Human sexuality, as God intended it to be, came from the hand of God. In its intended form, there is nothing "dirty" or profane about human sexuality.
But just like virtually everything else that God has given, Fallen Man has transformed sexuality into many forms of evil. In this the devil is well pleased.
Man was created in the midst of an ongoing battle in the spiritual realm between the forces of good and evil. Man's part is to glorify God through obedience. Choosing between obedience and disobedience has been with us since the Garden of Eden.
When it comes to issues of sexuality, Man makes choices between engaging in what the Word of God identifies as being sexually moral behavior and what the Word of God identifies as sexually immoral behavior.
The primary function of the “pastor teacher (Eph. 4: 11)” calls for, “equipping of the saints” for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ…(Ephesians 4: 12 NASB ).” This equipping involves accurately teaching the necessary doctrines (1Pet. 3: 18) in order to “make disciples (Mat. 28: 19)” out of those who have already been born again (John 3: 5, 7).
An advancing disciple is a born again believer who is an ongoing student and applier of the Word of God.
The saints in this verse refers to the born again, Church Age believers.
The work of service is what the post salvation spiritual life all about.
The building up refers to developing one's level of spiritual maturity, measured by the amount of accurate doctrine he/she possesses, and his/her willingness to apply it.
The body of Christ in this verse is NOT making reference to the Humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, but rather the Church consisting of all born again believers here on Earth, of which He is the Head.
The initial objective of discipleship is the edification of oneself under the teaching ministry of a Biblically-qualified pastor teacher. Like a runner in a torch-relay race, one cannot pass along to others what he/she has not first taken possession of for him/herself.
The long term objective calls for the advancing disciple to engage in the work of service(Eph. 4: 12) in the capacity of Christ’s ambassador 2Cor. 5: 20). This work of service involves our participation in the Great Commission (Matt. 28: 19, 20). The Great Commission ion calls for the evangelism (presenting the Gospel Message for salvation) to unbelievers who cross our path, and edification of fellow born again believers in the things of God.
An ambassador is one who represents and speaks in behalf of one kingdom, while residing in another. To qualify and function as an ambassador, one must have a full and working knowledge of the policies of the kingdom he/she represents.
In the spiritual realm, Christ’s ambassador represents and speaks for the Kingdom of God while residing here in the devil’s (Luke 4: 6) world. Christ’s ambassador “speaks” both verbally and sllently by the daily example that his/her lifestyle projects.
The “policies” that Christ’s ambassadors need to master are the doctrines that come from the Word of God. Satan and those he deceives, promotes another agenda, often times through religious "authority."
Dealing with sin and sinners is an ongoing part of one's post salvation spiritual life. It begins with the sinner we face in the mirror each day, and expands to the sinners in one's family, circle of friends, and all the souls we interact with on a daily basis. We are all sinners (1John 1: 8).
The sins associated with sexual immorality are of great strategic value to the devil in the realm of spiritual combat. Sin takes the born again believer out of fellowship (2Cor. 13: 14) with God. Sin relating to sexual immorality is one category of sin that can easily become a lifestyle. As long as one has sin that he/she has not confessed (1John 1: 9) and/or has not forsaken (John 8: 11), he/she has been taken captive and removed from the battlefield of spiritual combat (Eph. 6). Not only has such a believer been neutralized as a threat to the kingdom of darkness, he/she becomes a useful weapon in the devil's hand by encouraging others to follow suit.
Sexual immorality has been a part of the human experience since the earliest periods of human history.
Here in the USA, issues of sexual immorality have greatly contributed to following the road of destruction (Matt. 7) that we, as a nation, have chosen to tread.
Here in the USA, proponents of some forms of sexual immorality (homosexuality/lesbianism) have succeeded in not only gaining a degree of social acceptance, but have secured legal standing and protection for those who choose to involve themselves in such forms of sexual immorality. Other forms of sexual immorality (heterosexual fornication/adultery) have become so common place that sexual immorality has become the norm and not the exception. The ominous words of the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 3: 9) are a hauntingly fair assessment of our present day, sexually perverted, society.
"The expression of their faces bear witness against them, And they display thier sin like Sodom; They do not even conceal it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves (Isaiah 3: 9 NASB)."
Certainly, advancing disciples and ambassadors of Christ (2Cor. 5: 20) are given frequent opportunities. both within and outside of the Christian Community, to take a godly stand concerning issues of sexuality and the negative impact that sexual immorality is having on our society.
One might ask what good will it do to speak up when the majority have chosen to take the road that leads to destruction. The answer is found in Genesis 18: 32 that teach that if there had been just 10 righteous persons found in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the destruction of the immoral cities could have been averted.
But don't kid yourself. There is a price to be paid for shining light (Matt. 5: 14-16) into the darkness of the devil's domain. The devil's domain can be as vast as the world at large (Luke 4: 6) or close as one's own "heart -Matt. 15: 19).
Rejection, isolation, and persecution Will be a part of discipleship (2Tim. 3: 12/Luke 14: 26)..
"For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders (Matt. 15: 19 NASB)."
The devil and those who did his bidding hated the Lord Jesus Christ for bringing the light of God's truth into the devil's (Luke 4: 6) darkened world.
Those who are living in the darkness will hate the advancing disciples of the Church Age if they choose to light bearers (John 15: 18, 19).
As it relates to this presentation, the darkness is the evil that is associated with the many ways in which the sins of sexual immorality can be entertained or engaged. The light is what God's Word has to say concerning such issues.
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute DARKNESS for LIGHT and LIGHT for darkness...(Isaiah 5: 20 NASB)."
By the stand we take, we promote the light of sexual morality or we promote darkness of sexual immorality. There is neutral zones in the spiritual realm.
