A Call for Sexual Purity

I am addressing an issue of great importance: sexual purity. I believe that we have abandoned biblical standards of sexual behavior, to our great harm and detriment. Our Christian mind has been so invaded by the moral degradation of the world around us that we have become indoctrinated with pop culture rather than indoctrinated with God's truth.

Let me give you some examples of how Christians have lowered their standards. A single woman told me that she was depressed because the night before she had gone to bed with a Christian man and she knew his motives were strictly selfish. Her remorse was not over her sin, but rather because she felt he had taken advantage of her.

A listener wrote: "God has given me a very nice young man who . . .wants to marry me. But the one thing that frightens me is that our relationship has a lot of sexual drive. I have always wanted to save myself for my wedding night, but the excuse he gives is that he's going to marry me any way. Why not now?" The young man says he is a believer, but is more than willing to partake of sex before marriage, and has rationalized it to be okay.

A young woman who emphatically claimed to be a believer told me, without embarrassment or shame, that she's been living with her boyfriend for three years. Her concern was not over her sinful lifestyle but whether or not this guy is a believer.

I counseled a woman who was enduring the consequences of an illicit relationship with a man in her church congregation. They both sang in the choir. She was more concerned about the fact that he no longer wanted to date her and had moved on to someone else than she was that she had sinned against God.

These, unfortunately, are not isolated incidences. It is alarming to realize how many people who claim to be followers of Christ and believe in the Bible have allowed the world system to lead them to casual attitudes toward illegitimate sexual relationships. How about you? Do you even know what biblical standards of purity are? If you claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, you should be totally committed to sexual purity all your life. That means no kind of sexual relationship outside the boundaries of marriage.

I wish it were not necessary to call Christians to sexual purity, but unfortunately many have been swallowed up by the world’s view of sex and often Christian standards are no purer than others.

What has caused this deterioration in our standards? Here are a few reasons:

1. The sexual revolution has come to be accepted as normal.
This sexual revolution, which began in the sixties, advocated free sex. Free from obligations or commitments, free from purity or even monogamy. They told us that the taboos on free sex had caused all kinds of psychological problems, and in order to truly be free, we had to have a totally open mind toward sexuality. And now it is accepted as normal.

2. Our media carries this message blatantly and subtly.
The subtle message that sex outside of marriage is okay is everywhere. Can you name one major current sitcom on television that does not have an illegitimate relationship of some kind or another?

I wonder how many Christians regularly look at movies and TV programs that present immoral lifestyles without a second thought. Many Christians even take in the blatant sex that is produced by Hollywood and television. They have no standard of what they will or will not see. Every time Christians watch this kind of thing, they subconsciously lower the standards in their minds, whether they realize it or not.

Isaiah said: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter" (Isaiah 5:20). I'm afraid, dear friends, that some Christians have now fallen into this trap of calling good evil and evil good.

3. The Death of Shame
In his book Deliver Us From Evil, Ravi Zacharias writes: "To raise a child without shame is to raise one with no immune system against evil. . ." In our lifetimes we have seen the death of shame. In a recent conversation with a young woman who claimed to be a believer, and yet was living with her boyfriend for three years, she said, "I'm not ashamed of what I'm doing." That was the saddest thing she said.

Shame is the red light that should go off in our heads, telling us something is terribly wrong. When we kill shame, calling good evil and evil good, so that even those who claim to know Christ have no shame for their sinful behavior, we've come a long-way, but let me assure you, it is the wrong way.

What Are Biblical Principles Concerning Sex?

The Bible is explicit: Sex is for the boundaries of marriage, nothing else, no exceptions. The Old Testament law is explicit about sexual immorality. From the seventh commandment which states: "You shall not commit adultery," to Leviticus chapter 18, where a long list of unlawful sexual relations are clearly stated, God didn't mince words about his standards of sexual purity.

Ephesians 5:3: “But among you (children of God) there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”

1 Corinthians 6:13: “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Sexual immorality includes sex before marriage or fornication, sex after marriage with another partner or adultery, and more. It includes obscenity, whether on a movie or television screen, in a magazine or on the internet; it includes foolish talk or coarse joking about sex, whether you are a participant or only a listener. These are out of place for the people of God.

