Why Getting Married Early Will Not Stop Sexual Sin

We have hit a crisis of epic proportions in our churches. I keep hearing the statistic that every eight out of ten young people who take vows of purity will fail to keep that vow. I even heard my pastor mention it last sunday. It is, indeed, a problem. However, I have been greatly concerned about what has happened to the Christian community in their reaction against these facts.

As with other things, problems of purity in any area are not in isolation. For example, let us say that someone has a problem with lying. People can lie for several reasons, but the most preeminent is for someone to lie to protect themselves from their own wrongdoing or sin. Hence, now, not only do we have lying, but we also have the refusal to confess our sin. Not only that, but one can also sense selfcenteredness in such an action, as a person is simply trying to protect their image. Also, there is irresponsiblity in not wanting to take the responsibility for their actions. There is also not trusting in God that he forgives them from their sins if they will confess their sins. Notice how, with a simple sin such as lying, we have come to all of these other sins.

In other words, sin is never simple. People do not just sin for one reason. It doesn’t work that way. Sin has many facets to it, and is deeper than just the action that is done.

This is why I am concerned that the rather well marketed Madatory Marriage Movement has decided to use this opportunity to promote their position. They believe that, as Albert Mohler always says, sexual desires were created to drive people to marriage, and hence, the solution to the problem is to get people married at the peak of their sex drive, at around the age of 21 or 22. The logic goes something like this. The age of mediant first marriage is higher than it has ever been. It is unreasonable or unwise for kids to have to wait until they are in their late twenties to have sexual relations. That is the reason why the premarital sex rates are so high. Purity rings and purity balls just aren’t working. We need to start honoring marriage, and that means helping young twenty-somethings realize their duty to marry young.

Obviously, as you can already see, the problem with this argument is that it is overly simplistic. Sexual sin is not just an issue of sexual desires. If only it were that simple. Let us look at a sampling of the Biblical data. Paul said:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Sexual sin also has to do, notice, with what you do with your body. Do you use it to glorify God, or yourself? Likewise, sexual sin also has to do with an errant view of who are body is for. Paul likewise says:

1 Corinthians 6:13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.

I think this is a strong passage to show that our bodies are not made for our own sexual desires. Our bodies were made to the glory of God, and not to our own selfish desires for sexual relations whenever we want it. Such is the errant thinking that is at the root of sexual immorality. [Incedentally, this is also a good passage to use against the idea that sexual desires were given to us in order to drive us toward marriage. They were not. They were, instead, given to us in order for us to glorify God with them.]

Also, sexual sin has, as its root, a faulty view of others. Paul likewise says:

1 Thessalonians 4:6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.

Paul here states that, when we sin sexually, we show disregard for our brothers and sisters in Christ because we transgress against them, and defraud them. Hence, this is also an issue of loving our brothers or sisters in Christ, as the case may be.

John also speaks to another issue:

1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

Now, John says that there is a problem with the love of the Father being in you if you commit sexual sin. Hence, it also is an issue with our love. Not only is it an issue of who we don’t love, but also what we *do* love.

The other thing that needs to be mentioned is that all sin is idolatry. Because God is our creator, and thus, he has the rights to determine how we behave in the sexual realm, when we take it upon ourselves to behave in this fashion, we are, in essence, taking upon ourselves a right that is reserved only for God. Paul likewise says:

Romans 1:22-25 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Not only that, but it is an issue of the Holy Spirit’s leading and guiding. Paul writes in Galatians about the deeds of the flesh, two of which are sexual immorality and uncleanliness, as well as the fruits of the spirit, one of which is self-control. However, in that context, he goes on to say:

Galatians 5:24-25 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

As you can see, the Biblical data is much more detailed in terms of an analysis of the problem. Sexual sin involves, not only a violation of God’s word in terms of sexual behavior, but it also involves errors in who your body belongs to, the purpose of your body, how we treat others, who and what we do and do not love, how we worship, and how we interact with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

I could even go on from here, but to do so would only be to beat a dead horse. I say this to make a very important point. As you can see, getting rid of sexual immorality is not just a matter of changing your attitude in terms of what you are going to do physically. It is a matter of the attitudes and actions that lie behind the sin itself. It is a matter of the secret sins that give rise to the sin of premarital sex, as well as the actual sin of premarital sex itself.

