Saturday, January 3, 2009

7th Commandment part 1

This is a look at the 7th commandment by Thomas Watson a puritan writer from times past.
I think we really need to get back to looking at scripture the way the Puritans did. We spend
too much time "bringing the world into the Word and not bringing the Word into the world".

'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' Exod 20: 14.
The thing forbidden in the commandment is infecting ourselves with bodily pollution and uncleanness. 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' The fountain of this sin is lust. Since the fall, holy love has degenerated to lust. Lust is the fever of the soul.

There is a twofold adultery.

[1] Mental. 'Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.' Matt 5: 28. As a man may die of an inward bleeding, so he may be damned for the inward boilings of lust, if it be not mortified.
{2] Corporal (physical); as when sin has conceived, and brought forth in the act. This is expressly forbidden under a sub poena. 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' This commandment is set as a hedge to keep out uncleanness; and they that break this hedge a serpent shall bite them. Job calls adultery a 'heinous crime.' Job 31: 2: Every failing is not a crime; and every crime is not a heinous crime; but adultery is flagitium, 'a heinous crime.' The Lord calls it villany. 'They have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives.'
Jer 29: 23
Wherein appears the greatness of this sin?
(1) It is a breach of the marriage-oath. When persons come together in a matrimonial way, they bind themselves by covenant to each other, in the presence of God, to be true and faithful in the conjugal relation. Unchastity falsifies this solemn oath; and herein adultery is worse than fornication, because it is a breach of the conjugal bond.
(2) The greatness of the sin lies in this: that it is a great dishonour done to God. God says, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' The adulterer sets his will above God's law, tramples upon his command, affronts him to his face; as if a subject should tear his prince's proclamation.
1 Cor 6:15,19,20
(3) The sin of adultery lies in this: that it is committed with mature deliberation. There is contriving the sin in the mind, then consent in the will, and then the sin is put forth into act. To sin against the light of nature, and to sin deliberately, is like the dye to the wool, it gives sin a tincture, and dyes it of a crimson colour
(4) That which makes adultery so sinful is, that it is needless. God has provided a remedy to prevent it. 'To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife.' I Cor 7: 2.
That I may deter you from adultery, let me show you the great evil of it.
(1) It is a thievish sin. It is the highest sort of theft. The adulterer steals from his neighbour that which is more than his goods and estate; he steals away his wife from him, who is flesh of his flesh.
(2) Adultery debases a person; it makes him resemble the beasts; therefore the adulterer is described like a horse neighing. 'Every one neighed after his neighbour's wife.' Jer 5: 8.
(3) Adultery pollutes. The devil is called an unclean spirit. Luke 11: 24. The adulterer is the devil's first-born; he is unclean; he is a moving quagmire. And, as for the adulteress, who can paint her black enough? The Scriptures calls her a deep ditch. Prov 23: 27.
(4) Adultery is destructive to the body. 'And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed.' Prov 5: 11.
(5.) Adultery is a drain upon the purse; it wastes not the body only, but the estate. 'By means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread.' Prov 6: 26. The concubine of King Edward III, when he was dying, got all she could from him, and even plucked the rings off his fingers, and so left him. He that lives in luxury, dies in beggary.
(6) Adultery destroys reputation. 'Whoso committeth adultery with a woman, a wound and dishonour shall he get, and his reproach shall not be wiped away.' Prov 6: 32, 33. When the adulterer dies, his shame lives. When his body rots underground, his name rots above ground.
(7) This sin impairs the mind; it steals away the understanding; it stupefies the heart. 'Whoredom and wine take away the heart.' Hos 4: 11. It cats out all heart for good. Solomon besotted himself with women, and they enticed him to idolatry.
(8) This sin incurs temporal judgements. The Mosaic law made adultery death. 'The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death;' and the usual death was stoning. Lev 20: 10; Deut 22: 24. The Salons commanded persons taken in this sin to be burnt. The Romans caused their heads to be stricken off. Like a scorpion, this sin carries a sting in its tail. The adultery of Paris and Helen was the death of both, and the ruin of Troy. 'Jealousy is the rage of a man.' Prov 6: 34. The adulterer is often killed in the act of his sin. Adultery cost Otho the emperor, and Pope Sixtus IV their lives. Laeta venire Venus, tristis abire solet [Lust's practice is to make a joyful entrance, but she leaves in misery]. I have read of two citizens in London, in 1583, who, having defiled themselves with adultery on the Lord's-day, were immediately struck dead with fire from heaven. If all who are now guilty of this sin were to be punished in this manner, it would rain fire again, as on Sodom
(9) Adultery, without repentance, damns the soul. 'Neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, shall enter into the kingdom of God.' I Cor 6: 9. The fire of lust brings to the fire of hell. 'Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.' Heb 13: 4. Though men may neglect to judge them, yet God will judge them. But will not God judge all other sinners? Yes. Why then does the apostle say, 'Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge'? The meaning is, he will judge them assuredly; they shall not escape the hand of justice; and he will punish them severely. 'The Lord knoweth how to reserve the unjust to the day of judgement to be punished, but chiefly them that walk in the lust of uncleanness.' 2 Pet 2: 9, 10.
(10) The adulterer not only wrongs his own soul, but does what in him lies to destroy the soul of another, and so kills two at once. He is worse than the thief; for, suppose a thief robs a man, yea, takes away his life, the man's soul 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 deprives her of salvation so far as in him lies. Now, what a fearful thing is it to be an instrument to draw another to hell!
(11) The adulterer is abhorred of God. 'The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein.' Prov 22: 14. What can be worse than to be abhorred of God? God may be angry with his own children; but for God to abhor a man, is the highest degree of hatred.
(12) Adultery sows discord. It destroys peace and love, the two best flowers that grow in a family. It sets husband against wife, and wife against husband; and so causes the 'joints of the same body to smite one against another.' This division in a family works confusion; for 'A house divided against a house falleth.' Luke 11: 17.
These 12 points of how the sin of adultery affects us are definitely worth the time for us to meditate on them and the scripture in the points. In my next post I will go over some things we can do to avoid this grievous sin.

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