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Adultery Pollutes

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She is a common sewer!

(Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments.Ā 

This selection is longer, but it is needful inĀ our immoral society. Though it particularly addressesĀ adultery, it easily applies to any kind ofĀ immorality. This is the best article I have ever read, on how to deal withĀ lust. Every man struggles with lustā€”so please forward this on.)

“You shall not commit adultery.”Ā 
Exodus 20:14

This commandment is set up as a hedge to keep out impurity; and those who break this hedgeā€”a serpent shall bite them! TheĀ fountainĀ of this sin is lust. God is a pure, holy being, and has an infinite antipathy against all impurity. We must take heed of running on theĀ rock of impurity, and soĀ making shipwreck of our chastity. The meaning of the commandment is not only that we should not stain ourĀ bodiesĀ with immoralityā€”but that we should keep ourĀ soulsĀ pure. To have a chaste bodyā€”but an unclean soul, is like a beautiful face with a cancerous heart. “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16.

There is aĀ mentalĀ adultery. “WhoeverĀ looksĀ on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in hisĀ heart.” Matthew 5:28. As a man may die of an inward bleedingā€”so he may be damned for the inward boilings of lust, if it is not mortified. That I may deter you from the sin of adultery, let me show youĀ the great evilĀ of it.

(1) Adultery is a thievish sin.Ā It is the highest sort of theft. The adulterer steals from his neighbor, that which is more than his goods and estate; he steals away his wife from him!

(2) Adultery debases a person.Ā It makes him resemble the beasts; therefore the adulterer is described like a horseĀ neighing. “EveryoneĀ neighedĀ after his neighbor’s wife.” Jeremiah 5:8. It is worse than brutish; for some creatures which are void of reasonā€”yet by the instinct of nature, observe some decorum and chastity. TheĀ turtle-doveĀ is a chaste creature, and keeps to its mate. And theĀ stork, wherever he flies, comes into no nest but his own. Naturalists write that if a stork, leaving his own mate, joins with any other, all the rest of the storks fall upon it, and pull its feathers from it. Adultery isĀ worse than brutish, it degrades a person of his honor.

(3) Adultery pollutes.Ā The devil is called anĀ uncleanĀ spirit. Luke 11:24. TheĀ adultererĀ is the devil’s first-born; he is unclean; he is a moving quagmire. He is all over ulcerated with sin; hisĀ eyesĀ sparkle with lust; hisĀ mouthĀ foams out filth; hisĀ heartĀ burns like mount Etna, in unclean desires.Ā He is so filthy,Ā that if he dies in this sin, all the flames of hell will never purge away his immorality! And, as for theĀ adulteress,Ā who can paint her black enough? The Scripture calls her aĀ deep ditch.Ā Proverbs 23:27.Ā She is a common sewer!Ā TheĀ bodyĀ of a harlot is a walking dung-hill, and herĀ soulĀ a lesser hell!

(4) Adultery is destructive to the body.
Ā “Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.” Proverbs 5:11. Immorality turns the body into a hospital, it brings foul diseases, and eats the beauty of the face. As the flame wastes the candle, so theĀ fire of lustĀ consumes the body. The adulterer hastens his own death. “So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter or like a trapped stag, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life!” Proverbs 7:21-23.Ā 

(5.) Adultery is a drain upon the purse; it wastes not the body onlyā€”but the estate.
Ā “Keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostituteĀ reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life!” Proverbs 6:24-26. Whores are the devil’s horse-leeches, sponges that suck in money. The prodigal son spent his inheritance, when he fell among harlots. Luke 15:30. The concubine of King Edward III, when he was dying, got all she could from him, and even plucked the rings off his fingers.

(6) Adultery destroys reputation.
Ā “But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. Wounds and constantĀ disgraceĀ are his lot. HisĀ shameĀ will never be erased!” Proverbs 6:32, 33.Ā Wounds of reputationā€”no physician can heal. When the adulterer dies, his shame lives. When his body rots underground, his name rots above ground. HisĀ bastard childrenĀ are living monuments of his shame.

