1 Corinthians 10
Old Testament Examples
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us [a]tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now [b]all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our [c]admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to [d]bear it.
Here are six reasons why we should not commit immorality.
- Six reasons.
- I’m sure there are more.
- Many more.
- But here are six to consider.
- You do incredible damage to your spouse if you are married.
As Paul wrote, you have violated your oneness with your mate by entering into this bond with another person.
- You can call it a one night fling.
- You can say to your husband or wife, “It didn’t mean anything. I really love you.”
- But the truth of the matter is is in a sense you have become one with that person that you had relations with and you have violated the oneness that you had with your spouse.
- This is why Jesus, by the way, did give a release clause out of the marriage for immorality.
- Please understand that if there has been immorality you should NOT dissolve the marriage.
- I think you should do everything you can to keep the marriage together.
- In fact, I think we all should do whatever we can no matter how hard it is to keep our marriages together.
But still you damage your spouse.
- And in many cases it’s not just the act of adultery but it is the habitual deception and lying that has gone on that has devastating.
- It’s not only having your wife or your husband find out you have been unfaithful but you have been doing it for a prolonged period of time and you have been living a lie.
I heard of a man that had been unfaithful to his wife for seven years.
- His wife was so devastated.
- Not just because of the sin that he had committed.
- But because he had been lying to her for seven years.
- You do incredible damage to yourself.
You have been in a backslidden state to be engaged in this sin.
- And you have been rationalizing it for so long you have probably gotten which way is up.
- The enemy will no doubt attempt to continue to attack you in this area because you have crossed the line that can never be uncrossed.
- You say, “Won’t God forgive me.” Yes.
- But others won’t forgive you so quickly.
And radical measures must be taken to prevent this from happening again.
- For it is a lot easier to fall into this sin a second time than it was the first.
- You say, “I will just terminate my marriage and marry the person I was involved with.”
- But then you go into that new relationship with a very lousy foundation.
- Not only is it unbiblical and sinful, but how are you going to trust that person?
- And how can they trust you?
- Because she is going to think, “Why will he be faithful to me when he was unfaithful to the very wife that he left for me.
- So the whole relationship is built on distrust.
And you probably know that second marriages are twice as likely to fail as first marriages.
- And third marriages fail more often than second ones do.
- And the odds just go up.
- You do incredible damage to your children.
I underline this one.
- If you are a man, your position as the spiritual leader in the home is undermined by your own hand.
- The trust of your children is eroded as it is with your spouse.
- And it will take years to regain.
- And they may in turn even repeat your sin such as it happened in the life of David.
I heard about a young teenage girl who went out and was sexually involved.
- Her parents sat her down and said, “Honey, we taught you not to do this. Why did you do it?”
- She said, “Well, Dad did it.”
- And it was true.
- Dad had just been involved in an adulterous relationship.
- What kind of example is that?
- And in a sense you almost make it easier for your children.
- You damage the church.
The scripture teaches when one men suffers we all suffer.
- But then when a leader falls we are all hurt aren’t we?
- We may have never met the person.
- We know very little about them.
- But because they’re a follower of Christ and they are a leader, when they fall we all take a hit.
- The church takes a hit.
It was for this very reason that Paul exhorted the believers in Corinth to remove an immoral man from their midst because he said, “A little leaven leavens the lump.”
- Though you may not have been exposed in your sin yet but you are practicing it, you are weakening the church.
- You are hurting all of us by what you do.
- You do great damage to the witness and cause of Christ.
It hurts the cause of Christ.
- It hurts your witness.
- Because maybe at your workplace you have told you friends, “I’m a Christian.”
- You have the Christian bumper sticker on the car.
- You bring the Bible to work.
- And they all find out.
- And now they have something to hang their doubts on.
- “Oh yeah. What about this guy over here.”
- “He says he is a Christian. He was in this adultery. I saw him out to lunch with this girl. That’s not his wife. What about him?”
- It hurts the cause of Christ.
- It hurts your witness.
- You lose your integrity.
You get one shot at integrity.
- Then you can lose it for a lifetime.
- You will be forgiven but will you regain integrity.
But remember after David sinned Nathan said to him, “Because of this you have given the enemies of God reason to blaspheme.”
- You have given ammunition to the enemy to use against the church.
Now let’s review them quickly.
You sin against your spouse.
2. You sin against yourself.
3. You damage your children.
4. You damage the church.
5. You damage the cause of Christ.
6 and lastly. You sin against the Lord.
This should be the primary reason that we want to avoid sin.
- But sadly it’s probably the last thing that some people even consider.
- You sin against the Lord.
