Looking After a Woman to Lust After Her – A W Pink (Christian Audio book)

A W Pink on lust 1

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A W Pink on lust  2

Screen prints from

A.W. Pink’s Studies in the Scriptures – 1924-25,

Volume 2 of 17

An exposition on the Sermon on the Mount, by A W Pink.

VIDEO = 82 minutes


VIDEO by Christian Praise and Worship in Songs, Sermons, 

The Law and Adultery – A W Pink

Matthew 5 v.28

The Sermon On The Mount


Chapter Eleven

The Law and Adultery

aw pink„Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. It bath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

Matthew 5:27-32


Let us begin by pointing out once more that the several distinctions drawn by Christ in this discourse between what had been said in ancient times upon a number of matters of moral and religious duty, and what He now affirmed, must have respect not to the real teaching of the Law and the prophets but to the inadequate and erroneous views entertained of their teaching by the rabbis and the false notions founded upon them. After so solemnly and expressly declaring His entire harmony with the Law and the prophets (5:17-20), we must regard with abhorrence the idea that Christ, immediately after, proceeded to pit Himself against them, affirming that Moses taught one thing and He quite another. No, in every instance where a commandment is quoted as among the things said in former times, it was the understanding and views entertained thereof against which the Lord directed His authoritative deliverances. It is not the Lawper se which is under consideration, but the carnal interpretations of it made by the Pharisees.

It should prove a real help to the reader if he looks upon Matthew 5:20, as the text of this third division of the Sermon, and all that follows to the end of chapter v as an enlargement thereof. That verse enunciated a most important practical truth, and the verses which immediately follow contain a series of illustrative examples of how and wherein the righteousness of the citizens of the kingdom of heaven must exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. First, the Law-giver Himself had freed the sixth commandment from the rubbish which carnal men had heaped upon it (vv. 21-26), and now He proceeded to restore the seventh commandment to its true sense and meaning, and therefore to its proper use, purging it from the false interpretation of the Jews. Thus, in the verses which are now to be before us, we have the Saviour contrasting the righteousness of His kingdom with the righteousness of the religious leaders of His day respecting the all-important matter of chastity.

„Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery” (v. 27). Again we would carefully note that Christ did not say, „Ye know that God said at Sinai,” but instead, „ye have heard that it was said by them of old time.” This makes it quite clear that He was continuing to refute the injurious traditions which the Jews had accepted from their elders: „them of old time” referring to the ancient teachers-compare our comments on verse 21. „Thou shalt not commit adultery”; those were indeed the actual words of the Holy Spirit, but the preceding clause makes it plain that our Lord was alluding to them in the sense in which the scribes and Pharisees understood them. They saw in the seventh commandment nothing more than the bare injunction, „No man shall lie with another man’s wife,” and hence they thought that so long as men abstained from that particular sin, they met the requirements of this precept.

The ancient rabbis, echoed by the Pharisees, restricted the scope of the seventh commandment to the bare act of unlawful intercourse with a married woman. But they should have perceived, as in the case of the sixth commandment, that the seventh spoke specifically of only the culminating crime, leaving the conscience of the hearer to infer that anything which partook of its nature or was calculated to lead up to the overt deed was also and equally forbidden, even the secret thought of unlawful lust. That the Pharisees did narrow the meaning of the seventh commandment to the mere outward act of impurity is evident from our Lord’s contrastive exposition of it in the next verse, where He insists that its true intent had a much wider scope, reaching also to the inward affections, prohibiting all impure thoughts and desires of the heart.

Once more we are shown the vast difference there is between the spiritual requirements of a holy God and the low standard which is deemed sufficient by His fallen creatures. The religion of carnal and worldly men is merely political; so far as good and evil affect society, they are in some measure concerned; but as to the honour and glory of God, they have no regard. So long as the outside of the cup and of the platter be clean, they are indifferent to whatever filth may exist within (Matthew 23:25, 26). So long as the external conduct of its citizens be law-abiding, the State is satisfied, no matter what iniquity may be seething in their minds. Different far is it with the Judge of all the earth: „The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). That which the world pays no attention to, God regards as of first importance, for „out of the heart are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). It is only „the pure in heart” who shall ever see-commune with and eternally enjoy-God (Matthew 5:8).

