Dealing With Immorality (Col. 3:5-9)
Our culture is getting used to the dark periods we are presently living in. Did you realize that? We are living in a dark society, and even those of us who are believers are becoming so used to the dark that we feel neither shocked nor shamed by much of what is going on around us. In some cases, we see the sin but refuse to acknowledge it is immoral; in other situations, we just don’t notice anymore.
Throughout the Bible, we are warned of the dangers of immorality and of the desires we have that can lead to sinful acts. God tells us to get rid of immoral and impure behavior as well as lustful passions and evil desires. (Col. 3:5) The word “immorality” comes from the Greek word “porneia.” It refers to sex outside of marriage and includes homosexuality as well as other forms of sexual indulgence, which God has prohibited.
Having warned us, God makes provision for us to be able to live moral lives, even in a sensual, sexual, immoral society. That provision is the all-sufficient person of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus lives within us and makes us adequate to face every circumstance of life. God enable us to choose what is right, but He does not force us to do it. We have to want to change in order to choose God’s way.
So how can we live in a moral life in an immoral society? We should respond to life on the basis of who we are in Christ. When temptations lure us, we are to look at them from our position in Christ and think, Oh, God, that doesn’t even fit with who I am. Such behavior belongs to the old me, and that person is dead. I am a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), and I have divine power at my disposal to help me make God-honoring choices.
Sanctification is through the Spirit, not the law.
In Galatians 5:16-25, the apostle Paul declares: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lust against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that you cannot do the things that you would. But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” His appeal was, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
We must not try to rationalized our immorality
You here people say: “I just can’t help my behavior. Have those words crossed your mind?” The truth is, we can help ourselves through Christ, but all too often, we do not want to change. How many times do we let our desires get out of control and then, in a moment of temptation, we simply do not want to obey God? We tend to focus only on our needs and desires being met, and we unfortunately ignore what the consequences of our actions might be.
To live a moral life in an immoral society, we are to consider all our ungodly desires as dead—just as we are to regard ourselves as dead to ungodly acts. Jesus has broken the power of sin in our lives, and He set us free from slavery to our sin.
Perhaps you are thinking, I am not going to cross the line into immorality, or I don’t have temptations in those areas. God warns us that if we think we are standing firm, we should be careful lest we fall! (1 Cor. 10:12)