Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Excessive Drinking, Abuse of God's Image, and Sexual Lifestyles

Warning: This may seem like I am on a soapbox. The easy answer is I am. If you are someone who calls himself a Christian yet lives a life of sin you have two options: a) close your heart and don't read this post because I promise this isn't for you or b) be receptive and read this. Tell me your thoughts. I am not a holy Christian. I am a sinner...but the difference is I repent from it and actively try to do better. That may sound condescending and I cannot apologize if you are offended. We are called, as Christians, to defend the name and character of our Yahweh Ben Yahweh. That is what this post is about: defending the character and name of my God. Anyone who calls himself a Christian must live up to that name. When someone calls himself a Christian and then lives a life of disgusting immorality then I must step up and call it what it is: sin.

There are no names named on this post, yet this does revolve around someone I know. This could be about many people I know and I leave it vague for obvious reasons...this applies to many people, not just one. I will cover several topics...drunkenness and abuse of the body (of which drunkenness does apply but also you could fit in smoking, drugs, cutting, and many other subjects) but I will be focusing primarily on sex...pointedly sex outside of marriage. Leave now if that is too clique.

What is sin? Sin is anything God defines as wicked and opposes him.

  • Ephesians 5:18 states this: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. 
That is one of a few that I could list here. How is drinking in excess something to be encouraged and continued as a lifestyle? Drinking alcohol is enjoyable, I get that. But when you begin to toy with the line that is drawn between sober and anything but sober I would state in no uncertain terms that it is a sin. What good is found in drinking excessively? It feels good? The same could be said of any sin. When excessive alcohol is entered into by any person what follows? A loss of morals, character, and godliness. This is an incredible article I found (without even looking for it) during the writing of this post and I cannot recommend this enough: http://www.independentbaptist.com/2015/06/dont-tell-me-that-drinking-alcohol-doesnt-affect-you/

This one will have a lot of Bible verses...just a warning. How are we to treat our bodies? Our bodies were made IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. I will say it again...in the image of God. Do we, as humans, fully comprehend that phrase? God is the HOLIEST of the very HOLY. The most incredible thing you will ever truly know. We are pleased to be granted a relationship with Him...we are in the image of the Holiest of Holy! What an honor! Why then would we mistreat and abuse our bodies? Why would we drag this beautiful image and representation of our God down?
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple. 
  • Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 
  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 
  • Psalm 139:13-14 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
  • Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 
  • Romans 6:13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 
  • Genesis 1:26a Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."

I am 19 years old and I am engaged. Maybe this is TMI for my homeschooled readers but I press on. I am excitedly waiting to share with my husband what I have waited for and saved for almost 20 years. This isn't just some post about some girl saying how happy she is she is a virgin. This is post of a woman saying how she has seen so many of her friends throw their sexuality around like it is worthless to them. Let me tell you...they are ruined. They are riddled with guilt whether they will admit that or not. I've had these friends attack me because they feel I've rubbed my virginity in their faces, when in reality...I've never talked about the fact that they've slept around or insinuated that I'm better than them for it.
  • Genesis 2:24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
If you read that it does not say that a man and woman become one flesh often and with whomever they feel like it with and then eventually maybe get married and continue to become one flesh with marriage. There are two distinct time periods...being an individual and being pure...and being married and being one flesh. Where in Scripture does it say you may have sex and then continue to do so until you don't care to anymore? Where does it even suggest sex outside of marriage is acceptable? 
  • Hebrews 13:4 Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. 
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9b-10 Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers–none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. (bold added by yours truly)
  • 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (forgive me, a repeat of earlier but I think it bears repeating)
  • Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (again, bold added)
  • Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality...
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. Then each of you will control your body and live in holiness and honor–not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and his ways.
  • Romans 13:13  Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:13b The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
  • Proverbs 5:3-5, 9:17-18 The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave… To those without good judgment, she says, `Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!’ But the men don’t realize that her former guests are now in the grave.
  • Colossians 3:5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires.  Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
 I think I've made my point with Bible verses. Our bodies are holy and set apart...consecrated until the proper time. If we fail to do that, we have committed sin. What happens when we sin? We are called to repent and receive forgiveness granted we do not go back to that lifestyle of sin. I say lifestyle of sin because I know many women who have strayed but have felt the guilt and have then gone back, repented, asked for forgiveness and ACTIVELY sought to never go back. Those women now live a life of peace because it is no longer their lifestyle. But I also know more women who live the lifestyle and while they may say with their mouths that they are sorry and repent verbally there is no change in their lifestyle. Those women are condemned until they actively seek a pure lifestyle.

How do we do better once we've already messed up?
  • 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
  • Psalm 51:1-2 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.  Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
  • James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. 
God calls us to repent and not go back! To put to DEATH the old sinful desires and to put on a new pure man in Christ. The grace of God really does set you completely and totally free!
  •  John 8:3-4, 7, 10-11 The teachers of religious law and Pharisees… said to Jesus, `this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?’….  They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, `All right, stone her. But let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!’…. Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, `Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’  `No, Lord,’ she said.  And Jesus said, `Neither do I. Go and sin no more.’

Is there hope for those who have failed already to keep this commitment to Christ pure? Always hope.
--This link is to a wonderful article that God sent to me as I wrote this post that deals with sexual purity and how to help those who have already given away their virginity: http://www.girldefined.com/lost-virginity-help-reclaim-future

--I also found this article helpful when looking at specific topics that discuss sexual purity: http://www.soulshepherding.org/2012/07/bible-verses-on-sexual-purity/

--A book that has been recommended to me repeatedly is Theology of His Body/Theology of Her Body and it discusses sexual purity, how sexuality can be good, how to recover from living a life of immoral sexuality and repair yourself from it, and what it means to be created male and female in the image of God. You can buy this used online for less than $10.

I'll end on this note. Sex is not bad...sex is wonderful! I'm not married but I can already tell you one of the reasons I'm looking forward to marriage is so that I can be free to have sex with my husband! The desire for sex is GIVEN to us by God. It is a gift and the only context in which this gift of sex is wrong is when we misuse it and take it out of the conditions in which it is given to us. Song of Solomon is a whole BOOK of the Bible that pretty much deals exclusively with the topic of sex. That ought to tell us something!
  • Song of Solomon 2:7 (repeated in 3:5 and 8:4 as well) Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the swift gazelles and the deer of the wild, not to awaken love until the time is right.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 
  • Genesis 1:28a And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
  • Ecclesiastes 9:9a Enjoy life with the wife whom you love.
  • Song of Solomon 7:6-10 How beautiful and pleasant you are, O loved one, with all your delights! Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its fruit. Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the scent of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine. It goes down smoothly for my beloved, gliding over lips and teeth. I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me.
  • Proverbs 5:18-19 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, a graceful deer- may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.

Please feel free to comment regardless you agree or disagree with this post. I welcome feedback. May God grant you peace and calm as you overcome the days ahead!

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