In what has just been before us we may see a very real warning against a slavish literalism, which has ever been the refuge into which not a few errorists have betaken themselves. In this instance the Pharisees kept themselves close to the letter of the Word, but sadly failed to understand and insist upon its spiritual purport. Papists seek to justify their erroneous dogma of transubstantiation by an appeal to the very words of Christ, „this is My body,” insisting on the literal sense of His language. Unitarians seek to shelter behind His declaration, „My Father is greater than I” (John 14:18), arguing therefrom the essential inferiority of the Son. In like manner, the ancient rabbis took the words of the seventh commandment at their face value only, failing to enter into the full spiritual meaning of them. Let pre-millenarians heed this warning against a slavish literalism or a being deceived by the mere sound of words, instead of ascertaining their sense.

The great Teacher of the Church here supplied us with an invaluable canon of exegesis or rule of interpretation by teaching us that God’s commandment „is exceeding broad” (Ps. 119:96), and that human language becomes invested with a far fuller and richer meaning when used by God than it has on the lips of men. This of itself should be sufficient to silence those who condemn the servants of God when they spiritualize Old Testament prophecies, objecting that they are reading into those prophecies what is not there, and unwarrantably departing from their plain sense. When the Lord Jesus affirmed, „But I say unto you, That whoso looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart,” had not the Pharisees as much occasion to demur, and say, „The seventh commandment says nothing about lustfullooks: You are reading into it what is not there”?

Ere passing on, a few words need to be said on the special heinousness of this particular crime. Adultery is the breach of wedlock. Even the Pharisees did condemn it, for though they made light of disobedience to parents (Matthew 15:4-6), yet they clamored for the death of the woman guilty of this sin (John 8:4, 5). The grievousness of this offence appears in that it breaks the solemn covenant entered into between husband and wife and God, it robs another of the precious ornament of chastity, it defiles the body and ruins the soul, it brings down the vengeance of God upon the posterity, which Job called „a fire that consumeth to destruction” (31:12). „Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9, 10). „Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4).

„But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (v. 28). Here we have an exposition of the seventh commandment by the supreme Prophet of God, wherein He reveals the height, depth, and breadth of the spirituality of the Divine Law. That commandment not only forbids all acts of uncleanness, but also the desire of them. The Pharisees made it extend no farther than to the outward and physical act, supposing that if the iniquity was restricted to the mind, God would be indifferent. Yet their own Scriptures declared, „If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Ps. 66:18), and Christ here made it known that if a man allows himself to gaze upon a woman till his appetites are excited and sexual thoughts are engendered, then the holy Law of God judges him to be guilty of adultery and subject to its curse; and if he indulges his licentious imagination so as to devise means for the gratification thereof, then is his guilt that much greater, even though providence thwart the execution of his plans.

Our Lord here declared that the seventh commandment is broken even by a secret though unexpressed desire. There is, then, such a thing as heart adultery-alas, that this is so rarely made conscience of today. Impure thoughts and wanton imaginations which never issue in the culminating act are breaches of the Divine Law, All lusting after the forbidden object is condemned. Where the lascivious desire is rolled under the tongue as a sweet morsel, it is the commission of the act so far as the heart is concerned, for there is then lacking nothing but a convenient opportunity for the crime itself. He who weighs the spirits judges the going out of the heart after that which is evil as sin, so they who cherish irregular desires are transgressors of the law of impurity.

