Journal 1 Cor 7 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I (Paul) am.
But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry—for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” 1 Cor 7:8-9
Observation: This is the wisdom of God.
Why then has that boundary been so easy to cross? Do I even recognize that the culture is promoting the easing of shame, actually endorsing sexual pleasure outside of marriage as healthy and beneficial?
Does the Church tacitly/silently fall into line with today’s culture message?
Analysis: Let me take the Church out of this. Do the people I hang out with, my boy or girl friend, start to have stirred in their minds, loins, and heart that “It can’t be that bad; it’s love that we feel…” Does the media that I am encountering (TV, Movies, Books, Magazines, even my own imaginations) elevate my passions? What about apparel commercials, even clothing catalogs?
Let me be frank: I am no stranger to what I have written above. My sexual escapades started in my early to middle teens. I have been susceptible to the drives even from my youth. I am no stranger to the burn, even today.
I am also no stranger to the redemptive power of the Cross. The Cross, the Gospel, the Blood of the Lamb is for situations like this.
Because we are innately sinful, we are susceptible to executing sinful things, like sexual immorality. Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death; sin no longer has dominion over us. (Ro 6:9 and 6:14) But that does not mean impervious to temptation and falling to the performance of sexually immoral actions.
Being “saved” or “redeemed” does not mean “delivered” from doing. Everyone reading this knows in their memory that the Holy Spirit is stirring right now. I cannot be the only one who is reviewing these memories while I am writing.
This is the power of the Holy Spirit: the Word of God says, “…sin does not have dominion over you…” And the action to take therefore is RESIST. If a person falls, confess, and repent and determine to again RESIST. Here are some points:
- “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness (which is idolatry). Col 3:5.
- “For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.” 1 Pet 4:3
What is thing that stays in your mind when it comes to sexual immorality? That, dear friends, is idolatry.
Look, my flesh is weak, even at my age. I am not just writing to my younger companions in Christ, the older folks are just as susceptible. Sex is powerful. It is driven by this: I want. I want to please myself. I want to take control of how not to have these sensations, these feelings, these drives and yet engage in them. I want, I want, I want…
At the end of the previous chapter, Paul writes for us to remember “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” So therefore, “glorify God in your body.” 1 Cor 6:19b-20
So, when failures come (and they will), we have a Savior that understands our temptations and failures (Heb 4:15“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with out weaknesses, but one who in EVERY RESPECT has been tempted as we are (yet without sin).”) Therefore, when sin is reflected upon (and it will be), remember Lam 3:20-27: “My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness!!”
“The Lord is my portion”, says my soul, “therefor I WILL hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bears the yoke in his youth.”
Prayer: Amen and Amen. Father, you see my weaknesses. Every sin that I have and will commit will be because I lacked self-control. You see my weakness.
But you also give me hope; hope through the Cross, hope through your patience with me, hope through the Holy Spirit in that you are not done with me, but you will see me through the End.
Please keep my eye stayed upon You, O Lord of my redemption.
Ricky Two Shoes