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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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THE LIBERTINE

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18 ESV)

A libertine is described (especially from the 17th century on) as a person with an immoral lifestyle who is primarily interested in sexual pleasure. (see Merriam-Webster) This definition was once considered to apply chiefly to men, but in our lifetime, it is equally applicable to women. Today’s culture glorifies the libertine as a hero. Sexual sins have become man’s declaration of independence from God.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust …; (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 ESV)

The libertine defines love as “I want something you have.” Walter Trobisch wrote in I Loved a Girl:

‘I want something. Not you, but something from you. I don’t have time to wait. I want it immediately.’ . . . This is the opposite of love, for love wants to give.

Heterosexual love, which God designed to take place within the covenant relationship of marriage, has now been twisted and distorted from an exclusive expression of love within marriage to one of promiscuous lust with no binding commitment. Even a commitment to live together outside of marriage is a delusion departing from God’s design and is really no commitment at all.

The glorification of sex outside of marriage by our libertine multimedia entertainment industry has resulted in much of our society worshiping at the altar of unrestrained, immoral lifestyles. However, looking for love in all the wrong places and ways has devastating results. (see “The Damage of Sexual Promiscuity”) The Bible teaches us:

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4 ESV)

Dear Christian: If you – like many of us – have lived an irresponsible youth in this regard, run to Christ, repent and ask forgiveness for your sins. If you have yielded to the temptation of adultery, repent and ask forgiveness for your sins. Submit yourselves to God and He will give you the power to resist temptation. The apostle Paul writes:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)

God’s blessing of sex within marriage is a wonderful gift. Sexual activity outside of marriage is an attack against the covenant of marriage and an act of rebellion against God. God’s gift of sex is for marriage alone. Although promiscuity may be advocated and glamorized by the world, it is the path of pain and destruction. (Proverbs 6:32-33 ESV, Proverbs 7:22-23 ESV, Proverbs 7:26-27 ESV, Galatians 5:19-21 ESV) Therefore:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)

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