It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 NIV
In this passage Paul is specifically addressing sexual immorality. He tells us to control our own bodies in a way that is holy and honorable. We are not animals that are controlled by their sexual desires. We have the ability to control those passions and exercise them appropriately within the context of marriage. But within much of our culture today that sanctity of marriage is thought to be outdated. And most any form of sexual expression is acceptable, so long as it occurs between consenting parties.
Called to Live Holy Lives
But, as believers in the Lord Jesus, we are called to be distinct from our culture. And that is especially true in issues of sexual morality. God has called us out of this world and into his eternal kingdom. We are called to a higher standard than the rest of the world. As Paul says, we are called to live holy lives. Lives that are distinct from the world. Lives that are set apart for our Lord.
To be clear, our salvation is not based on abstaining from sexual immorality. Or any other activity for that matter. But, as God’s holy people, we are called to live lives that honor our Lord. To be distinct from our culture. And to glorify our Lord in all we do.