Today we are continuing in our message series entitled “The Way of Love.” God is love and He loves each person that He has created. He wants each one to have a relationship with Him and to follow His plan for their lives. God’s Word is God’s love letter written to the world to tell us about God’s love and plan for each and every person.
This past Friday was Valentine’s Day in which we celebrate romantic love between a man and a woman. The Bible speaks of three main kinds of love in the Greek language. The first is eros, which speaks of romantic love. The second is philios which is brotherly or friendship love and the third is agape, God’s unconditional love for us. God invented all three kinds of love and each has their place in His plan. Eros, romantic or sexual love is very powerful and important when expressed within the boundaries that God’s Word dictates. Jesus said in …
Matthew 19:4-6 (ESV) He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Jesus makes it clear that there are only two genders, male and female. There is only one kind of marriage, that between a man and a woman. Marriage is the only place that God ordains sexual union, becoming one flesh. And marriage is meant to last a lifetime. Each one of those truths, taught by Jesus and throughout the Bible, is under attack in our culture today.
Today, my message is entitled “Embrace Purity.” We’re going to be talking about being sexually pure and embracing the truths of God’s Word concerning romantic love. Sexual promiscuity outside is marriage is incredibly destructive. Leviticus 18, which we’ll be talking about more in a few minutes describes many impure sexual practices that are to be avoided.
Leviticus 18:24-25 (ESV) “Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.
None of the things we read or hear about today regarding sexual immorality is new. They all existed and in even more extreme forms in the nations that Israel drove out. These impure or unclean practices pollute the very land and bring God’s judgement upon nations that embrace them. Our country has been in a downward spiral with regard to impure sexual practices since the decision of Roe v Wade legalizing abortion in 1973. We have seen huge increases in fornication, adultery, pornography, human trafficking and homosexuality. Many of these illicit practices are being accepted and even promoted by more and more churches across our country.
God wants each one of us and our church to stand for the truth of God’s Word. We need to understand what it says about these issues, embrace purity for ourselves and seek to protect our country from the flood of perversion that is all around us. So, let’s see what God’s Word tells us about embracing purity.
Our culture tries to teach us that sexual immorality doesn’t hurt anyone, as long as its between consenting adults. That is completely wrong. Sexual immorality of any kind defiles and hurts everyone that is involved. Not only does it defile the people involved, the other relationships of those people are defiled, as is the very city that they live in. As believers and as citizens we must choose to …
Leviticus 18:3-4 (ESV) You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the LORD your God.
Both the Egyptian and the Canaanite culture were incredibly wicked and perverted with respect to sexual immorality. We see from Israel’s history in the Old Testament that the sexual immorality of the surrounding people was a strong temptation to them. Often, the Israelites would fall for the sexual immorality that was involved in the worship of the pagan idols. God gives clear direction here that His followers, His believers were to follow His rules and statues of purity because He is the only Lord God.
If you read through Leviticus 18, you will see that God warns against every type of sexual immorality known to man, either then or now. Let’s look at a few of them.
Leviticus 18:6 (ESV) “None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness. I am the LORD.
Sexual relations with a close relative is forbidden by God, it is defiling.
Leviticus 18:20 (ESV) And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her.
Adultery is another form of sexual immorality where at least one person is married that must be rejected. Fornication is sexual immorality between two unmarried people and is also condemned, as it breaks God’s boundaries for sexual relationships. What is the God created result of sexual union? It is the creation of children. When children are created outside of marriage, either through adultery or fornication, the parents often wish to get rid of them, leading to the sin of abortion or child sacrifice.
Leviticus 18:21 (ESV) You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.
Isn’t it interesting that child sacrifice is mentioned right after the sin of sexual immorality? Even today, 90% of abortions are carried out on single woman, who did not reject sexual immorality.
Leviticus 18:22 (ESV) You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
Homosexuality is condemned, both multiple places in the Old Testament, as well as in the New Testament. It is the only sin in this passage of sexual immorality that is said to be an abomination. We must reject sexual immorality.
It is significant in these passages, that sexual relations is often referred to as uncovering nakedness. One of the most prevalent types of sexual immorality today is pornography, which is digitally uncovering nakedness. At a minimum, pornography leads to lust in those viewing it, which often leads to sexual immorality. The production of pornography often involves human trafficking that harms those involved, often children.
Sexual immorality, like many other sins, is addictive and hard to quit. Yet, Jesus came to set the captive free from any form of bondage, including sexual immorality.