You might say that dealing with all of those different sins looks like it would be difficult. The answer is that it most certainly is. However, it is exactly this that Paul says makes a us stronger. Notice what he says:

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Now, do we want to have “proven character” with regards to our sexual behavior? Paul says that proven character comes through tribulation. Also, the golden chain of redemption can be brought forward at this point. Why? Because it is in the context of suffering:

Romans 8:25-30 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

Again, through suffering, we receive glorification. Also, what about Jesus’ statement:

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Notice how self denial, and the cross as an instrument of suffering is actually a prerequisite to following after Christ. Also, there is this statement from the book of Acts:

Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

What an amazing statement for us to hear that it is through tribulations that we must enter the kingdom of heaven. Also, Paul admonished his readers:

Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Notice how Paul puts forth doing good as a struggle, and admonishes them to not grow weary in doing good, for, when God comes to take us to be with him, we will reap a reward of harvest. Paul presents the pursuit of purity as something that is a struggle. Paul presents entering the kingdom of heaven as something that is hard work.

Now, I would like to contrast this with the position of the purity balls, purity rings, and yes, the position of the marriage mandators. I would say that, just as we have the word “cheap grace” for someone who tips their hat towards God, and says that they now have their fire insurance, and can go and live life as they please, I think we need to start talking about modern views of sanctification as “cheap purity.” Why? Because they end up simply saying that all there is to sexual purity is reving up the emotions in order to get you to sign a pledge of purity, and put a ring around your finger, and now we have the marriage mandators saying that the solution to the problem is younger marriage! Again, all of these are cheap. True purity requires hard work, and it requires persevering under tribulations. It is not, nor has it ever been, simply a matter of getting married early, putting on a ring, or attending a ball.

True purity means making up ones mind that we are going to follow Christ twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. It means continually fighting against the desires of the flesh. It also means accountability to others in the church so that you are not walking the journey alone. True purity is hard. However, we in our modern culture want quick fixes for everything. We don’t want to be bothered with all of this tribulation and fighting for purity.

Now, can early marriage help in this struggle? Most definitely. However, so can purity rings and purity balls. I have a major concern for those who would think that early marriage or any of these is the solution to the problem. Consider this. If all of those other sins are not taken care of, then how do you know that the statistics will not go from eight out of ten people who make purity pledges do not keep their pledge to eight out of ten people who marry young to avoid fornication commit adultery against their spouse, or are involved in hardcore pornography? You might say, “That’s impossible!” It isn’t. What happens when your wife has to go away for a while to tend to an unforseen emergency, and you do not know when she will get back, and the slutty secretary at work starts seducing you? What happens if your wife is two hours late to come home, or gets home after you, and you have “internet access?” You see, unless the issues of the underlying sins that actually cause this sin are addressed, we will just be exchanging one sin for another. What good is it going to do us to say that people don’t commit fornication because fornication is not the word you use for a married woman or man sleeping with someone other than their wife? That is really empty.

Now, someone might object that 1 Corinthians 7 says it is better to marry than to burn. Well, again, Paul is dealing in context with widowers and widows, as Gordon Fee, Craig Blomberg, and Richard Hays rightly argue in their commentaries. “Unmarried” should be understood in 1 Corinthians 7:8 to refer to “widowers.” Not only that, but Paul has just gotten done dealing with a similar issue in verses 2-5. Verse 5 is important:

1 Corinthians 7:5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

What is interesting here is that Paul, speaking to married Christians, tells them that there is only one time in which they can refrain from sexual relations with their spouse, and that is by agreement for a time to devote themselves to prayer. However, he tells them that they must come together again so that Satan does not tempt them because of their lack of self control. The Greek term used for self control here is the noun form of the verb used in verse 9. There is then, in my mind, a clear progression in Paul’s thought. He has in mind his commandment for married people to have sexual relations when he writes this passage to widows and widowers, and he has already addressed self-control in the context of the breakup of a sexual relationship, telling married couples to not intentionally breakup the sexual relationship.

