“Love is a pure and holy principle, but lustful passion will not admit of restraint and will not be dictated to or controlled by reason. It is blind to consequences; it will not reason from cause to effect.”-Ellen G. White, Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, p. 222.
“[Love] is pure and holy. But the passion of the natural heart is another thing altogether. While pure love will take God into all its plans, and will be in perfect harmony with the Spirit of God, passion will be headstrong, rash, unreasonable, defiant of all restraint, and will make the object of its choice an idol. In all the deportment of one who possesses true love, the grace of God will be shown.”-Ellen G. White, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, September 25, 1888.
“Those who would not fall a prey to Satan’s devices, must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The mind must not be left to dwell at random upon every subject that the enemy of souls may suggest. The heart must be faithfully sentineled, or evils without will awaken evils within, and the soul will wander in darkness.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 518.
- In The Acts of the Apostles, p. 518 (see above), Ellen White talks about “guarding the avenues of the soul.” What are some practical ways believers can do this? What implications does this principle have for our choices in entertainment and education?
- In 1 Thessalonians Paul frequently uses the phrase “more and more” to describe growth in character and Christian behavior. What can churches do to encourage this kind of “more and more”?
- If a young person asked you to give at least two practical reasons why he or she should “wait until marriage” before sex, what would you say, and why?
Summary: In the first twelve verses of chapter 4, Paul tackles a couple of the most difficult problems found in most churches, particularly urban churches. Sexuality is a very private matter; yet, there is abundant peril to the church when sexual immorality is not confronted. Equally important is the kind of church the world sees in the neighborhood and workplace. Paul’s guidelines in these matters are as important today as they were in his time.