In 1 Corinthians 6:12-19, Paul tells us to “Flee from sexual immorality.” Why? Because unlike other sins, sexual sins are committed against the body which was created for the Lord. Are you truly a Christian? If so, the Bible says “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you. . .

When we commit sexual sins and degrade our bodies, we drag the Holy Spirit of God through that ordeal. While sin is sin and all are evil, there is a special aspect to sexual sin which is particularly degrading to God's Spirit within us, and which is also very difficult to abandon, once you get started.

Sexual Purity Is for Our Benefit

The world would tell you that to live a sexually pure life is to miss out on all the fun, and furthermore, that it is impossible! Most people believe it’s crazy to set the standards as no sex outside of marriage, and no participation in anything that even hints of sexual impurity.

You know, Satan is the father of liars, and he is the best liar ever, and believe me, he can present a lie to you that will make you think God is wrong. Today he lies to you in many ways—through your friends, your culture, your peers, the media, in words like, "You don't really believe in abstinence, do you?" "You can't really expect young people to go without sex until they're married, can you?"

You cannot contest what the Bible teaches about sexual purity. It is too clear and non-compromising. All you can do is choose to believe and obey or not. There is no need for you to pray about whether to have some sort of illicit sexual relationship, or whether to see a movie that portrays illicit sex, or watch a sitcom that makes a joke out of it. The Bible is clear on the right and wrong of it.

Let me assure you that there is nothing impossible about living a celibate life if you are single. Nor is it unreasonable to expect marriage partners to be faithful to each other all the days of their marriage. God's requirements for a pure lifestyle are not only possible, they are best. He sets these high standards of sexual purity to protect you from harm, from disgrace, from disease, from regret, from heartache and great pain. To choose to live by God's standards of sexual purity is to choose a life free from guilt, regret, rejection, and pain of all sorts. It is to choose true freedom, for truth sets you free, not free sex.

The Consequences of Sexual Immorality

When you sin sexually, you sin against your body, which houses the Holy Spirit of God, if you are truly born again. So, the most precious thing you forfeit is the glory that is due to God through your body.

Secondly, we forfeit that beautiful peace and fellowship that comes when our lives are pure before God. That freedom from guilt and a heavy conscience. We take ourselves back into bondage to sin.

Yes, God forgives us when we repent, but there are many who can testify that the memories and regrets somehow never go away. You always look back and wish it had never happened. Many marital problems come from infidelity before marriage. You are jeopardizing your future happiness through premarital sex.

Start Where You Are

Some of you have already messed up your lives because of sexual immorality. Some of you are living in sexual sin even now. Some of you are thinking about it, but you haven't yet acted on it. Some of you are still pure and innocent.

Wherever you are, you can start today to put God's principles into effect in your life and live a sexually pure life, if you want to. God is remarkable at taking our messes and making something good out of them.

Here are ten things you should do to insure that you are obeying God and living a sexually pure life:

  1. If you are now having an illicit sexual relationship, break it off today. Not
    tomorrow; today. Don't talk about doing it; don't seek advice about doing it; don't
    hesitate. Just do it.

  2. If you are in a relationship that is heading in that direction, break it off today.  
    Same instructions. You cannot trust yourself.

  3. If you are not in a relationship and you want to be someday, set some high
    standards of conduct for yourself.

  4. Put them in writing. Be explicit about what you will and won't do.

  5. Avoid movies, TV shows, magazines and books that portray illicit sex. Turn off the
    television, walk out of the movie, don't allow that message to invade your mind.

  6. Avoid any joking or coarse talk about sex. Walk away from it. Don't laugh at it.

  7. Don't associate with people who have low standards of sexual purity. They will bring 
    you down to their level rather than you bringing them up to yours.

  8. Don't allow yourself to think about sex if you're single. If you're married, think
    about sex only with your partner. Anything else is sin.

  9. If you are married, work at having the best sex life possible with your mate. Find
    your fulfillment in him or her.

  10. Covenant with God to start where you are and from this day forward to live by his
    principles.

  11. Pray everyday that God will give you the strength and power to do this.

 

This is not mission impossible. It is the doorway to freedom and joy and life. I urge you to take this seriously and live a life of sexual purity. You will save yourself so much pain and sorrow and heartache and grief. And you will please the Lord Jesus Christ.


Source: christianworkingwoman.org

 

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