Bought by the Blood

August 28, 2015

The Fear Of The Lord and Purity (Based on Proverbs 7)

Filed under: Fear of God,lust,marriage,pornography,purity — cubsfan1980 @ 6:34 am
Tags: , ,

If we are truly wise and fear God in all of our ways then we will stay away from women that God has not allowed us to call our own.

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words. (Proverbs 7:4-5 ESV)

The woman who wants me to forsake my vows will use smooth words to make me forget God’s Word, but if I fear God I will remember His calling on my life to live worthy of His calling.  He has called me friend and accounted Christ righteousness onto me, so therefore I should live rightly and seek to be pure in all my ways.

If I read further in Proverbs 7 it describes the ways of someone who does not fear God and how that leads to the trap of impurity:

For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice, and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. (Proverbs 7:6-9 ESV)

In the passage above you will notice that the person that Solomon is referring to is someone simple and not wise, young and not mature, but most importantly they have a sense that is in tune with their flesh instead of with God.  This leads them to walk in the darkness of the night instead of in the light of the gospel.

And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, “I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. (Proverbs 7:10-15 ESV)

Not walking in the light leads him into a trap.  He meets a prostitute, but she doesn’t seem like a prostitute.  She appears religious because she has made her sacrifices and paid her vows.  She is a wolf’s in sheep clothing.  More importantly is a lion on the prowl seeking who she can devour because she is at every corner laying in wait for those not on guard.  This is the co-worker showing cleavage, the old acquaintance on facebook and who ever else Satan will use to find you.  She has a heart not focused on God, she does not care for that you are a son of the King.  She is loud and wants to distract you from the way that you have been called because the path is narrow.

With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. (Proverbs 7:21-23 ESV)

for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death. (Proverbs 7:26-27 ESV)

She will make a compelling argument.  She may even be more seductive and offer to give you a delight that you do not normally receive and take a fill of love that you so eagerly long for (7:18), but know that this is a trap that will cost you your life.  What you reap you will sow.  A moment of indiscretion leads to destruction.  You are not her first victim and she is an expert at destroying the lives of men.  You cannot fight her on your own and should not over estimate your strength.  If she can slay a mighty throng she can surely slay you.  Involve yourself in a community of transparency, confess where your heart is prone to wander and turn from any thing that will lead you down the path of the adulterous woman so you can see the Gospel having more beauty and joy than anything she can offer.  Cling to the hope that you are powerless to resist on your own, but God’s spirit can you empower you with the help of others to live for Him.

July 8, 2015

Lust and Pornography Versus Fearing God

Filed under: Fear of God,lust,pornography,purity — cubsfan1980 @ 7:21 am
Tags:

Nothing can compare to knowing God, not even pornography, masturbation or impure relationships. Fearing God will lead to blessing, but sexual sin always frustrates. The way of purity leads to pleasantness and peace, but impurity only leads to stress and death.

Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.

(Proverbs 3:13-18 ESV)

October 5, 2009

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
-Psalm 130:3-4

“What does this mean?  It means that filial fer, the fear of a son for His father, is produced by God’s love for us.  More exactly, it is the result of discovering that the God whom we thought of with slavish, servile fear, the holy righteous, terrifying God of judgment and majesty, is also the God who forgives us through Jesus Christ.  He is just, yet he justifies the ungodly (Romans 3:26; 5:6).  He is righteous, yet he counts sinners as righteous.  One reason why we know so little of such filial fear is that we do not appreciate the Gospel!  If we would grow in grace so that we fear God like this, we must first return to the Gospel, and to the meaning of the cross…Filial fear is always the grateful response of sinners who have become saints.”  Sinclair Ferguson on the above verse.

