Male and female He created them

The University of Pennsylvania currently finds itself as a national flashpoint for issues related to sexual ethics and the differences between men and women. More broadly, it is beyond dispute that the modern West has departed drastically from the natural order of creation—instead venturing into increasing levels of confusion with respect to sexuality. 

Why do Christians mourn this reality, strive to live according to God’s original design, and call others to do the same? It is not because Christians view themselves as better than others; indeed, we were “dead in the trespasses and sins” in which we once walked and “by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:1-3). Nor are we attempting to accrue good deeds that impress God or convince Him to forgive us. Rather—having been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and not by our own good works (Ephesians 2:8-9)—God has given us redeemed affections and desires (Titus 3:4-7).

The Christian’s striving—and often failing—to live according to God’s design for sexuality is not an effort to proclaim our own righteousness or to earn our own salvation, but an outflow of our love for God, and a result of the free grace that we have already received.

Through the wisdom laid up in the Word of God, our Creator has plainly revealed His design for men and women—as well as the redemption of that design in spite of our rebellion against Him. It is my hope that you will see the superior beauty and excellence of God’s will for your sexuality; join me in casting aside sexual sins, trusting in Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness, and leading a new life according to His righteous standards.


The narrative of the Bible begins with God creating the world. After forming light and darkness, sun and moon, sea and land, beasts and birds, God fashioned the crown jewel of His universe—human beings made to reflect His glory and charged with exercising dominion over creation. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27; emphasis added).

The second chapter of the Bible details the creation of mankind with a higher degree of intimacy. As a potter molds clay, God formed Adam “of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7). Adam, however, was incomplete without a partner who could complement his strengths. God therefore blessed Adam by creating Eve from one of his ribs (Genesis 2:20-22). As Adam proclaims, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23). Men and women are immutably men and women; with every fiber of their being, they are endowed with unique capabilities and purposes by their Creator.

Thus the first pages of the Scriptures feature a wedding—a covenantal union between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24), who only together can subdue and fill the earth. God tells them to “be fruitful and multiply” through procreation, conceiving and raising other humans made to worship the Lord (Genesis 1:22, Genesis 1:28). Indeed, marriage was instituted before the introduction of sin—disobedience against God in act, attitude, or nature—into the world, showing that marriage is not a curse, but a blessing. However, after mankind fell through Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God (Genesis 3:1-13), their descendants soon perverted God’s good design by venturing into every conceivable form of sexual depravity.

Lamech—who boasted about his own murderous heart—was the first man in the biblical narrative who took multiple wives (Genesis 4:19-24). Polygamy also caused great disorder to fall upon the homes of men such as Jacob, a patriarch of Israel (Genesis 30:1-24), and Solomon, the wisest king in Israel’s history (1 Kings 11:1-8). 

Men began to misuse their physical strength and take advantage of women. Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, is raped (Genesis 34:1-7), leading her brothers to take violent revenge (Genesis 34:25-31). Amnon, the son of David, likewise raped his half-sister (2 Samuel 13:1-14). The law of God institutes the death penalty for those who would commit rape (Deuteronomy 22:25-27), reflecting the heart of God on the matter.

Modern Americans would largely express uneasiness with polygamy and agree that rape is wicked. However, the Scriptures also condemn the sexual sins that are now sacred to our own culture.

The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, whose residents attempt to exercise their homosexual desires upon two angels (Genesis 19:4-11), are used as an example of God’s righteous judgment throughout the remainder of the Bible (Isaiah 1:9, Matthew 11:23-24). Named along with incest and bestiality in the law of God (Leviticus 20:10-16), homosexuality is listed as a pinnacle example of sinful revolt against the natural order (Romans 1:24-27). In stark contrast, our society offers its outspoken endorsement to homosexuality and often spurns those who refuse to do the same.

Moreover, child sacrifice—the inverse of the mandate to “be fruitful and multiply”—is condemned by the Scriptures in the strongest possible language. The people of ancient Israel mimicked nearby nations by offering their children to false gods in the hopes of securing prosperity, happiness, and higher crop yields. God vows to personally oppose anyone who engages in child sacrifice: “I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech” (Leviticus 20:1-5). Like those in the ancient Near East, twenty-first century Americans—under the protection of the law—seek to vindicate themselves in sacrificing their children on the altar of abortion.

