Phil Renicks and I are teaching a Sunday School class this term, with Jimmy Moore as our back-up singer. The class topic is “The Disciplines of a Godly Man” based on the book by that name by R K Hughes.
Last week I introduced the concept of discipline and our goal: “To glorify G^d and enjoy Him forever.” This week, was a far more challenging topic: Purity.
Well, I exaggerate a bit. Last week we never got to one of the key points, differentiating between obedience for discipline or legalism. A simple definition that distinguishes between the two is this: What I do is obedience, what you do is legalism.
Just kidding (or am I?)
1 Thessalonians 4:3–8
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body3 in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
Sexual purity is a challenge in this day and age. Just ask Samson, David, Solomon, among others. Yeah, you are right, these guys were not exactly contemporaries. But purity has gotten maybe a bit tougher due to our constant exposure to images, tv, movies, and most of all… the www. It is easy to feel defeated at times. Sexual stimulation is ubiquitous, and overwhelming.
But we don’t have to be defeated.
Succeeding in overcoming sexual temptation requires a multi-level approach using Prayer, Scripture, Accountability, Avoidance, Hedges, Fleeing, and many others. It is a formidable task, it is a difficult challenge, and it never totally ends. But take heart.
We have G^d on which to rely.
Psalms 37:28, For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off.
Deuteronomy 31:6, Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
And, when you have a chance, see who is listed in the “Roll Call of Faith”, speciafially Hebrews 11:32.