Beauty and Brokenness: Sexuality (Part 1) - Radical

Beauty and Brokenness: Sexuality (Part 1)

Our culture assumes that people will only be happy when they are free to pursue sexual satisfaction in any way that they choose. This idea has infected the church as well, with the result that many professing Christians are left confused and broken as a result of sexual sin—whether their own or someone else’s. In this message from David Platt on 1 Corinthians 6:9–20, we’ll see that true satisfaction comes when we trust God’s design for our sexuality. And the good news for those who need forgiveness and healing for sexual sin is that the One who created us and knows what’s best for us has sent his own Son to make us new. 

Beauty & Brokenness: Sexuality – Part 1

Church & Culture: A Study in Frist Corinthians series

If you have a Bible—and I hope you or somebody around you does—let me invite you to open with me to 1 Corinthians 6. While you’re turning there, I want to set things up today for our time in the Word in a couple different ways. One, we are beginning a new series today that we’re calling “Beauty and Brokenness: Sexuality, Singleness and Marriage” from 1 Corinthians 6 and 7.

It was almost a year ago when we moved all our gatherings online and we were in the middle of walking through the book of 1 Corinthians in the Bible. In light of events going on last March around the world, we made necessary adjustments. Since then we’ve wanted to get back to where we left off and that’s where we’re starting today.

As a reminder, for those of you who are not aware, we’re reading through the Bible together as a church family. I would certainly invite anyone to be a part of that. You can jump in right now. Download our Bible Reading Plan at mcleanbible.org. In case you missed it, there’s also a devotional called “For the Love of God” that accompanies this Bible Reading Plan. I highly recommend this devotional to you. You can buy a physical copy of it or you can download a free electronic copy. So you use that resource, as well as the Pray the Word podcast that walks through the Bible Reading Plan each day.

For the next six or eight weeks, we’re going to be walking through this series on sexuality, singleness and marriage. As soon as I say those words, I’m guessing some of you may be cringing or bracing yourselves for a number of reasons. Here are a couple of potential reasons.

One, you might be cringing because you’re a parent of a younger child and you’re not sure what they’re about to hear. I want to say to you that I also am a parent of younger children. We are placing a high priority on our families being together in worship, so as we resume normal worship gatherings in the coming days and programming for children and students, we will still encourage families to worship together. It is good for children to see their parents in worship and sitting under the Word.

While parents serve or grow through other avenues in the church, we actually believe it’s really important for children and students to be in worship with their parents whenever possible. What that means for this series is that we’re going to work to keep these sermons from G to PG. I don’t know how to use a movie system to rate what we’re walking through in God’s Word, but we will be using words we see in 1 Corinthians 6 like “sexuality” or “homosexuality” or “sexual immorality.”

We’re going to walk through God’s Word in a way that’s appropriate for everybody—leaving room for parents and others to go more in-depth as God leads you in other settings. We also know there are some non-PG issues that we need to know what the Bible says about them. We’ve actually created a resource page to go with this series that you can get from mcleanbible.org/sexuality which has a list of resources that we would recommend to you on different issues. Throughout this series we’re going to post resources from our pastors and other leaders in our church to help you think about issues that we won’t talk about on Sundays.

So for older students and adults, I want to commend these resource pages to you and encourage you to process through them, not just on your own, but as appropriate in your families, in your marriages, with students, with parents, in your small groups. In the meantime, parents, we’re going to do our best to keep things more mild in our worship gatherings, understanding if at any point you feel uncomfortable here in this room and need to step out with a child. For those listening online, if you feel like, “Maybe we’ll pause the sermon right now and come back to it later,” our children’s ministry has sent out links to videos and activities for kids. So just make sure to avail yourself of those.

That’s one reason you might cringe. Then another reason you might be cringing or bracing yourself when we mention sexuality, singleness and marriage in the church is because you’re afraid of how these topics might be addressed, because you’ve been hurt or seen others hurt, because of how these topics have been addressed—or not addressed—in the church. There are so many examples of this. Let me just share one.

