Sexual Purity Matters - 5:1-5

Transcript Search
1 Corinthians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:22
0 ratings

Our society would have us believe that Biblical notions of sex and sexuality are antiquated ideas with no place in the modern world. Yet, when Scripture is obeyed sex and sexuality brings joy and fulfillment just as God intended.

Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →


Before we even get to our sermon title this morning, I have a video I want us to watch.
We are going to talk about a hot button topic today.
Before we start, we need to understand something vital.
Every single one of us is a sinner.
Every single person who places their faith in Jesus Christ has been rescued by Him.
That video went through a lot of atrocity and tragedy in just a couple minutes.
Out of all of that we have been rescued by the blood of Jesus Christ!
God’s timing is always fascinating.
It is interesting to me that we arrive at this passage the week before Easter.
Scripture reveals that apart from the resurrection of Christ we are miserable and hopeless.
If Christ were still in the grave, we could not be rescued by Him
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has rescued us from the power of sin and the dominion of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of light!
By the grace of God we are not what we once were.
However, we are not yet what our Father is making us.
The passage we will consider is a difficult one.
Let me show you the sermon title for today.
Sexual Purity Matters
This is not a message our world agrees with.
The society in which we live is working hard to argue that sex and sexuality are simply physical.
They would argue that sexual purity is a christian construct design to keep people in bondage and fear.
In the last few months there have been events that seem to give weight to their argument.
On March 16 shortly before 5pm a very disturbed young man shot and killed 8 people.
For our purposes today I will not comment on the questions being raised about racism in this shooting.
There is another element to this story.
From his own statement, his reason for this horrific act was that he struggled with a sexual addiction and he wanted to eliminate temptation for himself and others.
As more information has come to light from the ongoing investigation, it has become clear that this young man was religious and had attended a Southern Baptist Church in his youth.
It is unclear what his level of church involvement was at the time of the shooting.
What I have heard and seen over the last few weeks is our society condemning evangelical Christians because of our Biblical views on sex and sexuality.
This is not a small issue.
This is not something that we as a church can ignore.
Thankfully, it is something that Scripture addresses with clarity and boldness.
Before we get into this passage we need to pray.
Father, we approach your word today with fear and trembling. We recognize that what you have revealed is unpopular in our society today. We need your strength to stand firm on what Your Word teaches. We need Your grace to hold to our convictions with uncompromising love and gentleness. We need your mercy because we all fall short of your glory. Father, we need your Holy Spirit to fill us, enlighten us, and make your Word clear. As you speak through me, may I be a willing vessel in your hands. May your saints be equipped and Christ be exalted. In His precious name we pray, Amen.
Chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians brings us to a new section of the book.
Chs. 5-6 deal with the necessity of a unified vision.
Ch. 5 explains the goal of corporate purity.
Today we begin learning how purity protects the saints.
Sexual purity matters.
This picture shows a chain turning into a bird.
Sexual immorality places us in bondage.
Freedom is possible.
However, we must understand that there are consequences for sexual immorality.
Those consequences will be made clear throughout this chapter.
The Corinthian church had an unhealthy response to sexual immorality.
Paul writes to correct and instruct them.
There are two responses that we should have to sexual immorality.
When we respond correctly, purity can be restored.
When we respond correctly, the people of God are protected.
Response #1…

1. Mourn The Loss Of Purity vv. 1-2

When something precious is lost it is appropriate to grieve.
Scripture reveals that sexual purity is something precious that is to be guarded.
There ought to be sadness when it is lost.
And yet we live in a society that is desperately trying to convince everyone that our purity really isn’t that precious!
Young people are being told that it really isn’t that big of a deal and so lives are being devastated!
Boys and girls, young women and young men are walking around wounded and hurting because they have been lied to!
It is time for the Church to step up and teach the truth about sexuality.
God’s Word does not shy from this topic.
The Bible speaks directly to it.
Here in the first two verses of 1 Corinthians 5, Paul gives us two understandings we must have.
#1. Understand that…

