Sex and the Gospel

Reading through Song of Songs in the Bible it struck me that it should have at least a PG 13 rating to it… It has some of the most beautiful and yet erotic scenes described in any book, never mind the Bible. And yet I am so glad it is there.

Firstly, to show us that God is concerned with the physical and in particular sex! After all it was He who created us as we are with sex and sexuality as a significant part of who we are.

Secondly, to show us that sex is designed to be enjoyed in the context of marriage. The layout of the book shows us that (Thanks to Don Carson and others): It begins with the girl’s first days in the palace of the king (1:1–14), then there is a delightful countryside scene (1:15–2:17). This is followed by the girl meditating on her fiancé (3:1–5), the wedding day (3:6–11) and the wedding night (4:1–5:1). What is amazing is that it even shows a married couple going through a bad time in their marriage (5:2–6:3), but the two eventually make up (6:4–13). A beautiful scene in the king’s bedroom is then described (7:1–10) and further scenes in the countryside (7:11–8:14).

Thirdly, I remember hearing John Piper making a profound statement that went something along the lines of God having providing the language of sex and sexuality to give us the best possible language to be able to speak of the intimate (although not literally sexual) relationship between Christ and the Church. And although Song of Songs is not quoted or alluded to in the NT testament one cannot help when reading Ephesians 5: 22 – 33 but want to see in Song of Songs some of the beautiful language that can be taken up to illustrate / foreshadow an intimate relationship with Christ.

So read Song of Songs and think of how wonderful sex can be within marriage but more than that think of just how wonderful and  intimate a relationship with Jesus could be! John White once said (I think in a book called “Eros Defiled”) that the world places so much emphasis on the the point of climax in sex but an eternity in heaven with Jesus will be infinitely more pleasurable all the time than the best momentary sexual pleasure we could ever experience here on earth. Makes you think doesn’t it.


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