Few areas of life are more important than our relationship to the opposite sex, and few areas are so exposed to temptation.
Some time ago, my heart was grieved as I learned of a respected Christian leader who had fallen into a life of sin. He had obviously not intended to do so, but when the temptation came he gave in—and as a result his wife, his family, his friends, and fellow Christians suffered tremendous heartache.
Most tragically, his testimony and witness for the Lord Jesus Christ suffered untold damage, and the overall cause of our Lord was ridiculed and rejected by many because of his sin.
As Christians we are called to live lives that are holy. We are to set aside the evil ways of the world and honor Christ by living in faithful obedience to his commandments.
God’s Word tells us, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:14–16).
As you study this lesson, consider these principles:
- Immorality originates in the mind, and God must give us victory there by his Holy Spirit.
- The Bible gives a healthy outlook on sex. God’s Word teaches that the sexual relationship can be a source of enjoyment and blessing when confined to the proper area—marriage. The Bible never pictures sex as sinful, distasteful, or dirty. Just as fire may be a great boon to man but can bring havoc when used improperly, so sex is a great blessing, but can ruin a life when abusively indulged.
- Our gracious God forgives and cleanses in this area as he does in all others, so that we need carry no unnecessary load of guilt. David repented of his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. He said, “I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’—and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).
- In all our conduct toward the opposite sex, we must set the highest example and give no occasion for others to doubt our testimony.
Lesson Objective: To desire a holy life
Read Romans 3 and 4
Before you consider the many verses below, be sure to read the Bible passages listed above.
If you click on the verses in the study below you can see the entire verse! If you are not on-the-go, consider opening a physical Bible and looking up the passages.
Purity and the Mind
- What does Christ say of impure thought (Matthew 5:27, 28)?
- List the things on which we are to think (Philippians 4:8). Why does the human mind not want to think on these things (Romans 8:7)?
- What are some things in our modern life and homes that naturally lead to impure thoughts?
- How do we gain victory over impure thoughts (Galatians 5:16)?
What can we do to avoid thinking impure thoughts (Romans 13:14)?
- Apply these verses to the things you listed in question 3. How will you handle each area of temptation?
Note: Temptation in the thought life is not the same as sin.
Evil thoughts may pass through the mind, but sin comes from dwelling on the thought.
How can we avoid some temptations (2 Timothy 2:22)?
Purity and the Opposite Sex
- What does the Bible say about the sexual relationship in its proper place (Hebrews 13:4)?
- When tempted by immorality, what is a Christian to do (1 Corinthians 6:18)? Why?
- List some things you can be certain will help you when you are tempted (1 Corinthians 10:13).
- Write in your own words the warnings against immorality found in the following Scriptures:
1 Thessalonians 4:3–8
Purity and Forgiveness
- Write in your own words what the following verses say about God’s forgiveness:
1 John 2:1, 2
- What must we do to obtain God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9)?
- Do you desire a holy life?
- What area of impurity in your life do you need to face and deal with?
- What are you doing or have around you that increases the temptation?
- Choose an appropriate verse or passage from this lesson, apply it to your situation, and write the result you expect to attain.
Memory Verse: “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18 NLT)