Holiness: Sexual Purity

I’ve been asked if the New Testament replaces the Old Testament laws and rules about human sexuality. It seems that some people feel that the New Testament allows more freedom of sexual expression than the Old. It is more helpful, I think, to understand that the Bible really doesn’t talk about human sexuality on its own, but instead places it under the larger teaching on purity. Let’s take a look.

First of all, even though Jesus’ death and resurrection replaces the old salvation of animal sacrifice, temple worship, and Jewish kosher laws, Jesus says that the moral teachings of the Old Testament still stand. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Both testaments are one witness, and God’s desire is the same in both. 

Paul takes up the Jews kosher laws directly in Galatians. The Old Covenant/Testament (meaning the system of sacrifices) was given as a way to identify sin, curb it, and serve as a temporary system of atonement for it (look closely at Galatians 3). It was a stop-gap measure until the coming of Christ. Christ comes to be the atoning sacrifice “once and for all,” so the temple and sacrifices are no longer needed. So, Christ fulfills all the cultic laws (laws having to do with the external practice of the Jewish faith, like sacrifices and anything that has to do with the Temple, as well as anything that makes a Jew look and act like a Jew on the outside of the body, such as clothing, food restrictions, and religious observances).

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The Top of the List

                                                                    Life is nothing more than a series of decisions.  We decide what to eat and where we go and what we take along the way.  It’s true, we can’t always determine what hand we are dealt or how the plans of others may conspire to thwart our own, but despite these intrusions, we still get to decide how we react to such events. 

We realize that here are not enough hours in the day to belabor every single decision.  We have ways for streamlining the process, of taking shortcuts.  One of our main strategies is a listing of things we value most.  We call them priorities.

All the decisions that come our way are automatically filtered through this list of priorities.  The way we vote, the way we eat, the way we dress, the state of our homes, the cars we drive and the way we raise our kids.  Our priorities are so powerful that they actually shape our lives and if we are really committed to them, they will eventually define the way we live.   

This next question is natural: What are your priorities?  What lies at the top of your list?  When it comes to your children, what are your priorities for them?  Many people would hope that their kids would be successful, achieve good grades, excel in sports or music.  Amid these hopes and dreams, sitting there at the top of the list, many parents would simply site “happiness” as their top priority.


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