Pure Pleasure: The Battle for Sexual Purity

Strengthening Believers Seeking Freedom from Sexual Sin and a Renewed Desire for True Soul-Satisfaction

In partnership with Bethlehem College & Seminary

Getting the Story Right

And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

(Mark 7:20–23, ESV)

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

(James 1:13–16, ESV)

About Kempton Turner

Kempton Turner was raised in East St. Louis, Illinois, but has spent most of his life in Houston, Texas. Most recently, he served on the pastoral staff at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for 7 years before becoming the Church Planting Pastoral Resident under the oversight of the elders. Kempton’s prayer and hope is that the Lord would establish a joyful, loving, Christ-magnifying local church in his hometown. He is the Pastor City of Joy Fellowship in East St. Louis.

Kempton and his childhood sweetheart Caryn have been happily married since 1999 and the Lord has blessed them with four children: Christian, Carysse, Kalia, and Caleb.

Reflection Questions
  1. What is your story?
  2. How would you summarize what your role is in sexual sin, according to these verses?

Resources prepared by David Clifford and Amy Guibal from Bethlehem College & Seminary.

Freedom in the Gospel

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

(Romans 6:6–11, ESV)

Reflection Questions
  1. According to these verses, what happens to the believer’s “old self”?
  2. What is the glorious result of being crucified with Christ?
  3. In Light of the believer’s union with Christ. What command should be obeyed?

Fighting Pleasure with Pleasure

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

(John 7:37–39, ESV)

Reflection Questions
  1. What Does it mean to “thirst”?
  2. How can you tell when your heart is thirsting for satisfaction?
  3. What does Jesus invite the thirsty to do with their thirst?
  4. What does Jesus Promise to the thirsty?

Feast and Fences

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

(Colossians 3:1–4, ESV)

Reflection Questions
  1. How many times is the person ”Christ” mentioned in these four verses?
  2. What does this tell us about what our hearts should seek after, and what our minds should be set on?

Fight the Good Fight: The Battle to Kill Sin

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

(Matthew 5:27–30, ESV)

Reflection Questions
  1. How aggressive have you been in fighting against adultery of the heart and imagination?
  2. What motivation does Jesus give in these verses for violently killing sexual sin?

F.I.G.H.T.: Practical Strategies

call upon me in the day of trouble;
    I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

(Psalm 50:15, ESV)

Reflection Questions
  1. Briefly describe what a “day of trouble” looks like for you as it relates to sexual temptation and struggle.
  2. What does this verse call us to do while in the midst of “trouble”?
  3. What is the great goal of God’s deliverance according to this verse?
  4. What might it look like to glorify the Lord after being delivered from sexual temptation?