July 22, 2018
Genesis 39:6-10, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I want you to imagine for a second that you are living back in your parents’ house. You going out with your friends one night, but before you leave, your parents tell you that your curfew is 11:00 pm. Instead of listening, you’re having too much fun. So you stay out until midnight. When you get back, your parents are still up waiting for you. How do you think they’d react if you said, “I just didn’t feel like coming home then.” How would you as parents respond to your child if that’s what they told you? Maybe something like, “Well, that wasn’t a suggestion. You don’t get to decide the rules. We do.” That makes sense, right? Their house, their rules. And if we are honest, we know that those rules were there to keep us safe and were for our good. They were out of love for us that our parents put those rules in place. And there was no treating them like suggestions.
Too often we treat God’s commandments as suggestions and don’t take them seriously. I think that’s especially true when it comes to the 6th commandment. God says, “You shall not commit adultery.” It’s not a suggestion. It’s a command. It’s a command that comes from a heart of love as God protects his gift of sex.
I’m not going to lie to you, this one is going to challenge us a bit. So, to begin, let’s start at the beginning. The Bible says in the beginning God created everything including the first human being: Adam. Soon Adam realized that he was the only human, so God, in chapter 2, created a woman named Eve. That was the very first marriage to ever take place. It was there in the perfect world, before any sin had ever taken place, that marriage was instituted. And on that day God said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” It is in the confines of marriage that God gives the gift of sex because sex joins you together and makes you one.
You turn the chapter to chapter three and there Adam and Eve fall into sin. They disobey God and through their disobedience all kinds of perversions enter the world. Including perversions against God’s gift of sex that is supposed to join a husband and wife together as one. These perversions have been happening since then, and here we are today. Does our society see sex as something to be enjoyed between a husband and wife and that’s it? Check out these statistics.
- Nearly half of teens have had sex by 19.
- Living together before marriage has increased by 900% in the last 50 years.
- Teens and young adults in this survey said it is more immoral to not recycle than to look at porn.
- 62% of teens and young adults have received a sexually explicit image and 41% admitted to sending one.
Thing is we don’t have to go outside our walls to see this mindset taking place do we? We struggle with this. Sex is in our face everywhere we turn and in everything we watch that we have become calloused to it and even we don’t feel like it is something that is for just a husband and a wife. We feel that lusting after a coworker is no big deal. We feel that you can flirt as long as you don’t touch. Some of us feel that sex is okay as long as it’s between to consenting adults or as long as it’s within a committed relationship. Some of us feel that it doesn’t have to be just between a man and woman. But the reality is feelings aren’t facts. Just because we don’t feel like these are sins doesn’t mean they are not. In fact, all of those break the 6th commandment.
Here’s what we need to understand. Ready? God wants you to have sex. He wants you to enjoy sex. But he wants you to enjoy this gift of sex in the way that he intended it to be enjoyed. And just like every commandment, this commandment is given out of love. It is to protect us physically and emotionally. It’s to protect our spouse and our relationship with him or her. It’s protecting people from becoming objects just to please me.
The fact is, we aren’t our own to do what we want. Maybe you’ve heard someone say, “My body is mine to do what I want with.” That should make us cringe a little bit because the Bible, God’s Word, tells us something dramatically different. In fact, the Bible says that we are not our own to do whatever we want and to sleep with whomever we want. This is what Joseph knew.
Joseph was a young man who lived around 1950bc. He was the second youngest of his eleven brothers. He was also dad’s favorite. One day his dad gave Joseph a beautiful robe, clearly showing favoritism and the brothers became bitter. One day they were out in the field, they sold Joseph to some slave traders who took him down to Egypt. These slave traders sold Joseph to a man with the title of Potiphar. He was an official under Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
He was a hardworking man, and a trustworthy man. Soon, Potiphar put everything under his care. Everything that Joseph did, the Lord blessed. So with Joseph in charge, Potiphar concerned himself with nothing other than what he’d be eating that day. Since Potiphar had no daily duties in the household, he was often away. The Bible also tells us that Joseph was well built and handsome. Mix those two things together, and pretty soon Mrs. Potiphar was taking notice of Joseph. Here’s what happened.
6 So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”
8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
When Mrs. Potiphar got married to Potiphar, I doubt she had planned to commit adultery. But soon she was lusting after someone not her husband. And finally that lust planted so deeply into her heart that she wanted to act. And she tries to get Joseph to sleep with her.
And Joseph turns her down. Here’s the amazing part though. What would you expect him to say? “How would I do such a wicked thing and sin against Potiphar!” But he doesn’t. He says, “How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God.” Here’s what Joseph knew.
We belong to God.
Potiphar was a prominent man. I’m sure his wife was gorgeous. I’m also sure that they could have committed adultery and no one would have known. But Joseph knew he wasn’t his own. Joseph knew that he wasn’t his own to do whatever he wanted. He knew that he belonged to God and had to answer to him. He knew that the only reason his life was blessed was because God was with him, and he was God’s. Joseph knew that if he would have given in, he ultimately would have said, “God, my desires are greater and more important than your desires. My feelings matter more than your feelings and so I’m going to selfishly give in to those feelings.” And that’s really behind every sexual sin right? Selfishness.
