THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 3-25-07
LESSON TITLE: "WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: THE WORKS OF THE FLESH ARE EVIDENT: ADULTERY AND FORNICATION"
Paul once proclaimed, "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh!" Are you walking in the Spirit of God?
Welcome to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning. It is always an honor and privilege to have you with us. We are thankful you have chosen to be with us as we commit this time to the things of God.
May we each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before Him and according to His Word. Now let's begin by talking to God through prayer!
This morning we want to begin our songs of praise by singing a song which focuses on our need to be reverent to God. So, at this time, won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Lord We Come Before Thee Now."
(SONG # 1)
We have mentioned a verse from the book of Galatians this morning, where Paul was encouraging the brethren to walk in the Spirit to be proper in the eyes of God. However, we also spent a great deal of time warning the brethren in the same passage. He exhorted them to stay away from the "works of the flesh," which in his own words he said were "evident."
Think about that for a moment, aren't we all pretty much aware of what sin is? Even when we say we are not sure whether something is right or wrong, I think deep down we know that by having to ask the very question and ponder on it, that there must be something at least very questionable about the thing.
Well, what Paul was dealing with here was the life of a Christian. It's not about what we can get by with or how little we can do and still be approved. It's not even about being able to sin from time to time and be forgiven. The focus in this passage is a way of life, "walking in the Spirit!" For if we are those who truly desire to follow God and walk in the Spirit he went on to say, "...you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh!" You see we have no desire to sin and do wrong for God is our life and the basis of how we determine right and wrong.
With this in mind, consider the many things which the writer mentions in this passage as works of the flesh, "adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissentions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like." Here he gives a list of sins and then adds the idea of, "and anything like these as well." But now consider what is said after all of these warnings, "those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." Wow, these are definitely serious matters then!
Now return to the same text with me and let's find out what walking in the Spirit is all about. Beginning in verse 22 Paul says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." Do you notice anything about all of these characteristics? They are good, pure, holy and righteous characteristics. No doubt these are all things which honor God and allow others to see Him in us. So, are we Walking in the Spirit as those who love our God?
With these matters in mind, let me say that this morning we want to begin a new series of study entitled, "Walking in the Spirit!" Our specific topic today ,and for several months, will deal with those things which are not proper according to the Spirit. Thus our lesson title this morning will be, "The Works Of The Flesh Are Evident: Adultery and Fornication!" So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together we will have a guest speaker who will lead our thoughts from God's Word.
As far as our speaker of the day, brother Jerry Sullins is again with us. Brother Sullins is the director of the Bible Institute of Missouri. And by the way this school is now offering Monday evening classes for anyone who is interested.
Well, let's return to our songs of praise. The name of our next hymn is, "Higher Ground!"
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Jerry Sullins
It's certainly a pleasure to come into your living room this morning or into your den and to discuss the Word of God with you for just a few moments. We appreciate this opportunity every Sunday when you tune in to "The Living Word" broadcast and we pray that the things that are said will encourage you in knowing what God's Will is for you and for all of us in today's world.
For the next few weeks, we will be discussing some very important subjects that have to do with that which separates us from God and that is sin itself. Now it is very difficult sometimes to discuss such subjects with people of the world or even with some who refer to themselves as Christians because they no longer recognize what God Himself has said concerning sin and that is sometimes even people will refuse to listen to what God has said in His Holy Word in that which pertains to sin. Sin basically is missing the mark. Sin is something that separates us from God. Sin is a violation of God's Law according to John and so certainly this morning, we want to bring to your attention some of the important things in God's Holy Word about that subject which will keep us from being reconciled to our God.
As we read in Galatians chapter 5 and I'll be reading that in just a few moments, there is a listing of sins there that deal with the flesh. In fact, Paul said in the book of Galatians chapter 5 verse 19 beginning he said, "Now the works that are of the flesh which are manifest are these." He mentions these sins as being "works of the flesh."
Today, in our society there is great freedom given to people of our society as it relates to things that are sexually immoral. Every time you talk about these subjects people get very upset because they say, "Why is it you're intruding into our lives? We have freedom to do whatsoever we want to do in this world today and we know that that is very true. It was evident even this week at one of our local colleges and universities where a group of people came parading their sin before all and trying to put upon what they were doing, what we might say, "a white-washed look" of the sin that they are participating in in this life when God Himself condemns such sin in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. But yet, people condone such things. Why? Because they see it daily on the television set glorified and exemplified. They read about it in every magazine that they might open, in the music it is in every type of music that we listen to on the radio, we can hear it also glorified. That would be the sins of the flesh. And so we're living in a society today that condones what God does not condone.
Now it is God who made us and God has the right and has taken that right to set down in His Holy Word those things that pertain to what we can and cannot do in this life, those things that pertain to what is sin and what isn't sin, what separates us from God and what makes it possible for us to remain reconciled to God. And so my friend, it's not what I think or what you think, it's what does God think and what does God's Word say about these things? God has never refused that sexuality is a part of man's life. In fact, in the very beginning in Genesis 1 verse 28, when he created Adam & Eve, the very reason for him creating Adam and Eve was for the procreation of all mankind, and Jesus reiterated this in the book of Matthew chapter 19 where He was talking to the Pharisees, a religious sect of the Jews, and He said from the beginning, "God joined together a man and a woman," and by saying that there was a man first and then there was a woman, He was indicating there that there were two different types of beings that were created and they were created to fulfill the desires of one another. He goes on to say in verse 5 of chapter 19, that is of the book of Matthew, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave only to his wife and the two shall become one flesh." God has never denied that sexual fulfillment should not be a part of the marriage relationship. In fact, as we read in 1 Corinthians 7 and other places in the Old and New Testament, it is evident that that was God's design for the fulfillment of man's sexual desires as well as a woman's sexual desires. No one would argue that because we see that clearly in the Bible.
