A Sin Like No Other
by Timothy A. Southall


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1 Corinthians 6:18Sexual immorality is destroying marriages, families, and churches.  Sexual immorality is a sin that comes out of a man’s heart (Matthew 15:9; Mark 7:21; Romans 1:24).  Sexual sin is like no other sin.  It is the only sin a person commits against his or her own body (1 Corinthians 6:18).  In sexual immorality, you become one with another individual sinfully (1 Corinthians 6:16).  We are to be one with God (1 Corinthians 6:17).  The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (1 Corinthians 6:13).  Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).  Will the Holy Spirit stay in a defiled temple?  Jesus died on the cross, giving his life as the perfect sacrifice so that his blood would cover our sins.  He then was resurrected on the third day.  Paul tells us that at baptism we are baptized into his death, therefore are buried with him.  And just as Christ raised from the dead, we are raised from the death of sin and live a new life in Christ (Romans 6:1-4; Romans 7:4-6).  We were bought at the price of the blood of Jesus Christ. We are not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19). Therefore a born-again individual must honor God with his or her body (1 Corinthians 6:20; Romans 6:11-14; Romans 12:1-2).  The one and only way we can be one with God and be sexually active (become one with another individual) is through God’s holy and divine institution of marriage which God created on the sixth day of creation (Genesis 2:20-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; Ephesians 5:31).  An individual cannot be sexually immoral and be one with God.

The early church sent letters to the Gentile Christians telling them to abstain from sexual immorality (Acts 15:20; Acts 15:29; Acts 21:25). The Colossians were told to put to death their earthly nature of sexual immorality (Colossians 3:5).  The Ephesians were told not to even have a hint of sexual immorality among them (Ephesians 5:3).  Note the importance for the early church to warn about sexual immorality.  Paul also tells us those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what the nature desires, but those who live in accordance with the Holy Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires (Romans 8:5-8).

Some in our congregations today claim to repent, go through the motion only of being baptized, or go through the motions of doing whatever it takes when caught in sexual immorality to appease the people and church leaders.  Then, when caught in the same sin again, they again claim to repent . . . again and again.  Clearly, such a person is a liar.  One must remember that he may fool people, but he can't fool God (Job 34:21).  To repent means to change one’s way, mind or direction.  To repent of sexual immorality means separating from the person they were sexually immoral with, truly turning away from that sin, and being reconciled with those they hurt by their sin.  Peter puts it so well in 1 Peter 4:17.  It is time for judgment to begin with the family of God.  Yes, we are to judge the wicked in the church (1 Corinthians 5:12-13). Sexual immorality is direct disobedience to God by the heart, mind, and body.  We are to love our God, the Father, with our heart, mind and body.  Anyone who is in direct disobedience and says that he knows Jesus is a liar and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:4).  John tells us those who purposely sin are not of Christ and are of the devil (1 John 3:4-9).  It is time for  the leaders in our congregations to stand firm on the Word of God and use Biblical discipline in such cases.  Just think if God was to discipline these individuals like he did Ananias and Sapphira–they both literally dropped dead for lying to God (Acts chapter 5).  This puts a whole new meaning to “being slain by the Spirit.”  Think about Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis chapters 18 and 19).  Those two cities, along with the people, were destroyed due to the sexual immorality among the people.  Leaders will be held accountable for their actions and for their inactions (Hebrews 13:17).

A congregation which tolerates sexual immorality is as guilty as the sexually immoral individuals and soon earns a reputation which crucifies Christ all over again.  In 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, Paul tells us not to associate or even eat with an individual who is sexually immoral and calls himself a brother.  We are to have nothing to do with or eat with someone who claims to be a Christian and who is actively sexually immoral.  Even eating with them is a sin.  Paul then instructs the Corinthians to expel the wicked man from among them (1 Corinthians 5:4-5, 13; Ephesians 5:3).

If you are living a sinful life, the solution is simple. “. . . Jesus declared, ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” (John 8:11).  Yes, you must repent of (turn away from) your sin and leave the one with whom you are sinning.  It is the choice of each person who he or she will be one with.  The choice is yours today.  We must choose wisely, for we do not know what tomorrow will bring.

Copyright © 1998 & 2004 Timothy A. Southall.  All rights reserved.