image“Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?

Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?

So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished.”

Proverbs 6:27-29

In recent weeks, the devastating effects of adultery and pornography have ravaged the Church, even amongst leaders that you would not expect. It is a sobering thought that anyone of us could succumb to such temptation in a moment without relying on God’s grace maintaining pure boundaries around our hearts.

It’s been said that if a man finishes his earthly life with his marriage intact and with children who love the Lord, by His grace alone, then he has accomplished no small feat. All other accomplishments, no matter how externally visible, pale in comparison to a consistent holy life. It seems impossible, and, without a Christ-centered life, indeed it is.

At the end of the day, pornography and adultery are just another set of idols that we worship in our effort to elevate self-love above the Lord Jesus Christ. Blame is cast and fault is shifted, yet the conscience is convicted and knows that it boils down to an affection of personal desires: God in Christ and His glory on the one hand or the fleeting pleasures of sin in Egypt on the other.

There is no point in making excuses; only repentance and perseverance are in store. Neither is there wanton need to boast in how difficult it is or seek consolation from those sympathetic to its sinful cause. “Glorify me for how much I have struggled,” cries the sinner, yet their is no room for such man-centered self-pity in the Kingdom of God, only a contrite heart.

“Yea, but I have conquered,” says the soul. “I am not like the fool that desires glory for how much he has suffered; rather, I am the fool that hungers for glory in what I have accomplished!” Such is vanity and chasing after the wind. Rather, partake in the glory that Christ suffered and what He accomplished. Beware and sober minded lest you likewise fall and come crashing into the miry abyss. Repent therefore and lead a life trembling before the Almighty. Flee to His grace in such constant warfare rejoicing in His goodness instead of clinging to the sorrow of temptation.

The Christian life is one of great warfare, which intensifies with each passing day. That thought alone brings us to our knees as we fight the world, the flesh, and the devil. It truly is a strait gate and narrow road that leads to life. Yea, but where else will we go? All else is vanity and striving after the wind, just a factory of idols that disappoint thereby multiplying guilt and judgment.

Where then shall we go? You O Lord alone have the words of eternal life.

All fighting in this deep struggle hinges upon the resurrection of Christ from the dead, a historical reality that is cemented in time. It is a sure reality that takes away the sting of death, the consequence of sin, whether pornography and adultery or any other lowly god of this world that leads to futile worship and an empty troubled heart. We do not worship a dead philosopher who was a good teacher; rather, we bow before the King of kings and LORD of lords who
is “… the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Praise be to God that we are not left alone in this fight; rather a risen Savior has come to our rescue, the Great and Awesome LORD Who alone is God and has interceded for His people.