Nov 5, 2017 – Holiness and Sex
Preacher: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: 1 Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 (ESV)
1 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 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 body 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.
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
The Christian view of sex is at odds with popular views of sexuality today, but Jesus is trustworthy, and if you want to grow spiritually as he calls you to you must consider what the Bible teaches on this topic.
I) This is important
- v3 “this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality”
- v1 “urge you in the Lord Jesus” v2 “instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus”
- v6 “solemnly warned you”
- v8 “whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God”
II) This is complicated
- v3 “abstain from sexual immorality” (not from sex)
- v4 “control his body” v5 “not in the passion of lust” (lust is key issue)
III) The way forward involves re-purposing
- v1 “you ought to… please God”
- v7 “God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness” (sanctification/holiness – being set apart, called with a new purpose)
- v8 “who gives his Holy Spirit to you”
Questions for Reflection
1. How do you deal with teachings in the Bible that disagree with how you think, or how you want to live?
2. The Bible, along with most of the major world religions (and many world philosophies), sets sex in the context of marriage. What advantages or benefits are there to having such a specific context for where humans express their sexuality? What objections do people (perhaps you) have to limiting sex to be between a married couple?
3. Why do people want to have sex? What are some of the reasons outside of the basic physical desire? What things might people be looking for in sex? What do you want most from sex?
4. If sex is largely about connecting with another human being, how does our disconnection from God and our lack of connection with others fuel our sexual desires and understandings? Will satisfying relationships (non-sexual relationships) impact our sexual desires in any way?
5. Lust is self centered, with a focus on getting what one can; love is about giving and serving. How do we develop a view of sexuality that is consistent with the principles of love, and free of the trappings of lust? What principles can you establish?
6. God’s will for us is our sanctification – he sets us apart with a whole new purpose in life. How can the focus of living to please God provide sufficient satisfaction to sustain us as we go through life with various areas of dissatisfaction, including being dissatisfied sexually?