In this sermon, Pastor Babij finishes his exposition of the seventh of the Ten Commandments, “You shall not commit adultery.” Pastor Babij explains how marital faithfulness reflects the faithfulness of God. Pastor Babij also gives three reasons why a person must avoid adultery and any conduct that promotes sexual impurity:
1) The Lord is the avenger of wrongs
2) God’s purpose is for His people’s absolute holiness
3) God’s Spirit is the ultimate standard
Let’s bow together in a word of prayer. We’re going to be in Exodus 20 and then 1 Thessalonians and then also 1 Corinthians. Let’s pray. Lord, this morning as we look at your Word, I pray that Lord you would take it and mold us and shape us with it. Lord, challenge us with the Word of God so your Word becomes what You want us to do in our life. Our will would be changed to Your will. I pray, Lord, that Your name would be honored as we consider the Word of God and the implications it has in our daily life. I pray that You would bless our time together in Christ name. Amen.
This morning, let’s take our Bibles. I eventually will be looking at Thessalonians, but let’s go back to Exodus 20:14 and then Deuteronomy 15:18, which really says the same thing. We’re looking at the seventh commandment this morning.
It is the commandment that is very direct. It was for the people of Israel. Its implications still have a strong effects in our life as believers. That comes out of the Law of God.
But remember this: the Old Testament law was never a ladder for unsaved people to climb up the heaven. It was never for that. The law of God brings us bad news. Through the law of God, I discovered that I am a person that it finds it difficult to let God be God.
The law of God reflects some aspect of the character in the glory of God. When I look at the law, I see that I fall short of the glory of God, that I have broken the law, and that I cannot keep it. Therefore, I fall under its curse.
See the law reveals to me that I am not good. Actually, I am a sinner and a rebel against God. We’re not looking at ourselves like that, but when we look the Word of God, that’s how the Word of God presents us – as people who fall into sin. The sin of Adam is transmitted unto us and therefore we also have the nature of sin and will sin. So when we come to the New Testament, we find and discover the same thing. It says in Romans 3:23:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
1 John 3 tells us:
everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness
Here’s a definition for sin: sin is lawlessness. That means you are living without any law, without any guidelines from the Word of God, from God himself. You’re living under own, based on what you think and the way you think you should live.
When you come to the law of God, you realize that the word of God and the Ten Commandments show us what God requires upon us, not only worshipping him but how to interact with people.
So the law of God is like an x-ray to the soul. God holds the X-ray to the light and asks us to look at it. If you’re looking at it properly, we will not like what we see. Then the law is like a light, to expose our sin. We are sinners by nature and by practice.
Yet, the law of God is a good thing, for it shows us the truth. It shows us the genuine state of our hearts. It shows us that we cannot rescue ourselves from its condemnation.
Thank God the law announces our need of Christ. Remember what it says in Galatians? It says that the law of God was our teacher to bring us to Christ. As one translation put it another way: the law was our guardian until Christ came. It protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. So the whole point of the law was to show sinners their need of the Messiah, of Jesus Christ, of the deliverer, of the Savior.
Today, for believers, the law shines in our souls. When we look at the law, God says to us we have to admit that He is speaking directly to the primary battles of our own Heart. These are the things we battle with, in the Ten Commandments. No matter when you lived, you’re going to battle with these things.
So the Ten Commandments speaks to the most significant struggles of the human experience. The law of God keeps us running back to Christ. That’s what it keeps us doing. That is a good place to be, and that’s the place we ought to be.
This morning as we look at Exodus 20:14, it says simply:
You shall not commit adultery.
That’s a clear command. As I mentioned last time in that command, the seventh commandment expresses the responsibility of God’s people to honor the marriage institution by remaining faithful to one’s own spouse, and by respecting the marriage of other people. In fact, the children’s catechism says the result of the seventh commandment for children is to be pure in heart and language and conduct.
That’s the result. That’s where it will bring us. God again is serious about fidelity, about purity, about morality, because God is a moral being. He has created people in His image as moral beings. He will hold people morally accountable for how they live their life.
