Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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A Plea for Purity

The apostle Paul apparently felt that sexual sin was a constant threat to the welfare of Christians in the first century. He continually warned about it, writing such things as, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18); and “Nor let us commit sexual immorality…” (1 Corinthians 10:8).

One of Paul’s most important writings on this matter occurs in his first letter to the Thessalonians. In chapter 4 of that letter he wrote, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality” (vs. 3).

The call to be sanctified is not compatible with sexual activity outside of the marriage relationship. No Christian can justly claim to be faithful if he or she is promiscuous.

Paul clearly indicated that sexual promiscuity is unholy. As quoted above in his letter to the Corinthians, “he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” (6:18). The writer of Hebrews concurred, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undeflied; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (13:4).

Contrasted with the ubiquitous sexual immorality of our day is a life of abstinence outside of marriage. It is referred to by Paul in Thessalonians as “possess[-ing] your own vessel in sanctification and honor” (vs. 4), and is contrasted with “passion of lust” (vs. 5) which was characteristic of the Gentiles. Paul described a life of promiscuity as “take[-ing] advantage of and defraud[-ing] his brother”, and promised God’s vengeance upon those guilty.

While it is presently common for people to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage, it will never be acceptable to God. Though the societal stigma has largely been removed, it is nevertheless sin, and antithetical to God’s call to righteousness. As Christians, we must abstain from such impurities.

Christians who are married should love their spouse, and rejoice in the physical relationship which God has declared holy before Him. They should avoid situations which might lead to sexual temptation, and remain virtuous and chaste in their interaction with those of opposite gender.

The same chastity and caution should be characteristic of the Christian who is single. Love and devotion can be developed without succumbing to sexual temptation. It is the marriage bed which is undefiled, and the single Christian must “possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor” (vs. 4).

“For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness” (vs. 7).