1 Brothers and sisters, we taught you how to live in a way that will please God, and you are living that way. Now we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to live that way even more. 2 You know what we told you to do by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 God wants you to be holy and to stay away from sexual sins. 4 He wants each of you to learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable. 5 Don’t use your body for sexual sin like the people who do not know God. — 1 Thess. 4:1-5 NCV
Paul, in his letters, to the churches reminds them of the things he has taught them about how to live a Christian lifestyle. He continually encourages them to study, to pray for and encourage each other. These letters were written to churches whose members understood persecution. They lived with it every day. He was a great example to them because of all the beatings and persecutions that he endured on an almost daily basis. We don’t have to face those types of offenses every day like they did. But, the temptations of the flesh that Paul warns them against are just as real today as they were then. As long as we are on this earth, we will be tempted to sin. But, we are also told that we will never be tempted above that which we can bear and there is always a way out, if we want to avoid the sin badly enough. Our flesh tempts in some many areas, we can sin when we gossip, when we hate others, when we withhold our abundance of worldly goods from those around us, when we see others hurting and don’t take the time to comfort them. When we think unkind thoughts about others, even though we don’t say the words, the harm is done to us and our relationship with God. The world is a cesspool of temptations for the flesh. All of these sins are outside the body, except for sexual sin, which defiles the temple of the living God, Our bodies were created by God to glorify God. When we participate in illicit sexual activity, whether in thought or action, our bodies and souls are bound with those bodies and desecrate the Temple.
15 Surely you know that your bodies are parts of Christ himself. So I must never take the parts of Christ and join them to a prostitute! 16 It is written in the Scriptures, “The two will become one body.” So you should know that anyone who joins with a prostitute becomes one body with the prostitute. 17 But the one who joins with the Lord is one spirit with the Lord.. — 1 Cor. 6:15-17 NCV
So, we must be careful to avoid all temptations, but, especially sexual temptations. So, when you feel that nudge to walk away from a situation, don’t just walk away, Run!
18 So run away from sexual sin. Every other sin people do is outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies. 19 You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves, 20 because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies. — 1 Cor. 6:18-20
This is a much needed word for today.