Whether it be living together and having sex before marriage, snapchatting someone something you shouldn’t, messing up someone else’s marriage, day dreaming about sexual fulfillment from someone other than your spouse, doing things on dates you know you shouldn’t, getting into pornography, at the core of it all is selfishness.
God says, “Honor sex inside the confines of marriage. This is where and how this gift should be used and enjoyed. And when we fall into sexual sins outside of that marriage bond, its because we say to God, “I don’t really feel like doing it your way. I feel right now, in this situation, that I want to give into my passions and pleasures. So that’s what I’m going to do.” And we ultimately sin against God because of selfishness. We are not our own. We belong to God. Joseph knew this. He also knew that…
We belong to others.
Joseph knew that he wasn’t his own. Not only did he belong to God but he belonged to Potiphar. Potiphar had trusted him with everything in his household. He withheld nothing from him except for Potiphar’s wife. She belonged to Potiphar and in a different way, Joseph belonged to Potiphar. It was Joseph’s duty to protect that marriage relationship if Potiphar’s wife wasn’t going to.
If you are here today and you are married, here’s the truth, you are not your own. You belong to your spouse. You are one flesh with them. When you begin to wander from your marriage and look lustfully at a woman, or when you start to make an emotional connection with another man that’s not your husband, you are beginning to split that one flesh into two.
Single people! This commandment still applies to you. First, you are not your own, you belong to your future spouse. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how young you are, every single-person has the opportunity to get married, and you belong to your future spouse. Remember, God says that in sex you become one. You stick together emotionally. Here’s why this is such a big deal.
Imagine that I have a piece of duct tape here. I stick it to my shirt. I pull it off and stick it to my pants. I pull that off and stick it to this piece of paper. Every time I peel that tape off, what happens? It gets less and less sticky. The same is true with premarital adultery. Each time you do that you get less and less sticky. When you finally do marry, it’ll be harder to stick emotionally with your spouse. You belong to your future spouse.
Not only that, but as single people, you are to respect the marriage of other people. Ladies, that means don’t dress to get a married guys attention. Men, don’t get emotionally involved with a married woman. Instead uphold the gift of marriage. Protect the gift of marriage and sex because they aren’t their own just like you aren’t your own. They belong to God and to their spouse just like you.
This is a very convicting commandment. If you are sitting here feeling guilty and shame over your past actions, words, or thoughts there is something I want you to know. You are not your own. You were bought at a price. Here’s what God says through Paul.
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
You were bought at a price.
You are not your own. You are God’s not just because he created you, but because he purchased you. He bought you from the slavery of sin. God knew before the creation of the world all of the times you’d fall into sexual sins. He knew how you’d struggle. He knew the price to have you as his own would be to give up his own life. He knew how many sins you’d have. And od you know what he said? “I’m willing to pay the price to free you. To make you my own.” And that’s what he did. He paid for all your sins when Jesus shed his holy and precious blood on the cross. There, your guilt was paid for. There, your shame was taken away. There, you were purchased and won from all sin and from the power of the death.
And as amazing as all that is, there’s something even more amazing. I wonder if you caught it. God says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit whom you have received from God?” Not only has Jesus purchased you, but God says, “I want to live in you now.” You are his temple that he bought with Jesus’ own blood. Who would ever think that someone like me, someone like you, with the struggles we have, with the sins we’ve fallen into could ever come near to God? But God says, “Not only can you come near me, but I’m going to come and live inside of you.” All because of Jesus and what he did at the cross. All because he purchased us with the price of his own blood.
Now, we want to honor God with our bodies just like Joseph did. God, through Jesus, has purchased and saved us from eternal destruction. What a joy it is to serve him.
So here’s what I hope and pray. I pray that if you’re struggling with this commandment, come and talk to me. I won’t make you feel guilty. I won’t shame you. But I want to help you through it. If you have been hurt sexually in your past, don’t keep it a secret. Come talk to me privately and I’ll help you through it. If you struggle with porn, we’ve got several resources to help with that addiction.
We’re all in this together because the truth is, none of us are our own. We were all bought at a price. That wonderful price of Jesus’ blood. That’s how much God was willing to pay for you and me to save us, to have us as his own. We want nothing more than to honor him with our bodies and protect the gift that he has given us. So, with our guilt, shame, and fear gone, because of Jesus, let’s honor God this week.
1. What from the sermon piqued your interest or impacted you the most?
2. What statistic surprised you the most from the beginning of the sermon?
3. Out of all the sins, sexual sins may be the hardest to open up about. Why do you think that is? How can we foster a culture where we can make people feel safe to open up about their sexual sins/struggles?
4. God, through Paul, says that we are not our own, we were bought at a price. (1 Corinthians 6). In what ways does this challenge you? In what ways does this help you fight against sexual sins?
5. Read 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. God, through Paul, gives us several reasons to flee from sexual immorality. Which one of these stands out to you the most and will help you keep the sixth commandment?
6. What can we pray for?