There are two kinds of fear that we can experience.  The first kind of fear is one that we typically think of when it comes to fear, that of dread and worrying of if we can measure up to God’s approval.  This is servile fear, from servile we get servant or slave, this is a fear for those that are working to pay off someone they are underneath.  The other kind of fear is filial and it means reverence and awe.  The latin of filius is “son” and that is where this type of fear comes from.  It is in reference to how a child fears their father and because we have been forgiven through the blood of Christ, this allows us to experience filial fear with God.  Sinclair Ferguson says about this kind of fear:

“It is that indefinable mixture of reverence and pleasure, joy and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what he has done for us.  It is a love for God which is so great that we would be ashamed to do anything which would displease or grieve him, and makes us happiest when we are doing what pleases him.”

Yesterday I talked about how our standing with God never changes.  The way we walk in fear of God can change our experience of God.  We were created for intimacy and communion with God, but sin brings a barrier between us and God.  Through Christ death on the cross that relationship has been restored, but it won’t be fully realized until we are in Heaven.  While in this life, our walk with God will have varying degrees of closeness based on how we fear Him and if we choose closeness with God or closeness with the world.  The more I fear God the closer my friendship with Him. “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,” Psalm 25:14

We were not given grace to remain stagnant in it, but we were given grace to grow in it (2 Peter 3:18).  As we grow in grace we will be made more like Christ and our intimacy with God will increase.  Experience is very subjective and not always the best measure of if we are growing in the fear of the Lord.  Some effects of fearing God that we can be on the lookout for that will positively impact our experience of knowing God are as follows:

If I am fearing God I will grow in my desire to live a life of obedience.  “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)”  My life will be characterized by wanting to bring pleasure to God.  Ultimately I will place my hope in finishing the race well and hearing “Well done good and faithful servant.”  The smile of God will be more important to me then the praise of the world.  Children are called to respect and obey their parents and I am called to respect and obey God.  “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13).”

On the flip side of that, fearing God will mean not wanting to displease God or grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).  I will desire to put death to sin as sin blocks my view of God and feeds me lies about God’s love for me and who He is.  If I believe the promise of God and what He has done for me through the cross then I will seek to lay aside everything that hinders me from knowing Him more fully (Hebrews 12:1).  Fearing God means fiercely doing battle with my sin so that I can make my Father proud and give Him no reason to grieve over me.

Fearing God changes how I view the circumstances of this world.  If I fear God then I have nothing to fear in this life.  He is my stronghold and refuge, if He can save me from the hopeless situation that my sin had me in, then I can have hope no matter what I am facing.  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1).”  When I fear God my perspective is changed and I see that if God is worthy of awe and reverence then He is also worthy of my trust.  Just a child trust their parents for everything, I can trust God for all that I need.  “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. (Proverbs 14:26)”

We have the privilege of being considered sons and daughters of God because of His awesome and unconditional love.  We were orphans with nothing good to contribute to God’s family and no merit of our own, but God freely chose us to be His own.  Our status before God saved us was dead in sin with nothing desirable to offer, but God didn’t bring us to life because of what we could bring to the table, but only by His grace did He regenerate us.  The reality of what God has done for us should transform how we view our blessing of knowing and communing with Him because we are completely undeserving.  His praises should ever be on our lips because He has given us everything.  My fear of God should be evident by how I proclaim His love for sinners because of what He has done for me.  As a child likes to look up to and brag on their parents I should do the same thing with God .

Psalm 111
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!P
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!

August 18, 2009

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  – Psalm 23:6

We know the goodness of God through the fact that we are in relationship with Him.  God is our ultimate good and by communing with Him we have the highest privilege and pleasure that anyone could ever ask for.  Thomas Manton has stated,He is essentially good; not only good, but goodness itself: the creature’s good is a superadded quality, in God it is His essence. He is infinitely good; the creature’s good is but a drop, but in God there is an infinite ocean or gathering together of good. He is eternally and immutably good, for He cannot be less good than He is; as there can be no addition made to Him, so no subtraction from Him.”

We know God’s goodness through the mercy He has shown us on the cross.  We have all sinned and because of this do not deserve to know God’s goodness.  God is merciful and with Christ blood has paid the price that we could not, so that through His mercy we can be in relationship with Him and experience more of His goodness.  His mercy endures for all the days of our lives, so we never have to fear being cut off from Him.  It is by sovereign grace that we receive mercy and it is nothing that we can earn.

