Put Sexual Sin to Death

10 06 2020

McKee Road Baptist – June 3, 2020 Wednesday Evening – Coronavirus Emailed

Colossians 3:5-7 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry: (6) For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of
disobedience: 7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

In the book of Colossians, Paul is teaching that as a child of God you are no longer to
live in the way you used to. Since you have been united to Christ, you are to live like it!
Sunday, we used these same verses as our text but really only dealt with the first half of
verse five. Keep in mind as we go through the last part of verse five through verse
seven that we are to Mortify (kill, put to death) our members. Refer to the message from
Sunday about what our members are. That will help to understand our message today.
Consider what Paul says we are to put to death.

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry:

Paul lists five sins here. God created the human race in two sexes, and He intended it
that way. Sex is a tremendously important part of life. It is designed by God to add flavor
and excitement to our marriage relationships. Someone said, “Sex in the Bible is like a
great river flowing through life which, kept within its banks, is a source of pleasure and
power. When it overflows its proper banks, it becomes destructive and, ultimately,
disastrous.”

Paul is concerned that God’s churches be kept free of such corruptions:

Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once
named among you, as becometh saints.

Porneia is the Greek word translated: “fornication.” It is immorality. This was a sin that
tempted the early believers. It was one of the most widely accepted sins in the ancient
world which went uncondemned by many cultures. Sounds like our world today.
What can be defined as Porneia. We will consider a few examples.

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for
fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which
is put away doth commit adultery.

Porneia is a biblical ground for divorce, so we must understand exactly what it means.
We have the example of a porneia of Sodom. In Genesis 18 we read of the
homosexuality and perverse sexual relations, (any sexual act not defined as ‘normal’
relations) found in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

That said, it is apparent that in Jesus’ day sexual activity with a person one is not
married to would meet the definition of porneia. A man and woman who are physically intimate with one another and are having or simulating sexual relations would easily fit
the definition and standard use of porneia in Jesus’ time. To be physically intimate with
someone not your mate, making physical contact with another person in a sexual way,
is porneia.

Do not be guilty of attempting to separate adultery from fornication. I would argue that
fornication is a larger set which describes adultery as one of the activities within it. By
the way, porneia is the root that we get our word “porno” from.

What does the Scripture say about fornication? The New Testament uses porneia,
translated: “fornication,” in at least four ways:

Voluntary sexual intercourse of an unmarried person with someone of the
opposite sex (1 Corinthians 7:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:3).

A synonym for adultery (Matthew 5:32; 19:9), which is sexual relations with
someone other than one’s spouse.

Harlotry and prostitution (Revelation 2:14,20).

Various forms of sexual sin such as homosexuality and bestiality.

Porneia is a broad term used to cover any form of sexual sin. Listed below are some
Biblical exhortations against this sexual sin:

Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor
covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of
God.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should
abstain from fornication:

Clearly, God’s will for believers is sexual purity. He says in:

1 Thessalonians 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter:
because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and
testified.

The word “avenger” is the Greek word ekdikos which means: “one who carries out a
legal sentence.” This word is used one other time in Romans 13:4, “revenger,” where it
refers to the magistrate as the bearer of the sword of justice. God warns that He is the
one who carries out a legal sentence against those who commit porneia.

To help us understand the severity of this sin, let’s look at some passages in
Corinthians that deal with this sexual sin:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 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, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul list fornicators first in the list of the unrighteous, who will not inherit the kingdom of
God. For a deeper study consider the following verses.

1 Corinthians 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy
both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for
the body.

Paul is pointing out the simple fact that the stomach finds its fulfillment, its satisfaction in
taking in food. But the body finds its fulfillment, not in sex, but in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:15 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.

Your body is the member of Christ. Your body is a member of His body, it is a part of
His body, the church. It is because of our position as members of the body of Christ that
Paul appeals to them for moral purity. This is the same appeal that he uses in
Colossians.

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife,
and let every woman have her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise
also the wife unto the husband.

The words “due benevolence” means: “kindness; conjugal duty: good will.” Paul is
saying, when you get married, you become obligated to meet the physical needs of your
spouse. Marriage is no place for celibacy. The general obligation is that I am to pay to
my spouse what I owe him/her. I am to fulfill my duty as a spouse.

Before we move on to look at the other words that Paul uses in our text, we should
consider 1 Corinthians 5:1, Paul says, “There is fornication among you.” I believe these
words could be said of every church in America. That statement may seem strong, but I
am convinced that it is sadly true. Porneia has become rampant in the church in our
day. We must understand that God hates and judges this sin. We must understand the
destructive nature of this sin, and we must put it to death. And we must do all that we
can to protect our children from it.

Consider the other words that Paul lists.

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication,
uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is
idolatry:

The second word is “uncleanness.” This comes from the Greek word akatharsia, from
which the word catharsis or “cleansing” comes; it means, “filthiness,” or “uncleanness.”
It is a more general term than immorality. It goes beyond the act to the evil thoughts and
intentions of the mind. It could refer to what we would call perverted forms of sex,
homosexuality, child abuse, and various strange and unnatural sexual practices. They
would all be covered by this one word “uncleanness.”

The third in our list is “inordinate affection.” This is from the Greek word pathos. This
refers to erotic passions which are aroused (especially with men), by visual things. If
men are aroused visually, are women responsible for how they dress?

Pornography clearly falls under this classification. Anything that is sexually arousing: literature, movies, whatever, is to be denied. It belongs to the old life. It goes beyond the
boundaries of God’s approval and becomes a very destructive thing.

“Evil concupiscence” is closely associated with lust, it is mental uncleanness. It is
exactly what Jesus had in mind when he said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever
looketh, on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his
heart.”

