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September 30, 2019 1:00 am
This is the will of God, your sanctification that you abstain from sexual immorality.
This is the instruction from the Lord Jesus… A pastor not a denomination, not a tradition. It's from the Lord Jesus. You don't need account signatures on a petition to decide if it's acceptable. It is settled. Why, because it isn't the will of the people. It is the will of God.
God's is not determined by majority opinion and we need to remember that sin is never safe. Sometimes we try to deceive ourselves into thinking sin is okay. When we pursue sin, we try to be discreet with it were careful to hide it from others. We like to think that were controlling our sin instead of our sin, controlling us. God commands us to flee from said in today unwisdom for the heart were applying that truth to the concept of sexual purity. I'm glad you've joined us for another week of Bible teaching stay with us as Stephen Devi opens God's word in a lesson called battling the beast with it now. Here Stephen with today's message. I love Barclay concluded his eroded his commentary.
One thing Christianity did in Thessalonica was to lay down a completely new moral code where Christianity becomes the champion of purity grade and that Christianity becomes the champion of. Knowing your New Testament. You'll find Paul's letter to these believers living in Thessalonica letter where he tells them not just to resist immorality at the champion purity.
I want to feel the subject in general today and will become more specific next Lord's day that after what you turn to first Thessalonians.
In chapter 4 deal with this subject in a broader context will make some specific application to give you several commands that Paul is giving these believers who want more than anything the champion purity for the glory of Christ first you're taking notes. Paul will tell them don't become satisfied with standing still don't become satisfied with standing still.
First Thessalonians chapter 4 and verse one.
Finally, then, brothers, we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus that as you received from us how to how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing that you do so more and more.
Another translation puts it that you XL still more like that word you keep growing.
You've heard about it, were urging you by the way, you know how you want to walk.
Now that would sell it at don't be satisfied with where you are. Progress keep growing, keep moving, keep going. Which by the way, means that that sense of dissatisfaction that you have with your present spiritual condition is actually a good thing the enemy would never tell you to go, keep moving in with the Lord and his spirit will tell you to do that the enemy would tell you you're just fine like you are the person who says I'm actually content with where I am spiritually is actually in great danger.
The one who stands take heed lest he walked fall for tributes 1012 so that sense of dissatisfaction. You happen to have any probably walked in here with. It is actually a very very wonderful spiritually healthy thing the enemy would never give you God's spirit gives it to you to prod you on Paul wrote this I discipline my body to keep it under control. Last, after preaching to others I might become disqualified for spinning design 27 wasn't anybody ought to say, you know, I'm actually content with where I am. Spiritually, it would be the apostle Paul, but even he feared becoming a moral failure in the solution for Paul is not to lock the doors and staying inside to keep from the prospect of sinning. You can send by the way, in solitary confinement right. The solution is actively pursuing holy living wholesome activity good accountability sanctified disciplines biblical knowledge and application. In other words, Christianity is just about saying no, the world would tell you that all you do is say no to stuff as I know the stuff, but we also say yes to an awful lot that which is good and wholesome and in godly.
Keep in mind Paul is writing believers. He commended earlier in chapter 1, for destroying their pagan idols and and turning to God in with passion and faith to serve him twice, especially significant to understand his in writing. Lackadaisical Christians were straddling the fence of moral compromise. He writes in chapter 1 that their faith in God is actually travel throughout the whole Mediterranean world is telling them keep going XL make progress. Don't be dissatisfied.
Don't be satisfied be dissatisfied with where you are spiritually seated you ask him more and more in your desire to please God in the way you all can be translated in the way you walk about pleasing God. So first of all, don't become satisfied with standing still.
Number two. Don't begin compromising with what is clear look at verse three. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus for this is the will of God, your sanctification that you abstain from sexual immorality phrase sexual immorality translates one Greek word tornado. It's often translated fornication, which serves as an umbrella term for any and and all kinds of sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage, much to the chagrin of Paul's culture and hours. God actually calls all of that activity, immorality, the word tornado is used. It's a categorical term leave transliterated to give us work pornography, but it's actually broader than that.
