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Pastor Steve Williams : When the Lines Get Blurred

Love, Sex, & Culture · 47:18 · Recorded September 12, 2021

When the Lines Get Blurred

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (NIV) We instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Some lines being blurred today

Gender-identity; Sexual mores; Marriage & family; Responsible consent/guidance.

Isaiah 5:20 (NIV) Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

Isaiah 48:17-18 (NIV) "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea."

You’re loved by God despite your failures, struggles, and brokenness.

Keeping the clearly drawn lines clear

1. Don’t forget whose you are, and whom you serve.

Matthew 7:24–27 (NIV) "Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Stay off shifting sands and stabilized on God’s Word.

Proverbs 21:30 (NIV) There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.

2. Don’t ever settle for less than you should.

Psalm 85:8-10 (NIV) "I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants — but let them not turn to folly. Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other."

Never surrender future well-being for the quick pleasures of the present moment.

3. Don’t be afraid to live in a way others will not.

2 Timothy 4:3–4 (CEB) There will come a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. They will collect teachers who say what they want to hear because they are self-centered. They will turn their back on the truth and turn to myths.

Isaiah 35:8–9 (NIV) A highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there.

Jesus calls you into obedience, despite your orientation, identity or status.

Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV) This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’"

4. Don’t abdicate your role as parent disciple-maker!

Joshua 24:15 (NIV) "If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Check out an entertaining, satirical video at: https://fb.watch/7WkXKNeSrt "My 3 Year-old is a Girl Now"

5. Don’t neglect your calling as a reconciler, not a fighter.

Talk It Over
  • Picture our country’s "the state of the union" with regard to sexuality. If you had a magic wand you could wave to change ONE thing about this picture, what would you wave it at and why?

  • Who makes a bigger deal out of "good sex"- us, or God? Explain your answer. Why do you think this matters so much to God?

  • Of the various Scriptures in this message, what encouraging word did God speak to you from one or more of them that really stuck with you? Is there one worth memorizing with your small group this week to help you all live out its truth more fully?

  • Read the key passage of the message -1 Thessalonians 4:1-8. What statements in this passage stand out as the most radically different than views of sexuality commonplace in our culture? Which motivate you most to follow God’s call to higher standards of holiness? How would you use this passage to respond to a believer who says, "It’s okay to do what you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone?"

  • What’s your big take-away challenge from this message you find can’t ignore? How can your group pray for/encourage you with this?

Some suggested resources:

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert – Rosaria Butterfield

Holy Sexuality and the Gospel – Christopher Yuan

JoeDallas.com – Access Joe’s excellent variety of good resources on spirituality and sexuality that pleases God.

Conversations Together (Day 4 – Sexuality vs. Gender)

Conversations Together: Identity – Daily Dive

Talk It Over
  • Picture our country’s "the state of the union" with regard to sexuality. If you had a magic wand you could wave to change ONE thing about this picture, what would you wave it at and why?

  • Who makes a bigger deal out of "good sex"- us, or God? Explain your answer. Why do you think this matters so much to God?

  • Of the various Scriptures in this message, what encouraging word did God speak to you from one or more of them that really stuck with you? Is there one worth memorizing with your small group this week to help you all live out its truth more fully?

  • Read the key passage of the message -1 Thessalonians 4:1-8. What statements in this passage stand out as the most radically different than views of sexuality commonplace in our culture? Which motivate you most to follow God’s call to higher standards of holiness? How would you use this passage to respond to a believer who says, "It’s okay to do what you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone?"

  • What’s your big take-away challenge from this message you find can’t ignore? How can your group pray for/encourage you with this?

Some suggested resources:

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert – Rosaria Butterfield

Holy Sexuality and the Gospel – Christopher Yuan

JoeDallas.com – Access Joe’s excellent variety of good resources on spirituality and sexuality that pleases God.

Conversations Together (Day 4 – Sexuality vs. Gender)

Conversations Together: Identity – Daily Dive

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