Sexual sins are real. There are evident cravings of our body that if we give attention to them, we’ll yield to all sorts of sexual temptations. If we don’t yield to the very acts, we may burn with lustful passion.
James points our attention to the process of temptation “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (Jam. 1:14-15). It is lust that begins the cycle of temptation.
A lust is a strong desire to commit sin.
You ought to first understand that your body was created by God and it was given to you as a gift. Sexual desires are not from the devil, but from God. Sexual immorality or perversion is from the devil. Sexual desires are not wrong, it is what you do with them that is either right or wrong. I heard a preacher say this humorously many years ago to men
“It is not wrong to have an erection but you should not allow your erection to give you a direction”
And this same fact applies to women in other ways. We cannot afford to yield to just any filthy thought that comes to our minds. The process by which we purify our thoughts is called sanctification.
Sanctification is a matter of honour. I’m not trying to live a sanctified life because I don’t want to miss the “rapture” or I’m afraid of a punishment from God. You see, as a believer, God does not see you in the light of your sin anymore, this was the reason Christ came. God has judged sin once and for all by making Jesus sin for us (Jn 1:29; 2 Cor 5:21). The righteous indignation of God towards sin was completely and eternally consumed in the once and for all sacrifice of Christ. God is not mad at you when you sin!
”My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 Jn 2:1-2).
A price has been paid. This is an absolute truth!
We have been sanctified to live a sanctified life. Honouring God with our body is our response to the gift of sanctification in redemption. Sanctification is a term used to describe something that has been set apart for an uncommon use. See what Apostle Paul said about this
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
This simply means a believer in Christ has been washed, sanctified and justified. Paul had called the Corinthian church saints earlier in the letter “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” (1Cor. 1:2). The words “to be” are in itallics in this verse, they were not in the original manuscript, hence the bible translators included them. So that part should have read “called saints” We are sanctified and because of this, we are called saints. The set apart ones. We are holy not based on our good conduct but based on who God has made us in Christ. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1Cor 1:30).
Therefore in response to who God has made us, we take charge as the occupants of our bodies. We must give quit notice to any illegal occupant in form of inordinate affection or lustful thought!. A believer’s body has a Landlord, the Spirit of the living God! We must honour the price He paid to redeem us, we should not at anytime trivialise the blood of His Son.
Apostle Paul said “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid” (1 Cor 6:15). My body is a member of Christ because it is occupied by Christ’s Spirit and I can’t take a member of Christ and join it to a harlot’s. The word “Harlot” is an old English word for commercial sex worker or prostitute.
What He is telling us is this, any thought or act of impurity is as dirty as “sleeping with a prostitute”. It is both literal and figurative. He says “flee fornication” The Greek word for “fornication” is “porneia” which is not just an act of having sex with someone who is not your spouse, but also an act of thinking or creating a mental picture of immorality. Every act of sin begins in your mind. It is from this same Greek word that the English word “pornography” was coined. Paul the Apostle, was not only talking about acts of sins but thoughts of immorality also. He said to the church at Colossae “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2).
The Living Bible says “Let heaven fill your thoughts…” Your thoughts must be permeated with spiritual realities at all times! “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). He tells us what to meditate on; things that are true, honest, righteous, pure, lovely, good reports.
God has given us a check list for our thought pattern! Whenever I do this, I glorify or honour God in my body “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Every believer must be established in the fact that their body is not their property! It belongs to God, therefore we live in our body to honour the Owner!
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God” (1 Thess. 4:3-5).
Say these words out loud
My body is a gift of God to me
His Spirit within me is My landlord
I honour Him by taking charge of my thoughts
I yield my members as instruments of righteousness unto God
I live a life that is well pleasing to Him by His ability in me