Saturday, December 26, 2009

Immorality and the Church

A time for cleansing….

In this late hour, Satan has a plan to dis-empower God’s people and weaken His Church by ‘normalising’ immorality.

Godly hatred of sexual sin is considered ‘old testament’ by many these days, and the ‘New Covenant’ is seen as a soft option as if God has somehow relented of His staunch moral position.

Infidelity among institutional church leaders is common and parents are finding it harder to argue the case for moral purity, when state run education provides all the tools for a ‘safe’ and guiltless immoral lifestyle.

Casual sex is expected of today’s youth and this pressure is impacting the Church.

Clearly there is grace for those who err and seek God’s forgiveness with repentance, but often this is not sought, as if somehow Jesus will ‘understand’.

What does the Bible say about keeping pure and saving one’s self for marriage.

Firstly, Marriage needs to be defined, as young people can consider themselves married simply by committing to an exclusive immoral relationship.

If marriage is not defined then Adultery and fornication are equally vague terms.

Marriage has four essential elements, the spiritual, the social, the legal and the physical.

Marriage includes the exchanging of vows before God and friends, entering a contract under law and adopting an exclusive ‘one flesh’ relationship.

Marriage is a God ordained institution within which He intended children to be raised.

Jesus acknowledges the place of marriage in Matt 19: 4-6. and adultery as unfaithfulness in marriage in v9.

Adultery then is sexual behaviour that violates the exclusive marriage covenant.

Fornication is a sexual act without having a married relationship. Pornography is commonly an associated sin and is derived from the same Greek word (Porneia).

Now many of us are aware of the Ten Commandments handed to Moses on a Stone Tablet.

Commandment Seven is not to commit adultery.

Jesus referred to these commandments saying’ Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments and so teaches others shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven’.

In fact the requirements of Jesus are more strict than the Commandments, as Jesus said the desire of the heart to commit adultery, is as serious as committing the sin physically.

Jesus said ‘depart from me you who practice lawlessness…’ (Matt 7:23) so the rejection of Law and adopting an amoral world view is a serious spiritual offence.

Clearly Jesus broke the power of the law through the cross (Eph2:15) but the law remains Gods standard to expose sin. (Rom 7:7) In fact sin is lawlessness (John 3:4)

In Hebrews 10 we read “For if we go on sinning wilfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins but a certain terrifying expectation of judgement…. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses, dies without mercy on the testament of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified and has insulted the Spirit of Grace?

So the consequences of casting aside New Covenant Grace is more severe than casting aside Old Testament Law.

What then does the New Testament say about Adultery and Fornication?

Jesus said “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders…. these are the things that defile... (Matt 15:20)

The disciples as Fathers of the early church were equally clear about the sin of fornication. They included sexual sin among the top four sins to avoid, along with the drinking of blood. (Acts 15:29) All the sins on this list resulted in personal spiritual defilement.

When Paul wrote about the sins of the flesh, fornication (in the Greek text) was at the top of the list… Gal 5:16-21 “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

The New Testament writer of Hebrews gives similar warnings: “Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Heb 13:4

So the Gospel of Jesus is not a soft option allowing some more liberal approach to sexual sin, rather the opposite, we are called to purity – not in action only, but also in thought.

How then do we respond when falling short of these higher standards?
Paul tackles this issue in detail in Romans 7.
It will be an intense personal battle, and we all fail in some measure.

Firstly “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus… “

Secondly, we have been given all the spiritual tools to break the power of sin and be fully restored - through confession, repentance, renunciation, cleansing and healing by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Name of Jesus.

We have been talking about two threads of Gods Grace that work together. God’s Law that exposes sin and God’s Kindness that leads us to repentance. (Rom 2:4)

Lets walk together in the light, renouncing secret and shameful ways (2 Cor 4:2) and restore power to His body so we can be fit for the battle in this late hour.

1 comment:

  1. Dear man of God, Holy and Precious Greetings to you in Jesus Our Lord.

    Dear man of God, I Read Your Writings,they are wonderful.

    can I use them In Our Daily Ministries?

    Dear man of God, I am a Pastor from India.

    If it is God's will, Please Pray for me and for Our Ministries for The Salvation of The Perishing Millions.

    I and We Pray for your Welfare and Abundant Prosperity.

    In Him