Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, February 22, 2004, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
THE BATTLEFIELD OF FORNICATION
Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:3
1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
Introduction: PREPARE FOR WAR IN 2004!
Christians are under attack, and many of them do not even know it! Forces are at work, endeavoring to undermine the things of God in the lives of people.
One of the greatest areas of spiritual warfare is that of FORNICATION.
Contrary to popular notion, the term fornication is a reference to sexual immorality among unmarried OR married people. God compared Israel to a wife in the Bible and said of her:
Ezekiel 16:29 Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith.
Ezekiel 16:38 And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy.
Fornication, or sexual immorality, is an area of warfare, especially today. What is going on in San Francisco, CA right now with the city authorizing homosexual marriages, contrary to state law, federal law, and more importantly, GOD’S law, is evidence of the rising tide of filthy lusts in America.
1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Fornication and the spirit of whoredoms have permeated our land, from the half-time activites at the Super Bowl, to billboards on the side of the highway, to the topless bars, to the commercials on television, to the sexual scandals in not only the Roman Catholic church, but all churches!
Fornication is a trait of the heathen:
Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
The church at Corinth was polluted by fornication:
1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
God commands us to abstain from fornication:
1 Corinthians 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
2 Corinthians 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
I want to point out to you that one of the great arenas of Christian warfare in America is:
THE BATTLEFIELD OF FORNICATION
How to win in this battle, when so many are falling on every side:
I. FACE THE ISSUES (IN LIGHT OF THE WORD OF GOD)
You must BELIEVE right in order to BEHAVE right.
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Regardless of what San Francisco says, the Supreme Court may eventually say, or anyone else says, we should recognize that what GOD says about
sexual relationships is the TRUTH and is FINAL.
Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
A. Shacking up is wrong
1. Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
2. Chambering, or shacking up, is not honest, according to Rom. 13:13. An honest woman who lives with a man is a MARRIED woman.
B. Swapping spouses is wrong
1. Matthew 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
C. Sodomy is wrong
1. Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
II. FIGHT THE SIN
Hebrews 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
Romans 6:12-13 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
1 Corinthians 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
A. Reckon yourself to be dead to sin
1. Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2. Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
B. Remember that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost
1. 1 Corinthians 6:18-19 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
C. Rely on God’s strength
1. Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
2. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
D. Resist in your spirit
1. 1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
III. FOLLOW THE SPIRIT
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
A. Seek God in prayer
B. Set your affection on things above
C. Speak up for the Lord everywhere!
D. Study the Bible (John 17:17; Psalms 119:9,11)
E. Stay in church every time the doors are opened!
IV. FLEE TO SHELTER
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
GET AWAY FROM:
A. The bad crowd
B. Bad companions – Proverbs. 11:30
C. Bad circumstances
1. Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
DRAW CLOSE TO:
A. Your spouse
B. The saints
C. The Savior!
Michael D. O’Neal (Proverbs 11:30), Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church