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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
January 20, 2012
Proverbs on Avoiding Sexual Sin
Proverbs 5, 6 & 7
Please turn to the book of Proverbs where we will be looking at the last part of chapter 4, then chapters 5, 6 & 7. This morning we will be examining what the Scriptures say about avoiding sexual sin. This has always been a problem for mankind to one degree or another depending on its acceptance within a given society. With the degrading of American culture over the last 50 years, it is something that has become much worse in our own society. In fact, it is so bad now that I do not need to quote any statistics to convince you of the fact that we have become a sex saturated society or there are so many ways that it is blatantly obvious.
The sexual revolution of the 1960’s combined with the Feminist movement has resulted in the sexualization of women to unimaginable levels – or perhaps in view of the clothing styles for women and even girls I should say, the sexualization of women to levels leaving little to the imagination. When I talk to parents of daughters, a common complaint is how difficult it is to find modest clothing for them. At one time you had to go to specialty stores to find risque clothing, now you often have to go to specialty stores to find modest clothing.
The pressure on our young adults to be sexual active is intense. Back in what some might consider the prehistoric times of the 1970’s when I was coming of age, though there was a lot more sexual activity in High School and College than in previous generations, girls that were promiscuous were still considered sluts and such men were womanizers. Now it is those who have remained chaste that are viewed negatively. Virgins are pressured to get with it and hook up and shack up. The idea of waiting for marriage receives scorn and scoffing. The result is that the age for first marriages continues to rise and the percentage of the population that is married declines.
Government polices have only made this worse. However well intentioned our foolish lawmakers may have been, the consequences of their laws and regulations have been evil. Welfare policies not only enable, but encourage single women to have lots of children and not get married by paying them more with each child and financially penalizing them if they do get married. The same occurs among senior citizens on social security. Widows and widowers are encouraged to shack up together because they will lose benefits if they get married. Oh, and by the way, the income tax “marriage penalty” is back and nasty for those in the higher tax brackets.
I hope you understand that the push to redefine marriage is not about fairness and freedom as claimed. It is about changing the nature of our society to not just tolerate, but to accept and celebrate what God says are abominations. The tragedy for our nation and for those buying into all these lies about human sexuality is that they have been very successful. Both those individuals and our society are reaping the horrible consequences of their disobedience to God’s laws.
There are many specific issues about human sexuality that could be addressed, but this morning I want to concentrate on what Solomon says in Proverbs in encouraging his son to heed the wisdom he was being taught and warn him about the dangers he will be facing with the opposite sex. In some ways it seems a little odd that God uses King Solomon, a man that ended up with 700 wives and 300 concubines, to give such strong warnings. Yet, he was a good choice. His own failure to heed God’s warning to kings not to multiple wives (Deuteronomy 17:17) adds weight to some of his warnings. He knew by experience what he was talking about. His position as King enabled him to observe the consequences of people’s choices and actions. Finally, the great wisdom God granted him (2 Chronicles 1:11-12) enabled him to present the point and application of God’s laws in a succinct way to his son. How important was this issue to Solomon? In addition to the scattered Proverbs that are short and pithy statements on this subject, three separate chapters are devoted to it, so roughly 10% of the book addresses these issues.
Keep in mind throughout this study that all the principles here also apply to daughters. Solomon is specifically instructing and warning his son, so the danger he will face will come from women. But the opposite is just as true. Daughters will face the same kinds of dangers from men who will seek to seduce and exploit them.
Avoiding Immorality – Proverbs 5
Proverbs chapters 1-7 are all teachings and warnings of a father to his son. While there are individual sections with each one beginning with the phrase, “My son,” all of them reinforce each other because each is a call to walk in wisdom. For that reason, we will actually start our study this morning with Proverbs 4: 20-27 for it leads into Chapter 5. “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.”
Notice the strong call here for the son to diligently walk in wisdom and be on guard for the dangers he will face. This is a general call applicable to sons and daughters, but the particular warnings to watch over his heart (vs. 23) and keep his eyes fixed ahead (vs. 25) are especially relevant to the issues of walking in sexual purity which will follow in the next three chapters. The temptation to sexual sin comes through the eyes and the heart as we will see in our study this morning. It is crucial that a man learn to protect himself from such enticements by keeping his eyes focused where they are supposed to be and to guard his mind and emotions lest his will be lead astray into unrighteousness. Though women may not be sexually aroused as men are by what they see, their eyes can lead them astray in many other areas, and guarding the heart is essential.
