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Job's Commitment to Absolute Sexual Purity (Job Sermon 19)

Series: Job

Job's Commitment to Absolute Sexual Purity (Job Sermon 19)

August 29, 2021 | Andy Davis
Job 31:1-12
Sexual Purity

Learn about our present sexual crisis, the good origins of marriage and the fall that ruined it, and Job's commitment to sexual purity.


- Sermon Transcript -

Turn in your Bibles to Job 31. We're looking for the second week at these remarkable words. We live in a beautiful world, physically. The world that is around us was created by God and God celebrated it. When he made it, he said it was very good and he still delights in it for, as we're going to move ahead in Job, we see four chapters in which God boasts and pours out his delight in physical creation, in the mountains and the rivers and the oceans and the birds, the ostrich, and the eagle and the lions. And all of these things are still evidence of the greatness of God. But the Bible also uses the word “world” very differently in I John 2. One of the central warnings that the New Testament gives to Christian people is the danger of the world. The apostle John speaks of this saying, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 

And that world is an elaborate system of evil allurements and enticements and temptations masterminded by Satan, himself, and central to the world's attack is lust. The lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, the boastful pride of life, but he zeros in on the lust and John calls all Christians to guard their hearts and to not love the world or anything in the evil world system. And so this world, this diabolical system of temptations has always been a threat to the souls of Christians. But I say this, never in the history of the church, has the world had so many ways to fire flaming arrows of temptation and also accusation into the souls of God's people. And many of those flaming arrows are directed to sexual sin from the moment that Adam and Eve fell into sin and their eyes were opened and they were corrupted in their minds. They had to cover over their naked bodies because of that corruption. From that point, until this, sex has been a massively vulnerable place in the souls of human beings. 

"I say this, never in the history of the church, has the world had so many ways to fire flaming arrows of temptation and also accusation into the souls of God's people."

John Bunyan wrote an allegory of the Christian life called The Holy War in which he posits human beings as a city, a citadel under siege, a walled citadel under siege. And in that powerful image, just borrowing that image, I would see sex and temptation dressed as sex as like a section of the wall that's in rubble. The enemy is flooding to that weakness and dedicating a lot of attack and focus on that place where the wall is broken down. The prevalence and devastation of sexual sin should be obvious to anyone who is aware of current events or recent history. So many of God's choicest servants have fallen in this area. To put it simply, we need help.  And Job comes along in Job 31:1-12, as a father figure to us, a mentor, a role model, a warrior for righteousness, whose example can give us the assistance that we need. And today I'm singling out and focusing on the men in this room in particular to sit at Job's feet and learn from him as a father for he is a veteran of this war and he can help you. 

Now, last week we saw in Job 31 an overview of Job’s astonishing record of personal holiness, which Ben poured out in his sermon, I thought, marvelous overview. So I guess I don't need to do it, but I'm going to go ahead and do an overview of what he said. You know, we saw in Job 1:1 that Job was a man who was blameless and upright, who feared God and shunned evil. And in Job 31, we did kind of a flyover and we saw multiple elements of that. 

First, the section we're going to zero in on today, a commitment to absolute sexual purity in verses 1-12; and then a pattern of just treatment for his servants in verses 13-15; a lifestyle of active service to the poor and needy in verses 16-23; a rejection of all idols, especially wealth in verses 24-28; graciousness to enemies, hospitality to strangers, verses 29-32; integrity, living to please God and not the human audience, not concealing sin, but being who he really appeared to be, verses 33-37 and then righteous business practices, verses 38-39. Now last week we flew over this, like at a 30,000 foot level, and we're able to see it, but this week I want to zero in because we need the help to zero in on the issue of sexual purity, Job's commitment to absolute sexual purity. 

I. Our Present Sexual Crisis 

And I do this because of our present sexual crisis. Job 31 comes in just in time. The existence of digital technologies, especially smartphones and the apps that reside on them have given, as I said, the world, a continual access to our brains. It's almost like we're in some kind of an opium den, all of us lying, sleepy on cots with some kind of an IV drip pouring the world right into our minds and into our souls. The addictive nature of these smartphones should be obvious to anyone who sees or who knows them. I was recently in an airport waiting area in Atlanta, one of the busiest airports in the world, and I just thought about this. I was thinking about smartphones and I looked around and I would say at least three quarters of the people, probably more like 90%, were looking at phones. There wasn't a lot of conversation going on with one another. Maybe they were texting each other as they sat next to each other, which I find odd. Some of you say, but pastor, this is what we do. It's like, no, no. Put them down, talk to each other, look to each other. But these things are addictive.

I was myself at a conference once and I was not all that engaged in what was happening. I'm confessing this. I shouldn't even finish this story, but I'll go ahead and finish it. And I had my phone with me and I found myself looking at it and putting it down and looking at it and putting it down and looking at it and putting it down. Finally, I was like, stop. I wanted to throw the thing across the room. So I put it face down away from me to see if I could make it five minutes in the midst of this boring talk, five minutes, not looking at the smartphone. Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about. These things are addictive. 

Now, the world has an allure, generally, there's a pull on us. And there are many dangers that it has, but sex is a particular danger. And there's no doubt that the world is using all of its allures, it uses these digital delivery systems to get at us. And so what does the world offer? It offers possessions, all manner of items are continually on sale with the swipe of a finger. You can invest in the stock market and you can manage your portfolio with these smartphones. You can do it instantly. How about power? You can run an international company. You can be in touch with your workers. You can communicate and give orders and manage people. Power. Then there's pleasures, just constant gaming and live streaming and all manner of things that the smartphones can do. I break the smartphone, what it does for us, into “tool” and “toy.” And there's a lot more toy often than it is tool. So pleasures and then pride. You can just feed your ego with the social media apps. You can just kind of orchestrate those that you're interacting with and they can feed your ego by how many times they like something that you say. All of these things are dangerous. So certainly the world generally is threatening us, generally, but I believe no threat of all of those, no threat is greater than the allure of illicit sexual pleasure. How can we man it, how can we measure the damage and heartache that sexual sin has caused in your redemptive history? 

"The world generally is threatening us, generally, but ... no threat is greater than the allure of illicit sexual pleasure. "

Imagine that you could stand by the bedside of King David as he was in his final days and he's lucid, he's able to talk, and you were to have a conversation about the great moments of his life and you asked him of all the great moments, what do you cherish the most? And he might mention how God gave him the strength to fight Goliath, even as a teenager and what that meant for him and how powerful that moment was. Or maybe more subtly and more gently, some of the moments of inspiration when he was writing the Psalms. What was it like to be filled with the Holy Spirit as you wrote, "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want," and the sweetness of that fellowship. 

But then if you were to say to him, of all the things that you regret in your life, if there's anything in your life you could change, what would it be? I don't think he would hesitate. And you know, he, wouldn't. The moment I saw Bathsheba bathing on the rooftop and I didn't turn away in holy zeal for the glory of God. I would have that moment back. I would do that moment differently if I could, because my friend, I can't tell you how much damage that moment has done to me personally, to my family and to my whole nation. 

Well, my desire is to get you ready for that moment in your life and it's going to come. And that by the ministry of the Word, you'll be prepared to fight with a holy zeal for the glory of God, rather than crumble like David did that night. Now the internet and smartphones have brought sexual sin to levels unseen before. A staggering percentage of individuals have viewed or are continually viewing internet pornography. But there truly is nothing new under the sun. There's nothing new about this, at one level, certainly the technologies are new. The lasting power of the Bible itself, the reason that we continue to read it and find it perfectly helpful to us.

II. The Good Origins of Marriage 

There's two aspects, the unchanging nature of God, the fact that God is immutable. He's the same, always the same. And secondly, the fact that the human condition is basically the same as well. Every generation is facing the same temptations. And so therefore the Bible speaks lasting wisdom to us and the Bible clearly addresses sexual sin and its remedy. It gives us everything that we need for life and godliness. It gives us everything we need for absolute sexual purity. So we have to go back to the beginning to understand this whole thing. We need to understand the good origins of marriage and then the fall that ruined it. From the beginning, God created marital relations, sex, within the context of marriage. Jesus, when he was asked about divorce, went back to creation. In Mark 10:6, he said, ”At the beginning of creation, God made them, male and female.” So in Jesus's mind how God set it up at the beginning is the permanent paradigm for the entire human race. It's never changed. 

