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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, January 09 2020

Resisting sexual temptation

“But among you [believers] there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed… Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking” (Ephesians 5:3-4, NIV, emphasis added throughout).

For men sex is a powerful drive and virtually every man is tempted sexually. Brazen misuse of sex saturates our society, as Robert Bork describes in his book, Slouching Toward Gomorrah.

In contrast, almost every book in the New Testament contains teachings and warnings about sexual temptations. Jesus Christ warned in Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (NIV)

Chrisitians are repeatedly urged to nip temptation in the bud, before it turns into sin. Our calling is to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). In the book of Proverbs men being tempted by a seductive female are exhorted to “Run from her! Don’t go near her house!” (Proverbs 5:8, Living Bible). The incident recorded in the story of Joseph when he runs from the seductive overtures of Potiphar’s wife has also been preserved for us as a strengthening example (Genesis 39:6-12), along with the well known saga of the consequences of King David’s sin with Bathsheba, described in 2 Samuel 11. God’s laws are absolute, and we always suffer penalties for our sins sooner or later, no matter who we are. God is not a respecter of persons.

Traditionally, women more often than men are the stronger ones in setting and defending moral boundaries, while men who are not concerned about biblical admonitions, may try to go as far as they can toward intimacy and intercourse. However, as our society becomes increasingly debauched and pornograpic, women have also become increasingly sexually aggressive, making it all the more necessary for both sexes to have clear spiritual principles and strong moral boundaries. But as you know, God made men to be more visually oriented so they are immediately tempted to lust by what they see. Women generally are more slow to react, responding more to romance, relationships and touch.

Christians should have the purest standards of what we allow our eyes to see, avoiding many movies, TV shows, Internet sites and magazines. Let’s follow the example of Job, who said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” (Job 31:1, NIV, see also verses 9-10). We can purge wrong thoughts from our minds by dwelling on “whatever things are noble… pure,” etc. as instructed in Philippians 4:8.

Though we will never be perfect in this life, we must rely on God and continually work toward that goal.