Proverbs 5 presents in three sections a father’s call for his son to avoid immorality. It begins with a general plea and instruction in verses 1-6. This is followed in verses 7-14 with specific warnings to avoid the immoral woman. It then concludes in verses 15-23 with the godly means of satisfying sexual desire.
1 My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding; 2 That you may observe discretion And your lips may reserve knowledge. 3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey And smoother than oil is her speech; 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death, Her steps take hold of Sheol. 6 She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it. (Proverbs 5:1-6)
The passage begins with a father calling his son to onc
e again pay careful attention to what he is being taught. The specific goal stated in verse 2 is that his ability to distinguish between right and wrong would be carefully guarded even in what he might say. This is contrasted to the adulteress whose words and demeanor do not match the eventual reality. Please note that that the word for adulteress here and throughout these chapters actually refers to a stranger, i.e., someone who is not related, as it is in verses 10 and 17. When used of a woman in reference to a man, context determines if it is making a broad reference to any woman, single or married, to whom the man is not married or specifically to a woman married to a different man.
The contrast between reality and what the immoral woman appears to be is great. Her lips drip with honey which is sweet, but in the end she is bitter. Her speech is as smooth as oil, but in the end she is sharp. The warnings are just as great. The fun and excitement she may appear to give to life will end in death. She is ignorant of her true condition and where she is actually heading.
The father gives stern warning in verses 7-14 to stay away from such a woman. 7 Now then, my sons, listen to me And do not depart from the words of my mouth. 8 Keep your way far from her And do not go near the door of her house, 9 Or you will give your vigor to others And your years to the cruel one; 10 And strangers will be filled with your strength And your hard-earned goods will go to the house of an alien; 11 And you groan at your final end, When your flesh and your body are consumed; 12 And you say, “How I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof! 13 “I have not listened to the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to my instructors! 14 “I was almost in utter ruin In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”
Note in verse 7 that the father’s warning expands from a son to sons, plural. There is a larger group being called to pay attention to the warning and the solution that will follow. The advice is short and to the point in verse 8. Stay far away from her in your travels and do not go near where she lives. In other words, if you avoid her, you can avoid the sin that might occur with her. A simple solution, but one tragically ignored for men and women often put themselves in danger of temptation by where they choose to go and with whom they choose to spend their time. I will add this also includes what they choose for entertainment – reading materials, computer, DVD, TV, movies, shows, radio, etc.
Verses 9-10 give multiple reasons for this advice which can be reduced to the idea that it will ruin your life. Your “vigor” in verse 9 refers to your “honor,” which is how it is translated in many Bible versions. Having an affair with someone will ruin your reputation. It can still do that even in our promiscuous, sex saturated society – General Pretraeus is a recent, sad example of this. The idea of giving your years to the cruel one as well as strangers getting your strength and an alien getting your wealth are the various costs and penalties that come as a consequence to having a relationship with a wayward woman. There are the direct costs of being involved with a prostitute or keeping a mistress, but you also subject yourself to blackmail to her or anyone else that finds out. That can continue for years even after the liaisons ended. A problem for way too many politicians.
Verses 11-13 are the confessions and results of sexual immorality. Confession is good for the soul, but too often it comes too late to avoid the consequences of the sins. The description here is of a person groaning in pain and sorrow as their physical body wastes away. Only then do they finally confess their foolishness in despising wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7). The cause of the body wasting away could be old age when many people finally become reflective enough to think seriously about what they have done in life and recognize how foolish they have been. However, it could also be from one of the sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that can kill or result in other diseases that cause such deaths. In current times, AIDS would be such a disease, however, it was not described until the late 20th Century, so it would not be what is described here. Syphilis is an ancient disease that fits this description. Then there are the cancers that can result from various untreated STD’s.
In verse 14, we find that this person was on the verge, the edge, the brink, of complete ruin, but had not crossed that final line into it in the midst of the assembly. That is probably a reference to being stoned for sexual immorality as commanded in the Mosaic Law in Leviticus 20 and Deuteronomy 22. That would be utter ruin.