And God created the first woman, it says in Genesis two, to be a helper suitable for the man, in Genesis 2:18. Adam's reaction after God brought him up out of that deep sleep that he caused to come on him was, was just amazing. As he saw his wife, Eve, for the first time he broke out into poetry. He said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man.” I've often thought it's fascinating, how in the world did Adam know that he was in deep sleep at the time? But it's clear that God told him where she had come from and God gave him in kind of a secret counsel, everything that he would need to love her and to cherish her. And so it is still the case. And so in Genesis 2:24, Moses told us that this was a permanent pattern for all time. In Genesis 2:24, For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh. So the beautiful unity that Adam and Eve felt in their marriage in their marital, one flesh union was made clear from the very next verse. 

In Genesis 2:25 it says, “The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.” But that word ‘shame’ in Genesis 2:25 is ominous. If you had asked Adam and Eve, what is shame?, they would not have been able at that moment in their innocence to give you a definition of it. They wouldn't have known what it is. They would've been completely free from shame, but Moses centuries later writing the account knew very well what sexual shame was. And he knew that everyone reading his account would know it. And so he wanted us to know what it was like for them in their purity and their innocence to be naked and have no shame because for us, shame entered the world and it entered with the very next chapter in Genesis three. 

Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, Genesis 3:7, then the eyes of both of them were open and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. And from that moment until this, the marriage bed has been an under continual assault by the devil. All manner of sexual sin and perversion has come in. Fornication, which is sex between two unmarried people. It's a sin. Our culture doesn't say it's a sin, but it is. It's not changed, God's never changed on it. And then adultery. Sex in which at least one of the people is married, but not to that person or both of them are. Homosexuality, sex between people of the same genders and all other forms of perversions that I will not utter here.

III. Job’s Commitment to Absolute Sexual Purity

The worst of all, behind all of these behaviors, is the corruption of the human heart, the twisted nature of the human heart. The fact that our hearts fell into darkness. And so this battle for sexual purity has plagued every generation since Adam and Eve. Job, as I said, is a holy warrior who can teach us to fight. Now, let's look at what he said. We looked at it last week and we've heard it read, but let's read it again. 

Beginning at verse one, "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl for what is man's lot from God above, his heritage, from the Almighty on high? Is it not ruin for the wicked and disaster for those who do wrong? Does he not see my ways and count my every step? If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit — let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless — If my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes, or if my eyes have been or my hands have been defiled, then may others eat what I have sown, and may my crops be uprooted. If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbor's door, then may my wife grind another man's grain and may other men sleep with her. For that would have been shameful, a sin to be judged. It is a fire that burns to Destruction. It would have uprooted my harvest."

Well, Job's piety is based on an intense awareness, a constant awareness of the presence of the Holy God. That's the centerpiece of his piety, of his godliness. He's always aware of the omniscience, the omnipresence and the holy judgments of God. He mentions God immediately. He says, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” Why did you do that? Well, what is man's lot from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high? “Is it not ruin for the wicked and disaster for those who do wrong?”

"Job's piety is based on an intense awareness, a constant awareness of the presence of the Holy God. That's the centerpiece of his piety, of his godliness. He's always aware of the omniscience, the omnipresence and the holy judgments of God. "

“Does he,” Almighty God, “not see my ways and count my every step?” So the fear of the Lord truly is the beginning of sexual wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of sexual wisdom. This is the consistent pattern of the Bible. Speaking of the terrible judgements that come as a result of sexual sin, this is our lot from God, this is our heritage from on high. Judgment for the sexual sinner, ruin and disaster, and God's omnipresence and his omniscience and his holy judgment are with Job all the time.  Does he not see my ways and count my every step?