Now, what happens if the relationship is broken up by death? Well, Paul says in verses 6-8 that it is better, in such an instance, for a person to remain unmarried. However, knowing the unique temptations that the breakup of a sexual relationship can bring, Paul commands those who still have the desire for the sexual relationship that has now been interrupted by death to remarry.

Hence, to rip this passage out of the context of the breakup of a sexual relationship is to misuse the text.

Now, all of that being said, do I think that there are advantages to marrying younger? Certainly. However, it is like everything else. You gain some things, and you loose some things. For example, you will always be more mature at 28 than you were at 22. That is an indesputable fact. You will also have a degree to make money to take care of a family. However, if you marry younger, you will be able to have more children, and you will have more energy to take care of those children. One has got to weigh the advanges and disadvanges of each.

Also, it is true that early marriage is looked down upon, and it shouldn’t be. We should be willing to look at the benifits of early marriage. However, it is not required of anyone, and will most certainly not solve the problem of rampant premarital sex within our communions, nor will it solve the problem of people who cannot sexually control themselves. For that, we need to put down our cultural obsession with convenience and comfort, fight the good fight, and finish the race. We need to press on to the prize, to the goal of Christ Jesus. I dare say, until these things are emphasized *daily* within Christian circles, this problem will never be solved.

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13 Responses to “Why Getting Married Early Will Not Stop Sexual Sin”

  1. Dan (real name) Says:

    Hi Adam,

    I can attest without ANY shadow of a doubt that marriage does NOT stop people from sexually sinning. I am in a support group for men who are sex addicts, and for the last 2 years I have practially been the only single man in the group. ALL of the men have sinned sexually BEFORE AND AFTER marriage, and almost all of them stated that they thought marriage would make them stop sinning sexually. I HAVE SEEN THIS. I HAVE WITNESSED THIS.

    I know there are still some marriage mandaters that read your site and boundlessline, and I have posted a similar post over there under my same real name, testifying to the same thing. And I should also say that myself and the rest of the guys are NORMAL guys – they are good looking, successful, men, both Christian and pagan – not the stereotypical “sex addict” – you know – the overweight grubby single guy who plays video games, drinks all the time, and hangs out at the mall or other inappropriate places.

    I cannot emphasize this enough and I hope you publish this comment. The tired old rusty saw of the marriage mandaters blaming single men for all their ills needs to be defeated. THEY ARE SIMPLY IGNORANT AND WRONG!!!! Their oversimplification of the problems facing singles, both men and women, by putting the blame squarely at the foot of single men is shortsighted and frankly obscene and offensive. Social problems are much more complicated than they want to admit, or are willing to admit.

    I must also say that I am not against early marriage. But it isn’t a cure-all. I am certainly willing to put my money where my mouth is if anyone wants to communicate with me directly via email, as I (with permission) would be willing to bring them to a support meeting.

  2. GH Says:

    Adam,

    I am amazed at the naivety (almost willful blindness) with which some Christians (chiefly those involved in promoting mandatory marriage type teachings) continue to promote the notion that marriage is a cure for sexual sin. I, like Dan, am a part of a men’s spiritual formation group that includes both married and single men, and some of the married men in the group struggle with things like lust, pornography and related issues constantly; far more, in fact, than I who am single.

    It strikes me that the only way such people can continue to promote such a view, is through a highly skewed and tendentious reading of scripture, and a stubborn refusal to acknowledge any actual reality that does not agree with their already predetermined conclusions on the matter.

  3. Anakin Niceguy Says:

    Adam,

    Forgive me for cross-posting this note, but I want you to see it.

