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Summary: The Call to Holiness is a calling to sexual purity.

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1st Thessalonians 4:3-8

American Idol Series: Sex

“Your Sanctification”

“The Call to Holiness is a calling to sexual purity.”

Sunday morning sermon

04.06.08

Intro:

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God calls his people (that’s you and me) to be holy. Holiness in our lives means every area of our life, including sexual purity. You will not and cannot be holy without sexual purity in your life.

God gives Moses this instruction: (Advance)

Leviticus 19:2 (NIV) "Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ’Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.

This is not a calling to be fake, or to be something you are not or weren’t created to be (there is no place for that in the church) – God calls his people to be holy, because that’s his character – that’s who he is. His people (that’s us) should be the same. We should understand sexual purity as an over flow of the holiness we are called to live out.

Discussion:

It’s personal – it’s private – and for the most part in the pulpits of America it’s ignored. Young people mess around, married people play around, relationships are broken, lives are changed, marriages are dissolved and the church stands back and for the most part wonders why.

The truth is – it’s a beautiful gift from God – it’s like cheesecake. You can do things to make cheesecake better – add cherries, you can sprinkle it with chocolate. When you apply worldly wisdom to this beautiful gift from God – it’s like adding artichokes to cheesecake. It’s just not good. The Bible makes it clear that God’s will for marriage is between a man and a woman. The Bible makes it clear that until you enter into a marriage relationship, you should be sexual pure; after you get married you should be faithful to your spouse. It’s really that simple. But the fallen world we live in – muddles this up – handing Christians a paint brush more gray than black or white. Turn on the radio – the number one pop song is about a dancer who gets “low” – Toby Keith has a song that says, if you’ve got the hunny, I’ve got the money – from the context of the song, I doubt she’s a bee keeper.

Stay with me – cause I’m not preaching against music or the media. What you fill your mind with is an extension of what you think about – that’s absolutely always true. If you put junk into your mind, and media in whatever form that degrades women, that takes this beautiful gift from God and puts it before marriage – regardless of the justification – you will live it out. The psalmist says: (Advance)

Psalm 119:11 (New American Standard Bible) Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

Taking God’s word out of the car, off the coffee table and putting it into your heart will help you avoid sin – applying it to your personal life – is the best path to know God’s will and follow through with it. Sanctification – it’s the process of being made holy. It’s the video – where you give God every part of your heart, and you let him clean it up and take out the trash.

Paul talks a lot about this process of being made holy – which also involves sexual purity. If you have your Bibles turn with me to 1st Thessalonians 4:3-8 (Advance) (Read)

I see two things this morning. (Advance)

I. Be Sanctified

Paul Literally says – “This is your sanctification” -- You want to do everything God wants you to do? You want to know what his good and pleasing will is for your life – you want the peace that passes all understanding and freedom that comes from knowing truth – Paul is saying – “Here it is.”

a. God’s will (your sanctification) – Avoid Sexual immorality

Vs. 4 – notice the connection(Advance)

1 Thessalonians 4:4 (NIV) – that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,

i. Young people

– don’t put yourself in situations where you are alone with the boyfriend or girlfriend. Create a standard for yourself that is based on the standard of God’s will for your life – purity. (Advance)

1 Timothy 5:2 (NIV) – older women as mothers and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

If he or she doesn’t treat you with purity – stop the relationship. Nothing is worth the loss of respect. God, working his holiness in your life will not continue if you set a different standard for yourself, than what he has laid out in his word. Trust that God has the right person in mind for you, who will also have the same Godly standard for their lives.

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