (Song of Solomon 8:4; Hebrews 13:4). Yet, how many of us, when we are tempted, give ourselves to the Devil’s lies that promises instant gratification in free sex or pornography?  It is very clear that God has said that we must redeem our time, using everything we have wisely (Ephesians 5:16). But how many of us still choose to be lazy? It is clear that Christ said that He will be with us, to the end of the ages (Matthew 28:19-20). But how many of us still do not believe in that commandment and are still afraid to evangelise? It is clear that the Lord said that there is real joy in Him (Psalm 16:11). But how many of us still choose to surrender ourselves to the false joys around us?

We too often compromise, choosing lies that seem sweet, but in the end produce deadly bitterness. It is different when we choose truths that at first might look filled with suffering, but in the end glorify God and produce true joy. Indeed, like C. S. Lewis (2013) said, we are too easily pleased. We too rarely contemplate on how sweet the truth is. We choose lies after lies. We allow a place in our hearts for sins and worldliness.

We cannot dodge by saying “I already know these truths, albeit cognitively”. Believing is not just simply ‘knowing’ something cognitively, without it having any effects on our lives as a whole. This is more similar to the Hellenistic concept of knowing, which is not in accordance with the Bible at all. When the Bible talks about ‘knowing’, it means it reflecting the true reality that we learn about (Vos, 1975).  So when we receive all the truths that God has graced us with and stop at the cognitive level, we are being fooled by the Devil. It is not that the content of the Word in itself is a lie. But stopping at the cognitive level is the same thing as following the way of the Devil. Indeed, he is the chief example of this, knowing orthodox theology and trembling about it, but not truly living it (James 2:19). Walking on this path means that we do not really believe the truth that Scripture plainly teaches.

Let us repent and change. If you are a part of the group of Christians who do not realise this spiritual warfare and all of the lies that surround us everyday, it is time to plumb the depths of Scripture. For it is Scripture that helps us to clearly differentiate between truth and lies. It is a sad, sad fact to know that so many professing, active Christian do not read their Bibles. It is our life (Deuteronomy 32:47)! Things on earth will come and go, but God’s Word stands forever (Isaiah 40:8). God Himself gave it to us, as a lamp to our feet and light to our path always (Psalm 119:105). We should be ashamed to call ourselves people of God and yet not love Him through His Word. Let us repentantly come and humbly say to God, “here am I, take my life as a container for your Word!”

But if you are a part of the more Scripturally ‘learned’ people mentioned previously, who know the truth God laid out to us in the Bible, yet do not practice it against falsehoods, then you must change too. We must ask ourselves why. Is it that we have not given some parts of our lives under God’s authority? If you know your Bibles, you surely can see how living out God’s truth is for our own good and joy. Why must we keep pumping our fists toward God, not believing the Creator of the universe that desires our good? He is not a cruel monster that places a hard yoke for the sake of seeing people suffer. Or is it some things in your life, like sinful habits and the people you surround yourself with that keeps dragging you to falsehoods? We are weak to different lies, and this might even mean that we have to part ways with things that might not be inherently bad, like alcohol. We must be resolved to give everything to God, lay aside anything that might pull us away from practicing God’s truth. I am not promoting the idea that Christians can reach perfection in their lives on earth. That is indeed impossible. But as we trudge on our time on earth, are we continually sanctified and thus glorifying God?

That being said, all these things are not to be done with our own strength, of course. As a matter of fact, one of the most fatal lies that we can believe in is thinking that we can wage this war with our own strength. As Martin Luther said in his famous hymn, “The old, evil Foe now means deadly woe! Deep guile and great might are his dread arms in fight. On earth is not his equal.” Let us not be deceived, the Devil has gone on his work through thousands of years, lying to humans of different times and places. He is an experienced worker. Truly, his guile and might are very dreadful. However, despite knowing that he has insurmountable experience, we know that our God is a God that does not even ‘need’ experience to defeat the Devil’s lies. Believe and rely on Him, who is able to work in us more than we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20). He is, as a matter of fact, the One who overcame the world (1 John 5:5). All these things ought to be done prayerfully, with a heart that believes in His providing grace. He rewards those who seek Him with all their hearts (Deuteronomy 4:29). Do not harbour unbelief to the only One who is worthy of full belief, who is not worthy of anything less than that. Pray unto Him, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24b). Let us completely lay ourselves on the altar to the Truth Himself. (JFA)



