STAYING PURE IN AN IMPURE WORLD
Friday, 8 March 2019
1 Thessalonians 4 : 1-12
“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.” -1 Thess. 4:3-4
Here we can see that identifying God's will is not a complicated process. The phrase, “the will of God,” has two implications in Scripture: the one is the determination of God – ‘His decree’; the other is His desire, that in which He delights – ‘His will.’ The leading idea of sanctification is separation from the secular and sinful; set apart for a sacred purpose.
Sexual immorality is something God hates; in fact, it deteriorates the families and society as a whole. Greek cities like Thessalonica were wide open to all kinds of sexual looseness, including immorality associated with their pagan idol worship. There were even "religious" prostitutes in the pagan temples who were to help the men who came to "worship" the immoral idols. Paul is saying to the believers the will of God is holiness; to live a life totally away from sexual immorality!
We read in Romans 12:1: “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
We also read in Mark 10:6–8, the Lord Jesus said that “from the beginning of creation ‘God made them male and female.” He then declares a great and beautiful truth recorded in creation: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh.” For centuries, Christians have proclaimed these words at weddings by men and women of faith.
We need to have a full approach on how a Holy God looks at the whole issue. Will God command his children to abstain from sex? No! But He will, certainly from sexual immorality. God created sex not only for the existence of mankind but for the enjoyment and fulfillment of its purpose within the boundaries of marriage.
Paul did not want Christians to be tempted outside the marriage by lack of sexual fulfillment inside the home. People conduct pre-marital counseling and post-marital counseling and family seminars by bringing renowned family counselors. Many divorce cases could be the ultimate failure in meeting the expectations of spouses, including sexual fulfillment. The church without reservation has to address the issues in building strong families through a balanced life.
How can believers stay pure in an impure world?
By hiding God's Holy Word in our hearts (Ps. 119:11)
By walking continually under the control of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16)
By making the conscious, Spirit-controlled choice not to lust (Matt. 5:28)
By consciously, continually choosing to flee from sexual temptations (1Thess.5:22) and pursuing righteousness, but through a God-ordained balanced life.
“To be in Christ -- that is redemption,
but for Christ to be in you -- that is sanctification”
W. Ian Thomas
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