1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he who commits fornication sins into his own body. 19 What? Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? 20 For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. New International Version (copyright 1984)
Keep the marriage bed is holy and undefiled, but those who engage in unlawful sex and those who adulterate marriage God will judge. Hebrews 13:4 To adulterate is to make impure that which is pure.
The more time that passes, the more relevant the warnings of Scripture become. God speaks to us through Scripture. He does that so that His faith can come and so that He can do His works through us, which will transfigure us by the moving of His Holy Spirit through us. When we listen to Satan, however, we move away from God and we begin to crucify Christ Who is in us rather than building Him up within us and having Him more fully formed in us.
Sex outside of marriage is always a display of selfish desire. No one has every helped or built up any other person by having sex outside of marriage. Jesus defined sex quite clearly as including even the desire in the mind for someone who is not your spouse, let alone touch. Sex outside of marriage can be a thought, a flirt, a look, a word, music, choosing to go where temptation exists, reading the wrong book, magazine, or website, shacking up, hooking up, and all the various perversions that are now being called "politically correct." Don't be fooled by the rationalizations of the popular culture. Sex outside of marriage is selfish. It turns the purpose of sex and marriage backwards from serving your spouse to serving your ungodly self nature, your fleshly nature, and serving Satan as his slave in the process. It draws you away from God and away from maturity in Christ. It re-crucifies Christ, Who is in you, and it builds up your carnal mind. You, and anyone you influence, is left less of a fulfilled person and more in slavery to Satan--more of a slave to the corrupt culture and social pressures--more of a slave to your own sinful flesh.
Marriage is a specific thing. God designed it. He speaks to us, through His Bible, about what is and is not marriage. His Spirit speaks to our minds and we have no excuse to say that we don't know what is and is not marriage or to say that we don't know what is an appropriate thought, word, or action. There is no excuse that can stand against God's argument. The human mind is deceitful and desperately wicked, but those who are willing to listen to God will know.
It is definitely a battle, but this is a battle that can be won. That is what the gospel is all about--not just forgiveness, but release from bondage. The way you overcome is to keep overcoming. You already know that there is an active conversation going on inside of you. This is true for those who are born again and for those who are not born again. The Holy Spirit is telling you one thing and your own fleshly nature, the part of your mind that has been corrupted by Satan through your body and is under the control of Satan through your body, is telling you something else. Every human being faces the same thing. The world, that is, the corrupted culture, tries very hard to push every one toward sexual sin through sensual music, false teaching, magazines, Internet websites, acquaintances, etc. To overcome this, you must deny your self. Denying your self is never pleasant. You must die to your self. Dying to self is never pleasant. And, you must live to Christ.
But, how do you die to self? What is that all about?
Here is how that works. God speaks to you. The Bible tells us that and our experience tells us that. When He speaks, when He leads, His voice is not the only voice you hear. There are constant battles of truth against lies that are constantly going on inside of you in your mind. You also hear a voice urging you to think about the very thoughts that the Holy Spirit tells you not to think about, and to look at the things that the Holy Spirit says not to look at, and to speak in ways that the Holy Spirit tells you not to, and to do the things that the Holy Spirit tells you not to do. In fact, the Holy Spirit is probably leading you to pray and to walk in the Spirit while your fleshly nature is telling you to do the opposite. The Holy Spirit tells you to confide in a Christian brother or sister and Satan tells you not to do it.
There are many battles in a single war. Each battle is for your mind. God speaks to you through your spirit and Satan seems to work through your body. In each moment there is a battle. Many battles make a war. Satan has had your mind almost completely to himself, and he wants it all back. Satan will use his servants to tell you any lie that might allow him to keep you and kill you. This is where the world, the culture, peer pressure, the media, the "educational" system, and such come in. The Holy Spirit says, "Don't be conformed to this world (kosmos) but be transfigured by the renewing of your mind." So, the battle is for your mind; you have control of your will. Satan can't make you do anything. God will not force you to do anything. You must choose between these two who speak to you constantly. Which one will you listen to?
If you choose to listen to Christ, then, an amazing thing happens. Faith (supernatural trust and believe) is a miracle and a gift. Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the utterance (literal) of God. God speaks, you listen, and faith comes. God's faith is not human faith. Human faith is make-believe faith. God's faith is the faith of God. It is a supernatural belief and trust, and that faith "is not of yourself, it is the gift of God lest any man should boast."
