The Blight of Unethical Sexual Ethics
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 6/15/03
There is mounting pressure on young people to join the worldly crowd and become involved in sexual immorality. Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers "abstain from fornication…" 1 Thessalonians 4:3
In our last message we focused on the meaning of fornication. Fornication can be defined as "the gratification of sexual appetites without respect to marriage. A fornicator is anyone who is involved sexually with someone before marriage." Then we clearly established the fact that the Bible standard is that sexual activity is to be confined to marriage with your spouse. All other sexual activity is sin.
We shared four things that parents can do to help keep their kids from becoming sexually active.
Maintain a warm loving relationship with them
Let them know they are expected to abstain from sex until marriage
Avoid discussion of birth control
Know where your kids are when they not at home, know their friends, and insist on things like shared family mealtimes where you communicate.
In past decades, biblical morality was the expected norm. However, that is no longer true in our culture. Because of that, in this message I will to explain the meanings of some of the words that we read in the King James Bible and how they relate to sexual ethics.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:"
You will note that concupiscence and fornication are connected. However, there are probably only a few people listening to this message who have any idea where concupiscence is. Therefore, let me define it.
Concupiscence is an unlawful or unbiblical desire; illicit or forbidden lust; a longing for that which is forbidden.
The word is also translated desire, lust after and covet. And while it does not only refer to longing for sexual relationships that are forbidden, it does include forbidden sexual desires. So, what is my point? We need to be careful not to occupy our minds with thoughts that would cause us to "lust after evil things" (1 Corinthians 10:6), such as, forbidden sexual contact.
There is a BIG problem with concupiscence among youth today and many parents are encouraging it. Here is what I mean. Some parents are encouraging boy-girl relationships in grade school! Dating is common in middle school! Listen parents, dating as it is practiced today, is nothing more than motivation for fornication and polishing fornication skills. It leads the minds of the girls and boys into the forbidden realm of sexual desires…concupiscence. I do not believe that dating should begin until the people involved are of marriageable age and then it is not to be recreational! Dating should be for the purpose of evaluating the person for marriage. The moment either person concludes that they would not marry the person they are dating, the relationship is to be broken off.
If you will counteract concupiscence, you will not allow dating until your children are of marriageable age. You will not allow them to live in the sensual boy-girl romance novel mentality.
There is another word we must look at and understand if we will combat the sexual immorality of our age. That word is…
Lasciviousness is linked to sexual sin in Galatians 5:19, which says, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness…." It is again connected to sexual immorality in 2 Corinthians 12:21 "And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed."
The obvious question is, what is lasciviousness?
Lascivious can be defined as "the stirring up of lustful desires which cannot be satisfied within God's boundaries" (Bunnell). It also refers to excess and lack of restraint, shameless sexual conduct. In Romans 13:13 the same Greek word is translated wantonness. "Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying." Additionally, the same Greek word translated lascivious, and wantonness is also translated filthy in reference to the homosexual perversion of Sodom.
While concupiscence refers to unbiblical sexual desires within a person, lasciviousness refers to stirring up sexual desires in others or yourself that cannot be satisfied within God’s boundaries. Let me give you some illustrations. A young man who has sexual intentions will often start by sweet-talking a young lady. He will tell her how wonderful she is, how beautiful she is and that she is just what he has been looking for, etc. The Bible calls this flattery and warns, "A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet." Proverbs 29:5. When she begins to believe his smooth talk and get starry eyed, he will begin to kiss her, touch her, and caress her, which is wrong. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 1 Corinthians 7:1
What has happened is clear. The man is stirring up lustful desires that cannot be satisfied within the boundaries God has set.
The woman can also do this to a man in numerous ways. Dressing in tight, revealing, immodest clothing is a sure way to appeal to a man’s fallen nature. Proverbs 7 describes a loose, sensual woman. The Bible calls such a woman a strange woman, the implication being that she is a sexually immoral woman. Let’s look at some of her characteristics.
This type of woman catches many men and though from the world’s point of view men may view them as appealing, you have not read the end of the story. Let’s read carefully verses 21 to 23.
Wise fathers (and mothers) will warn their sons about
the tactics loose, immoral women (see verses 24-27) and teach their sons
to treat the younger [women] as sisters, with all purity (1 Timothy 5:2).
Wise fathers (and mothers) will warn their daughters about the tactics of
lascivious, wanton men who would take away their daughters purity in a
second and teach them that they must dress modestly and how to behave
around men. This is a must in our sex-saturated society.