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FIRST-PERSON: The case for moral purity

PLANO, Texas (BP)–It’s not hard to figure out that we’re living in a sex-crazed society — one that operates much like an open sewer. It’s even been called the “new morality” by some, including ministers of the Gospel.

The fact is we’re not entering a new morality at all. It’s simply the same old immorality that’s been plaguing people for thousands of years. Modern man exclaims, “If it feels good, do it” or, “If loving you is wrong, then how could this feel so right.”

That same philosophy of the so-called sexual revolution is very similar to that of the Corinthians of yesteryear. Liberty and freedom were key words to this particular group of people.

Indeed, Jesus died that we might be free. But as always, freedom must be exercised in the perimeters of truth and responsibility. As Americans, we are not free to commit crimes and atrocities against society. Nor is it our freedom to abuse our privileges in Christ and use it as a license for sin.

Like people today, the Corinthians logically rationalized their behavior and sinful practices. They lived in a society, much like ours, that was grossly immoral. Prostitution ran wild in the streets and pagan worship was common practice.

So the Apostle Paul wrote a word of warning and admonition. He straight talked about sex. You may be wondering what place we as Christians have to talk about this kind of subject in such an open forum, but if we don’t, who will? Is it safe to say that we should just let secularists do all the talking on this subject? Or should we speak in no uncertain terms according to the Word of God?

Many of you share my convictions concerning moral purity. Unfortunately, people are being heavily bombarded in the office, at school, at college and in the media by innuendoes, temptations, and actions that are totally contrary to what they believe, how they have been raised, and, most importantly, what God’s Word teaches.

More people than we know about in our culture are hungry for forgiveness, cleansing, and the answers to purity rather than personal gratification that comes from sin. God clearly challenges us to be active participants in moral purity in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.

Bottom line: Not only are you to be consistently nurturing, growing and protecting your spiritual relationship with God, but your body as well. God will not condone in the saint what he condemns in the sinner who doesn’t know Christ.

Moral impurity is emotionally, physically, socially, domestically and eternally destructive. Fifty percent of all emotional problems are a result of sexual immorality. These are people who are haunted by their past, guilt, anger, bitterness, insecurity and depression.

And today more than ever, there are sexually transmitted disease being passed along at epidemic proportions. This sin has within itself destructive and sometimes incurable consequences.

In “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” Edward Gibbon attributed the immorality of the Romans as their leading cause for destruction.

What is happening in America today? God is giving up people to their sin. And because our nation has increasingly participated in immorality, families are being directly assaulted. The family is the bedrock of culture and society, and this sin is first attacking the home.

While society may commend sexual impurity, God condemns it. Everywhere we turn there are temptations in music, media, television and movies. But God says to flee sexual immorality.

A number of years ago, I clipped the following from an article by Del Fehsenfeld. If you desire to live a pure and holy life then:

— Recognize your potential for moral failure (1 Corinthians 10:12).

— Realize that you don’t have to give in (Romans 8:37).

— Resolve to be pure (Daniel 1:8).

— Remove all bitterness from your life (Hebrews 12:15).

— Restrain the flesh in all areas (Romans 13:4).

— Refuse to give in even for a moment (1 Peter 5:8-9).

— Run from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

— Resist the devil (James 4:7).

— Rely on the power of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 4:13).

— Renew your mind in the Word of God (Psalm 119:9).

— Rejoice in the goodness, grace, forgiveness and love of God (Proverbs 5:18).

— Remember that you will give an account one day before a Holy God (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

The Scripture says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God….” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).

As Christians, we are not to be controlled by anything, except the Holy Spirit. We have been set free by the blood of Jesus and must never return to the bondage of sin. Although it seems that when a person crosses over the barrier toward sin it is very difficult to return, there is hope. God gives strength to those who are weak. You CAN be morally pure in an immoral world.
For more information on Jack Graham, visit www.jackgraham.org. The website contains Graham’s sermons in audio and video format, as well as an online store with resources. Visitors also can sign up for “A Daily Word from Pastor Graham.”

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  • Jack Graham