But we live in a sexual revolution. It started way back in the 70's. I remember that time well when almost nothing was wrong and it is even worse today because we see young people going and living together openly and parents accepting such a situation among their young people or their children that they have raised to go and to just live and to commit sexual immorality on a daily basis with those whom they live. This is not correct according to God's plan. Paul mentioned this in Romans chapter 1 and we'll begin reading in verse 24 where he said, "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness in the lust of their hearts to dishonor their bodies among themselves who exchange the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than Creator who is blessed forever. For this reason..." Now listen, my friends! "For this reason (verse 26 of Romans chapter 1), God gave them up to vile passions for even their women exchange their 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 the error which was due." Now what is this? Well it is what we call today homosexuality. It is what we call today those who are living together as lesbians. This is condemned in God's Word. It doesn't matter what I say or what you say. If we follow God's Word, these type of practices are condemned.
We also see and I would like to turn to Galatians 5, our very text this morning. IN Galatians chapter 5 beginning with verse 19 where these sins are mentioned. Look at the first two that are mentioned. It says, "Now the works of the flesh are evident." This is Galatians 5:19. "The works of the flesh are evident which are adultery and fornication. Now fornication is a term that comes from the Greek word "pornea." Actually what it means is the elicit sexual desire that is unlawful sexual desire of one human being for another. It even includes a human beings sexual desire for an animal which covers bestiality. By the way, we have that going on in our world. It is sanctioned by the country of Denmark. It is lawful to commit sex with an animal in that country. Now you may be shocked to hear that, but that is true. Is it coming here to the United States? Well, not too long after maybe some of us leave this old world, it will probably be sanctioned even in our beloved United States. So what is fornication? It is an unmarried person having an elicit sexual affair with another unmarried person whether they be male or female and either case is just the same. So that's what fornication is.
Well who said that this is wrong? Well God said it was wrong. In fact, He put it together with so many other things. He said, "Uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies," and many other things He mentions here, and He said simply this in verse 21, He said, "Just as I have also told you in times past that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." Those who practice such things, continue to do those things will lose their souls eternally. So you may find yourself in this situation even today. What are you going to do as it relates to your relationship with God? Are you going to continue to live in that situation and be out of what we might say out of complete disrespect for God's Word? Are you going to continue to do those things? Are you going to do what God's Word would have you to do and that is to get out of that relationship? If you find yourself drinking and getting drunk and you find yourself lying and continuing to be a habitual liar, you know that God's Word condemns those things but what are you going to do? Are you going to stop practicing those things? For one to be right with God, one must quit practicing those things.
Well what about, some people might say, "Well I plan to get married someday so since I have committed myself to this young lady..." Or the young lady says, "Since I've committed myself to this young man, then that's all that matters. We can still be sexually active." Well who told you that? It wasn't God's Word who told you that. Listen! Any sexual act between two unmarried people is considered to be fornication and the persons who commit fornication will not have an opportunity to inherit the kingdom of God. That's what God's Word says.
I want to call your attention to 1 Corinthians chapter 6. Here is Paul's admonition to the Corinthian church. Now the Corinthian society was filled with sexual immorality even probably worse than in our day and time. Here's the statement that Paul made to the Corinthian people. "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 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." There's some very important truth that is stated here. First of all, if you claim to be a Christian, your body does not belong to you. It belongs to Christ. Did you know that? And if you go out and commit adultery or if you go out and commit fornication with someone else, whatever the case might be, adultery is unlawful sexual act between a married man and someone who is not his mate or a married woman and someone who is not her mate. Then actually you are severing yourself from the body of Christ. That's what is stated here in 1 Corinthians chapter 6. In fact, the apostle Paul says, "This is a sin against the body." It is a misuse of the body and therefore it destroys the relationship that one has with the body of Christ.
You might ask yourself this morning, why are you so upset about these sins of the flesh because my friend, every society that has ever been in existence on the face of this earth has been destroyed because of moral impurity. Now could you not say that that's just exactly what is happening in our precious nation, the United States of America? And it is getting worse and worse every day. So what can we do? Here is the message. Jesus said in Luke 13:3, "I tell you nay except you repent you will perish." You must come to Christ on His terms. Believe that He is truly the Son of God. He said, "Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." And repenting of your sins, that means turning away from the lifestyle that you're living in now, giving up these sins of the flesh, then you can make that commitment to God that needs to be made before you can join yourself to Christ. Confession of Christ as the Son of God is necessary for Jesus said, "If you confess Me before men, I will confess you before My Father who is in Heaven." And being baptized into Christ to have your sins washed away as Peter said on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Not a one of us wants to be lost eternally and we certainly do not want to see anyone of our children lost or our grandchildren. We want everyone to be saved if at all possible. And so we must understand that that which separates us from God is sin. He has described to us what sin is and so the challenge is to you this morning to investigate your life, to see and to look sincerely at who you are and where you stand before God and it is our prayer that you will choose the right relationship with your God.
(SONG # 3 - "Does Jesus Care!")
Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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As we walk in the Spirit, may we make sure to abstain from those things of the flesh, so they will not keep us from our God and the promised reward to all those who are faithful!