God doesn't stop there. Paul tells us, in the letter to the Romans, that faith gives us access to grace. Another Scripture tells us that faith is the door to grace. And again, in Romans, God speaks to us to let us know that it is grace that does the works. God tells us that righteousness is a free gift. We must receive it, though. That is where your will comes in. Don't use your will to do your own good works. Rather, use your will to yield yourself to the Spirit of God allowing Him to think His thoughts, say His words, and do His works through you. He won't force you, but He will call you and perform His work in you if you are willing.
as God leads us by grace through faith, He gives us a vision of hope. In three places in the New Testament, God compares this vision to a mirror, and, in James, He talks about looking at yourself in this mirror, which He calls the perfect law of liberty. Moment by moment, God unveils who you are in Christ, how you fit into Christ the Body, what is and is not of Christ the Body, and what you are to think, say, and do in the moment as a connected member of that Body. This is an unfolding revelation. God gives many teachings that unveil what is and is not part of that Body through His servant Paul. He tells how the church service is to be run, how communion is to be understood, how the gifts of the Spirit are given, what the nine gifts of the Spirit are, what love is and how it works, and the list could go on. This is the pattern for the Church and this is important because the Church is walking into the Kingdom of God, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. The fullness of Christ is Christ the Head in Heaven joined in complete unity to Christ the Body on earth, with no divisions, no disorders, no sin, no human ideas, no fleshly nature left, fully dead to self and alive to God, fully in submission to Christ. God speaks to us about this pattern and the Holy Spirit takes the disorder out of each of us and out of the Church as a whole from glory to glory, from faith to faith, and from light to light. Marriage and the family are part of God's pattern. No human being has any authority to alter that pattern.
God gives you His Own Faith,which is a supernatural trust in Him. He then flows through you by His Spirit to do His work through you. In Romans again, God commands you to yield the members of your body to Him. The flesh will cry out in fear and anger. Your fleshly nature will become increasingly like a cornered rat as you yield to Christ. It will fight to the death, but don't be fooled by its tricks. Christ will win if you stick to Him. Your body will tell you that you will never win and your fleshly mind will back up your body, but they are liars and they are slaves to the prince of liars. So you yield yourself to the Holy Spirit. Don't worry about how you feel. Treat the feelings of your emotions and your body as if they are dead. Paul said to reckon them to be dead. Reckon, in this sense, is an accounting term. They are dead, and you just have to enter it into the ledger sheet in your mind. You ignore a dead person, and you ignore the urgings of your body and turn to Christ. Listen to Jesus.
When you yield yourself to Jesus, you are changed in your very nature. Each time you yield, you are transfigured in your mind. A part of your self nature dies and Christ is more fully formed in you.
So many people make the mistake of thinking that this is an instantaneous salvation, and so they think that something is dreadfully wrong when Satan can still torment them and tempt them. However, it is a walk in the Spirit to the Kingdom of God. The less of your carnal nature that is left, the harder it fights.
When you yield to Jesus and allow Him to think His thoughts through you, say His words through you, and do His acts through you, He plants good seed in the garden of your mind. His Spirit is poison to the weeds that Satan has always sowed into your mind. You reap what you sow. When, by yielding to the Spirit, you sow good seed into your heart/mind (actually, the Holy Spirit is doing this but God rewards you as if you did it), then your mind will begin to produce the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, temperance. This kills the flesh even further. It is a long walk of gradually winning the war a battle at a time. You may slip across the line, but, when you confess, God is faithful and just to forgive you and to give you power for righteousness.
1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us that God has made Jesus our wisdom. Our wisdom has a name, and that name is Jesus. Our wisdom is a Divine Person. And our wisdom consists of righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Righteousness is in the moment. It is by grace which is through faith. That is, God speaks, faith comes and gives access to grace, and grace does the works of righteousness, thought, word, and deed. Then there is the transformation. That is the beginning of sanctification or holiness. Righteousness is in the moment. Holiness is a permanent change in what you are. Redemption is being set free from the slavery to sin. Righteousness is in the moment, but holiness and redemption are both permanent and progressive. The progress into holiness and redemption may seem slow, but keep going. The rewards are worth the patience. These constitute a progressive transfiguration of your mind and eventually of your body at the manifestation of the sons of God.
Last updated: Feb, 2013
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