We have called someone “you fool”, even under our breath when they pull out in front of us on the highway.
We have been angry with our siblings without justifiable cause.
We have taken communion while being angry at a sibling.
We have taken the LORD's name in vain, we have lied, we have stirred up strife. We have held a thing or a person higher than the LORD. We have stolen.
We are not without sin.
The words that Jesus spoke in Matthew 5, are to bring to fruit that the LAW cannot change a person's heart. Only Jesus can circumcise and tenderize at heart, and bring him to God.
Adultery is sin… but, so are all the other things Jesus mentions. Being angry without cause is murder. In the literal sense, when someone is murdered, there is no repenting of that murder because the deed is done. We can be sorry for what we did, but we cannot undo it. Restitution is impossible because we cannot give back life where there is no life.
How can we say, “Oh, I repent of the murder. I'll not do it again!”? It is done and cannot be reversed. Divorce and remarriage is done and cannot be reversed. We must stay in the place we are when God called us.
Peter asked Jesus if he should forgive his brother 7 times for any offense. Jesus told him that when a brother comes to him in repentance he must forgive 70 times 7 (Luke 17). Does this mean that Jesus put a limit on forgiveness? No. How much more God forgives us when we repent.
God did set a precedent for the “non-punishment” of adultery in Hosea 4:14. He has also set a precedent for having compassion upon whom He shall have compassion because we are not God. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways, even though we strive every day to look more like Him.
God searches the hearts of men (see 1 Chronicles 28:9 and Revelation 2:23). Out of the heart comes the issues of men, and God knows the heart better than He knows the number of hairs on the head. This is why Jesus said if a man looks at a woman with lust in his heart it is adultery. This is why pornography is exactly the same as fornication/adultery. Therefore, adultery is much more than the sexual act. God called idolatry, adultery.
Repentance is easy, the practice of repenting is not. When faced with an addiction, a person has to do much more than just decide “I'm not going to do that sin any more.” A person has to go through a process and this is what God sees when He searches the hearts of men… whether they truly repent and are trying to stop, or whether is was just lip service to the woman in their life.
I had a friend named Gary who compiled all kinds of information about 10 years ago to help people break sinful addictions. I have lost touch with him, but his work has helped many people.
Even if you are not caught in the web of addictive behavior, you may have a loved one that is. Sometimes, all it takes is the empathetic listener to help the addicted one to see the Light.
Gary told me that he had culled the following list from many different websites and books to leave behind him the slavery to pornography. He graciously gave me permission to use this in anyway I could to help others be freed. This begins a series on “How To Break A Sinful Addiction.”
Please read whatever has you, or someone you love, enslaved into the blank.
In the natural, the addiction to __________ is very difficult to break. Here are some reasons:
- It is the misuse of a natural God given desire and is often excused as just being “natural”. This is because the worldly things are fleshly things. Guess which pair of glasses the world looks through?
- The initial stimuli is difficult to avoid.
- When one looks at the ___________ the video or magazine figures don't look back with disgust. (When one goes to a bar, you put yourself in the path of temptation if your weakness happens to be alcohol addiction. When you watch movies that have bad language, you are filling your mind with the very thing you wish to break from. Get the picture?)
- It is often accepted as being the norm for men. (“Men will be men”). (And kids will be kids, and women will be women… it is no excuse.)
- It is often connected with sexual gratification. (Either by self gratification or with a partner). All forms of sin are connected to self gratification, selfishness, and lack of self control. Our weaknesses are well know to Satan, make no mistake, and he uses those weaknesses for greatest effect.
- It carries often unseen guilt with it that also has to be dealt with.
- The wife or girlfriend through not understanding the nature of the addiction may bring stimuli into the presence of the man who is addicted. (magazines, videos, even lingerie catalogues). (May ask to go places, do things, or events that will stimulate the desire to give in to the addiction.)
- It is usually mixed with other strong addictions such as drug, alcohol addictions, rock and rap music, and sometimes occult involvement.
- Quite often there is a generational factor involve. (The son of an addict become an addict).
- Most often, evil spirits are also associated with this addiction.
Warning: This addiction can lead to more aggressive and violent acts such as rape, incest, child sexual abuse, sodomy, masochism, and sadism. Christians are not immune, just because they are Christian. Satan knows our weaknesses and will never hesitate to plunge his fiery darts into those weaknesses.