We Are to Practice Love & Unity: Day 4

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     Day 4: Statement on Gender, Marriage & Sexuality

LOVE ONE ANOTHER:

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of South Ridge Church.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)

Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)

MARRIAGE & SEXUALITY:

We believe God created the marriage relationship to be between one man and one woman, with the purpose of marriage to be a reflection of Christ’s relationship with His people. Similarly, we affirm sexual fulfillment only within the context of marriage. Therefore, in accordance with the Bible, we consider any sexual expression outside of or apart from the marriage covenant (including adultery, viewing pornography, practicing homosexuality, and other forms of fornication) to be against God’s design. 

“As the Scriptures say, ‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.” (Ephesians 5:31-32) 

“This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” (Genesis 2:24) 

“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. 

Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5) 

“You must not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14) 

GENDER:

Though He is gracious, God is also holy and we believe that God wonderfully and immutably created each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

RESPONDING TO GOD:

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (Acts 3:19-21)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. 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 6:9-11)

READING:

1 CORINTHIANS 13:11-13

What questions, if any, came to your mind as you read through the statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality? 

How do you respond to questions from others about these topics in love and grace? 

Read 1 Cor. 13:11-13 in two or three different translations? Which verse sticks out to you the most? Why do you think that is?

Read: Proverbs 31

Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method

PRAYER: On your own, take the opportunity to pray for the a friend or colleague. The following outline may be helpful.

Four Prayers for Your Friend:

  1. Thank God for the miracle of friendship.
  2. Thank God for any way in which your friend has changed your life.
  3. Commit your friend’s future to the Lord.
  4. Ask God for help in figuring out what your part in that future may be.

 

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