Having engaged in the sins of sexual immorality in the past (1Cor. 6: 9-11), is no reason to continue doing so now, nor is it an excuse for not promoting what the advancing disciple should now know to be the truth concerning such sin.
Ongoing sin can on the part of leaders can destroy a ministry and needs to be addressed. It needs to be addressed not only for the spiritual well being of the ones involved, but for the sake of the local assembly. At the same time, If moral perfection were to be a requirement for service, no one would quality. In many situations, it is the one who has fallen and recovered from an area of sin who can best interact with others who are presently struggling with the same area of sin.
What would we think of a person who had a life preserver in hand, but would not throw it out to a drowning man who had fallen overboard?
In the spiritual realm, that is exactly what takes place when one has the Gospel Message in his/her own soul structure, but does not offer it to an unbeliever when an opportunitunity to do presents itself. This is takes place when one has the appropriate doctrine but does not offer it to one who is drowning in an area of sin.
Disciples are not accountable for what a recipient chooses to do with the "life preserver," but we,we accountable (Matt. 5:14-16)to offer it when the opportunity presents itself. At the very least, one can refer the person to a Bibically-qualified pastor teacher.
As it pertains to this presentation, the life preserver are the principles of the Doctrine of Sexuality.
Fear of losing or diminishing a relationship that one has (or desires to have) with others as a result of shining the light of God's truth into the dark corners of their heart (Matt. 15: 19) is what causes many of us to put the light (Gospel Message/Bible Doctrine) "under a basket (Matt. 5: 14: 16)", rendering the unfaithful believer unworthy of being called His disciple (Luke 14: 26).
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamopstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven (Matt. 15: 14-16)."
Light bearing is NOT a suggestion, it is a command.
If you truly "love" someone, you want the best for him/her, even it if means self sacrifice at the risk of rejection for having shined the light on their area of darkness.
When shining the light, some will accept it, and may even appreciate having been told the truth in an act of genuine love. Others will be reject it and may even turn and tear you to pieces (Matt. 7: 6). Better to have people hate you now, then have it said of you that you had the life preserver, but you failed to throw it out!
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The disintegration and/or redefining of the family structure that God designed is one of the major indications that the society is in a state of general moral decline, and that it is on a collision course with national divine discipline.
Only a small minority is called by God to live a single lifestyle of celibacy (1Cor. 7). When celibacy is the type of lifestyle that God has in mind for any given individual, then that is the type of lifestyle that is right for him/her. One must make certain that the celibate lifestyle is what God desires for him/her as part of the plan that God has in mind for him/her as an individual (1Cor. 7: 7, 17).
Fear of being hurt and celibacy are not the same thing. Celibates have no desire to engage in sexual activity and are therefore happy to live without it.
In the spiritual realm, there are challenges (Gen. 2:18) and advantages (1Cor. 7: 28)associated with a celibate lifestyle.
Believers in both the Old Testament and New Testament dispensations were/are commanded (not an option) to abstain from heterosexual intercourse outside of marriage (Heb. 13: 4), and to abstain from the remaining forms of sexual immorality (1Thess. 4: 3, 4, 5 NASB) at all times.
"Marriage is to be held in honor by all, and the marriage bed to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge (Heb. 13:4 NASB)."
“For this is the will of God for 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, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God (1Thess. 4: 3,4,5 NASB).
Sanctification, here, means to be set apart for a divine purpose. There is positional santification that takes place as remains intact from the moment one is born again forward, and there is experiential sanctification that one experiences when in fellowship with God and filled (under the control) of God the Holy Spirit. (See the Doctrine of Sanctification) for further information.
One of the most successful and practical ways to resist the natural urge to engage in heterosexual intercourse is to choose not to place oneself in an environment or situation where sexual intercourse can take place. It is natural for a man and a woman to desire sexual activity with a member of the opposite gender, but doing what is natural can get one in a lot of hot water if and when such desires leads to sin.
The same elimination of opportunity strategy can go along way for a person struggling with evil impulses to engage in any other form of sexual immorality.
This strategy howver, does not replace the need to confess and to forsake sin.
Much of the post salvation spiritual life is about denying oneself what pleases oneself in order to glorify God through obedience. It does not take much to refrain from something we have no interest or pleasure in, but forsaking something that does bring some form of pleasure, including the passing pleasures of sin (Heb. 11: 25), can be a real challenge for many of us.
Humans generally are not motivated to give up their desires, be they good or evil, unless and until something comes along that they desire more. For an advancing disciple, his/her primary desire is to honor God in every area of his/her life.
As in the case of the type sexual immorality (fornication/adultery) involving heterosexual partners , the urge that one may have to engage is other forms of sexual immorality involving same sex partners is one of the many ways that the sin nature in fallen Man can manifest itself. According to James 1: 10, any one form of sexual immorality is no greater or no less a sin (James 2: 10) that any other.
Just as we can choose to engage in sin, we can also choose to confess (1John 1: 9) and forsake (John 8: 11) the same sin.
In some English translations of Scripture, the word fornication is used instead of the phrase sexual immorality in Heb. 13: 4. Fornication involves sexual intercourse berween unmarried partnrrs. Fornication can involve heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual partners.
“Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled (kept pure NIV); for f-o-r-n-i-c-a-t-o-r-s and a-d-u-l-t-e-r-e-r-s God will judge (Heb. 13: 4 NASB italics mine.”
Sexual immorality can be manifested in many different forms, and engaged in for many different reasons. Each one, however, is a contradictory alternative to what God desires, and is therefore sin.
There are different forms of sexual immorality. Among them are heterosexual and homosexual prostitution, pagan religious practices, heterosexual adultery, fornication, bisexuality, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, voyeurism/pornography, sexual assault (rape), sexual molestation, groping, etc., etc., etc..