„But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” ft is not an involuntary glance which constitutes the sin, but when evil thoughts are thereby prompted by our depraved natures. The first step and degree, then, of this crime is when lust stirs within us. The second stage and degree is when we deliberately approach unto-a feeding of the eye with the sight of the forbidden fruit, where further satisfaction cannot be obtained. Then if this lust be not sternly mortified, the heart swiftly becomes enthralled and the soul is brought into complete bondage to Satan, so that it is fettered by chains which no human power can break. Such was the deplorable condition of those mentioned by the apostle, „Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin” (2 Pet. 2:14).

Well did Matthew Henry point out, „The eye is both the inlet and the outlet of a great deal of wickedness of this kind; witness Joseph’s mistress (Gen. 39:7), Samson (Judges 16:1), David (2 Sam. 11:2). What need have we, therefore, with holy Job, to ‘make a covenant with our eyes’ (31:1) to make this bargain with them: that they should have the pleasure of beholding the light of the sun and the works of God, provided that they would never fasten or dwell upon anything that might occasion impure imaginations or desires; and under this penalty, that if they did, they must smart for it in penitential tears. What have we the covering of our eyes for, but to restrain corrupt glances and to keep out defiling impressions?” How much sorrow and humiliation would be avoided if such wholesome counsel was duly laid to heart and carried out in practice.

By clear and necessary implication, Christ here also forbade the using of any other of our senses and members to stir up lust. If ensnaring looks be reprehensible, then so much more unclean conversation and wanton dalliances, which are the fuel of this hellish fire. Again, if lustful looking be so grievous a sin, then those who dress and expose themselves with desires to be looked at and lusted after-as Jezebel, who painted her face, tired her head, and looked out of the window (2 Kings 9:30)-are not less, but even more guilty. In this matter it is only too often the case that men sin, but women tempt them so to do. How great, then, must be the guilt of the great majority of the modern misses who deliberately seek to arouse the sexual passions of our young men. And how much greater still is the guilt of most of their mothers for allowing them to become lascivious temptresses.

As looking to lust is here forbidden, so by proportion are all other like occasions unto adultery. The reading of books which make light of immodesty and indecency, and that cater to those who relish the suggestive and questionable, are therefore prohibited. So too is the use of light and wanton talk and the jesting about loose morals: „But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting” (Eph. 5:3, 4). Many who are given to this think it a trifling matter, but in reality they are double offenders, for not only have they a wanton eye, but a lascivious tongue also. In like manner, promiscuous dancing and mixed bathing are most certainly condemned by the seventh commandment, for in both there is additional provocation unto lust.

How solemnly do these words of Christ in Matthew 5:28, condemn us, for even though (by preserving grace) our bodies have not been defiled by the outward act of adultery, yet who can say „My heart is clean”? Who is free from a wanton eye, from evil desires, from impure imaginations? Who can truthfully affirm that he has never been guilty of questionable jesting and unchaste conversation? Must we not all of us lay our hands upon our mouths and condemn ourselves as offenders in the sight of God? Surely we have ample cause to humble ourselves beneath His mighty hand and acknowledge our breach of the seventh commandment. And if our repentance and confession be sincere, shall we not be doubly on our guard against a repetition of these sins, seeking to avoid temptations and taking heed of every occasion which may incite us? Surely it is evident that if our hearts be honest before God we cannot do less. Yea, shall we not with increased earnestness pray, „Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken Thou me in Thy way” (Ps. 119:37)?

Again, if the lust of the heart be adultery in the sight of God, then with what diligence and care should we respond to that injunction, „Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1); that is, labour to keep our hearts and minds as pure as our bodies. Unless they do so Christians themselves will be deprived of a comforting assurance of their personal interest in the love of God, for when they defile their minds by harboring impure thoughts the Spirit is grieved, and withholds His witness to our sonship. Nay, if we truly realize that the Holy One has taken up His abode within our hearts, must we not put forth every effort to keep the guest-chamber clean? As the best way to keep down weeds is to plant the garden with vegetables and flowers, so the most effective means of excluding from the mind those foul imaginations is for it to be filled with thoughts of spiritual things, to have our affections set upon things above. If we give God His proper place within, Satan will be defeated.