In the movie, Greater, a football movie about a Christian athlete named Brandon Burlsworth, he's a highly motivated athlete who by discipline and hard work, transformed himself from an overweight unathletic high school kid to a first round NFL draft choice. And toward the end of that process, when he was at University of Arkansas, a new coach came in and he went late at night to the gym and he heard someone in the gym. He heard noises. So he opened it up and there was Brandon Burlsworth, middle of the night, working on his technique, working on his blocking technique and other things. And the coach was impressed and thought to compliment Brandon Burlsworth with this statement, "Well, character is what you do when no one is watching." And he answered, "Coach, someone is always watching." 

Job knew that didn't he? Someone is always watching. And in the end, our godliness consists in caring only what he thinks. That's how we must understand Psalm 51. “Against you and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight”, but like no created being is even close to what you think. That's what matters. That's what mattered to Job. “Does he not see my ways and count my every step?” God is very mathematical. Jesus said, “Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” You seize everything that I do. One verse really speaks to me about this, this meticulous awareness that Almighty God has of us and what we do is 2 Peter 3:8, it says, "do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a single day is like a thousand years."

"A single day is like a thousand years." What does that mean? Well, I kind of unfolded that in my mind to think that what it means is that God sees every single moment of every day in super slow motion. It's like he slows everything down and every glance of the eye, every click of the mouse, every swipe of the finger, every moment he sees it and understands it completely. Nothing like, flies by, I didn't see what happened. Everything. With the Lord a single day is like a thousand years. And part of Satan's deception on this issue of sexual sin is the illusion of escaping detection and judgment by God. Isaiah 29:15 speaks of this, "Woe are those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think who sees us? Who will know? Woe to them." Isaiah says.

It's right in this passage by Job, the idea of lurking by his neighbor's door at night. Look at verse nine. "If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I've lurked at my neighbor's door." It's also implied in the idea of walking in deceit. In verse five, If I've walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit, it's really not a big achievement to deceive other people, but it's impossible to deceive God. It's as though night where somehow a perfect cloak that covers overall manner of dark choices and dark actions. The sexually immoral person thinks that they will get away with it. And the Bible makes it plain that this is impossible. In Proverb 6:27-29, it says, "Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man's wife. No one who touches her will go unpunished."

So Satan works to deceive us and to say, “l can cover this up, no one will ever know.” David tried to do that shamefully. Remember how he brought Uriah the Hittite back so he could sleep with his wife and cover over the true paternity of the baby. And when he wouldn't go just out of loyalty to the army, then he got him drunk and that didn't work and then he killed him to cover over the sin. He sought to do it. And then Nathan, the prophet, pointed his finger at David and said, “You are the man!”And then he said, “You did this in secret, God's going to judge you in public.” Therefore all truly godly men who successfully flee sexual temptation do so in the continual light of a holy God, whose opinion is all that matters.

And so Job speaks of harsh judgments for sexual sin, an uprooted harvest and a lost wife. Look at verses 7-8, it says, "If my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes, if my hands have been defiled, then may others eat what I have sown, and may my crops be uprooted." He says the same thing again in verse 12, “it would have uprooted my harvest.” Picture everything you've worked for in this life being ripped from you, destroyed. We are not an agricultural people for the most part anymore, but you can picture what it would be like to work all spring and summer in a harvest and have it destroyed. 

Sometime ago, I was reading an article about an account executive in London, who was found by the reporter under a bridge, living under a bridge in London. And his story was tragic. He was very wealthy, successful, not a Christian. Reporter was not a Christian, not a Christian story, it was just an account of what happened. And this man ended up having a one night adulterous connection with a woman at a Christmas party, an office party, just one night. His wife found out about him, divorced him immediately, took his daughters, took almost all of his money. To deal with his pain, he began to drink and to drink heavily, lost his job, and then within months there he was. So from here all the way down to here in a relatively short order, and it all comes back to that moment at the office party.