Taking it one step further, The Lord Jesus Christ in Matt. 5: 28 taught that just entertaining a lustful thought of engaging in an act of sexual immorality, in this case heterosexual adultery, equates with overtly committing the actual act!
Experiencing a moment of temptation when a thought sexually immoral thought crosses our mind, or when we are presented with an opportunity to engage in some act of sexual immorality is NOT (yet) a sin. It’s what we choose to do with the thought or the opportunity that determines if we are going to sin or not. We choose to either reject or to entertain the thoughts and/or opportunities that come (or are sent) our way.
Hebrews 4: 15 teach that the Humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted in every way that we are, but did NOT sin.
In truth, all our overt actions are the result of a decision that we have already made in our conscious or subconscious minds. Loading up our subconscious minds with all of the sexual trash that is available on the boob tube, cable t.v., sitcoms, movies, etc., is what sets the stage for the devil to present evil thoughts and opportunities to present themselves in the real world. The sexual pressure without release that such material generates can cause us to be like a ticking bomb just waiting to go off. Frequent exposure to sexual immorality is one of the ways that the forces of evil wear down the sensitivity and promote the acceptance of sexual immorality as acceptable, alternative lifestyles and behaviors.
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Homophobia (fear of homosexuality or homosexuals) generates confusion of what a sexual predator is. Being heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual does not in itself make or preclude one from becoming a sexual predator. There are heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual predators, and there are heterosexuals, bisexuals, and homosexuals who are not sexual predators. A sexual predator is one who seeks out opportunities to engage in a form of sexual immorality in which he/she forces his/her will onto others. This force can be physical, or mental, positional.
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Interesting to note is that the Lord Jesus Christ used the example of sexual immorality when dealing with the self-righteous, religious, Pharisees (Matt. 21: 31).
While not being known to engage in sexual immorality, many of the Pharisees were known to look down their noses on those they considered to be beneath them in the social and religious realm. When Proverbs 6: 7 NASB lists the six things that God “hates,” sexual immorality did not make the list, but having haughty eyes” (looking down one’s nose at others) was right there at the top of the list!
“…Truly I say to you that tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of Heaven ahead of you Matt. 21: 31 NABS).”
Note that He did not say that the Pharisees couldn’t get in, but that (notoriously crooked) tax collectors and (sexually immoral) prostitutes would get in “ahead” of them.
Because tax collectors (Matthew) and immoral persons were willing to repent (change their minds/ways), whereas many of the very religious Pharisees failed to see their need to do so.
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Q. Where does the desire to engage in the sins of sexual immorality come from?
A. As in the case of every other type of sin, the desire to engage in sexual immorality primarily comes from the sin nature that was first received by Adam and the woman, later named Eve, as a result of the Fall of Man (Genesis 3). Psalms 51:5 teach that the sin nature is passed down to the next generation at the moment of conception.
This does not mean that there in anything sinful about heterosexual intercourse between married partners. God did not, does not, and will not command anyone to do anything that can be rightly placed under the umbrella of what the Bible calls sin.
It IS natural for fallen Man, when under the influence of the fallen sin nature, to engage in sin. Just as It comes natural for a liar to lie, a thief to steal, , it is natural for soul that has a spiritual weakness in the area of sexuality, to engage in one or more behaviors that the Word of God identifies as sexually immorality.
“… a natural (naturally-minded) man does not accept the things of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1Cor. 2: 14 NASB italics mine).” Not only is the natural Man "hostile Romans 8: 7 NASB)" towards God and the things of God, he is open to the alternatives that the devil and the kingdom of darkness promote. What God has to say about sexuality is among the "things" of God.
With the help of the ignorance and the arrogance common to Fallen Man, many of us have mastered the art of being able to see the sins of others, while being totally blind to our own (Matt. 7: 3-5).
Many of those who do not engage in the sins associated with sexually immorality consider themselves to be a "cut above" those who do, but James 2:10 puts all of us in the same stinking, sinking, boat of sin.
The fact that we are all sinners does not mean that we are not perdonally accountable for the sins that we do commit.
Psalms 51: 5 teach that this sin nature is passed down at the moment of what will be our humanity at birth is conceived.
Sexual immorality, be it of the heterosexual, bisexual, or homosexual variety, is ONE of the many ways in which the sin nature is manifested in Fallen Man.
Q. If we all receive this fallen nature, then why is it that we are not all interested or tempted to sin in the same ways?
A. The sin nature manifests itself differently in each one of us. Accordingly, we are all sinners, but we do not have a tendency to commit the same types of sin. We all have different areas of spiritual strengths, and we all have different areas of our spiritual weaknesses. Some are easily tempted in some areas or forms of sin, but have no interest in the type of sins that others are so easily tempted.
As this pertains to this presentation, some of us have no desire to engage in any form of sexual immorality. Some of us have a desire to engage is some forms, but not all. Some of us have a desire to engage in them all.
We are all at different stages of spiritual growth. There are things that many of us were “OK with” in the past that are no longer a part of our lifestyles. We cannot change what we have done, but we can change what we wiil do in the future. Just as one chose to engage in sexual immorality in the past, the same one can choose to confess (1John 1:9) and forsake (John 8:11) the sins of his/her past and receive forgiveness.
In the realm of spiritual combat (Eph. 6: 12), every human soul is a target. The more one advances in the life that God has in mind for him/her, the greater target he/she becomes.
The devil and those who do his bidding will appeal to the fallen nature in his intended target. The fallen nature does NOT go away at the moment of salvation (Romans 7). It will remain with us as long as we remain in these mortal bodies. The Apostle Paul spoke of his ongoing battle with the sin nature within him almost 30 years AFTER he was born again and towards the end of his post salvation spiritual life.
Part of the devil’s strategy is to offer to satisfy some perceived need or unfulfilled desire that appeals to the target. The woman (Eve) was deceived by the serpent (Gen. 3: 13) and led to believe that eating of the fruit would actually improve their lot in life (Gen. 3: 5). Adam, was not deceived (1Tim. 2: 14), but chose his relationship with the woman over his relationship with God (Gen. 3: 17).
The devil knows that Fallen Man is very fixated on the here and now and has little, if any, concern for eternity. Accordingly, the devil’s proposals are always about the here and now, without mentioning what impact such things will have on eternity. The only concept concerning eternity that the devil will promote is the false teaching that there is no eternity.
The devil knows what eternity has in store for him (Rev. 20: 10), and has no problem with having as many human souls that he can deceive to spend eternity with him (Rev. 20: 13, 15).
The Word of God (Hebrews 11:25) concedes that there are passing seasons of pleasure associated with certain sins. But Scripture (Matt. 16: 26) also warns that even if one were to gain and experience everything that the devil’s world (Luke 4: 6) has to offer (now), it is not worth experiencing etetnal loss. For the unbeliever, this eternal loss involves spending all of eternity in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). For the back sliding born again believer, the loss involves the 1Cor. 3:14 rewards and the Rev. 2/Rev. 3 privileges.
In addition to the fallen nature that is in all of us (Romans 7), there are secondary internal and external sources of pressure on the soul that can encourage one to engage is sin, including the various sins of sexual immorality.
Among these internal and external sources are the fear of or the unwillingness to be alone, the normal desire to feel wanted, fear of social rejection, peer pressure, the natural desire to experience physical human contact, the natural desire to experience the momentary pleasures of being sexually active, financial or positional compensation, marital or parental rebellion, revenge, belonging to pagan religious cults, clicks, organizations, or gangs that call for acts of sexual immorality as initiation or participation requirements, fulfilling the evil desires of being a sexual predator. Depending on the target's individual areas of weakness, the kingdom of darkness will use these additional sources of influence to lure the intended target into sexual immorality.
False guilt (after being sexually assaulted) can later lead the victims into sexual immorality. When not handled correctly, the innocent victim can conclude that there must have been something wrong with him or her to have allowed such things to take place. This line of thinking can lead the deceived victim into seeking the comfort and acceptance of others who choose to engage in such activity. Such victims may rationalize that if others can choose to engage in what had been forced on them, then perhaps it (or they) weren’t so “bad” after all.
False guilt can lead the soul into other areas of sin, subconsciously desiring to be caught and punished to make up for the false “guilt” they feel as a result of having being victimized. For them, being punished for what they get caught doing balances the scales for not having been punished for what happened to them as a victim.
The sexual assaulter is the sinner, and NOT the victim. But if the victim does not see this principle, it can lead to him/her choosing to engage in the same activity, which then would be a sin. Under such circumstances, the victim of a sexual assault can often become a future sexual predator, as the abused becomes an abuser.
The desire to cover-up the shame and guilt associated with sexual immorality can lead to thoughts (or actions) of homicide and suicide.
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While some religious cults promote sexual immorality, most “religious” groups consider sexual sin to be most offensive. It was for this reason, I believe, that the Lord Jesus Christ used the examples of sexual sin in order to for the Pharisees to see their own level of sinfulness (Romans 3: 23/James 2: 10/1John 1: 8), even though they were not likely involved in sexual immorality themselves (Matt. 21: 31).
James 1: 10 teach that no one form of sexual immorality is any better or any worse than another. For example, The heterosexual fornicator (sex outside of marriage) or adulterer (sex with someone other than one’s spouse) is just as much a sinner as is the one who engages in bisexual, homosexual and/or lesbian behavior.
Due to the focus of attention that the promotion of homosexuality, bisexuality, and lesbianism is currently receiving, it would seem appropriate in this study to reiterate what God has to say concerning these manifestations of sexual immorality.
Homosexuality, bisexuality, and lesbianism are clearly forbidden behaviors, as indicated in both Old (Lev. 18: 22/Lev. 20: 13) and New Testament (Rom. 1: 26/1Cor. 6: 9/1Tim. 1: 10) Scripture. Doing anything that God forbids, or failing to do anything that God requires is sin.
While sexual immorality is NOT the one, unpardonable sin of disbelief (John 3: 18), it is never-the-less a form of sin that can be used by the kingdom of darkness to steer a spiritually dead unbeliever or a spiritually weak believer away from any interest in God or the things of God.
After Adam and woman sinned, they felt the need to attempt to hide themselves God (Gen. 1: 8) from the presence of God. Living in sin will make the ones involved feel uncomfortable in the presence of God and/or godly people. You can not hide from God, but you can avoid the company of godly people.
A spiritually dead unbeliever is any soul that has not been “born again (John 3: 5, 7 NASB).
A spiritually weak believer, as far as sexual immorality is concerned, is a soul that has been born again, but is either ignorant of or chooses to rationalize or reject what God has to say about the sins associated with sexual immorality.
The final destination for an unbeliever is what the Bible calls the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 15). The final destination for a spiritually weak born again believer is Heaven, but with the loss of 1Cor. 14 rewards and Rev. 2 and Rev. 3 privileges that he/she could have received if he/she chose to address his/her areas of weakness while here on Earth.
While some forms of sexual immorality are becoming socially accepted, politically correct, and legally recognized in the Courts of Man, sexual immorality of any kind remains to be sin in the Court of Heaven. It will be in the Court of Heaven that every soul will give an account of him/herself to God (Romans 14: 12).
The devil promotes all sin, and especially the ones that undermine the family structure. If the devil can destroy or redefine what the family structure is, the inevitable decline, if not the fall of the society and the nation is sure to follow.
