Summary: 1. Respect God's standards for purity (Matt 5:27-32). 2. Run to the cross of Christ (Rom 6:23). 3. Repent from sexual sin (Luke 15:17-20). 4. Run away from sexual sin (2 Tim 2:22). 5. Renew your mind with Godly things (Rom 12:1-2).
God's Plan for Our Purity
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - April 10, 2013
*We have been going through a verse by verse study of Matthew, and our Scripture tonight covers two of the most sensitive subjects in God's Word: adultery and divorce. That being the case, we need to go beyond what the Lord says here in the Sermon on the Mount. We are going to search more of God's Word to find God's plan for our sexual purity.
*In these opening verses, the Bible gives a strong message against both adultery and divorce. But please don’t tune me out if you have gone through a divorce or are struggling in your marriage right now. There is probably not a family here that hasn't been hurt in some way by divorce.
*My dad’s mother divorced my grandfather in 1928, after he was unfaithful to her. My dad was 8 at the time, with two younger sisters. My grandmother was left to raise 3 children by herself, the youngest around two. My dear mother was divorced around 1935 after one year of marriage. The experience was so bitter that she never spoke of it to us even once.
*My sister has been married to a very godly man for almost 35 years. His first marriage ended after losing a baby to crib death. He and his first wife were not able to put the pieces back together after that tragedy. Of the 7 children in our two families, every one but Mary and I have either been divorced or have married someone who was divorced. And let me say that Mary and I are still together after 38 years only by the grace of God, and the good wife God gave to me.
*We are not here tonight to judge divorced people. Nobody knows the pain of divorce better than those who have been through it. And God may hate divorce, but He loves divorced people. And tonight's Scripture can be helpful to us all.
*With this background in mind, let's begin by reading Matthew 5:27-32.
*There can be no doubt that sexual sin is out of control in America today. Two weeks ago, the federal Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2008, the total number of sexually transmitted infections in the U.S. was over 110 million. (1)
*That mind-boggling number is even more mind-boggling, when you know that there are only about 200 million people in this country between the ages of 15 and 64. (2)
*Now surely some people got multiple infections that year. But even taking that into account, close to half of the adults in the U.S. had an STD that year. On top of that, in 2010 over 40% of all U.S. children were born to unmarried women. (3)
*Sex sin is out of control in America today. How can we live in the purity that God commands? -- God will make a way for us. This is His promise for us in 1 Corinthians 10:13, where Paul said: "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
*God will make a way for us. Let’s look into His Word to find His way, to find God's plan for our purity.
1. One of the most important things we can do is respect God's standards for purity.
*This is a whole lot harder today than it used to be, especially for our young people. It's a whole lot harder partly because the mass media preaches the opposite 24/7. It's a whole lot harder when sex appeal is used to sell everything from hamburgers to deodorant, and Victoria's Secret isn't secret anymore.
*Media influence greatly matters in a world where average American children spend more than 60,000 hours with mass media by the time they reach 17. That compares to 11,000 hours at school, 2,000 hours with their parents and only 900 hours of church (if they attend every week)! (4)
*No wonder that even ten years ago the views on morally acceptable behavior had radically shifted from older to younger Americans. At that time, 41% of older Americans thought unmarried couples living together was acceptable behavior, but 75% of young people thought it was o.k. 40% of older Americans thought sexual fantasies were morally acceptable, compared to 79% of young people. And sex outside of marriage went from 24% to 54% acceptance. (5)
*Yesterday I got an email from the American Family Association. The email warned that the FCC is seriously considering dropping its current broadcast decency standards that ban explicit profanity and "non-sexual" nudity. The new FCC policy would allow network television and local radio stations to air the f-word and the s-word. The new FCC policy would also allow programs to show frontal female nudity, even during hours when they know children will be watching and listening. The FCC is accepting comments from the viewing public until the end of April. You can find out how to make a comment online at AFA.net. (6)