Discipline of Purity
The cultural climate of our modern society is far from bright and sunny and it would even seem that the church is plummeting into darkness, right along with the culture they’re embracing. The city of Corinth was widely known as an immoral city where someone could indulge in any luxury their pockets could afford them.
“It is not every man who can afford a journey to Corinth…” -Ancient Greek Proverb
Corinth was home to the temple of Aphrodite where hundreds of prostitutes sold themselves daily in the name of religion. Indulging in fleshly activities was considered normal, and the moral decay of society was widely accepted and embraced. Should we be surprised that the church would have such an open struggle with morality?
The modern church is privileged to live in a time of such great technological advancement. Yet it ironically seems that with such great technological progress comes a severe lack of power. The advancements in the internet have given us the ability to look anything up and since culture has crept deeply into the minds of men, lust and perversion have drawn the men of the church into the abyss of pornography. With the minds of men ingulfed in sensuality it is no wonder that a study of a thousand pastors showed a stunning results that one out of every eight had committed adultery. This is a great tragedy and an indictment on the true state of the modern church.
I myself am no where above the world. In fact my story is quite dark. I was a very sexually active teenager and lacked any kind of moral compass. I was not raised in a Christian home and there was no one there to instill any kind of value in me. I’m guessing since I was in foster care and in and out of juvenile detention centers I was pretty much a lost cause. I was exposed to pornography at a young age. In fact, my mother was actually the one who purchased the first pornographic video I ever had. I was only sixteen. Looking back at this now, I now see how detrimental this was in the shaping of my young mind. This was the start of an addiction that would later effect my marriage in a very negative way.
“At this moment [of lust] God loses all reality… Satan does not fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I was so absorbed with lust that it overcame my thought life. I couldn’t see past it at all. I failed to see the road in which my life was taking and for some reason wasn’t focused on it. I feel like the battlefield begins in the mind. If I had never sought help and prayer, if I never took action to renew my mind, and keep my eyes upon Christ, I am quite sure that I would have lost everything. I still sit here today in amazement that my wife is still by my side. She is the strongest person I know.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” 1 Thes. 4:3–6
For God did not call us to live an impure life, but rather a holy one. There are endless riches that His children are promised if they would take a hold of the grace that He extends. Grace, being the undeserving favor that He extends to empower us to overcome the obstacles of this world. Without a narrow standard, there is no way that we, the church as a whole, can walk a narrow road.
“Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. “ -Leviticus 19:2
As image bearers of Christ it only makes sense that we should reflect the example that we saw in Him. With every fiber of our being we should strive to abstain from the fleshly pleasures that our society has to offer. Paul knew that his flesh was at war with the spirit within him and that it was a wrestle to do the will of the Lord. IS THERE ANY FIGHT LEFT WITHIN US..? Or have we given up and have allowed the enemy to have a permanent foothole in our lives; leaving us in bondage to his devices.
As men of the church we are examples not only to other men, but examples to our children. It is greatly important to understand the importance of our roles. We are called to lead our homes and provide leadership within our communities. There is no way that we can provide leadership if we do not submit our lives to the Lord completely. Without obedience to His word, we have no moral authority to lead others falling prey to the sensuality of our culture, or those struggling with addiction. Our modern society is in desperate need of change, and it’s going to take people that have enough grit to stand in the face of the enemy and declare war on sin, even in the midst of those who embrace it. ARE YOU WILLING TO STAND UP AND FIGHT..?