In the last section, the father points his son to the solution for his sexual desires. Within this description metaphors abound in describing the marital relationship. This is a good example of how we should talk to others when dealing with this subject. Frankly, I am appalled that within the last few years there have been so many pastors that have not only tickled the ears of their congregation, but titillated them as well with their vulgar speech, descriptions and very poor, if not at times just plain ungodly, advice. Here is what Solomon says.
15 Drink water from your own cistern And fresh water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be yours alone And not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be exhilarated always with her love. 20 For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress And embrace the bosom of a foreigner? 21 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He watches all his paths. 22 His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin. 23 He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.
It must be remembered that God Himself not only created man, but He also established marriage and crafted its design. It is the Lord that commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:22), and the physical relationship between them was the means for that to be accomplished. God also designed that relationship to be holy and a cause of rejoicing as demonstrated in this passage.
Paul describes the holy nature of marriage in Ephesians 5:31-32. He quotes Genesis 2:24 that “for this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.” Then he says of this verse, “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” Marriage in all of its aspects is to reflect the relationship between Christ and the church. In 1 Corinthians 7:2 Paul is direct in saying that marriage is the solution for stopping and preventing immorality. The writer of Hebrews also demonstrates this stating in Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” The physical relationship of the husband and wife is holy, but sexual activity outside of marriage is a defiling evil that God will judge.
Solomon describes marital love in a beautiful fashion in verses 15-19 concluding that the man is to be find his satisfaction and be exhilarated, enraptured (NKJV), intoxicated (ESV – cf Isaiah 28:7), ravished (KJV) with her love. Similar language is used throughout the Song of Solomon. However, what is good, holy and beautiful within marriage is evil, wicked and ugly outside of marriage. The same word is used in verse 20 in warning his son about being exhilarated by an adulteress and embracing a
foreigner. And lest his son think he might get away with it by doing it in secret, verse 21 points out that there is no hiding from God. The Lord sees all the ways of man.
The final warnings in verses 22-23 point out the danger of flirting with what is sinful. Sin captures and binds the sinner and lead to his demise. Do not be like the one who only recognizes and confesses their foolishness when they are dying. Take hold of instruction now and avoid the ignorance that allows folly to lead you astray.
What About Singles?
Marriage is the obvious solution to sexual immorality, but what about the person who is single and especially the one that would like to be married but is not for whatever reason. What are they to do? Is their hope for them?
Part of the pressure on single people today is that American culture has embraced a lie that was popular among the ancient Greeks. Paul addresses this in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 which will give us the answer to both of our questions.
12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 14 Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.
This ancient lie now dominates American culture. Verse 13 is a euphemism for sex. The Greeks taught that just as the body needs food, so the body needs to be sexually active. Much of modern psychology embraces this lie that the body must have an outlet for its fleshly passions. The moral nature God has placed in man is rejected in favor of the view that man is just an advanced animal whose urges must be satisfied. That is why governments pass out free condoms in High Schools and clinics. They expect our young adults to act like animals in heat so they claim it is a good thing to give them something that will give them a little protection when they do. That little bit of latex may reduce some risk of pregnancy and infection by some sexually transmitted diseases, but not all risk even if it is used. Believing the lie, people do go out and act like beasts resulting in the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases that now exist and the high rate of pregnancies outside of marriage. We are rapidly approaching the point where there will be more births to single mothers than married ones, and taking into consideration the much higher rate of abortion among single women, it would not surprise me if there already are more pregnancies among single women that married. The murders of unborn children in abortion, the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases that cause chronic health problems or sterility or critical health problems such as cancer, and children born into homes without fathers are largely due to this lie that humans must be sexually active to be healthy. Paul is direct. The body is for the Lord, not immorality. Unlike the animals, God created you in His own image to be a reflection of His character and carry out His will. That is true for all humans. The Christian can do better in this area because they also have the power of the Holy Spirit within them to overcome sin.
