2020-04-19 - The Seventh Commandment: Is the Issue of Moral Purity Relevant Today?
Exodus Study, Continued
Is the Issue of Moral Purity Relevant Today?
As we can see, there is a twofold approach we can take to this commandment, the one is as it relates to the purity of marriage, and the other faithfulness to God.
It seems as if marriage has become a questionable convenience today. Many go in with the attitude that if a marriage isn’t working, then it should be ended. Now it’s obvious, on this basis, it can’t work. A marriage is something that has to be worked at always.
The new morality, actually the old immorality, says one way to save a marriage is to have sexual relationships outside of the marriage. This isn’t really new. In many cultures, you marry a women for children and get your pleasure elsewhere.
In fact, there are some so-called experts who will try to tell us the institution of marriage is outdated and will soon be a custom of historic curiosity, no longer practiced. This may also explain the effort to redefine it. If it is outdated, who cares how you define it?
Once again, society deals in euphemisms. People don’t commit adultery, they have affairs. An example of this was shown on TV, The Bridges of Madison County, which demonstrated the positive benefits from a beautiful and loving affair. Isn’t that nice?
It is often the same in spiritual matters. People are in church on Sunday to be respectable, though I'm not sure that’s so true today. But they really get their ”pleasure” the rest of the week with other gods. These are the gods, of money, power, ego, even sex. Jesus said …
”No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24 ESV).
Jesus is stating this same principle in another way. You cannot be faithful to God and have an adulterous affair with other gods, money for an example. Some are willing to be faithful to God as long as He meets their needs, but as soon as He demands something from them or doesn’t do life their way, forget it. It’s off to somewhere else.
Marriage is fine, so long as there are no demands; otherwise let’s go elsewhere. Today, of course, with equality the “in thing,” it is just as appropriate for women to have “affairs” as men. We hear all kinds of excuses for the violation of one’s marriage. Some have an “open marriage.” This means both parties can have adulterous relationships, supposedly showing their maturity in accepting one another’s sins as alternate life-styles.
We also hear: “Well my spouse doesn’t meet my needs. Therefore, I have to go somewhere else. After all you don't really expect me to do without, do you?” But God calls us to standards of behavior that are not contingent on what someone else does, only on what is right or wrong. Marriage is given to us by God as His standard. In addition, as it is a picture of God’s relationship to people, be it the adulterous Israel, or Christ’s bride the church, our marriages are to serve as examples to the world around us.
We also need to remember Christ's standards regarding marriage. In Matthew 5:27-29 we read:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell” (Matthew 5:27–29 ESV).
Keep in mind that while this talks of men, it is just as true for the woman. This is why the requirement for the elder is to be a one-woman man.
Christ is speaking of what should be our main concern, our heart condition. First comes the sin of the heart and only then of the body.
Paul points out that sexual sin is unique …
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:18–20 ESV).
Christian marriages are to be pictures of Christ’s relationship to the church; therefore to violate them not only breaks the sanctity of the marriage relationship, but it also demonstrates a false view of God and His standards to the world around us.
Do we really think of our marriages as testimonies of the Christian life? What are some of the practical ways that our marriages are demonstrating the quality of our faith to those around us? Can you give any examples of marriages, your own or others, that have been an example to you, good or bad?
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:31–32 ESV
Exodus study to be continued.
You will find more info about Pastor Geoff Kragen at GKragen.com, and you may find more of his BIble studies at http://cfdevotionals.org/links/authgeof.htm.
If you have a prayer request for Christian Fellowship's Prayer Ministry, or if you would like to receive prayer requests in email, feel free to write email@example.com (Jan), or firstname.lastname@example.org (Debbie)
April 2020 |
Geoff's Devotions |
Geoff's Studies |