Since we have received such awesome mercy and goodness from God our lives should be lived for His glory.  We are called to live in the fear of the Lord, because like any proud parent, He is always near by to support us.  There is no moment in this life when we are not dwelling with Him, so our actions should reflect this great truth.  Let us not settle for the counterfeit glory that this world has to offer, but instead strive to be satisfied with His glory in our lives.  The one thing we thing should seek to gain is not more money, fame or prestige but a greater awareness of how our shepherd is transforming our lives and living within our hearts to prepare us for the eternal glory He has called us to.

July 22, 2009

Only with the cross can we esteem God’s Word rightly

As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot. Yet neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid, nor did they tear their garments. – Jeremiah 36:23-24

King Jehoiakim had no regard for God’s Word.  For those who live in reverence to God’s Word it is more delightful than all riches (Psalm 119:14).  To king Jehoiakim the Word of God was worthless and he used it to cut it up and as fuel for a fire.  In cutting up the Word of God he was cutting up his own soul and committing suicide of the soul.  He could have used God’s word to burn away the sin in his life, but instead by  neglecting it he made the wrath of God burn hotter towards him.

The proper response to God’s Word would have been one of fear.  Through God’s Word we see ourselves more clearly and also see God more clearly.  By the Word of God we are able to see more clearly His holiness and glory.  Scripture is also a mirror and we see ourselves in light of who God is we are made aware of our sin and our separation from God.  This is a very fearful thing as it shows that no one has lived up to God’s standard and all are worthy of punishment (Romans 3:23 and 6:23).  When we see the debt that we owe God, as it is one that we could never repay, we should have the opposite reaction of Jehoiakim and be humbled.

To be honest, I don’t always prize God’s word as I should approach it with humble gratitude.  It is a fight to esteem God’s Word rightly.  Thankfully this is not a battle that I fight on my own.  I have the Holy Spirit to empower me to deny my self so that I can seek God through His Word.  This is not something that I do to earn God’s favor, but it is because I have God’s favor through Christ death on the cross for my sins that my response is to commune with Him through His Word.  The cross isn’t just the means by which I am saved, but it also is the process of my sanctification.  If the cross is not at the center of my sanctification then I am not seeking to exalt Christ, but to exalt myself.  Not only can I not save myself, but I can’t continue to make progress in my relationship with God unless He is working in me and carrying me along the process.  Therefore, I do not feel condemned when I fail to have the right attitude towards God’s Word, but instead remember it is all of grace and seek Him to pour out more grace because without His undeserved favor I am in the same boat as Jehoiakim.

Josh Harris gave a great message at Covenant Life Church on this passage which you can listen to here.

June 30, 2009

What A Great Salvation

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared. – Psalm 130:3-4

God has a holy standard that He has called all men to live up to.  The words that God wrote to Belshazar are true for all men, “you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting; (Daniel 5:27)”  The balances is that of God’s righteousness and when ours is weighed against God’s, we are found wanting, there is no curve on God’s scale.    Our best attempts of having any righteousness of our own are filthy rags when seen in light of God’s holiness.  There is no one sin that is greater than another sin, all sin is equally heinous because it is against a holy God.  You and I are in the same boat as Adolf  Hitler and have no goodness in and of ourselves to make us attractive to God.

If you and I were to stand before God, we would be trembling in fear.  When sinful man comes in contact with a holy God there is an instant realization of our smallness and unworthiness.  The media today has presented a false portrayal of angels, but the Biblical picture of angels is one that is so beyond our imagination.  Angels, are not creatures with wings and harps that belong on hallmark cards, but in Scripture when an angel speaks to man the first thing an angel says is “fear not.”  If our immediate reaction is to fear angel’s which are messengers and servants of God’s, then it is terrifying to think what our reaction would be if we actually saw God.  When Job got a greater revelation into God’s character He was reduced to stating, “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further. (Job 40:4-5)”  When we are placed next to God we realize we have no room to stand or speak, we are nothing, if God is the ocean, we are but one drop of rain.