The lie is easily disproved by observation of those who are chaste, both singles and those who are married but cannot be intimate with their spouse for long periods of time for various reasons such as medical issues or separations caused by work, ministry and military deployments. Who is actually healthier? The chaste or the immoral? The truth is that sexual activity outside of marriage is unhealthy physically, mentally and emotionally. I have already briefly mentioned sexually transmitted diseases and some of their consequences. But there is also a horrible consequence mentally and emotionally. Their quest for sexual fulfilment begins to occupy what they think about and how they feel about life and other people and can rise to dominate them to the point of sexual addiction. The greater the addiction, the more selfish and perverse the quest to gain sexual fulfillment which increase the diseases to which they subject themselves and greater their exploitation of others.
1 Corinthians 6:15-17 gives us insight into the reason for such mental and emotional problems while also giving the solution. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! 16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” 17 But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
I do not know or understand the depth of this joining that occurs in sexual intimacy, but Paul makes it clear here that it is more than just a physical joining. There is a lot of emotional turmoil that occurs when a chaste couple that have been dating break up. It is much worse for those who have been immoral with each other. Those who are promiscuous leave bits and pieces of themselves all over the place and hollow out their soul.
Paul is again direct on the solution. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Avoiding Destruction – Proverbs 6
The theme of the parental counsel given in Proverbs 6 is to avoid destruction. You can be ruined by become surety for someone else (vs. 1-5), by being lazy (vs. 6-11), by walking in wickedness (vs. 12-15) or committing any of a number of sins (vs. 16-19). However, the majority of the chapter is devoted to avoiding the destruction caused by sexual immorality. This section also begins with admonishments to heed the instruction being given for they bring light and lead to life.
20 “My son, observe the commandment of your father And do not forsake the teaching of your mother; 21 Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life 24 To keep you from the evil woman, From the smooth tongue of the adulteress.”
Walking with the Lord will guard you from the enticements of the opposite sex for they will guide you on the path of righteousness and correct you back to it when you go astray. However, whether you will follow the Lord or your lusts depends on the desires of your heart. Verses 25-28 instruct and warn. 25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart, Nor let her capture you with her eyelids. 26 For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, And an adulteress hunts for the precious life. 27 Can a man take fire in his bosom And his clothes not be burned? 28 Or can a man walk on hot coals And his feet not be scorched?
It is obvious that a man that goes looking for a beautiful woman is in trouble from the start because his desires are evil. As Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, “but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” But a man does not have to go looking, for the harlot and adulteress will hunt for him. And the man that thinks he can handle it is in even greater danger, for as verses 27 & 28 point out, he will get burned. Tragically, this has become a wide spread problem even among those who profess to be Christians.</ p>
Part of the problem is the availability of pornography, especially through the internet, when enable men (and increasingly women too) to be secretive about their lust problem. A person can appear to be pious on Sunday morning, but the truth is that afternoon or evening they are feeding their lust and degrading their minds and soul. This problem is made worse in that pornography is everywhere. Images of scantily clad people, or worse, assault us from every direction. Email spam, website roll overs and pop ups, the magazine racks at markets, television, movies, billboards in many areas, store displays and just walking down the street. Individuals and society become desensitized losing their sense of shame and no longer recognize its sinfulness. It may no longer even be recognized as pornographic, seductive or sensual – as demonstrated by current clothing styles. This makes it easy to walk through the door of sinful lust and become addicted to it.
Let me very direct. Pornography is sinful in all of its aspects. There is no justification for it, and any thing beyond a glance is sinful. Solomon says to not desire her beauty or let her capture you with her eyelids. Job made a covenant with his eyes so that he would not gaze upon a young woman (Job 31:1). He made the covenant because he understood the danger and was serious about protecting himself from it. Every man here needs to make that same covenant. The bird may fly over your head, but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair. Those who go beyond a glance need to repent and actively seek accountability to help them overcome it. Throw out any pornography you have. Find someone who will hold you accountable and put blocking software on your computers and phone that you cannot change. Sadly, like so many other areas of sin, few are willing to admit their problem, and so they continue to live a life defeated by their compromise with sin.
Proverbs 6 concludes with the specific warning about the consequences of being involved with an adulteress. 29 So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; Whoever touches her will not go unpunished. 30 Men do not despise a thief if he steals To satisfy himself when he is hungry; 31 But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; He must give all the substance of his house. 32 The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it. 33 Wounds and disgrace he will find, And his reproach will not be blotted out. 34 For jealousy enrages a man, And he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 35 He will not accept any ransom, Nor will he be satisfied though you give many gifts.