DeYoung, K. (2015). Do Not Love the World. Retrieved from

Lewis, C. S. (2013). The Weight of Glory. London, UK: Harper Collins Publishers.

Owen, J. (2006). Overcoming Sin & Temptation. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.

Turnau, T. (2012). Popologetics: Pop Culture in Christian Perspective. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing Company.

Vos, G. (1975). Biblical Theology: Old and New Testament. London, UK: Billing & Sons Limited.


Sex and the Sufficiency of Christ

“The young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.”

(Marshall, 1945, p. 108. Cited in Piper et al., 2005, p.15)

The relation between sex and Christianity is rarely addressed in the churches where I grew up. Although topics about marriage and keeping sexual purity are often discussed and upheld, however it seems material about sexuality itself is only reserved for premarital counselling. I think this attitude is in part influenced by Eastern culture which permeates throughout the identity of my church and myself. Sex seems to be a shameful topic to us, especially among single Christians. In the context of singleness, sex is often viewed as something dirty and selfish. This view is not wrong in some sense, but nonetheless this culture of shame provides a disservice for Christians especially for those who need ample of resource and counsel on this topic like those who struggle heavily with sexual sin. Hence, this article is made in response to this need. The first part of the article will discuss how the Bible views human sexuality (The Christian perspective on sex) and will be continued with a discussion on the problem and root of sexual sin (Sex abused). The second part will examine how the Christian can amass resources to fight against sexual sin (Redeemed sex and the sufficiency of Christ) and it will end with how one can deal with the guilt that comes with his/her struggle with sexual sin. 

A Christian perspective on sex

Despite the shame prevalent in the church, the Bible depicts sex in a positive manner. Sex was created by God and it is inherently good (cf. Gen. 1:31, where God judged everything He had made and called it “good”). Other than being good because God says so, it is also good because it was made for a good purpose. First, it is a necessary means for obeying God’s command of procreation (Gen. 1:28). Second, it was created to serve one spouse for mutual enjoyment (like what is shown in the Songs of Solomon) and to keep each other from temptation due to lack of self-control in the context of marriage (1 Cor. 7:5).

Moreover, sex also has a more direct connection with one’s relationship with God. In Ephesians 5:31-32, Paul connects sexual relationship with the relationship between God and His church. What do these connection signify? We could look at the context of this passage that speaks about how the loving relationship of husband and wife should imitate the loving relationship of Christ and His church (verse 28-30, 33). So taking account of this context, sex helps one to understand how Christ loves His church, or in other words, it serves as one perspective to understand the love of Christ to His church. Therefore, sex enables us to know God in a more profound way. Regarding this John Piper said:

“[God’s] goal in creating human beings with personhood and passion was to make sure that there would be sexual language and sexual images that would point to the promises and the pleasures of God’s relationship to his people and our relationship to him” (Piper et al., 2005, p. 26).

In addition, the Bible also uses sexual imagery to describe the loving relationship between God and His people more potently and vividly (Piper et al., 2005, p. 26). An example of this can be found in how the Israelites’ disobedience towards God is depicted as adultery (Ezek. 16:20-22) and their future everlasting faithfulness portrayed as a marriage (Rev. 19). Since God is a person, knowing Him always exists in a relational context. So when one gains more understanding on how one relates with God, one will also obtain a deeper understanding of who God is. For example, one would understand how God feels and the degree that He despises acts of disobedience when God says that the relationship in disobedience is like adultery.  Therefore, God created men with a sexual passion so that they are able to know God more completely (Piper et al., 2005, p. 26). Indeed, God gave humans capability to know their spouse sexually for them to have a foretaste of what knowing Christ immensely look like (Piper et al., 2005, p. 30).