Humanity rejects God’s rule and then asserts its own rule, violating and perverting God’s fixed order of moral law. If God’s moral law in absolutes are violated, then there is always a “then”. There is serious consequences. It’s really living in lawlessness.
God is serious about His marriage institution. He’s the one who designed it because it reflects God’s faithful relationship to his covenant people and to His people Himself. In connection with the seventh commandment, the question would be: why should I not commit adultery? The bottom line would be this: it is because God is faithful. He is faithful to us.
The implication of not committing adultery is being faithful to your spouse. Since Christians are God’s people, the greatest challenge for God’s people is to reflect the character of God in the world.
When we live out our faithfulness to our spouse and to God Himself, we honor Him and we honor the marriage institution by reflecting something of the glory of God in our very actions, our very words, our conduct. That’s exactly what supposed to happen. That’s what the spirit of God is going to do. We’re going to look at that a bit, because you cannot do that on your own. Don’t ever be under the assumption that anyone can keep the law or keep living for the Lord in communicating these attributes in our daily walk in life on your own. You cannot do it on your own. You need God’s power to do it.
So far we’ve been looking at the four things to maintain or to hold marriage in high honor. 1) Maintain the correct mindset concerning marriage. 2) Maintain the correct behavior in marriage. We saw that from Hebrews 13. 3) Maintain a correct view of God in marriage. The last Lord’s day we were considering the will of God concerning how to understand and live out our sexuality so as to please God. That brought us to the fourth one and of course the fourth one included 1 Thessalonians 4:7, where it says:
for God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.
This last one – to maintain a correct and a consistent conduct that aligns with pleasing God, is really where Paul is going in his teaching to the Thessalonians about coming from an idolatrous, sexually impure culture to now meeting the holy God who has requirements on how we are to live. The epistle is being taught to these former idolatrous Thessalonians to provide a perspective that is really too often neglected in a sexually intoxicated culture like theirs and like ours.
I’d like you to turn to Thessalonians 3 and 4. We see there that it is the Lord who is teaching us that there is a way to live in our life that is honoring for the Lord. Paul is telling that in 1 Thessalonians 3:13, he says:
so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.
Then in 4:7:
For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.
That is how you and I are to conduct ourselves as we go in and out of living our life on the earth. Not only is there unattained maturity, but there is also old taboos and lifestyles and practices that we need to drop off as Christians.
The scripture really now gets very specific about what that means. Christians are called to the highest standard of living. It is in this passage before us, we will see God’s will in the matter of our purity. WSome of these are by way of review. Also, God’s provision in order to maintain purity, and then God’s revenge for our failure in purity.
The first thing that we already mention is that it is God’s will for our sexual purity. Now if you look up 1 Thessalonians 4:3, it says:
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.
Now, how are we to do that? He already mentioned here that we are to pursue a life of holiness. That means God’s will is the thing God wants. Wants what God wants is what pleases Him. And what does He want? He wants us to know His will and it’s very clear what His will is right here in this passage. His will is our sanctification.
He wants us to live separated lives unto Him. When believers do come to Christ in all their sin, they receive the cleansing of the atoning death of Christ. Then every day, we become more and more set apart to God as the word of God transforms our minds and the Spirit of God does His work in making us holy. This means to be set apart, holy to God, and separated in the consecration of life and conduct.
That means in our passage, if you noticed the word, that we are to live a life of abstinence. We are to keep free from any form of sexual immorality. This verb – to abstain, really means to keep away from. The Christian is to have nothing to do with any form of the Greek word pornea, or sexual immorality.
We are to treat that like we would treat a sign that says “high voltage”. If you’re being wise about that sign, you’re going to stay away from anything that has that sign, lest you get fried.
Again, we should consider that this word, pornea, where we get the word pornography from, is used here in an all-inclusive term, designating complete abstinence to any form of sexual immorality. There are many forms of it.
Some people may say: well, the Bible isn’t talking about this form. No, he’s talking about all forms because human beings can be very creative when it comes to this particular very powerful sin and temptation to sin in this way.