We feel that we cannot do better in closing this article than by quoting here the salutary counsels of another: „To temptations to impurity in some of its forms we are commonly exposed, and it requires constant vigilance to avoid falling before some of them. There are a few advices which, on this subject, I would affectionately urge on the attention of the young. Be on your guard against loose and unprincipled companions. ‘Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.’ It is impossible to associate intimately with the profligate without danger. Abstain from the perusal of books tainted with impurity. These are scarcely less mischievous-in many cases they are more so-than the company of the wicked. The deliberate perusal of such books is a plain proof that the mind and conscience are already in a deeply polluted state. Keep at a distance from all indelicate and even doubtful amusements-I allude chiefly to theatrical amusements-where the mind is exposed, in many instances, to all the evils at once of depraved society and licentious writing. Seek to have your mind occupied and your affections engaged with ‘things unseen and eternal.’ Habitually realize the intimate presence of that God, who is of purer eyes, than to behold iniquity. Never forget that His eye is on your heart, and that ‘all things are naked and opened’ to Him: and, as one of the best and most effectual methods of mortifying your members which are on the earth-crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts-„Seek the things which are at God’s right hand.’ Never tamper with temptations, but flee youthful lusts” (J. Brown).


Why PhDs in Theology Commit Adultery

This two-minute clip comes from a new message from John Piper, “Make War: The Pastor and His People in the Battle Against Sin.” The full message and all the audio and video from the 2015 Desiring God Conference for Pastors is available free of charge. http://desiringGod.org/conference-mes…

The many surprises David received, when God called him to account for his behavior

Photo credit www.workersforjesus.com

I am listing the bullet points here, from an article written by Joe McKeever and featured at ChurchLeaders.com

click here for the full article: church leaders.com

David was surprised to learn that …

  1. God took his sin personally.
  2. God took his sin as a rejection of His word.
  3. The enemy took his sin gleefully.
  4. The sin David committed injured him permanently.
  5. While David thought his misdeeds were done in private, God meted out the punishment publicly.

Then Joe McKeever goes on to explain what happens when a minister of God today falls into sin like David.

But my observation is that when a minister falls and his act becomes public knowledge, these 10 things happen:

1. His ministry is gone.
2. His humiliation is severe.
3. Those who believed in him and supported him feel betrayed.
4. People whom he was trying to reach for Christ now have a convenient excuse to fall away.
5. His family is wounded, perhaps irreparably.
6. Atheists and others hostile to the Christian faith have a field day.
7. His future ministry—once it’s re-established—is more limited.
8. Other ministers are tainted by being in the same profession as he.
9. The pastor’s victim has been wounded and her family has paid a price.
10. The guilt from this will hound him the rest of his life.

Pray for your ministers. Oh, one more thing: If your minister takes extraordinary steps to guard himself from temptation, do not take it personally. 

God’s design for sex

Al Jackson – Red Hot Monogamy: God’s Design for Sex – Proverbs 5:1-23  Message at 

Preaching from Proverbs 5:1-23, Jackson says that God’s design for sex is that a husband be captivated by the love of his wife and a wife be captivated by the love of her husband.

2 principles from this text:

 Principle #1 – Beware the deadly danger of adultery (vv 1-14).

Solomon is saying to his son, and God is speaking to us today, through Solomon’s writings: Beware of the deadly danger of adultery. It will destroy you.  Professor Garret os Southern Seminary says of verse 3 (For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,) that „the man is drawn to the adulteress because she inflates his ego with hollow praise, in ways his wife will not”.