It is not be surprising then when the Christian Apologist Peter Kreeft commented that sex:
“…is like religion not only because it is objectively holy in itself but also because it gives us subjectively a foretaste of heaven, of the self-forgetting, self-transcending, self-giving that is what our deepest hearts are designed for, long for and will not be satisfied until they have, because we are made in God’s own image and this self-giving constitutes the inner life of the Trinity.” (Kreeft, 2002, p. 95. Cited in Piper et al., 2005, p.16)

So overall, Christianity views sex as something positive and deeply meaningful. It has an eternal significance of fulfilling God’s purpose in the temporality of creation, which is for humans to fill and subdue creation under God’s lordship, to love one another in the marital context, and to know God more intimately. Furthermore, sex is also portrayed as a legitimate need since it can profoundly satisfy our longing as God’s image to intimately and lovingly give ourselves to our spouse. But how can sex be associated today with much evil and shameful behaviour?

Sex abused

The Bible presents how evil and its consequences entered God’s good creation. It began with Adam’s disobedience to God by eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17;3:12). From there, sin and its consequences came into the world affecting humanity (Rom. 5:12-14; 1 Cor. 15:21). Further, Rome 1 states that in their sin, humanity suppresses true knowledge of God that would lead them to worship Him (verse 18,21). Instead, their minds and hearts became futile and this compels them to replace God with what man himself has created (verse 21-22). For this reason, God gave up humanity to dishonourable passions and acts of dishonouring their body (verse 24-27), which describes promiscuous sexual acts and passions. However having established their connection, how precisely does this suppression of the true knowledge of God corrupt human sexuality? Biblical counsellor David Powlison in Sex and the Supremacy of Christ lists some example of how sin distorts sex:  

It corrupts sexuality by making it seem like our ultimate fulfilment.

Human as the image of God was created with a longing for fellowship with God and worship of Him. Psalm 42:1-2, and 4 said: (v.1-2) “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (v.4) “These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how would I go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and song of praise, a multitude keeping festival.” (ESV). The church father, Augustine of Hippo said a similar statement in his book “The Confessions”: “You move us to delight in praising You; for You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” (“CHURCH FATHERS: Confessions, Book I (St. Augustine)”, n.d., Chapter 1, part 1). Humanity longs for the ultimate intimacy and self-transcendent experience of having fellowship with the transcendent God who lies beyond creation, and yet He bares His loving presence with His people. However, when humanity fell into sin, they rejected the true God and exchanged it with false gods (Rom 1:23). This is because in rejecting the true God, they themselves longed for a god to worship, as this need is embedded in their identity as the image of God. This is the case with sex, one of the most pleasure-giving acts and one that enables men and women to enjoy intimacy and self-transcendence due to its ability to image the relational experience between God and His beloved people and even the relation between each Person of the Trinity, yet this once good experience becomes idolised in the hands of sinful men and women. As an idol, sex is given a place to determine one’s identity but also degraded to be something that needs to be satisfied no matter how (Piper et al., 2005, p. 70). Making sex into an idol made God and His assessment toward sex irrelevant (Piper et al., 2005, p. 70), and so does any value that does not conform with one’s subjective opinion on sex. This inevitably results in anarchy in sexual ethics; the only ethical code that matters is to follow what one desires. In other words, it made sex as a tool for one’s ego to conquer others for the satisfaction of their need. Since sex was not created for that purpose, it will ultimately lead to disappointment and devastation for every person involved (Piper et al., 2005, p. 70). This is essentially the root of all promiscuous sexual behavior listed in Romans 1:26-27.

