Sexual Immorality

head in hands

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. – Colossians 3:1

We live in a culture saturated and obsessed with sex. There is no other way to describe it. This past week I was on a flight to San Francisco and I was sitting in an aisle seat and all of the seat backs had televisions. The woman in the middle seat in front of me had the show Sex in the City playing from the time we left Chicago until we landed in San Francisco and I was at an angle where I could watch it quite easily. It was a show that my wife and I once watched before we were saved. I remembered many of the episodes that would catch my attention from time to time during the flight and I was disgusted by the ease at which men and women are portrayed slipping into and out of bed together.

I was disgusted by the man that I once was, and yet at the same time so grateful for what the Lord Jesus Christ has delivered me from. In the confines of marriage sex is a beautiful thing, but like so many other things the world has to offer, outside of proper boundaries, it’s an abomination to God. Sexual immorality is very subtle and can creep into the lives of the saints. It’s as simple as spending too much time observing what’s going on in the seat in front of you. It can start as a very small seed and blossom into full blown sin if not mortified and put to death.

God’s word is clear on the matter.

Therefore put to death your member which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. – Colossians 3:5

Put it to death…kill it, mortify it, says the Apostle Paul.

Here’s the catch, “if” you were raised with Christ. This message is for believers. If you call yourself a believer and you are living in these things, you will either, kill them, mortify the deeds of the flesh, or you are not a believer. The word if is a primary particle of conditionality, in other words it connects these two thoughts together. So if you were raised with Christ, then this is now what you will do.

This requires the act of obedience. It’s really plain and simple, because the worship of God requires obedience.

We must… because of who God is…and because of what Christ has done.

I must look away from the television screen; I must not look too long at the woman that is standing next to me, or allow my mind to dwell on her physical attributes. I must desire to kill those members that desire these things.

For men, we know this is not an easy thing to do. And it’s impossible if the Spirit of God does not live inside of us, but if the Spirit does indwell us, then we will and we must, or the Spirit does not indwell us. Does that make sense?

A couple years ago I was challenged by my Elders to decide to whom I would write this blog and it was at that time I decided I needed to minister to believers more than non-believers, but today this post needs to apply to both camps. If you are living in sexual immorality, it’s important to understand that you are not in right relationship to God, that you are an enemy of God, and the future is bleak should you continue in that pattern.

Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. In which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. – Colossians 3:6-7

There is no mistaking what this means. If you live in sexual immorality, and this means fornication which is sex outside of marriage (living together), homosexuality, adultery, pornography, or any other sort of sexual perversions the wrath of God abides upon you. The Bible makes this crystal clear. There is no way around it and in fact Jesus even raises the standard and says that if you even look with lust, you’ve already committed adultery in your heart. (Matthew 5:27)

Do not be deceived, no matter what your mouth says, no matter what you think; what matters is an obedient life. This obedience is what proves your salvation. It can’t save you, but the pattern of your life is how one knows, it’s how a person works out his salvation with fear and trembling.

Obedience is a big deal.

And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ – Matthew 7:23

If you are involved in any sort of sexual immorality, I urge you to repent and turn from your sin. You must have a change of heart, leading to a change of life that brings the Lord Jesus Christ glory. I know who I was and I know who I am now and those two men are completely different men. Paul leaves us with hope when he says “In which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.” His letter is to believers, and the way we know we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is that we “once” walked, but no longer walk in that pattern of life.

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

Kevin

He who does the will of of My Father…

narrow-gate

How can we have confidence in our claims to Christianity?  Have you ever been challenged in your own mind about your claims to know Christ.  Not just know of Him or intellectually “believe” in Him.  I mean know that you are His and your sins are forgiven.  Most Christians know what the Lord said in Matthew chapter 7 how many will claim to know Him yet many will be cast into hell.

Can we truly know?

Before I came to knowledge of my sin I would have claimed Christianity yet it didn’t exhibit change in my life to the glory of God.  I could shine myself up a bit but there was still the hidden and secret sin residing inside of me that very few knew was there.  My life was content in my self-righteousness; even though I claimed the promise.

How can we be certain?

God’s Word is the standard by which we must examine our life so today I’ll look at a couple passages that are an excellent way to see if we hit the mark.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.  For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.  Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

Sexual sin is a big problem in the “church” world today.  The ease at which anyone has access to that which is displeasing to God has never been more readily available.  And it also comes right into your living room via the television.  As this society slips further into decline sexual sin is before our eyes daily if not hourly.

We must also consider the commonality of fornication; living in sexuality outside of marriage.  This is not even looked on as a sin anymore by the populace.  If you call yourself a “Believer” do not be deceived.  If you practice this you will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

If you are a Pastor and you are reading this today, I will ask if you are preaching this in your church.  Does your congregation know this is sin?  Do they wrap themselves in their own “goodness” and righteous acts?  Or does the Sword of God thunder from your pulpit forcing people to look into the sinfulness of their hearts?

Have we compared our lives to the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18?

Luke 18:13 “And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Are the Lord’s words not crystal clear?

Have mercy Oh Lord!  This man knew where to turn.

I’m a sinner!  This man knew his wretched condition.

Was justified!  This man was saved because he understood his sin and his need for a Savior.

1 Thessalonians 4:8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has given us His Holy Spirit.

If you bristle at these words you reject God and you need to turn from your sin because you are a slave to sin (Romans 6).  If you struggle and you can’t overcome your sin you are correct.  You need to confess your sin to God and you need to seek help from a faithful person in your church.  If you believe you are saved you need to examine yourself and you need to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

So how can we be assured of our salvation?

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Those that “do” the will of God will enter heaven.  Not just those that go to church, wrap themselves in religiosity, try to be a good person, etc…, etc…, etc…

I’m not talking about righteousness through works, but a life that has been radically transformed and only desires to please God by following His commands.  Do your old friends cringe at who you are now?  Do they see a disturbing difference in you?  Most likely they enjoyed you when you were religious.  Your religion did them no harm, but when you sought holiness and sanctification it really shakes the gates of hell and most won’t like it.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.

This is how we know!

See you next week with my final installment of “Another kind of Christ”

 

Kevin