Monday, August 3, 2015

Holiness #2

Part #2

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4

There is no better time to discuss sexual immorality then in this day and age. We are living in a world where things have become so confusing. The lines of good and evil are blurred. Moral values have become things that we should be ashamed of or at least refrain from showing. Sexual immorality is now celebrated. Almost all young Hollywood stars have released a sex tape or some "accidental" nude shots. Abstinence has become a laughable topic. Incestuous relationships have become more common. Sexual immorality has become a social-cultural issue and not a spiritual one. Parents have a responsibility to instruct children on what is good an honorable. They are certainly not going to learn it anywhere else. The technological explosion has made pornography accessible to children. Parents need to be extremely vigilant.

The Bible even warns us about vigilance in 1 Peter 5:8:  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Do not let him devour your child. Be vigilant! Your children can still know the truth in this deceitful world.You  actually can teach against sexual immorality without teaching hatred. Teach them to hate sin but they can still love the sinner. Jesus loves us but He hates sin. When He lives among us He never rejected anyone due to sin. As a matter of fact, He came to reconcile us with the Father by paying the ultimate price (gave His life) for our salvation.

Friend, God is holy and He requires His people to be holy. Did you know that the word holy is used about 100 times in the book of Leviticus? Why do you think that is? Nowadays, Christians emphasize the love of God, which is one of God, many attributes but we cannot appreciate His love and goodness until we understand His holiness. God’s holiness is a recurring theme between Exodus 15 and Revelation 15:3-4. God is the creator. He creates all; Therefore, He creates sex. His purpose in creating sex was for procreation and our enjoyment. But God also set limits for the enjoyment of sex, for our own well-being and  protection. When we go outside those boundaries, we get hurt and we enter the dangerous zone of sin.

We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 1 Corinthians 10:8 

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22

Sexual immorality is everywhere, both visibly and hidden and the practice and acceptance of homosexuality is so great that heterosexuality seems abnormal. Often times, adults and young adults in Christian conferences around the nations have shared that they find themselves either making excuses or explaining their stands concerning abstinence in order to gain acceptance. The teenager who understands that her/his body is a temple gets picked on, alienated, and seen as weird but to an extent understandable but adults face the greatest challenges. People (even Christians) find it ridiculous that a 40-year old wants to remain pure. Biblical principles do not apply to healing and prosperity alone. All of God’s commandments are to be respected. You must know the truth about God’s rules regarding sexual immorality. The Christian needs to have knowledge (understanding) of why he/she needs to resist sexual temptation.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

 Abstinence is God’s only recommendation when it comes to sex outside marriage. Abstinence saves lives, protects babies, control sexually transmitted diseases, abstinence is your spiritual act of worship and honors God. I cannot stress it enough: The Bible recommends total abstinence before marriage. Sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approves. Meaning: Masturbation is sinful (any sex form of sex not between a man and a woman in a marriage is sinful). It undermines intimacy between a man and his wife. Obedience to God requires that sex be reserved to only one’s spouse. This kind of truth will make some feel uncomfortable; People get uneasy, when you start telling them that adultery, homosexuality, lust and fornication (sex outside marriage) are sinful; therefore, you are not likely to hear it at the local churches. This kind of preaching does not fill churches, arenas and stadium. People don’t celebrate truth. They do not want to hear it. Even parents are also reluctant to speak to children about sexual immorality. The devil convinces them that it is too early until one day they realize that it is actually too late.

 But among you 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. Ephesians 5:3

My dear friend, strive for holiness. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. You have the Holy Spirit as your helper. You can resist sexual temptation. Don’t try to please people. Your goal is to please God. It is better to be alone than to be living in sin. If you deprive yourself of a sinful indulgence God will reward you greatly, but if you insist on sinning you will pay the regrettably terrible price of experiencing separation from God.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 1 Thessalonians 4: 3-5

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1

Praise the Lord!