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Summary: The pattern set forth by Jesus on overcoming guilt and shame.

Valentine’s Day is this week so today we’re going to cover some straight talk from the Bible on love and sex.

The Bible talks about sex quite a bit because there’s certainly nothing wrong with talking about sex in the proper manner. With all the misinformation out there we need to talk about sex from a biblical perspective. We need to teach and train our sons and daughters about it from a solid foundation.

If you want to enjoy life you need to align your sex life with the Word of God. So that’s why we’re going to look at some practical biblical teaching on the subject today.

We’re in the series on "Loving the Life you Live" and we’re looking at places in the Bible that help us deal with the things that make it difficult to love life. God wants us to enjoy life. He wants our lives to be full of joy. But there are some obstacles that make it hard to love life sometimes. Dealing improperly with guilt is one of them. Since we’re all sinners we’re all going to need how to deal with guilt. We all make mistakes. We need to know specifically how God says to handle it.

Guilt is like sex – if you handle either without God’s instructions you won’t be happy. You need to know what God says about it.

Originally the topic for today was going to be "How to Deal With Guilt" in general, but the more I studied today’s Scripture text, the more it kept narrowing itself down to one particular form of guilt - guilt over sexual sins. How are people supposed to handle their guilt over sexual sins? You need to know this not only for yourself but also so you can help others.

Don’t conclude this message isn’t for you. Realize that the principles Christ prescribes for handling the guilt of sexual sins will not only help you and help others but they will also apply to any sin for which you are guilty. God doesn’t want you to carry guilt. He knows that’s an unpleasant task. He wants to set you free from guilt and shame!

One of the reasons this topic is so important is that a lot of people aren’t effectively serving Christ today because of the guilt and shame of sexual sins. They think that somehow, sexual sins automatically disqualify them from serving God. But as you study the life and teachings of Jesus you realize that isn’t so. Jesus encouraged people to follow Him who had all sorts of sexual sins in their past.

Christ offers forgiveness and freedom from the guilt of sexual sins. There is no better example of this than Christ’s interaction with the woman caught in the act of adultery in John’s Good News Account, chapter 8.

John 8:1 (NCV) 1 Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

2 But early in the morning he went back to the Temple, and all the people came to him, and he sat and taught them.

3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They forced her to stand before the people.

4 They said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught having sexual relations with a man who is not her husband.

5 The law of Moses commands that we stone to death every woman who does this. What do you say we should do?"

6 They were asking this to trick Jesus so that they could have some charge against him. But Jesus bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger.

7 When they continued to ask Jesus their question, he raised up and said, "Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her."

8 Then Jesus bent over again and wrote on the ground.

9 Those who heard Jesus began to leave one by one, first the older men and then the others. Jesus was left there alone with the woman standing before him.

10 Jesus raised up again and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one judged you guilty?"

11 She answered, "No one, sir." Then Jesus said, "I also don’t judge you guilty. You may go now, but don’t sin anymore."

What is Jesus teaching us here about shame, guilt, forgiveness and restoration from sexual sins? How can you overcome the guilt of sexual sins? He forgave this woman and her guilt was gone!

The first thing this true story teaches about overcoming the guilt of sexual sins is that you need to:

1. Believe that sexual purity is a proper goal for your life.

This is where you need to start. No matter what your past sins are, this should be your goal for the present and future because if you don’t believe that sexual purity is the right thing to strive for you will lose the battle for overcoming guilt before it ever begins. There are simply too many allurements to be sexually impure in the culture around you to not have a positive plan. You must have a goal – and the Word of God teaches that the goal you should have is purity in your sex life.

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