In the interest of being politically correct, homosexuality, lesbianism, and bisexuality, are now being defined and accepted (by Man) as “a-l-t-e-r-n-a-t-i-v-e life styles.” What they are alternatives to is the Word of God.
Such alternatives can be easily accepted by fallen Man who is inherently hostile (opposed) to God and the things of God (Romans 8: 7)
As we have seen earlier, there are many things that the kingdom of darkness can use as bait to lure a deceived soul into sexual immorality.
One of the devil’s lies (or half truths) is that homosexuals are born “that “way, and therefore have no choice but to follow through with such behavior. If this were all true, then the same principle could be used to justify or excuse ANY form of sin.
The truthful part is that homosexuals ARE born with a sin nature and that, for them, will entice them to engage in homosexual behaviors. It is the same fallen nature that will entice others to lie, cheat, steal, etc.
It is the concept that such persons have no choice but to follow through that is a lie. Every overt sin is the result of a choice that one first makes in his/her soul.
1 John 1: 9 confession (acknowledging sin and that one have committed it) results in one being cleansed from all unrighteousness (sin). John 8: 11 forsaking of sin is how one chooses to no longer engage in the same sin.
Fornication, adultery, and homosexuality are among the sins that are mentioned in (1Cor. 6: 9) that described the past lifestyles of many who became Church Age born again believers, and who chose to forsake such sin from that point forward.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, not adulterers, or effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, no revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God
Note that the inheritance being spoken of is making reference to the 1Cor. 3:14 r-e-w-a-r-d-s, and the Rev. 2 and Rev. 3 p-r-i-v-i-l-e-g-e-s. Post salvation sin (of any kind) does NOT result in the loss of salvation, but does result in divine disciple (Heb. 12: 6) here on Earth, and the forfeiture of reward and privileges in Heaven.
All unbelievers are on the (Matt. 7) broad road to destruction that will take them to the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 15).
No one can become any more saved than he/she became at the moment he/she was born again. Never-the-less, all back sliding born again believers who choose to tread along the on the (Matt. 7) broad road to destruction, will leave the Court of Heaven without reward (1Cor. 3:15) and privileges (Rev. 2/Rev.3) that they could have otherwise received.
Forsaking (leaving sin behind) can be an immediate experience of deliverance for some, whereas for others, it may remain to be an area of weakness that may take a long time to “forsake,” with a history of set-backs (Proverbs 24: 16 NASB) along the way. As one progresses, the frequency of committing the sin will decrease, and one will be spending longer periods of time in fellowship with God.
For an advancing disciple, just being out of fellowship with God is enough to motivate him/her to address (1John 1:9/John 8: 11) post (after) salvation sin. Being out of fellowship with God is like the feeling that married couples have when you are in the midst of a marital conflict with your spouce.. You remain married, but there is little meaningful conversation and no desire to spend meaningful time with each other until the issue at hand is addressed.
With God, the issue is sin that has not been confessed/forsaken.
Scripture (Heb. 12: 1) speaks of each one of us having a form of sin that "so easily entangles us" and trips us up. Exactly what this sin is will be different from one person to another. What is of no interest to each one of us may be the sin that so easily entangles someone else.
But whatever this sin for each one of us as an individual may be, God may choose to have us struggle with it throughout the course of our post salvation spiritual life. I am convinced that God allows this struggle to remind each one of us of our own sinfulness, and the non-judgmental attitude that the application of the principle of James 2: 10 promotes.
Keep in mind that when tempted,God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we will be able to handle, and that with the temptation, we will be provided with the means of escape (1Cor. 10: 13).
The means of escape are the applicable doctrines that one should have circulating in his/her soul structure BEFORE the need arises (Matt. 7: 24-27).
I believe that God allows us to find ourselves in situations for which there seems to be no Biblical answer to remind us of our negligence is this area of discipleship.
"Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them,may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall.
Rather or not we cave in to the pressure that temptation will bring to us, are CHOICES that we make to earn and to apply the doctrines of the Word of God.
For many of us, the various sins of sexual immorality may be that the sin that for us, so easily entangles us.
If this is not an area of personal weakness, then thank God that this is so, but keep in mind that the other types of sins that we do commit place each one of us in the same stinking, sinking boat as those who struggle with the sins of sexual immorality.
The same thing that is “wrong” with those who engage in sexual immorality is the same thing that is “wrong” with each one else.
From God's viewpoint, we are ALL sick from the tips of our toes to the top of our heads (Isa. 1: 6). It's just that our sickness will manifest itself itself differently in one another.
With a genuine desire and the John 15:5 power of God, forsaking any type of sin is tossible.
By choosing not to place one self in an environment that will likely provide the means and opportunity to engage in one’s area(s) of weakness, one can make great progress along the way in the healing process of forsaking sin.
Godly men, women, and children do NOT avoid such things because they are the "goodie-two shoes" that their critics accuse them of being, but because they are wise enough to obey the command (Eph. 4: 27) not to give the devil a foothold in the realm of spiritual combat.
The Biblical solution to the various forms of sexual immorality is the same solution (1John 1: 9/John 8: 11) that God has provided for ANY other type of sin.
By divine design, with the exception of the sin of disbelief (John 3: 18/Rev. 20: 15), e-v-e-r-y past, present, and future sin of every human soul that ever was, is now, or ever will be here on Earth, was paid for in full ON THE CROSS via the atoning Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God cannot be God, and require ANY further “payment” for a sin debt that has been stamped PAID IN FULL by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. For God to do so, He would deny the integrity of the atoning Work that the Lord Jesus Christ f-i-n-i-s-he-d (John 19: 30) ON the cross.
A person is forever a recipient of salvation by choosing to make a one-time decision to believe (place his full trust and confidence) in the atoning work that the Lord Jesus Christ “finished- John 19: 30 NASB)” while ON the cross.
