Our worship of Christ is essential in the ordering of life. Putting God first in all aspects and responding to His call must be the central focus of each Christian. When God is not glorified, a disordering occurs for the individual that ripples into society. In this chaotic and fallen state, creation worships itself or a distorted view of the Creator—the truth about God is traded for a lie. Thus, human desire gets fractured, “resulting in behaviors that elevate self-sovereignty, damage and objectify the other, and darken the path of human desire.”
Nothing but the light of salvation can redeem the world from the chaos and distortion that separate man from God.
In our pride, we selfishly claim our identity; in our fear, we reject it. It is only by faith that we come to know God and who He created us to be. The idolatry of worshiping oneself and the distorting of identity through sexual promiscuity harm both those who are engaged in this sin and those who encounter its destructive path. The Church must proclaim the truth and mercy of God against the lie of false identity and for those caught in sexual sin. The people of God must show the world that sin is not God’s plan for us. True identity and freedom are found only in Christ.
“The Church of the Nazarene affirms that the human body matters to God” and that “our senses, sexual appetites, ability to experience pleasure, and desire for connection must be shaped out of the very character of God.” God created us out of an expression of His love, and through this love relationship, we come to know Him. God is relational, represented in the Trinity, and we were created in His image with a longing for connection.
This connection is found “as we live in covenanted relationship with God, the creation, and loving one’s neighbor as one’s self.” We affirm that God blesses singleness and marriage alike, and that both require active faithfulness to God. Marriage reflects the unity of Christ and the Church. It is in this covenantal relationship that God intends for man and woman to “experience the joy and pleasure of sexual intimacy.”
The November/December 2019 issue of Holiness Today follows the Church of the Nazarene’s Manual statement on human sexuality and provides a deeper reflection of Christ and His relationship to our identity. Each article and author encompasses God’s redemption of human sexuality and our call to make Christ the center of our lives.
The restoration of creation, society, and individuals can happen only through the re-centering of God as our focus of worship. We glorify God as Creator, Savior, and sustainer of creation. Our faith in the salvation of Christ and the decision to turn away from sin initiate renewal and restoration. Through loving and nourishing relationships with our neighbors, we can share this truth and bring the lost to the light of salvation.
All quotations come from the Church of the Nazarene 2017-2021 Manual, ¶31. The Church of the Nazarene affirms the authority of Scripture as the rule of faith and practice (Deut. 4:2, 12:32).
Nathanael Gilmore is Content Editor of Holiness Today
Holiness Today, Nov/Dec 2019