Corrupted sex would act as a vehicle for other sins to further express themselves

For example when an angry teenage girl commits premarital sex to frustrate her overly strict parents or when a man seduces someone to fulfill his prideful desire for power and control over other sexual arousals. Other than being motivated by anger and pride, sexual sin can also result from seeking a false refuge, such as when a stressful worker watches pornography to vent out his stress. In other words, as Powlison puts it bluntly in his parody of Psalm 23:4 “After I’ve walked through that godforsaken valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, because the photograph of a surgically enhanced female wearing no clothes is with me.” (Piper et al., 2005, p. 94). Further, promiscuous sexual behaviour can also be an expression of one’s longing to be affirmed and loved. For example, a lonely man goes to a prostitute to obtain a false feeling of intimacy and love. This makes the problem of sexual sin a more complex issue, since its motive can be other or more than an illegitimate fulfilment of sexual passion. However, the underlying problem is still the same: suppression of true knowledge of God, producing false knowledge of God that causes them to idolise self-fulfilment and not honouring God by disobeying His precepts. Therefore, Powlison concludes that: “Sexual sin is one expression of a deeper war for the heart’s loyalty and primary love.” (Piper et al., 2005, p. 94).

Corrupted sex can cause much fear instead of joy

As discussed previously, when sex becomes an idol, a false refuge, it becomes means for an individual to satisfy himself disregarding the interest of other. It sees other merely as an object for one’s sexual fulfilment, and would even sexually abused other to achieve it. For the sexually-abused individual sex become a phobia, something that brought shame, fear, and torment. Still, in marriage, this trauma can persist and would disable them to enjoy sex with their partner (Piper et al., 2005, p. 71).

Therefore the corruption of sin made sex a slave master that torment individual by blinding them to live only for the fulfilment of sexual ecstasy or stab them with fearful memory and shame. It also destroys the significance of sex as merely used for selfish fulfilment on a whimsical moment. Also, more importantly, it distracts people from the true knowledge of God. However, out of love, God reached to humanity when humanity failed to reach Him by providing the solution for this corruption. Jesus Christ came and died to offer freedom from the bondage of sin and give access to a true relationship with God for anyone who trusts Him as his God and saviour. Through this faith, one would be united with Christ and receive this precious gift.

Redeemed sex and the sufficiency of Christ

2 Cor. 5:17 said that if one is united with Christ, he is a new creation. What does it mean by new creation? It is whom that obtain new life so that they are enabled not live for themselves but for Christ (2 Cor. 5:15), including in their sexual life. This means freedom from the corruption of sin that hinder one to live for God and to honour Him. But how does one live in a manner that honour God? One aspect of it is to recognise Him as who He is; as Lord who has the right to direct one’s live (Matt. 28:18, Eph. 1:19-23) and Refuge that satisfy one’s deepest need, even in the day of trouble (Ps. 46:1, Jer. 16:19, Matt. 11:28). In this light, Christian often regard Christ as sufficient for believer’s need. But what does it mean for Christ to be sufficient in the context of living out one’s sexuality for God?

Christian view sex in exclusively relational context, and that it points to true knowledge of God. Therefore from this point of view, one of the essences of sexual need is a relational need. It’s a longing to know another person intimately and be satisfied with his self-transcending beauty so that one may joyfully give oneself for the enjoyment of others. Christ fulfills this through His blood atonement because it enables the human race to have a loving relationship with God and an intimate knowledge of Him. It’s the consummation of human need of knowing something supremely transcendent and immanent since human as God’s image was created for having a relationship with God. To know God is to know the creator of all reality: time and space, knowledge and wisdom, and all valuable things within. To know God is to experience the height of interpersonal ecstasy; to be loved and known thoroughly by a loving and omniscient God even while we are undeserving, with a love that cannot be separated by time, pain, and even death (Rome 8:39). Although this often does not mean that it will satiate one’s need for sex, it does make one not enslaved by its sexual desire since one has found a relationship that satisfies one’s deepest relational longing. Consequently, this enables one to exercise self-control over one’s sexual desire and even not fulfilling one’s sexual need bearable if God calls one to lifetime purposeful celibacy.