a. There is an objective standard v. 1

1 Corinthians 5:1 NKJV
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!
If we are going to discuss why sexual purity matters, we need to define it.
What is sexual purity?
The Greek word translated “sexual immorality” here is the word porneia.
Sexual immorality – πορνεία (porneia) sexual immorality; fornication. Sexual acts that are morally objectionable.
Sexual immorality – πορνεία (porneia)
Any form of sexual behavior outside of marriage.
From this Greek word we get our English word “pornography.”
Paul is not just talking about sex outside of marriage.
This word covers pornography, self-gratification, adultery and sexual fantasy as well.
Some of those things can happen both inside and outside of marriage.
Here’s the bottom line:
There is only one acceptable expression of sexuality.
Sexuality is only to be expressed between a husband and wife within the covenant bonds of marriage.
Any other sexual expression is condemned by Scripture and violates the pattern God has given.
Before we go any further, let me say this.
If you are here or watching this online and you are engaging in any of the things we have talked about, if are in an affair, if you are addicted to pornography or self-gratification, or some form of fantasy.
Hear me very clearly.
You are not alone. There is hope. There is help. There is a path to health and freedom.
If you want help, reach out to me.
As we come back to our text, we need to understand what is going on.
Literally translated, the first two words of this verse are “everywhere hear.”
This issue in the Corinthian church has become known by everyone!
It is common knowledge!
It is the talk of the town!
What is it that is being talked about?
There is porneia in the church.
There is sexual immorality in the church.
Now you might be thinking, wait a second, wasn’t the Corinthian culture completely immoral? Didn’t they have temple prostitutes and other forms of sexual deviancy?
Yes they did.
Why is it such a big deal?
Because what is taking place is something not even unbelievers tolerate!
The sexual immorality present in the Corinthian church has crossed a line that even the sex-saturated culture of Paul’s day wouldn’t cross!
What was that line?
A man had entered into a sexual relationship with his stepmother.
That’s what is meant by a man having his father’s wife.
In the Corinthian church a man is guilty of incest and Paul says even the unbelieving culture of his day wouldn’t go there.
Even unbelievers have lines they will not cross.
Lines that are socially unacceptable.
We have seen this recently, just in the last few years, with the #metoo movement as well as everything that came out recently about Ravi Zacharias.
When someone who claims to be a child of God gets sucked into sexual immorality, our world is quick to condemn that person.
Far too often, the church has a response that is equally unhealthy.
We’ll talk about that in verse 2.
The title of this point is “There is an objective standard.”
God has established a standard for sexual morality.
Go with me to 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
1 Thessalonians 4:3–8 NKJV
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
Paul is very clear.
God’s will, His standard for sexual morality is complete abstinence outside of marriage.
We are to have our bodies under control, living as those set apart for Christ, striving to honor Him.
We do not live in bondage to our desires.
We have been called to treat our brothers and sisters with respect.
We have been called to holiness!
Verse 8 of 1 Thessalonians 4 is very blunt.
If we reject this teaching, if we engage in the sexual activity we’ve already mentioned, we are not rejecting men.
This is our lesson.
To reject a Biblical view of sexuality is to reject God.
God is the one who established sexuality.
He created it. He designed sex to be enjoyed, He designed it to bring pleasure, He designed sex to result in the conception and ultimate birth of children.
God designed sex to be engaged in only after the marriage covenant has been made.
When we reject God’s design, sex becomes a tool used by our enemy to drive us away from God.
There is an objective standard. Sex is good. But it is reserved for marriage.
The Corinthian church had rejected this. Now they are suffering the consequences.
Sexual purity matters.
Because it matters we mourn the loss of purity.
We mourn because we understand two important realities.
#1. We understand that there is an objective standard.
#2. We understand that…

