EXHORTATION TO SEXUAL PURITY
I write to you as a fellow soldier against our common enemy, who needs neither description nor introduction. I’m certain of this because I know that no temptation has overtaken me except such as is common to man and that the same sufferings are experienced not only by you, but also our brotherhood in the world. For our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. It is my desire that you’ll be moved to resist him steadfast in the faith, through my exhortation.
Remember our miserable state before we were recruited by the army? That we were dead in trespasses and sins and conducted ourselves like the sons of disobedience in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath just as the others? But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward us appeared, He saved us, through the regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. You will therefore do well to remember that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in us, whom we have from God and we’re not our own. For we were bought with a price, therefore let us glorify God in our bodies and our spirits, which are God’s. Seeing that we are no longer slaves of sin but of righteousness.
I beseech you therefore by the mercies of God, that you present your body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. Therefore above all else, let us guard our hearts, for everything we do flows from them. Watch the friends you keep, he who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.
Remember that the things you see, the movies you watch, the WhatsApp groups you belong to, the websites you visit, the videos and images you view, the books and blogs you read, the music you listen to and the radio presenter you so love are as much your friends as I am. Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on them. For whatever does not meet this criterion is from the evil one.
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Yes, I said flee! Forget about any clever ideas when it comes to this. Flee youthful lusts, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, with me, and our fellow soldiers you see around you, who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. We’ll confess our trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that we may be healed. I believe the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. We’ll rebuke one another, and turn one another from the errors of our ways. That we may save one another’s souls from death, and cover a multitude of sins.
See that strapped on your side, that’s the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It doesn’t belong in its scabbard, but in your hands. Swing it at the enemy, just like the captain of our salvation did when He was tempted by him after those forty days of fasting. Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. Praying both for yourself and for the rest of us. Only in this way can you resist the devil, and I guarantee you, he will flee from you.
Well, that’s as much as I had time to write in between the drills. Got to get back to disciplining my body, and bringing it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. If you think you stand, take heed lest you fall.
Your fellow soldier.