September 9, 2013

Honor God With Your Body

I originally wrote this for young people but it pretty much applies to anyone who has a body:

Jesus died a terrible death of the cross to pay the price to save each person who puts their trust in Him. One of the ways that we need to respond to this is by honoring God with our bodies. The Bible talks about this in 1 Corinthians 6:

This passage starts with Paul correcting some of the false statements that were floating around. In the same way, there are many lies that float around today about sex. The world says things like: 
"It's only sex." 
"If it feels good do it." 
"If you really loved me you would prove it." or, 
"It's my body and I can do whatever I want with it." 
We need to reject these lies and replace them with what God's Word teaches about sex.

God raised Jesus from the dead with a real physical body. He will do the same thing for us one day. This means that bodies do matter. Not only that, it matters what we do with them.

Sex is superglue for the soul. God designed sex to unite two people together, not just physically, but spiritually. And just like superglue, it is designed to be permanent and life-long. So when people have sex and then break up, it is like supergluing your hands together and ripping them apart. Sexual sin has a way of damaging and hurting people differently than other sins. This passage says that even "meaningless" sex with a prostitute makes unites two people together. So never believe the lie that "It's just sex."

This message can be hard to hear for some people. If you have this type of sin in your past, remember to look at the passage that comes right before the ones we just read. This passage lists many sins that disqualify someone from eternal life. But if you have trusted the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you have been washed of these sins. You've been sanctifiedmade holybecause of Christ. You've been justifieddeclared righteous in God's eyesbecause Jesus died on the cross in your place and gives you credit for His righteousness. So accept your forgiveness and start living like the new creation that God has made you!

Sex is like fire. Fire is good! When fire is in your fireplace or where it is supposed to be, it is very good. But if it gets out, it does a lot of damage.

In the same way, sex is good. Sex was created by God. God made Adam and Eve naked in the garden of Eden and told them to be fruitful and multiply. In Genesis 2 we are told that sex causes two people to become one flesh. So, sex is good, when it is where it is supposed to be... in marriage. Sex is for married people. God designed sex for the life-long commitment of one man to one woman. Keep sex in the fireplace. 

If you want to follow Christ and honor Him with your body, here are a few things to help:

You need to be clear that "the line" between purity and immorality comes well before full-on sex. This is especially important these days because some surveys say that teens who pledge to abstain from sex are 4 to 6 times as likely to engage in oral sex or other forms of sex. Their logic is that since this isn't full-on sex, it must be okay. Instead, you need to be clear with yourself that these types of sexual acts are also over the line. Full-on sex is for married people
but so are other things as well. I think that Ezekiel 23:21 (in the graphic above) is helpful to realize this. To put this simply, there are certain parts of the body that you're not supposed to see or touch until you are married. Other things might be over the line as well, but it is clear that "the line" is at least somewhere before the things described in this passage. If in doubt, err on the side of purity. 

Once you realize where the line is, don't be a fool and rush right up to it. Take things as slow as possible. 
Just because something might not be absolutely forbidden does not mean that it is wise. If you are young you probably have a long time before you're going to get married, so take it easy. This will help your relationship as well. The more physical your relationship is, the less it will be about growing your friendship. So the slower you take things physically, the more you can grow your friendship. 

Be wise about when you date. It might seem like everyone in the world thinks you need a steady boyfriend or girlfriend by the time you are in fifth grade, but that isn't true. Remember that your worth as a person is not determined by if you date or who you date. Reject that lie.

When you do date, pay attention to what God's Word says in 1 Cor. 6:14. "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers." If you think this through, it is so obvious that it shouldn't even need to be in the Bible. If you are a Christian and you want to follow Christ and honor Him with your life, wouldn't you want to date someone who also has Christ as the center of his or her life? If God is your ultimate treasure, would you really want the person you date
and might one day marryto have a different treasure? If you are "in Christ" and someone else is "in Adam" you have different destinies, different loyalties, and different masters. It's not going to work out well. Do you want your kids to have a parent that doesn't love Jesus? This verse is a command, but it is also just plain wise.

Ephesians 5:245-27 is also a great test for the kind of guy you should date
or the kind of guy you should be. Dating leads to marriage, so don't date the kind of guy you wouldn't want to marry one day. Husbands are commanded to love their wives like Christ loved the church. How did Christ love the church? He was willing to suffer and die to save us! Jesus also wants to make us clean. So, a guy who is selfish, or a guy who won't guard your purity is not the kind of guy you want. A guy who really loves you would never say, "If you really love me you would prove it."

And remember not to trust yourself. Don't be a fool. I've know a lot of good Christians who have fallen into sexual sin. It can happen to anyone. If you think it can't happen to you, it probably will.

It is hard to honor Christ with your body. We have a lot of temptation to fight against. It is important to focus on the cross. Remember what Jesus did for you and the valuable price He paid in order to save you. Also remember that as a believer you are united to Christ. Don't drag Him into your sin. Instead, find your identity and strength in Him.

Worship God. I'm not talking about singing. I mean make God your highest treasure. If sexual sin seems valuable to you, fight that temptation by seeing God as even more valuable to you. Don't make sex or another person your idol. Teens often have sex because another person has become their idol and they are willing to sacrifice their purity rather than lose that person. That isn't love and it isn't worth it.

God loves you more than any person ever will. Jesus paid a huge price for you on the cross. He wants the best for you. So honor Him with your body.

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