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Jesus: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." Matthew 5:27-29

"The inescapable byproduct of all forms of pornography is that it reduces women to the sum of their body parts. They are rendered objects rather than persons".

Following a life of pleasure and giving in to every sensual desire leads to slavery. Many think freedom consists in doing anything they want. But this path leads to slavish addiction to sensual gratification. A person is no longer free, but is a slave to what his or her body dictates (2.Peter 2:19). Christ frees us from the desire and control of sin. Have you been released? Life Application Study Bible.

"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. " Titus 3:3 (NIV)

"They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 2. Peter 2:19

Immorality (4202) (porneia from porneúo = commit fornication or any sexual sin) originally referred to any excessive behavior or lack of restraint, but eventually became associated with sexual excess and indulgence. Porneia originally was used especially to describe the practice of consorting with prostitutes (porneis = “prostitute”) and eventually came to mean “habitual immorality.”

Porneia as used in the Scriptures describes any illicit sexual activity outside of the divine bounds established by marriage and thus includes the ideas of unlawful sexual intercourse, unchastity and fornication. Porneia includes (but is not limited to) adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and prostitution.

Porneia is the opposite of the Greek word enkrateia/ egkrateia (word study) (literally means "holding oneself in"), which usually referred to sexual self-control (see Acts 24:25)

There are 25 uses of porneia in the NT - Mt. 5:32; 15:19; 19:9; Mark. 7:21; Jn. 8:41; Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25; 1Co. 5:1; 6:13, 18; 7:2; 2Co. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Th 4:3; Rev 2:21; 9:21; 14:8; 17:2, 4; 18:3; 19:2

There are 36 uses of porneia in the Septuagint (LXX) - Ge 38:24; Nu 14:33; 2Ki. 9:22; Is 47:10; 57:9; Jer 2:20; 3:2, 9; 13:27; Ezek 16:15, 22, 25, 33, 34, 36, 41; 23:7, 8, 11, 14, 17, 18, 19, 27, 29, 35; 43:7, 9; Ho 1:2; 2:2, 4; 4:11, 12; 5:4; 6:10; Micah 1:7; Nah 3:4

Cole writes that porneia... includes premarital sex, extramarital sex, incest, homosexuality, bestiality, and the use of pornography. Any sex outside of the lifelong commitment of marriage is not rooted in love  “a self-sacrificing, caring commitment that shows itself in seeking the highest good of the one loved”), but in lust. Outside of marriage, sex devolves into using the other person for your own gratification. (Ephesians 5:3-6)

John Piper warns that... Fornication should be eliminated from your life if you are a Christian. It should be shunned like a dangerous disease. For it is far more dangerous than AIDS. AIDS can only kill your body. Fornication can kill your soul as we will see from Eph 5:6 (cp Mt 10:28, Lk 12:4, 5). (Ephesians 5:3-6: The Enthronement of Desire)

The apostle Paul gives his instruction to individual believers who were being tempted to play in the sewers of sexual immorality that was so prevalent. Paul's advice was crystal clear...
Flee immorality (porneia) (Flee is in the present imperative = flee and keep fleeing until the danger is past - when the seductive commercial comes on the television, change channels or excuse yourself from the room immediately! You have less than 5 seconds! Don't stay and let a glance turn into a gaze rationalizing "I can handle this one!" -- In your own strength you cannot! Remember that you won't fall into an illicit sexual sin in a moment, but over time, as the little "cracks" in the dam build up and erode so that one day you "suddenly" [all at once] commit an illicit act like the young man in Pr 7:22! Do not be deceived!) . Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body (Porneia is more destructive to the sinner than other sins because the one who engages in it cannot undo their act. In the Screwtape Letters C. S. Lewis says that each time a man and a woman enter into a sexual relationship a spiritual bond is established between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured! Woe! cp Paul's teaching 1Co 6:16, 17) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you (1 Co 3:16), whom you have from God, and that you are not your own (Titus 2:14-note, 2Co 5:15, Ro 14:7, 8-note)? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." (1Cor 6:18, 19, 20, 7:23, 1Pe 2:9-note, Acts 20:28, Gal 3:13, Heb 9:12-note, 1Pe 1:18, 19-note, 2Pe 2:1-note, Rev 5:9-note)

What Paul is saying in the preceding passage is that sexual sin not only is against God (Ge 39:9, Ps 51:4) and other persons (1Thes 4:6-note), it is also against ourselves. Part of our moral responsibility to ourselves is to be sexually pure. When Christians are immoral, the testimony of the gospel is polluted and the holy Name of God is blasphemed. Furthermore, we can know all the truth in the world, and yet by our falling into illicit sexual activity, we are showing by that activity that we despise not only God (2Sa 12:10) but also His Word (2Sa 12:14)!

