Tough Love Toward Sexual Sin

Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

Think of a time when your concern for another called for tough love.

Your desire for their greatest good and the good of others forced you to not tolerate the immoral or selfish behavior.

When people persist in destructive or selfish behavior - especially scandalous sin - it calls for tough love, not toleration.

People watch and people talk. And what we do as believers is done in Jesus’ name.

Like Corinth of old, our society devalues a person’s dignity by objectifying them sexually. When people are treated as objects to pursue to fulfill raw pleasure, real pain is the result.

Western culture has normalized being permissive, promiscuous, even pornographic.

When the church tolerates this, it marginalizes the pain Jesus endured to teach the value of every soul and mars our testimony.

So, what is to be our response to the toleration and spread of sexual immorality?

What culture condones the church may have to confront – even with tough love – for the greatest good. (From 1 Corinthians 5:1-8):

1. The Dangerous Spin (1-2)

A culture complacent with sexual immorality is a society in a death spiral. God’s word speaks decidedly against normalizing sexual sin.

If we fail to repent, we become reprobate (Rom. 1:18-32).

Our society glorifies sinful pleasure. The church cannot. It’s wrong, ruinous, real, and must be dealt with.

We understand because at times we struggle. When sexual sin is not taken seriously, we suffer.

2. The Discipline (3-8)

Like America, Corinth was sexualized. But fornication (root: porneia / pornography) is not to be the Christian normal.

Its destructive influence must be purged. Injuries abound from its affects.

Yet it finds its way into the church because cultural values die hard.

Sanctification is a process of purging the old, putting on the new, transformational not merely informational (2 Cor. 5:17-21, 7:1).

Those wounded or bound by sexual sin cannot thrive in an environment that tolerates or flaunts it.

So, what do we do with brazen sexual immorality: Purge it! Tough love! Some guiding principles:

1)   (1 Cor. 5:5). Extreme measures are reserved for extreme malefactors. Not all cancers require surgery.

2)   Charity is our response when repentance is present, chastening when it isn’t. Our goal: Restoration.

3)   Discipline serves as a deterrent. Scripture, not culture or other Christians, shapes our response to sin.

4)   Therefore, we may have to remove the unrepentant before we can restore them (2 Tim. 2:19-26).

If you’re struggling with immorality, impurity, the power of a pleasure-indulgent life that’s causing real pain to yourself or others, Jesus faced your temptations yet without sin - that’s the power of Christ in you.

But when raw pleasure is your pursuit, pain will be the result. If you’re tolerating or trapped in sexual sin the wisdom and power of the cross is the path to freedom.

Purge the promiscuity before it brings more pain.

Jesus Christ suffered the pain of crucifixion to deliver us from the destructive power of our sinful passions.

Ask Christ to free you from the pain of sexual sin to a pure and powerful life that brings glory to God.

The leavening influence of sexual sin and pain it spreads cannot be tolerated.

Tough love may be required to rid it from your life before it ruins your life and those around you. It’s for your (and our) greatest good.

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