Few areas of life are more important than our relationship to the opposite sex, and few areas are so exposed to temptation.
Some time ago, my heart was grieved as I learned of a respected Christian leader who had fallen into a life of sin. He had obviously not intended to do so, but when the temptation came he gave in - and as a result his wife, his family, his friends, and fellow Christians suffered tremendous heartache.
Most tragically, his testimony and witness for the Lord Jesus Christ suffered untold damage, and the overall cause of our Lord was ridiculed and rejected by many because of his sin.
As Christians we are called to live lives that are holy. We are to set aside the evil ways of the world and honor Christ by living in faithful obedience to His commandments.
God's Word tells us, "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy'" (1 Peter 1:14-16).
As you study this lesson, consider these principles:
Immorality originates in the mind, and God must give us victory there by His Holy Spirit.
The Bible gives a healthy outlook on sex. God's Word teaches that the sexual relationship can be a source of enjoyment and blessing when confined to the proper area - marriage. The Bible never pictures sex as sinful, distasteful, or dirty. Just as fire may be a great boon to man but can bring havoc when used improperly, so sex is a great blessing, but can ruin a life when abusively indulged.
Our gracious God forgives and cleanses in this area as He does in all others, so that we need carry no unnecessary load of guilt. David repented of his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. He said, "I acknowledge my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord' - and you forgave the guilt of my sin" (Psalm 32:5).
In all our conduct toward the opposite sex, we must set the highest example and give no occasion for others to doubt our testimony.
What does God say of impure thought? (Matthew 5:27-28)
List the things on which we are to think. (Philippians 4:8) Why does the human mind not want to think on these things? (Romans 8:7)
What are some things in our modern lives and homes that naturally lead to impure thoughts? How do we gain victory over impure thoughts? (Galatians 5:16)
What can we do to avoid impure thoughts? (Romans 13:14, II Timothy 2:22)
Apply these verses to the things you listed above. How will you handle each temptation?
Note: Temptation in the thought life is not the same as sin. Evil thoughts may pass through the mind, but sin comes from dwelling on the thought.
What does the Bible say about the sexual relationship in its proper place? (Hebrews 13:4)
When tempted by immorality, what is the Christian to do? (I Corinthians 6:18)
List some things you can be certain will help you when you are tempted. (I Corinthians 10:13)
Write in your own words the warnings against immorality in the following scriptures:
Proverbs 6:26, Proverbs 6:32, I Thessalonians 4:3-8
Write in your own words what the following verses say about God's forgiveness:
Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 43:25, I John 2:1-2
What must we do to obtain God's forgiveness? (I John 1:9)
What area of impurity in your life do you need to face and deal with?
What are you doing or have around you that increases the temptation?
Choose an appropriate verse or passage from this lesson, apply it to your situation, and write the result you expect to attain.
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.
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