Verse 5 – Solomon says,  „Her feet go down to death „, her steps lead directly to the grave; she has a pathway  and it’s the pathway of traveling toward sexual immorality. It’s not progress, it’s regress. It’s not upward, but it’s downward. Adultery is a dead end road and it leads always, always, always to pain, grief and sorrow and deep regret. Verse 6 – „She gives no thought to the way of life, her paths are crooked but she knows it not”. She’s an airhead, she doesn’t know about real life. She doesn’t know about joy, about real fulfillment; she’s trying to gratify the desires of her flesh.

In verse 7 –   Solomon is saying: „Listen up, go on the straight and narrow”. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 7? „Narrow is the road that leads to life and few there be that find it. And, broad is the road that leads to destruction and many there be that walk on the broad road that leads to destruction„. In verse 8, Solomon is saying, „Keep your distance from her. Stay away”. Surely, you know, before someone commits adultery they think about it. That’s why Jesus said, „You heard that it was said ‘thou shalt not commit adultery, but, I say to you that a man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart„. First, it’s in the head before it’s in the bed. First, it’s an emotional attachment before it’s a physical relationship.

Let me give you some early warning signs. Someof you need them right now because you’ve already been tempted.

  1. A growing fascination with that other person. Things are not good at home. The romance has kind of settled down and there’s an emotional distance between you and your spouse. If the devil hasn’t already put old ‘honey lips’ in your path, he will; he wants to bring you down.
  2. A heightened sense of anticipation when you have the opportunity to be with this person. Be careful.
  3. A growing desire to confide in him or her, especially about how bad your marriage is. And when you get there, you’re just about ready to lose it.
  4. Emotional adultery opens the door to physical expressions of adultery. You will pay a high price. See Proverbs 1:9-10 „lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless, 10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
    and your labors go to the house of a foreigner”
    There’s a price to pay for sexual immorality- it might be an unwanted pregnancy, a sexually transited disease, or it might be something financial. There’s a high price to pay for a few minutes of sexual gratification

Look at verses 12-14 „and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof! 13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. 14 I am at the brink of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.”  I didn’t want somebody to tell me what I could or couldn’t do. I didn’t want that narrow minded, legalistic preacher from Alabama to tell me I couldn’t do these things.  Now, you may cover it up for a while, but, it will be disclosed.

The testimony of the word of God is absolutely sure, „Be sure your sin will find you out„. „Do not be deceived, God is not mocked”. „A man reaps what he sows. He who sows to the sinful nature will reap destruction”.

Please hear my heart this day: Beware, beware the deadly danger of adultery. You are a candidate for adultery, I am a candidate for adultery. Beware! Always keep your guard up. Never, never, never let your guard down. That’s all negative, but, there’s good news. It gets better.

Principle #2 – Rejoice in the delightful pleasure of monogamy

Here I am talking about married monogamy. Solomon is saying here to his son: Beware of adultery, but, rejoice in the delightful pleasure of a monogamous relationship.

Verses 15-16 15 Drink water from your own cistern,  flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? This is a metaphor- cisterns and spring for sexual intercourse. Quoting from Dwayne Garret: The best interpretation is that sprains and streams of water refers to the husband’s sexual affections, as the cistern refers to the sexual affections of his wife. The man should not take his love and desire to anyone else, by going out into the street. The analogy implies that a husband and wife will fill and refresh each other- the one like a flowing stream, the other like a peaceful well. Sexual anarchy results when people cross over the bounds of fidelity.

We live in a society that is characterized by sexual anarchy. And, the Lord’s speaking to us through Solomon today and saying, „Be faithful to your mate”. Drink water from your own cistern, not some other cistern. Verse 17- „Let them be yours alone„. Not someone else’s, yours alone.. „never to be shared with strangers„. First he says it positively „yours alone”, then he says it negatively, „never to be shared with strangers”. The sexual relationship, the sexual expression, God’s intention is that it be expressed between a husband and a wife, and only there. Whenever God says, „Thou shalt not…” it means: Don’t hurt yourself. And when God says, „Thou shalt”, He’s saying, „Let Me bless you”.

