God has a beautiful plan for human intimacy. In this message, we explore how the early Christians living in Thessalonica honored God with their sexuality and how we can do the same. We’ll learn why we should honor our bodies as a part of a larger plan God has for our lives and how our sexual self-control is a way to love others.
Group Discussion Guide
Debrief as a group about last week. What was the “High” and “Low” from the week so far? How did last week’s application go?
After debriefing the past week, begin your time with prayer.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
Think of a time you used something in a way that went against its original intention. We do this all the time in our culture: People put milk in their cereal instead of drinking it, Listerine was invented as a surgical antiseptic, and Coca-Cola and 7Up were originally medicines. Sometimes, however, the intention of something is meant to be followed and not strayed from. Paul talks about this in his letter to the Thessalonians, stating that “God’s will is for you to be holy…,” specifically talking about staying away from sexual sin in our lives as we’re discussing how to live in the end times.
This leads us to our big idea:
Big Idea for this week
We should honor God with our embodied selves.
- When was a time that you used something in a way that it was not intended to be used? Why was it used that way?
- In what ways have you found yourself not living up to your purpose in your life?
- What do you think it means to be “embodied” in terms of our relationship with Jesus?
Go around your group and have someone read each of the following verses, then discuss the connected questions.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:1-9
Our culture states that whatever feels good is acceptable, and we should do that.
- When have you found yourself falling into this thought process? Did that end in a positive or negative experience? Why?
- What do you think it means to “be holy”? Why is this important?
- Why does sexual purity matter?
- How can having a community help us live holy lives with our sexuality? What would this look like?
- Romans 8:12-16
- What do you think it means to be “children of God”?
- How might your relationships and interactions with people change if you saw them as spiritual brothers and sisters? How would it change our sexual interactions?
- Matthew 7:1-2
This passage talks about how we will be judged and treated in the way that we treat others.
- Do you think we tend to rank certain sexual sins as more serious than other sins? Why or why not?
- How does Jesus’ teaching in this passage give us caution about how we think of others?
Based on the verses we just read, there are a few things that we can do in response. Take a moment to discuss these application questions as a group:
- How can we as a community help each other be pure with our sexuality through Jesus
- How can we be more empathetic to others that may be in a difficult time in their life when it comes to the topic of purity?
- How can we embody the life of Christ in our relationships with others this week? Why should we do this?
Living a life of sexual purity is, at its base level, a very similar conversation to what we have been going through the past two weeks. Just as we should be checking our motivations and expecting challenges in the end times, God’s will for us is to pursue purity in our relationships. Part of how we display the good news that Jesus came to proclaim is by showing that a life of devotion to Jesus is a better way to live than a life devoted to ourselves and the world.
Accountability is an important factor in our pursuit of sexual purity. Therefore, is there a godly person in your life that you talk with about this topic? What can we do this week to identify a go-to person to meet with and share that portion of your life together?
- Ask for prayer requests and conclude your time with prayer.
Daily Bible Reading
Use the S.O.A.K. method to reflect on the verses below.
Scripture: Read the verses several times out loud.
Observation: As you read the scripture, what do you observe?
Application: What is God wanting you to believe, do or feel based on what you have read?
Kneel: This is a chance to pray about what you have read and learned.
- Day 1: Psalm 24:1-5
- Day 2: James 1:27
- Day 3: Colossians 3:1-2
- Day 4: Philippians 1:27
- Day 5: 2 Corinthians 7:1
- Day 6: 2 Timothy 2:21-24