However, for most people, Christ calls them to marriage to fulfil their sexual need as sex only can legitimately be expressed in marriage between one man and one woman (1 Cor. 7:1). Powlison notes that “The erotic is meant to be a bright expression of mutual loving-kindness. Sex thrives in a context of commitment, safety, trust, affection, giving, closeness, intimacy, generosity. The erotic flourishes as one normal, everyday expression of genuine love within marriage” (Piper et al., 2005, p.71).This does not contradict Christ’s sufficiency because for most people this is His means to fulfil their sexual need and it is from Him alone that true enjoyment of sex came from (note that the biblical concept that ownership/opportunity does not necessarily include the ability to enjoy it, see for example in Ecc. 2:24-26). For other whom He gave the gift to celibate, He gave it through the gift of containing sexual expression.

Having a loving relationship with God also means that one ought to not doing what is sexually immoral and also have the power to do so (2 Pet 1:3-4). This includes the power to suffer in keeping those purity (e.g. from not fulfilling sinful sexual desire, humiliation from wider society for considered being too restrictive on sex), because knowing Christ frees one for the impulse for minimising pain and maximising pleasure in this life (Piper et al., 2005, pp. 44-6) as God had promised to those who are in Christ will experience peace that surpass all understanding when they pray, think, and practice what is good (Phil. 4:7-8).

Furthermore, sex will no longer a selfish endeavour but an act of self-giving to express love and give enjoyment to one spouse. Indeed even sex can express one’s “…honesty, laughter, play, prayer, and ecstasy.” to his spouse (Piper et al., 2005, p.71). Even more, sex is renewed to be an act of stewardship in marriage to prevent one another from falling into sexual temptation (1 Cor 7: 3-5).

Closing: Facing guilt over sexual addiction

However, even for those who believed in Christ, the process of turning away from sexual sin is not always immediate. Christian can experience rapid change from living a blatant sexual life to suddenly no longer misuses people by not honoring their sexual purity. For other, they experience steady growth in treating other with genuine care rather than treating them as a sexual object. However other Christian (or the same Christian in a different time) may experience prolonged failure in keeping their sexual purity (Piper et al., 2005, pp. 81-2). This experience can lead to despair because they did not feel freedom from sexual sin promised for those who believe in Christ. However, the Bible depicts freedom from sin not as a condition without a struggle. For example, in 2 Pet. 1:10, Peter told the church that they must diligently work out Christian qualities he mentioned in verse 5-7 even though they have been freed from the corruption of sin (verse 4). Furthermore, even believer can experience despair in his struggle like what shown in Psalm 88. However one must remember that sin and guilt made one exalt his own opinion about how desperate himself is (Piper et al., 2005, p. 74), blinding one to God’s promise that those who believe in Him will reach perfection in glory and obtain eternal life (Rome. 8:28-30, John 6:40) and that no power experienced by believer will separate him from the love of Christ (Rome. 8:39) even the power of sexual addiction.

Therefore if one sincerely believe in Christ there is no longer condemnation (Rome. 8:1). For one to be able to truly believe in Christ means that God already works in Him (Matt. 16:17, 1 Cor. 12:3) and He will bring His work to completion (Phil. 1:6, Rome. 10:9-11). In the midst of a struggle with sexual sin may one remember this promise so that one will have confident praying for God for mercy and strength in time of need (Heb. 4:16). Only then will one have sufficient resource to continue the fight.

May this article be a helpful resource to encourage us for delighting in God’s gift of sexuality and in the fight against sexual sin. The love of Christ will transform those who believe in Him to see others as their family; their intention in their interactions will be to care and nourish them rather than seeing them as  sexual objects (Piper et al., 2005, p. 101). Let us now then be transformed by His love. (DH)


Piper, J., Taylor, J., Mahaney, C., Dever, M., Patterson, B., Powlison, D., Mohler, R. and McCulley, C. (2005). Sex and the supremacy of Christ. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.

CHURCH FATHERS: Confessions, Book I (St. Augustine). Retrieved from