As the designer and giver of our sexuality, God is the final authority over this powerful part of our lives. His Word makes His will clear for His followers and the church regarding our sexual ethics. Sex is a gift, but it is a gift to be enjoyed between one man and one woman within the covenant of marriage. Living according to His wisdom in this matter leads to our flourishing and His glory.
Make no mistake, though. If we think we are beyond struggling with sexual sin, we are actually on our way to falling. There is no time in our lives when we are completely delivered from the opportunity to sin sexually, which means there has to be a constant movement in our lives of fleeing sexual immorality.
The apostle Paul speaks into this in 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
In this passage, we find three motives that can help us choose to remain sexually pure:
1. The power of sin.
Paul reminds us that we do not get to say sex is a powerful gift from God without also acknowledging that sexual immorality is a powerful form of rebellion against God.
We have all done things we are not proud of, whether it be stealing a piece of chewing gum as a five-year-old or telling a lie about who broke a window. We have all deviated from God’s will in situations as adults, but in my pastoral experience, the area where people seem to carry the most guilt and shame the longest almost always falls under the category of sexual sin. I do not believe you have to live in constant shame for your past mistakes. The cross of Christ is greater than any of our sins, but that weight of guilt and shame proves Paul’s point.
We must take this sin seriously, knowing it will destroy everything in its path and leave us with deep regret.
2. The presence of the Spirit.
As Christians, we are the temple of the living God, and His presence does not ever vacate us. So when we engage our bodies in sexual sin, we take the Holy Spirit with us. He is in us when our eyes are secretly viewing things we know we should not see. He is in us when our minds are lusting, when our hands are inappropriately touching someone, or when we are flirting with that married coworker. Whenever our feet walk into sin, we carry Him with us on those sinful journeys. Knowing this should motivate us to remain pure.
3. The payment of the Savior.
Finally, we must remember these bodies are not our own. We were slaves to sin, but we have been bought at a price by the King. We are now sons and daughters, and God did not throw scraps from heaven to redeem us. He shed the blood of the Prince. He gave His one and only Son. Therefore, our bodies do not belong to us. We belong to Him and are called to glorify Him with these bodies.
So what should we do when we find ourselves struggling with the pull of sexual sin? We cannot believe the enemy’s lie that we can warm up close to sin without falling into it. We have to run from what dishonors God and run to a life that brings glory and honor to God.
Whenever you feel tempted to go down those sinful paths, stop and give yourself a little sermon. You are the most important preacher in your life. The most important audience is your own heart, and the message you are preaching over yourself is the Word of God. Use the three motives we discussed today to remind yourself that sin does nothing but destroy everything in its path, the Spirit of the living God lives in you, and you have been bought with the blood of Christ.
You belong to Jesus. Stop, drop, roll back into God’s will, and put that fire out.
Want more help with staying sexually pure? Download this FREE GUIDE on setting digital and relational boundaries from Pastor D.J.’s “Do You Not Know?” sermon series.