Living Life for God with Sex Put In the Right Context
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Ephesians 5:1–3,5 ESV Read More
Again, we are starting with Ephesians 5:1–2 because it is through that conduit that the rest of these things flow. This list is getting pretty intense when you look at the culture around us and the lifestyle that so many people have as a habit before they come to Christ.
Sexual immorality, impurity, and covetousness are all in the same list here which means we need to view them in context with one another. Sexual immorality is the translation of the word pornia. In Greek it now means ‘prostitution’ but in ancient times it was a general word for bad sexual activity. This word didn’t just have the meaning of any kinds of sexual activity that were wrong, but it also had the connotation of idolatry mixed in with it. That means that not only was your body in the wrong place, but your heart was also.
The impurity and covetousness that follows are amplifiers of sexual immorality. Impurity is about the sexual immorality left unchecked. As Christians walk in the love of God, they have self-control and respect limits. We are not animals that can’t control our urges. We are new creations that are living out a fragrant life of sacrifice to God. If impurity in this context is the unholy lack of limits, covetousness is the desire to continue onward beyond those limits more and more.
You can see throughout the scriptures that God gives us the freedom to increase and grow in whichever direction we want. If it is in immorality and impurity, He will allow us to grow in that direction. If it is in holiness and grace, He will help us down that path. God doesn’t want us to continue in sin, but He puts such a high value on freedom and the choices we make that He’d rather let us make bad decisions than force us to love and follow Him like mind-controlled robots.
That’s where the idolatry and inheritance come in. As we seek the Lord and desire to walk in His ways, we spend more time with Him. That time spent with God shapes us and guides us to live a life free from the fear of judgment; free from the complexity of managing lies to cover our sin; free from the emptiness of the hook-up culture.
There was a coffee-table book about raising sons that I saw once that on one page said: “Teach your son to use a pocket knife.” Upon turning the page, the next image showed two hands and the caption “When he’s old enough, give him yours.” I lost it. The relationship between a father and son wrapped up in the passing down of a pocket knife is such a potent image!
That is what our seeking God is like. He shows us real life. We live it in Him (free from sexual immorality in this context) and then eventually He gives us full and eternal life with Him. It’s not about rules. It’s about the fullness of real life.
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