1Thessolinians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication. (KJV)
How often do we ask, ďWhat is the will of God for me?Ē Well this verse tells us directly what Godís will is for us. The question we should ask ourselves is, ďDo I want to do His will?Ē
Like many of you out in this vast world we live in, I grew up believing that God did not require a fixed standard when it came to sex and how we human beings should practice it. The biggest reason for that belief system was because I obtained most of my education, understanding, and knowledge about sex from television and not the Word of God. I cannot truly recall any true biblical teaching on the matter of sex in church, but Iím sure it was taught at some point on some level of my childhood. I had no ears to hear anyway. My parents grew up in an era, where I believe sex was not discussed with children (other than donít do it until you marry) because of embarrassment possibly. It probably was done that way for many generations. Having said all of that, you and I still have an individual responsibility to come to the knowledge of the truth concerning this human reality of sex.
Unlike the false or wrong things I learned about sex from television, there is truth about this issue we can only get from the Word of God.
In the Old Testament, the Bible is very candid about the sexual activity (good and bad) of many of the people revealed to us in its pages. I quite frankly have found some things to be somewhat disturbing or unsettling, but this is why God is Sovereign and in control and Iím not. Also, there have been many things in my own life I find very disturbing and yet my Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ wants a daily intimate relationship with me despite my filth. This fills me with a desire to please Him in my body and spirit, which belong to Him now, to long for and seek out His grace to fill my life.
In the Book of Genesis, not long after Judah and his brothers betrayed their younger brother Joseph by selling him to slave merchants (Joseph would become Potipharís slave and he would flee from sexual temptation and his faithfulness landed him in prison, you can read about it in Genesis 39), we read that Judah had two sons that lived wickedly before the Lord and the Lord killed them both.
Now these things seem most sinful and disturbing enough, but we read on to find out that Judah while traveling to a city called Timnah, saw a prostitute (a woman he perceived to be a prostitute) along the road and went in to have sex with her. She made him give her his signet, his cord, and his staff to have sex with her and he gladly handed them over to satisfy his temporary lust. Judah did not know that this woman was his daughter-in-law and that she had conceived twin boys from this sexual encounter. What a monster sexual lust is and what disaster it reeks when the human heart gives in to it. The fact that God reveals to us the wrong sexual behavior of this man that He allowed (because He never forces manís will) serves as one of the many testimonies of His Law of sowing and reaping. The will of God for sex was given to man soon after manís creation, but our corrupted spiritual nature has distorted and perverted the original Godly intention and therefore, Judah, Sampson, David, Solomon, and you and I have chosen to reject the will of God for our own will.
I suppose that one of the most tragic things that has occurred over many centuries of the Church is the misguided or felonious interpretation of what the Apostle Paul wrote here in 1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (NKJV) The wolves in sheepís clothing our Lord warned us about have used this text to advocate a licensed, licentious, and lascivious sexual lifestyle that brings about bondage to the participant and brings no Glory to our Lord Jesus, but rather brings reproach to His Name.
As we read on in this passage Paul (by the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit), anticipates this erroneous thinking and quickly repudiates it with these words: 1 Corinthians 6:13-20 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (NKJV)
You see God the Father knew before He founded this world what the nature or condition of manís heart would be apart from Him reigning and ruling there. He saw the works of Judah, Sampson, David, Solomon, and you and me before we were ever conceived in our motherís womb. However, many of us incorrectly look back at the lives of David or Solomon and think perhaps God sanctioned or even ordained the many wives and concubines that they had during their lives on earth, but this was not Godís will for them. You will not read anywhere in the Old Testament that God ordained this behavior, but only He allowed it because He will never force manís will into compliance with His will. They suffered much from their disobedience.
Listen to what Jeremiah wrote: Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. (NKJV) He only gives to every man what that man wants, good or bad.
Therefore, if we go back to what Paul wrote above in 1 Corinthians 6, we read the fulfilled promise (the Holy Spirit who is in you) of what was to come for Israel (and that promise to Israel is true for every regenerated born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, Jew or Gentile). The promise was given through Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
First listen to the Prophet Jeremiah: Jeremiah 31:31-34 Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah ---not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." (NKJV)
Now listen to the Prophet Ezekiel: Ezekiel 36:16-27 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying: "Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds; to Me their way was like the uncleanness of a woman in her customary impurity. Therefore I poured out My fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for their idols with which they had defiled it. So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds. When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name --- when they said of them, 'These are the people of the LORD, and yet they have gone out of His land.' But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went. "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD," says the Lord GOD, "when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. (NKJV)
For hundreds of years the Jews had the Law of God but were never able to keep the Law because there was not in them any power to walk out that Law obediently. Perhaps we should sympathize with them seeing that they had no power in them to be obedient, but this is not completely true, because the law was never given to them to make them perfect (just as the new birth now does not make us perfect down here) but that they would be blameless before the Lord and we should walk in newness of life before the Lord Jesus (Romans 6:4). The Word of God speaks of Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth and says the following: Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. (NKJV)
The Greek word used here to translate blameless is amemptos, which means, irreproachable; faultless; impeccable; not capable of sinning or liable to sin; not to bring disgrace or dishonor to God. This is a strong word and is used by Luke to convey what was the heart desire of the remnant in Israel before Christ birth and His death and resurrection. Despite the majority of Israel profaning the Holy Name of God by their perverse lifestyles, there was always a remnant among the majority who were blameless in His sight. As we know these two were blessed to become the parents of John the Baptist. Were they walking or living in sexual purity? Well, thatís what the text tells us and despite what was going on around them to the contrary of sexual purity, their love and reverence for God produced in them a desire for obedience, which was met by the Lord in their hearts.
Finally, how does all of this come together to define or bear witness of a true follower of Jesus Christ when it comes to sexual relations and Godís will for us today? We have a better covenant under the New Testament since Christ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead. Listen to Paul in Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. (NKJV)
The English word better is used twice in this verse and it comes from the Greek word kreitton, which means, stronger or more powerful. Going back again to 1 Corinthians 6:19 where Paul testifies of the promise Prophesied by Jeremiah and Ezekiel and that is the Holy Spirit in the true believer. The Lord Jesus said, ďHe (God the Holy Spirit) will guide us to all truth.Ē The Lord Jesus also prayed to the Father these words, ďSanctify them (true believers) with the truth, thy Word is truth.Ē Therefore, no true believer will rationalize their sexual behavior outside of marriage between Husband and Wife (both born again) in the Lord. Every person that lives outside of this truth continually and teaches others that they too can live this way, God the Holy Spirit is not living in them. God is love and His love is solely built upon truth and truth alone.
1 John 3:7-10 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. (NKJV)
The Lord tells us in Proverbs that all sexual activity outside of His will brings reproach to the person, wounds, and destruction of the soul (see Proverbs 6:32-33). He also clearly warns us not to go into the house of an immoral woman, because that place will lead to death and the depths of hell (see Proverbs 7:26-27). All of this applies equally to the woman and the immoral man.
If you love our Lord Jesus Christ, you will by His Spirit walk in sexual purity as your pattern of life and when you veer off into sexual sin of any kind, He (God the Holy Spirit will be grieved) and He will drive you back to the foot of the cross to repent (turn around) and go back to walking in the truth. This is Godís only will for His children and their sexual relationships as pilgrims, sojourners, and aliens on this earth. Once we were blind but now we see. Amen!!!
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, ďSilent Assassins of the SoulĒ, one day it will be in the hands ordained by the Lord to read it!!!