We live in an extremely sexually-charged culture. Premarital sex, extramarital affairs, pornography, homosexuality, prostitution, and so much more run rampant in American culture…as well as Biblical culture. Paul addressed it head-on in his first letter to the Christians in Thessalonica, and here’s the message for us: in a culture deeply submerged in sexual immorality, we are called to be set apart. To be part of the maturing audience, sexual purity is not an option.

Here are a couple thoughts that will help us in the fight ahead…

Make pleasing God your lifelong pursuit.

Paul taught the Thessalonians how they were to talk and to please God. That’s pivotal. The rest of our lives hinge on whose pleasure we are living for. The Bible makes it clear that our bodies are not our own. They belong to Jesus first (1 Corinthians 6) and to our spouse (or future spouse) secondly (1 Corinthians 7). If our bodies are not our own, we have to stop living as though they are. Following Jesus is a pursuit of “more and more” of Jesus!

Sexual purity amplifies God’s life-changing power.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 is one of only three times in the whole Bible that states explicitly what God’s will is for our lives, so we should definitely pay attention! In this case, God’s will is sanctification. He wants us to be set apart. Different. In the world, not of it. After all, how can we talk about God’s ability to change lives when we haven’t even let Him change ours? God want to tell the world He can change lives, and He wants to tell them through us!

Sexual sin cheapens a God-given gift.

Paul told the Thessalonians that that should know how to control their own bodies with holiness and honor. The word “honor” speaks of value and worth, which describe God’s view of sex: valuable and worthy of sacrifice and investment. Sexual immorality degrades and devalues a God-given gift that was meant to be a bonding agent between a married man and woman. Not only was sex given to bring a couple together further, but also to keep the devil out (1 Corinthians 7)!

So how do we deal with this epidemic? Not with censorship, but with honest conversations. Don’t work toward behavior modification; Jesus is after heart transformation. Take your sin to Jesus for forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and to others for healing (James 5:16).

K E V I N • M I L L E R

There’s more where that came from! Click below to watch the entire message called “maturing audiences only” from our series, Amplify.

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Access the whole series as well as hundreds of other messages from Awaken Church at awaken.church/teachings.

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