This includes abstinence from any real or imagined sexual deviant behavior. As I mentioned last time, as the Lord said, we can commit adultery in our own mind without even committing the act of it. God wants us to take care of our sin inside of our heart. The word of God would again teach us that that is not pleasing, even in our hearts. We have to be very careful about that as believers.
That brought me to my second point: God’s provision is our self-control, that in this we are to have self control. In verse 4, where it says:
that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor.
What are we to know very well? Here we are to learn to know to practice the habit of purity, from my very thoughts to our very words to our very actions. That your habit of sin becomes your habit of holiness and righteousness.
In this passage, I believe the emphasis in verse 4 is on getting a handle on learning how to keep your own body under control, so you will preserve it for purity, right up until the day you get married. Or you meet Jesus, whatever comes first. Or maybe you won’t get married and the Lord has given you the gift of singleness, and that’s all right. But He still expects a person to live righteously.
So when we ask the question: why do you restrain yourself and give your members over to the power of the spirit of God for righteous living? Well, because you learn to obey God and love the Lord and love His Word and know His Word is true. You endeavor imperfectly to live a life of holiness and godliness. Godliness, remember it says in Timothy, takes practice. We have to practice godliness.
This must be the primary reason to abstain from sexual immorality. The primary reason would be not only that God is faithful to you, but we are to be faithful to God and love Him.
That will bring me today to the third point in chapter 4 verse 6. That is: God’s revenge is our terrifying motivation. If you notice in verse 6, I’ll just read the whole passage there.
that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the manner.
That means in the manner of not living a pure life, not living a holy life. In other words, you refuse to put yourself in jeopardy and to defraud your future partner. It says there in verse 6 don’t sin against your brother or sister in this way. That means to transgress them. That word there means to go too far or to go beyond what is right.
And then it also says that no man defraud his brother or sister in this manner, meaning to take advantage of someone or to cheat them of something. This all means that any and all acts of sexual looseness represents an act of injustice towards someone else. God is concerned about that and He wants His people to live in a way that is honoring to Him. With this powerful sin, sexual infidelity, there needs to be a soberness and a healthy spiritual fear that should be present when we consider a sin like this.
The reason why is because it’s so easily fallen into in our thinking and in our minds. All we have to do is be on the internet and one click away is an image that’s going to tempt you to think about things you ought not to as a believer and it’s going to lead you into further sin. So that sexual looseness before marriage symbolizes the robbing of the other, of that virginity which ought to be brought only to the marriage.
The scripture really does give the reason why this sort of conduct needs to be completely avoided in all relationships, whether you want to call it dating or whether you want to call courtship or going steady or any other way people they mentioned that. There are reasons to stay away from that kind of conduct. One of them is in verse 6, where it says this, remember: the Lord is an avenger of wrongs. He is an avenger of wrongs. Notice it says:
and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in this matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.
So we see in this passage of scripture, there is a warning that is coming to these Thessalonian believers and to us today to avoid such conduct. And why is that? Because God is the one who punishes.
There should always be some kind of terrifying motive that we have as believers when it comes to sin. Not only should we grow to hate our sin, but we should grow to be afraid to sin. Why is that? Because you and I as believers live under the watchful eye of God.
We also have the Holy Spirit of God living in us. We know that the Holy Spirit of God can be grieved and can be quenched by what we think about and also by what we do. There’s no place we can go that the eyes of the Lord are hidden or that we can hide away from the eyes of God. Wherever we go, god goes. God knows what we’re up to.
So this first reason here that we are to remember: that the Lord is an avenger of wrong, specially in this area of sexual purity and impurity. The first reason to really to avoid such sexual misconduct does appeal to the fear of the consequences of disobedience. If one is truly saved, they will heed the warnings.
Any discipline the Lord would give them at a particular point in their life if they have fallen into this sin, they will repent and they will give evidence of their salvation.
