[CF Devotionals] 2010-09-04 - Faithfulness and Convenience

The Ten Commandments ~ Part 41
Seventh Commandment, Part 4

It is often the same in spiritual matters. People are in church on Sunday, being respectable, but they really get their “pleasure” the rest of the week with other gods. The gods, of money, power, ego, and even sex. When Jesus said … “ No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and money" (Matthew 6:24).

He 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 it 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 in our society, 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 showing their "maturity" in accepting one another’s sins as alternate lifestyles. 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 men - 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, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyonne who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her, in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into Hell.”

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 in that:

“ … All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).

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?

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com

Additional studies by Geoff
Podcasts of Studies in Matthew can be found at www.GKragen.com