So as I was thinking about this passage, the image I put in your mind was something that was hugely in my mind, an uprooted harvest. I used to drive from Louisville, Kentucky up to Grand Rapids, Michigan for weeks, and then would come back. But I went up there for a class at Calvin Seminary. And I drove basically the length of the state of Indiana. And I'd never seen such massive corn fields. I'm from Massachusetts. They have corn patches in Massachusetts, they don't have corn fields like they do in Indiana, but it was just incredible. And I was actually meditating on this very passage, the idea of uprooting the harvest. Imagine a farmer has invested everything, all his time and his energy and his money in that crop, and he comes out one morning and it's laying flat. So men picture that. Everything you've worked for, everything you care about in this world, gone. “It would have uprooted my harvest.” 

Job also speaks of the loss of his marriage. “May my wife grind another man's grain and may other men sleep with her.” Sexual sin is the number one cause of divorce. And Job realized it would only be justice if he slept with another man's wife and then lost his own wife as a result and that was terrifying to him. But the ultimate judgment is nothing in this world. Not at all. The ultimate judgment of sexual sin is eternity in hell. Eternity in hell. Look at verses 11-12, that would've been shameful, a sin to be judged. It is a fire that burns to destruction. The Hebrew word here is Abaddon frequently tied directly to hell. The Bible consistently warns of the inevitability of God's judgment on sexual sin. It is pure fear. God is trying to scare us straight in this matter. It's not the only thing he does. There are many positive inducements and many positive helps, but this issue of fear of hell. 

Fear of the fire of hell is clearly in Jesus' mind in the Sermon on the Mount. “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.” If your eye caused you to sin, pluck it out, it is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched and everyone will be salted with fire.” Jesus directly links sexual sin to the threat of hell. So it's very dangerous. Now we are called on to battle sexual sin from inside out from the heart, out from the soul level out. Not merely cutting off certain practices, although that's part of it. But job speaks of this in verse nine. "If my heart has been enticed by a woman," and therefore he speaks of not allowing a woman's beauty to corrupt his heart. 

Verse one again, "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl." It's implied that, if you're at that level of making a covenant, a binding agreement with your eyes, he knows very well what a threat this is. And so he is serious about the issue of the heart. And Jesus says, if you look at a woman lustfully, you've already committed adultery with her in your heart. Heart religion, that's what Christianity is. Other religions, Islam, other religions, it's all external. It's all about behavior patterns. God looks at the heart. He looks at what's happening inside in the mind. And the heart says in Revelation 2:23, Jesus speaking, he says, "I am he who searches hearts and minds. And I will repay each of you according to your deeds." So this is a battle for the heart. 

Job says right at the beginning, as I mentioned in verse 1, it's a battle for the eyes. He made a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully. Jesus said, if your right eye causes you to sin, cut it out or gouge it out and throw it away. So this is immediately applicable to all men who yearn to be pure. It starts with what you look at, what you allow to come in your mind. Jesus said, the eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. And so this commitment that he makes in verse one is a commitment to having my eyes good. I'm not going to look at anything that would corrupt my soul. That includes on electronic devices or in real life. Whether you're at the beach or the pool or the office, or when you're alone with your smartphone, whatever, I'm just not going to allow anything that would corrupt my mind and my heart. 

So this brings us to holy habits. The final stage of Job's battle for sexual purity was to act in an honorable way at all times, constantly pleasing God from the heart, but then it came out in what he did with his body, with the members of his body. As Apostle Paul will say in Roman 6, the battle for holiness is a battle of what you do with the members of your body. And Job uses this physical language in verses 4-7. “Does he not see my ways and count my every step?” So he has a lot of step and feet and walking language here. “If I've walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit, let God weigh me in on honest scales. He will know that I am blameless. If my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes or my hands have been defiled.” 

So it all has to do with the members of your body. It says in Roman 6, “Do not present the members of your body as instruments of wickedness, but rather present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life and present the members of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master because you're not under law, but under grace.” So we have to set up boundaries for the way we live. We put up fences to keep us safe, what you will and won't do with a member of the opposite sex, what you will and won't do with your smartphone, etc.

