What if God saved you from your sin, but left you absolutely alone and without any power for the rest of your life? Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if He did that? I have. What does the Bible say about such things?
I’m so glad you asked!
Salvation is the greatest gift we could ever receive from God. It is more than simply not going to Hell for eternity. Salvation means you get to enjoy and worship God forevermore. In essence, you get God. How awesome is that!
But God goes even further than that. He gives you His Holy Spirit as a pledge. His Spirit also convicts us of sin, steers us in the proper direction of our lives, and prays for us in ways we could never even utter. How awesome is that!
But is that all? Nope. God does even more than that, if you can believe it. Here’s what else He gives to His children.
God also gives us spiritual gifts, which are to be used for His glory and the building up of others. Such gifts as teaching, encouraging, giving, administration, faith, etc. These spiritual gifts are His gifts, given to you, so that you can share them with others around you. These gifts, essentially, are avenues through which the Holy Spirit works mightily in, around, and through you. Again, how awesome is that!
When God saved you, He then continued the work in you. He is conforming you (right now, at this very moment!) into the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He never leaves or forsakes you. He is the author of your salvation and the finisher of it (c.f. Hebrews 12:2). That is how magnanimous our heavenly Father is. What a wonderful God we serve!
What does the Bible say about Sexual Purity?
On the heels of salvation comes the beautiful work of progressive sanctification. Sanctification is the life-long process of being molded into the image of Jesus Christ, of sinning less and becoming godlier, each and every day. This process of sanctification takes on many forms and manifests itself in every facet of a Christian’s life, including your thoughts, words, actions, decisions, and behaviors. One place this process of sanctification becomes noticeably evident is in the realm of sexual purity.
Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica,
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thess, 4:3; italics mine).
Adultery, fornication, premarital sex, pornography, and every other form of sexual misconduct is wrong, sinful, and directly in opposition to the will of God. If you’re committing sexual transgression, whether in secret or public, in any form whatsoever, then you are not performing God’s revealed will for your life. Stop it, right now! There’s absolutely no reason to think God would ever disclose new information to you about His plan for your life until you first repent of your sexual sin and refocus your mind on Christ-centered sanctification.
Do it now, before it is too late!
Sexual purity is a serious and most necessary requirement for all of God’s children. It is amazing how often we tend to pray for the knowledge of God’s plan in various areas of our life, yet hide known sin behind our backs with a veiled hand. The writer to the Hebrews wrote,
“For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” (Heb. 10:36; italics mine).
The will of God is revealed to those who endure, persevere, and triumph over temptation, particularly in the area of sexual activity.
When we forsake God’s plan of holy sanctification—in exchange for the passing pleasures of sexual sin for a moment—we forfeit tremendous blessings from our Father. The apostle Peter wrote that Christians should conduct themselves in such a way “so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2; italics mine).
God’s will for your life is sexual purity. Pure and simple.
What does the Bible say about Substance Abuse?
A second major area in which Christians are to be sanctified is in the area of substance abuse, or intake. Believers are not to be finding their kicks and enjoyments from things like drugs and alcohol abuse, for example. Those vices lead to the world’s bedroom, not God’s throne room. Many people—even many contemporary American Christians—consider such advice as outdated and rather prudish. But God doesn’t.
In fact, God warns His children to
“not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:17-18; italics mine).
There is certainly a vast difference between enjoying a single glass of fine wine, and that of being wasted drunk at a sorority party, but each person must choose for himself or herself how to live wisely in this critical area of life. God says His will is not drunkenness, but Spirit-filled living.
Question: How can Christians live holier in these two areas of progressive sanctification?
* Image credit: Robert Williams (Creation Swap)