What does the Bible teach about sexual immorality?
This is a very uncomfortable subject that many people try to avoid talking about, but as you will see, the Bible is not silent about it.
I want to begin this important topic with the decision that the Jerusalem Council made concerning Gentile converts who were just turning to faith in God. The purpose of the council was to discuss what is required for new Gentile converts to be saved. We know this is the purpose because of what is said in the first two verses of Acts 15.
“And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’ Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question…”
– Acts 15:1-2
They met to discuss the requirements for salvation, and specifically if circumcision is required to be saved. Now, listen to their response to this important question.
“Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
– Acts 15:19-21
They determined that circumcision was not a requirement for salvation, but they listed some vital and immediate changes that must be made in the lives of those who want to be saved. We understand this list as the first things one must do after turning to faith in God. This list contains some things that were a major part of pagan worship including idolatry, sexual immorality, things strangled, and blood. All of these sins were practiced by the pagans in their worship of other gods, and the apostles agreed that these things are to be immediately removed from the life of new believers. I am not going to go into detail on all of these things in this teaching, but I do want to focus on sexual immorality.
The word that is translated “sexual immorality” is the Greek word “porneia”, which means “fornication, idolatry, whoredom, or unchastity”, and it is connected with prostitution and the worship of fertility gods. It is a word that is used to describe all manner of sexual sins.
Again, the disciples were saying that new converts must immediately stop their sexual immorality when they are turning to faith in God. However, today there are large numbers of people who claim to be believers but admit to looking at pornography on a regular basis, homosexuality is being welcomed into the churches as acceptable behavior, and the majority of women and young girls in the church are dressed in sexually seductive clothing. I am sure you would agree that this topic still has relevance today. If anyone is still practicing sexual immorality, that person has not even passed the first stage in being a follower of Yeshua.
Let me make this clear up front, that any believer who is still practicing sexual immorality has not even passed the first stage of what it means to be a follower of Yeshua. This should have been one of the very first things you removed from your life when you decided to turn to God. If you are living with sexual immorality in your life, you are living like those who do not know God. You are not being set apart, you are not living a holy life, you are living in sin.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God”
– 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
We are called to be set apart from the world and that applies especially to the area of sexuality.
This is a very serious issue, and far too many people have been treating it like it doesn’t matter. They act like they will not be judged for their sin. However, the Bible says that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh… Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
– Galatians 5:16-21
I have heard Sabbath keepers rebuke and ridicule Sunday Christians for not keeping the Sabbath, all the while those same people are continuing to live with sexual sin in their own lives. You hypocrites! It doesn’t matter how well you keep the Sabbath if you can’t keep from defiling yourself in sexual immorality. If you can’t control your own lust, you are no different than the pagans.
Not only should we abstain from any acts of sexual immorality, but we must not even talk about such things, not even in joking. Crude and filthy humor is not acceptable for those who follow Yeshua. This is because the things that come out of our mouth defile us (Matthew 15:18)
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell... It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.”
“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”
– Ephesians 5:3-8
Talking about sexual things, even as a joke, is no different than practicing them because in doing so you are filling your mind with filthy thoughts. We are not to have dirty minds, we are supposed to have “the mind of Christ”. The greatest commandment is that you “love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” If we are filling our mind with filthy thoughts, then we are not loving Him with all of our mind.
Do you realize that having a corrupt and debased mind is a punishment for not retaining the knowledge of God?
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness… because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened… Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness… who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
– Romans 1:18-32
Having a corrupt mind is a judgment against us for our sins. This corrupt mind causes us to do all sorts of evil sexual perversions and even causes us to approve of others who practice such things. That is why so many churches are now beginning to preach that homosexuality is welcome in the church. They are even ordaining homosexual pastors and leaders. This shows us that God is judging His people and removing His Holy Spirit from them when they allow such immorality to be openly welcomed in the assembly.
Wake up! It is time to repent! Stop practicing sexual immorality, stop thinking filthy thoughts, stop living in sexual sin! Wake up and repent!
The book of Revelation begins with some stern warnings to the congregation of believers about their sexual sin. It mentions the “doctrine of Balaam” and the seduction of Jezebel that are leading believers into sexual immorality.