(7) Adultery impairs the mind.Ā 
It steals away the understanding; it stupefies the heart. “Whoredom and wine take away the heart.” Hosea 4:11. It eats all purity out of the heart. Solomon besotted himself with women, and they enticed him to idolatry.

(8) Adultery incurs temporal judgments.
Ā The Mosaic law made the penalty for adultery, to beĀ death. “The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death;” and the usual death wasĀ stoning. Lev 20:10; Deut. 22:24. TheĀ SalonsĀ commanded people guilty of this sin, to be burnt. TheĀ RomansĀ caused their heads to be stricken off. Like a scorpionā€”this sin carries a sting in its tail. “For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge!” Proverbs 6:34. The adulterer is often killed in the act of his sin. “Lust’s practice is to make a joyfulĀ entranceā€”but sheĀ leavesĀ in misery.” I have read of two in London, who, having defiled themselves with adultery, were immediately struck dead with lightening from heaven. If all who are now guilty of this sin were to be punished in this manner, it wouldĀ rain fireĀ again, as on Sodom.

(9) Adultery, without repentance, damns the soul.Ā 
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God!” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.Ā The fire of lust, brings to the fire of hell.Ā “God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral!” Hebrews 13:4. ThoughĀ menĀ may neglect to judge themā€”yetĀ GodĀ will judge them! He will judge them assuredly; they shall not escape the hand of justice; and He will punish them severely. TheĀ harlot’s breastsĀ keeps fromĀ Abraham’s bosom!Ā “TheĀ delightĀ lasts a momentā€”theĀ tormentĀ an eternity!” Who for a cup of pleasureā€”would drink a sea of wrath! “Her guests are in the depths of hell.” Proverbs 9:18. The harlot is perfumed with powders, and lovely to look onā€”but poisonous and damnable to the soul! “She has cast down many wounded, yes, many strong men have been slain by her.” Proverbs 7:26.

(10) The adulterer does all he can, to destroy the soul of anotherā€”and so kills two at once!
Ā He is worse than the thief; for, suppose a thief robs a man, yes, and also takes away his lifeā€” the man’sĀ soulĀ may be happy; he may go to heaven as well as if he had died in his bed. But he who commits adultery, endangers the soul of another, and does all he can, to deprive her of salvation. What a fearful thing it isā€”to be an instrument to draw another to hell!

(11) The adulterer is abhorred of God.
Ā “The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who isĀ abhorredĀ by the Lord, will fall into it.” Proverbs 22:14. What can be worse than to beĀ abhorredĀ by God? God may beĀ angryĀ with His own children; but for God toĀ abhorĀ a manā€”is the highest degree of hatred! The immoral person stands upon the threshold of hell; and whenĀ deathĀ gives him a pushā€”he tumbles in!

All this should sound aĀ warningĀ in our ears, and call us off from the pursuit of so damnable a sin as immorality. Hear what the Scriptures say: “Her house is the way to hell.” Proverbs 7:27.

I shall give some directions, by way ofĀ antidote, to keep from the infection of this sin.

(1) Do not come into theĀ companyĀ of a whorish woman; avoid her house, as a seaman does a rock. “Run from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!” Proverbs 5:8. He who would not have the plague, must not come near infected houses; every whore-house has the plague in it. Not to avoid theĀ occasionĀ of sin, and yet pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” is, as if one should put his finger into the candle, and yet pray that it may not be burnt!

(2) Look to yourĀ eyes. Much sin comes in by the eye. “Having eyes full of adultery.” 2 Pet 2:14. TheĀ eyeĀ tempts theĀ imagination, and the imagination works upon theĀ heart. A lustful amorous eye, may usher in sin. Eve firstĀ sawĀ the tree of knowledgeā€”and then sheĀ took. Gen 3:6. First sheĀ lookedā€”and then sheĀ loved. TheĀ eyeĀ often sets theĀ heartĀ on fire; therefore Job laid a law upon his eyes. “I made a covenant with my eyesā€”not to look with lust upon a young woman.” Job 31:1.

