Are You a Good Person?

Monday, September 24, 2007

You Will Not Commit Adultery

Those words are from Exodus 20:14. Jesus quotes from this in the Sermon on the Mount, saying, "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." (Matthew 5:27,28) He equates sexual lust with the act of adultery itself. As I've been trying to point out, the keeping of the Law is something that must be kept in the heart.

To understand how relevant these words are today, think of all those, men and women, who are caught up in pornography. They may never go out and actually have sexual intercourse with someone, but according to Jesus, they are guilty, just as if they had. A lot of guys will say something to the affect of, "It's just natural to lust after a naked woman." Really? Is it really natural to go out and find places where you can look at a naked woman? Because in order to lust after her, you'd have to look at her. Unfortunately, the Internet has become the place to find pornography of every possible description and perversion. Women get caught up in this on two fronts; there are those who enjoy looking at pictures of naked men, and there are those who like to pose naked for men. Think of all those "Cam" sites where you can call a woman on the Internet and she will do all kinds of things so you can see her on your computer.

And it's not just limit to pornography either. Today's fashions are ridiculously obscene. Men are getting to see a whole lot more than I could have imagined when I was a kid. Some women are blissfully unaware of how tempting they look. It almost seems as if current fashion trends were set by hookers downtown.

Is Jesus really serious about this command then, seeing we are practically bathed in naked and near naked people? Consider the words following two verses, "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." (Matthew 5:29,30) Now I don't see anyone gouging their eyes out because it "offends" them, or cutting off their right hand, for that matter. That doesn't mean Jesus wasn't being extremely literal in what He was saying. If pornography has become such an addiction that the only way to free yourself from it is to gouge out your eyes, Jesus is saying, "Do it! Better that then have your whole body thrown into hell."

Being practical about this, however, we would have to admit that we are all guilty of committing adultery in some manner or another. Gouging out our eyes would only leave everyone blind. Jesus provides another solution. In the book of Romans we read, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:1,2) In otherwords, instead of gouging out your eyes, take your whole body and offer it up to God as a living sacrifice. Let Him take care of it, transforming you into the image of His Son. You do this by the constant renewing of your mind. Again, as Paul writes by the power of the Holy Spirit, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:5)

Okay. Makes sense, at least more sense than cutting my eyes out, but how do I do this? By doing three things; First you must establish a relationship with God through His Son, then you are counted as family. The Father in Heaven no longer sees your sins, but His Son's righteousness. Second, you spend time with Him in prayer, for it is in prayer that you get to know God. You get to know His mind, that the way He thinks may become the way you think. Third, you spend time in the prayerful study of His Word. Many Christians fail at one or both of these last points. When this happens, it is like going into battle naked. You are without protection against the enemy, but worse, you have cut off communication from headquarters.

Therefore, let Jesus become your Commander in Chief, the Captain of the Hosts of Heaven, not just some vague "savior" figure. Spend time with Him, so as a soldier in His army He can train you, teach you and cloth you in His armor. Then open up that precious Bible and let the living waters of God wash over you, as it is written, "That he might sanctify and cleanse it (your mind) with the washing of water by the word." (Ephesians 5:26 emphasis mine)

We have committed grievous crimes against the God of Heaven, yet in a mercy and a love that cannot be measured, He extends forgiveness of all these sins. He took them upon His own body, that is upon Jesus, and nailed them to the cross. Let us leave them there and follow Him. Let us rejoice that the Father no longer sees us in our fallen state, but in the purity and perfection of Christ. Our best form of worship to Him then is to obey the Law, no longer because God commands us, but because we know that doing so will please Him. Let our love grow that this might be accomplished by the working of His Holy Spirit in us. - David Brollier

No comments: