Summary: God wants you to live a life of sexual purity.

The Undefiled Bed

3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 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. 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

1Th 4:3-8

Introduction: We live in a sex-sick society. With so much perverted use of sexuality it would be easy for the Christian to get the impression that sex is bad. The truth is that sex is a wonderful gift from God, when used correctly, and a terrible curse when abused. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb 13:4)

Text idea: Paul writes to the Thessalonians teaching them God’s will concerning our sanctification

Sermon idea: Be Set Apart from All Sexual Impurity

Interrogative: What is God’s will concerning sexuality?

Transition: Please God in your choices concerning sexuality

I. God’s will is that you be sanctified in the area of sexuality

a. Sanctified – set apart from the common or sinful unto God.

b. Fornication is ANY sexual activity outside of marriage (pre-marital sex, adultery, incest, homosexuality, bestiality, etc.).

c. Abstaining – A good example of abstaining is found in the book of Genesis. “And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.” (Gen 39:10)

i. 17-20 years of age.

ii. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

d. The Christian must remember that his body is not his own.

i. We are now the temples of the Holy Spirit.

ii. Sexual sin violates that temple, destroying one’s own body.

1. “Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (1Co 6:18)

iii. Sexual sin promises much but leaves people guilty, empty, and alone. That’s because we were not made for fornication. We were created for the Lord.

e. You can and must be sanctified…part of sanctification is your sexual conduct. Sexual impurity has NO PLACE in the life of a believer! Stay away from fornication. Keep your bed undefiled!

Transition: What if I choose to not do God’s will in this matter?

II. God’s punishment will come to you who are guilty of sexual sins (5-6)

a. God wants you to keep your body under control…not giving it to lust as the Gentiles. The ‘lust of concupiscence’ is forbidden. What’s that? Concupiscence is a craving for what is forbidden. Concupiscence is rampant in our society.

i. 37% of American babies born out of wedlock in 2006 (AP)

ii. Campus culture; “hooking-up”; USA Today article “Hookups starve the soul”

iii. All this immorality does not go unpunished. 1 in 4 college students have STDs

iv. Katie, age 20, contracted a STD at age 17.

"If there was one thing in my life I could take back, that would be it," said Katie, "I’ll have this disease for the rest of my life."

Katie, a junior in college, said she has slept with one person, but that was enough to get infected with an STD.

"I don’t think teenagers understand that it only takes one time to get infected," she said. "No matter what, it’s not worth getting a disease."

b. ‘that no man go beyond and defraud’

i. Part of knowing how to possess one’s vessel in sanctification is knowing where the boundaries are.

ii. In order to go beyond there must be lines…and they are there whether you acknowledge them or not.

Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

(Gen 20:5-6)

iii. To defraud – to take advantage of

1. By inspiring desires that cannot be righteously fulfilled

2. A sister might be tempted to entice a man through his eyes

3. A brother might be tempted to entice a woman through flattery and excessive claims of commitment

4. Either men or women can defraud through inappropriate touching

c. God is the avenger of ALL SUCH

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