Daily Light – December 4, 2018

What I Had Wished I Had Known About Purity

Eight Lessons Learned Forty Years Later

(article by Adrien Segal)

Part 2:  (Con’t From Yesterday…Lessons 3-8….wow…such chunks and hunks of truth…digest and absorb…use to help others 😊)

3. Sexual purity protects a sacred (present or future) relationship.

Sex is an extraordinary gift in the context of an extraordinary relationship, if the Lord wills for us to marry. We should feel the weight of two being joined together in “one flesh.” There is something sacred in this union. The idea of violating the one who is at last “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23) should cause us to feel a stab of grief and even horror. Would any of us feel pleased to know our spouse shared such deep intimacy with another?

God’s warnings about sexual sin come in love because he wants us to experience fullness of joy, but his warnings are very real and very serious. Hebrews 13:4 is one of many verses that puts this severely and succinctly: “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

4. Sexual purity protects the body, mind, and spirit.

Living in an age of sexual freedom, we need to guard against believing the lie that pain and suffering come only to those who have been violated by forcible sex against their will. The pain and suffering after sexual assault and rape can be as traumatic as the acts are evil, but God tells us that even casual, consensual sex will bring judgment and personal injury to oneself, not real relationship, satisfaction, or joy. The apostle Paul speaks of profound self-harm when he writes, “Flee from sexual immorality. . . . The sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18).

Our body, mind, and spirit are damaged, even desecrated by sexual immorality. I am a living witness that sins against our own body are real and leave lasting scars. Praise God for life in Christ that brings healing and new hope.

5. Sexual purity upholds human dignity.

Succumbing to sexual temptation tears at the fabric of human dignity. Pleasure may last for a moment, but shame and humility follow in those whose hearts, minds, and consciences have not been seared by repeated sin and hardened to its evil.

Shame and humiliation never follow a choice for sexual purity. Human dignity is always strengthened by holiness. First Thessalonians 4:3–5 says, “This is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.”

One of the reasons the Proverbs 31 woman is such a fine example is that she is clothed in “strength and dignity” (Proverbs 31:25). This is a woman every man would be delighted to have for a wife, and make no mistake: she would not waste one moment wondering how she could stir desire in another man.

6. Sexual purity honors God.

Throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 19:21 Peter 1:16). We honor God by seeking holiness and purity in our lives. Paul writes in Romans 12:1–2,

I appeal to you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

He writes again in 1 Corinthians 6:13, “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” Verse 15 adds that our “bodies are members of Christ.” Would we ever want to defile the body of Christ for a few minutes of illicit sexual pleasure?

Colossians 3:5 exhorts us to “put to death what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Submitting to sexual temptation is telling God that our passion for sex is more important than our passion to serve and honor him. May it never be so. “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

7. Sexual purity is possible even if we’ve been violated.

For those who have suffered at the hands of a sexual abuser, the pain and suffering run deeper than most have the ability to express. Dignity, honor, and purity have been viciously ripped away. Victims often have a hard time shaking the sense of violation and often relive the terror, suffer ongoing pain and shame, sometimes struggle with insecurity and fear, and even may view themselves differently, questioning their worth and value.

But sisters in Christ, know that he has made a way to be healed of this pain, suffering, and self-doubt. He says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). In Christ, there is completely new life — completely new purity. Christ replaces what the thief has destroyed with something gloriously new and filled with hope for the future.

Second Corinthians 5:17 reminds the insecure and ashamed, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Even long before Christ physically walked the earth, God’s promise of renewal sparkled in Isaiah 61:10:

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

A Christian woman need never live as a victim. She is gloriously pure and, by the grace of God, clothed in robes of righteousness.

8. God will transform a broken past into spotless purity.

I speak with joy from experience when I say that God makes all things new. I grieve the choices I made before I was born again, but because of the sacrifice Jesus made for me, I walk in newness of life. I love the verses in 1 Peter 1:3–4: “according to his great mercy, [God] has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.”

My past does not defile my present relationship with God and the glorious future I await with Christ for all eternity. Christ lovingly gave himself to pay for my sin and your sin, and make a way for us to live purified and clothed in his robe of righteousness.

The Power Women Need

The world would have us believe that there is power and satisfaction in sexual freedom, but God, who created sexuality, teaches us the truth. Real power and satisfaction come through a rich and vibrant relationship with our Creator, made possible by the loving sacrifice of his Son for our sins. Sexual pleasures, wonderful as they can be, pale in comparison to the pleasures available in God, now and forever.

When we treasure God, and desire to honor him with our lives by submitting to his plan for our sexuality, we not only avoid the pain and suffering that follows extramarital sex; we also mine greater depths of joy with our spouse and do what we were created to do: glorify God.

Adrien Segal lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Rick. They attend Bethlehem Baptist Church and work with Bethlehem College & Seminary. They have four sons and five prized grandchildren.

What I Had Wished I Had Known About Purity

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