Summary: In this lesson we look at many verses that describe God's call for the purity of his people. We seek to understand the call and live it.
A. The story is told of a teenage boy and his grandfather who went fishing one day.
1. While fishing, the old man started talking about how times have changed.
2. The young fellow picked up on that and started talking about the various problems and sexually transmitted diseases going around.
3. The teen then said, “Grandpa, they didn’t have a whole lot of problems with all these diseases when you were young did they?”
4. Grandpa replied, “Nope.”
5. Then the grandson asked, “Well, what did you guys use for safe sex?”
6. Grandpa replied, “A wedding ring.”
B. Times do change. Oftentimes morals go in cycles.
1. A lot has changed even in my lifetime, which is quickly approaching half a century in length!
2. For example, how many of you remember the Emmy-award winning TV comedy called “The Dick Van Dyke Show”?
3. It originally aired on CBS for five years from October 1961 until June 1966.
4. It was a very funny show, but one of the interesting things about the sense of morality and propriety of the time was that the show never showed Dick Van Dyke and his TV wife, Mary Tyler Moore in bed together.
a. When they showed them in their bedroom they each slept in their own, separate twin bed.
5. Contrast that with what is shown on TV today.
6. Now a day, Emmy awards go to shows like HBO’s “Sex in the City,” or ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” where several people might end up in a single twin bed, but none of them are married! How times have changed!
7. The subject I need to address today is a delicate and uncomfortable one, but it is one that must be addressed from God’s perspective – I will do my best not to be offensive or graphic, yet you may feel like any treatment of this subject is not something you want your young children to hear. If so, feel free to go to the nursery or foyer or the classrooms in the basement.
C. In our day things are morally bad, and are much worse than 50 years ago, but morally speaking, things were very bad in the Roman Empire in the apostle Paul’s day.
1. Here are some of the things going on in the Roman culture in Paul’s day:
a. It was common in that day for men to take several wives.
b. Divorce was rampant and easy.
c. Temple prostitution was a common form of worship to the false gods of the day.
d. It was considered an honor for a woman to serve as a temple prostitute.
e. Homosexuality was common.
f. Using household slaves for sexual gratification was common and acceptable.
D. But let’s go back even earlier in history, back to when the Israelites were receiving God’s laws for the first time.
1. Look at the commands from God about sexual ethics in Leviticus 18:
2. The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. 3 You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. 4 You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. 5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.
6 “‘No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD.
7 “‘Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.
8 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.
3. Then God proceeds to expound upon another 10 family members that a person should not be engaged in sex with, including: your sister, your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter, your father’s sister, your mother’s sister, your father’s brother’s wife, your daughter-in-law, and your brother’s wife.
4. God continues: 17 “‘Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter…”
18 “‘Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.
20 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her.
22 “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
23 “‘Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it.
E. I apologize for the graphic nature of those verses, but keep in mind that they come from the Bible.
1. Did you notice how specific and detailed God was.