Summary: Why should we wait until marriage to be intimate? Paul gives us four perfect reasons to do so.
1. Illus. of Terri
• 15 years old girl came and said, “I want to get married.” When I pressed her, she said, “I have to get married.”
• Should have been playing with baby dolls, now would shortly have a baby of her own.
• Got into trouble by experimenting with the physical intimacy God has reserved only for married adults.
2. The kids of today are under tremendous pressure to become sexually active. Physical intimacy is not only expected, it is easily available. Many kids, like the 15-year-old I just told you about, are succumbing to the pressure and saying, “why should I wait until marriage?”
3. Are you a young person or a single person facing these temptations today? Are you a parent who wants to be able to say something other than “just because” when your kids ask you why they should wait until marriage? Are you a grandparent who hopes and prays that your grandchildren will wait until marriage? Then listen closely today!
4. The Ephesian church was located in a city where the temple to Aphrodite (we get our word aphrodisiac from her name) was located. Paul writes to the Ephesian church and gives them explicit reasons to abstain from the sexual impurity so common in the city around them.
5. His message for us today is this: God wants us as Christians to postpone physical intimacy until after marriage!
6. Why should we wait? Paul gives us four reasons.
I. WHEN WE WAIT WE DEMONSTATE THE MEANING OF TRUE LOVE
1. See vss 2-3- Seem to be about two subjects that don’t go together. Lets look a little closer:
In vs 2, Christ is shown as the model of what true love is all about. He truly loved us, so He gave Himself for us as a sacrifice. True love does what is best for the one being loved, no matter what the cost to the one doing the loving!
In vs 3, Paul changes the topic to sexual sin. “Fornication” is "porneia", all forms of physical intimacy outside marriage. “Uncleanness” is "akatharesia", and in this context probably means the same thing. But then he talks about “covetousness”. We know what covetousness is. It says, “I want your car, etc. for my own personal use and pleasure.” When we have physical intimacy outside marriage, we are engaging in the ultimate form of covetousness. We are saying, “I want your body for my own personal use and pleasure.”
Paul carries it even a step further in vs 5. An idol is something we worship. We are covetous because we have made an idol out of our wants and desires!
2. Now do you see the contrast Paul is making? Real love says “I want what is best for you, no matter what the cost to me.” Pretend love, lust really, says, “I want what I think is best for me, no matter what the cost to you!”
3. Illus. of boy and girl
. "If you love me" you will do this and this for me sexually." The truth is, if he really loved her he wouldn’t ask!
• That is what true love is all about. Doing what is best for you, no matter what the cost to me!
4. If someone says to you “its OK for us to be physically intimate before marriage because I really love you” they are lying! That’s lust, not love. Real love would never say that because sex outside marriage is NEVER what is best for the person we care about! Real love will always say “I want to wait until after marriage.”
II. WHEN WE WAIT, WE AVOID THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD
1. See vs 5-7. “Sons of disobedience…” means lost people. He then warns Christians against being partakers of these same sins. The idea seems to be “if God won’t let lost folk get away with this stuff, what makes you think He will let His children get away with it?”
2. Illus. of grandad’s whipping
• Neighbors kid came over, we played on myy Grandad’s farm
• Got to sassing and acting up. Boy said something real rude. I thought it was funny, so I repeated it.
• Pawpaw whipped boy, then whipped me!
• When I said, “why did you do that?” He replied “if I wasn’t going to take it off of him, what makes you think I would take it off of you?”
• Seems to be Paul’s idea in the text. "If I won’t let lost get away with this behavior, what makes you think I will let My own get away with it?"
3. Galatians 6:7. Law of the harvest. Seems to apply especially to sexual sin. Quite often, the greatest judgement of God is not supernatural, but rather removing His hand and letting us experience the natural consequence of what we have done: