Seventh Commandment: You shall not Commit Adultery

Exodus 20:14

It must be difficult for many persons to discern the difference between truth and error.  That’s where the field of “apologetics” came from: a defense of truth, or specifically, Christianity.  For example, my next door neighbor here in the RP Home, Jim Carson, recently gave me a write-up about a radio pastor who has openly said that we are no longer under the Old Testament.  Hence, the Ten Commandments have no ethical relevance today.  (Let me say that this statement may be new for the pastor, but it’s not new in Christendom.  The popular Scofield Bible notes said virtually the same thing.) 

Not being of that tradition, I continue to review with you these “10 Words,” and we now consider #7, the terse word above.  At this time in the USA a man is being considered for a position on the Supreme Court; and the Senate is now reviewing his suitability for the position.  Today I watched a bit of the hearing being conducted with a lady who has accused him of improprieties sexually when he was in high school.  There are no other witnesses to her accusation. I am not about to discuss this situation, except to point out that the truth behind this 7th commandment is culturally rampant.  And next month, Lord willing, we will look into the 9th commandment which says, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,” equally rampant!  These two commandments are at the base of these current hearings.  A quiet consolation: God knows!

 It is very interesting that while our radio preacher mentioned above dispenses with the Ten Commandments, Jesus says otherwise in Matthew 5.  In fact, He gets at the root of the matter, which is our lustful heart.  Take a moment to find His interpretation in Matt. 5: 17-19; 27-30.   Yes, His words cut to the hearts of His listeners, and they still do!  Jesus later taught His followers how to pray, and we now call it “The LORD’s Prayer.”   Remember? “And lead us not into temptation.”

And that puts us on guard 24/7!   Now to be frank about it, how in the world is a man expected not to lust after a woman?  Or, really to get into our western culture, … even to lust after a man?!  

I have, in addition to my own struggles, helped a number of men confront these temptations.  Let me give you a step-by-step approach to such a challenge.

  • Step 1 –  Decide on the topic you’re going to tackle.  Choose a word used by the Bible.  Let’s say “lust.”  (You can use this approach to any topic, not just lust.)
  • Step 2 – Secure an exhaustive concordance that is compatible with the translation of the Scripture you’re using.  And then look up the references listed under your word.  “Lust” works for most concordances, for example.  You can also use a “Topical Bible.”
  • Step 3 – Look up relevant texts, meditate on them, and write down the reference
  • with a word or two to remind you of its relevance.
  • Step 4 – After having meditated on what you’ve learned, write a summary paragraph of your findings.
  • Step 5 – Write an application to your own life.  This can apply to any Bible study.

a.     Write a summary sentence of what God has shown you about “lust.”

b.     Think on this next step.  How am I failing in this area?  Write it down.

c.      Now write down a commitment as to what God would have you do as a result of your study.  Make it specific and something you can complete by this time next week…and will.  (You can always renew it; but do it!)

It’s amazing how many people struggle with such problems but have never had any help in how to clean up their thought life.  And if one study does not help, do another one with a parallel topic/term.  The Word of God drives out the illicit thoughts that plague us.  It’s one of the reasons Scripture memory can clean up the mind as well as the heart.  

While our western culture preys on men’s lusts and evil imaginations, “… the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  – Hebrews 4:12.   Make use of it!  It’s serious business.  O yes, the 7th commandment is still in force and Jesus has won the victory!!  

by ken G. Smith

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