Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spiritual Judgment

'You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.' Leviticus 18:22

To lie with a male means to lie in a sexual way, lie comes from the Hebrew word  - shâkab -and means  'to lie '(of sexual relations). Commentary from John Gill states 'By carnal knowledge of them, and carnal copulation with them, and mixing bodies in like manner: this is the sin commonly called sodomy, from the inhabitants of Sodom, greatly addicted to it, for which their city was destroyed by fire: those that are guilty of this sin, are, by the apostle, called "abusers of themselves with mankind". Most are familiar with what took place in Sodom {Genesis 19} and the end result by destruction.
Matthew Henry also has commentary worth reading " A law against unnatural lusts, sodomy and bestiality, sins not to be named nor thought of without the utmost abhorrence imaginable, Lev_18:22, Lev_18:23. Other sins level men with the beasts, but these sink them much lower. That ever there should have been occasion for the making of these laws, and that since they are published they should ever have been broken, is the perpetual reproach and scandal of human nature; and the giving of men up to these vile affections was frequently the punishment of their idolatries; so the apostle shows, Rom_1:24."

Homosexuality is the result of a society that has suppressed God's truth and turned to idolatry- worshipping money, self, sex, personal goals and achievements, etc.  Denying the existence and authority of the One True God and using man's wisdom and depraved thinking to rationalize spiritual matters as well as explaining  life's existence and purpose has devastating results.
 This is why we see in Romans chapter one the phrase 'God gave them over' both in verse 24,  26, and verse 28. This is what a society looks like that is under the wrath of abandonment by a Holy God who will not tolerate the breaking of His commandments 'you shall have no other gods before me'.  Society is then 'given over' by God to degrading passions.  To be given over is to turn a society over to what it wants...sin.  Matthew Henry comments -
 "Spiritual judgments are of all judgments the sorest, and to be most dreaded.  Observe,---
1. By whom they were given up. God gave them up, in a way of righteous judgment, as the just punishment of their idolatry - taking off the bridle of restraining grace - leaving them to themselves - letting them alone; for his grace is his own, he is debtor to no man, he may give or withhold his grace at pleasure. Whether this giving up be a positive act of God or only privative we leave to the schools to dispute: but this we are sure of that it is no new thing for God to give men up to their own hearts' lusts, to send them strong delusions, to let Satan loose upon them, nay, to lay stumbling-blocks before them. And yet God is not the author of sin, but herein infinitely just and holy; for, though the greatest wickedness follow upon this giving up, the fault of that is to be laid upon the sinner's wicked heart. If the patient be obstinate, and will not submit to the methods prescribed, but wilfully takes and does that which is prejudicial to him, the physician is not to be blamed if he give him up as in a desperate condition; and all the fatal symptoms that follow are not to be imputed to the physician, but to the disease itself and to the folly and wilfulness of the patient.
2. To what they were given up.
(1.) To uncleanness and vile affections, Rom_1:24, Rom_1:26, Rom_1:27. Those that would not entertain the more pure and refined notices of natural light, which tend to preserve the honour of God, justly forfeited those more gross and palpable sentiments which preserve the honour of human nature. Man being in honour, and refusing to understand the God that made him, thus becomes worse than the beasts that perish, Psa_49:20. Thus one, by the divine permission, becomes the punishment of another; but it is (as it said here) through the lusts of their own hearts - there all the fault is to be laid. Those who dishonoured God were given up to dishonour themselves. A man cannot be delivered up to a greater slavery than to be given up to his own lusts. Such are given over, like the Egyptians (Isa_19:4), into the hand of a cruel lord. The particular instances of their uncleanness and vile affections are their unnatural lusts, for which many of the heathen, even of those among them who passed for wise men, as Solon and Zeno, were infamous, against the plainest and most obvious dictates of natural light. The crying iniquity of Sodom and Gomorrah, for which God rained hell from heaven upon them, became not only commonly practised, but avowed, in the pagan nations. Perhaps the apostle especially refers to the abominations that were committed in the worship of their idol-gods, in which the worst of uncleannesses were prescribed for the honour of their gods; dunghill service for dunghill gods: the unclean spirits delight in such ministrations. In the church of Rome, where the pagan idolatries are revived, images worshipped, and saints only substituted in the room of demons, we hear of these same abominations going barefaced, licensed by the pope (Fox's Acts and Monuments, vol. 1, p. 808), and not only commonly perpetrated, but justified and pleaded for by some of their cardinals: the same spiritual plagues for the same spiritual wickednesses. See what wickedness there is in the nature of man. How abominable and filthy is man! Lord, what is man? says David; what a vile creature is he when left to himself! How much are we beholden to the restraining grace of God for the preserving any thing of the honour and decency of the human nature! For, were it not for this, man, who was made but little lower than the angels, would make himself a great deal lower than the devils. This is said to be that recompence of their error which was meet. The Judge of all the earth does right, and observes a meetness between the sin and the punishment of it.
(2.) To a reprobate mind in these abominations, Rom_1:28.
[1.] They did not like to retain God in their knowledge. The blindness of their understandings was caused by the wilful aversion of their wills and affections. They did not retain God in their knowledge, because they did not like it. They would neither know nor do any thing but just what pleased themselves. It is just the temper of carnal hearts; the pleasing of themselves is their highest end. There are many that have God in their knowledge, they cannot help it, the light shines so fully in their faces; but they do not retain him there. They say to the Almighty, Depart (Job_21:14), and they therefore do not retain God in their knowledge because it thwarts and contradicts their lusts; they do not like it. In their knowledge - en epignōsei. There is a difference between gnōsis and epignōsis, the knowledge and the acknowledgement of God; the pagans knew God, but did not, would not, acknowledge him.
[2.] Answerable to this wilfulness of theirs, in gainsaying the truth, God gave them over to a wilfulness in the grossest sins, here called a reprobate mind - eis adokimon noun, a mind void of all sense and judgment to discern things that differ, so that they could not distinguish their right hand from their left in spiritual things. See whither a course of sin leads, and into what a gulf it plunges the sinner at last; hither fleshly lusts have a direct tendency. Eyes full of adultery cannot cease from sin, 2Pe_2:14. This reprobate mind was a blind scared conscience, past feeling, Eph_4:19. When the judgment is once reconciled to sin, the man is in the suburbs of hell. At first Pharaoh hardened his heart, but afterwards God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Thus wilful hardness is justly punished with judicial hardness.'
- M. Henry

God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts; lusts here comes from the Greek word epithumia and is translated 'desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust'. How do we know homosexuality is forbidden? Because of the passage at the top of this post from Leviticus 18:22. Those who say this is no longer relevant only prove how depraved they truly are.  This forbidden lust is found in the 'heart', Greek 'kardia', which means 'the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence, of the will and character,  of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions'.  This is evident such forbidden lust is birthed within, it certainly is not a genetic malfunction.

Do we throw our arms up as if there is no hope? Absolutely not... we press on, standing firm in truth. We do not shrink back, we profess boldly God's truth and proclaim Christ crucified. We will be mocked, ridiculed, hated, shunned, persecuted, and more than likely...martyred. Yes, it will get 'that bad' for true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our greatest weapon of defense is the sword of the Spirit -  which is the word of God.  May we pray for boldness...

' And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,  For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. ' Eph. 6:19-20

' So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.' Hebrews 13:6

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