So you and I are warned today from Scripture not to take lightly society’s lackadaisical attitude concerning sexual conduct. The Word of God strongly, strongly warns of God’s judgment and punishment on those who live impure lives.
Now, we do know that the Thessalonians were actually living this way because he compliments them. He says to them: listen, you’re living this way now; don’t stop there – keep on abounding in that kind of lifestyle. Keep on growing in the Lord so that become such a habit in your life that you even stop thinking about it and the temptation becomes less powerful for you as the Lord begins to fill our minds and transform our minds and keep our minds on the will of God.
The second reason that we are to have this sort of conduct in our life is found in verse 7, which I mentioned already, where it says this:
for God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.
So the second reason is pointing us backward to what God has done. And what has he done? Our effectual call to trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation also means that we were called to a certain kind of living. God had a definite purpose in mind concerning the way we should live our everyday life. To live in sexual impurity is to rebel against God’s purpose in His calling you to be His children.
You can mark this on your calendar: no matter which way you may think or someone else may impose upon you, that is how you should live your life. It’s clear here that you are not to live for the purpose of impurity or impure motives, but instead you have been called by God to live a life of holiness, sanctification, dedication.
I do want to just stress that word in verse 7, that God has not called you to something but he’s called you to something else. God has called us for a decent sex life, consistent with His aims and his purposes. It was necessary for the apostle Paul to place this lofty ideal before the Thessalonian christians while they’re living in a very pagan and of course sexually intoxicated world. It’s equally true now, is it not? It’s equally important now that you’re call to Christ will not allow you to live in a way you used to live. All immoralities must be avoided as being inconsistent with God’s gracious call of you.
You cannot live as if you do not know God anymore. You cannot live as if God’s not there and God doesn’t see or God doesn’t matter. What He requires christians to have in their calling is to be progressively made more and more holy everyday. It’s called theologically progressive sanctification. We talked a little bit about that this morning. Sanctification, of course, happens after someone repents of their sin, comes to Christ, at which point they are now indwelt with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit in conjunction with God’s Word and the cooperation of the sinner with God’s word, begins to grow the Christian in Christlikeness and holiness and godliness. Puritan
Thomas Watson summarize the principles of sanctification, gathered by Dr.Richard Mayhue in his book. Thomas Watson said: sanctification is a salvific work that is continued by God in this life unto completion in heaven. That means we’ll never become perfect this side of eternity, but we will be set apart more and more by the spirit on this side of eternity, making us ready for the presence of God. Once we drop off these bodies, we’ll go into the presence of the Lord and be perfect.
He said also sanctification is a salvific work that cannot be separated from salvation or glorification, that real salvation will lead to glorification. But we’re not going to be glorified here on this side of eternity.
Sanctification, He said also, is a salvific work of God, which once begun cannot be lost or stopped or be undone. The Lord, once He starts working on you, He will finish work on you until the day of Jesus Christ, right? He will finish the work that He started in us and saving us and transforming us.
Also. He said this: sanctification is a salvific work of God that prompts a holy response of Biblical obedience from those who are genuine saints. In other words, once you become a believer, I want to obey. I want to do what God wants me to do. The Spirit of God puts that desire in our heart, that we’re motivated by obedience.
He also said that sanctification is a salvific work of God that does not eradicate sin. We will never become sinless on this side of eternity. Sin will be eradicated when we are glorified, when we have new bodies in heaven.
Also sanctification is a salvific work that provides confident hope in this life because of a certain eternal hope in the next life. Several passages of Scripture that come to mind – where Jesus said in His high priestly prayer: sanctify them. John 17:17:
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
And then he says in 2 Timothy 2:21:
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
And then 1 Thessalonions 5:23 says:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In other words, the Lord is going to take us through this whole process of sanctification for what reason?That we would be presented to the Lord Jesus Christ at the end, right? God doesn’t save someone and leave them. God is right there working on you. Even when you don’t cooperate, He’s working on you. He’s going to bring you to the place where you want to cooperate. He’s going to show you your sin and He’s going to bring that to light. That sin is going to be the thing that you’re going to want to put the death and put aside because you realize it’s hindering your forward growth in Christ Jesus.
