"Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul."(1 Peter 2:11, ESV)
" 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, (2 Peter 1:3, ESV)
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you." (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, ESV)
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;"
Reject sexual Immorality with self control!
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,
"A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls." (Proverbs 25:28, ESV)
"7For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God... who gives His Holy Spirit to you."
Sexual Immorality is never safe!
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;... 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.
Week 5 - Abstaining from Sexual Immorality
Sunday’s message instructed us from 1 Thess. 4:1-7 about the importance to control our bodies in holiness! To the world, this is seen as an antiquated, unnatural, and even inhumane teaching- -even some ‘christian’ views (which are not christian at all) have begun to jettison this view of sexuality from a practicing faith. Today, we will look at a passage from Paul, written to the church at Corinth about this very topic.
As a group, turn to 1 Cor. 6:12-19 as read aloud as a group.
1. V12 sets up this whole passage. Let’s look closely at this verse. There are three
categories in this verse what are they?
2. How does this verse fit with the passage from Sunday?
It is no coincidence that Paul starts this passage about sexual immorality with the notion of being enslaved and controlled. Paul tells us in this passage to strive for the things that are beneficial for us--and not to settle for the things that society says are permissible or ‘ok’. People who struggle with sin in this area often feel like they are not in control of their own bodies,so Paul continues this train of thought in v13. Let’s examine this verse closely together now.
3. Let’s look at the first part of this verse, “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”. As a group discuss why Paul would seemingly switch from the topic of sex to speaking about food?
4. When we are hungry, what do we typically do?
Now let’s look at the second part of v13, “and God will destroy both one and the other”. Here Paul is rebuking the Corinthian view that because the body will be destroyed--there is no value in controlling the body and fleshly urges--only to soul matters! So, let’s treat sex like food--when we want it, we find it--no matter what the form or source--all that matters is that our appetite is quenched!
5. As a group discuss the dangers of treating sexuality like this? Do we not see that this is exactly how our society treats sexuality?
6. Now let’s look at the third part of v13. Here Paul moves on from the rebuke, where he tells them that their view is wrong, and starts to correct their view. How does he do this when he says, “The body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”?
7. Now, lest we think that the only way we can do this is to have physical intercourse outside of marriage or sex with someone other than our spouse--let’s look at v18. He says flee ‘sexual immorality’ because it is a sin against the body. This is quite interesting that Paul uses the greek word ‘porneia’ for sexual immorality--meaning fornicating or lustful action. It is where we get the word ‘pornography’! Paul could have used the word ‘moicheia’ meaning adultery (sex outside of marriage or sex with someone other than your spouse) but he didn’t. Why do you think that Paul chose to use ‘porneia’ instead?
In v18 Paul mentions that sexual immorality or ‘porneia’ is a sin against the body. But let’s think for a second, there are other types of sin against the body; suicide, addiction, mutilation, etc. So Paul cannot be talking about the physical body/tissue--he is talking about the embodied personhood that humans of Christ. ‘Porneia’ is a sin against the the union identified in v17--the union of the Holy Spirit. The sin against the Holy Spirit in this instance is way more inclusive and complex than just sex. It is pornography, it is lust, it is impure thoughts--even idolatry. Married couples who are completely dedicated to one another--and would never think about committing adultery--can idolize sex in their marriage the point that is becomes ‘porneia’ or fornication. This is what Paul is point out in this passage, ‘porneia’ is much more broad that ‘moicheia’ (adultery) and it not meant for the body. Please don’t forget, God wants us to enjoy sexuality--but through His design. Consider this as proof, God could have created sexuality in a way that we did not derive pleasure from it but in a way that we would become physically ill if we didn’t have it. Pleasure in fundamental to sexuality--but it must, absolutely must be done through God’s design. The same way that 1 Thess. 4:4 tells us to control our bodies in ‘holiness and honor’, 1 Cor. 6 13 says that the body is meant for the Lord, not sexual immorality. Paul contrasts food and sexuality. He says, contrary to food being an appetite, sex isn’t. The body is not meant for sexual immorality. You will not be satisfied if you treat sex like an appetite because your body was not meant to find pleasure in random sexual episodes--but in God’s design for sex-- which is marriage.