Sex and Grace

Plenty of authors are discussing the spirituality of sex. Your local bookstore is bulging with books on the Kama Sutra, sensual massage, and Tantric sex — all an effort to achieve spiritual sex without acknowledging the God of the Bible. Our world seeks a sexual high that lasts, delivering a new and better level of fun. However, the world’s varied and creative approaches ultimately come up short because they don’t acknowledge the One who created sex; they all fall prey to the law of diminishing returns.

Similarly, people from all across the faith map are seeking to synthesize their spirituality with their sexuality. It’s time that disciples of Jesus did the same using the truth of the Scriptures. Ironically, we don’t hear much about the spirituality and the holiness of sex from the community of Christian believers. It is this community that should understand the spiritual aspect of sex better than anyone, since we’re the ones who have received the gift of grace. It is grace, God’s free and undeserved gift of love and forgiveness that, through the blood of Jesus, has allowed you and me to enter into His presence and have a personal relationship with Him. And it is that same grace that allows us, as wives and husbands, to enter into the realm of the holy — through the celebration of His gift of sacred sex — and have the most intimate relationship with our mates. Grace is the one thing that can over- come the sin and the hang-ups that have prevented sex from being holy and sacred for many, many couples.

The fall from grace in the Garden of Eden that allowed sin to enter the marriage relationship introduced shame, which marred sexual expression between husband and wife. But the death and resurrection of God’s Son allows us, through grace, to enter again into the original holiness that sex was created in. As Paul wrote to the Romans, “For just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man [ Jesus] the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). Sin has affected us all, and it has certainly confused us sexually — just as it did Adam and Eve. But by and through God’s grace, we can experience the true holiness of sex.

It’s time for Christians to bring the idea of sex and holiness together. M. Scott Peck, in his book Further Along the Road Less Traveled, writes that “sex is the closest that many people ever come to a spiritual experience. Indeed, it is because it is a spiritual experience of sorts that so many chase after it with a repetitive, desperate kind of abandon. Often, whether they know it or not, they are searching for God.”16 In other words, the world’s quest for meaningful sex is also a quest for meaning in life — for God.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach states that sex is “as religious a subject as a discussion on belief in God.”17 The sexual unity of a husband and a wife, he believes, demonstrates the unity of God with all of His creation. “It is for this reason,” he states, “that Judaism has always identified sex as the most holy of all human endeavors.”

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As believers who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we have been given the privilege of encountering sex as the most holy, most intimate, most loving way we can connect with our mates. It is the celebration of the unity, the “becoming one,” which is a stated biblical result of marriage. It is the proof and promise of the end of loneliness, the stated biblical reason for the creation of marriage. It is standing upon holy ground.

Yes, sex is holy.

Taken from Sacred Sex by Tim Gardner

Copyright © 2002 by Tim Gardner

Published by Waterbrook Press, Used by Permission.