Praise God that this is not our ultimate end, God has made a way for us to be forgiven.  This forgiveness is nothing light, but it came at the price of His Son.  For those who have faith in Christ, He has passed over their sins by the means of diverting God’s wrath away from us and onto Himself.  God’s justice has been satisfied by Christ taking the holy wrath that we deserve (Romans 3:25).  Instead of God seeing us and our sinful state that is deserving of punishment, He sees Christ righteousness.  He has washed our sins away by Christ blood and cleaned us from our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  My sin is no longer on my record, but instead has been transferred to Christ, so that God may remember my sinfulness no more, although my sin was abounding more and more, grace abounded exceedingly more (Isaiah 43:25 and Romans 5:20).  Since we have such a great salvation, God’s wrath does not need to be feared, but instead we can worship Him and serve Him in loving reverence.

April 24, 2009

“Porn Again Christian” discussion

I am having the men in my small group read Mark Driscoll’s book “Porn Again Christian.” This is something that I’ve been wanting to do with them for a while since this book was made available for free online.  Below is the discussion that I prepared for them on the book.

At the end of Chapter 1 Driscoll says:

“God is honest and forthright about the truth and his people must not be so prudish as to try and speak in ways that are holier than their God. In our age of lewdness and perversion we, like our Father, must avoid crassness, while wisely and boldly speaking frankly about the joy and beauty of sexual intimacy when it is confined by the loving directions of the God who created both us and our desires. And, we must refuse to speak in sanitized clinical euphemisms like calling adulteries “affairs,” fornication “dating,” and perverts “partners” because God uses frank words for deplorable sin so we will feel its sickness without anesthesia.”

-Do you see lust as deplorable and sickning as God does? What does it look like to have a right reaction toward this sin?

-Do you view yourself as committing adultery against your future wife when you look lustfully at a woman?

In chapter 3 Driscoll states:

“However, throughout history men have been prone to obey the letter of the law on these matters, while violating the spirit…Practically, this all means that only you and God truly know your heart and, rather than trying to obey legalistic rules, you must be honest about the lusts in your heart and reduce those triggers that stimulate you.”

-very specifically, what does it look like for you to violate the Spirit of God’s commands about lust?

-What are your triggers and how do you fight them?

-Did chapter four change or inform the way you think of the dangers of pornography?

-How did chapter four help you think of what “beauty” is?

-Driscoll says in chapter four “In creation, we see the wise pattern that for every man his standard of beauty is not to be objectified, but rather it should simply be his wife. ” Since you guys are single, what does that mean for your standard of beauty?

-Can masturbation be separated from sexual thoughts? Why is this question important?

-What do you learn from chapter 7 about why and how to fight lust and sexual sin?

-in chapter 2 Driscoll talks about fear of the Lord and uses many verses to help us view sexual sin the way God wants to view it. Does anyone have any questions about these verses? Pray through each verse for greater conviction for ourselves and the singles ministry at CLC

These are the verses that Driscoll uses in chapter 2:

  • 1 Peter 4:3
  • 1 John 2:15-17
  • 1 John 3:9
  • 1 Corinthians 5:9-11
  • 1 Corinthians 10:8
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

February 15, 2009

Fruit of the Word

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
-2 Corinthians 7:1

As Christian we are called to cleanse ourselves of every defilement of body and Spirit.  We have been washed by the blood of lamb, so sin’s mark is gone and we are now identified with the lamb of God, pure and holy and for Him.  The cleansing of self is something that we do as part of sanctification, the continual process of putting off sinful thoughts and actions and replacing them with that which pleases God.  This is only possible through washing with the water of the word.  Through God’s Word we are renewed and able to view all of life through the lens of the Gospel.  God’s Word allows us to see who God is and how to reflect His image.  By daily being in His Word we know what God’s revealed will is and how to live in obedience to Him.  Without His Word and applying it to life then we cannot free the body and spirit from that which so easily defiles it.

