St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.” – 1 Corinthains 6:19-20

God says, “You shall not commit adultery.” Luther explains this commandment by saying that husbands and wives should love and honor each other, and that all Christians should live “chaste and decent lives.” Further, the Christian church has never promoted, encouraged, affirmed, or called good and godly any sort of living or lifestyle which is contrary to the Scripture and if any prophet does then he is giving false testimony against the Lord.

First, what does it mean that husbands and wives should love and honor each other? It means, no cheating! Husband, you are not to cheat on your wife through either physical or emotional relationships which your wife is given to fulfill. Wife, you are not to cheat on your husband through either physical or emotional relationships which your husband is given to fulfill. Afterall, marriage is a symbol of Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:22-33), and as Jesus would never be unfaithful to we, His holy and adorned bride, so too are husbands and wives to be faithful to each other and so be an image to the world of Christ and His Church. You say you love your neighbor and wish him to have the mercy and salvation of Christ as you do? Well and good! But if you are not chaste in your marriage, how do you expect to be an example to your neighbor, whom you say you love?

Second, what does it mean that all Christians should live chaste and decent lives? What is it to be chaste? In the Scripture, chastity is more, much more than “waiting for marriage” before engaging in sexual activity. This is certainly part of it, but it’s much more. Chastity involves the entire life of the believer, including how one talks about sex, about how one pursues relationships with the opposite sex, about “how far” one goes with intimacy, and about one’s attitude regarding physical/sexual activity and relationships in general.

Chastity is about the clothes we wear, the music we listen to, the friends we make, the jokes we tell, the movies and videos we watch, and the websites we visit. Chastity is about a way of life — THE way of life centered and grounded on Christ and His Word.

But the world is full of perversions, and it is so easy to fall down the slippery slope of thinking a little compromise here and there is fine, as long as “we don’t go too far.” But as with all sins, even dabbling in it is already too far because such things come, not from faith and trust in Christ, but from the passions of the flesh.

Our culture may chuckle at the idea of chastity, of living decently and making good decisions about things like music, clothing, friendships, sexuality, etc. But you must remember that our world is passing away – this world will not be redeemed when the Lord returns to judge the living and the dead. This world will be destroyed (rolled up like a scroll) to make room for a whole new heaven and earth. So, listening to culture and abiding in the culture’s ideas and opinions…what will this lead to for you? Our culture has created its own idol out of dating and pursuing physical relationships, and even employed the use of the sciences to justify its passions. A person may have dozens of physical or emotional relationships with the opposite sex before finally “settling down” and marrying (if they marry at all). But every one of those relationships goes into a marriage, especially when they’re physical. This is not how God designed marriage, and God not only designed marriage but He built us FOR marriage.

Today, marriage has become an inconvenience for many. It’s no longer seen as a deeply spiritual, churchly act and commitment. At best, it’s seen as a great tax benefit, and at worst it’s seen as optional. There was a time, not so long ago, when Christians held marriage in such high esteem. Not only would bride and groom keep themselves pure by not engaging in physical activity until after they made their vows before God and His church, but their families would surround them and encourage them to be faithful and true to Christ and His Word and their children were, in turn, raised in a house where marriage was respected, and where chastity and Christian virtue was celebrated.

Today we think it nearly impossible to be chaste and virtuous, to live Christian lives as a reflection of Christ and His church. And the church has lowered the bar and continues to lower it more and more for the sake of “we gotta get people in the church,” and this has resulted not only in a great decline in the American churches, but a Christian people who do not know the commandments, the creeds, the Lord’s Prayer, or basic things in the Bible.

Chastity and virtuous living, avoiding temptations to fall into sins, knowing the difference between the world’s view of sin and God’s commandments, seeking to live a life pleasing to the Lord in all things…this is what it is to be Christian. You might say that being a Christian is about grace and forgiveness, and you would be ABSOLUTELY right! But Jesus did not forfeit His own life on the cross to give you forgiveness of sins, so that you would return to living in accordance with the world or your sinful nature. He never taught the ‘sinners’ and tax collectors and adulterers He preached to and ate with that it was okay to remain as they were, but He called them to repentance, to turning away from the old way of sin and rebellion, and to trust in His mercy and His strength to not only bring them to the heavenly Father as His pure and holy people, but to keep them from sin.

We all have things to repent of every day of our lives. When we stop repenting, when we stop seeing our sinful state and calling on our Lord to deliver us and make us holy, and when we stop trusting in His forgiveness and mercy, this is when we leave the faith. And this how the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh fights against us. Satan asks, “Did God really say,” regarding living chaste and decent lives, he uses the world and its enticements to lure us away from Christ, and he uses our sinful flesh to tempt us to compromise and pretend it doesn’t matter. Satan doesn’t want us believing, he doesn’t want us trusting, but he wants us living as if there is no God, because Satan is evil, a liar, and deceiver.

Repent! Turn from living an unchaste and indecent life. Repent every day, confessing your sins and seeking God’s mercy, and trust with all that you are — everything you have — that in Christ, God forgives you. For such faith is what the devil hates because he knows that God’s Spirit lives and works where such faith is holding on to God’s promises, and repentant faith always results in good works, in living a chaste and decent life, and being the child of God, He has called you to be.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I see my sins before me, and my transgressions are overwhelming. Forgive me of all my sins, my unchaste living and my indecent thoughts, words, and actions, and give me Your Spirit that I may not doubt but believe that my sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake. Help me to live a live worthy of Your call and help me do what is right in Your sight rather than in the sight of the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.