(3) Look to yourĀ lips. Take heed of any unclean word which may enkindle unclean thoughts in yourselves or others. “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Cor. 15:33. Impure discourse, is the bellows to blow up the fire of lust. Much evil is conveyed to theĀ heartĀ by theĀ tongue. “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth!” Psalm 141:3.

(4) Look in a special manner to yourĀ heart. “Guard yourĀ heartĀ with all diligence.” Proverbs 4:23. Every person has a tempter in his own bosom! “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, adultery, all other sexual immorality.” Matthew 15:19.Ā ThinkingĀ of sin, makes way for theĀ actĀ of sin. Suppress the first risings of sin in your heart. As the serpent, when danger is nearā€”guards hisĀ head, so keep yourĀ heart, which is the spring from whence all lustful motions proceed.

(5) Look to yourĀ attire. We read of the attire of a harlot. Proverbs 7:10. A wanton dress is a provocation to lust. A painted face, and half-naked breasts, are allurements to immorality. Where theĀ signĀ is hung outā€”people will go in andĀ tasteĀ the liquor. Jerome says, “those who by their lascivious attire endeavor to draw others to lust, though no evil followsā€”are temptersā€”and shall be punished, because they offered theĀ poisonĀ to others, even though they would not drink.”

(6) Take heed of evilĀ company. Sin is a veryĀ contagiousĀ disease; one person tempts another to sin, and hardens him in it. There are three cords which draw men to immorality:Ā 
the inclination of the heart,Ā 
the persuasion of evil company, andĀ 
the embraces of the harlot. ThisĀ threefold cordĀ is not easily broken. “A fire was kindled in their company.” Psalm 106:18. The fire of lust is kindled in bad company.

(7) Beware of going toĀ theatersĀ andĀ plays. A play-house is often a preface to a whorehouse. “Plays furnish the seeds of wickedness.” We are bid to avoid allĀ appearanceĀ of evil; and are not plays the appearance of evil? Such sights are there, which are not fit to be beheld with chaste eyes. A learned divine observes, that many have on their death-beds confessed, with tears, that the pollution of their bodies has been occasioned by going to plays.

(8) Take heed of lasciviousĀ booksĀ andĀ pictures,Ā which provoke to lust. As the reading of the Scripture stirs up love to God, so reading vile books stirs up the mind to wickedness. To lascivious books I may add lascivious pictures, which bewitch the eye, and areĀ incendiaries to lust!Ā They secretly conveyĀ poisonĀ to the heart.Ā 

(9) Take heed ofĀ excessĀ in diet. When gluttony and drunkenness lead the van, immorality and wantonness bring up the rear. “Wine inflames lust.” “Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, andĀ gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. TheĀ foulestĀ weeds grow out of theĀ fattestĀ soil. Immorality proceeds from excess. “When I hadĀ fedĀ them to the full, everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.” Jer. 5:8. Get the “golden bridle of temperance.” God allows theĀ refreshment of nature, and what may fit us the better for his service; but beware of surfeit. Excess in temporal thingsā€”clouds the mind, chokes good affections, and provokes lust. “I discipline my body and bring it under strict control.” 1 Cor. 9:27. TheĀ flesh pamperedā€”is liable to immorality.

(10) Take heed ofĀ idleness. When a man is idle, he is ready to receive any temptation. The devil sows most of hisĀ seeds of temptationĀ inĀ fallowĀ ground. Idleness is the cause of sodomy and immorality. “Sodom’s sins were pride,Ā laziness, and gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. When David was idle on the top of his house, he espied Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. 2 Samuel 11:4. Jerome gave his friend counsel to be always well employed in God’s vineyard, that when the devil came, he might have no leisure to listen to temptation.

