Believers are to be Sexually Pure

The Seventh Commandment:

“You shall not commit adultery” Exodus 20:14

 Question number 138 of the Westminster Larger Catechism teaches about what this commandment requires: 

 Q. What are the duties required in the seventh commandment? A. The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections, words, and behaviour;and the preservation of it in ourselves and others; watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance, keeping of chaste company, modesty in apparel; marriage by those that have not the gift of continency; conjugal love, and cohabitation; diligent labour in our callings; shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto.

 Sexual sin has become so common in our society that it is increasingly being considered socially acceptable by many people. Christians are being de-sensitized to through constant exposure through television, movies, radio, billboards, magazines and the internet. Marketers knows the power of sex appeal to sell anything. Presidents, pastors and other key public figures have fallen into this kind of thinking. Regardless of this shift in attitude toward sexual mores, God’s attitude remains the same.

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;  that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God” (1 Thess. 4:4)

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. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person– such a man is an idolater– has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” (Eph 5:3-6)

God perfectly hates every form of sexual sin and He will eternally punish every sexually immoral person.

            “Fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

This has been understood by God’s people throughout the ages. Job, perhaps the oldest book in the entire Bible records Job’s words concerning this matter:

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. For what is man’s lot from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high? Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong? Does he not see my ways and count my every step? (Job 31:1-4)

In the first book of the Bible, we see that this was already a prevalent sin. Joseph resisted an approached by Potifer’s adulterous wife in Genesis 39. Judah the son of Israel was a companion of prostitutes. Shechem committed fornication with Jacob’s daughter Dinah. David committed adultery with Bathsheba. Solomon was a polygamist.

In Proverbs 2:16-20 he gives one of the main reasons he wrote down the Proverbs:

To deliver you from the strange woman, from the adulteress who flatters with her words; that leaves the companion of her youth, And forgets the covenant of her God;18 For her house sinks down to death, And her tracks lead to the dead; None who go to her return again, Nor do they reach the paths of life. 20 So you will walk in the way of good men, And keep to the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright will live in the land, And the blameless will remain in it; 22 But the wicked will be cut off from the land, And the treacherous will be uprooted from it.

The fifth chapter of Proverbs is devoted to the subject of the danger of sexual immorality. It is so powerful that I have chosen to include it in its entirety here:

“My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not. Now then, my sons, listen to me; do not turn aside from what I say. Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly.” Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer– may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife? For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.”

Does reading this make you afraid? If so, good. God is showing you grace. God’s kindness leads us to repentance. “T’was grace that taught my heart to fear.”  

Is there any hope for you and me? Is there any hope for the sexually immoral person who truly fears God and cries out to Him for help, who turns away from his sin? Yes, praise God there is hope! In fact, that is the very message of the Gospel. The Bible shows that Jesus had great compassion for sexually immoral people if they turn to Him for mercy:

            “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to  cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”(1 John 1:9)

Immediately following the passage quoted earlier from 1 Corinthians 6:9ff,

            “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor             homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers  nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God

Paul points us to the hope that is found only in the LORD Jesus,

            “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)

The story of the woman caught in adultery is a powerful example. John 8:1ff

“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

The only way to truly turn away from sin is to turn to the LORD Jesus in His Word. This kind of turning to the LORD is what repentance is all about.

“Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” (1 Peter 2:1)

One of the ways Christians “grow in respect to salvation” is in self-control, especially in the area of sexuality. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self control mentioned in Gal 5:22. Self-control was a theme in Paul’s preaching (Acts 24:24,25).

We all struggle to grow in self discipline. Many of us have developed lifelong habits or addictions that don’t just disappear. These types of “besetting sins” take proactive, aggressive measures to put to death. For some repentance means having to face the deepest pains and fears of our lives. God knows this. Jesus was a man just like us. “He was tempted in every way” yet remained absolutely pure. We can find comfort in the fact that He knows our temptations and trials. That’s why he gave us much help for the journey. Some of the help (means of growth) are: scripture memory and meditation, fasting, prayer, worship, In addition to these he’s given us each other for fellowship, intercession, encouragement, accountability, and counseling, sharing with others what God is doing in our lives, and hearing from others what God has done in their lives.

 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith…”

 

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About Gary Stiltner
The LORD Jesus is the foundation, focus and purpose of my life. My God has truly blessed me, and done great things for me! I am loved by a wonderful wife, Elisabeth, and we have four beautiful children. Even though I'm a very sinful and weak person, His blood has washed me whiter than snow, and his love has made me filled with eternal happiness! I want to share His grace and truth with every person I that come into contact with. I received my BS (Molecular Biology) at Louisiana Tech University, and my M.Div at RTS in Charlotte, NC. I've had the privilege of serving as an outreach and evangelism pastor, a church planter and now as a teacher. I teach worldviews and apologetics, chemistry and physics to high school seniors. I also enjoy preaching at various churches as the LORD gives opportunity.

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