Ephesians 5:3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; (NKJV)
(Previous devotionals can be found at www.seriousfaith.com)
The problem of lust, impurity and immorality is a major issue with both genders today. Our society is plagued with sexual immorality and the church is no less affected.
The Internet has been unique in both its blessing, and its curse. Immorality in every form imaginable is at your fingertips via the Internet. Because of this fact, I have investigated, tested and used many programs for monitoring and accountability for computers and the Internet. The two best that I have found are “Covenant Eyes” and “I Am Big Brother”.
- “Covenant Eyes” monitors your Internet activity and reports it to accountability partners of your choice. Find out more by clicking here (https://www.seriousfaith.com/accountability.asp).
- “I Am Big Brother” allows you to monitor all activity on any given computer including instant messaging, email, etc. Find out more here (https://www.seriousfaith.com/accountability.asp).
I keep repeating this opening with each lesson so that the foundational idea remains clear. From our main Bible verse (Ephesians 5.3), notice the breakdown of the words in Greek:
- “immorality” (porneia) – illicit sex, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, all forms of deviant sexual activity, sex with a divorced man or woman
- “any” (pas) – all things, every, whosoever, everyone, whole, all manner of, every thing, whatsoever, always
- “impurity” (akatharsia) – uncleanness; lustful, luxurious, profligate living; impure motives
- “named” (onomazo) – call, to utter, to make mention of
Studying the original meaning helps us to understand how deep and encompassing this imperative from Paul is. He is saying, “let NO form of sexual impurity or lust or uncleanness be mentioned, uttered or named about any person who calls themselves ‘Christian'”.
At this point in our series, we have learned (view the all series here) that:
- The command for sexual purity is clear and all encompassing (Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:28; Acts 15:29; Romans 13:13-14; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; 1 Corinthians 10:8; Galatians 5:19; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; Jude 7; Romans 12:1)
- Sexual sin does not just happen “by accident”; it is a series of steps that lead us closer and closer to edge of the “cliff” where a stumble or gust of wind can blow us off into tragedy.
- We are to flee sexual immorality; run from it; get as far away as possible rather than stand and put up a “fight” (1Cor 6.18)
- We cannot have a “two second mentality” about moral purity; “2 seconds” is a great rule for safe driving, but it is suicidal when it comes to sexual immorality. We should not simply be better than the world (a safe distance behind), we should know what God’s standard is, and adhere to it.
Today I want to impart to you a very deep, complex and difficult concept. It’s not new. I didn’t make it up. Other writers have expounded on it and this is simply my version of it. Ready? Here goes:
Sexual immorality is always S-T-U-P-I-D.
Okay, it’s not really complex or difficult to understand, but you would certainly think it was given how lax our standards have become. Christianity today has become so desensitized by the world’s acceptance of sexual impurity, that we tolerate, or at least are passive about, things that would have made our grandparents have a cardiac arrest. We seem to get a clue of the Church’s condition from Jesus in the Book of Revelation:
Revelation 3:14-22 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ” (NKJV; emphasis mine)
If there is a portion of Scripture that describes the state of Christianity today, it is hard to argue that these verses aren’t it. We are lukewarm – particularly about morality and purity. The Apostle Paul was well acquainted with these conditions because he wrote the Epistles of the New Testament in a time when sexual immorality was rampant.
Why is sexual immorality ALWAYS stupid?
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (KJV)
God will NOT be made fun of. If you plant a seed, it will grow something. If you plant sexual immorality, you WILL reap a bitter harvest. It might take a week, or 6 months or 20 years… but make no mistake – you will reap the consequences of sexually immorality. It can come in the form of marriage problems, sexual problems, rebellious kids, shallow fellowship with God – any number of manifestations. We cannot know the exact form of consequences that will come, but we can know for sure that they will come.
There are no exceptions, no excuses, no way to avoid it. Sexual immorality is always stupid. Period. Don’t fool yourself about it.
Conversely, purity is ALWAYS smart. God will always honor it, always bless it, always reward for it. You can never go wrong by choosing purity. (Randy Alcorn’s book – The Purity Principle – is an excellent lesson on this).
Why such a simple, “milk” lesson (Heb 5.12) today? This point seems so OBVIOUS, doesn’t it? On the surface, I would agree – but given the tolerance for sexual immorality that the average Christian seems to have, it is a lesson that needs to be taught and retaught. It would appear by observing how we (Christians, churches) dress, how we talk, what we enjoy and what we entertain ourselves with, we don’t truly believe that ALL sexual immorality is stupid. We apparently don’t believe there should be NO HINT of sexual immorality in our lives. Or perhaps we don’t understand what “hint” means. Somewhere between our head and our heart, the message of moral purity is getting lost, diminished or distorted.
Repeat after me: SEXUAL IMMORALITY IS ALWAYS STUPID. PURITY IS ALWAYS SMART. Class dismissed.
Our Heavenly Father, Help us to realize that You have given us purity as a gift and not some sort of stingy constraint. Help us to truly understand the stupidity of immorality. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Do you believe that sexual impurity is always stupid? Does your life reflect it? Does your choice of entertainment reflect that belief? Does the things your allow your eyes to look at and hears to ear confirm that you believe purity is always smart, and immorality is always stupid?
Application: Repeat after me: SEXUAL IMMORALITY IS ALWAYS STUPID. PURITY IS ALWAYS SMART. Repeat after me: SEXUAL IMMORALITY IS ALWAYS STUPID. PURITY IS ALWAYS SMART. Repeat after me: SEXUAL IMMORALITY IS ALWAYS STUPID. PURITY IS ALWAYS SMART. Repeat after me: SEXUAL IMMORALITY IS ALWAYS STUPID. PURITY IS ALWAYS SMART.
- If you are having trouble with immorality and the Internet, Covenant Eyes is my recommended service for helping you in this area. This service tracks your activity, and send a report or the accountability partner(s) you choose. Find out more here: https://www.seriousfaith.com/accountability.asp
- If you need to monitor and record the activity on a computer including email and instant messaging, my recommended program is “I Am Big Brother”. It cannot be uninstalled without security privileges and can run secretly in the background. Find out more here: https://www.seriousfaith.com/accountability.asp
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?