Verse 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. He’s saying, „Be satisfied with the one you’re married to from when you were a young man or a young woman”. Take joy in each other, not in someone else.

Verse 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love  Captivated is the key word here, by the love of our wife. Not somebody else’s wife, our own wife. Focus on her. Focus on your marriage. Give attention to your sexual expression with your spouse. Make it red hot monogamy.

If you’ll water the grass on your side of the fence, it will be greener than the other side of the fence and the grass on the other side of the fence will not be nearly the temptation it would be if you don’t water the grass on your side of the fence.  Don’t just neglect each other.

Verse 20-21 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? 21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths. You know God sees everything? I don’t have to be anxious that someone sees me because I know I am under the all seeing eye of God. Always! Always!

Verses 22-23 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray. How sad. Die for lack of discipline.

It’s real. Sexual temptation is real. The allure of internet pornography is just a few clicks away. It’s a deadly path. Well, you say, „Brother Al, what can I do? All these women are coming on to me all the time”. Well, what kind of signals are you sending? They don’t come on to me. I have never had a woman come on to me, except for my wife. Be careful what kind of signals you are sending.

Some of you may say, „I’m in an accountability group and I get asked the hard questions week after week, so I’m safe”. I’m all for accountability groups, but that’s no guarantee that you’re safe. Hear my heart on this. I don’t want to seem disrespectful, I have all kinds of groups that I meet with. But, a man who’s in adultery won’t think twice about lying about it. Lying is small stuff compared to adultery.

You say, „What can I do to ensure I won’t have a moral failure?” I don’t know there’s anything you can do to guarantee, but you can certainly do some things that you can make it very very unlikely. I just want to leave you the 2 primary ones that I try to implement in my life and marriage:

  1. Keep the fire of romance burning hot with your spouse. Men, never flirt with another man’s wife and never fail to flirt with your own.
  2. Pursue your love relationship with God with all your heart.

I believe if we are passionately in love with the bride of our youth and cultivate that relationship and fall deeply in love with God and cultivate a deep love relationship with our Savior, it’s not likely we’re gonna succumb. Scripture says, „Be holy as I am holy”. God is a holy God. It’s a high price to pay, to lose the smile of God for a few moments of sexual pleasure. Men, be holy. Be holy. Jesus said, „Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God”. Do you wanna see Him? I wanna see Him. I wanna know Him, I wanna experience Him, I wanna walk with Him, I want His favor. I wanna experience they unless of His power.

God honors personal, practical holiness.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Scottish preacher, died at the age of 29) – „Remember you are God’s swordHis instrument—I trust a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.

Guard your heart, cultivate your marriage. Stay in love with Jesus. Our reward is not here, it’s in glory.

 

Al Jackson – Red Hot Monogamy: God’s Design for Sex – Proverbs 5:1-23 from Southeastern Seminary on Vimeo.

Moral Purity in Marriage

Dr. Russell Moore – You will encounter sexual temptation in your marriage. It is not a question of whether you will encounter sexual temptation, you will encounter sexual temptation when the satanic powers see two who become one flesh, what they see is a living, breathing,  organic display of what they hate the most, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Whatever sexual temptation will come into your marriage is not about you, it is about something that has been going on for millennia and something that was purposed and planned in the mind of God before the cosmos ever was. Your struggle and your battle is precisely what the serpent offers in the garden when he says to the woman, simultaneously, „See yourself as an animal”. She’s been given dominion, the Bible says, over all the beasts of the fields and now she is taking direction from a beast of the field. And also, „See yourself as a god. You can decide what is good and evil”. You will face this throughout your marriage because this is exactly what the apostle Paul is talking about when he says the issue with sexual purity is not simply about self control, although it is about self control. It is about a kind of self control that is doing warfare against the temptation of Satan.

Paul has been going through this entire letter, talking to them about the dangers out there, in the spiritual world. He talks about sexual morality, he talks about sexual fidelity and he says, „Don’t you understand that there is something spiritual happening here?

