Sexual Purity Matters to God

Sexual purity matters to God and it should matter to Christians.
Years ago, a young woman in a Bible study told me I was old-fashioned to think that genuine believers wouldn’t live together before marriage. 

If I’m old-fashioned, so is God. 

God always knows what’s best for us, and Scripture defines all sex outside of marriage as sinful

What happens when Christians sin sexually?

They'll be deeply troubled and prove their repentance. They'll get help from more mature Christians and avoid all situations that cause temptation.(1)

“No one who continues to sin has either seen [Christ] or known him.” 1 John 3:6

"Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

God says sexual sin is serious.

He forgives the repentant (Acts 3:19).

(1) Christians have the power (Philippians 4:13) and the motivation (Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) to overcome these sins because "God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives" (1 Thessalonians 4:7). 

And check out today's Bite Size Bible Study for more on this subject.

Stand Up and Die

Are You Willing to Stand for Christ? 1 Cor. 16:13
A soldier entered an underground church and raised his gun.

“Deny your faith and go home, or stand where you are and be shot.”

Scores of people fled while a remnant of scared but faithful believers slowly stood to their feet.

When they were alone, the soldier lowered his gun and explained that he himself was a believer, but he couldn’t take the chance of identifying himself among those who feared man more than God.

Dear Christians, would you have stood or fled?

We answer this question every day in subtle ways:

Will we stand up for Biblical truths regarding salvation, hell, repentance, Christian values, abortion, transgenderism, homosexuality, pornography, premarital sex...

Or will we scurry out the door to the false security of our fallen culture?  

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." Ephesians 6:11

Let's stand!
For more on this subject: Is Jesus Likable? and Hard Teachings 
Note: I heard this story many years ago and it was said to have occurred in a Communist country. I believe it to be true, but I no longer have the source. Even if it is not true, it makes an excellent point.
Next week Bible Love Notes will address sexual immorality, not a popular subject in our degrading culture, but it's important for believers to understand what Scripture says so we can take our stand as Christ-followers.

4 Signs of Childish Faith - 1 Corinthians 13:11

4 Signs of Childish Faith - 1 Corinthians 13:11
It's good to be childlike, but bad to be childish.(1)

We're born with folly bound up in our hearts (Proverbs 22:15). Children are egocentric, thinking they're the center of the world.(2)

Becoming an adult means putting away childish selfishness and learning self-control, self-denial, and discipline.

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." 1 Corinthians 13:11

Mature faith is evident in:
1. Whom we honor.
Do we admire people for their faith or for worldly, selfish, childish reasons (James 2:1-9; 1 Corinthians 15:33)? 
2. What we value.
Are we pursuing God's purposes or youthful lusts (2 Timothy 2:22)?
3. What we believe about ourselves. 
Are we self-esteeming and self-defensive or humble and teachable (Romans 12:3; Proverbs 15:31)?
4. What we believe about God. 
Do we expect God to be our servant or do we seek to be His servant (Romans 12:1; Colossians 3:23)?

May God help us identify areas where we need to put childish ways behind us.
(1) Being childlike is being humble and dependent Matthew 18:4
(2) See Created and Born
Additional resources and Scriptures for each point above:
1. See "Who's Your Hero?" and "Christians Look at Hearts"
2. See "Needs and Desires" (for parents) and "8 Narcissist Problems"
3. See "3 Reasons the Centurion Amazed Jesus" and "Feeling Good or Being Good"
4. See "3 Lies That Take Our Focus Off God" and "God is an Equal Opportunity Employer"

Peace is Not the Highest Good

James 5:19-20 - We have a responsibility to our fellow believers
Romans 12:18 commands us to live at peace as far as it depends on us. 

But this doesn’t mean peace at any cost.

It’s good to overlook small offenses, but we should not condone sinful behavior in fellow believers simply to avoid conflict.

Addressing sin can get messy, make us unpopular, and cause unwanted conflict (John 15:18; 2 Timothy 3:12). 

But we have a responsibility to warn people of danger, even if they refuse to listen (Ezekiel 33:1-6).

The stakes are high:
“If someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.” James 5:19-20 

We must speak the truth in love and help those who are on the wrong track, even if it disrupts the peace (Ephesians 4:11-15).

I'd Give Anything....Not Really

What we mean when we say "I'd Give Anything to do that"What we mean when we say "I'd give anything to be able to do that." 

When I lived in Hungary, there were many times I wished I knew the language, but this is one thing I never said:

“I’d give anything to speak Hungarian!”

Do you know why?

Because two decades earlier I heard Elizabeth Elliot speak, and she said whenever we say this we’re actually saying, “I’d give anything—except what it takes.”

Yes! Yes! Igen! Igen!*

Despite the fact that Hungarian is an extremely difficult language to learn, I could speak it if I was devoted to learning it. 

I’m well aware that I did not make it a high priority. 

But sometimes I de-prioritize something unconsciously. And I bet you do too.

Periodically it’s good to evaluate our conscious and unconscious priorities and offer them to the Lord in prayer. 

“For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

We should want to make every effort - give anything - to fulfill God’s purposes for our lives (Philippians 3:12-14).

copyright 2012, Gail Burton Purath
* Igen is yes in Hungarian
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