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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Emekrus

Living Soberly

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For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world”—Titus 2:11-12

 

From the above scripture, we see clearly that God by his grace instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. But we want to study in particular, what the Lord means by ‘living soberly’ in the context of the opening text.

 

The word translated as ‘soberly’ in the opening text, is from the Greek word ‘sophronos’ meaning— sound mind. That is, ‘moderately’. So when the Lord instructs us by his grace to live soberly, he means we should live moderately or modestly.

 

Now, when the Lord asks us to live moderate or modest life, he knows it requires grace. So he doesn’t leave us to struggle on our own strength. Rather the word of God tells us that God has already given us the spirit of sound mind or self-discipline (see 2Timothy 1:7).

 

So God by his saving grace instructs us to live soberly. And in line with the instruction, he gives us the spirit of sound mind at salvation. So we don’t have any excuse not to obey this gracious instruction from our loving Father—God.

 

How Then Do We Live Soberly

 

With the above point established from the scriptures of truth, the very next thing we want to dig into is how we are to live soberly. This includes the areas or aspects of our lives that require sobriety as Christians. And they are as follows:

 

1.    Thoughts: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of Faith”—Romans 12:3

We are to be sober or exercise discipline or moderation in our thoughts. Because when we don’t control our thoughts, we may be derailed into errors. Such as high-mindedness, pride, heresy, and self-delusion, etc. So we must think with moderation in the spirit as Christians.
 

2.    Words: “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise”—Proverbs 10:19
The words of our mouths per time, is another thing we have to exercise moderation or control over as believers. As believers, we are to avoid undue talkativeness. We also have to control the kind of words that proceed from our mouths in every situation, even when we are angry.

A Christian should not avail himself the liberty of saying any kind of word that comes to his mind like the unbelievers. Our words can make or mar us and others. And that is why we must moderate our words carefully by the grace of God in us.
 

3.    Sexually: “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 honour”—1Thessalonians 4:3-4

Vessel in the above scripture, figuratively refers to our bodies. We are to know how to possess our bodies in sanctification and honour. We are to abstain from fornication (or adultery, for the married). And of course, doing this requires self-control or discipline by the help of the Holy Spirit.

Lack of self-discipline or self-control is a major reason behind sexual perversion amongst believers. That is why we have believers who are trapped in one sexual sin or the other. Some are involved in fornication; some in adultery and others are in pornography and masturbation.

Then for some married Christians, in the name of marital liberty, they indulge in all manner of sexual perversion. Such as oral sex, sleeping with their wives during their menstrual periods. And one of the major cures to these sexual perversions is self-control by the grace of God in us.
 

4.    Emotion: “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls”—Proverbs 25:28

We are to also be sober in our emotion. Especially anger. The word of God instructs us to be angry and sin not. That we should not allow the sun go down upon our wrath (see Ephesians 4:26).
 

5.    Adornment or Dressing:  “in like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array, but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10

The above scripture speaks to women. But it applies to men as well. Christians are to be sober or modest in their adornment or dressing. There are dressings or adornments which are not fitting for Christians. And concerning this issue, I would want us to let the Holy Ghost guide us on how to dress modestly as believers.
 

6.    Appetite: Christians are also expected to exercise moderation and control on their appetite for food. Many believers eat and eat until they become obese. Some even develop sicknesses as a result of over-eating.

 Others can’t even bring their selves to fast because of lack of discipline for their appetite. So believers do need to moderate their appetite for food; instead of letting their appetite for food control and undo them.
 

7.    Material Acquisition: Another area believers need to be sober is the quest for material acquisition or possessions. Many a believer have grotesque love for material possessions.