One can NEVER be any more or any less SAVED that he/she became the moment he/she was born again.
Upon making that decision, he/she then and there receives the i-r-r-e-v-o-c-a-b-l-e (Romans 11: 29) g-i-f-t of eternal life (John 3: 16).
“Additional requirements” to get or to remain saved, that “religious” authorities have introduced are a blasphemous insult to the integrity of the Person and the finished Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the same time, the 1John1: 9 forgiveness of sin and the (John 3: 16) receiving of eternal life does not mean that there aren’t other consequences (Heb. 12: 6/1Cor. 3: 15/ Rev. 2/Rev. 3) for the post (after salvation) sins that we choose to commit.
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The purpose for confessing post (after) salvation sin is to regain (2Cor,. 13: 14) receive ongoing forgiveness necessary for fellowship with God.
God cannot be in fellowship with sin (Habakkuk 1:13) or with a born again believer who has sin in his/her life that has not been confessed or forsaken.
It is fellowship and not salvation that is lost due to post (after) salvation sin. The ongoing forgiveness spoken of in 1John 1: 9 is what restores fellowship (2Cor. 13; 14) with God and enables the born again believer to move forward with the plan of God.
The omniscience (all knowing) of God is what enabled God the Father to place the world’s sin debt of the sacrificing Humanity of the Lord Jesus while on the cross.
Within this knowledge, was a list of every sin that each and every human being had committed, was committing, or would commit throughout the course of human history. The sins of sexual immorality were among the sins that were atoned for on the cross.
Because of the omniscience of God, when we confess our ongoing sin, we are not telling God anything that He did nor already know. While having the assurance of forgiveness, this is not to been seen as a license to sin or that there are not other consequences for the sins we commit
The confessional that God designed is open 24/7. While ongoing confession is a necessary element in the ongoing life of discipleship, it has got nothing to do with the integrity of one’s salvation that he/she has already received.
Thanks to God’s grace and the atoning Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, what God’s response to our confession will be is also made clear to us (1John 1: 9). We receive forgiveness and are cleansed from all unrighteousness. There is NO limit to the 1John 1:9 willingness of God to forgive and to cleanse us, but there ARE consequences (1Cor. 3: 15/Rev. 2/ Rev. 3) that only a fool would want to incur by continuing on with any given category of sin.
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Most of us are familiar with AA scenarios in which one stands up, and acknowledges that he/she is an alcoholic.
This same principle applies to beginning of the process that one must engage in if he/she is going to effectively deal with any sin, including the sins associated with sexual immorality.
Until one is willing to acknowledge that ANY form of sexual immorality is a sin, and that he/she has committed the sin, he/she cannot make the type of confession that 1John1: 9 requires of him/her, or receive the divine benefits associated with it.
Confessing (1John 1:9), but not forsaking (John 8: 11) sin is what causes a believer to spend much of his/her post (after) salvation spiritual life in a never-ending cycle of going in and out of fellowship with God, and never moving forward. Forgiveness is never denied, as this would place limitations on the atoning Work that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross. Never-the-less, each case of repeated sin opens the door for an increase in the intensity and the frequency of the divine discipline that a back-sliding believer can receive.
Divine discipline (Heb. 12: 6) for post (after salvation sin can range in anything from having to live with a guilty conscience (Ezra 9: 6), up to and including physical death (Acts 5). There is NO divine discipline after one departs this earth. Discipline is always for purpose of redirection. Once departed, the eternal destiny and environment of the soul has already been determined. Although there is no discipline, there is judgment for the unbelievers and evaluation of deeds for the believers.
May God have mercy on the one who can knowingly engage in what the Bible calls sin and not have a guilty conscience. It is not that God in no longer speaking. It is that ones involved who have stopped listening.
It has been a long time part of the devil's strategy to parafe the earthy "success" of the wi ked, especially when the righteous ones are hurting.
Although divine discipline can result in physical death (Acts 5) for what we might consider less serious offenses, for the most part, I have observed that God simply allows the inevitable consequences of our own decisions (to sin) to play themselves out. Nothing like having to stew in the juice of our own making!
In recent times, the phrase “coming out”refers to one publicly announcing that he/she is “gay” (homosexual/lesbian).
This form of acknowledgement is promoted by the kingdom of darkness.
Because while acknowledging one's involvement, it fails to acknowledge the activity as sin and promotes it as an alternative lifestyle.
“Coming out” can provide a sense of great emotional relief to the ones involved, as once his/her choice has been make public, there is no longer the fear of it being discovered or exploited. Such fear has driven many to suicidal and homicidal thoughts and a tions.
One of the ways that one reduces the criticism that his/her decision to “come out” might bring, is to point to the hard hearts of those who refuse to accept them for what they are.
At the moment of salvation, God accepts us just as we are, but that does not mean that God wants us to continue in known sin of any kind.
As one spiritually matures, the advancing disciple will become more and more aware of exactly what sin consists of, and the need for ongoing confession and forsaking of sin.
It IS good for those involved to acknowledge that he/she is or has been involved in homosexual activity, but it is NOT good, if in the process, one fails to comprehend that his/her involvement was sin and/or rejects the need to address it.
The 1John 1:9 confession means to acknowledge that something is sin and that one has committed it. Acknowledging that one has sinned is this is the first step in addressing it. The second step is the willingness to forsake the same sin in the future (John 8: 11).
Some homosexuals and lesbians have taken refuge in religious circles that require celibacy in order to secure overt positions of social and organizational distinction, while not having to explain why they do not engage in heterosexual activity.