(11) To avoid fornication and adultery, let every man have a chaste, entireĀ love to his own wife. Ezekiel’s wife was the desire of his eyes. Ezekiel 24:16. When Solomon had dissuaded from immoral women, he prescribed a remedy against it. “RejoiceĀ with the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:18. It is notĀ havingĀ a wifeā€”butĀ lovingĀ a wifeā€” which makes a man live chastely. He who loves his wife, whom Solomon calls hisĀ fountain, will not go abroad to drink ofĀ muddy, poisoned waters. Pure marital love is a gift of God, and comes from heaven; but, like the vestal fire, it must be nourished, so that it does not go out. He who does not love his wife, is the likeliest person to embrace the bosom of a harlot.

(12) Labor to get theĀ fear of GodĀ into your hearts. “By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.” Proverbs 16:6. As the embankment keeps out the water, so the fear of the Lord keeps out immorality. Such as lack the fear of God, lack theĀ bridleĀ which should check them from sin! How did Joseph keep from his mistress’ temptation? The fear of God pulled him back! “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin againstĀ God!”Ā Genesis 39:9. Bernard callsĀ holy fear, “the door-keeper of the soul.” As a nobleman’s porter stands at the door, and keeps out vagrants, so the fear of God stands and keeps out all sinful temptations from entering.

(13) Take delight in theĀ Word of God. “How sweet are your words unto my taste.” Psalm 119:103. Chrysostom compares God’s Word to a garden. If we walk in this garden, and suck sweetness from theĀ flowers of the promises, we shall never care to pluck the “forbidden fruit.” “Let the Scriptures be my pure pleasure,” says Augustine. The reason why people seek after unchaste, sinful pleasuresā€”is because they have nothing better. Caesar riding through a city, and seeing the women play withĀ dogsĀ andĀ parrots, said, “Surely, they have noĀ children.” So those who sport with harlots, have no better pleasures. He who has once tastedĀ Christ in a promise, is ravished with delight; and he wouldĀ  scorn aĀ temptationĀ to sin! Job said, that the Word was his “appointed food.” Job 23:12. No wonder then, that he made a “covenant with his eyes.”

(14) If you would abstain from adultery, use seriousĀ consideration.

Ā Ā Ā  [1] Consider that God sees you in the act of sin! He sees all yourĀ curtainĀ wickedness. He isĀ totus oculusā€”“all eye.” TheĀ cloudsĀ are no canopy, theĀ nightĀ is no curtainā€”to hide you from God’s eye! Whenever you sinā€”your Judge looks on! “I have seen your detestable actsā€”your adulteries and your neighings.” Jer. 13:27. “They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives. I know it and am a witness to it! declares the Lord.” Jer. 29:23.Ā 

Ā Ā Ā  [2] Consider that few who are entangled in the sin of adultery, ever recover from the snare. “None that go to her return again.” Proverbs 2:19. This made some of the ancients conclude that adultery was an unpardonable sin; but it is not so. David repented. Mary Magdalene was a weeping penitent; upon her amorous eyes which sparkled with lust, she sought to be revenged, by washing Christ’s feet with her tears!Ā Some, therefore have recovered from this snare. “NoneĀ that go to her return,” that is, “very few.” It is rare to hear of any who are enchanted and bewitched with the sin of immorality, who recover from it. “I find more bitter than death the woman who is aĀ snare, whose heart is aĀ trapĀ and whose hands areĀ chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.” Eccl. 7:26. Her “heart is a trap,” that is, she is subtle to deceive those who come to her; and “her hands are chains,” that is her embraces are powerful to hold and entangle her lovers. This consideration should make all fearful of this sin.Ā Soft pleasures, harden the heart.Ā 

