You are sexually pure when…
Google “sexual purity” and you will find plenty of books and articles telling you how to work towards it. Similarly, many organizations and ministries also include “sexual purity” or “purity” in their missions’ statements. Generally lacking, however, in these efforts is a clear explanation of what sexual purity means or what it would look like when one has achieved it. If sexual purity is so important, shouldn’t we know what it is or when we have achieved it?
With this in mind, I would like you to wrestle with the following statement:
“You are sexually pure when no sexual gratification comes from anyone or anything except your wife.”
This was written by Fred Stoeker in his book Every Man’s Battle and reading it for the first time back in 2005 was like being hit with a two by four. It struck me instantly as true and irrefutable, convicting me of my sin and popping my rationales.
Stoeker’s statement and his book launched me on my quest for sexual purity, and to gain victory over lust. This would not be easy, because I was a very clever and persistent sinner. By most people’s standards, I was squeaky clean. But–I knew better. Marsha, my wife, knew better. God knew better.
When we seek sexual purity we take Jesus’ convicting statement about adultery in the heart seriously
(Matthew 5:28). We don’t rationalize it away, reject it as utopian, set it aside as a hard statement or ignore it. Instead, we agree with Jesus and submit to His teaching.
Whenever we agree with Jesus—hear His words and obey them–we are building on a sure foundation. Doubt is banished. Confusion is banished. Instead of nagging guilt, intellectual confusion and spiritual drifting we are faced with a simple, stark and personal choice. Shall we obey or disobey Jesus?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer described the response of Abraham when given the impossible edict of sacrificing Isaac, his son, in this way. “He does not try to interpret it, nor does he spiritualize it. He takes God at God’s word and is prepared to obey.”i Believe me, refusing to lust is much easier than what God asked of Abraham. Doing so is the action of a disciple. When we obey, we have joy and peace. When we disobey we have the opposite.
Here are my questions for you: Are you prepared to obey Jesus and draw into deep fellowship with Him so that you can continue to obey Him? Are you prepared to pursue sexual purity? Do you agree with the way being sexually pure is described above? How will you act on it?
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich (2003-04-15). Discipleship: DBW 4 (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works) (p. 97). Augsburg Fortress. Kindle Edition.
If the idea of “refusing to lust” seems like an impossible task, read more about this subject in the following article .
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