ADULTERY – Almost anybody in this room can look around and see the kind of carnage that takes place in the lives of even the people that you know. Some of you have pastors who preached the Gospel to you , or baptized you and were later destroyed because of an adulterous affair. Sexual immorality is not something that suddenly happens to you, sexual immorality is part of a conspiracy and a plot to work with you in your sin in order to, as the book of proverbs says, trap you like an animal who is caught.  Paul says, „Flee from sexual immorality. Be warned about joining yourself in adultery”. And why is that the case?  It’s because this warning applies to all of the people of God. We typically think that sexual temptation and sexual opportunity happen to sexy people. That is not the way that it happens. And I have seen so many men who have left beautiful, godly wives for women that you would not even notice if you passed them in the hallway. This is not a matter of how sexy someone is. The Satanic powers are noticing you. They are watching you. Especially those of you who have stood up and said, „I am pursuing God’s call upon my life, to stand and to speak for Christ, in proclaiming the oracles of God.” They will do anything to see to it that the Gospel is discredited by your animalistic impulses. Most people who find themselves drawn into adultery, are not drawn into adultery because they are so oversexed. Most of them, instead find them selves in that place because marriage is a mission, it’s an economy. It’s an order that has been put together and it is hard labor together to bring forth the bread from the earth and to be fruitful and multiply, and to raise up the next generation and to get along with one another through all of these sufferings and all of this strife.  Notice what the apostle Paul says here, it is shockingly radical „You belong to each other”. He does not simply say, „Flee adultery”. He says something significant here. He says, „Husbands, your body belongs to your wife. And wives, your body belongs to your husband”. Do you realize what a shocking statement that is?

(2) FORNICATION – When you change the biblical name ‘fornication’ which is something that is evil, to ‘premarital sex’ you are changing it to something that signifies it is just a matter of timing. There are some ways that fornication mimics the conjugal union of sex. When you have two that are joining themselves together, outside of that life long covenant, you are picturing something other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fornication is not simply something that is timed badly. The fornication is a spiritual act that is joining you and attaching you in some mystical way to another person, in a way that communicates a ‘Christ who is not faithful to His bride’. That is not just immoral, that is blasphemy. One of the significant issues that we face in our churches is that we have an entire generation of young people who are able to cover over and to callous their consciences by being technical virgins, by justifying to themselves acts of rebellion against God as somehow being acceptable and somehow being justifiable in a way that not only stores up sin, but also devastates the functioning christian conscience. And often, even those teenagers and young single adults in our churches, who are remaining faithful in sexual purity are doing so more out of risk avoidance than out of a commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God has revealed that fornicators will not enter the kingdom of God. One of the things we have in our church and possibly in your marriage is that we don’t really believe that. And we really do not see the spiritual war that is going on at this point, because we assume it’s premarital sex, so once the marriage takes place, the issue is now resolved. Some of you in your marriages right now are experiencing deadness and mistrust, and conflict because you, husband led that woman into fornication and you have never gotten to the point of repentance before God for evil. Everything that you said to her, to convince her that this was justifiable, every act of hiddenness that you took to manage your own hiddenness and to cover over your sin, yo will be able to do just as easily, again with some other woman. „She’s the love of my life!” You’ll feel that way about some other woman some day. „We were just so carried away”. You’ll be carried away again, like that. „The timing was so wrong, we were so young”. „My wife just doesn’t understand me and I’m at a time in my life when I really need this relationship”. Until you get to the point, specifically men, where you, as a former fornicator get on your knees with your wife and say, „I am guilty of not protecting you, of not exercising Godly headship over you, of not loving you as Christ loved the church, and I repent before God and I repent before you”. You will never understand what the scripture is talking about when it says, „you were washed, you were freed”. The problem is that we assume that because the problem is in the past, that the issue is over, but, nothing drives 2 people further apart than sinning together. Your wife, men, may not trust you right now because she knows her parents couldn’t trust you then. Until that is dealt with, with the kind of heart that cries out, „Lord have mercy and free me and wash me”, you will never find the kind of spiritual power and freedom in your marriage that  you so desperately need.

