Summary: The Bible teaches us a basic truth: Sinful activity carries serious consequences. Sexual sin is no exception. No matter what the world may want us to believe, God’s Word is clear that we are to live in purity of mind and body. Sexual sin is a devastating
Landmines in the Path of the Believer
Part 5: The Landmine of Sexual Sins
The Bible teaches us a basic truth: Sinful activity carries serious consequences.
Sexual sin is no exception. No matter what the world may want us to believe, God’s Word is clear that we are to live in purity of mind and body. Sexual sin is a devastating landmine, indeed.
First Thessalonians 4:3-5 tells us, “Abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion.” This earthly vessel—the human body—is not our own. We are commanded to flee immorality because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and God has purchased our redemption with the precious blood of His only Son. Therefore, we must use our bodies to glorify Him.
Remaining sexually pure is a testimony to the world that we serve a holy God. Refusing to do so, however, is rebellion against the Lord Himself. The mental, physical, and spiritual consequences are inescapable.
Key Passage: 1 Thessalonians 4:1–8
1. A gift from God.
From the beginning, God created us to have a deep, personal, intimate relationship with Him. Therefore, our need for intimacy has nothing to do with flesh and blood. Rather, intimacy means that we have closeness in our relationship with God. God did not give us the gift of sexuality for the purpose of meeting our need for intimacy—only He can meet that need.
Instead, our sexuality was given to us for two purposes: for replenishing the earth and for our pleasure. This gift comes with an important condition—that we reserve it for marriage—because God wants to keep it from becoming destructive to us.
2. Sexual sin begins with a thought.
Immorality begins in the mind and proceeds to the imagination. If someone allows his thoughts to dwell too long on improper yearnings, he will begin to identify with the object of his desire, and physical consent will follow. When we refuse to control our thoughts, we have no excuse.
James 1:14–15 tells us, “Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin.” The wise believer will guard his private thoughts, realizing how much power they exert on behavior. He will be vigilant about protecting his imagination, thinking only about things that are wholesome, pure, and lovely. The mind is an awesome gift from God, and it should be used to draw us closer to Him through prayer and godly reflection.
3. A false offer of pleasure without penalty.
The power of sexual temptation comes from a lie. The devil would have us believe that sexual promiscuity is normal, acceptable, and free of cost. But the truth is that any form of spiritual disobedience has serious consequences. He has designed us to live by His laws and reap wonderful, godly rewards. When we refuse, we bring about terrible results. Almighty God gives commands for our own good.
4. Sexual sin has many consequences.
There are many terrible results of sexual disobedience. A few examples of its negative effects are feelings of guilt, self-condemnation, a divided mind, anxiety, damaged self-esteem, hypocrisy, emptiness, disappointment, anger, depression, dishonesty, and doubt. Other harmful consequences include wasted time, diminished effectiveness, fear, disobedience to God, regret, remorse, abortion, damaged fellowship with God, crime, punishment, disease, and death.
Sexual sin harms our testimony, our relationships, our ministry, our future, and our usefulness to the Lord. For this reason, our loving heavenly Father has filled His Word with warnings concerning our sexual purity. He is concerned about our well-being and always acts in our best interest.
5. Sexual sin can be forgiven.
If you’ve already surrendered to the temptation of sexual impurity and are wondering if your relationship with God can be restored, there is good news for you. We serve a loving Lord who will forgive us of every sin. He is willing to remove that transgression from you, as far as the east is from the west. However, for that to happen, there are several steps you must take. First, you need to confess your sin, asking God to forgive you. Next, you must take responsibility for your actions and genuinely repent of your sin—putting your sinful actions behind you once and for all. One of the terrible consequences of sexual sin will be your own self-condemnation, so be sure to forgive yourself. In the future, obey God’s Word by fleeing immorality. Finally, if you suffer from some form of sexual addiction, seek a godly Christian counselor who will keep you accountable and help you to honor God.