Lastly, we are to put off “covetousness, which is idolatry.” When this word
“covetousness” appears in Scripture without being linked with idolatry, it is referring to
lusting after money and the things that money can buy. But in this particular context,
linked with this word, “idolatry,” it is greed to possess another person’s body. Paul, is
saying that this is a powerful longing to lay hands on some other person and possess
his or her body. It is what the world calls “having an affair,” in which you allow another
person to become so dominant in your thinking that he or she takes the place of God to
you.

These sins are as common today, as they were in the first century. Today, many
believers tend to accept these practices and overlook the error of those who fall into
them. The apostle says there are two things wrong with acceptance.

First, he says: Colossians 3:6-7 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7) In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

“Cometh” means it keeps coming. What picture does your mind paint when you
contemplate, “the wrath of God”? Some think that it is God getting very angry and
vindictively striking you down in some way or other. Scripture declares that the “wrath of
God” is simply his judicial reaction to evil; it is the way a Holy God reacts to a civilization
or individual who turns his back on moral absolutes and tries to ignore moral laws. The
first chapter of Romans gives a vivid description of what God does in such a case. He
removes the restraints within society against evil, and lets it have its way, allowing it to
produce what evil always produces, death in the midst of life.

Consider what we are witnessing going on all around us today. The restraints that once
kept evil under bonds and within bounds have been lifted. Daily, we are witness to evil
practices. Laws are laughed at, morality is cast aside, evil is praised and defended on
every side. Ultimately, we have reached a stage in our society where almost anything
goes. This is where we are today in America.

It must be noted that historically, this path is always a prelude to the break-up of
government and the overthrow of the forces for law and order within society. This is how
many empires in history, fell apart. That is what Paul is pointing out. You may think that
nothing happens when you allow yourself to fall into immoral practices, but something is
happening. God has not lost His power. He is quite able to react to evil, and He does
react. He allows it to have its way. He removes restraints of evil upon society, and there
is nothing that man can do can prevent it.

Sin brings wrath, not blessing. Paul is not warning us that if we sin, we will feel the
furious wrath of God. Rather he is saying that those who are Christ’s, who have been
made one with Him, who love Him and serve Him, would certainly not wish to participate in those kinds of behaviors and thoughts that are characteristic of those who will feel His
eternal wrath. The children of God would certainly not want to act like the children of
wrath.

Although believers have been delivered from God’s wrath (consider Romans 5:9), they
are subject to His chastening.

Hebrews 12:5-6 But ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto
children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art
rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son
whom he receiveth.

God will react against sin. The unbeliever will experience His eternal wrath, and the
believer His loving chastening. Either way, all who pursue sin will suffer the
consequences.

Sexual sin is a very serious sin. It is a very damaging sin. The question we must now
ask is how do we avoid falling into this sin?

Guard Your Heart
The problem of sexual perversion impacts us all. The fundamental problem is my mind,
not my body. Radical steps must be taken to purify my mind. Sexual sin always begins
in the mind, though it does not always end there.

Sexual sin never comes out of the blue. Sexual sin is a result of a long natural process
in which a mind susceptible to sin is granted unguarded exposure to immoral input. We
are what we think. Our thoughts of today become our actions of tomorrow. Temptation
may come suddenly, but sin does not. The best way to guard against tomorrow’s
sexual temptation is to cultivate a pure mind today. We must saturate our mind with
God’s input, rather than the world’s input. The battle is in our minds. Proverbs puts it this
way:

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Guard your heart! If we are going to avoid sexual sin, we must guard our hearts. If the
battle for sexual purity is in the mind, then we had better start guarding our minds,
because we live in a world whose media is consumed with sexual sin. All forms of
media touch the mind. Media stirs our mind; it moves our mind and it molds our mind.
Beware of what media you allow into your mind. Know this that it is fashioning your
thoughts. We must guard our thinking and protect our minds.

If you are viewing things that cause you to sin, then stop looking at them. If you are
engaged in activities that make sin more enticing, then stop those activities. It should go
without saying that a Christian man or woman should have nothing to do with
pornography. Pornography is defined as any visual, written, or recorded stimulus
designed to cultivate or heighten a person’s desire toward immoral sexual behavior. If
that definition of pornography is true, then today’s media is a major source of
pornography, because it is often a visual stimulus designed to cultivate or heighten a
person’s desire toward immoral sexual behavior.

Living the Christian life in our society takes tremendous self-control. Proverbs gives us a
vivid picture of the importance of self-control:

Proverbs 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken
down, and without walls.

In ancient times, the walls of a city were its main defense; without them, the city was
easy prey to its enemies. Self-control is the believer’s wall of defense against the sinful
desires that wage war against his soul. Self-control can be defined this way; it is the
governing of one’s desires. Self-control is necessary because we are at war with our
own sinful desires. Self-control of our minds means entertaining only those thoughts
that are acceptable to God. Every believer has the ability to control his thought life.
Believers, guard your heart and the hearts of your children. One of the best ways to do
this is to put the word of God in your heart. David said:

Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Believers, we must guard our hearts. A good practice is to make yourself accountable.
We all need someone to check up on us and ask how we are doing spiritually. We can
all use someone that tells us when they see weakness or seeds of sin in our life.
God has made us a “new creature.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things
are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We are not the old person made over; we have the life of God, through His Holy Spirit
living within us now. God expects us to put away the old life. God does not want us to
go on living as if nothing miraculous happened to our sin. Everything we say and do is
either an asset or a liability to the cause of Christ. We are either a credit to Christ or a
disgrace. Each of us has a responsibility to put sin to death.

Pastor Don Thomason


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