Lesson 10: To Abstain From Sexual Immorality Page 3 of 3 (series: Lessons on 1 Thess.)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

There is another reason Paul gives for living a pure life, and it rests in the nature of God’s calling. It is inconceivable that a holy God would call believers for their uncleanness. Even mentioning the thought here puts on display the antinomian abuse of grace (Romans 6:1{5]). God is holy (1 Peter 1:14-16), therefore the Christian must never forget that his calling is to sanctification. “Holiness is to be the pervading element in which the Christian is to move” (Ephesians 1:4). Paul’s attitude toward sexual uncleanness did not arise from his background or personal preferences. They were logical consequences of divine revelation. The Thessalonians and later readers of this epistle should realize that to reject these instructions is to reject the person from whom they came originally, that is, God.

A child of God cannot continue in sin. The Prodigal Son may get in the pigpen for a time, but he won’t live in the pigpen. All true believers in Christ are saints. All born again blood-washed believers are true saints; and true sainthood forbids—yea, excludes—all impurity and wrongdoing.

[5} “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” (Romans 6:1)

8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God,
The grave consequence of setting aside this instruction concerning “purity and sanctification” is yet another reason for obeying it. For the one who rejects it, does not reject the advice of man but the commandment of God!

In spite of what you hear on television and in classrooms, the rules for sexual morality are not man-made, and they have not changed in the mind of God. They are not subject to change in every new generation. They come from God—not arbitrarily, but stated accurately because that’s the way He created human beings. Like the law of gravity, our God describes for us “the way things are. We may all decide to fight it and jump off the cliff, but we will all hit the bottom. We may achieve by consensus a re-write of sexual standards in our generation, but the way God made things is the way things really are.” The new morality is simply the old morality brought up-to-date.

God created human beings for thrilling sexual intimacy. He designed sex to be enjoyable in a lifelong commitment of marriage. Sex apart from marriage is out of bounds, “not because sex is bad, but because it is so good.” Joyful intimacy and great sex in happy, lifelong marriages are great gifts to believers from God. As always, his boundaries make life good. When God sets boundaries, he always has our best interests in mind.

Why did God put a safe boundary around sex? To protect your body, to keep your conscience clear, to encourage you to build a strong marriage, to save your family from brokenness, and to make society more livable.

the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Just as the Gospel is a divine message (1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2:13), so too is the moral teaching that the apostles delivered. Paul therefore concludes, “Anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God.” He adds that God “gives you His Holy Spirit,” the one who enables them to live according to the will of God in sanctification (Romans 8:4; Galatians 5:16; 1 John 3:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

A child of God is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He cannot continue to live in sin because the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. The time will come when the child of God will long for holiness in his own life.

The Holy Spirit is the only means by which we can live for God. We see in Paul’s Galatian epistle that the child of God is not to indulge in the sins of the flesh. Instead there should be the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit in the life. In Romans 8:3, Paul makes it very clear; “For what the law could not do . . .” Why? Is the Law wrong? No, the Law is not wrong; the Ten Commandments are not wrong. The problem is with man, not with the Law. Men cannot attain to the level of the Ten Commandments, nor can he live by the commandments in the New Testament. It is the Holy Spirit within the believer who has been given to him to enable him to live a life for God

It is only the indwelling Holy Spirit that enables us to lead holy lives.

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