Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4:8 (NIV).
Yesterday we talked about who goes to hell; do atheists or suicides go to hell? You’ll remember that we talked about how we shouldn’t try to judge the heart because only God can – only God has the right to – judge the heart. Remember that idea when we ‘go there’ today.
In the first part of 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul was talking about sexual sin, about keeping the body of Christ sexually pure. It only makes sense that, if we as God’s church, have God’s Holy Spirit living within us, we should want to keep His dwelling place – our hearts, minds and bodies – sexually clean. We want to keep ourselves pure and clean because that Spirit is the soul of God making His home in ours. Foul language? Stop using it. Careless anger? Lay it down at the Cross. Sexual sins, sexual activities that aren’t within a marriage? Retrain your brain and walk in a different direction.
We are to do these things because God lives within us. When we say, instead, “I know better,” we are denying the presence of God in our lives. We’re denying His Spirit and denying the truth of everything He tells us. God gave us the gift of sex to be intensely intimate with another follower of His with whom we’ve vowed to live and love for all our lives. Sex in this manner is to be a way of worship, a way of being as close as two people can be, joined in a union of intercourse and a communion of a most personal faith. A look, a touch, a few minutes of stolen pleasure throw all this out of whack.
It isn’t our place to judge God’s intention in all this, only to accept it as ‘the way it is.’ Yet it’s also ‘the way it is’ by remembering that His Spirit really is in us, really is part of us. Consequently, it isn’t our place to judge other people whose morals don’t align with our own. It isn’t our place because God lives within us. The teenage girl whose skirt is WAAAAY to short: don’t judge her. They guy down the hall who gets high every night: don’t judge him. The uncle (or father or mother or aunt) whose politics you can’t abide: don’t judge. We are not to judge each other because that’s God’s role, God’s right. To reassure us that we don’t need to usurp HIm, the Spirit of Jesus abides in each one of us who follows Him.
Next time you ogle the girl, peruse The Chive, or watch pay TV after midnight, remember these words and remember the Spirit within you.
For further reading: Ezekiel 36:27, Romans 5:5, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Galatians 4:6, 1 John 3:24, 1 Thessalonians 4:9.
Thank You, Lord, for the miracle You give of living in me.