IV. Applications 

All right. So what applications can we take from this? First of all, review these commitments of Job. Job can help us walk through these things. Start vertically, intensify your sense of the presence of God, not just in the area of sexual sin, but all the time, the omnipresence of God. That's what it means to abide in Jesus, to walk with him continually, to rest in him. You are a branch, he is the vine.

You're feeling life-giving sap flowing through the Holy Spirit and your fellowship with God through Jesus Christ. That's the foundation to all holiness and all purity, not just sexual. But that sense of the presence of God. And then be afraid, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” How do you understand that? Should we not fear sexual sin? I think we should. Should we not fear what it will do to us, to our marriages and to our lives? I think we must. There is a fear of sin and of God's reaction to sin that I think is at the core of Philippians 2’s statement to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. We are in danger, we're in a war zone and we have to fight. 

So drink in those warnings on hell. Don't say, well, this doesn't have to do with me. I don't need to read this because I'm already Christian. I understand why you might say that. But Jesus was speaking to his disciples. Who is it that takes warnings concerning hell seriously? Is it not the elect in their unconverted state? They take it seriously and flee to Christ. In our converted state, we take warnings about hell seriously and we flee to holiness. We take these things seriously. They're for us. These warnings, they're always meant for us. And so battle from the inside out. It's not merely being a whitewashed tomb, setting things up so you don't get caught. That's not it. That we would be a whitewashed tomb and full of dead men's bones and all kinds of corruption on the inside. Be careful, obviously, what you set before your eyes.

It's up to you what you do with your smartphone. First Baptist Church, this is not a cult. The elders here are not a cult. We don't require legalistic regulations and moralistic regulations if you're going to be a member of the church. That's cult-like. But what we do tell you is if something is inevitably causing you to sin, cut it out of your life. What else does it mean if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away? It certainly isn't meaning physical, but if there's something in your life that inevitably leads you to sin, then cut it out, throw it away. That's something you have to do. That's on you. You have to make that decision. You evaluate your own behavior patterns and establish godly boundaries for what you will and won't do in your life, what you will and won't say to a female coworker.

It's amazing the kinds of jokes and flirting and stuff that went on when I was in the secular workplace, I couldn't believe it. And there's all kinds of corruption. Now the foundation to our gospel is justification by faith alone. Praise God for that. We are not going to be saved from our sins by imitating Job's righteousness. Indeed Job wasn't saved that way. If Job were to stand before God in his blamelessness, another prophet said he would save only himself by his righteousness. He couldn't do anything for you, but Jesus can. As we've already heard earlier, as Ben prayed very beautifully, Jesus has a transferrable holiness and righteousness that he offers to us free of charge. He did all of these things and infinitely more and he offers you free righteousness by simple faith in Christ. A robe of righteousness to cover your shameful nakedness in the language of the book of Revelation. Put it on, put on Christ, put on his atoning sacrifice for all of your sins. And he will cover you and cleanse you. 

"We are not going to be saved from our sins by imitating Job's righteousness. ... He couldn't do anything for you, but Jesus can."

You cannot live this life of absolute sexual purity as an unconverted person. And so therefore come to Christ and trust in him. And if you've already come to Christ, come to him again and again, more than ever before. You're already justified. You've been justified for years. I'm not saying don't think, oh, I'm not justified. You are forgiven, but coming to Christ is something we do again and again. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Call upon me in the day of trouble, he says in Psalm 50, “I will deliver you and you will glorify me.” So call upon him.

Some of you may be crushed by this topic. You feel so guilty, very aware of guilt within, and you feel like you're in bondage and you don't know how to get out. You begin by confessing your sin vertically to God. 1 John 1:9. We heard it earlier. Confess your sin. “If we confess our sins, he” — God — “is faithful and just to forgive our sins and” — what else? — “purify us from all in righteousness.” So stand before him and say, please forgive me, but then purify me, make me a different man. I don't want to be like this. I want be holy. And then mortify sin. Colossians 3:5-6, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature.” Sexual immorality is the first thing Paul mentions in the list. Impurity, that's internal corruption, lust, evil desires, and greed. Four of them are directly on this topic. Because of these things, the wrath of God is coming. Remind yourself that you're free from all sin. You are set free from all sin. You never need sin again. 

