In a new book, Burk says sex exists to glorify God
In his new book, What is the Meaning of Sex? Denny Burk says that the ultimate purpose of marriage and sexuality, which finds its fulfillment in the picture of Christ’s love for the church, is the glory of God.
Burk, associate professor of biblical studies and ethics at Southern Seminary’s Boyce College, wrote the book to “help communicate to people what the Bible says about the gift of sexuality, why God created this and what we’re supposed to do with it,” he said in a recent interview with Towers, the seminary’s campus newsmagazine.
“I think the most important thing that I’m saying in this book that maybe is not stated as well elsewhere is that sex exists for the glory of God,” Burk said.
“The Bible teaches that the deepest meaning of marriage, and indeed of the gift of sexuality, is to indicate Christ’s love for his church, the way Christ relates to his people,” Burk said. “If you’ve missed that, then you’ve really missed the ultimate meaning of sex and you’ve missed what God’s purposes are for you in Christ.”
In a culture where sexual promiscuity is rampant, Burk says Christians need to prepare to face ridicule for a firm conviction about what the Bible says about sexuality and the world.
“If we’re faithful to Jesus, we’re going to be more conspicuously different than everyone else,” Burk said. “And it means that there’s going to be sometimes a cost for us to pay to be faithful to Jesus in the culture that we live in. Jesus said to us that it would be this way. But it is a change for us and it’s something that Christians are going to have to learn to face with courage and conviction.”
Because Christians live in a sexualized culture, this issue is important for pastors to understand. Pastors know their members’ struggles, and they know that the culture pushes Christians to believe and act contrary to Scripture. So, Burk said, preachers “have a responsibility to preach the Bible to people, to preach in such a way that people would be sanctified and formed into the image of Christ.”
Burk answers what the meaning of sex is by asserting that Christians must understand the gift of sexuality in light of God’s purpose for it and everything else in life. If Christians fail to understand that, they fail to understand why God created humans, he said.
He hopes after people read his book that they understand their own need for Jesus. Christians are not saved through sexual holiness, Burk said. Jesus saves sinners and he sanctifies them into his likeness for God’s glory.
“I want readers to have an abiding hope in Jesus Christ for salvation from sin, but I also want them to see that the same Jesus who saved us is the one who sanctifies us, and he intends for all of our lives to be brought under his sovereign control, and that includes our sexual lives, and he wants our lives ordered for and toward the glory of God.”
Burk’s full interview with Towers is available online at www.sbts.edu/resourses. What is the Meaning of Sex? is available in all major Christian book retailers and on Amazon.com.