Mike sent me a letter that somebody in the church had written prior to a message here on homosexuality. This is from a member of the church who struggles with same-sex attraction. It says:

This is not a letter I wanted to write, but I felt compelled, given the upcoming message on homosexuality. There’s this strange sense of foreboding, not because of fear of what you will say, but for fear of being further ostracized from the church. I believe the Bible is God’s holy Word and I know what it teaches about homosexuality. I’ve prayed for over 20 years this thorn would be taken from me, but here I sit, still struggling and not knowing where to turn. Not getting into a lifestyle that would displease God is in some ways the easy part.

What I don’t know, and have never heard taught, is this: how am I to relate to the church and how should the church relate to me? Will there ever be a place for people like me in a Christian community? I’ve lost so many friends, generally Christians, who have pulled away after the growing realization that I’m probably something they’re not. I’m trying to live a life of obedience, but in so doing it’s even more devastating to have people who bear the name of Christ retreat from me in friendship.

I guess here’s my ask. As a Christian community, please don’t make me choose between a life of isolation and a life that dishonors God. Figure out a way to let me in, to hold me accountable, to let me belong, to serve God, to serve the church. And if you know someone like me, don’t freeze him or her out. You’re our lifeline. We could sure use one. Signed, “Outside Looking In.”

I’ve read that letter over and over again and have so many thoughts and emotions when I read it. I’ll summarize all my thoughts by saying to Outside Looking In, or to anyone who feels or has ever felt like Outside Looking In, “You are not alone. You are not on the outside. I don’t presume to know all the things you struggle with in your shoes. You don’t know all the things I struggle with in my shoes. But I do know that we’re in this struggle together. None of us have this one figured out. Sexuality, singleness, and marriage—none of us has all this figured out, so all of us need each other.”

So here’s the plan at the start of this series. Today and next Sunday, we’re going to walk through biblical foundations for sexuality in 1 Corinthians 6. Then before we move on to singleness and marriage in 1 Corinthians 7, Mike is going to lead us to consider how we love and care for each other well in the church when it comes to these issues, as well as how we love and care for people in our culture well when it comes to these issues, particularly people who don’t believe God’s Word.

I want to be crystal clear. Our aim in this series, and as Christians in our lives, is not to rail on the culture around us and all “those people” who believe or do “those things,” like they are our enemies. Absolutely not. Our aim is to equip one another to love each other well in the church, to love others well in our culture, that we might be salt and light in our city, our country—with truth from Jesus, as well as the humility and compassion of Jesus, knowing that we all have broken bodies in this fallen world. Our enemy is not one another. Our enemy is an adversary who is working to pull us and every single person around us away from God’s good design for our bodies.

We’re titling this series in 1 Corinthians 6 and 7 “Beauty and Brokenness,” because we live in a broken world. As we’re going to see today, we all have broken bodies and Jesus alone is able to bring about beauty amidst our brokenness. So let’s dive into God’s Word, which we’re going to see is so good.

We’re tempted to think we’re living in unique days with unique challenges regarding sexuality, but we only think that way because we don’t realize what was happening in Corinth 2,000 years ago. In the first century, when the book of 1 Corinthians was written, the city was known for rampant sexual immorality, confusion and deception. They had a temple to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, where every night a thousand prostitutes would come down into the city to work their trade. Corinth was a culture where anything goes. Indulge your body however you desire.