    I am encouraging you with all gravity to consider writing something – a book, or some journal articles to address the various errors of the Marriage Mandate Movement. Blogging is good but it might even better to try to take the battle to the next phase. You have the training to do some heavy-hitting exegesis in a more visible venue. Get some advice from people at school who are in the know on writing something. You don’t have do anything peer-reviewed, but even that would be good.

  4. Savvy Says:

    It’s not just weighing the advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes there is no proposal, no boyfriend and no date for many women while some men and women “slut it up” or make notches in the bedposts. It’s not just 1 thing, it’s a number of things. There is more pressure and more permission to be sexual nowadays. In Christian circles, they aren’t even lying about it to everyone. I’ve been told by more than one Christian girl that I will never have a boyfriend, not even a Christian one, if I don’t sleep with them.

  5. ladyelaine80 Says:

    savvy:

    whoever told you that is lying straight to your face. Besides, you want ONE HUSBAND, not a boyfriend. Some people just give advice to fill the dead silence,not because they have anything substantive to offer. Sexuality (in marriage) is not bad, but saying that marriage is the answer to sexuality is missing the point entirely.

  6. RC Says:

    I know this is a little off topic but sexual sin is something I really struggle with, and have done all my life, since well before I can remember, it just always seemed to be there- the attraction to it, even as a child. When I was 17 I became pregnant after a one-night stand and 6 days later I gave my heart to God. I have an amazing 18 months old wee boy, but know that deep down I still really struggle. Today, I ended up stumbling across a hardcore porn site… It wasn’t intentional at all, but showed some horrific stuff and I felt sick to my stomach… I suddenly asked myself what the heck just happened? How did I get on here? I’ve come to realise that sexual sin is something I can’t just avoid anymore, but I don’t know what to do or where to go. I am too ashamed to tell anyone but scared that if I don’t it’ll never leave and I’ll never be fully healed. I desperatley want to be free of this, I feel so bound up by it. I know God loves me and he has done such amazing things in my life, yet I feel more unworthy and unclean than I did when I gave my heart. I should KNOW by now about this, and what it means. But I’m just too ashamed. Your prayers would be much appreciated, and if God says anything please tell me. I just feel so alone with it.

  7. Dani Says:

    “I have to ask where has self-control gone in Christian culture? Do we even care about temperance, moderation, self control, continence, chastity or anything else like that any more? This author is willing to abuse the text of scripture in order to get what he wants, and is encouraging others to do the same. How selfish have we become that our own desires become more important than accurately interpreting the text of scripture! Now, I am not saying that it is wrong for someone to pursue marriage. However, it is wrong to shame single men [as he suggests] just so that we can selfishly fulfill our desires.”

    Amen! When did marriage become all about us and not about God’s bigger purposes for this world?

    I’m a first time reader and commentor on your blog but am very thankful for your careful exegesis of Scripture and thorough commentary on this matter. Whilst we Australian evangelicals have not had too much direct exposure to the Marriage Mandate movement, I am becoming increasingly concerned at our lack of theological and biblical discernment when it comes to the matters of marriage, singleness and sexuality.

    Thanks for your insightful comments.

  8. russellandduenes Says:

    I’m not part of any mandatory marriage movement. In fact, I’ve never heard of it until visiting this site. I agree that sin is never simple, and I agree that marriage is not a panacea for all sexual woes. Anyone who says that is not dealing with reality. All of your Scriptural admonitions about having self-control and relying on God’s sanctifying Spirit to restrain sin are also well to the point. Without a life of submission to Christ in all areas and without gracious fellowship among God’s people, getting married is likely to do little for sexual urges (though not nothing, in most cases).

    That said, your case (along with Fee’s, et al) that 1 Cor. 7 is talking exclusively about widows is not well made. v. 8 clearly is addressed to “the unmarried and widows.” It can’t simply be talking about widows. Further, vs. 36-38 talk about virgins. So I’m not convinced. But even if I was, you would certainly not be correct in arguing that marriage is only a solution to sexual temptation for those who have already experienced sex. I don’t mean to be crude, but the vast, vast majority of human adults, single or married, have experienced multiple orgasms. It’s not the same as sex, but surely the taste of what sexual feeling consists of is well known to virtually all. There’s nothing in the text to commend your assertion about widows having a particular need to be re-married.

