Summary: Sexual sin will not only hurt one’s own body but others as well. No sin has greater effect on the mind, soul and spirit than sexual sin.

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(1Thessalonians 4:3-8)

A well-known theologian and pastor was requested by a distraught Christian mother into an undesirable counselling session with her young son who had moved out of the family home and into his own apartment owing to the mother’s constant religious and moral directives. The son also invited a willing coed to join him as his roommate. This pastor agreed to talk with the young man after explaining to the mother that such a session would possibly result to further hostility. The young man also agreed to meet.

When the young man arrived at the pastor’s office he obviously appeared hostile and wanted to get the meeting over with as quickly as possible.

The pastor began the interview bluntly asking the young man directly, “Who are you mad at?”

Without hesitation the young man growled, “My mother.”

“Why?” the pastor inquired.

“Because all she does is hassle me. She keeps trying to shove religion down my throat.”

The pastor went on to inquire, “But what alternative value system have you embraced in place of your mother’s ethical system?”

The young man replied, “I believe everyone ought to be free to do his own thing.” (How Should I Live in this World? by R.C. Sproul, pg.11,12)

It became clear that it wasn’t the mom’s constant reminder of religious directives that was bothering the son. The boy wanted to do his own thing and he wanted his mom to agree with what he was doing although it was morally wrong.

The last 50 years saw the rise of moral revolution in our culture, spearheaded by the protests of the youth and commune living who came to be known as the hippies. It was in this era that slogans like, “make love not war,” “tell it like it is,” and “do your own thing” was invented. The rise of the Women’s Liberation movement, seeking equal rights and opportunities in economic activities, politics and personal lives including family, sexuality and work.

Martin De Haan II of RBC Ministries said, “The social upheaval of the 60s foreshadowed a series of social conflicts that would seriously threaten the unity of the nation. The “Culture Wars,” as they came to be known, divided society over a series of moral issues often linked to religious convictions.” (Daniel Spiritual Living . . . pg.2)

Os Guiness said, “In today’s world, differences can be seen to make a difference. Beliefs have consequences.” (Daniel Spiritual Living . . . pg.2) I tend to agree with Os Guiness. What we believe is what we will become. Just as the young man in our illustration, he wanted to “do his own thing”—though he did it sincerely with all his heart, mind, soul and strength but “his own thing” wasn’t morally right and was against every religious ethic his Christian mother wanted to pass on to him.

John MacArthur, a well-known pastor in our days, commented, “Since the 1960s, when the modern revolution really accelerated, Western society has had fewer and fewer rules governing sexual attitudes and behaviors. Freedom of sexual expression has in many ways become the cultural god that rules over all the other idolatrous gods of postmodern culture. People want the right for themselves and others, to express their sexual desires at any cost, even if that means aborting the unwanted child resulting from a sexual union or risking a sexually transmitted disease.” (1&2Thessalonians, pg. 101)

Will this freedom of expression in our society give rise to the immoral, unbiblical outlook regarding sex?

I believe it will. In fact that is what’s going on now. This society is beset with problems like: divorce, premarital sex, homosexuality, teenage pregnancy, same sex marriages, abortion, pedophilia, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to pursue their calling to be holy which is an echoing theme found throughout this letter. He was also building on the Old Testament concept of holiness that seats at the core of God’s being (Lev 19:2). It encompasses not only moral attributes but also God’s judgment, salvation, love, and faithfulness (Hos 11:9; Mal 4:1).

As a quality of God, holiness is bestowed upon people by virtue of their relation to him. In the New Testament, the concept of holiness is used in the setting of a “new covenant” through Jesus Christ. Our body, in covenant relation to God, becomes his holy temple. To keep this body holy, we ought to be sanctified. Sanctification is a process by which we are being separated from sin and set apart to God’s holiness and become more like Christ. At the heart of this sanctifying grace is the sacrificial work of Christ, who paid the debt for our sins. Sanctification process is the direct result of salvation. That is why without Christ in our life there will be no sanctification.

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