“But I have a few things against you because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.”
– Revelation 2:14
We can learn a lot about the attack of the enemy from the story of Balaam and Balak. Balaam was hired by Balak to curse Israel, and though he tried three times, he was unable to curse them. However, he gave advice to Balak about how to destroy Israel. He told Balak that all he needed to do to defeat Israel was to send women to seduce Israel and cause them to sin against God, and that is exactly what happened.
“Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.”
– Numbers 31:16
The warning in Revelation tells us that this is still the strategy of the enemy. He is not able to curse believers but he continues to send women to seduce God’s people and lead them into sexual immorality. Knowing the strategy of the enemy is helpful because we can be on guard against his attacks. Balaam understood that sexual immorality was the fastest way to corrupt God’s people. No other sin entangles believers as quickly or as easily as sexual sin, and none are more destructive.
It is obvious that this is the primary agenda of the enemy today. Just look at what is portrayed in the media. Every magazine cover in the grocery store contains sexuality and perversion, every movie that comes out of Hollywood contains some form of sexual immorality, the music that is played on the radio and the tv shows that air each week are full of sensuality, and even the advertising agencies use sex to sell their products.
We live in a culture where sexuality is expressed everywhere, especially in clothing and fashion. We see nearly naked bodies everywhere we go. In modern society, it is popular and trendy to look sexy and show off your body. You can go almost anywhere public and find women in bikinis, tight fitting clothes, and clothes that are extremely sensual by design. Women have been told that they need to dress sexy and act sensual at all times, but if a woman dressed or acted like that 100 years go she would have been labeled a harlot.
But it’s not just women outside of the assembly that act this way, you can find women in congregations all over the world dressing and acting just as sensually as those outside. This type of behavior is unacceptable for God’s holy people. Those women are no better than the woman named Jezebel mentioned in Revelation.
“Nevertheless I have a few things against you because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.”
– Revelation 2:20-23
In order to avoid being like Jezebel, modesty is necessary to cover your nakedness and to avoid creating a stumbling block for your brothers. A woman’s body was created in a beautiful manner, to be attractive to men, but not to be used as a tool or a weapon. Your body should be kept as a mystery that is only revealed to your husband. The World wants women to be the sexual centerpiece in a room, but that is not how it should be in our Father’s house.
I am sure that most people don’t think their own clothing is immodest. In fact, we see a similar situation with Adam and Eve. After they sinned, they realized they were naked and so they made loincloths to cover themselves.
“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
– Genesis 3:7
The Hebrew word used there is חגרת (hagorot) and refers to a “loincloth, apron, girdle, or belt”. Now listen to the way that God covered their nakedness.
“Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.”
– Genesis 3:21
The Hebrew word used here is כתנות (keth-o’-neth), which means “coat, tunic, robe, or garment”. Adam and Eve thought they were covering their nakedness with their loincloth, and many people today feel the same way about their bikinis and short-shorts because they are covering their genitals. However, God has a higher standard of holiness, and He replaced their loincloths with robes to cover their nakedness.
Adam and Eve thought they were covering their nakedness with their loincloth, and many people today feel the same way about their bikinis and short-shorts because they are covering their genitals. However, God has a higher standard of holiness, and He replaced their loincloths with robes to cover their nakedness.
Robes and tunics typically cover from the shoulders to the knees and often extend down past the knees. According to Jewish tradition, modest clothing covers from the elbows to the knees, and also covers the collar bone around the neck. With this definition, you can wear shorts and a t-shirt and still be modest, if your shorts extend to your knees. Notice that this is also the same portions of the body that a tunic or robe would cover as well.
However, the length of clothing is not the only issue with modesty. The purpose in modest clothing is to hide your figure from others. If you wear tight fitting clothes that reveal the curves of your body, then you are not being modest, even if that clothing covers the appropriate areas. For example, yoga pants and spandex reveal the exact shape of your body and leave little to the imagination.
Have you ever considered that what you wear might be causing someone else to sin? How does your clothing affect those teenage boys who are already struggling with their hormones? If you are dressing or acting like a seductress then you will be held accountable for causing them to sin.