What does that mean? Every temptation that comes to your mind, to your soul from now on can be killed, can be put to death by the Spirit. Every one of them. Not one of them comes with ultimate compulsion and not once were you able to say there was nothing I can do. “God, you know, there was no way I could say no to that temptation.” It's a lie. Satan tells it to you ahead of time so that you'll yield. You are set free from all temptations and you don't ever need to sin again, but you have this body of death. You're walking in this corruptible body. It's like a dry field on a hot August day and someone throws a torch in the middle of it. It's like how in the world can I survive? You don't know me. You don't know all of the things. God knows you.

And so you can't put the sin to death in and of itself. You can put individual temptations to death, but the thing itself, categorically, is going to be with you the rest of your life. What you can do, according to Roman 6:6, is death by starvation. Weaken it, weaken it by denying its temptations and it will get weaker and weaker and weaker. Conversely, if you yield to it will get stronger and stronger and stronger. So Roman 6:6 says we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be. And the Greek word here, katargeo, is rendered increasingly powerless, that's starved to death rendered, increasingly powerless so that we should no longer be slaves to sin. 

Also accountability, men find some other men that you can tell the truth to and will hold you accountable. Who will ask you how things are going and will pray for you. Positively, fill your hearts with delight. If you're a married man, as the book of Proverb says, delight yourself in your wife and let her present herself to you to delight you as well.

Recently, I was going back over Gary Chapman's the love languages, The Five Love Languages. I love that book. He defines five ways that Christian spouses can speak love to each other. Words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts. Those are great ways for you to love each other. Now he makes the argument that each spouse has their own home-based love language. But I don't think any spouse wouldn't say, “You want to bring all five? Bring them, do them all. All right, especially do this one here, great, but do them all.” And you can do the same the other way, strengthen your marriage so that you're filled with delight in each other. But greater than that by far, would you not fill your hearts with delight in Jesus? 

There was a time I was counseling with a couple and the man had fallen into sin and she didn't want a divorce and they were fighting for their marriage and I'll never forget this. I looked at this individual. I said sin is what we do when Jesus isn't enough for us. And he winced. That was painful for him to hear, which was a good indication for him. Sin is what we do when Jesus isn't enough. That you can actually look at Christ crucified for you, resurrected for you and say all of that isn't enough, I need something else to be satisfied, to be happy. 

So take that negative sense and turn it around. If Jesus is enough for you, you will be hard to tempt. You'll be very hard to tempt. One Puritan writer said a man who is satisfied in Christ is as difficult to tempt as an iron wall to ignite with a flaming arrow. Picture that. Yourself as an iron wall and Satan firing all these flaming arrows and they just bounce off. Why? Because you're deeply, richly, fully satisfied in Jesus. So I'm going to finish with this. I was on a bike ride yesterday and I was thinking about this and just this came in. I just want to speak as a pastor and as a friend to you. If you're a Christian man, if you're genuinely born again, you're hearing my words. You're genuinely indwelt by the Holy Spirit, two things will be true of you on this topic. 

Number one, you will fight for sexual purity by the Spirit for the rest of your life. You're never going to be discharged from the battle. To the end of your days, you're going to fight. Not just, you will need to fight, I'm speaking more of a hopeful word. You actually will fight. The Spirit will make you fight and you will fight. You and the Spirit together will fight for the rest of your life.

And number two, sin will lose in the end. You will end up triumphant and victorious over this and over every sin because the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. You'll put your foot on the necks of all of your lusts and they will die and you will spend eternity as blameless as Jesus. So just as sin shall not be your master, sin will neither be your executioner.

Close with me in prayer. Father, thank you for the encouragement we have of Scripture, but also the severe warnings and exhortations. Help us to heed them and to walk in newness of life for your glory. The world is just swimming in a cesspool of sexual allure and lust and sins. You've called on us to be light and to be holy and a city on a hill and our sexual ethic, our sexual purity is a big part of that. Help us to walk in newness of life and to be the pure people you've called us to be. In Jesus' name, Amen.


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