    Marriage should never be required of anyone. But I think you’ve made my point for me in your last paragraph. Our culture has virtually (though not entirely) guaranteed that most people will reach puberty in their early teens, but not get married until at least 10 years later. God has designed us sexually, and he has not designed the mass of humanity to put their sexual desires on hold for 10 years. None of this means that a person MUST sin because of our current cultural confusion. It simply means that our culture’s adversion to early marriage and lack of preparation for early marriage, is wrong. An analogy would be God asking the Israelites to get rid of the idols in Canaan. Couldn’t they have trusted God and left the idols there and simply avoided them? Yes, but God thought it best to get rid of them. In the same way, God has given the vast majority of people one of the means by which he wants them to handle sexual desire: Get married. No one should be mandating it; everyone should be fighting the good fight, everyone should be pursuing, in John Owen’s words, “universal holiness.” But the church also needs to come against unbiblical notions of adolescence that come from a pagan culture, and we need to start realizing that marriage is what God intends for most people, not prolonged singleness.

  9. Chuey Says:

    It is interesting what Gorden Fee says in his commentary about verse nine.:
    “In the first place, Paul does not say (as the NIV), “if they ‘cannot’ control themselves.” Rather he says, “if they do not, or are not practicing continence (or exercising self-control).” The implication is that some of these people are doing the same as some of the married in vv. 1-7, practicing “sexual immorality,” that is, probably also going to prostitutes. The antidote for such a sin is to get married instead.”

    He goes on to say, “It seems more likely, therefore, that Paul intended that those who are committing sexual sins should rather marry than be consumed by the passions of their sins. In this case, then, Paul is not so much offering marriage as the remedy for the sexual desire of “enflamed youth,” which is the most common way of viewing the text, but as the proper alternative for those who are already consumed by that desire and are sinning.”

    Lastly he says, “For them (widows(ers)), marriage is the proper alternative to their being consumed by their sins.

    It seems almost all commenters neglect what Fee points out, that Christians, yes, some single Christians, are being incontinent, having illicit sex. It’s not an excuse to have illicit sex but I am sure they just as many today, still do it time to time because of their lack of self-control. The Corinthian widow(ers) were presently, currently having illicit sex, yet his antidote was still marriage.

    So my question is, how is it that marriage is the antidote for the demarried but not the never before married?

    1 Timothy 5:11-14 also gives this remedy to widows because they have “sensual desires and want to get married.” And, it seems part of the antidote is to keep busy doing things proper for a woman so as not to “give the enemy no occassion for reproach.”

    So although yes the Holy Spirit and trusting God and his word is what sanctifies us, does he not also use other practical means for sanctification? Afterall, when my pastor gives me advice to not look at porn, self-gratify or lust, he tells me to wear jeans to sleep or be busy doing things for the Lord. Those things will not change my heart but they will be keeping me doing the things of the Lord.

    If married and widowers were having illicit sex, is Paul so naive to think that the never married were not too? Why does he (or the rest of the bible) neglect to address the never married (non-virgins)? Is it because it is assumed they are living 100% pure lives? I highly doubt it.

    While I am not excusing lust, sex or other kinds of sexual immorality, even the most “holy” of our Christian leaders struggle with lust to different extents. Does God not use marriage as true antidote to adultery and/or fornication? Will we not have to battle lust to the very end?

    Nicolas Ellen during a NANC conference was discussing how much sex a married couple should have and he said, until the other person has had enough. He gave the analogy of your wife making you your favorite meal and you had so much that you were stuffed and she comes to ask if you want more. Although it’s your favorite and it is offered, you say “no thank you, I’ve had enough.” He used this analogy in support of a verse in the Old Testament (I forget where) that basically supported this analogy (actually, he presented the verse first and then used the analogy to explain it to us further.) So he said if this principle is applied then it should be as if someone other than your spouse came right out and offered you sex that you could easily say no because you’ve “had enough” and are satisfied (which is also supported by 1 Cor 7:4-5).