Adultery is much more serious than other sins such as stealing, because restitution is not possible. What has been stolen cannot be returned nor replaced. Neither is there compensation that can placate the one that is wronged. This path will lead to your destruction. Avoid it!
Avoiding the Harlot – Proverbs 7
Proverbs 7 is specific about the importance of avoiding the harlot, but keep in mind that a harlot could be single or married. The harlot is distinguished by her effort to seduce. In this chapter, the man is the prey that is being hunted.
This chapter also begins with the father imploring his son to pay attention and heed what he has been taught so that he might avoid the dangers he is facing. 1 “My son, keep my words And treasure my commandments within you. 2 Keep my commandments and live, And my teaching as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding your intimate friend; 5 That they may keep you from an adulteress, From the foreigner who flatters with her words.”
Proverbs 7:7-23 is Solomon’s observation of a young man who is seduced because he did not listen to wise counsel and so did not avoid the harlot and was not prepared to resist her advances.
6 For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice, 7 And I saw among the naive, And discerned among the youths A young man lacking sense, 8 Passing through the street near her corner; And he takes the way to her house, 9 In the twilight, in the evening, In the middle of the night and in the darkness. 10 And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. 11 She is boisterous and rebellious, Her feet do not remain at home; 12 She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner. 13 So she seizes him and kisses him And with a brazen face she says to him: 14 “I was due to offer peace offerings; Today I have paid my vows. 15 “Therefore I have come out to meet you, To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. 16 “I have spread my couch with coverings, With colored linens of Egypt. 17 “I have sprinkled my bed With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. 18 “Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses. 19 “For my husband is not at home, He has gone on a long journey; 20 He has taken a bag of money with him, At the full moon he will come home.” 21 With her many persuasions she entices him; With her flattering lips she seduces him. 22 Suddenly he follows her As an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, 23 Until an arrow pierces through his liver; As a bird hastens to the snare, So he does not know that it will cost him his life.
The seductress knows how to entice her victim and overcome his objections. In verse 10, her manner of dress as a harlot is designed to catch his eye and interest. A quick aside here. Ladies, do not follow her example. It may be flattering to catch the attention of the men, but those are the actions of a harlot, not a godly woman. God does not want you to be parading your body around or even calling attention to yourself. The Lord desires men and women to be properly clothed, modest and discreet (1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3-5). If you are not sure what it means to dress modestly, pick up one of our handouts on it or talk with one of the ladies on the Women’s Servant Council (a Deaconess).
In verse 13 she meets and kisses him on the street giving the illusion that he is special to her instead of her prey. Verse 14 is an appeal to his stomach since part of the peace offering would be taken home to eat. In verses 16-18 she then describes the beauty of her bedroom with the smells of its spices where they could have a wonderful time drinking their fill of love. Verse 19 preempts his objection that it would be dangerous for her husband, here disparaged as just “the man,” is far away. The young man is seduced and foolishly follows his lust and heads to his own slaughter as would an ox.
Solomon concludes with a final warning in verses 24-26. 24 Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, And pay attention to the words of my mouth. 25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her paths. 26 For many are the victims she has cast down, And numerous are all her slain. 27 Her house is the way to Sheol, Descending to the chambers of death.
All of the teaching this morning can be summarized by 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and 2 Timothy 2:22; “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality” and “Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Those truths expose and defeat the lies of our sex saturated society to which so many, including many professing Christians, have succumbed.
God has done His part. He has given us His word by which we can be
come wise. He grants us redemption and forgiveness through the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. (If this an area in which you have fallen, there is forgiveness in Christ). He has given us the Holy Spirit so that we may walk in holiness. He makes us part of a body of believers that we may encourage and admonish one another as needed so that we may rise up when we stumble, keep walking forward, and avoid the pitfalls in our paths.
You need to do your part. You must learn the Scriptures to be wise. You must turn from your sin and place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You must walk by the Spirit so that you will not carry out the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17).You must be active in the body life of the church. Do not let your pride isolate you from those who can help. If you are struggling with this or some other area of sin, there are plenty of people here that will pray with you today. If you are not sure who they are, talk to any of our church leaders. Let us begin to help you as we hold each other accountable and strive together to walk in a manner worthy of our calling in Christ Jesus.