So God speaks into that situation in a way that is so relevant to our situation. God gives us one of the most comprehensive passages in the Bible about our bodies and sexuality. So let’s listen to what God says in 1 Corinthians 6, beginning in verse nine:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

Let’s pause here. These are the first two times in this passage that we see a reference to the body. Let’s start counting, or maybe circling this word in your Bible, or make a note every time you see the body mentioned. We’ve just read two here: “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

Let’s keep reading:

And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

If you’re counting, body is mentioned eight times in this passage. This is really significant, because there are a lot of different messages that we get from a lot of different sources in this world about our bodies and how we’re to view them or use them. Amidst all these messages and ideas in the world, we desperately need to hear what God says about our bodies in His Word. If you’re taking notes, I encourage you to write down these three core, essential, foundational truths about our bodies according to God. This is what God is telling us about our bodies.

1. Your body was created by God for His glory and for your earthly and eternal good.

Every word here matters, so let this soak in. “Your body…” Just think about your body, right where you are sitting right now. “Was created by God…for His glory…and for your earthly and eternal good.” Let’s think about all we’re saying here in this truth.

First, your body was created by God. Now let’s go back to 1 Corinthians 6:13, because in many ways it’s the foundational verse in this passage. In verse 13 we see a phrase that was apparently common in that day, “Food is meant for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” In other words, food was made for the stomach and the stomach was made for food.” When people used this phrase in Corinth, the implication was that the body was made for sexual activity and sexual activity was made for the body. But God is saying, “No. The body is made for the Lord and the Lord is for the body.” What a statement!

I want us to just think about both sides of what God is saying here. First, for 1 Corinthians 6:13 to say the body is for the Lord is a very different starting point than every other message we hear in this world and the way we are all prone to think. This is very, very different. We are so driven today by whatever can bring our bodies the most pleasure. What can we see, touch, do, eat, listen to, engage in? We are drowning in a culture that shouts at every turn, “Please your body however you want.” The Bible is saying at every turn, “Please God in all that you do.”

Please yourself however you want or please God in all that you do? Please yourself or please God? This is the fundamental question. This question is at the root of every other question we will ask in this series, every single issue we’ll consider in this series. The fundamental starting place is asking, “What’s our ultimate aim?” Think about it. Are we going to live for self-gratification in our bodies or are we going to live for God-glorification in our bodies? That’s the fundamental question. What’s going to drive us? Self-gratification or God-glorification?

God is saying right here, “Your body is not ultimately for you. Your body is ultimately for Me.” Now, don’t miss the next part of this phrase; it’s so awesome. God says, “Your body is for Me and I am for your body.” God says, “I, the Lord, am for your body.” So the Bible is not saying here, “Your body is for God, so just do what He says. Make your body miserable. It doesn’t matter because it’s not about you—it’s all about Him.”

No, the Bible is saying, “Yes, your body is for God—and here’s the good news. God is for your body.” We’re talking about the God Who created your body in the first place. So now we go all the way back to the beginning of the Bible, where we realize God is the One Who came up with the concept of our bodies in the beginning. And He designed our bodies in a way that would bring us pleasure. Think about it. He created us with eyes, so that we might see beauty. God created us with ears, that we might hear music. He made us with tastes, that we might enjoy flavors. God created us with skin, so we might experience touch. He made us with faculties that enable us to communicate with one another, so we might have relationship with each other, unlike anything else in creation. He didn’t have to, but He did.

We could go on and on and on, but know this: God fearfully and wonderfully designed and formed your body so that you might experience pleasure with your body (Psalm 139:14). Your body has been created, formed and fashioned by God Himself—in His image, Genesis 1:27 says—for His glory and for your good on this earth. This is so important to realize. God is not against your body. God is not even indifferent toward your body, which is really important.

A lot of these Christians in Corinth—just like many of us today—were tempted to think today, “Well, God cares about my spiritual life, but He doesn’t really care about my physical life.” So they compartmentalized, just like we compartmentalize and separate our spiritual life over here from our physical life over there. The Bible is saying, “No. That’s impossible. God is the One Who designed your physical life—your body—for your good on this earth right now.” I want to urge you to believe this from the start.