Joseph’s motive was correct when Potiphar’s wife tried to entrap him sexually.
- He responded by saying, “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
- He had it right.
- I don’t want to sin against God.
That’s the highest motive.
- I love God and I don’t want to do anything that would displease Him.
- All of these other things I have mentioned are important and they should be strong reinforcements but the primary motive should be your love for God and your hatred of sin.
- But remember it was when David drifted from that intimacy with the Lord that he became more vulnerable to sin’s enticements.
Let me conclude now with four things that we can do.
- Four steps that we can take to build our resistance to this are of attack.
- Walk with God.
If an individual is really doing this, it will give him or her, like Joseph, the power, will and resources to stand when temptation comes knocking.
- Walk with God.
- Develop and cultivate intimacy and fellowship with Him.
- It’s the greatest deterrent of all.
- A relationship with Jesus is the key.
- Get back to the basics:
- Read your Bible every day
- Pray every day
- Attend church 2X per week
- Share your faith
- Serve with your time, talent and finances to the Kingdom of God
- This is Christianity kindergarten.
- Walk with your spouse if you are married.
By that I mean keep the friendship and romance alive in your marriage.
You say, “Oh the romance has left.”
- As though it is some mystical thing that just hovers around.
- That’s how some people do envision love.
- “We have lost the love in our marriage. But now I have found it with this guy or this girl.”
- “I lost it there. But it’s gone over here.”
- This is such foolishness.
You want romance in your marriage?
- Then take practical steps.
- It’s like if a fire is going down, throw another log on. It will help.
- “We’re losing the fire in our marriage.”
- Well keep it alive.
- Take practical steps.
“It’s too late for us.”
- What did you do when you first started courting?
- You took your wife out to dinner.
- You treated her nicely.
- You told her how attractive she was.
You told him how much you loved him.
- How much you appreciate him.
- You tried to be attractive to them.
- You kept a romance alive.
- You talked together.
- You spent time together.
Now ask yourself the question, “Are you doing that today?”
- If you are not, I’m sure the romance is leaving your marriage.
- If you are, I think the romance is still there.
- Romance is something that you keep alive by taking practical steps.
- Call your husband or wife through the day.
Pick up the phone.
- You don’t have to talk to them for an hour.
- Tell them you love them.
- You appreciate them.
- Tell them what is going on.
- Keep the friendship going.
- These are simple steps that we must take on a daily basis.
- Just as we commune with God we commune with our husband or our wife.
- Efforts that we take.
- Don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
Psalm 1 tells us that.
- Avoid at all costs friendships and relationships that are flirty.
- You know what I mean.
Don’t tell me that you have a friendship with someone of the opposite sex but there is nothing to it.
- They just understand you.
- I’m so sick of that.
“I mean there is nothing to it. I love my wife but this girl she just really understands me.”
- What are you talking to her about?
- Your marital problems?
You are on the road to adultery.
- Snap out of it.
- It’s not a good relationship.
- Find some guys you can talk with and they can smack you around a little bit.
- Say, “Shut up. What an idiot. You think that?”
Not with some member of the opposite sex.
- Avoid things like that.
- I have seen so many people fall into this trap.
They don’t say, “Tomorrow I think I will commit adultery.”
- But they get into these relationships and the friendship and the closeness that they had with their spouse they transfer to this other person.
- Then one thing leads to another.
- So don’t even let one thing lead to anything.
- Count the cost.
Count the cost.
- Be prepared.
- It’s going to be tough.
- You are going to pay big time.
- Is it worth it?
- A few moments of guilty pleasure.
- You may reap it for the rest of your life.
- Is that what you want?
- Throw the brakes on.
You say, “Pastor, I have already crossed this line.”
- Well then repent.
- Turn to God and ask for His forgiveness and stop it now.
- Don’t go another day in this relationship.
- Turn to the Lord and He will work in your life.
- Thank God that He can forgive.
- Thank God that He can restore marriages that have taken this difficult hit.
- Thank God that He can put things back together.
- But you have to move quickly back to Him and ask for His forgiveness.
- Count the cost.
An intense love for God and for your husband or wife will see you through the rough waters of sexual temptation.
- I don’t have a magic formula for you today where if you just pray this one prayer you will never be tempted again.
- No. It’s a daily battle.
- It’s a daily walk as everything is in the Christian life.
- But I will say this.
- The moment you stop lowering your guard you become an easy target.
Those that are moving forward in Christ, that are growing in their love for the Lord and they are moving forward in their marriages and the romance is alive, they are not nearly as easy of a target as a relationship where it is falling apart and a person who has begun to relax his grip on the Lord Himself.