    Many, most, if not all commentators want to brush over that these Christians were actually presently having illicit sex. They say these people simply had a strong desire to have sex and/or get married, but this is not what the text says. So if the antidote for someone having illicit sex is marriage, why not the same for the never married. Is not lust (already done the act in your heart) the same as actually doing it? Yes God wants our heart to be right but he does not want us to act out on our sinful thoughts either. If I am being obedient to 1 Cor 7:1-6 and giving my debt to my spouse and them to me, there is a much lesser desire to lust or even commit adultery.

  10. otrmin Says:

    Chuey,

    As for the difference between someone who has never been married, and someone who has had their spouse die, I think the answer comes in verses 1-5. In those verses Paul assumes that married couples are fulfilling their debt to their spouse. Hence, there are normal, regular sexual relation within the marriage relationship.

    Hence, what we are dealing with is a situation where that normal, natural sexual relationship has been broken up by death. The man [or woman] still has natural desires for her spouse, but their spouse is no longer there because they are dead.Combine that with the fact that they are mourning their death, as well as the fact that they live in a grossly immoral situation such as Corinth, and you can easily see how a lack of self-control in this context is far more problematic then a simple lack of self control. Combining natural desires for a spouse who was taken away with grief and an immoral culture creates a stick of dynamite that could explode at any moment.

    The problem is that a spouse dying is not the way it was supposed to be. Death entered creation after the fall. Hence, it will create these kinds of problems if it enters a person’s life in these circumstances. That is why Paul suggests that a person in such a situation must remarry, in light of the new problems created by the breakup of the relationship.

    As to whether or not God can use marriage to *help* a person stay on the straight and narrow, I have been considering that possibility, and I would say that it is certainly possible, as God can use any means he wants. However, my concern is simply to say that getting married early is not the answer. Being vigilant in fighting the sin in our lives is the answer. If God brings us a spouse which makes that fight easier, then so be it. The point is we must battle against sin, no matter what our marital state, and trust that the victory is the Lord’s.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  11. Thomas Says:

    Being vigilant in fighting the sin in our lives is the answer. No it is God who gives us the victory in Christ Jesus, who has given us the Holy Spirit. The saying is true “but for the grace of God go I” (in this case, into sexual sin).

  12. Thomas Says:

    Sorry. “Being vigilant in fighting the sin in our lives is the answer” should have been within quotation marks. Also I am not saying that we don’t have to resist temptation (yes we certainly do) but I am saying that our sanctification is of God, not ourselves. Sanctification is not passive but we must be responsive to the Spirit. And what is the normal means by which He speaks? By the Scriptures. (1 Pet 1:19-21).

  13. otrmin Says:

    Thomas,

    I agree with everything you said. What I was talking about is the *results* of what Christ has already done, namely, that we resist temptation, and are vigilant in fighting sin. In other words, it is the results of Christ’s work that are crucial in the battle for sanctification-not only in securing the victory over sin, but establishing the battle in the first place through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.

    Still, I think you are proving my point. If Christ has, indeed, made my sanctification secure by his work on the cross, then where does that leave those who say that getting married early will stop sexual sin? If Christ has already secured both the fact that there is a battle as well as the victory in that battle, then, obviously, marriage itself is not necessary in the fight against sexual sin.

    That is why I have said that Mohler’s question that he asked a while back on Boundless’ podcast, “How will you be holy without marriage” really is a challenge to Solus Christus. Are we saved, both in terms of our sanctification and justification, by the work of Christ alone? Or, is God so impotent to sanctify some people that he needs the help of marriage? There is no doubt that God can use marriage, but the notion that we should rely on marriage rather than the work of Christ on the cross, both in establishing the battle and securing the victory, is contrary to everything the Bible has to say.

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