Here is something most people don’t want to hear:
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans who do not know God…” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
Yes, your sanctification is directly related to your sex life.
And if I’m being honest here, it’s very interesting that the wording implies that we are to learn to control our own bodies. This perplexes me also in Galatians 5:22 where “self-control” is listed as a fruit of the Spirit.
There is a clear line of personal accountability here that I think most people – even Bible-believing and professing Christians don’t want to acknowlege. We’d rather blame the devil and the temptation that admit we chose it.
This self-control is clearly given as a gift from the Holy Spirit living and breathing in our hearts per the aforementioned Galatians scripture, but it’s on us. If you have accepted Christ, the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in your heart and you have become a holy temple of God. It is the seal of our salvation according to Ephesians 1:13-14. In fact, someone cannot claim to have Christ, but not have the Holy Spirit. The book of Romans actually says that if the Spirit is not in you, then you do not belong to Christ (8:9). John 3:5-16 is a pretty interesting passage on this as well. But I digress.
You accept Christ. The Holy Spirit comes. You become a temple. These fruits of the Spirit are available to you.
This is the general progression I’ve found in the Bible.
What is interesting to me is how few of us, myself included at times, are willing to seek this self-control from the Holy Spirit in regards to our sex lives (and yes, I’m talking to all you single ladies). If you want to be a Christian and you want to see God do work in your life, you’ve got to seek Him. You’ve got to get familiar with His Word. You’ve got to let that Holy Spirit get to making you holy. And for crying out loud, you’ve got to stop letting some man come in and desecrate and vandalize the temple!
Let’s hang out in that image for a minute. Jesus the carpenter has just spent days, weeks, months, years, working on building this temple for the Most High Ancient of Days and His Dear Ol’ Dad. At the end of each day, He steps back and truly just admires each new section He’s broken ground on that day, just in complete adoration of its splendor and He’s proud of His work. He goes to lay down for the night, and some punk kid comes up and with some spray paint and a sledgehammer (and in probably, what? 2.4 minutes?) totally destroys it. Now, Jesus, the patient and talented craftsman that He is, is more than able bodied to do the work all over again, probably even better than before – from glory to glory the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:18. But imagine this happening 3 or 4 times a week… every night maybe? It’d be awful. Thankfully, He never tires.
Ladies, this is as much for me as it is for you – if we want what God has for you, if we want God’s will for our lives, we have got to STOP letting a few words out of some man’s mouth drag us into being a willing participant in the desecration of a temple of God. I mean really, some of us are willing participants in this; like a temple that grew legs and walked over to the punk with the spray pain and the sledgehammer instead of waiting for him to come over and said “you look like an artist, please feel free to do as you please.”
NO! No he is not an artist! HE. IS A VANDAL. (And if this guy is an artist in real life, pretend he isn’t just for this analogy and/or get the right perspective and realize that anything creative in us is from our Heavenly Creator who made us in His own image). And on that note, let me be very plain about something. Ephesians 6 says that our fight is not with flesh and blood, it is with the powers of darkness, the notoriously illustrious Satan himself and all of those who work for him. It isn’t your guy who is the enemy – it’s the enemy who is the enemy. But that doesn’t make this guy good for you either. If there’s a guy dragging us into sexual sin, the Bible says to FLEE from sin, which I gather means him too if we just can’t get it right (1 Corinthians 6:18, 2 Timothy 2:22). Run if you have to, girl. Get up and run.
On the flip side, if you think you’ve got it figured out but you don’t think he does, I really challenge you to seek truth in this: the Bible also says do not be a stumbling block to others (Romans 14:13-23, 1 Corinthians 8:13, 1 Timothy 4:12). If you find yourself in a position that you are tempting him, then sister do both of you a favor and stop. Don’t let the enemy work through you either.
People everywhere want to twist the Word to make it fit their lifestyle of sexual immorality – be it straight or otherwise. But in all reality, if you pick up and read the Bible it simply does not support anything sexual outside of the marriage between a woman and man. It’s plain and clear and it’s simple: our sexual purity is a BIG DEAL and it is God’s will that we are sanctified by it.
I don’t mean to sound so harsh, girls, really. I say it out of love because it definitely leaves a sting in my heart too. And you can agree or disagree, but let me leave this one last thing with you to ponder, it’s been in the back of my mind a while now:
“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live holy lives. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man, but God, who gives you His Holy Spirit.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8