Sexual Immorality

Dustin Folden July 2, 2017 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Outline

4 principles to help us handle the problem of sexual immorality in a Christ-centered way

I. Sexual immorality goes against our purpose

A. Our purpose is decided by the Lord

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 - …and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

B. Our purpose is very clear

1 Thessalonians 4:3 - For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor…

1 Peter 1:15-16 - …but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 - Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

II. Sexual immorality begins in our desires

A. Sexual sin starts in the heart

James 1:13-15 - Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Matthew 15:19 - For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.

B. We have a tendency to excuse our sin

C. Not all desires are inherently sinful

1 Timothy 3:1 - It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.

D. We often enslave ourselves to poorly chosen desires

Romans 6:6 - …knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.

Romans 6:16 - Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

James 4:1 - What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?

E. Our desires can be controlled and changed

1 Thessalonians 4:4 - That each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor.

Galatians 5:16 - But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Proverbs 4:23 - Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.

III. Sexual immorality is characterized by deceitfulness

Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

Hebrews 3:13 - But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Galatians 6:7 - Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

A. Wrong view of pleasure and consequences

B. Wrong view of intimacy in marriage

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 - Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

C. Right view of singleness

IV. Sexual immorality can be prevented and overcome through Christ

A. Because we have a High Priest

Hebrews 4:15-16 - For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

B. Because we have been made alive

Colossians 2:13-14 - When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

C. Because of grace we have a choice

Romans 6:1-2 - What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Romans 6:12-14 - Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

D. Because our relationship with Christ can radically change the way we view pleasure

Galatians 6:14 - But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Luke 9:23 - And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

E. Because we will give an account

Proverbs 15:3 - The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.

Proverbs 5:21 - For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He watches all his paths.

Romans 2:16 - …on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

- this summer we’re in a series entitled Handling Problems in a Christ-Centered Way…as part of our theme this year of In Christ Alone…   

- this is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation which was all about how salvation is by grace alone, through faith, in Christ alone, according to the Scriptures alone, to the glory of God alone…

- and this summer we’re studying some of the practical areas of the Christian life this set of doctrines affects and informs…

- in other words – if we really believe that about our Lord…His sufficiency…that’s He’s all we need…what does that look like in our daily life…at home, at work, at the ballfield…

- so far we’ve looked at issues like anger, and pride, and worry, bitterness.

- today we will spend some time talking about how our relationship with Christ can help us address our view of sex.

This topic is a bit challenging to talk about at times. We don’t necessarily, plan events around talking about sexual struggles. But there are lots of Reasons to study this.

some reasons this is important to discuss…

  • If you disciple others, you will need to help people with this issue. (Parenting, mentoring, being a godly friend/accountability partner, point man group or ladies bible study)
  • We face a lot of sexual temptation in our culture (internet, television, stores, and public issues).
    • Friend requests with inappropriate profile pictures.
  • The Bible communicates a lot about sexual sin.
    • Gen. 19 – Sodom; Gen. 39 – Joseph; David & Bathsheba; Rahab the ‘harlot’
    • into the NT, Jesus spoke of adultery, fornication; John 4 – the woman at the well living with a man who was not her husband.
    • many passages where the Epistles mention the subject:
    • Sex is to be for God’s glory – we need to teach about it rightly, not let the culture define it and the church ignore it.
  • Sexual sin brings with it severe consequences – ministries destroyed, families split apart.
  • Sexual Sin is very deceiving (Picanna illustration)

My friend Sacha from Seminary is from Brazil, and he introduced me to Picanha. It is the best cut of meat at a Brazilian steakhouse, a chuhascaria.

Picanha – Beef Rump Cap

It is basically a beef tenderloin, or a filet mignon, but better. It has a fat cap, so you get all the flavor of the fat, and all the tenderness of a filet.

There is a Brazilian steakhouse down in Indy, called fogo de chao, and my friend Sacha says, don’t eat the chicken, don’t eat the sausage, don’t eat the salad bar (I love salad, and they have an amazing salad bar), only eat the Picanha. I got to have it down in brazil, and it was amazing.

