AWRIGHT DEN: The wrong focus
THERE ARE MANY challenges Christians are faced with throughout their lives, but I believe based on observation and experience, that one of the greatest is sexual sins.
Lust, fornication and adultery have crippled many, destroying their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
Sexual arousal, desires and attraction are all normal and if you don’t experience any of these, I urge you to go see a doctor urgently. Just to be clear, God created us as sexual beings and has established the boundaries of marriage for us to explore, fulfill and enjoy our sexual desires with our “own” husbands or wives.
I have been a Christian for 16 years and can safely say that I am a mature Christian. I have a long way to go in this walk but as I reflect on my past, I can say I have come quite far. Most, if not all of my Christian life, I was taught and probably you were as well, that the answer to fighting sexual sins was abstinence. You can see in scripture that we are encouraged and commanded to abstain from sexual immorality.
Although the Bible supports what we have all been taught, why is it that most of us are trying to abstain as a means of remaining pure yet continue to fall in the area of sexual sins? Some have turned to marriage as an answer to the struggle because they don’t want to “burn with desire” but have graduated from fornication to adultery. So why isn’t the message of abstinence working?
Here is my take on it based on my life, observation and studying the Word.
When someone says they are living in purity, we immediately assume they are living free of sexual sins. If purity is defined this way, it means a non-Christian generally can also live a pure life once they are disciplined and strong-willed. Purity within a Christian context is so much more than abstaining from sexual immorality.
The Greek word translated as “sanctification” means holiness. Therefore to be sanctified means to be holy. In simple terms, to be sanctified or holy, is to be “set apart”. To be “set apart” as a human is to be living in the will and purposes of God, which can only be achieved by a believer, who is also called a “saint”. The Greek word translated as “saint” means “set apart”, sacred, consecrated, holy, blameless or pure. Purity therefore, in a biblical or Christian context is defined based on sanctification, holiness or being “set apart”.
1 Peter 1:15-16 says, But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. Not changing or adding to scripture, just for teaching and emphasis purposes, this could also read, “Be ye pure: for I am pure”.
It is interesting that the KJV says “so be ye holy in all manner of conversation – which means that holiness or purity is beyond just a physical act. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus . . . .”
To do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, which the Book of Acts calls the “Holy One”, can only be achieved by a “holy”, “sanctified”, “set apart” or “pure” person. We are to be “holy”, “set apart” and “pure” in our entire lives (thoughts, attitudes, conversations, emotions, actions, relationships, desires and the list goes on).
Purity is a by-product of a sanctified or set apart life. Purity defined by abstinence or mainly within the context of sexuality is unattainable and unsustainable and that”s why it is so hard and challenging.
To attain sexual purity, stop focusing on abstinence or not cheating and just live a “sanctified” and “set apart” life. A sanctified life will produce a life that is sexually pure. I believe this is why some of us have failed, struggled or barely made it; our teaching was incomplete and our focus was wrong.
Corey Worrell, a former Commonwealth youth ambassador, is director of C2J Foundation Inc., a project-based NGO focusing on social development. Email [email protected]