Warren Wiersbe tells of a church member who criticize her pastor because he was preaching against sin in the lives of Christians. She says: “after all, sin in the life of a believer is different from sin in the life of an unsaved person.” The pastor replied: “yes, it’s worse”.
It is true, Christians are not under the condemnation of sin, but it is also true that they are not exempt from the harvest of sorrow that comes when Christian sow to the flesh. If you sow to the flesh, you will reap a harvest. If you sow to holiness and godliness, you will also reap that harvest. That is the harvest that God wants us to reap. He wants us to reap a harvest of holiness and godliness.
That brings me to a third reason why this sort of conduct needs to be completely avoided. Here it is: this sort of conduct needs to be completely avoided because God’s Spirit is the ultimate standard.
It says in 1 Thessalonians 4:8:
He who reject this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
In other words, anyone who treats sexual sin as no big deal is actually treating God and His Word as of no account. How are they doing that? By resisting the sanctifying process of the Holy Spirit.
If you notice the end of that verse, God has given His Holy Spirit to you as a down payment, as someone who seals you until the day of redemption, and someone who leads you into truth, so the truth sanctifies your mind.
This word here, “he who rejects”, this word means to refuse or to ignore, to invalidate the Word of God. Those who justify their licentious behavior, they do not hesitate to set aside God and sin against God who is present at the moment. Here we have a person who takes God’s demand for sexual purity so lightly that he or she makes it void by refusing to obey it. As we already said, God is an avenger and has given the Holy Spirit to empower saints in their struggle for holiness. And it will be a struggle.
To go on to live in impurity is a direct insult to the divine Giver. It is a sin against the Holy Spirit who is the power unto holiness, that He’s given to us. So to live in sexual impurity without any repentance is to reject God. A professing believer who commits and continues in impurity without genuine repentance can have no assurance of their salvation.
That’s one thing that sin does. If you’re living in sin, you’re not assured of your salvation because sin is opposite of what God wants to do with you. You lose your assurance. Of course, a christian who’s in the family of God should expect discipline from the heavenly Father because the heavenly Father is not going to allow His children to live in any old way they want. He’s going to discipline them. Discipline is for our good, but it leads us to know the holiness of God and want to live a holy life.
If a person is truly saved, they will heed the warning and any discipline and will repent, giving evidence of their salvation. So the christian life is not a matter of believing in Jesus and then trying our best to live according to God’s law. God’s promise is that when you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will come. He will reside in you, in your life. You will receive power, and that power will make the difference between a battle in which you are destined for defeat and a battle in which there will be ultimate victory.
There is the difference, that God the Holy Spirit is living inside the believer. As the believer yields their life to the Holy Spirit, He the Holy Spirit cleanses and then create holy desires within us. The Holy Spirit also empowers us to walk in holiness and not be detoured into the lust of the world and into the lust of the flesh and into the pride of life and into the lies of Satan.
It is by walking in the spirit that we get victory over the lusts of the flesh. That’s what Paul said in Galatians 5:16:
but I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.
Every day that’s how we are to do it. Walking means to live your life every single day, and you live your life in what God requires from the Word of God. In doing so, the Spirit of God will empower you to live holy. So in the presence of the Holy Spirit that makes our body, which is considered the temple of God where the Spirit of God dwells, it makes us realize that wherever we go with our body, we go with the Holy Spirit. That that becomes a consideration for all believers, when we consider this understanding of what the Bible teaches about sexual purity.
Now thinking of that, take your Bibles and turn to 1 Corinthians 6. We’re going to be looking at verse 12-20. It says:
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 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. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your body are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For he says, “The two shall become one flesh.”But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 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? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
That passage of scripture is really pointing out to us, giving us a scriptural view of sexual impurity, enabling us at the same time to fight with the goal to victory. To think about it, the right way to have God’s point of view on it. Now, that’s the passage. In that passage there are several things. Here are the things that we want identified.