The reason I say these truths are so foundational is because if you don’t believe that God is for your body, then you will inevitably buy into all kinds of lies from the adversary about your body. You will question if God knew what He was doing when He made you this way or that way, with this disability, with that desire. You’ll question if God knew what He was doing when He made you as a male or a female. You’ll question why God would say, “Don’t do this with your body.” In the process, you will justify going against what God has said. Why? Because at the root, we are all prone to forget that God is for us, not against us. Think about it. The all-wise, all-loving Creator of the universe formed your body and my body, and God knows better than any one of us or anyone else in this world what is best for our bodies.

Yet we live in a world where the mantra is, “Nobody can tell me what to do with my body.” It is the essence of sin, pride and arrogance before God to say, “I know better than You how this body that You created is to be used.” Don’t say that to the God Who is for your body, Who is for you. I want to say that over and over and over again. Hear this. Believe this. Receive this. God is for you! This is where it all starts.

If you question this, you will live in all kinds of confusion and deception. Don’t doubt it. Believe this. Receive this. The God Who formed you is for you. God knows the way, not just to satisfy your soul, but to satisfy your body. Do you want to know how much He’s for your body? Look at verse 14. God has made an eternal investment in your body.

Verse 14 says God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead “and will also raise us up by his power.” This is talking about God raising Jesus’ body from the dead and God raising up our bodies from the dead. That’s what I mean when I say in this first truth that your body was created by God for His glory and for your earthly and eternal good. It’s not just for His glory, not just for your earthly good, but for your eternal good. This is revolutionary! God doesn’t just love you enough to save your soul from sin; God loves you so much that He wants to redeem your body for eternity, He wants to raise up and restore your body forever.

This is what 1 Corinthians 15 is all about. Turn there in your Bible. We’re going to get to this more in-depth in a few weeks, but for now consider that the whole argument of the Corinthian Christians was, “Well, we’ll just live to fulfill our bodily pleasures in this life, which is temporary. Then our souls will go on to eternal life and we’ll have the best of both worlds.” Does that sound familiar? How common is that, even in the church today? We’ve created a whole version of Christianity where we see our souls as sealed in heaven, but we go on living for the temporary pleasures of our bodies however we want on this earth. We’re okay with it, as long as we’ll still get to heaven. But that’s not Christianity. That goes totally against the Bible.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is saying, “Listen, I’m laying my body down. I die every day. I’m missing out on a lot in this world. But I believe and trust that God is for me and know that one day He’s going to raise up this body just like He did with Jesus.” Listen to 1 Corinthians 15:51–57:

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Did you follow that? God in His power raised the body of Jesus from a tomb, and one day He’s going to raise the bodies of all who trust in Jesus from the grave through that same power. When we get to 1 Corinthians 15, we will talk more about the resurrected body, what that looks like and how that will play out. The point now, though, is that God has not only created your body for your earthly good, He has created your body for your eternal good.

So let’s put all this together. If your body has this identity—that you’ve been molded personally by the hands of the Creator God Who loves you so much—and if your body has this destiny—to thrive forever in a perfectly redeemed state—then why would we trust ourselves or anyone else in this world with our bodies more than God? God is worthy of trust with our bodies. The problem, though, is we have not believed this. We have all said, “God, we know better than You how to use my body” which leads to this second truth.

2. In this broken world, we all have broken bodies.

Before I show you this in 1 Corinthians 6, I want to remind you of this truth from the beginning of the Bible also. The first sin in the world started with man and woman using their bodies outside of God’s good design for them (Genesis 3). God had said, “Do not…what?…from a particular tree.” Do not eat. Do not satisfy the physical craving of your body in this way. Play close attention here. God had created them with a physical desire for food, which as we’ve talked about is good. It’s part of God’s good design for our bodies. However, that physical desire could lead them to fulfill that desire outside of God’s design, which was not good.