An Addendum on Human Sexuality in the Scriptures
Sexual intimacy is Holy, good and beautiful in marriage. God created it and commanded it – Genesis 1:28; 9:1,7
Its purposes include:
Procreating – Genesis 1:28, etc.
Picture of Christ and the Church – Ephesians 5:32
It is due to each spouse within marriage – 1 Corinthians 7:4-5. Each spouse owns the body of the other and neither is to deprive the other.
Sexual intimacy is wicked, evil and ugly outside of marriage. It is the cause of pain, suffering & judgment. (See sermon: Proverbs on Avoiding Sexual Sin: Proverbs 5,6 & 7)
What is Permissible?
Hebrews 13:4. The marriage bed is to be undefiled. Fornication and adultery are obvious defilements.
Song of Solomon is a descriptive book demonstrating God’s approval of the physical relationship within marriage. It is an example of what could be done, not a prescriptive book of what must be done.
Song of Solomon uses many metaphors in the physical description by the husband of the wife and by the wife of the husband. These descriptions are compliments within their cultural context, though they may not be so in other cultures (i.e., most women in non-agrarian societies would not like to have their hair described as a flock of goats, their teeth like a flock of newly shorn ewes, or their neck as the tower of David with rows of stones – SS 4:1-3). These descriptions do show that it is proper within marriage to delight in, admire and complement their spouse on their physical beauty).
(Biblical descriptions of what occurred may be examples to follow or examples to avoid. Solomon is a case in point. His example of wisdom in his early life is to be followed, but his example of providing for himself “the pleasures of men – many concubines” (Ecclesiastes 2:8) is not to be followed. 1 Kings 11:3 records that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines and that they turned his heart away. Solomon was in violation of God’s command in Deuteronomy 17:17 that kings were not to multiply wives).
Love is to be the driving force in marriage including its physical relationship.
Sexual intimacy is to occur within a loving marriage relationship
- Ephesians 5:21-33 directs the wife to be submissive and respectful while commanding the husband to love (agape) his wife sacrificially as Christ did the church, to protect and help her become holy, and to cherish her with the same kind of care he gives to his own body.
- 1 Peter 3:1-7 commands wives to be submissive and respectful and commands the husband to live with his wife “according to knowledge” (gnosis – knowledge of relationship), while recognizing her weakness and honoring her as a fellow heir of the grace of life.
A husband & wife may do what they desire within their physical relationship with these restrictions:
* Neither is to ever demand of the other – that is not loving or respectful
* Neither is to do anything to exploit the other – that is not loving or respectful
* Neither is to do anything harmful (physical or emotional) – that is not loving or respectful
Spouses should tell one another what they like and do not like, but if either is uncomfortable with something , then the answer is NO, and no further demand is to be made. The focus needs to be on pleasing your spouse instead of getting pleased yourself. Again, never do anything that causes physical harm or emotional distress.
It is well said that if there is a problem in the marriage, it will show up in the bedroom. Such problems give opportunity to show true love by talking through the troubles, praying, seeking godly counsel and solutions, and then come back together (1 Cor. 7:5). As you prove your true love, your spouse is freed up to express and receive physical expressions of love.
When selfish personal pleasure is the driving force, it becomes demanding, exploitive and harmful to the spouse. It is the opposite of being loving and respectful and the command in Philippians 2:3-4 to consider the other as more important and look out for their interests.
Many sexual practices which are now advocated are driven by the perversions of pornography. None of them are proper – why? They are selfish and neither loving nor respectful. Those that go down this path descend into ever greater perversions, exploitation and harm of the partner. A spouse may tell their partner, NO. A wife does not have to submit and participate in what is sinful or a perversion.