Some religious organizations have gone as far as ordaining and/or retaining p-r-a-c-t-i-c-i-n-g homosexuals as clerics or ministers. Past sin that has been confessed and forsaken by Man, and forgiven by God, does not exclude a repented sinner from later serving God in a position of leadership. The examples of Peter who denied the Lord (John 13:38/Luke 22: 32), Paul who persecuted the Lord (Acts 9: 4/1Cor. 15: 9/Acts 9: 15), were shining examples of this principle.
At the same time, any o-n-g-o-i-n-g sin involving one in a position of authority within a local local assembly must be addressed. Otherwise the devil is going to be given a foothold (Eph. 4: 27) from which he can launch an attack with the local assembly, denomination, or Christian Community at large.
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Sexual predators will use their positions of authority inside and outside of the Christian Community to secure opportunities to assault and/or molest victims. Such victimization can involve heterosexual and/or homosexual behaviors, but in either case, is always against the will of the victims.
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While celebacy is a legitimate lifestyle for the minority that are called to it, the majority of the human race is called by God to engage in heterosexual marriage. Heterosexual intercourse outside of marriage is a sin (Heb. 13: 4).
Sexuality, as God intended it to be, was the means that God provided Man with to satisfy the natural desires for sexual activity, as well as the means to reproduce the physical bodies for the next generation. Sexuality and gender (Gen. 3: 16/ Eph. 5: 22/Eph. 6) plays a fundamental part in the formation and sustaining of the type of family unit that God designed, as well as maintaining the sanctity of Christian marriage (Hebrews 13: 4).
This command for Man to be fruitful and multiply was issued before (Gen. 1: 28) and reiterated after (Gen. 9:1/Gen. 9: 7) the Fall of Man (Gen. 3).
Unless legitimate circumstances prevent it from happening, one of the reasons that sexual intercourse is to take place on a regular basis in marriage is to prevent one from being tempted to seek sexual pleasure somewhere or somehow else (1Cor. 7: 5).
“Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourself to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control (1Cor. 7: 5 NASB).”
To be fruitful and multiply was one of the first c-o-m-m-a-n-d-s that God gave to Man. Before He created Man, God had earlier given the same command to the creatures within the natural realm (Gen. 1: 22).
In the Old Testament dispensation, one who was born illegitimately, as well as his/her descendants for the next ten generations, were not allowed to enter the assembly of the Lord (Deut. 23: 2). Under specific circumstances (Deut. 19: 15), fornicators and adulterers could face capital punishment.
Here in the Church Age, the reproduction process is to take place within marriage (Heb. 13: 4).
Unless physically dysfunctional or otherwise unable to perform, the mutual o-b-l-i-g-a-t-i-on to satisfy the sexual needs of one’s spouse is clearly outlined in New Testament, Church Age Scripture (1Cor. 7: 3, 4).
Failing to maintain the right set of priorities can create such an environment where there is no time, energy, or desire left to attend to one’s own vineyard.
Even after the years of sexual activity has diminished or passed, there is still the basic need and desire for physical contact.
There is some scientific professionals who believe that the same pleasing hormone that is released into the body during sexuality can be producef rough bodily massage that does not have to involve one’s private parts.
There are to be NO STRINGS (offers or threats) attached to marital sex, otherwise the act is reduced to an act of selfish manipulation of one’s partner.
The sexual negligence of one’s spouse is no excuse for one to engage in adultery, but the one who sexually neglects his/her 1Cor. 7: 3, 4) spousr should consider his/her own culpability if one's deprived mate goes astray.
We all have areas of spiritual strength in which we have little or no desire to engage in various areas of sin. We also all have areas of spiritual weakness in which we have a considerable tendency to desire or to engage in areas of sin. For some, sexuality mortality is an area of strength, and is therefore not an area where they experience much, if any, temptation. For others, sexual immorality, is an area of weakness, and therefore is an area in which they can be easily tempted.
The internal and external pressure that others may have to engage in the sins of sexual immorality can be best understood by looking at it in the light of our areas of own spiritual weaknesses to engage in the same or other areas of sin.
However, to understand does not mean to condone.
Scripture (Heb. 12: 1) speaks of there being the one sin or category of sin that so easily entangles us and trips us up. Because we all have different areas of strengths and weaknesses, what that ONE that so easily trips us up will be different from one individual to the next. It is an area of sin that we just can’t seem to overcome. It could involve a sin of thoughts, words, or actions. ALL overt sin is the offspring of a negative thought, suggestion, or temptation that we CHOOSE to entertain.
Human beings tend to rationalize, and in some cases, even self-justify and/or excuse their own sin by pointing to the quantity or the “seriousness” of the sin(s) of others. Such passages as James 2: 10 clearly refute this line of thought and place ALL OF US in the same stinking, sinking, boat of sin.
Being “shipmates” gives us no call to judge anyone for anything.
There is a place, a time, and an appropriate way to reveal to others what sins they may or may not be involved.
Such revelation should be coming from one’s pulpit or source of spiritual edification. There is no naming names or overt finger-pointing when a generation audience or congregation is involved. In this scenario, it is up to God the Holy Spirit to convict the one’s involved, and it is up to those involved to choose to make application of the information being communicated from the pulpit.
As Christian parents, we have the duty of providing spiritual guidance by word and example, but it is the child that must choose to respond to the guidance offered.
There are also times when advancing disciples and Christ’s ambassadors will be asked what the Bible has to say concerning certain issues.
When the opportunity presents itself, the advancing disciple or ambassador, using compassion and understanding, is called to tell it like is, and let the chips fall where they may.
If in mixed company, the advancing disciple or ambassador might choose to offer to discuss the issue with the inquirer privately.
As any experienced evangelist or pastor teacher can tell you, trying to evangelize (present the Gospel Message) or to present an edifying principle of post salvation doctrine to someone who has not been first prepared (by God) to receive it, will prove to be an act of futility, and might even provoke an ugly reaction (Matt. 7: 6).