It's a word in the New Testament the refers to adultery. It refers to premarital sexual activity. Imagine how that applies in our culture today were 70% of high schoolers are not graduating with their diplomas, but without their virginity. 70% according to one statistic I read this week, 29% of first dates now include sexual immorality player refers also to just premarital sexual activity, but to extramarital sexual activity covers the world of pornography. It covers the practice of homosexuality.
Polygamy in today's culture. It would referred to practices like sex thing we read about more and more, any kind of voyeurism. Voyeurism is watching someone in real time. Real life involved in some kind of a modest or immoral behavior. Paul effectively is writing. There's a new code for you to begin applying in your pursuit of holy living. He says notice of verse three you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus for this is the will of God, your sanctification that you abstain from sexual immorality. This is the instruction from the Lord Jesus not not a pastor not a denomination, not a tradition.
It's from the Lord Jesus. This is the will not of the church, not of a pastor, not of account so this is the will of God that you abstain from all sexual immorality you need to have some ecclesiastical or denominational meeting to exegete it to turn about that sort of context utilize Paul and to those old days, those unsophisticated days. You don't need account signatures on a petition to decide if it's acceptable you don't need to wait for the latest vote. It is said all why because it isn't the will of the people.
It is the will of God. There's no mystery here and then there's that little troubling word. Did you see it. This is the will of God, your sanctification is for your holy development that you abstain abstain not dip your toe in not explore not experiment not manage as much as you think you can not allow it.
So long as you going to marry that person abstain. It's an absolutely black-and-white term Rikers linguistic heater Greek New Testament. I keep on my desk said you could expand this wordless verb to me and have nothing at all to do with it. To hold oneself from it entirely unless it falls within God's creative design and perimeter people around you say, but is in sexual behavior or right of passage. I mean, isn't this your part of growing up. Should we just try to make people discrete, or polite.
Maybe we should educate them to make sure they're safe.
You'll notice God does not command here that we should be careful. He commands that we should abstain isn't a matter of being discrete, it's a matter of being obedient and can I say this.never want anybody anywhere to think they can be safe while they are sinning safe sex is an oxymoron. There is no such thing outside of God's parameters as safe soon at least 13 Americans will die from a sexually transmitted disease in America today.
Today 13 people died. Why no news reports. Why no coverage because it is linked to the refusal of our culture to admit the connection between disease and sexual activity outside of prescribed boundaries of a creator God. We cannot even dare whisper of such a thought that God intended to use it to get her attention so paid no attention. We are saying an epidemic of just simply the physical casualties of sexual activity that is gone viral. It is in our culture. A life and death issue. That's why Paul by the way for a lot of other reason, just beyond the physical. But he did focus on the physical universe, we typically move quickly past work.
He said to the Corinthians verse 2618 effectively.
Don't stand and fight this thing called fornication, but don't stand and fight it fully.
It run run and then he says this this interesting concept. Every sin that a man commits is outside his body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his body. In other words, your body pays a price to that's reason enough to run, run this and think of try to think of sexual sin is inviting a virus to invade your body.
Think of that next time think I think I'll flirt with hepatitis B. I think the date gonorrhea all have a little syphilis. Every sin you commit is outside your body with sexual immorality or putting your own body at risk. That alone God intended to wake up the believer don't get near run, one author wrote about an interesting problem they were having a middle school in Oregon ended up being rather humorous. The middle school girls were, you know, starting this little tradition where they would put on lipstick in the bathroom and then before they left they would kiss the mayor, leaving little lip prints on the mirror collects in the principal is irritated by that the study had the claimant. He warned them, or see the principal warned him told to stop it. They didn't stop it.
She pleaded with them they wouldn't stop it. Nothing worked.