Yes, God does prosper believers financially. But the essence is not for needless and extravagant material acquisitions. There is no essence in a believer acquiring fleet of cars, when one or two would just be enough for the family. If someone has a car and wants a change, why not sell the old one, add money to it and get a new one…

 instead of needlessly acquiring cars everywhere. The same also goes for every other material possession. For some, they build houses with many rooms they do not have need of. For some others, they acquire clothes and shoes much more than they need. And they won’t even give out the excesses. Then for many others, including some average people, they acquire so much food than they need and eventually end up wasting most of them. 

God blesses us with abundant material blessings so we can be a blessing to others. If you have excess and you don’t know what to do with them, just ask God to direct you on whom and how to give.

And I bet you, if you truly listen to God’s leading, there are more than enough people to reach out to. And as you do reach out to them, you’ll be more fulfilled and joyful than you would with needless material possessions.

The Lord is not against our material possessions. But he doesn’t want needless or extravagant possessions. Instead he wants us to be modest or moderate in our material possessions.

 

So that’s it. The Lord requires us to live soberly or moderately in everything, in this present world. And the major areas of life the Lord wants us to be sober or moderate are those in the list above.

 

Remain Blessed!

 

Emeke Odili

 

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4 hours ago, Emekrus said:

they indulge in all manner of sexual perversion. Such as oral sex

 

 You have lots of good points in your post. I do not know though how oral sex with one's spouse is sexual perversion.

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2 hours ago, Faber said:

 

 You have lots of good points in your post. I do not know though how oral sex with one's spouse is sexual perversion.

Thanks for your compliment.

 

Oral Sex with one's spouse is sexual perversion because it goes against natural design of God. 

 

It is dirty.

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1 hour ago, Faber said:

Well, 

the article seems to be limiting the scope of oral sex to breast.

 

If it is only about breast I will agree with them.

 

But I am talking about spouses using their mouths on each others private parts.

 

Do you think such act is for Christians?

Edited by Emekrus

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2 minutes ago, Emekrus said:

Well, 

the article seems to be limiting the scope of oral sex to breast.

 

 It doesn't limit it at all.

 

 I am not sure you can find a passage that forbids oral sex between spouses.

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1 hour ago, Faber said:

 It doesn't limit it at all.

 

 I am not sure you can find a passage that forbids oral sex between spouses.

Let's check out this one:

Romans 1:

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

 

From the above scripture it is obvious that God is interested in the natural use.

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1. This is sex between unmarried people.

2. This is sex between people of of the same gender.

 

 That is far different from what a husband and wife choose to do together among only themselves.

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1 hour ago, Faber said:

1. This is sex between unmarried people.

2. This is sex between people of of the same gender.

 

 That is far different from what a husband and wife choose to do together among only themselves.

Well, verse 26 didn't specify whether married or unmarried as we can see.

 

Yes, verse 27 talks about same gender. 

 

But in either case the major point is natural use.

 

To accept oral sex in marriage ( giving a head in sex) is to also accept anal sex.

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Since they were homosexuals they can never be "married" in the eyes of God.

 

 It's interesting that in the list of sins to avoid that God spake unto Moses oral sex was not mentioned. Many other sexual sins were. 

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1 hour ago, Faber said:

Since they were homosexuals they can never be "married" in the eyes of God.

 

 It's interesting that in the list of sins to avoid that God spake unto Moses oral sex was not mentioned. Many other sexual sins were. 

But verse 26 didn't mention homosexuality. So we cannot in the context point to married or unmarried.

 

Then as for the second point, I am yet to see where anal sex or masturbation was spoken against  in the scriptures.

 

Does it mean we can give  pass to them as well?

Edited by Emekrus

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v. 27 begins with "and in the same way" and then goes on to speak about homosexuality between men. Thus it is a continuation of the homosexuality among women being discussed in v. 26.

 

 Anal sex:

 Something similar might be said with regard to anal sex, but it is crucial to add that we have special concerns about this practice. Renowned Christian sex therapists Clifford and Joyce Penner report that the majority of women who engage in anal sex with their husbands admit that they do not enjoy it and feel violated. In such cases, anal sex would appear to breach the biblical concept of mutual respect and enjoyment between partners. There are also serious medical risks associated with anal sex, including the danger of bacterial and viral infections of the vagina, penis, rectum and anus. That's not to mention that rectal tissue is more delicate and thus more vulnerable to tearing and abrasion than vaginal tissue. With these points in mind, we would strongly caution couples against this practice.

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/relationships-and-marriage/oral-and-anal-sex-biblical-guidelines-for-intimacy-in-marriage

 

 In terms of masturbation see here:

https://carm.org/is-masturbation-wrong

 

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5 hours ago, Faber said:

v. 27 begins with "and in the same way" and then goes on to speak about homosexuality between men. Thus it is a continuation of the homosexuality among women being discussed in v. 26.

 

 Anal sex:

 Something similar might be said with regard to anal sex, but it is crucial to add that we have special concerns about this practice. Renowned Christian sex therapists Clifford and Joyce Penner report that the majority of women who engage in anal sex with their husbands admit that they do not enjoy it and feel violated. In such cases, anal sex would appear to breach the biblical concept of mutual respect and enjoyment between partners. There are also serious medical risks associated with anal sex, including the danger of bacterial and viral infections of the vagina, penis, rectum and anus. That's not to mention that rectal tissue is more delicate and thus more vulnerable to tearing and abrasion than vaginal tissue. With these points in mind, we would strongly caution couples against this practice.

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-q-and-a/relationships-and-marriage/oral-and-anal-sex-biblical-guidelines-for-intimacy-in-marriage

 

 In terms of masturbation see here:

https://carm.org/is-masturbation-wrong

 

Well the article you pointed me to concerning anal sex shows clearly that there are medical risks involved with anal sex.

 

Its conclusion on masturbation  for the most part of it is that its not fitting for Christians professing godliness...

 

And Oral Sex as well has as much medical risk as anal sex. Example of such health issue associated with oral sex (especially giving head) is Mouth Cancer which is very deadly.

 

Why would any Christian put his self and spouse in such risk in the name of marital sexual liberty?

 

At least it is natural that mouth goes to breast. At least children suck breast. But mouth going to the vagina or penis or even anus is clearly very unnatural and dirty. 

 

And is not fitting for believers even in Marriage.

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1 minute ago, Emekrus said:

And is not fitting for believers even in Marriage.

 

 I see no command from Scriptures that support your assertion. You first appealed to Romans 1, but that didn't apply. For you to say it isn't "fitting" is your opinion. Now if you don't want to engage in such an activity that is your choice, but you have no biblical justification to tell others that if they so do that it is a sin.

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1 hour ago, Faber said:

 

 I see no command from Scriptures that support your assertion. You first appealed to Romans 1, but that didn't apply. For you to say it isn't "fitting" is your opinion. Now if you don't want to engage in such an activity that is your choice, but you have no biblical justification to tell others that if they so do that it is a sin.

Alright. I don't actually have any dominion over anyone's faith. We all have the Holy Spirit. And of course, at this point I will have to say that whatever we do, we should be fully persuaded in our hearts.

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1 minute ago, Faber said:

 

 I see no command from Scriptures that support your assertion. You first appealed to Romans 1, but that didn't apply. For you to say it isn't "fitting" is your opinion. Now if you don't want to engage in such an activity that is your choice, but you have no biblical justification to tell others that if they so do that it is a sin.

Agreed!  The context of Romans 1:26-27 is clearly addressing homosexually, both male and female.

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1 minute ago, Emekrus said:

Alright. I don't actually have any dominion over anyone's faith. We all have the Holy Spirit. And of course, at this point I will have to say that whatever we do, we should be fully persuaded in our hearts.

 

 I will say again that many things in your OP were very good.

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1 hour ago, Faber said:

 

 I will say again that many things in your OP were very good.

And once again, I'll say thanks for your compliment. You are very welcome.

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