1) Sexual impurity misuses the body, where it says that the body is not for immorality. So any kind of sexual impurity, no matter what it may be, however people may define it, it misuses your physical body.
2) Sexual immorality drags Christ into your sin. It says: do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! We shouldn’t be even thinking like that. We don’t want to drag the Lord into our sin.
3) Sexual immorality, in verse 18-19, is a sin against the temple of the Holy Spirit. That’s why it says flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. So there, sexual impurity is against the temple of the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit indwells your body. He lives within you.
That brings us to that last thing: 4) sexual impurity misuses something that belongs to God. What belongs to God? If you notice in verses 19b-20, it says: and that you are not your own. You have been bought with a price. And what is that price? That prices is the precious shed blood and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, what He did on the cross, what it took to pay for us.
To satisfy the justice of the Father on the cross so we can be saved is something that cannot escape our mind. It’s something that needs to be in our mind every day. The reason for that is because that’s what God did for us. When we actually think that way, we can actually glorify God in our body and not misuse our body.
So then, to write-off what God commands as nothing is to invite the judgment of God, and is also to grieve the Spirit of God. According to the book of Proverbs, the teaching of wisdom warns young men and women to be very wary about going down a path that is lined with sweet smells, glittering lights, and enticing words, and delicious promises. That’s how sin is usually presented to us. Right? It’s not presented as something ugly. It’s presented as something desirable. Wow, that looks like I want to be involved with that. That looks like fun. That looks like it’s going to feel good. That looks like it’s got some great promises that I like to be involved with. That’s what sin is. Sin is given to us as a desirable package. I want it.
Now notice some of the things that happen when a person hears wisdom being taught to the young people. This is how it goes. Look what it says, the first one. 1) Unbiblical thinking is: it will feel good. The Word of God says in Proverbs 5:3-4:
for the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
What’s the real experience? It will produce shame and guilt. Of course sin doesn’t tell you in front that it’s going to produce shame and guilt. It never mentioned that. Satan will always lie to you. Temptation will never give you the end result. But see, that’s the the key with wisdom. Wisdom thinks about: if I have this thought, if I’m tempted in this way, it’s going to lead to this at the end. Why do I want to do that? That’s foolish. That’s the point. You don’t want to be foolish.
2) Unbiblical thinking is: it will make me feel better. It says in Proverbs 5:11-14:
And you groan at your final end, when your flesh and your body are consumed; and you say: “how I have hated instruction! And my heart spurned reproof! I have not listened to the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to my instructors! I was almost in utter ruin in the mist of the assembly and congregation.
In other words, it’s going to produce regret if someone falls into the sin. Why? Because they’re going to say: I knew what to do and I didn’t listen. And I reap the results. I think we all can say, at some point in our Christian life, that we have regret, that we have fallen into a sin and knew it was wrong before we did it and fell into it anyway. Then I felt the regret of sinning. A wise person does not want to feel the regret of sinning anymore. The way they do that is they learn everyday to walk in holiness.
3) Unbiblical thinking: no one will know. Look at what it says in Proverbs 5:21:
For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his paths.
I’m going to need to confess it openly. Why? God knows what I’m doing. He knows where I’m going, and I shouldn’t be there. Why? I’m taking the temple of the Holy Spirit into a situation that I don’t belong.
Then here’s another set.
4) Unbiblical thinking: you’ll not hurt anyone. You hear that all the time, right? I’m not hurting anybody if I do this. But notice Proverbs 5:8-9:
Keep your way far from her and do not go near the door of her house, or you will give your vigor to others and your years to the cruel;
And then Proverbs 5:22:
the evil deeds of the wicked ensnare him, the cords of his sin hold him fast.
And then Proverbs 7:21-23:
With her many persuasion she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life.
That means saying that it won’t hurt anybody, actually, it will waste your time and energy. It could also ruin your health. It will ruin your relationships because trust will be gone. It will hurt your wife, and for a woman, it will hurt your husband. It will ensnare like a trapped animal. In the end, you’ll give your glory to another; that means you will rob God of His glory.
