I don't mean to treat anyone along this continuum as better or worse than another.
And for some people procreation of children is the only justification for seeking gratification of sexual desires.
But we will see in more detail next week, when we talk about sexual relations in marriage, that the apostle Paul has quite a different view.
The false teachers said, "Cut bodily pleasure to the minimum that will allow you to live." Paul's response to this ascetic teaching is very plain in verses 4 and 5: by those who believe and know the truth." All the unnecessary, innocent pleasures of life (and there are thousands of them) were created by God to be occasions for thanksgiving to God by those who believe and know the truth.
The reason God created sexual desire and the event of sexual intercourse to satisfy it is not merely to fill the earth with people, but also to give another unique and exquisite occasion for the ascent of thanks from two hearts full of gratitude for God's gift of sexuality. This gift was designed for believers and no one else.
But what our consciences approve and disapprove of is not always an accurate guide to what God approves of.
Therefore, the Bible goes beyond the general admonition, "Glorify God in your body," to the more specific guidance, especially in the matter of sexual desires. The question I want to start with is this: Why did God invent sexual desire?
You are not your own; you were bought with a price. O, what an offensive word to our rebel human nature.
The body in which you dwell is not yours to do with simply as you please.
And my prayer at the very outset is that you might turn from your rebellion and unbelief and disobedience, and that you might trust Christ for forgiveness and live for the glory of God.
Then I would be able to say to everyone in this room, do you not know that your is the temple of the Holy Spirit, within you, which you have from God?
Until I have a chance to preach on homosexuality I'll just say three things about it: When I ask the question, why God created sexual desire, I have in mind that normal craving for sexual stimulation and intimacy that begins with early adolescence and continues, for some it seems, indefinitely, but for many mellows out into a less visceral craving but nevertheless real desire for personal and bodily intimacy.