Friday, April 11, 2008

passion

N.T. Wright in his latest book, Surprised by Hope, notes how the early Christians were noted as remarkable in their sexual morality. This was in sharp contrast to those whom they lived around in the various countries. And many of these Christians were Gentiles themselves, who had been raised in the cesspool of moral impurity. Of course it's not like those believers didn't have any problems. Paul has to get after the church in Corinth, Corinth itself known back then for its immorality wedded to pagan religion.

In recognizing that God in Jesus forgives the worst of what we do when we turn to him in repentance and faith, we can become softer on sin than what we see in Scripture. Paul commands his listeners to flee immorality and warns them against sexual sin.

This leads me to consider what goes wrong for any of us who get caught up in sexual sin. Of course it can be simply an objectifying of another, using them as an object to satisfy one's own sexual drives and twisted desires. When the act of sex between a man and woman is not accompanied with the covenant commitment of marriage, it is outside of God's will. Of course God will forgive when one repents and forsakes their sin. God forgives us in Christ. But there may be devastating consequences one has to live with the rest of their lives.

Passion needs to begin, for us in Jesus, with a desire towards God. That we would follow hard after him, in love, to the end. That from that love we will love others appropriately. That we will be true, in love to our spouses: in thought, heart, word and deed, whether present with them or absent. And for those of us who do not have a spouse, that we will draw all the closer to the Lord, as we commit ourselves to him and his good will and work. And we need together- in grace, fear, truth and love- to be there for each other in this.

Then passion- which is a gift from God, part of creation though twisted by the fall- can be a good part of our daily activity, fulfilled in many ways as we follow after the one whose passion for us demonstrably knows no bounds.

What might you add to this to help us see the truth as it is in Jesus better on this subject? Or any thoughts.

10 comments:

HALFMOM said...

I'd like to have some passion for work right now but I just don't. Certainly there should be passion for whatever God gives us to do each and every day since work is a gift.

NaNcY said...

to use someone in the name of passion is not the Love of God.

to hurt someone in what we do for passion is not the Love of God.

it all comes down to looking at the Love of God given to us.

when i catch myself in a thought that i know is not right, even though it is pulling at me...i can ask myself if what i am doing or thinking is done with the Love of God and look beyond myself to think of how it might affect those that i Love.

i hope that this is helpful to someone as it is to me.
God be with you, always.

Craver Vii said...

Passion. Oh, you mean cravings?? Oh, that my desires would all be Christ-driven!

NaNcY said...

i would also like to add a very essential thing...

to my thinking
is to ask God for help when i can bring myself to do it.

for the asking God for what He wants to give to me is a powerful gift that i have been given.

it is very much in the asking and seeking of my God of Love.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Halfmom,
There are those seasons when it's hard and so much seems against us. Hard to accept as a gift the hard times too, but in some way even those can be a gift in helping us find our strength in God, in the midst of all our weakness.

Will pray for you, sister!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
So good to see this in the light of the love of God. Reminds me of the passage that says whatever command there is, You shall not...- is fulfilled in the commandment, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Craver,
Yes. I think in Christ, and towards that goal we actually become more and more human. Human passions are good, when really true to God's intention and fulfilled in the new creation in Jesus, and that begins now.

So our fear is sin, but not passions per se, I'm thinking. As you say, when Christ directed.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes Nancy. Good thought about prayer. Faith at work through love. Through the love of God. Amen. We need to both at work as we pray. And as we ask God for help.

preacherman said...

Wonderful post brother!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Kinney.

Great question and thread over at your blog!