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for them if a millstone were hung around their neck, and they were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
– Matthew 18:6
You do not want to be a stumbling block to others causing them to sin, do you?
Yeshua said that if a man looks lustfully at a woman, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If men are held accountable for their lustful thoughts, don’t you think women will likewise be held accountable for their sensual actions? If a woman is dressing in a sexually immoral way, then she is an adulteress dressing to seduce men into sin. The book of Proverbs gives a number of warnings to men about immoral women who seek to seduce them into adultery.
“For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?”
– Proverbs 5:20
“For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil”
– Proverbs 5:3
“That they may keep you from the immoral woman, From the seductress who flatters with her words.”
– Proverbs 7:5
“And there a woman met him, With the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart.”
– Proverbs 7:10
I am not saying that women need to be completely covered from head to toe like the Muslim women, hiding everything but their eyes. God created women to be beautiful and that beauty should not be hidden behind a mask. Women can dress modestly and still be beautiful. The problem is when women dress and act sensually, showing too much skin, wearing clothes that are too tight, or clothes that draw attention to her body.
Women need to stop trying to lure men’s gaze toward their body and start trying to please the Father with their modesty and holiness. Believing women should not dress like the sinful women of the world. You are called to be set apart and holy. When you get dressed and you look at yourself in the mirror you need to ask yourself, “Does God approve of the way I look today?” Because when you start seeking to please God with the way you dress, then getting dressed becomes an act of worship.
The world wants women to believe that their value is found in their sexuality, but the truth is that your identity and worth is not wrapped up in your ability to seduce men. Your worth is found in your holiness and good deeds. A godly woman will want a man to appreciate her for her godliness, not her sensuality.
“in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”
– 1 Timothy 2:9-10
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”
– 1 Peter 3:3-4
Sensual clothing reveals the woman’s flesh, while modest clothing reveals the inward beauty and character of a woman.
On the other hand, some women have rejected women’s apparel altogether and began to wear men’s clothing instead. Women who do this are not being seductive, but this is a different form of sexually immoral behavior because it causes a blurring of gender lines. There should always be a clear distinction between the clothing that men and women wear.
“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.”
– Deuteronomy 22:5
A woman’s clothing should set her apart from men. Your clothing should not cause people to wonder if you are a man or a woman. We are called to be holy in everything we do, even in the clothing we wear. Our attire should give glory to God, and should never promote sin or sensuality. Not only should clothing set women apart from men, but it should set the godly people apart from the ungodly.
On a similar note, women often ask me about the commandment to wear tzit-tzit on their clothing, and if that commandment applies to women or just men. I am convinced that both men and women need to follow this commandment because it was given to us as a reminder that we are holy people and we are not to follow the harlotry of the world.
“Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God.”
– Numbers 15:38-40
We are called to holiness. We need to act holy, dress holy and have holy thoughts. The world corrupts all of these things with sexuality, but we are called to be set apart from the world.
Sexual immorality takes place in the brain first before it ever manifests in the body. This is because our mind is the control center for all of our actions, emotions, and convictions. It contains our passions as well as our willpower. This is why it is so important that we guard our mind against immoral thoughts. The two main parts of the brain are the prefrontal cortex (which is responsible for logic, reason, and willpower), and the limbic system (which is responsible for emotions, passions, and self-preservation).
The two main parts of the brain are the prefrontal cortex (which is responsible for logic, reason, and willpower), and the limbic system (which is responsible for emotions, passions, and self-preservation).
There have been some very interesting studies about the different states of the brain and what happens when exposed to certain stimuli. The two primary brain states when awake are called alpha and beta. Beta mode is when the brain is most active and the prefrontal cortex is engaged in active thought. Alpha mode is when you are awake but the prefrontal cortex is turned off, which produces a relaxed and easily suggestible trance-like state. The goal of a hypnotist is to get someone to enter alpha mode, because when their prefrontal cortex is turned off they are more open to suggestion.