There are many dangers of sexual immorality. There is danger to your relationship with God, danger to your relationships with other people, danger to your physical health, danger of becoming addicted, danger to your eternal destiny. The book of Proverbs contains many warnings about immorality’s dangers, so we must seek to …
Proverbs 5:3-4 (ESV) For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
The forbidden woman is any form of sexual relations outside of marriage. The temptation of the forbidden woman is enticing in many ways. However, if the temptation is given into, the result is bitter and cutting, leading to the gates of hell itself. So, every believer must ask God for His help in practicing abstinence, abstaining from any form of sexual expression outside of marriage.
Proverbs 5:20-22 (ESV) Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
In these verses, sexual sin is spoken of being intoxicating. We all know the addiction that can come from alcohol and the same if true of sexual sin. Oftentimes, sexual sin can be seemingly hidden or know only to one other person. But the Lord knows everything that is going on and a lifestyle of sexual sin will lead to an eternity in hell. The final verse of this passage speaks of the person ensnared in sexual sin as being held in bondage to the cords of his sin.
Recent research in brain chemistry shows that the deterioration of the brains of sexual addicts is the same as the brains of drug addicts. Only through repentance and seeking God can one be set free from the cords of sexual sin. Sexual immorality has great danger both for individuals and for our country.
How should we as believers respond to the dangers of immorality? We must stay as far away as we can from sexual temptation. Satan’s scheme is to present sexual immorality of all kinds as normal and prevalent in television, internet, movies, etc. His plan is succeeding with homosexuality and now we even have a homosexual presidential candidate. Homosexuality is being endorsed by more and more denominations. The danger is not just in being involved in sexual immorality but also in accepting and promoting it. Never before in the history of the world, has such a range of temptation been available as is available today in the media at the click of a link. Rather than immersing ourselves in the decadent culture of our day, we must choose to immerse ourselves in God’s Word, prayer and the things of the Spirit God is calling us to.
God is the one who invented male and female, two and only two gender identities. There are no other genders. This is not just according to the Bible. Anyone who knows anything about biology recognizes that genetically there are only two genders. Those two genders lead us to …
Genesis 2:23-25 (ESV) Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
God created Eve from Adam’s rib and brought her to Adam. These verses in Genesis are the ones that Jesus quoted in the verses we read from Matthew. God’s model of marriage was for the sexual union to produce a unity of one flesh. And for the union to bring godly children into the world to carry on God’s work. Notice that before sin came into the world, the husband and wife were naked, but no ashamed. In a believer’s marriage, there is no shame in sexual union, it is God’s way of creating oneness in the marriage. These principles are so important that God made them part of His ten commandments.
Exodus 20:14 (ESV) You shall not commit adultery.
In a specific sense, this seventh commandment prohibits sexual relations where at least one of the partners is married. In a more general sense, as we go through the other commands in Leviticus, this command encompasses all types of sexual immorality. This command is designed to safeguard God’s model of marriage.
Proverbs 5:15-16, 18 (ESV) Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? … Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
In poetic language, these verses speak of limiting one’s sexual relationship to only the marriage relationship. To do otherwise is to do damage to the marriage and to forfeit the blessing that comes by being faithful to one’s marriage. As we follow God’s plan of purity, it brings joy into our lives and marriage.
The New Testament says that marriage points to the relationship between Christ and the church, His bride. The relationship between a husband and wife is to mirror the relationship between Jesus and the church that He died for. As believers, our marriages should be examples of God’s love being lived out on the earth. We should train our children to reject worldly standards of sexuality and to be committed to God’s plan, which is the best and only way to live.
We need to embrace purity at three levels. First of all, we need to embrace purity in our own lives and families. To embrace purity means to live it out and to teach others as well. Secondly, we need to continue to embrace purity as a church, which I and the Assemblies of God are committed to doing. Unfortunately, many other churches are embracing the impure homosexual agenda, such as the Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and the United Church of Christ. If you have friends or family in those kinds of churches, its time for them to find a Bible honoring church.
Finally, we need to embrace purity as citizens of the USA. How can we make an impact and change our culture? The first way is to lead more people to faith in Jesus, who changes their hearts. But this it not the only way. In a democratic country, we can and must influence others to live by more biblical principles even those who are not believers. We must also influence those who are Christians, but don’t understand or live by biblical teaching. In this election year, every Christian and every person who desires to honor our Constitution must get involved in electing leaders who will govern with biblical principles. The future of our nation hangs on this pivotal election.
Going forward, what happens at the state level is going to become more and more important. We’re going to see states that operate with biblical principles and leaders will be blessed. And states that disregard biblical principles and leaders are going to encounter God’s judgement. This is already happening and it will become clearer as time goes on. Those who embrace purity and encourage others to do the same will be blessed.