So God told them, “Here’s a good way to fulfill your physical desires: eat from and enjoy fruit from all these trees. But here is a harmful way over here to fulfill your physical desires, so don’t eat from that tree.” Don’t miss this, from the very beginning of the Bible, before sin had even entered the world, God had given man and woman physical desires that were intended to be fulfilled in certain ways. Let me say that one more time so you don’t miss it. Before sin even entered the world, God had given people physical desires that were intended to be fulfilled in certain ways and not fulfilled in other ways.

What happens in Genesis 3 is man and woman decide to fulfill those desires in ways that are contrary to God’s good design. The result was brokenness—brokenness between man and woman and their relationship with God, brokenness between man and woman in their relationship with each other, brokenness between man and woman and the world around them in ways that would not just affect them, but every single person who would come after them, including you and me.

We all live in a world that has been broken by sin which affects each of us in all kinds of ways, yet not all in the same way. Let me just list some of the ways our bodies are broken in this world. Fundamentally, we live in a world of weakness and even disability in our bodies. There are many people whose bodies don’t function the way they should in different ways. And every person’s body will one day wear out.

Now let’s take this picture of brokenness generally a step deeper in light of sexuality in 1 Corinthians 6. Some of us have physical desires for the opposite sex that lead us to think thoughts about others, have desires for others, or do things with others that are not pleasing to God according to His Word. Some of us have physical desires for the same sex that lead us to think, desire or do things that are not pleasing to God according to His Word. Some of us have questions about the way God made us sexually, to the point where we sometimes feel like we don’t fit or belong in our own physical body. Some of our bodies have significant struggles, even when it comes to sexual disability, infertility, abnormalities or cancers.

Amidst all of this, each of us are prone to fulfill physical desires we have in ways that are contrary to God’s Word. All of us at some point and most of us at many, many points—whether in our past or in our present—have sought to fulfill those physical desires in ways that are contrary to God’s Word. In addition to all of that, some of us have physically been hurt, abused and/or broken by people who have done things to our bodies that are contrary to God’s Word.

I could go on and on here, but the point is that each of us are different, our experiences and even some of our desires are different; there are even different degrees to which we have experienced brokenness in this world. But in the end, in this broken world, we all have broken bodies in ways that significantly affect all of us.

Here are four realities to keep in mind:

Bodily sin harms inevitably. In 1 Corinthians 6, the Bible is showing us how bodily sins specifically harm us—sin we carry out with our bodies or sin that someone else carries out against our bodies. In 1 Corinthians 6:12, some of the Corinthians saw no harm in practicing prostitution. “All things are lawful,” they said. But God is asking, “Is it helpful to your body and helpful to others’ bodies?” saying, “Just because something is allowed or you’re able to do something with your body, doesn’t mean it’s helpful for your body. Bodily sin is not helpful to you or others; it is harmful to you and others.”

Bodily sin controls quickly. God says. “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.” They’re thinking in Corinth, “All things are lawful.” But God says, “No. Just because you can, be warned. You will be controlled.” Bodily sin so quickly controls.

We read an example of this not long ago in our Bible Reading Plan. Remember Esau in Genesis 25? In an instant he threw away his entire birthright, over what? Over a bowl of soup! Bodily impulses can cause you to do foolish things in an instant that can lead to consequences that last for a lifetime.

Bodily sin controls so quickly, which leads to this next reality. Bodily sin devastates painfully. This is what verses 16 and 17 are all about. The Bible is specifically saying that sexual immorality unites you and another person, affecting all of who you are in a way that’s different from other sin. Verse 18 says, “Every other sin a person commits is outside the body…”—notice the comparison here—“…but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

The Bible is saying here, “Don’t underestimate the effect of bodily sin, particularly sexual sin. It destroys lives, breaks marriages, shatters homes and kids, causes heartache, hurt and pain, leads to all sorts of other sins—lying, stealing, cheating, bitterness, hatred, slander, gossip, unforgiveness, even murder. Think of David in the Old Testament, who in a moment of physical desire sinned against Bathsheba in a way that eventually led to the murder of Uriah, the death of a baby and a sword that would never depart from David’s house. David’s life and the lives of so many others were devastated as the result of one moment.

