The Gospel in Your Bedroom?

God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. (1 Thessalonians 4:7, NIV)

What is the apostle Paul saying here? What does this mean? Let’s look at it negatively and then positively.

Negatively: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified, that you should avoid sexual immorality” (4:3). The word Paul uses here is “porneia” (from which we get our word “pornography”). It was used in New Testament times to describe any kind of sexual sin.

Positively: “It is God’s will that … each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable” (4:4). It could be that Paul is making a general statement about the importance of self-control, but it seems more likely that Paul is speaking specifically to those who are married, and that he is speaking about the intimate relationship of a husband and wife.

God’s purpose is that the transforming power of the gospel should extend even into the private world of the bedroom. God’s will for a Christian husband is that you relate sexually to your wife in a way that makes her feel honored. God’s will for a Christian wife is that you relate sexually to your husband in a way that makes him feel honored.

Notice, this is something God wants us to “learn” (4:4). This means it does not always come naturally, but you can grow in this by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in you.

What would be a step you could take in living a more pure and holy life?


Colin Smith (@PastorColinS) is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

Date Posted: Jan 23rd, 2017