“I Never Touched Her!” – Getting Concrete about “Abstract
Sin” - Purity 1267
Purity 1267 02/06/2024 Purity 1267 Podcast
Purity 1267 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of the painting the “Assumption of the
Virgin” (1708-1712) by Sebastiano Ricci comes to us from yours truly as I
capture this work of art on my iPhone back on December 9th, 2023, during my
visit to the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield Massachusetts.
Well, It’s Tuesday and I am not touching the “Assumption
of the Virgin” with a ten-foot pole because despite my Roman – Irish – Polish –
Catholic upbringing I am simultaneously proud and ashamed to say I really don’t
know much about it and I think that might be a good thing. Mariology is the
theological study of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the Catholic tradition has
some beliefs about the blessed mother that, I’ll say it as kindly as I can, are
not necessarily clearly drawn from the Bible and may be a tad bit idolatrous…
Anyway, I didn’t intend to bring up Mary at all and
we will leave her alone. The topic of
today’s message surrounds sexual immorality and the fact that some men, and
women I sure, consider the expression of their sexuality – regardless of how
they express it – to not be a sin.
As we rely on God’s word for wisdom and moral
standards, we stand on the fact that sexual immorality is any sexual activity
that is not between one man and woman who are bound by a marriage
covenant. So be it solo, homo, or heterosexual
sex, outside of what happens between a husband and a wife in their marriage – is sexual immorality and the Bible calls us to
repent of it – that is we are to be sexually pure – to turn from our
masturbation or fornication and to not do it again. If you can’t, believe it or not you can rightfully
consider yourself to be in bondage to sexual sin – and perhaps even consider
yourself a sexual addict.
Of course, the world and even the body of Christ can
excuse their sexual immorality as “normal” and they may only agree in the “abstract
that it is a sin” – that can’t reasonably be overcome. The attitude toward sexual immorality is
permissive in culture, for sure – and then some, but is even present in the
church to the point that pastors won’t preach too much on it because they may offend
the multitudes in the body of Christ who are not married, or who are open about
their “alternative lifestyle” or who are secretly in bondage to “porn” – the seemingly
Christian or polite code word for masturbation.
The permissive attitudes toward sexual sin is on
sliding scale in some circles. Homosexuality is to be rightfully condemned as
sin but so is sex outside of marriage and masturbation. Sin is sin and rather
than developing some hierarchy of sexual sin we should rightfully encourage repentance
of them all.
And I hate to say it, Jesus rose the bar even higher
in terms of sexual purity. He said in:
Matthew 5:27-30 (NKJV)
27 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.'
28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
I bring all
this up because of the permissive attitudes toward sexual sin and the damage it
can do to our souls. Our hearts become
hardened when we fail to crucify the flesh and resist sexual temptation.
counseled a brother who is going through a divorce. In our discussions it was
revealed that he had an “emotional affair” – a friendship with a woman who was
not his wife that was physically pure but was emotionally bonding and even
though this man and woman supposedly never had sex – I didn’t press for details
about hugs, or kisses, - this man’s heart and thoughts were with this woman
intimately. When questioned about whether he ever masturbated to the thoughts or
images of this other woman, he admitted he did. So was this man guilty of adultery?
touched her. But his heart and his mind did and he touched himself to
completion towards her. While he could
claim that he never “committed adultery”,
Jesus’s words in Matthew 5:27-30 would expose as a liar. He did commit adultery in his heart and that’s
what matters to the Lord otherwise Jesus would have never said it.
So yeah, what
we do matters, but what we think matters too. What our hearts burn for matters
and if our hearts and minds lead us beyond temptation into the contemplation or
completion of sexual sin, we need to repent and pursue purity.
Even though my
friend “never touched her” – his emotional affair was discovered and the
betrayal and the doubt that his wife experienced was real. He broke his
marriage vows. He sinned against himself, his wife, and the Lord – it’s
something he shouldn’t take lightly. Its something he should be ashamed of and
something that should drive him to examine his life and how he has given
himself over to sin.
The good news
is that through faith in Christ our sexual sins can be forgiven but when we
fail to repent of our sins we will suffer from guilt, shame or hardened heart
as we disrupt the relationship we have with the Lord through our wanton sin or
in the worst case scenario we may eventually be exposed as someone who never
gave his heart to the Lord because we wouldn’t surrender it from the lust of
Jesus didn’t tell
us to pluck out our his or to cut off our hands to keep us from sinning for
nothing. Our sins can separate us from
the Lord and Jesus was telling us to cut it out of our lives completely.
Jesus gave mercy to the woman caught in adultery but before she left his
presence he said:
John 8:11 (NKJV)
11 "… go and sin no more."
So seek to
surrender your bodies a living sacrifice and to treat them like the temples of
the Holy Spirit by taking sexual sin seriously and seeking the life of goodness
and purity that only Jesus can make possible. Jesus was tempted in every way as
we are but without sin – including sexual sin – so follow Him.
Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By
John G. Kruis.
While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick
Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late
author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )
morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Communication, Gossip, and
Psalm 34:11-14 (NLT2)
11 Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD.
12 Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous?
13 Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies!
14 Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
verse is the second of two passages of scripture that fall under the eighth point
of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Communication, Gossip, and
8. The Lord detests
verses tell us to fear the Lord to turn away from evil and to do good. They also tell us to not speak evil or to
friend’s case, stating “I never touched her.” may have been true in the flesh,
but it was a big lie in the heart and mind. In the spirit, it was evil.
look at your sin honestly, tell the truth, repent of the evil, and do good.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I
always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to
assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from “According to Your
Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A
Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.
As always, I share this information for educational
purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own
private study and to support his work. This resource is available online
for less than $10 at many sites.
MORNING READING: MATTHEW 27
“Truly this was the Son of God!” –
The rest of the verse qualifies this great statement: “So
when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the
earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying,
‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” (v. 54).
They watched Jesus. They saw His wonderful behavior from
Gabbatha to Golgotha. They saw the “sorrow and love flow mingled down.”3
They heard His words.
They “saw the earthquake and the things that had
happened.” The veil rent in twain – two or three miles away. This was in
fulfillment of His own Word. The earth did quake – the very universe trembled
in His presence. The dead arose. He was Resurrection and Life.
“They feared greatly.” Here was reverence, awe, and
trepidation – for they were in the presence of the Son of God.
Your presence always brings reverence
Truly, You are the Son of God!
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian
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“The views, opinions, and commentary of this
publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to
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for the Path of Christian Discipleship
Stephen Olford and Heather Olford, According to Your
Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament, A Collection of Devotional
Journals 1940-1941 (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2008).