Bodily sin devastates painfully, and ultimately bodily sin condemns eternally. Look back at 1 Corinthians 6:9–10. What is God saying here? Listen closely.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Obviously, bodily sin is addressed here in many different ways, but don’t miss the language pertaining to all of these ways. Those who sin, who go outside of God’s good design for our bodies, “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” It says this twice. They will not inherit the Kingdom of God. How we use our bodies on earth affects our lives for eternity.

So put all this together and this is not a good picture of our bodies. It started out good. It’s a picture of clay in a potter’s hands—you and I were created, formed and fashioned by God Himself, in His image, fearfully, wonderfully and beautifully made, all of us, without exception. Yet all of us have chosen to sin against God with our bodies. Many of us have been sinned against in our bodies by others. Whether it’s sin we’ve committed or sin that’s been committed against us, we have seen all these effects we just read about.

We have seen how bodily sin harms inevitably, in many cases controls so quickly, devastates painfully, and ultimately condemns eternally that which was beautifully designed by God. That’s the problem with all our bodies. The picture is clear and it’s really the problem with clay.

As beautiful as clay is, it breaks. This is the picture of every one of our lives in this broken world. All of us, without exception, have broken bodies, the evidences of which are scattered all over our lives.

Think about it. It’s pain and hurt that seems like it won’t ever go away in some of our lives. It’s guilt from the past that we can’t ever seem to shake. Maybe it’s struggles in the present that we can’t ever seem to escape. It’s questions like, “Why do I go back to this temptation over and over and over and over again?” Or maybe it’s confusion about why God would even allow us to have this desire. Why God won’t take this desire away, this desire that nobody else understands? Or maybe it’s the constant battle with unfulfilled desire.

In so many different ways, it’s broken hearts, broken relationships, broken marriages, then ultimately it’s broken bodies. This is our reality in this broken world. So is there any hope for people with broken bodies in a broken world? The good news I have for you today is yes, there is.

3. Jesus gave His body to make your body new.

I want you to hear this straight from God in 1 Corinthians 6:11: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Hear these words from God: “Such were some of you.” You were this…but. So something happened. Something has changed. “But you were washed…” Jesus takes that which is dirty and makes it clean. “You were sanctified….” Do you want to know what that word means? It means made whole, made holy, made perfect. “You were justified…” That word means declared not guilty. How is it possible for the dirty to be made clean, the guilty to be made innocent, the broken to be made whole? It is only possible in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

You say, “What’s so special about Jesus? What makes Him the only One Who can make my body new? Can’t I just figure this out on my own or go this route or that route?” No. Look down in verse 19. Here’s what makes Jesus uniquely able to make your body new: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” Here’s why Jesus is your only hope for a broken body made new. This is the heart and core of the Bible.

The heart and core of the Bible is that God Himself has come to this broken world in the body of Jesus, God in the flesh, God in a body. Jesus—God in a body—lived perfectly among us, never once sinning in His body. As a result, He never ever deserved to experience the penalty of sin: bodily, physical death. Yet He chose to die on a cross—why? To pay the price for the sins of everybody who trusts in Him. He paid the price for sin on a cross. Then He physically rose from the dead in victory over sin, His body walking around alive, so that anybody who trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all your sin and filled with His Holy Spirit—the Spirit of God living in you. You may now live in the power of His Spirit.

For all who are thinking, “What do I do with these desires of my body that still remain? Is this just a life of unfulfilled longing?” Keep coming back next week and the next week. We’re going to see how Jesus came to give you life to the fullest by the power of His Spirit in you, knowing that one day, when your body wears out and dies, you will ultimately live with a fully redeemed, fully restored, completely new body that is free from all sin, free from all suffering, free from all unholy desire, free to experience the full pleasure God has designed for your body—for the next ten trillion years and beyond. I urge you today, if you’ve never put your trust in Jesus, today you can be washed, sanctified and justified before God by Him through faith in Jesus.