Ā Ā Ā  [3] Consider what Scripture says, which may lay a barricade in the way to this sin. “I will be a swift witness against the adulterers.” Malachi 3:5. It is good when God is a witness “forĀ us”, when He witnesses to our sincerity, as He did to Job’s; but it is sad to have God as a “witnessĀ againstĀ us.” “I,” says God, “will be a swift witness against the adulterer.” And who shall disprove God’s witness? He is bothĀ witnessĀ andĀ judge!Ā “God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4.Ā 

Ā Ā Ā  [4] Consider the sad farewell, which the sin of adultery leaves. It leaves a hell in the conscience. “The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to hell.” Proverbs 5:3-5. TheĀ goddess DianaĀ was so artfully drawn, that she seemed to smile upon those whoĀ cameĀ intoĀ her templeā€”but frown on those whoĀ went out. So the harlotĀ smilesĀ on her lovers as theyĀ comeĀ to herā€”but at last, they come to theĀ frownĀ and the sting! “Until an arrow pierces his liver.” Proverbs 7:23. “Her end is bitter.”Ā 

When a man has been virtuous, theĀ laborĀ is goneā€”but theĀ comfortĀ remains; but when he has been wicked and immoral, theĀ pleasureĀ is goneā€”but theĀ stingĀ remains. “He gains momentary pleasureā€”but after that, eternal torment,” says Jerome. When theĀ sensesĀ have been feasted with unchaste pleasures, theĀ soulĀ is left to pay the reckoning. Stolen waters are sweet; but, as poison, though sweet in the mouth, it torments the conscience.Ā Sin always ends in tragedy!Ā Sad is that which Fincelius reports of a priest in Flanders, who enticed a young girl to immorality. When she objected how vile a sin it was, he told her that by authority from the Pope, he could commit any sin; so at last he drew her to his wicked purpose. But when they had been together a while, in came the devil, and took away the harlot from the priest’s side, and, notwithstanding all her crying out, carried her away! If the devil should come and carry away all who are guilty of immorality in this nationā€”I fear more would be carried away, than would be left behind!

(16)Ā PrayĀ against this sin. Luther gave a lady this advice, that when any lust began to rise in her heart, she should go to prayer. Prayer is the best armor against sin; it quenches theĀ wild fire of lust.Ā If prayer will “cast out the devil,” it will certainly cast out those lusts which come from the devil.

O let us labor for soul purity!Ā To keep the soul pureā€”have recourse to the blood of Christ, which is the “fountain open, to cleanse from sin and impurity.” Zech. 13:1. A soulĀ steepedĀ in the briny tears of repentance, andĀ bathedĀ in the blood of Christā€”is made pure! Say, “Lord, my soul is defiled! I pollute all I touch! O purge me with hyssopā€”let Christ’s blood sprinkle me, let the Holy Spirit anoint me. O make me pure, that I may be taken to heavenā€”where I shall be asĀ holyĀ as You would have me to beā€”and ashappyĀ as I can desire to be!”

We Are His Temple

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ā€œWe are his temple. We do not turn in a certain directlon to pray. We are not bound by having to go into a building so that we can commune with God. There are no unique postures and times and limitations that restrict our access to God. My relationship with God is intimate and personal. The Christian does not go to the temple to worship. The Christian takes the temple with him or her. Jesus lifts us beyond the building and pays the human body the highest compliment by making it His dwelling place, the place where He meets with us. Even today He would overturn the tables of those who make it a marketplace for their own lust, greed, and wealth.ā€

Ravi Zacharias

Love Is A Commitment

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ā€œLove is a commitment that will be tested in the most vulnerable areas of spirituality, a commitment that will force you to make some very difficult choices. It is a commitment that demands that you deal with your lust, your greed, your pride, your power, your desire to control, your temper, your patience, and every area of temptation that the Bible clearly talks about. It demands the quality of commitment that Jesus demonstrates in His relationship to us.ā€

Ravi Zacharias

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