The Bible gives us certain principles that will help us gain victory over sexual sin.
Things that will help give us victory over sexual immorality, sexual impurity, and victory over fornication – again, that’s the Greek word porneia – things that will help us gain the victory. First is in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “This is the will of God, your sanctification.” In verse 7, “For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.” It will help us to remember that this is the will of God, our sanctification. Specifically, sexual purity.
Have you ever started out on some job, or studying some course, or out on some journey, and you begin to get confused and lose sight of the goal? And it helps you to remember again, this is where we’re going; this is what it’s all about; this is the purpose of this study after all; to remember, this is the point of it. And so, you want to know what the will of God is? You know, people go around – Christians go around: “What is the will of God for me?” And we’re thinking in terms of what must I do; but here God is talking about what must we be. And so this is the will of God. You want to know what the will of God is? Right here it is. I know it’s not everything, but it is real. It is a big thing – a main thing. This is the will of God – to clean you up. Your sanctification – to set you apart from your lusts; to set you apart from the world; and to set you apart and give you sexual purity. And God, in v. 7, has not called us for the purpose of impurity. Remember, this is one reason God called you, was to give you victory over lust. I mean, that helps, you know. To realize the big picture or the main point of it or the goal of the whole thing is to give you victory over sin and especially this Goliath sin, that is, sexual lust.
A second thing that will help us in gaining victory is the next phrase: “that you abstain from sexual immorality.” That word “abstain,” it will help you to realize that some of the New Testament teachings on victory over sin is just to quit it. I mean, it says lay aside, put aside, put off, abstain – abstinence. It will help you to realize that some of the New Testament way to victory is just this flat-footed. Just this straightforward, just this simple, just bare raw quit it. Stop sinning. Be a man. Be a woman. Take yourself in hand and just quit it. Abstain from it.
And be radical about it. The Lord says, “if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out.” What does He mean? He means to be radical. He means to spare nothing. Take care of this thing. Radical purging. Radical dealing with sin. A radical dealing with it. It says in Romans 13 regarding this matter of walking as children of the day, it says specifically, do not go on in sexual promiscuity or sensuality. He says right after that, “Make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Not just a little, but make none. No provision. A radical dealing. You’re not allowing one thing to stand. Like one brother said, if the first domino falls, the other hundred go down pretty easy. You don’t make an opportunity for it. You don’t give an occasion for it. You learn how to eventually possess, control, manage your body. You learn your weaknesses. You learn these weak areas – things that make you go down, go into it, that will get you wrapped up in it, so you make no provision for that. You don’t leave any bait out for the bear. “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 13. We’re talking about radical. Dealing with it radically.
In Ephesians 5, it says don’t let it even be named among you as becometh the saints. Not even named. Yeah, you stay right plumb away from it. There’s no accusation. There is no condemnation. There’s no blame. There’s no opportunity for anybody to say what are you doing here? Job says, “I made a covenant with my eyes to not look on a young woman.” Isn’t that quite a way of putting it? I’m entering into a covenant with my eyes. There’s an agreement here with this body part. And so you’re on the computer, and you’re looking at Fox News, and here they’ve got these little ads pop up. And you know, you glance at it, you see it’s there. But you’re not going to take the second look. You’re not going to dwell on it. You’re not going to camp there. You’re not going to let it breed in your mind, but you turn your eyes away just like that and don’t look anymore. Talking about radical abstaining.
It says in another place – I already quoted it – 1 Corinthians 6, it says, “Flee immorality.” You run from it. That’s what Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife tried to suck in him. He didn’t stay there and talk and reason and chatter with her. No, he got out. He ran! Flee immorality. You realize you play with fire, you’re going to get burned. That thing will build, that thing will grow, that thing will spread. It will get you. You cannot take fire in your bosom and not get burned. And so, you run from it. Get out of there. Don’t give it a chance.