It is important to point out that tv, movies, and music are very good at getting your mind to enter alpha mode. This means that when you watch tv or listen to music, you are in a state of mind that is most susceptible to suggestion, when your logic and willpower is shut down.
Your brain also contains “mirror neurons”. A mirror neuron fires both when you act and when you observe the same action performed by someone else. Thus, the neuron “mirrors” the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. For example, when you watch a tense and stressful movie your body tenses up. Your brain is responding in the same way it would if you were the one doing the action. Likewise, when you watch a sex scene in a movie, your brain is responding as if you were the one doing the act you are watching. I believe this might be what Yeshua was talking about when He said,
“whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
– Matthew 5:28
This is why it is so important that we guard our mind against such things. The enemy is constantly looking for ways to expose us to sexually immoral thoughts because he knows the battle is won or lost in your mind. Remember the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling-block before the children of Israel. Now, with the help of technology, Balak doesn’t even need to send real women to seduce you anymore, he just needs to get you to watch a movie or tv show about it.
This is why we need to guard our eyes against such things. Listen to what Job said about keeping his eyes from lust.
“I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?”
– Job 31:1
Lust is a very serious issue, and Yeshua teaches us to deal seriously with our own sin, because if we don’t God will.
“If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Gehenna.”
– Matthew 5:29
If lust is adultery then we should guard our eyes from every hint of sexual immorality, to protect ourselves from lust.
Some people think pornography is only in adult bookstores and triple x movies, and they don’t realize that pornography exists in the tv shows, movies, books, magazines, and music that they consume every day. Anything that talks about sex, shows seductive women, alludes to sex acts, or causes your mind to think immoral thoughts is sin. It is improper for God’s holy people to think about such things.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”
– Philippians 4:8
We should be constantly filling our minds with pure and holy things, not the sexually immoral filth that is portrayed in worldly entertainment.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
– 1 John 2:15-17
Don’t you know that when you fill your mind with carnal thoughts, you make yourself an enemy to God?
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”
– Romans 8:7
When we fill our mind with immoral filth and do not keep God first in our thoughts, then our mind becomes corrupt and we are filled with all sorts of unrighteousness.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness… who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
– Romans 1:28-32
Notice that the evidence of a debased mind is that not only do you do these things, but you “also approve of those who practice them.” This is known as desensitization, when you no longer display a negative reaction to an adverse stimulus after repeated exposure to it. In other words, you are no longer upset by sexual immorality because you see it all the time. In fact, you have started to enjoy watching it now. If you take pleasure in entertainment that glorifies sexually immoral behavior, then you are desensitized to it and are already being given over to a debased mind. We should be offended by such filth, not entertained by it.
This is why we need to renew our mind. We need to clean out the garbage that we have been putting in our mind and replace it with righteous and holy thoughts. We are called to be set-apart people, circumcised in our heart, who do not conform to the ways of the world.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
– Romans 12:2
We have been called out of this world, and we cannot conform to it any longer. This world is not our friend, and it has nothing to offer us but sin and suffering. The sooner we realize that, the better.
Finding freedom from sexual immorality is a challenge that people often struggle with. Some go to counseling, some try 12 step programs, some find accountability partners, and some even try hypnosis, but what does the Bible have to say about finding freedom from sexual sin? Instead of turning to psychology, we need to look to the Word of God for answers.
The first thing we need to do is realize how wicked our sin is. We have already discussed the fact that sexual immorality is one of the first things a believer must remove from their life, and we also looked at a number of Scripture verses that tell us that no sexually immoral person will enter the Kingdom of God. These two facts alone should cause us to see how deadly this sin truly is. We also discussed how Balaam told Balak to send women to seduce Israel away from God, and what lust and looking at pornography does to your brain. However, if those things haven’t already caused you to realize just how awful this sin is, then listen to what Paul writes about sexual sin.
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God… Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body… Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!… Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
– 1 Corinthians 6:9-20
When we sin sexually, we sin against our own body and thus defile the Temple of the Holy Spirit. We are therefore committing an abomination in the Temple of God. Once we realize just how terrible our sin is, the natural response is to fear God because we have defiled His Temple. This is vital because having a proper fear of the LORD will keep us from sinning anymore.
