N.T. Wright in his latest book, Surprised by Hope, notes how the early Christians were noted as remarkable in their sexual morality. This was in sharp contrast to those whom they lived around in the various countries. And many of these Christians were Gentiles themselves, who had been raised in the cesspool of moral impurity. Of course it's not like those believers didn't have any problems. Paul has to get after the church in Corinth, Corinth itself known back then for its immorality wedded to pagan religion.
In recognizing that God in Jesus forgives the worst of what we do when we turn to him in repentance and faith, we can become softer on sin than what we see in Scripture. Paul commands his listeners to flee immorality and warns them against sexual sin.
This leads me to consider what goes wrong for any of us who get caught up in sexual sin. Of course it can be simply an objectifying of another, using them as an object to satisfy one's own sexual drives and twisted desires. When the act of sex between a man and woman is not accompanied with the covenant commitment of marriage, it is outside of God's will. Of course God will forgive when one repents and forsakes their sin. God forgives us in Christ. But there may be devastating consequences one has to live with the rest of their lives.
Passion needs to begin, for us in Jesus, with a desire towards God. That we would follow hard after him, in love, to the end. That from that love we will love others appropriately. That we will be true, in love to our spouses: in thought, heart, word and deed, whether present with them or absent. And for those of us who do not have a spouse, that we will draw all the closer to the Lord, as we commit ourselves to him and his good will and work. And we need together- in grace, fear, truth and love- to be there for each other in this.
Then passion- which is a gift from God, part of creation though twisted by the fall- can be a good part of our daily activity, fulfilled in many ways as we follow after the one whose passion for us demonstrably knows no bounds.
What might you add to this to help us see the truth as it is in Jesus better on this subject? Or any thoughts.