Sermon Notes

Getting Stronger
“Stronger Sex”
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

Sex is so deeply spiritual, it needs to be taught and learned as a part of discipleship.

  1. Learning to please God
    1. God is pleased when we do His will
    2. God is pleased when we pursue sanctification
  2. Learning to live a sanctified life
    1. Sanctification is the process of being made holy
    2. Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Christ
    3. Sanctification includes avoiding sexual immorality
  3. Learning to avoid sexual immorality
    1. Begin with God’s vision for sex
      • Sex was invented by God as good.
      • Sex within marriage is beautiful and blessed.
      • Sex glues our soul to another person.
      • Sin distorts and deforms what is good.
    2. Understand sexual immorality
      • Sexuality + sin = sexual immorality
        • starts in our hearts and minds
        • shows up in our actions: premarital sex, adultery, hookup culture, pornography, abuse, homosexuality, incest, etc.
      • “Any kind of sexual activity outside the context of one man and one woman in a marriage covenant.”
    3. Realize the destructive power of sexual immorality
      • It destroys community
      • It damages your soul
      • It devastates real intimacy
    4. Pursue God’s purpose for your life
      • God’s purpose for your life is holiness
      • God’s gift is the Holy Spirit
        • He convicts us of our sin
        • He points us to Jesus
        • He applies forgiveness to our hearts
        • He heals our shame
        • He empowers us to live holy lives

LifeGroup Questions

  1. Icebreaker: What was the first time that you realized that culture and Christianity had different views about sex?
  2. What is the difference between viewing sex as recreational versus viewing it as sacred?
  3. Do you actually prefer the Christian teaching on sex?
    Why or why not?
  4. Ultimately, we do the things that we most deeply want at that moment.
    What does what you do sexually demonstrate about what you value?
  5. What makes sexual immorality so destructive?
  6. Read Hebrews 13:4.
    What practical steps can we take to keep our marriage bed pure, whether or not we are currently married?
  7. What have you found helpful in your journey to avoid sexual immorality?
  8. What should you do when you’re caught in a pattern of sexual sin? (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:2)

All of us have dealt with sexual sin in our lives. But every day, Jesus offers a new beginning! A liturgy for group confession is provided below, and can help give words to our sorrow and repentance. We encourage you to read through this liturgy together, to contemplate what it says, and to pray it together to God with sincere hearts. As you do, remember John’s words: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

Leader: Gracious God, we have come to see that our lives fall far short of your glory.
Group: Have mercy and forgive us.

Leader: You have given your Son for us, and poured out your Spirit, yet we fail to return your love with all our heart.
Group: Have mercy and change us.

Leader: Too often we are selfish and proud, ignoring you and neglecting others.
Group: Have mercy and cleanse us.

Leader: When we do not truly trust and obey you, we are overwhelmed by self-pity, fear and worry.
Group: Have mercy and deliver us.

Leader: In Christ we are given a sure hope and secure love, yet we follow the false hopes and desires of this world.
Group: Have mercy and renew us.

Leader: Father, through the redeeming death of your Son, by your Spirit, and through your word, enable us to follow you with joy.
Group: All this we ask, confident of your faithfulness and love. Amen.