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by Odd Thomas
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Tue Jun 18, 2013
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Introducing: “Know the Bible” series
Mon Jun 17, 2013
What is Scripture?
Mon Jun 17, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
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Sun Jun 16, 2013
by Josh Mcpherson
Spiritual Disciplines: Chastity
By Pastor Mark Driscoll "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) Chastity is the fasting from all sexual activity for the purpose of holiness. The best example of chastity in all of Scripture is Jesus Christ, who never married and never committed any sin, including sexual sin (Hebrews 4:15). As an unmarried man, Jesus is the perfect example of appropriate male-female loving friendships that do not violate propriety or holiness in any way. The Scriptures command God’s people in numerous different verses to remain chaste in both their actions and appearances:
- "The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord" (1 Corinthians 6:13).
- "Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:18–20).
- "We must not indulge in sexual immorality" (1 Corinthians 10:8).
- "Everyone who is sexually immoral or impure... has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God" (Ephesians 5:5).
- "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" (1 Thessalonians 4:3–4).
- "Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control" (1 Timothy 2:9).
The Single Culture
The issue of chaste purity before marriage is particularly pressing in today’s culture because the number of unmarried people continues to rise. Statistically in the U.S., the number of unmarried adults has continually increased, with 36 percent in 1970, 39 percent in 1980, 41 percent in 1990, and 44 percent in 2000. In 2006, for the first time in history, the number of unmarried people exceeded 50 percent of the adult population. Both men and women are waiting longer to marry for the first time; the median age for men went from 23 in 1950 to 27 in 2003, and the median age for women jumped from 20 to 25 in that same period. The resulting increase in the number of older singles has, in many ways, reshaped the entire social landscape. At Mars Hill Church our congregation is comprised of roughly half married and half unmarried people—unusual for any church, but particularly one of our size. According to researcher John Vaughan, most large churches (two thousand or more people) have less than 20 percent singles.
Sexual Sin is Everywhere
A 2006 report on NPR said that 80 percent of Americans are sexually active by the age of 20, and only 20 percent of women marry as virgins. Furthermore, cohabitation has increased 72 percent between 1990 and 2000, and the cohabitation rate increased ten-fold between 1960 and 2000. Fully 41 percent of Americans will cohabitate at some point during their life. Many people who attend Mars Hill Church come with sexual sin in their distant or recent history. This includes unmarried people who have been guilty of fornication, as well as married people who have been guilty of adultery. Thankfully, Jesus died and rose to forgive such sin, thereby enabling us to put these sins to death in our own lives by His empowering grace. Furthermore, according to Scripture, one of the defenses against sexual sin is getting married (1 Corinthians 7:1–2) and having frequent and free marital intimacy so that sexual desires have a holy outlet.