b. There is an expected response v. 2

1 Corinthians 5:2 NKJV
2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.
Here we find out one of the reason’s Paul has been so harsh in dealing with their pride.
The pride in the Corinthian church has led them to embrace an incestuous sexual relationship!
What are they doing!
What are they thinking?!
This is not how the people of God are supposed to respond!
When there is sexual immorality, the expected response is mourning!
This is where our first point comes from.
We are expected to mourn.
The sin of others should never make us proud.
The sin of others should never be celebrated.
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ.
Right here we already encounter controversy.
Our world demands that sexual exploits and experimentation be celebrated.
Our world believes that young people are going to be sexual active and we just need to deal with it.
God’s Word says no.
God’s Word declares that we are to flee sexual immorality.
God’s Word teaches that this particular sin is actually a sin against our own bodies!
This is serious!
Because it is serious, the loss of sexual purity is to be mourned!
The sexual promiscuity that is prevalent in our culture should make us weep!
The mourning and weeping Paul mentions here is causal.
Paul uses the present tense in verses 1 and 2 indicating that this relationship is ongoing.
This man is living in unrepentant sin.
The expected response of the church to this situation is twofold.
First, we are to mourn.
Second, we are to discipline.
Church discipline is not a popular topic.
However, it is a necessary one.
When someone is living in unrepentant sin, God’s Word is clear on what actions we should take.
The first action is found in Galatians 6:1. Here’s what that verse says.
Galatians 6:1
Galatians 6:1 NKJV
1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Notice carefully that the goal is restoration.
Now go with me to Matthew 18:15-17.
Matthew 18:15-17
Matthew 18:15–17 NKJV
15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Verse 15 here and Galatians 6:1 are basically the same.
When a brother or sister sins and you become aware of it, it is your responsibility to go to the person and confront them.
You don’t go to the pastor. You don’t go to the elders or deacons or anyone else.
You go to the source.
If they listen, awesome! You’re done.
If they refuse to listen, you bring one or two people who have observed the same thing, they are witnesses, with you.
If that entreaty is also rejected; you bring the situation before the whole church.
If the person still refuses to hear, you treat them like an unbeliever.
This is going to be made even more clear later in 1 Cor. 5.
Before we move away from this passage I want to make a point.
How do we treat unbelievers?
With love, gentleness, care.
We share the gospel with them!
We do all we can to show them the love of Christ and the goodness of God that leads us to repentance!
When Paul says they should mourn so that this man is taken away, this is what he is talking about.
What the Corinthian church should have done was exercise church discipline.
They didn’t.
They celebrated sin.
Look how tolerant we are!
There are churches doing this exact same thing today.
They are calling good evil and evil good.
They are folding to the pressure of the culture.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, this is not to be our response.
The love of Christ demands mourning and discipline.
I want to be very, very clear.
It is not loving to celebrate sin.
It is not loving to ignore sin.
It is not loving to allow a brother or sister in Christ to live in unrepentant sin.
Love demands that we mourn sin.
Love demands that we practice church discipline.
This is the expected response of the child of God.
Sexual purity matters.
Because it matters we have two responses to immorality.
#1. We mourn the loss of purity.
There is an objective standard, the act of sex is reserved only for marriage.
There is an expected response, mourning and discipline.
Because sexual purity matters we have a second response.
Response #2…

2. Submit To The Judgment Of Christ vv. 3-5

This is not a word we like to hear. Judgment.
We live in a time where we often are told to stop judging.
There is a very popular slogan that goes like this, “only God can judge me.”
Every time a see a bumper sticker, or T-shirt, or tattoo that says this, I shake my head.
The reality is that God will one day judge us all!
The outcome of the judgment will depend on what we have done with Jesus.
As Paul continues to exhort the Corinthian church about their response to sexual immorality, he speaks of judgment.
As we consider the judgment Paul calls for, we discover 3 core beliefs.
To have a Biblical response to sexual immorality these are the 3 core beliefs we must have.
Belief #1…

a. The demand for judgment is clear v. 3

1 Corinthians 5:3 NKJV
3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed.
From verse 1 it seems clear that Paul heard about this situation from others.
It was reported to him.
As we know, Paul is not there in Corinth.
Some would argue that his ability to assess the situation is limited because he isn’t there.
Paul says no.
He doesn’t have to be there to judge this.
Paul may not be physically present, but he is there in spirit.
What does this mean.
Paul had already taught them the truth!
He is reminding them of things they already know.
Paul doesn’t need any more facts about this case in order to make this judgment.
Scripture is clear.
There is, apparently, no question of guilt.
The objective standard laid out in God’s Word makes the necessary judgment clear.
Judgement is the idea of passing sentence.
What is the sentence?
We saw it in verse 2. The sentence is for this man to be sent out of the church.
When the child of God engages in willful, deliberate, and unrepentant sin, discipline is necessary.
Paul says, “I don’t even need to be there. What needs to happen is clear.”
Here’s the lesson.
Where there is no discipline there is no growth.
When sin is allowed to go unchallenged, it damages the body of Christ and hinders the growth of people.
God’s Word is clear. Christ Himself gave us the pattern for discipline.
Will we submit to the direction of our Savior?