Now imagine if I bring out this freshly barbequed Picanha, it has been trimmed to perfection, it's perfectly caramelized on the outside, it smells amazing…then I told you, close your eyes and I will give you some Picanha …but instead of the Picanha, I give you a white castle slider…and not just any white castle slider, but a slider from the dumpster that is molded and maggoty, and you eat it thinking you are having Picanha.

That is what the deceptive nature of sexual sin is like…you think you are getting something delicious, enjoyable and special, but you have been deceived and are eating something that is not only terrible, but can destroy you and your family and dishonor the Lord.

That is why we want to address sexual immorality in a Christ centered way…

This morning we are talking about Understanding and Overcoming Sexual immorality in Christ alone

Even though sexual sin is very power and deceiving, What we will see is that The Gospel can cut through that deception, and is much more powerful and it provides hope for a person to change and grow.

With that in mind please turn in your bibles to 1 Thess 4:1-8…that is on page 160 in the back section, the NT in bible under the seat in front of you.

1 Thessalonians 4:1–8

1 Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. 2 For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

Let’s study 4 principles from the Word of God to help us handle the problem of sexual immorality in a Christ centered way..

  1. Sexual immorality goes against our purpose
    1. Our Purpose is decided by the Lord
    2. Notice in the text the high level of instruction, direction and referencing authority.
    1. Our Purpose is very clear
    1. 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Now that we have defined our purpose and how sexual sin goes against that purpose… our next point is where sexual sin begins.

  1. Sexual Immorality begins in our desires
    1. The issue here is not having to figure out what to do, knowing God’s will. It is cultivating the desire to do God’s will.
    1. Sexual Sin starts in the heart
    1. We have a tendency to excuse our sin.

As we look at the heart we realize that…

    1. Not all desires are inherently sinful

- if you don’t have a desire for food, you wouldn’t eat

- if you don’t have a desire for rest, you wouldn’t sleep

    1. 1 Timothy 3:1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.

The problem is…

    1. We often enslave ourselves to poorly chosen desires.

-  We often misuse or abuse those desires [willingly place ourselves at their feet] – they become our master

  • food --- can become gluttony
  • rest --- can become laziness
  • right --- can became fighting in communication

The man with the chicken coop…he wanted complete control of his fantasy world, but that fantasy world got such a hold on him, that he would look at porn at work, and he eventually got fired…so his perfect fantasy world did not serve him well. It took much more than it gave.

A key point of this passage and in the Christian life in general is that

    1. Our desires can be controlled and changed

Point:  Desires are not inherently sinful!

    1. V5 references we are not to function with lustful passions….like gentiles who do not know God…in other words, don’t live like you have no idea who God is, what he wants, and so then  do whatever you want…

Illustration: Favorite Color or Mushrooms…

We often don’t want to do the work of aiming our mind, controlling what we want, what we think about, and what brings us pleasure. It takes a lot of work, but it impacts our whole life.

    1. Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.

There is a need for diligence because sexual sin is so powerful and deceptive.

  1. Sexual Immorality is characterized by Deceitfulness
    1. Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
    1. Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
    2. 1 Thess 4:8 – indicates that there were some in the church that rejected the idea that their sexuality needed to come under the Lordship of Christ.
    1. Wrong view of pleasure and consequences

Wrong View:

 

 

  

Consequences

 

Biblical View: 

 

    1. Wrong view of intimacy in marriage

This helps us have a right view of marriage, but also a…

    1. Right view of singleness
    1. sometimes we can talk about this topic and make it sounds like everyone is doing a bad job, especially singles.
    1. this is for singles and married folks…men and women

The Gospel provides the ability and motivation to pursue holiness…

  1. Sexual Immorality can be prevented and overcome through Christ
    1. Because we have a high priest
    1. Because we have been made alive
    1. Because of grace we have a choice
    1. Because our relationship with Christ can radically change the way we view pleasure
    1. Because we will give an account

 

Dustin Folden

B.S - Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
M.Div. - Faith Bible Seminary

Pastor Dustin Folden and his wife Trisha joined the Pastoral Staff in 2010. They have two children, Mackenna & Sawyer. They enjoy playing board games, cooking together and going on hiking adventures. Pastor Folden shepherds the 9:30 worship service, oversees the Adult Bible Fellowship ministry, the Wednesday evening Faith Community Institute as well as serves in Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries.

Read Dustin Folden's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Folden to Faith Church.