For all who have put your trust in Jesus, I want to remind you today—in this broken world with our broken bodies—Jesus has bought your body on a cross. He has filled your body with His Holy Spirit. Jesus is right now in your body and is committed to making you new. He is committed to bringing healing amidst your hurt. He’s committed to bringing victory in your struggles. In this broken world, Jesus loves you and is committed to giving you everything you need to experience earthly and eternal good as you glorify God in your body, if only you will keep trusting in Him, looking to Him, leaning on Him, believing that He is making and will make your body new.

I know there is an adversary, an accuser, who is saying to some of you right now, “Don’t believe this. Healing? Victory? Made new? You’re broken way beyond that. Just look at those broken pieces.” So you take these broken pieces and say, “I’m going to try to put them back together.” But the reality is, if you start piecing them together, there are still breaks and gaps. The adversary right now is saying, “You’re too broken. You have messed up too much. You have been hurt too deeply. You are broken beyond repair.” I know the adversary is saying that in some of you and has been saying that for years. To anybody who’s tempted to think that, I’m here to tell you today on the authority of Jesus Christ Himself—as if He is speaking directly to you in this moment— “You are not beyond repair!”

Let me give you another picture. There’s a Japanese art form called Kintsugi. The word means “golden joinery.” It’s a form of art that takes broken pottery and puts the broken pieces back together, then instead of hiding the breaks between the pieces, they actually fill those breaks and gaps with gold. The whole idea is that an artist intentionally takes something that was broken and instead of seeing those breaks as something to hide and disguise and pretend like they’re not there, the artist fills those breaks with gold. In the process he turns it into an entirely new piece of pottery that’s beautiful in a completely different and stunning way. Where there were once breaks, there’s now beauty.

In this picture, I want you to see and believe that the Master Artist, the God Who formed you in the first place, is able to do this with brokenness in your life. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying it doesn’t take time. I am saying what the Bible is saying which is that the whole reason Jesus came is to give His body to make your body new in a way that takes your brokenness and makes you beautiful. Not with gold, but something much more precious than gold—with the blood of Jesus Christ. He has the power to make your body glorious. I invite you to receive that today. No matter what your past is, or your present, receive this today, because this is what God desires for your future.

Please bow your heads with me. I invite you to bow your heads, close your eyes and focus between you and God right now. This kind of beauty we just talked about in our bodies is only possible for men, women and students who trust in Jesus salvation from your sins and to reconcile you to a right relationship with God.

So if you have never put your faith in Jesus, then right now I want to invite you to say to God, “Today I trust You with my life, including my body. I confess that I have sinned against You and I’ve experienced the effects of sin in this world. But today I believe that Jesus died on a cross to save me from sin, He rose from the dead in victory over sin, so today I trust Him as the Savior and Lord of my life. God, make me new. Wash me, sanctify me and justify me in the name of Jesus.” If you pray that to God, He will do it. By faith, He will do it, right now in this moment. He does it for all who trust in Him.

Then for all who have trusted in Him, I invite you to pray in your heart, saying in a fresh way today, “God, I trust You with my body. I trust Your Word more than I trust this world. I trust Your Word more than I trust myself. Where I’ve sinned in my body, I ask You to forgive me and I receive Your forgiveness. I receive this reality of being washed clean. Where I’ve been sinned against in my body, I ask You to heal me. Please heal me, O God. I ask You to help me glorify You with my body on this earth. Help me glorify You in my body as I wait for You to make my body completely new in eternity.”

O God, we look forward to that day. We are so thankful for Your promise that these struggles on this earth will one day give way to ultimate victory. So we pray that You would help us be made new more and more and more every day. Use our time in Your Word over these coming weeks to make us new and to lead many others to experience Your love for them in their bodies. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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