Don't dabble with porneia ("pornography"), trifle with it (there is no such thing as "soft porn" - it is a lie!), argue about it, debate it, explain it and certainly don't try to rationalize it as a "spiritual challenge" to be met but as a "spiritual trap" to be escaped. Get away as fast as you can! God gives such a clear and strong command because porneia is so serious, so seductive, so corrupting and so shattering to spiritual relationships, both human and divine! So flee for your life.

An excellent well known illustration of "fleeing immorality" is found in the account of Joseph when he was tempted to sin by Potiphar’s wife Joseph addressing her advances declared

“There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil, and sin against God? [Joseph feared Jehovah and so turned away from evil, cf Job 1:1, Ps 119:104, 128, 168, Pr 8:13, 16:6]”10 And it came about as she spoke to Joseph day after day, that he did not listen to her to lie beside her, or be with her.11 Now it happened one day (God allowed this test - in every test of our hearts there is the potential that it will turn into a temptation and we will succumb to the lust of our flesh, James 1:14) that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside.12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside.) (Genesis 39:9-12)

How serious is immorality? Paul's rhetorical question indicates the consequences can be eternally serious asking...

Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (
1Cor 6:9-10)

William MacDonald commenting on the passage in first Corinthians adds that Paul... does not mean to imply that Christians can practice such sins and be lost, but rather he is saying that people who practice such sins are not Christians. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or Logos) (Comment: Don't misinterpret what he is saying -- he does not say Christians can never fall into this trap of sexual sin. When a Christian commits sexual sin, he or she is one of the more miserable individuals you will ever meet. And although they may be trapped by the cords of sin as in Pr 5:22, their heart's desire to not to commit the sin but to come out of that sin. If they have no desire and make no efforts whatsoever to be extirpated from that sin, that is when one has to begin to wonder whether they are truly regenerate.)

In Romans 1 Paul clearly links idolatry with immorality writing... "Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures (idolatry). Therefore God gave them over (a judicial term in Gr., used for handing over a prisoner to his sentence. When men consistently abandon God, He will abandon them) in the lusts of their hearts to impurity (a general term describing decaying matter, like the contents of a grave and in context speaks of sexual immorality), that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie (an idol is a lie, a false representation of God), and worshiped and served the creature (idolatry) rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over (God's judicial sentence because of their idolatry was to deliverer them over to the power of) to degrading (dishonoring, disgracing, shameful) passions (which resulted in erotic activity with members of their own sex); for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." (Romans 1:22-27)(see notes beginning with Ro 1:22)

Comment: When men suppress the truth about God and fail to give thanks to Him and honor Him (Ro 1:18, 19-note, Ro 1:20, 21-note), they move away from one of the greatest "protections" against sexual immorality. Notice the same relation in 1Thessalonians 4:5 (note) where the Gentiles are "defined" as those who do not know God and this failure to know God is linked by Paul with their practice of "lustful passions". It follows that the way to defeat lustful passions is to know God. In 2Cor 11:3 the deception by the devil is to draw men's thoughts (the battle is in our mind) away from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. Again it follows that the best defense from being deceived (by the devil or the lust of our flesh, James 1:14, 15-note) is to maintain a single hearted (sincere), pure devotion to Christ (i.e., know God!) Sheep are always safest when they remain close to the Chief Shepherd.

In summary, the best defense in our life long fight against the pull of our fallen flesh to gratify ourselves through illicit sexual activity, is to cultivate our relationship with the Chief Shepherd. Compare a similar "pattern" in Galatians 5:16 [note] where first we choose to continually obey Paul's command, and moment by moment to surrender to the control and empowerment by the Spirit of Christ, Who then enables us to not gratify the lusts of the flesh. This description is nothing short of the "victorious Christian life."

http://joshfults.com/Jesus,Hugh Hefner, and the Heart by Walk Good

Here a good article on pornography regarding the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue:

Baptist Press on acceptance of "softcore" pornography in mainstream media

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