Stormproof Men II


I Want to Honor God

You’ve probably guessed by now that I believe the best goal in our battle for sexual purity is the positive goal of honoring God. When we look carefully at the Bible, we find God balances “thou shalt not” with “thou shalt.” He gives positive commands that we ought to follow as we give up whatever is prohibited. The consistent pattern is “Don’t do this. Do this instead.” Sometimes, the “do this instead” is found in the greater context, but it is there. Here are a few examples:

Prohibition (“Don’t do this”): “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) Positive principle (“Do this instead”): “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt,” Paraphrased, “Have Me as the God before you.” (Exodus 20:2). 

Prohibition: “Be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6a). Positive principle: “But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6b). 

Get the idea? Here is a set that directly addresses purity: 

Prohibition: “Flee immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18a). Positive principle: “Glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20). 

A short definition of sexual purity is, "Glorifying God by applying biblical principles regarding my sexual practices." Based on the clear biblical charge to glorify God in our body (the goal of purity), it makes biblical sense to include both the prohibitions (what to avoid) and the positive principles (what to do instead) in describing what purity looks like: 

I experience purity to the degree that I make godly choices 

  • by avoiding all inappropriate sexual activity 

  • by enjoying appropriate expressions of masculinity 

  • by enjoying appropriate relations with the opposite sex 

  • that glorify God  

  • that respect me 

  • that honor others 

  • that I act on with my heart, mind, eyes, and actions

In this full description, we see one prohibition, five positive principles, and a description of the breadth of the principles. Admittedly, it looks impossible to achieve and it is, on our own. For now, keep reading to understand this description better. We will look at the seemingly strange condition “to the degree that” after exploring the rest of the definition.