When someone asks a spiritual question, it is either because God has set the stage for them to receive answer, or it may be because the inquirer(s) are setting the stage with the hope of attacking and discrediting the one who will provide an answer (John 8: 6). As one spiritually matures, he/she will develop a good sense of when it is the time to speak and when it is a time to remain silent (Eccl. 3: 7 ).
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One of the practical means of escaping the temptation to engage in sexual immorality (or any other sin), is not to put oneself in a place, situation, or an environment in which the temptation and opportunity is likely to present itself. This place can be a physical location or can involve a negative state of mind.
When struggling with any form of sexual immorality, one would be well-advised to avoid the type of stimuli that will generate thoughts of such sexual activity. The entertainment industry and media is filled with such stimuli.
The more something is promoted, and the more one is exposed to anything, the more one can be desensitized and conditioned to accept, to tolerate, and in some cases, even approve of something that at one time was accurately perceived to be an abomination or sin in the eyes of God.
While standards of religion, criminal law, and social approval and disapproval may change over the course of time, sin is still sin in the eye of God of Whom we are all going to give an accounting (Rom. 14:12/1Cor. 5: 10).
Q.: On what basis will the world, and each one of us, be inevitably judged?
A.: What has been recorded for us in the Word of God (John 12: 48).
In context, John 12:48 was addressing the Gospel Message, but this principle can be applied to any spiritual issue addtessed in the Word of God.
The “everybody is doing it” rationale did not do any good for the ones who were swept away by the flood of Noah’s day, and it's not going to do any one of us any good when Judgment Day for the unbelievers (Rev. 20: 15), or evaluation day (1Cor. 3: 12-15) comes.
Note that I did not say "if," I said "when."
While it may be true that the majority (Matt. 7: 13) of any given generation may be "doing it," to say that everyone is doing it is one of the lies that the devil, and those who do his bidding, promotes.
Everyone is NOT "doing it.
There is nothing “dirty” or sinful about heterosexual relations between a married man and his wife. When the Psalmist speaks of being conceived in sin, it is referring to the unavoidable passing down of the sin nature to the humanity of the next generation. God cannot, has not, and will not command anyone to do anything that can be legitimately classified as sin.
In conclusion, sexual immorality consists of any thoughts or behaviors that run contrary to what God intended human sexuality to involve. God's do's and do not's of human sexuality are clearly documented in the Word of God. Disobedience, through acts of omission or commission, amount to sin, no matter how much any person or group chooses to rationalize, compromise, condone, or justify ANY of the evil alternatives that Man, with the applause of the devil, has brought into the realm of human sexuality.
With the exception (by divine design) of the sin of disbelief (John 3: 18), the atoning Work of the Lord Jesus Christ paid (past tense) the sin debt, in full, for every sin (including the sins of sexual immorality) on the cross.
God can not requjire any further payment for a sin debt that has been stamped PAID IN FULL by the very shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Through faith in the Person and the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ, one receives forgiveness of sin and is saved.
Q: Saved from what?
A: Saved from spending all of eternity in what the Bible calls the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 15).
Accordingly, the born again believer who, in the course of his/her post salvation spiritual life, engages in the various sins related to sexual immorality, remains saved (Romans 8: 1).
Many clerics, ministers, and parents fear that teaching this truth concerning eternity security will encourage people to engage in or to remain in sin since the Hell option has been taken off the table.
Anyone not having a desire (Romans 7: 21) to obey and to be in fellowship with God is out of fellowship (1Cor. 13: 14) with God.
Not being in, or having a desire to be in, fellowship with God can be a symptom of much greater spiritual issues.
All unbelievers are out of fellowship with God. Unbelievers are headed for the lake of fire (Rev. 20: 15).
Believers who have sin in their lives that has not been confessed and forsaken are out of fellowship with God.
Fellowship with God is lost when one engages in sin, and can only be restored when known sin is confessed (1John 1: 9).
Restored fellowship is maintained by forsaking the confessed sin (John 8L 11) in the future.
Eternal security (of a saved soul) does not change the fact that all sin still has its consequences. The consequences for sin can take place here on Earth (Hebrews 12: 6) through divine discipline.
Divine discipline can involve anything from having to live with a guilty conscience, up to and including physical death.
The consequences for sin can take place in heaven with loss of one's eternal inheritance (1Cor. 6: 9). This inheritance consists f the (1Cor. 3: 14, 15) rewards and Rev. 2 and Rev. 3 privileges that are reserved for those who live a life that glorified God while here on Earth. This inheritance must not be confused with the irrevocable (Romans 11: 29) gift of eternal life, given to all who believe. No one can be any more or any less saved than the moment he/she first believed in a presentation of the Gospel Message, but not all sons and daughters are going to receive the same inheritance.
Spiritually dead unbelievers are not (yet-Romans 14: 11) focused on God or on what God has to say about life here on Earth or what eternity may or may not have to offer.
Weak believers live in fear (Heb. 2: 15) of divine punishment, either here on Earth or in Heaven, because they do not really understand the Gospel Message, or because they know in their heart of hearts (Romans 1: 19) that they are not living the type of life that glorifies God.
One can be otherwise very "religious" and continue to live in sin. The pews are filled with such persons on a regular basis, hoping that their attendance and participation in religion will somehow make up for their sin. The ONE and ONLY way to deal with ANY sin is to confess it to God, and then forsake the same sin in the future. This can be accomplished INSIDE or OUTSIDE of what many consider to be "Church." The confessional that God designed is open 24/7.
One can not make a lifestyle out of any (James 2: 10) type of sin and execute the post salvation spiritual life of discipleship at the same time.
For the advancing disciple, that is enough to cause him/her to confess and forsake all known sin, be it the sin(s) of sexual immorality or any other kind.