* Sexual immorality – “a broad term that includes every kind of illicit sexual activity.”
* Impurity – “a general moral uncleanness but in this context seems to mean being unclean because of immoral sexual practices.”
* Passion – (which is translated by the Holman Christian Standard Bible as “lust”) – “disgraceful passions which lead to sexual excesses.”
* Evil desire – “a longing for what is forbidden.”
* Covetousness (which is idolatry) – (which is actually translated “greed” in the HCSB) “The term carries the implication of doing whatever it takes to get what one wants.”
As I noted in the post, these are instructions given to Christians. Paul reminds us, if we are born again, these things in particular need to be put to death. But I also have something else to say on this subject.
The words used in this passage all seem to point to sexual sin. And by sexual sin, Paul means a variety of sins. In our culture today, many seem to think (or act like) there is one sexual sin: homosexuality. The Bible does call homosexuality a sin, but there are others as well. Adultery, premarital sex, abortion, certain divorces and lust just to name a few. When we look around our culture today, it’s easy to see these things happening (or to realize that we are participating in them).
I’m not a homosexual, but if I were, the hypocrisy would be overwhelming. “So you’re telling me I can’t marry the person I love, yet you people are doing whatever else.” It doesn’t seem right, does it?
Now, to be sure, two wrongs (or more than that) don’t make a right. Just because certain sins are proliferating in our culture, it doesn’t mean that one more should be added. No, what Christendom in the United States needs is a serious dose of repentance.
Paul is telling this to us clearly, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you.” If we want our culture to change, if we want to stop the demise of our culture, then it must start with us individually and we must repent. We must repent of all types of sexual immorality. We must repent of any sort of impurity. We must repent of our sexual passions that go outside the boundaries of God-honoring sexual relations. We must repent of our evil desires. And we must repent of our covetousness in this area because this is idolatry.
And we must start with ourselves.