SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY (November 1, 2013)
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders,[b]drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God”Galatians 5:19-21.
“I WARN YOU, AS I DID BEFORE, THAT THOSE WHO LIVE LIKE THIS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD”Galatians 5:21b (NIV)
In the first part of this series on the acts of the sinful nature, the attention was on adultery and fornication, which are sexual sins. We found out that both are sexual sins which the Lord abhors and punishes whoever is involved in them unless they repent. We also made the point that illegitimate sex can lead to ungodly soul-tying which also has serious consequences on the persons involved. One thing we did not mention in relation to illegitimate sex is the health and financial implications on those involved. It can lead to several sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, etc. In addition they can lead to financially hardships especially when married men begin to have sexual relationships outside of their marriages. Today, the spotlight will be on uncleanness (impurity) and lustfulness (sensuality, lasciviousness, promiscuity, doing all kinds of shameful things) which are also closely related and can be connected to adultery and fornication.
Uncleanness comes from the Greek word which means anything contrary to purity. It is about anything which is impure or unrighteous before God. It can include fornication and adultery in this case but is far broader than that. In Romans 1:24, the Apostle Paul mentioned the effect of man’s waywardness and he used the same word. Paul said: “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to SEXUAL IMPURITY for the degrading of their bodies with one another” (NIV). However, the meaning of the word is not limited sexual impurity; it is also about moral or physical impurity. It therefore refers to any immoral act whether with the physical body for everyone to see as in fornication, adultery, bestiality, sodomy or unseen as sins committed in the heart and mind which do not always manifest for men to see, but known to God. Uncleanness includes all unnatural practices which come out of our sinful nature.
In our day, we see these things all over the world even among Christians. Many Christians have now fallen into the sin of pornography, masturbation, lesbianism, bestiality. All these are part of the uncleanness which is an act of the sinful nature. People who commit such sins either think they are not seen by any one so they continue in them and end up destroying their relationship with God. Some also find means of defending themselves by saying the Bible does not forbid them. What a shame? How on earth could a man think of marrying an animal, or sleeping with an animal? Why should you involve yourself in lesbianism or masturbation when you have the right to marry? Why on earth should a human being think of marrying a person of the opposite sex when God created Eve for Adam and not ‘Evans’? There are many Christian men who have also fallen into the sin of pornography just to satisfy their sexual passions. Do we not know that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God? How about masturbation and those adults who entice little ones in order to sleep with them? Does that seem something natural?
Lustfulness as used in this context can be explained as sensuality, lasciviousness, promiscuity and the doing of all kinds of shameful things. They can be connected to either shameful acts or acts which lead us to commit shameful acts . Pornography can still be put into this category. But it also includes immoral or filthy words, immoral songs, sensual dancing, watching of immoral videos or dressings which lead you or others into immorality, I mean indecent dressing. It also includes immoral gestures made with our eyes, hands and any part of the body. It can also be connected to lustful looks of people especially of the opposite sex, which normally leads to sexual desires for people we have no legal covenant with. Beloved of God, what I have mentioned here is not exhaustive of what is going on among Christians. None of us may be completely exonerated from these sinful acts. It is part of the devil’s plan to draw us away from God. It emanates from the sinful nature which opposes the spiritual nature of God. These are some of the things we can do to grieve the Holy Spirit who is in us. They are filthy, immoral, unclean and damaging to our souls and bodies.
Uncleanness and lustfulness are sins which prevail among Christians as well. Paul mentioned them so that we shall know when we are falling into the acts of the flesh, which also means that we are falling away from the grace. You and I may be guilty in one way or another. But we can be assured that if we admit our guilt and go before the Lord, he is faithful to forgive. It is better to take the right steps today to get out of this. If you have fallen deep into something and it has become your habit, kindly seek prayer support from more matured and spiritually-minded Christians. Do not let the devil get hold of you. You can get out of it. Those of us still standing undefiled should continue asking for more grace to be able to overcome such temptations. We have been given the power to resist the devil and he shall flee from us (1 Peter 5:8).
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
See also : The Acts of the Sinful Nature (Part 1)
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.