(3) PORNOGRAPHY. The apostle Paul doesn’t speak to pornography directly here, but he speaks to porneia, to sexual immorality. And this issue has become almost ubiquitous to such a degree that pornography in terms of spiritual warfare has been weaponized, including in our churches. Now, when a couple comes into my church and says, „We don’t know what’s wrong in our marriage, we just don’t have any intimacy, we don’t have sex with each other anymore, we just feel cold, I immediately say, „How long has the porn been going on? ” Husband usually looks at me like I’m an Old Testament prophet or a new age psychic. It is because it happens so often and with such regularity and it always has the same satanic results. PORNOGRAPHY IS UNIQUELY SATANIC BECAUSE IT DRIVES YOU TOWARDS INSATIABILITY. Nobody in the history of the world has said, „Ok Ive seen my porn”. Porn, by definition drives you further and further and further towards intimacy . WHy? Because it is an occultic pull upon you that is driving you towards the kind of mystery  and the kind of intimacy  that you are designed to find in the one flesh union and it severs that away from real life, covenant, flesh and blood love in such a way that you become numbed over to the joy of sexual intimacy itself. PORNOGRAPHY LURES YOU IN WITH SEXINESS, and then TOTALLY EVISCERATES YOUR CAPACITY  FOR SEXUAL INTIMACY. So much so, that there may even be men in this room  who are so captured by pornography that you are not even able to have sex with your wife without retrieving for yourself images that you have archived from porn. If you do not see how desperate and how sad and how pathetic and how pitiful that situation is, you will never find freedom. When you put yourself in the orbit of pornography, you are not just viewing material, you are joining yourself with a digital prostitute. Someone who is paid to create a sexual arousal in you, you are doing exactly what the apostle Paul is warning about in Corinth, when he says, „Don’t go up there to the temple prostitutes. What will happen when you get there, no matter how you cover over it, no matter how you keep it hidden, something spiritual has happened in the most wicked sort of way. Pornography will move in and destroy you because it will start to create you into the kind of person for whom intimacy is simply body parts rubbing together, not one flesh. And you will ultimately find yourself, when you have seen every image you want to see, when you have read every word you want to have read, like Esau, vomiting up the red stuff that he craved so badly. Pornography has some of you enslaved, precisely because the satanic powers love to work by helping you to hide your sin.

The power that Satan has over you is only two fold. Satan’s power is to take those things the God has created for good in your life, including the impulse towards intimacy and to twist it slightly away from its intended object, so that you become more and more entrapped and enslaved in your own deception. That you are exactly in the situation the apostle Paul speaks of as unbelievers, „Following after the prince of the power of the air, through the passions of the body and of the mind”. The only other power he has is Revelation 12- to accuse the brothers. Some of you are staying in hiding right now when you are at the place in your life where if there is enough of the sense of the urgency of the situation, you can save your life. , you can save your marriage, but you are hiding in the bushes back there where our prehistoric parents are. But, there is a voice through the word of God speaking as it does in every generation that asks the question, „Adam, where are you?”

The only way that you will break yourself free from the pull toward immorality is to come out of hiding. „Lord have mercy upon me, the sinner”.  And the only way that the power of Satan can be defeated is first of all, by recognizing that the goodness that God has given you in that one flesh union in your marriage is to point you to something that is even better news than that. So that the very act of holding that husband, holding that wife, crying and weeping in repentance together, that very act is a physical picture of what the apostle Paul says to the church at Colossae, when he says, „All of that legal record of our condemnation, that list of thoughts and intents, and archived internet histories has been nailed to His cross, disarming the principalities and powers by making a public display  of them.

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