Summary: I borrowed the title from a Sermoncentral contributor because it was so good. But the rest of this sermon deals with sexual immorality and how the Christian needs to walk in a sexually darkened world.
LIVING A G-RATED LIFE IN AN R-RATED WORLD
Let me tell you about a couple I have become familiar with, Josh and Jerusha. These two grew up together in the same neighborhood, you could say. Actually, Josh was a few years older than Jerusha and had the pleasure of watching Jerusha grow from an adorable little girl who played with dolls to a very attractive young woman. It stands to reason that being older, Josh doted on Jerusha like an older brother, protecting her, making sure she didn’t get hurt.
As love tends to do, Josh’s eyes were opened to her maturing qualities and he fell in love with Jerusha. They began to court and a beautiful relationship soon developed between them. There was a trust and an openness that characterized their new love so much so that it seemed nothing would ever come between them. Josh would write amazing poetry pieces about Jerusha; and Jerusha adored Josh and drank in the attention he paid to her. Naturally, their relationship rose to the next level and they entered in to the covenant of marriage.
Things almost always go well in the first years of marriage, as it did for Josh and Jerusha. But then Jerusha’s eyes started to wander; she began to see other men in the neighborhood; began to see things she thought Josh did not have and desired these men. And they desired her. Or at least to use her. When Josh discovered her betrayal he was crushed and thought of killing her. He couldn’t, of course. But his heart was so broken and shattered he was beside himself with pain. He did everything he could to win her back; everything that a healthy lover should do. But she continued to give herself to other men in ways that drove Josh nearly insane. Finally, he had no choice; he gave her over to her wishes, surrendering her to her will, with a sad heart.
You know Josh and Jerusha – we call them Yahweh and Israel. This is exactly how the Lord describes his pain to Ezekiel in the OT. Israel’s bent towards the idols and riches of other nations was to God like an unfaithful wife jilting her groom. To the Lord, our sexual immorality is like idolatry, just as Israel’s idolatry was like sexual immorality. The two are intertwined. And for God’s people to engage in the sort of things that are R-rated in our world, like any kind of sex outside of his design, is a betrayal to our God.
We live in an R-rated world – sex sells everything; sex itself is for sale. Our TVs and computers are plastered with it. Let me ask you, in light of all you have seen and thought, if we were to view your life as a movie, would you be a Restricted movie, or General, safe for everyone to view?
1. Why An R-Rated Life Clashes With God’s Plan For His People
a) It is inconsistent with the Christian walk. An R-rated life clashes with God’s plan for his people. In Christ, we have been given the calling to a new life, a life that is different than the world around us. But the old temptations are still there, just as strong as they ever were. That is why Paul so strongly warns us:
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Not even a hint. Those words echo through my mind. Not even a hint of sexual immorality. There are more than hints out there; people are not even quiet or shy about immorality. Our world is growing increasingly proud of its sexual freedom, as if it were the defining characteristic of the human race.
A man wrote: “Dear Abby, I am in love and I having an affair with two different women other than my wife. I love my wife but I love these other women too. Please tell me what to do, but don’t give me any of that morality stuff.” Signed: Too much love for only one. In this case Abby’s answer was classic. She wrote: “Dear too much love for only one, the only difference between humans and animals is morality. Please write to a veterinarian.”
Sexual immorality, as Paul uses the term, refers to any sexual misbehavior. Impurity is anything that is rotten, filthy, or obscene. And while greed makes us think of money, Paul is using it here to describe an unrestrained sexual greed where a person thinks that others exist for his or her own gratification. Add it up and there is no mistaking it: Paul is speaking about any kind of sex outside of marriage.