Remember: As you grow in your relationship with God, He will reveal His character and will; the Holy Spirit enables us to live a life which reflects both.
A father will tell his son not to touch a hot stove top. He does so not because he wants to squelch his son’s curiosity or take away his fun. Rather, he gives the prohibition because he knows that the stove will burn his child. His motivation is to protect his son from harm as well as provide safety.
WHY WAIT FOR SEX? BECAUSE GOD SAYS TO WAIT
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.
The apostle Paul was complimenting the Thessalonians on their walk with God. Because their desire was to walk with and please God, Paul was encouraging them “to excel still more.” His emphasis was in the area of purity in relationships and, specifically, the sexual area.
By whose authority is this commandment given?
What is God’s will?
- God desires our comprehensive sanctification. In other words, it is His will that we develop His character in every area of our lives. Purity and holiness are part of God’s character.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality…” 1 Thessalonians 4:3
- God desires Christians not to defraud each other in relationships. We defraud someone when we cause them to step outside the boundaries God has established.
“…See that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter…” 1 Thessalonians 4:6
On the surface, the Bible appears to be full of negative commandments which seem imposing and dreary. However, we need to remember that God has only one motivation—love. When we understand that He always seeks what is best for us, these commandments become positive.
GOD’S COMMANDS: BOTH TO PROTECT YOU AND TO PROVIDE FOR YOU
Behind every negative command are two positive principles. One is to protect us, the other is to provide for us. In other words, when God says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” He is not being a cosmic killjoy, as we will see.
God’s command to wait for sex until marriage is given in order to:
Why do you think God wants to protect and provide for you? Look at the following verses and answer in your own words: Romans 8:38, 39; Psalm 103:17, 18; Deuteronomy 10:12.
God protects us by giving us boundaries and limitations to our activities. They are an expression of His love and wisdom and they keep us from doing ourselves harm. Not only do His commands keep us safe from harm but they are also targeted to provide for us in specific ways.
A CLEAN HEART FOR A NEW START
One of the greatest mistakes people can make is to assume that since they have failed to keep God’s command regarding sex, God wants nothing to do with them. This is simply not true. God is well aware of our sinful tendencies—that is why Jesus Christ came.
For King David, what began with a stare, led not only to adultery and an unwanted pregnancy, but also to a murder. David really blew it. But consider what happened next.
Read Psalms 51:1-17.
David admitted his sin and asked God for forgiveness. Like David, we can receive God’s complete forgiveness and make a clean start.
Here are several important steps to take.
- Confess the sin.
Specifically name your sin before God and ask His forgiveness. 1John 1:9
- Forgive yourself.
If you are not willing to forgive yourself, you are saying two things to God:
(1) Christ’s death was not enough for your sins; and
(2) you are a higher judge of what can be forgiven than God is. God’s grace is extended to you out of His heart of love. When you do not forgive yourself, you throw God’s grace right back into His face. If God’s grace can’t cover your sin, it can’t cover any sin. Romans 8:1
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Allow God’s Spirit to fill you with His power to say no to future temptation. Ephesians 5:18
- Show fruits of repentance.
Repentance means turning around, changing one’s mind. Matthew 3:8 says, “bear fruits worthy of repentance.” This might mean breaking off a relationship or perhaps making a decision not to be alone together. It might be something else. Whatever it is, your actions should show you have changed. The individual who professes to be a Christian but who continues to practice sin should realize that he or she may not be a Christian at all. John 14:21; 1 John 2:3
God’s complete love and forgiveness enable us to make a clean start and to live a life pleasing to Him.
YOUR NEW LIFE IN RELATIONSHIPS
Our new life in relationships begins with a decision to live a life pleasing to Him.
Read Daniel 1:8.
“But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.”
Defile: To become impure.
What was Daniel’s decision?
What was the result? Read Daniel 1:9-13.
Read Hebrews 13:4.
Starting today, is it your desire not to defile yourself and remain pure until marriage?
☐Yes Date _______ / ______ / ____________
☐No Date _______ / ______ / _____________
The following will help you maintain relationships that please God.
- Prayer and Bible Study.
Regularly spending time with God will help you understand and live out His priorities for your life. Psalms 1:1-3; Ephesians 5:8-10; Jeremiah 9:23, 24
- Spirit-Filled Life
The Holy Spirit empowers us to live a life pleasing to God. Galatians 5:16
Our accountability to another person helps maintain our accountability to God. Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10; Proverbs 27:17; Ephesians 5:21
Seek fellowship with godly people who support and strengthen your convictions. Hebrews 10:24, 25; 2 Timothy 2:22
As you grow in Christ, you will see how God’s commandments are given with your best interest in mind. Because this is true, choosing to wait is the most rewarding decision we can make.
The world we live in – family breakdown, immorality, dishonesty, corruption, injustice
The basic problem – Romans 3:23 sin, Mark 7:21-23 – the heart of man
The solution – 2 Cor. 5:17. Jesus Christ
We must have changed people to have a changed world.
The command – Matthew 28:18-20 Go and make disciples.
A Promise of fruit – John 15:16
The power – Acts 1:8 The Holy Spirit
The Strategy – 2 Timothy 2:2 Spiritual Multiplication
GOD’S WORD TELLS US TO SPIRITUALLY MULTIPLY IN ORDER TO REACH THE WORLD (2 TIMOTHY 2:2)
Paul was discipling Timothy, and Timothy was discipling faithful men who would then teach others. The following diagram illustrates this principle:
The training and maturity of one disciple (Timothy) was being “multiplied” into the lives of many others. The effect was one that Timothy could never have brought about alone.
The world cannot be reached through addition, but only through multiplication.
- ADDITION: If you shared Christ with 1,000 people per day, it sounds reasonable that you would eventually reach the world. Actually, it would take you about 11,000 years even if the world population stopped growing.
- MULTIPLICATION: However, if you disciple those who responded to your witness and continued doing evangelism, the world could be reached in your lifetime. If, in one year, you discipled two new Christians to share their faith and teach others, and then they did the same thing for the next year, and so on. In the 28th year there would be enough disciples to share Christ with over 7 billion people. This would occur if each disciple shared Christ with only one person per week.
Do you believe God is leading you to this kind of commitment?