Sermon Notes – 1/20/2013
Proverbs on Avoiding Sexual Sin – Proverbs 5, 6 & 7
The sexual immorality of our culture is now blatantly ______________
Government polices have ______________ sexual immorality
Solomon speaks from experience, observation and the _____________ God granted him
The text is addressed to sons, but the principles also apply to _______________
Avoiding Immorality – Proverbs 5
Proverbs 4: 20-27 – ___________ diligently in wisdom and be on guard for danger
Proverbs 5:1-6 – A ____________ plea and instructions
“Adulteress” = a broad reference to _______woman, single or married, to whom the man is not married
There is a great _______between what the immoral appears to be / offer and what she will actually bring
Proverbs 5:7-14 – Specific warnings to avoid the ______________ woman
By avoiding the immoral woman, you can avoid the ___________ that might occur with her
Vs. 9-10. Even in this society, having an affair will _____your reputation, and it has a high financial cost
Vs. 11-13. Confession is good, but it often comes __________ to avert the consequences of sin
The body wasting away could be old age or a wasting disease – _______________ , cancer
Scripture uses many ___________
____ and so avoids vulgar speech and descriptions – we should too
Proverbs 5:15-23 – The _____________ means of satisfying sexual desire
___________ created man and designed marriage and marital intimacy – Genesis 2:24
The marriage relationship brings about _________________, satisfaction, and exhilaration
Sin is ___________________ for it captures, binds and leads the sinner to his demise
What About Singles?
The ancient __________ is that the body is made for sex, and sex for the body – it is only natural
Those who expect others to act like ______________ in heat will treat them that way
The body is for the ____________ – He created you in His own image to reflect His character
_____________ adults are healthier physically, mentally and emotionally
1 Corinthians 6:15-17 – there is a joining of the two that is greater than just ____________ flesh
1 Cor. 6:18-20 – The solution is to ____immorality and live for the Lord, glorifying Him with your body
Avoiding Destruction – Proverbs 6
You can be ______________by becoming surety (1-5), laziness (6-11), wickedness (12-15), sin (16-19)
Proverbs 6:20-24 – Walking with God ___________from sinful enticements & guides on the path of life
The harlot and the adulteress seek ___________- and the man that gets involved with her will get burned
Pornography enables people to be _______________ about their lust problem
Pornography – images of scantily clad people and worse – ___________ us from every direction
Pornography is ____________ in all of its aspects
Job made a covenant with his __________ (Job 31:1) – every man needs to do the same
Proverbs 6:29-35 – Adultery is a ____________ sin without restitution or recompense
Avoiding the Harlot – Proverbs 7
Proverbs 7:1-6 – pay attention and take heed to the wisdom taught and __________ the harlot
Proverbs 7:7-23 – The observation of a young man _____________ and lead astray
A harlot entices by appealing to a man’s vanity and physical ____________ – vs. 13-18
Danger is minimized, and a fool is led by his __________ to slaughter like an ox
Proverbs 7:24-26 – final warnings.
God has done His part – __________ must do your part
Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Discuss with your parents the importance of pursing holiness in life
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What evidence do you see that our society is immoral and sex saturated? What is the overall purpose of the instructions and warnings given in Proverbs chapters 1-7? How does walking in wisdom guard from the dangers of sin? Why is guarding the heart and keeping the eyes fixed ahead particularly important in dealing with sexual sins? What is the contrast in Proverbs 5 between what the adulteress offers and what she actual gives? What is the simplest solution to avoiding sexual temptation? What are the possible consequences to someone who is seduced by the harlot or adulteress? What might cause the consumption of the flesh in Proverbs 5:11? What is the godly solution for sexual fulfillment? Why does Scripture use poetic language (metaphors) to describe marital intimacy? What can we learn from that practice? Is marital intimacy holy? Why or why not? Supporting verses? Can anything be hidden from God? How is the ancient philosophy that the body is made for sex manifested in our society? Why is this lie so dangerous? Who made the body and what is its purpose? What insight does 1 Corinthians 6:15-17 give into sexual unions? What is Paul’s solution for sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6)? Who owns your body and what is its purpose? When does the sin of sexual immorality occur? According to Matthew 5:28? What is pornography? Why is it sinful? Why is it so dangerous? How would making a covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1) protect you from pornography? From sexual immorality? Why are so few men willing to admit their struggle with sexual temptation? Why is adultery more serious than fornication? What strategies does a seductress use to catch her prey? What will protect a man from such enticements? What does a seductress dress in the manner that she does? How does God what you to dress? Why? – for what purpose? What is at the end of the road for someone who is seduced? How are 1 Thess. 4:3 and 2 Timothy 2:22 fitting summaries for the Biblical teaching on sexual purity? What has God done to enable people to walk in holiness? What must a person do to walk in holiness? Are you doing your part?
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