Friendships in Christ
Jesus the Avenger Today
"and that no man
transgress and defraud his brother in the
matter because the Lord is the avenger in
all these things, just we also told you
before and solemnly warned you."
1 Thessalonians 4:6 Page
At times, some men treat
women as sexual objects, even inside the
church. Paul has discussed the need to
abstain from sexual immorality, and now
extends the commandments against sexual sin
with reasons to avoid lustful passion.
Paul uses the terms "transgress" and
Transgress means that you exceed the clear
boundaries of acceptable behavior. You
know you should not have sex with anyone
outside of marriage, but you will go ahead
and do what you please. You step
over the sexual boundaries set by Jesus
Christ. Not only will you be tempted
to transgress sexually, but the effect of
your lustful passion will result in
defrauding your brother. To defraud
means that you take something that does not
belong to you by using false words and false
promises. You take something by
stealth without paying for it.
Notice that Paul talks about defrauding the
brother. When you have sex with a
woman who is not your wife, you are
defrauding your Christian brother. How
will this woman ever explain to her husband
what she has done with you? Your
lustful passions not only destroy your life,
but they also devastate the lives of others.
Instead of presenting every female as a pure
bride, you have now defrauded the future
husband by taking something for your
pleasure that never belonged to you and you
could never obtain in righteousness.
Needless to say, the woman herself suffers
and will never view you in the same light
again. God, however, focuses the
spiritual attention upon the man here.
God also pictures Jesus as the avenger of
the people suffering from transgression,
fraud, and sexual sin. While every
believer can rest assured that Jesus will
not condemn you so that you lose your
salvation (Romans 8:1, page 1768), yet, in
this life your sin will bring forth
heartache and problems for you and
your sexual partner in sin.
Furthermore, when you appear before the
judgment seat of Christ in eternity, to
receive your reward (2 Corinthians
5:10, page 1809), your works will be tried
with fire and you will suffer loss of reward
(1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
Finally, we should remember that Paul had
already warned the Thessalonians about the
problems associated with sexual sins.
Today, with sexual sin so prevalent inside
and outside the church, we should all heed
the solemn warning. We should remove
from among ourselves every unrepentant
brother involved in sexual immorality, until
that person repents and turns back to God (
1 Corinthians 511-13, page 1787). Our
love for everyone should never fail, but we
should be vigilant in our application of
church discipline to encourage the
unrepentant to turn back to a loving Father
and the fellowship of the congregation.
So, we learn some more about building strong
friendships in Christ.
Strong bonds of friendship form when we
do not transgress and defraud our brethren.
We must abstain from all sexual sin.
● Strong bonds of friendship grow when
we remind our friends that Jesus is the
avenger in matters of lustful passion, but
also a gracious and compassionate God.
● We harm our bonds of friendship when
we transgress and defraud our brethren by
letting loose our lustful passions, and so
defraud and transgress our brothers in
Christ, and harm our sexual partners in sin.
Ignoring the problems does not make them go
away, but rather promotes them through
silence and disobedience to God's Word.
Application for Today
Today, I want to remind my friends of Christ
the avenger. He warns us not
transgress and defraud our brothers by
committing sexual sin springing from our
lustful passions. Today, I want to
encourage my friends to heed the solemn
warnings of Christ against sexual sin.
Will you be walking away from sexual sin