“But the Lord your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
– 2 Kings 17:39
“He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.”
– Psalm 145:19
“Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.”
– Psalm 85:9
“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
– Philippians 2:12-13
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
– 2 Corinthians 7:1
Did you notice that in all of these verses it is the fear of God that leads us to salvation? We need the fear of God in our life to save us from our sin. Those who fear Him will walk in obedience to His Word, but those who do not fear will be destroyed for their wickedness.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.”
– Matthew 10:28
Why should we fear God? Because He judges the wicked for their sins. The Bible tells us about God’s righteous judgment, and how the wicked will receive punishment. It also gives us examples of those who have already experienced such judgment for their immorality.
“as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
– Jude 1:7
“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to tartarus and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked… then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness… But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed… and will receive the wages of unrighteousness… having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls… They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness”
– 2 Peter 2:4-15
The fear of God convicts us of sin and causes us to be sorry for what we have done, and godly sorrow leads to repentance.
“Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner… For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation…”
– 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
We must repent of our sin and flee from all forms of sexual immorality. Flee from sin like it is a wild beast trying to consume you. Flee for your life, because sexual sin will destroy you.
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”
– 1 Corinthians 6:18
Turn to God and ask that He would grant you repentance so that you can come to your senses and finally escape the sin you are in bondage to.
“if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
– 2 Timothy 2:25-26
Repentance is more than asking for forgiveness, it is the act of turning away from sin and turning toward God.
“But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live… But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die… Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?”
– Ezekiel 18:21-31
To repent means to regret what you have done and to change your mind, and most importantly, it means to stop sinning. This change of mind is vital, especially when we understand what lust does to our brain.
The reason sexual sin is so difficult to get free from is because it acts like a drug addiction in our brain. When we see or do something that is sexually stimulating, dopamine and various other chemicals and hormones are released into our brain causing intense pleasure. This causes an instant addiction to whatever we are being stimulated by. This addiction is a good thing if we are only being stimulated by our husband or wife because it deepens the bonds between us. However, it is a huge problem when that stimulation comes from someone or something other than our spouse. That is why we must renew our mind, and cleanse it from all unrighteousness.
“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness… put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
– Ephesians 4:17-24
It is necessary that we renew our mind because the carnal mind is an enemy of God.
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”
– Romans 8:7
We cannot claim to know God if we are still walking in sin. Those who abide in Yeshua no longer walk in the lust of the flesh, because we have been set free from sin. In fact, the Bible says that if we continue walking in sin we are children of the devil, not children of God.
“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.”
– 1 John 3:4-10
When we have a renewed mind we no longer walk in sin, and that is when we are able to know the will of God and do what pleases Him.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
– Romans 12:2
So, how do we renew our mind? First, we need to remove all of the garbage that we have been putting in our head. Cut off every source of sexual immorality that you can. For example, stop watching tv and movies that contain sexual material and stop listening to music and reading books or magazines that contain such things. How can you have a clean mind if you are constantly filling it with immoral thoughts?
The next thing you need to do is start filling your mind with the Word of God. Meditate on God’s Word day and night, let it consume your thoughts. Stop filling your mind with earthly things, and keep your focus on Yeshua and the things that will please Him.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God… Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.”
– Colossians 3:2-7
We are told to meditate on the Scriptures day and night so that we will live according to what it says.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
– Joshua 1:8
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.”
– Philippians 4:8
To have a renewed mind, we must cleanse our mind with the Word of God. We are sanctified by washing our mind in the water of His Word.
“that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
– Ephesians 5:26-27
If you want to defeat sin, then you must starve your flesh and feed your spirit. Starving your flesh requires fasting from the things that feed your flesh. Therefore, I challenge you to stop watching tv and movies that feed the flesh, stop listening to music that does not glorify God, and stop reading books or magazines that do not honor God. And as you fast from these things, fill your mind with the Word of God. When you fear God, repent, and cleanse your mind you will find freedom from sexual sin.
I hope this teaching has opened your eyes to the serious nature of sexual immorality, and I pray that it will help you break free from the bondage of sexual sin in your own life.