Monday: Covetousness and Sexual Immorality
Read Hebrews 13:4-5; Luke 16:10-18; 1 Corinthians 5:1; Ephesians 5:3-5; and Colossians 3:5. What two evils are related in these passages?
Paul warns the readers against sexual immorality and greed because they were two grave threats to brotherly love. In fact, New Testament authors and ancient moralists noted a connection between them.
Paul’s call to honor marriage implied the avoidance of anything that would belittle it. This avoidance included abstaining both from violation of the marriage oath and from unwarranted divorces (compare with Matthew 19:9). The exhortation to keep the marriage bed undefiled refers to avoiding the profanation of marriage through sexual relationships outside of marriage. The expression “fornicators” refers in the New Testament to every form of sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 5:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Matthew 19:9; Ephesians 5:5; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15). In addition, Greco-Roman society was lax in regard to sexual ethics. A double standard was common; this allowed men license in their sexual relationships as long as they were discreet. Paul warns, however, that God will judge adulterers. Believers should not let social conventions establish their own ethical standards.
“Love of money” was one of the main categories of vices in the Greco-Roman world. In fact, in another letter Paul referred to “love of money” as the source of all evils (1 Timothy 6:10).
The defense against this vice is an attitude that Paul encourages in several epistles. First, they should “be content” with the things they had (also 2 Corinthians 9:8; Philippians 4:11-12). Furthermore, Christians should believe and embrace God’s promise that God would “never leave … nor forsake” them (Hebrews 13:5). This promise was given at several places and moments to His people and is available to us today (Genesis 28:15; Deuteronomy 31:6, Deuteronomy 31:8; Joshua 1:5; 1 Chronicles 28:20). Believers, then, are invited to respond to God’s promise with the words of Psalm 118:6 (ESV): “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” This reference to Psalm chapter 118 is appropriate because the psalmist expressed there his confidence in God, despite the suffering inflicted upon him by unbelievers.
|What are the ways that contemporary society undermines sexual purity and, at the same time, feeds the human love of money? In what practical ways can we strengthen our defenses against these two dangerous vices?|
The lesson asks : In what practical ways can we strengthen our defenses against these two dangerous vices?
Is it a good idea to tell people all the things they shouldn't do in order to be saved? Don't they need to be warned?
Or should we rather concentrate on the solution?
Which is - whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think on these things. Whatever you have learned from the Word of the LORD, put it into practice and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Greetings sister Shirley DeBeer:
The word of the living God, written by those inspired by the Holy Spirit, did both.
Encouraging readers and hearers to live in conformity to the perfect will of God, and warning against living contrary to the revealed will of God.
Shirley I like your 'positive' solution, it is much better than concentrating on the things that shouldn't be done.
Yes, I agree. In Colossians 2:20-23 Paul warns against underestimating the power of sin and our ability to stop as “no value”. Just following a list of “don’ts”will not satiate us. Rather Paul encourages to be filled with new desires and to focus our passions on our new life in Christ and the blessings which will follow. In this way, we have a new identity - we no longer belong to sin. We belong to Christ because he purified and united us by faith to Himself.
Hmmmm! Thought provoking lessons.
Todays lesson is a stern warning which the world today sees as a lifestyle, a norm.
LORD we have erred and are guilty of this consciously, sub-consciously HAVE MERCY OH LORD and give us the grace to overcome sin entirely. Amen
I do believe a sermon on the do and do not should be 2/3 do and 1/3 don't. We cannot overcome in and of ourselves. We need to follow Christ. Here Peter's admonition is all do.
Christ divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2Peter 1:3-7.
Peter experienced this growth or sanctification of a life time(the state of growing in divine grace as a result of commitment to Christ), which helped him be able to write this wounderful passage under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In Second Peter, He is writing of problems within. He starts here by urging us to keep close watch on our personal lives, through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Definitely we need the Lord. As the song goes, people need the Lord. At the end of broken dreams He is an open door, people need the Lord.
There is also the principle especially for the unmarried to keep their hands to themselves. There is a very good counsel especially to males and females to be strict with "delayed gratification." Holding hands in public settings between a man and a woman who have not committed themselves to each other for a life relationship is out of place in a public setting. Especially the youth should be educated to be strict about "Delayed Gratification," in this area of their lives.
The root of all evils ..... = to COVET
A beautiful Moring Star in creation COVETED worship.
The unity of two perfect mortals in union/oneness with God COVETED autonomy and selfishness.
The consequences in hindsight is total depravity and corruption.
Practical Ways to combat our defenses:
1. We have seen in hindsight the terrible consequences of coveted autonomy in Geneses and have experiened the consequences in our own life. Ponder on these things.
2. We can accept God's offer, (at great cost within the Godhead, in a fail/safe plan for reconciliation, before the foundation of the world) to complete our intended image through the Life of Christ Jesus living in us by Spirit, as our Way, Truth and Life, to obey his commands
3. Bring every thought captive to the Christ, as we are bombarded constantly with media from all sources, as Jesus was in the garden and elsewhere.
2 Corinthians 10:5
4. Obey and know God's moral law.
1 John 5:3-13,
5. Continue our SANTIFICATION
In Christ, a sinner, still in a battle, saved by grace