God’s will stated in this talk is avoid immorality and love your spouse (5:1–23). There are three essential aspects of this, the first is be saturated with biblical wisdom for protection from sexual seduction (5:1–6). The second given here is to stay away from immorality before its too late (7–14). You must hear and heed God’s Word, being controlled by Scripture rather than fleshly senses (7). To disobey God’s commands is to “depart” from his Word. Your life must be characterized by obedience to God’s written Word—bring your desires and affections in line with it! God’s written will is to stay far from immorality (8), there is no debating this. If God’s clearly given, written will is ignored there will be tragic effects: loss of life (9–11) and too-late-regret (12–14). When you live by sense rather than Scripture you lose the best years of your life. You can’t judge life by immediate appearances; take the long look, keep the “end” in view (ask, “Where will this lead?”). The regret in vv. 12–14 is “too late” because the end it points to is final and eternal.
1. If you don’t know God’s will as given in the Bible, are you “off the hook” for your ignorance? Why?
2. Compare verse 8 with 1 Cor 6:18; Eph 5:3; 1 Thess 4:3–8; 2 Tim 2:22; and Heb 13:4.
3. What specific items are mentioned in verses 9–11?
4. Why is the warning about sexual immorality addressed to young people?
5. What are some practical ways of implementing Matt 5:28–29 and Rom 13:14 regarding sexual immorality?
6. Hating and spurning God’s Word is to depart from the faith. Check out Num 15:31; 2 Sam 12:9; 2 Chr 36:16; Ps 107:11; Prov 1:25, 30; 12:1; 13:13; 15:5; Isa 5:24.