Holiness, Not Lust!

The Holy Spirit has made it clear to me, that the single men and women of God’s Church need firm Biblical direction on the practice of holiness. I hope that you will follow true scriptural principles in applying what is presented here – that you will earnestly seek “the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in [Jesus] name, _he_ will teach you ALL things”, and that you would “NOT believe every spirit (including mine), but test the spirits to see whether they are of God”. Please try to apply suggestions made here, then observe the level of intimacy you have with our Lord God, the fulness of His rule in your life, to see if there is improvement.

A series of words used in the Bible all mean pretty much the same thing. Here’s an easy way to see them all together:

immoral = lewd = unchaste = lustful = intense/overmastering desire

By definition, lust _is_ immoral. By definition, any man or woman who allows themself to be afflicted with intense/overmastering desire is guilty of immorality, through lust. Immorality _is_ sin.

There are a number of scripture passages which will lend assistance to our understanding of the desires which we are called to keep holy & pure…

1 Thesalonians 4:3-8 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from unchastity; that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself [which can also mean ‘to control his own body’] in _holiness_ and _honor_, not in the passion of lust like the heathen who do not know God…for God has not called us for uncleanliness, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Here, Paul clearly points out that God’s will is that we stay away from _any_ form of sinful sexual activity. He includes in this instruction, that any lack of control of our bodies as we are in the process of taking a wife, is neither holy, nor honorable – it is _sin_, becasue it is not the will of God. Any man or woman who indulges in a relationship filled with intense desire and lack of self-control IS living in sin. This person has stepped outside the perfect plan of the Father.

1 Timothy 5:1-2 treat…younger women like sisters, in all purity.

Timothy was a very special young man that Paul took under his wing. Paul must have seen tremendous potential in him – and Timothy already loved his Lord dearly; just look at the challenging ministry he was in! Timothy and Paul proved their true love for God and their fellow man by their actions. Paul states, “…but set the believers an example in speech and _conduct_, in love, in faith, in _purity_.” Clearly we, like Timothy, are each called to set an example of godly living so that, as Christians, we might not disgrace the gospel of Jesus through our witness.

We, as men, are to treat younger (less than middle-age) women like sisters, in _all purity_. This includes the woman we intend to take as wife. A self-indulging “physical” relationship is not pure – it is sinful. There _is_ a “line” to be drawn in establishing the limits of physical intimacy.

During a discussion with a new Christian friend about the self-gratifying immorality among men and women in the Church today, we stumbled across the following analogy which sheds light on the motives of many…

Pretend that you are driving along the highway, and turn to your passenger to ask, “What’s the speed limit?” Now, consider what prompted that question and there will probably be one of the following answers:

  1. I think I’m going too fast already, and need clear instructions.
  2. I want to make sure I don’t exceed it.
  3. I intend to violate the limit, but only within a “safe” margin.

Men, do you wonder what limit you should set on physical intimacy with your sister in Christ?

Why do you want to know?

Is it because you don’t want to make a mistake, or is it because deep in your heart, you really want to know just how far you can go?

If you want to know how far you can go, you are letting your flesh “drive” this part of your life. WHEN THE FLESH IS IN CONTROL, YOU HAVE LOST _SELF-CONTROL_. At this point, you have become immoral. God has placed his Holy Spirit in us, to teach us the ways of purity and godliness. In every situation, if we look to Him and _not_ our flesh, _He_ will “drive” us in righteousness. Amen!

1 Corinthians 6:18-20, 7:1-5 Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. …IT IS WELL FOR A MAN NOT TO TOUCH A WOMAN. But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife…For the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does. Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may _devote yourselves to prayer_; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control.

The scriptures are quite clear. It is well for a man NOT to touch a woman, outside of the marriage relationship. The man and woman are, by God’s design, given rule over each other’s bodies _in the union of marriage_. Outside of marriage, we must take care to rule out own bodies with self-control. We must be pure and unstained – a holy vessel for the Spirit of the Lord our God.

We must recognize that each Christian brother and sister is a temple of God – He dwells in the core of our being! As such, we must learn to treat one another with the same pure actions with which we would intend to treat God.

I want to encourage you all to stand out as examples of the finest work of God. Shun immorality. Plant yourselves in the Word of God! Grow firmly in His will! Be an example of the holiness of God, so that men might see His light in you and give glory to God!

Written by Glen Stewart, 1987