Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lust Part 2

Paul said it this way: Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry. Col. 3:5 And in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; [4] that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, [5] not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; [6] and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. [7] For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
James then reminds us: Don’t love the world or the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that’s in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn’t of the Father, but is of the world. Everyone is tempted by his own desires as they entice him away and trap him. Then desire becomes pregnant and gives birth to sin. When sin grows up, it gives birth to death. James. 1:13-15

Did you know that Word: Entice – is a fishing term meaning to lure by using bait. Did you know that in fishing, the #1 lure for catching bass is called a jig? The best jigs have just enough skirt to hide the hook. The devil understands that if he can get our interest peaked in lust, he has us well on the way to getting hooked.
Lust is the sin of instant gratification with no commitment. The key word in the Matthew passage is “lustfully”. However, that’s actually not a very good translation of this Greek word. The English “lust” carries a decidedly negative and sexual connotation—both of which are missing in the Greek word, epiqumew. It simply means, “to desire something or to long for something” and it is strictly a neutral term. In other words, whether desire is good or bad depends entirely on what you are desiring. The Bible uses this same word to say that one who wants to be an elder “desires a noble task”. Paul “desires to depart” this life and be with Christ. Jesus “eagerly desired” to eat the Last Supper with his disciples. The prophets in the OT “longed to see” the Messiah and angels “long” to understand our salvation. When Jesus uses this word, it is usually positive. But here it is obvious that he is talking about a desire for a woman that God has placed “off limits”. To desire that woman, says Jesus, is wrong, just as adultery itself is wrong.
Lust is a craving, a yearning, a longing, and a passion. The American Heritage Dictionary sadly Lust is a sexual craving, especially when excessive to have an inordinate desire especially a sexual desire. Henry Fairlie’s introduction to the subject: “Lust is not interested in its partners, but only in the gratification of its own craving, not in the satisfaction of our whole natures, but only in the appeasement of an appetite that we are unable to subdue. We can see how the early church and the early desert Christian communities were concerned about this sin for the person, and for the group. It could become disruptive to the person’s spiritual life with God, and then the life of the group. But we too need to be aware of the potential of this sin to destroy our lives, our relationships with Jesus, and our Christian communities. And we need to know how to handle this deadly sin for ourselves and how to help someone who may be caught on its hook.

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