What is it that the New Testament teaches us about sex and abstinence? Many of us as Christians may have wondered about this very question. The one thing that I learned is that before we can go diving through the Epistles for understanding, we first need to understand the teachings and very words of Jesus Christ. For through Him and By Him, everything stands. So whatever the Messiah is telling us, it has to be true. We can then build our foundation off of the principles that He taught us. Finally, we can compare them to the Epistles and understand how they were saying the same thing.
We are told by Jesus in Matthew, Mark, and Luke to deny ourselves and take up our cross. So what is one thing that the Messiah is referring to? What is so important about these words that Jesus rephrases it differently throughout the Gospels? As we will further look into this by looking at the root words, I want you to consider what Paul tells us in Romans 2:12-15.
“For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.” Paul is basically telling us that most know the difference between right and wrong. Most people know that adultery is a bad thing. Although, why would the Lord be telling us to deny ourselves of something that we already know we shouldn’t be doing? Let’s now look at Luke 9:23 where Jesus says, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Below is the KJV Bible with the original Greek translated for further understanding. Take the time to read what it says, digest it, and think upon it.
Jesus just told us in the Bible to, deny utterly, abstain, and disown ourselves. He said we are to do it daily through self denial. He finally told us that we all need to accompany Him as His disciple, by being the same way He is, and by following Him. One very important Scripture that Jesus says, which very few are even knowledgeable of, is Luke 14:33, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” So, based on the words of Jesus as our original foundation, as the author and finisher of our faith, the beginning and the end, should we be having sex? The answer is no, period.
Jesus tells us, “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” Another interesting verse to consider from Jesus is, “If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” In any of Jesus’ teachings, did He give any room for but or although? The answer once again is no. We are told by the Messiah to disown ourselves, abstain, and to forsake everything. And we are told that this isn’t a one and done deal. We are to deny ourselves daily. The Bible says, “they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
After knowing what the Lord told us, most of us should know that we are all to be Judged out of the Bible. What if we are told by an Apostle, that he himself is speaking, and not the Lord? First, and most importantly, it’s not the Lord speaking. Second to that, we need to take everything into context and look at all that is being said. Let’s now look at 1 Corinthians 7:1. “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” What does the word good mean in the original Greek?
The word for good means beautiful, valuable, virtuous, honest, meet, well, worthy, and better. Paul goes on to talk about them struggling with being able to contain themselves. He says in verse 6, he is stating this by permission, and not of commandment. His desire is for them eventually to become as he is. Let’s look at these verses here.
We have Paul telling us that he is familiar with the struggles that they are all going through because he himself, is in the flesh. And he specifies that he isn’t speaking as an authority on the matter, by a decree, or by commandment. In 1 Corinthians 3, we learn that the church at Corinth is an inferior church. “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” In his attempt, he is trying to get them to move beyond their flesh to become as the Savior is. But in a slow manner, because of all the struggles that they are having as a body of believers.
Let’s now look further at some of the additional things that Paul states in 1 Corinthians 7. After going through a long speech about sex, he says in verse 26, “I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.” He finishes this in verse 29 with, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none.” Once again reaffirming that they should be moving away from this. After going again over the fleshly side of things, he summarizes with, “And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.”
Why don’t we take what Paul was teaching this carnally minded church, which was still being fed with milk, and compare it to one of his teachings elsewhere. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.” Does it say to abstain form adultery? No, we all know that adultery is a sin. Below, is the definition of concupiscence, as well as some synonyms.
I will now ask you this question. Should we be abstaining from sex? What is the meaning of concupiscence? Did Jesus say, “He that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple?” What else do we learn on this subject in the Bible, from Peter? “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” Below is 1 Peter 2:11-12 with the translated text. Pay attention to what the words conversation, and honest mean.
We are told by Peter to be abstaining pertaining to the flesh. He left no room for a but or although either. He tells us to have our behavior better, more honest, and more virtuous than everyone else. It is the same word that Paul uses in the very beginning of 1 Corinthians 7. Why did Peter say this? Most importantly, outside of the Lord telling us this, it is required for our sanctification of the Spirit. Paul was pushing the carnally minded church at Corinth towards this very thing. As in 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” You can’t be a chaste virgin to Christ if you are still having sex with your spouse, can you? Now, watch this video…
At this point, the evidence is overwhelming, and the Truth speaks for itself. Yet, there are still some that make an attempt to negate everything that Jesus said and throw this verse at you, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Paul goes in length in the book of Hebrews about the New Testament, or the new covenant, between Christ and His church. Or, I should specify, Christ and His bride. He speaks on the fulfillment of the Law, and Jesus being a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. The word for bed means cohabitation and Paul is speaking upon the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Part of the great mystery concerning Christ and His Church. If you become married to Christ, would you even conceive of continuing to have sex with your earthly spouse? “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” – Romans 7:4.
What does the Book of Revelation say about the 144,000 which are to be redeemed from the earth, as firstfruits of Christ? Why do so many believe that the rapture is going to be millions, if not billions of people?
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” – Revelation 14:1-5.
Let’s recap and add some more. Does Jesus give us the parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins? Are they virgins? Does Jesus tells us to disown and utterly deny ourselves? Are we told by the Messiah to forsake everything? Does the First Epistle of John say the same thing? We are told to walk as Jesus walked, as well as, those who are born of God, their seed remains in them. We are told By Jesus and the teachers in the New Testament to become as little children. Do little children have sex? Was Paul and Peter teaching us to abstain from sex? Yes. Every teacher in the New Testament, even Jude was teaching the exact same principle of the Gospel. The question is whether you are willing to listen, and to receive it.
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ… But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.”
And it goes on and on, over and again, once you have understood and fully believed this principle of the Gospel. May you all find that in which you seek. “He that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple.” – Jesus Christ. It’s time to let go of it all brethren. Stay blessed.
Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner