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. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
In taking off the impure values and habits of the world and putting on the pure and holy motives and actions of God, none seem so commonly neglected in today’s world than these two: sexual immorality and coarse language. And it is unlikely you will find one without the other.
Two notable things that set humanity apart from lower life forms are our capacity for language and the meaningful sexual relationships we establish within marriage. To toss these two out as insignificant, to substitute the pure use of these for unholy uses shows hearts that are very far from God. Just as our mouths are intended to be used to proclaim the truth, to encourage one another, to praise and thank God, to deal honestly and truthfully with our neighbor, so our sexual organs are made also to be committed in purity to the one to whom we have pledged our faithful and exclusive love as long as we both shall live.
Yet the world pulls us down in these areas, tempts us, and not a one of us can say that he or she has always been pure in heart in these areas. We all need grace and encouragement, and I suppose not a one of us can stand above our brothers and sisters and say that our hands are completely clean in these two areas. God can forgive and cleanse any life, if we will only repent.
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:20-22
Thank God for His mercy and redemption! But we need to be careful that we do not lower the standard. We must believe that God forgives and also strengthens those in these two areas who come to Him sincerely. We must seek holiness in these areas of our lives. God commands that we flee from sexual temptations, recognizing that the opposing forces attack us in an area where we as a race are weak (1 Cor. 6:18). But in addition to fleeing, we are to strengthen our faith through thanksgiving and pursuing “righteousness, faith, love and peace.”
Both impure speech and impure sexual activities can be addictive, because they offer some cheap and poor substitute, some emotional thrill, for the true praise that should be coming from our hearts. Praise stems from the realization that Christ is worthy and thanksgiving comes from the knowledge that we have some One to whom we should be grateful, who has blessed us and continues to bless us. But impurity in speech treats with contempt the very things that God has created for us to enjoy, or takes the Name of our Savior and God and treats it as less than an ordinary word. And sexual immorality rejects the standard that God has set and the beautiful gift that He has given to be shared exclusively between husband and wife.
It is impossible to walk in the fullness of the Spirit when our minds are on these things. Ezra wept because of the sexual infidelity of the people of God (Ezra 10:1-6) and Isaiah wept because “I am a man of unclean lips and I live amid a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). We need more weeping Christians today, who take the standard of God seriously and believe that He comforts those who mourn. As a race, we need to repent and give the Lord these areas of our lives. Confess and renounce every thing that keeps or has kept you from honoring God in your speech and your sex life. Fantasies, pornography, angry self-talk, cursing, whatever it is confess it, repent from it, and turn to God.
Instead practice thanksgiving, expressing your gratitude for the goodness of God. Consider how many wonderful things God has done for you and continues to do. Lift your mind to the higher thoughts of God, and you will find more joy and peace within your soul. Come to God as your Father and rest in Him and His care for you. He loves you unconditionally and wants you to find the joy and peace in Him that will truly satisfy your soul.
Lord, forgive us for our involvement in impure values and actions. We surrender our mouths and our bodies to You. We renounce secret and shameful ways. Use them for Your sake. Amen.