One last one, just to give you a sense of Proverbs, is this: well. Wow, that looks good. Sin is always given to us as something that looks good, right? Remember the eye gate. What goes into your eye is very important because you’re going to get it to your mind. So what I’m looking at, if I look too long, then it’s going to start capturing me, capture my attention. Notice what it says: she looks good. But notice what it says in Proverbs 7:26-27:
For many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain. Her house is the way to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death.
What is she? The sin to be led into sexual immorality. It’s really a sin that leads its disguise with destruction, its disguise with death ultimately. A wise person doesn’t want to go there.
So, let’s conclude some things this morning, the principles in the seventh commandment related to life today. There are several of them. I want to look at some of them, but I just want you to listen. If you’re taking notes, you should take some of these down because there are some helpful steps to consider, to avoid these kinds of sins.
The first one is this: that you must make yourself aware of the downward spiral of temptation that leads to sin. What do you mean by that? I mean that: what you see will lead to a desire to have, which will lead to move your will to actually take it. So in other words, you have to arrest the process of temptation before it gets to the end result.
Here’s a good example. I just want to want you to see the highlight. This is David’s sin with Bathsheba, where you can build adultery. Notice what it says. It says that he saw a woman bathing, and then also secondly he inquired about the woman. She was a married woman. Then he took her. Then when she came to him, he laid with her. He had sexual relationship with her. We know that this particular sin in David’s life was very destructive, in his whole family. Matter of fact, the implications of the sin never left him at all. It followed him to his grave.
Remember the results of this kind of sin in the Old Testament was death. But God forgave him. Nathan the prophet came to him and said: David, you committed the sin. The wife of Uriah, you robbed her from him. And so you’re the man. You’re guilty.
You find this all over the scripture. You see, your heart passion desires, and then your volition makes things up to take it, makes plans to take it. Put it to death at the eye gate. Remember the passage I mentioned in Job where he says: I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze on a virgin? How can I do that? So that’s the first thing.
The second thing is: you must avoid any person who might lead you into temptation. That means you need to cut off all relationships, companionship, with persons who have been involved with you in wrongdoing. Then you must form wholesome and pure new friendships to fill the void.
Remember what Paul told the church in the context of the resurrection. He said: do not be deceived; bad company corrupts good morals. That is definitely something that you have to be concerned about.
Thirdly you must avoid every situation that might lead you into temptation. Too much time alone with nothing to do places you in the way of temptation. You must plan to become active in some kind of wholesome work, hobby, or study. Remember what the scriptures tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13:
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
You will be able to through it on the side of victory, because the Spirit of God has been given to you. The Word of God has been given to you. The church has been given to you. Truth has been given to you, that you would be able to say no to the sin and run from it if need be.
Then you need to consider your thinking habits. Your thinking habits. What kind of things fill your thought life? Practice avoiding every book, magazine, TV program, movie, video, computer program, internet site, that might prove sexually stimulating. Remember, if garbage and filth gets into your mind, garbage and filth will come out of your mind. Violence, crime, and sex – that’s what usually sells. It will take over your thoughts and hamstring your morals. Instead, you and I must read and memorize and know the Word of God, especially portions that will provide help for you in time of temptation.
Some of these passages scriptures are good ones to memorize and to get familiar with when it comes to filling your mind with the Word of God, to enable you to resist temptation.
Also, listen to the Word of God preached. It will renew your mind and you can get God’s point of view on that. You’re not getting God’s point of view anywhere in the world. You’re not getting God’s point of view, for many of us, from our own families. They never had God’s point of view. You’re only going to get God’s point of view in the church that are preaching and using the Word of God as our final rule of authority for life and godliness.
Then of course, remember, keep your mind on the right things. Whatever is pure, let your mind dwell on these things. That’s what Paul told the Philippians. Also you must maintain a regular prayer life. That passage of scripture where it says: the Word, that I have treasured in my heart that I might not sin against you. It should be something that we are considering.
