Friendships in Christ
No Lustful Passion Today
"not in lustful
passion, like the Gentiles who do not know
1 Thessalonians 4:5 Page
really knows all about advertising today.
Just about anywhere I turn on television, I
see advertising using sex to sell products.
Lustful passion lives within everyone, and
can pop out to produce sin and death.
Jesus never gave in to lust or passion when
it came to His body. He used His body
for the glory of God every moment of every
day for a lifetime. He gives us hope,
power and joy to live holy lives before him.
Jesus knows the hearts of people, and He
knows that we need His power to control our
minds, hearts and bodies to glorify Him.
In Galatians 5:24, page 1825, we read: "Now
those who belong to Christ Jesus have
crucified the flesh with its passions and
desires." Notice the two words
"passions" and "desires." Paul uses
those same two words here in 1 Thessalonians
4:5. Paul never teaches that sexual
desire in itself is evil. Instead,
Paul makes the point that uncontrolled
sexual desire and passion lead to sin, and
specifically the dishonoring of our bodies.
Paul teaches us that we control our bodies
by the power of Jesus Christ who sanctifies
our lives. When we consider the
Galatians passage, we see that our flesh
with its sinful passions has been completely
crucified with Christ. In other words,
our bodies do not control us, but Christ has
already won the victory over our flesh by
crucifying it to the cross. Powerful
theology here leads to powerful living.
I have heard many people talk about how
natural sex outside of marriage is, and how
it is now normal to live together before
marriage, and even have children by multiple
people, all outside of marriage.
Television promotes all of those
"lifestyles," while Jesus commands us to
sanctify our bodies for His use. He
has already done the hard work by crucifying
our flesh, and its passions and desires, on
the cross. We could never have gained
the victory ourselves, and people are often
powerless outside of Christ to change their
sexual behavior. But in Christ, with
His power, our sexual passions and lusts no
longer have to rule us. Now each of us
makes a choice about overcoming our strong
sexual desires, and living instead for
Christ. We see Christ making very
serious changes in our lives, as He
sanctifies our bodies and lives for His use.
God created sex, and gave married people a
wonderful gift to share between spouses.
Paul does not teach us to forsake sex in
marriage, but rather to have sanctified
bodies, whether married or single.
Finally, notice in 1 Thessalonians 4:5, page
1825, that Paul does not want Christians
acting like Gentiles who know all about
sexual lustful passion, but they do not know
God. Sure, unbelievers know all about
licentious behavior, but they do not know
God. They know nothing and care
nothing about sanctification. They
want to have great sex as often as possible.
The love to indulge the desires of flesh and
of the mind, while walking under the control
of satan (Ephesians 2:2-3, page 1828).
Because we know God, we know we have been
freed from our crucified bodies with its
uncontrolled passions. Now Christ
controls us, and wants to make our entire
lives holy to Him. For some of us,
this freedom from sexual lustful desires
stands as a great deliverance from slavery
to the flesh, the devil and his deeds.
In Christ, we know His power.
So, we learn some more about building strong
friendships in Christ.
Strong bonds of friendship form when we
honor our bodies and promote sanctification
with all our friends.
● Strong bonds of friendship grow when
we see our friends leaving lustful passions
behind, and having Christ control all our
lives to His glory.
● We harm our bonds of friendship when
we let our lustful passions burn within us,
and never ask our friends for prayer and
Application for Today
Today, I want to encourage you to consider
your body crucified with Christ, and its
lusts and desires crucified forever.
By the power of Christ, He will sanctify
your body for His glory. Will you put
away all lustful passion today and live in
sanctification with Jesus?