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Summary: Believers must accept God’s authority and will regarding sexual issues.

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1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Holy Living in a XXX World

Introduction

Before I begin this morning’s message, I want you to know that this message is really not suitable for our younger children. If you would like to dismiss your children to children’s chapel you are perfectly welcome to do so. I think that any of the kids who are teenagers should hear the message. I’d like to add this also, that I preached this message several months ago on a Sunday evening. I have found that it is easier to deal with these subjects on Sunday evenings, but since many of you do not come I am compelled to preach it when you are here.

Today we are talking about holy living, or sexual purity. Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:13-16

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called is holy; so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy."

Peter said that it was written that we are to be holy because God is holy. He was quoting Leviticus 11:44, which says,

"For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

One thing ought to be very clear to you this morning – one of God’s chief desires for you and me is that we be holy, that we be like Jesus Christ in His divine attribute of holiness, and if we are to study our Bibles and be honest and open about what the Scriptures teach, then we cannot escape the fact that a key issue in holiness is the subject of sex. I am finding that this is perhaps one subject that Christian people like to discuss the least – at least in the light, and most don’t enjoy hearing it from the pulpit. It’s not that Christian people aren’t talking about sex or aren’t exposed to it. Quite the contrary! Everywhere you go it is a hot topic. Every evening most of you invite it right into your living rooms and don’t think too much about it. It’s in the papers, on TV, on the radio, in our schools and everywhere else you can think of.

Because sexual issues are confronting God’s people so frequently, and because it is a frequent subject in the Scriptures, it is necessary for us to deal with the subject today. It is an issue that effects both men and women, and more and more it is involving boys and girls. This is not a new problem. Sometime when you get home take a moment to read through Leviticus 18 and notice that God had to take time to spell out very specifically His desires for the Israelites concerning sexual purity. It deals with such things as pedophilia, incest, beastiality, homosexuality, adultery and so forth. God had to get graphic with those folk because He already knew what man left to his own devices would do. God’s desire for you as His people is that you be sexually pure in every way, both in the light and in the dark, both in public and in private, so that your character is consistent with your reputation. God’s people must be a people of sexual purity and integrity.

Let’s read our text in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 and then I want to lead each of you to make some clear choices concerning your own sexual purity.

"Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit."

Now, whether you are 15, 18, 40 or 65 I want you to deal with your sexual purity. I want you to deal with your own sexual purity, because it is too easy to look around and point the finger and hope that so and so is listening. If you are going to maintain a high level of sexual purity throughout your life, then you need to…

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