Also you must practice calling upon God when sudden temptation strikes. God will answer any sincere request for help. That’s what he’ll do. He’ll answer us. God wants you to win the battle.
Remember, when Jesus was walking the earth, and He came to a time where He was going to be crucified, and He was in the garden of Gethsemane, and He was praying. Then He said to His disciples: please pray with me. Pray for, not only me, but for yourselves. This is what He says that them, and this is very telling here, this passage of scripture. He tells them: keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. That’s always the case. So you want to strengthen the spirit and weaken the flesh. That’s the goal of the Spirit of God: strengthen the spirit and weaken the flesh.
Then, of course, some of the practical things is this: consider your appearance. Clothes and morals are closely linked. Women who dress provocatively to arouse impure thoughts in the minds of men have sagging morals. Men can do the same. Modesty is the best policy. I would say: no, holiness is the best policy, which will include modesty.
Also you must make yourself accountable to someone who is more mature than you. For a man, a male. For a woman, a mature Christian woman in the congregation.
Then we need to keep our line between the unmarried state and the married state drawn distinct and clear. Remember, chastity before marriage is what pleases God and how God designed things. Trust Him that He is going to enable you when He give you the desires in your heart to want to honor Him.
Then view marriage as something set apart, something very special and sacred before God and also to you, because it’s a right for granting a special place of privilege. It’s a special place where the sexual union can take place in which God designed.
Then remember, fall in love with the Lord Jesus and desire to want to live for Him alone. Keep pure for God and for that special someone in the future. You’re keeping yourself pure for that person. If the Lord will give you someone to marry, He’s keeping you pure for that person. And then He’s keeping you pure if you’ll never get married for Himself.
If anybody here today has fallen into wrongful, sinful practices remember, it is possible to break these habits in the power of God’s spirit. The Lord Jesus Christ stands ready to forgive you of past sins, to enable you who are His children to keep you free from such sin in the future. But you must be willing to do your part. Then, cast yourself on the mercy of God for deliverance.
Now, if you remember, one day as recorded in John 8, Jesus commented on adultery. The sin of adultery has an awfulness to it. But the forgiveness of Christ has a wonder to it. The scheming religious leaders of Jesus’ day tried to entrap Him by bringing a woman before Him who violated the seventh commandment. According to the Old Testament law, the crime was punishable by stoning. They wanted Jesus to condemn her or else be forced to show that His refusal to carry out the law of God was a rejection of the law of Moses.
What did Jesus say to them? This is what He said to them:
But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
So, what happened is that convicted by their own guilty consciences, the crowd of accusers slipped away one by one. For the woman, He spoke words of pardon and mercy. No matter how deep and dreadful the sin, the Savior stands ready to forgive all who seek His mercy.
As the scripture continued in John 8:9-12, it says:
When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemned you?” She said, “No one Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on and sin no more.
Don’t commit sin like this anymore. Of course, there may be an assumption there that she did come to Christ. Verse 12 says:
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.
Jesus wasn’t condoning her sin. He was showing that there is no one who has not in some way committed that sin. But there’s always forgiveness with Christ. There’s always mercy with Christ. That’s where we run to. Again, the law in the christian life will keep us running to Christ, where we receive cleansing of our sin. He cleanses us from all unrighteousness – that’s the promise He gives us.
Let’s pray. Lord, thank you this morning. Lord, we want to have command of our bodies, a command that is led by your Holy Spirit. We want our minds to be transformed, that we would know the good and acceptable will of God. And Lord, may we have the strength that when we are tempted in this way, that the power of temptation would become less and less as we grow more and more in godliness. And I pray, Lord, that we would find our joy and our happiness in this life in You.
Also, that we might stand before You unashamed one day, because our lives have honor the name of your son Jesus Christ. And so Lord today, we want to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to You. We know this is our reasonable service of worship, and we want to do that with one motivation: because of your mercy, because You did not give us what we deserve in Christ. Lord for that, we are forever thankful. We thank you Lord today. Make us people who everyday desire more to walk in holiness than to commit sin. And I pray this in Your name, amen.