A Changed Life Includes Pursuing Sexual Purity
One thing that is interesting to consider in the New Testament is how many times issues of sexual purity are brought up by the authors. It is no secret that the early Roman and Greek cultures of the New Testament times were filled with a wide variety of sexual immorality. Their gods were immoral, and they were merely imitating their immorality.
As people got saved, the need for sexual transformation was also communicated by the apostolic writers. The gospel seeks to change a person's life entirely, including their view and practice of sexuality. One of the hallmark issues mentioned in the NT is how the believer needs to think and act with regards to sexuality. Here is a brief listing of some passages, along with simple thoughts about them that supports this notion.
Jesus, in Matthew 5:27-30, highlighted not only the physical act, but even the inward rehearsal of sexual immorality as being sinful.
Romans 1:24-31 - God condemns sexual and homosexual sins, as well as those who give their approval of such sins (consider that in today's society).
1 Corinthians 5:1-12 - God condemns sexual immorality within the church.
1 Corinthians 6:9-18 - Believers are called upon to live a life of moral and sexual purity, a transformed life, from what they were to what they are in Christ.
1 Corinthians 7 largely deals with morality and purity within a Christian marriage.
Galatians 5:16-26 highlights how various forms of sexual immorality are characteristic of the sinful flesh, while purity and holiness are manifestations of the Spirit of God, which we are to follow.
Ephesians 4:17-24 - Christians are called to a new morality and sexuality, which is different than the morality and sexuality lived out by the unsaved.
Ephesians 5:1-16 - Christians are called upon to imitate Christ, not the world, with regards to issues of sexuality and morality.
Colossians 3:5-7 - Christians are to put off sexual immorality which is characteristic of an unsaved life.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 - It is God's will for Christians to be sexually pure. This is a sign of a changed life.
1 Timothy 4:12 - Believers are called upon to be an example of moral and sexual purity.
2 Timothy 2:22 - Believers are to flee sinful, youthful, sexual lusts.
Hebrews 13:4 - God honors marriage that is sexually pure.
1 Peter 4:1-6 - Because of the work of Christ, we are not to live our lives like lost people, including their lifestyle of sexual immorality.
There may be other passages that come to your mind, but these are clear enough. Sexual immorality is a devastating spiritual problem that many of God's people struggle with, to one degree or another.
While the temptations are real, and virtually everywhere, Christians - both men AND women - must strive for vigilance, diligent dependence upon the Spirit of God, and humble obedience to the will of God. The bent of our hearts, and the pattern of our lives, needs to be directed and characterized by our love for God, holiness, and purity.
Yet, we also must realize that even some of the "greatest" can stumble. King David, the man after God's own heart, fell. Solomon, the wisest of all men, fell. Sampson, the strongest of men, fell. Abraham, the father of the Judeo-Christian faith, fell. Judah, the tribe from which our Messiah came, fell. And the list goes on.
Christians cannot be numb to the sexual temptations that are all around. We cannot think we are beyond such temptations, or spiritually mature enough to overcome them ourselves. Nor can we adopt, even in small form, the sexual immorality that is characteristic of the unsaved world.
One of the key things that will distinguish us as Christians from unsaved people, is our adherence to a biblical sexual ethic, governed by the holiness of God, the moral directives of the Scripture, and our faithful and diligent submission to the Spirit of God.
May God help us to live a moral and pure life for the glory of God.