Application of God’s Word is what brings holiness to completion.  If we read God’s Word and do not apply it, then we are like a man who looks in the mirror and walks away and has forgotten what he saw.  Without application of God’s Word we deceive ourselves and do not receive the full benefits of what God intends for us through His Word.  We are called to act on God’s Word and if we do this we will find blessing.  God’s word is like a seed and by applying it, it is able to take root in our hearts and bear fruit.  If we truly fear God, we will hide His word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him.  (James 1:22-25, Psalm 1:2-3, Psalm 119:11).  God intends for His word to change us, but it cannot do that if we are not investing in it.  He doesn’t want His word to just to hit the surface level, but to penetrate deep down into our hearts.

It is because of the promises of God that we seek holiness through applying God’s Word to our lives.  He lives in our hearts and has promised to dwell among us.  We do not deserve this nearness to Him and it is a privilege to live for Him.  He is committed to being our God and this is not based on any good in us, therefore we should commit ourselves to Him and living to please Him.  On the basis of Christ sacrifice He has welcomed us into His blessing, so with our lives we should seek to give Him blessing, honor, praise and glory.  Since we have redemption purchased on Calvary by Christ blood we are now sons and daughters of the most high king.  Like all children, our goal should be to grow and mature and be like our Father.  Because of this great adoption our primary calling is to reflect the image of God by fearing Him and walking in holiness (2 Corinthians 6:16-18).

November 14, 2008

Piper on parenting

There is a great story that John Piper tells about raising girls.  After raising four boys, the Pipers decided to adopt a little girl.  One of the things that was a bit of a learning curve for John was what it’s like to play with girls as opposed to boys.  Below is a humorous story that he told in a message of parenting and biblical masculinity.

Now I’ve got a 5 year old girl we adopted five years ago.  Talitha gets her playtime all to herself.  I did this four times with a guy.  I know guys.  Now I’m doing this with a girl and it doesn’t make any sense to me.  I’m turning this little dolls into bombers, I’m saying, “Let’s do this.  Let’s fly her over, she’ll drop the block on the top and boom!  blow it up!”

She says, “Let’s play people.”

I respond, “Well OK, what do you mean?”She goes over and gets her house and I look at her and say, “Well what are they going to do? What’s going to happen?”

She says, “Well, they’re going to have supper.”

“That’s all!?!?”

“Well, yeah.”

The whole playtime is just rearranging people.  I’m like, come on, we got have a bomber or a helicoptor or something.  Somethings gotta blow up!

The purpose of the story is two-fold.  One, the importance of building affection in the family and the fruit that it will bear down the line.  Secondly, is how if kids are shown that type of affection, than spanking can be a redemptive experience.  On the topic of affection and learning to play with his daughter Piper goes to say:

I’m learning.  I’m trying to figure this out because I’m going to be there for her…Will she want me around when she has to deal with guys and sexual things and guys are going to want her?  Will she come to me?  Will she listen?  My investment right now is the answer to that question.  Right now do I give myself to her?  Right now do I get my hands on her purely, purely, so that she knows what it’s like to be touched purely?  Hugged, kissed, held in my lap, feels a mans body and knows what it’s like.  You don’t have to sell yourself to a mans body, she knows what a pure thing is like.  You can wait for it.  Dads are so important in a kids life.  They grow up healthy because dad touched them in a right way.

Piper goes on to explain that spanking cannot be done out of anger, but as an act of love.  God disciplines His children because He loves them.  If we love our kids we will use discipline so that they don’t grow up to be disobedient and rebellious. Discipline and intimacy go hand in hand.  Children are taught to fear God, by how they fear their parents.  A healthy fear of God does not involve running from God, but running to God and having reverence and respect for Him.  Children should have that same attitude towards their parents as parents show kids the love of Christ.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.