Despite the radical depravity of every human being—both ancient and modern—God has a plan of redemption, through which He calls men and women to repent of their sexual sins and live according to His good design.

From the beginning, God promised Adam and Eve that He would send a Savior to redeem them and their offspring (Genesis 3:15). The descendant of Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and an entire litany of other sinful human beings, Jesus Christ—the eternal Son of God—entered His own creation through the womb of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:23). Though He never ceased being God, Jesus is truly human: experiencing every form of weakness and temptation faced by other humans, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). 

During His earthly ministry, Jesus explicitly lauded the institution of marriage according to its original design—one man and one woman bound together for covenantal faithfulness (Matthew 19:4-6). The Scriptures call Jesus the Bridegroom—the perfect Husband who lays down His life for His Bride, the Church (Matthew 9:14-17, John 13:1). Marriage is most glorious and best enjoyed when it reflects this reality. From the beginning, God created Adam and Eve coequal in value and yet with distinct roles in the marital relationship—the husband leading and giving of himself for his wife, and his wife submitting to him out of respect (1 Peter 3:1-7, Ephesians 5:22-31, 1 John 4:19). Thus marriage is a living metaphor that “refers to Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32).

Indeed, Jesus lived a sinless life and kept the law of God without even the slightest deviation; yet, He died the violent death deserved by His people, thereby satisfying God’s justice and allowing condemned humans to be pardoned (Romans 3:21-26). Through His sacrifice on the cross, He represented sinful men in His humanity; yet, He absorbed the infinite wrath of God in His deity (Philippians 2:5-11). 

All men and women are invited to respond by repenting from their sins—including their sexual sins—and placing their trust in Jesus (Mark 1:15). When God saves people, He gives them new hearts, causing them to hate the sins they once loved, and love the God they once hated (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

As the apostle Paul writes, “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” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Because of the redemptive work that God does in their hearts, believers lay aside their sinful lifestyles; indeed, the heart of God’s free offer of salvation is redemption, not condemnation. “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” (1 Corinthians 6:11; emphasis added).

The narrative of the Bible ends as it began—with a wedding. Those who lay aside their sins, trust in Jesus alone for forgiveness, and receive His free gift of salvation spend all of eternity with their Lord and Savior: a joy infinitely greater than even the highest delights of properly-ordered earthly marriage. “Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made Herself ready… Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:7-9).


The Scriptures proclaim that any deviation from God’s design for sexuality is not merely rebellion against a righteous and holy God, but exempting oneself from the ultimate purpose for existence—perfect love and communion with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Scriptures also make clear that holding our society’s depraved view of sexuality and enjoying this ultimate purpose are mutually exclusive (John 15:18-23).

Jesus affirms the same reality: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:36-38).

Without a doubt, battling sexual sins is a cross to bear. As our culture considers sexuality to be intricately entangled with identity, renunciation seems altogether impossible—perhaps even betrayal against one’s own soul. Yet God tells us of an opposite spiritual reality—that continuing in sexual immorality is a uniquely internal act against our own selves. “Flee from sexual immorality,” He says. “Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18).

Sin has the tendency to cling to us closely (Hebrews 12:1); however, for those who trust in Jesus Christ, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). God is abundantly kind and patient, gladly aiding those who wage war against their sin. Restoration comes only through faith in Jesus—and a desire to know His love at the expense of everything that seeks to separate you from Him.

My friends and classmates, I pray that you will join me in turning aside from sexual sin—even if it provokes the wrath of our culture. By doing so, you will be pardoned from the far more terrifying wrath of God—and moreover, you will gain the Bridegroom Himself.

1 Comment

  1. Flex says:

    Praise God for His Holy, precious, living word! This article was very thorough and convicting! Thank you, Ben, for not being afraid or ashamed to step out and proclaim the gospel of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior! May hearts and minds be changed and may the Lord be honored and glorified!

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