Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4
Thesis: Sex should never be allowed to become a 'painful obsession'.
Introduction: In our previous study we looked into Paul's turn toward things sexual and saw that the reason for it was most likely his statement in 5:23 where he revealed his consuming interest in "entire sanctification" as a matter of spirit, soul, and body. It also indicates that there is a kind of Achilles' heel in believer's bodies that seems to be focused upon things sexual because of the problem of an overcommitment to things pleasurable.
This evening we are going to take a look at the 'negative side' of his argument...negative in the sense that his original focus was upon taking ownership of one's body as the instrument of the indwelling Christ for the manifestation of His Life in terms of "sanctification" and "honor". This 'negative side' focuses upon what the Authorized Version calls "the lust of concupiscence".
November 9, 2014
- I. Defining the Issue.
- A. The words translated "lust" and "concupiscence" (AV), or "lustful" and "passion" (NASB) are not inherently negative terms.
- 1. Paul used the verb root of the term translated "lust/lustful" in 2:14 to refer to "the suffering of painful situations" imposed by adversaries.
- a. In the culture, this word had obtained a meaning that indicated a significant experience that created a reaction in the spirit, soul, or body (positive or negative).
- b. The entire issue of reaction is totally dependent upon one's values and beliefs.
- c. Paul clearly has dominating motivation in mind in our text.
- 2. He also used the term translated "concupiscence/passion" in 2:17 to refer to the potency of his desire to see the Thessalonians again.
- B. Both of the words focus upon the potency of motivation to act in a certain way.
- C. The conclusion is this: Paul clearly sees the issue as one of the body being so motivated to act in a given way that it is completely out of line with "sanctification" and "honor".
- 1. In short, I have taken the description to signify "a body in complete control of the person".
- 2. Both pain and pleasure are in view in such a way as to signify the person as being totally intimidated (pain) and motivated (pleasure) by the physical issues of sexual interaction.
- II. The Impact of the "Not".
- A. Paul has already established the fact that the body is to be under a greater commitment than its own pain/pleasure sensors: "sanctification" means to be committed to God's purpose for the body (a vehicle for the overt manifestation of the inner Spirit of Jesus as He is wedded to the soul) and "honor" means to understand how valid and important the body is as this vehicle.
- B. Thus, the "not" is a direct contradiction of the motivations of those who know not God (it is fundamentally impossible to be committed to God's purpose if one does not even know Him).
- III. The Root Motivational Basis For "Not In...".
- A. Paul appeals to "having known God with on-going repercussions of that knowledge" [Perfect Active Participle].
- B. The type of knowledge indicated is not what would be normally expected in a "sexual" context.
- 1. Generally, sexual interaction indicates a level of experiential knowing that transcends the merely intellectual.
- 2. But Paul chooses to call the "ignorance" a matter of a vacuum in the brain: no knowledge of God at any useful level.
- C. Paul seems to be saying that merely the true "knowledge" of God will put some restraints upon letting the body run the show.
- IV. The Purpose: Protection of Those Involved.
- A. The actual problem.
- 1. Going beyond prescribed boundaries.
- 2. Actually defrauding someone.
- B. God's Interests.
- 1. On the one hand, the "victim" is in view: a fellow-believer's actual well being is being degraded.
- 2. On the other hand, the "perpetrator" is actually subject to God's "avenging" reaction, which is non-negotiable.
- a. He is an avenger.
- b. We have both forewarned you and intently testified to you.