So finally the principal decided something had to be done. So she came up with a rather ingenious plan told her custodian exactly what to do to meet her in the bathroom in just a few minutes. She got on the loudspeaker call all the middle school girls by grade into the bathroom.
She explained again once again to these girls that all of the limp lip were causing a lot of work for the custodian. There he stood he spending extra work cleaning.
These mirrors and she wanted to start a course the middle school girl stood there, obviously irritated that they're having this into this lecture and when can we leave. In fact there were lip prints at that very moment all over the mirror in the bathroom and the principal said look I want you to understand how much time it's taking the custodian to clean these lip prints. In fact, I want him to show you how he has to work on this problem and so she said and what you would you show them and he reached into his cart.
He pulled out a long handled brush and walked over and he dipped it in one of the commodes came back and scrubbed nothing more was said. The lip prints disappeared. The rest of the school year. Why I frankly they discovered what they been kissing up to nasty dirty infectious stuff is a warning and that Allison don't forget believer what your kissing up to. Don't ignore the physical and spiritual and emotional danger when you press to your life in your body and your heart and your mind nasty infectious the ability sin. This is the will of God that you abstain from it all. Don't be satisfied standing still.
Don't begin the compromise with God is made clear to give you one more don't begin impersonating your surrounding culture. Notice what Paul writes again to the Thessalonians in verse four that each one of you should not control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God. In other words poor Naya is the pursuit of the Gentile at the biblical term for unbeliever, why not. Why wouldn't they pursuant me think about the spirits of dead they might talk about how spiritual they are, but their spirits dead had been brought to light by the Spirit of God. Instead, to commune with God.
So the spirit cannot inform their mind so that their flashbacks will their flashes effectively uncontested. Nothing complains within them and their flesh always gets a free pass and send then will make perfect sense to them because there's not any spiritual voice internally saying that doesn't make sense. After all, because it on the tutor within them which is brought to life by means of regeneration. So to the Gentiles.
Poor Naya is what life is all about affect Paul would write to the Philippians look at this a little later, but he says there belly. Is there God literally there there their appetites. That's their deity. What they live for and worship don't impersonate a Gentile, is no spiritual barometer easily give us pleasure free pass. That's why the church is misguided to think somehow we gotta control these sinners from their flesh. They still die go to hell right there spirit has to be brought to light the regeneration by the mission of the gospel and the church is to bring them to faith in Christ by the grace of God.
Until then their flesh wins doesn't hold you to that kind of life. Even though Mace makes sense to them. Fact you've heard people say things to you like this, just being judgmental and that makes you as much a sinner as you say other people are judge mentalism by the way, is the chief sin of the world.
How can something that is brought such enjoyment to my like be wrong or God's will is for me to be happy and this is happiness work.wouldn't deny me something he actually created me to want or my marriage was never God's will.
In the first place. So this really is adultery or marriage is just a piece of paper.
Anyways society made up. God knows my heart or the real issue is love and when I'm with another person or those other people. I feel love. I have heard every one of those more times than I can count.
In my years of ministry to the person controlled by the flesh and not the spirit.
Sin makes sense. In fact, it is nothing but sheer excitement which is why immorality only shows shows you the commercial never shows you the hangover. It never shows you the broken heart never shows you the girl curled up in a fetal position, sobbing after having been used in never shows you the man devastated by disease.
He can no longer hide from his wife. The commercial looks great and it makes perfect sense. Let me refer to one growing trend in a perfect illustration today more couples in this country are choosing to cohabit.
That is to live together.
In fact, cohabiting couples now outnumber marriage certificates make sense right.
It's a couple started financially effortless.
By the way my office helps us get to know each other, allows us to make a commitment without the expense of a wedding makes us certain were compatible that short-term reasoning and that's by the way, the commercial one article from the new Oxford review stunned me as I read they done research over a number of years and here are some of the results on the same professional time to write anything that aided cohabiting couples are nearly 8 times more likely the separate due to discord than married couples in their first year together eight times more likely to say I'm gonna leave you cohabiting couples have a separation rate five times greater than married couple cohabiting women contribute more than 70% of a relationships financial income, on average, the men in cohabiting households earn far less income than married men with families compared to married individuals.
Those who are cohabiting report higher levels of depression, the poverty rate among children in cohabiting households is five times greater in children and married couple sounds.
Children ages 12 to 17 with cohabiting parents are six times more likely to exhibit emotional and behavioral problem number eight cohabitation present a greater risk for sexually transmitted disease because cohabiting men are four times more likely to be unfaithful than husband and on and on and on. So it is good for us financially, emotionally, physically, that's the commercial were going to be able to live without any restriction, no you going to be able to self-destruct faster than you expected. That's the reality.
With the reality. All right, we give you two closing observations. Your one. No one ever lived in a generation where holiness came easy. No, the reason I told you everything I told you that Thessalonica and Rome was to encourage it was a battle for the Thessalonians to pursue holiness as much as it is for North Carolinians to pursue holiness, former professor of sociology at Harvard, lamented about our culture. There is a growing preoccupation now of our people with social sewers. The broken homes, disloyal parents.
The bedrooms of prostitutes, a den of criminals. Think of all the television shows are becoming more more popular. Think of the new series. Think about how everybody's product, but with this is so true, isn't it.
Preoccupation with looking into the ward of the insane club dishonest politician. The streetcorner gang of delinquents hate leaving prison a crime-ridden waterfront. The court room of the dishonest judge the sexy adventures of rapists the lives of adulterers and fornicators of masochists and sadists mistresses and playboys. It's all seductively prepared and served up to us now with all the trimmings. So he writes in 1965. No one ever lived in a generation where holiness came easy. Secondly, no one ever lives a life of holiness by accident report was effectively writing to the Thessalonians.
Look, you're doing great.
I'm proud of you. You're doing great. Just don't settle there, watch out for any tendency to slide toward mediocrity and compromise holiness happens on purpose, but Paul wrote to Timothy.
Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness discipline that train yourself that that word is good and not so from our word to get away from the gymnasium. Go ahead and work out our sweat for holiness sake also hard to read the Bible worked up a sweat. It is hard to walk with the work up a sweat when you sweat over the difficulty of spiritual disciplines Paul to Timothy go into the gymnasium of spiritual disciplines and an worked up a sweat when he suggests six habits to form phenomena doing 60 seconds or less. Number one, don't justify little compromises as in this they are or don't justify little compromises is innocent.
Think of them as little viruses that are ready to multiply number two. Don't wait to fight temptation when it becomes dangerous, it already is.
Three. Don't assume you are beyond the reach of any sin. If Paul is writing this to the Thessalonians, who passionately were pursuing Jesus Christ and the us to tell them abstain from sexual immorality's. We need to say before don't develop close friendships that encourage you to think like a Gentile. You know what I mean friendships. Yes, close friendships that influence you read the book of Proverbs. If you have questions with what I just number five.
Be honest when temptation knocks. Be honest when temptation knocks and admit you can handle without the spirit.
One more. Keep your running shoes close by the kind that are easy to slip it my age. Velcro is one keep them close by you ready to run at a moments notice practical advice today from God's word and I hope it was helpful to you. This is wisdom for the heart with our Bible teacher, Stephen Devi, Stephen, called today's lesson battling the beast within, but as you are listening today. Maybe you wished your child or grandchild or friend could hear these principles as well. If so, we want to help you get a copy of this lesson, you would find this lesson in its entirety. If you visited our website wisdom online.org. It also find it on our smart phone you can go to either of those platforms and search for the message. Battling the beast within in addition to posting the message for you to listen to.
We also provide you with the written manuscript of Stephen's message.
Those are available free of charge will be back tomorrow with another lesson from God's word so make lands to join us here on list for the heart