Saturday, October 22, 2005

Purity

We have become mechanical in our understandings of the world. We do not see cause and effect between the spiritual world and the physical world. We set the two at odds with each other when we ought not to do so. We also tend to do this in our own lives. Bad things happen and we are unable to make connections between what we have done and the circumstances that befall us. But we should take note to these prayers of Solomon. It was clear to him that Israel would generally be blessed for obedience and cursed for disobedience. This blessing and cursing was far beyond individual blessings and cursings. While individuals are blessed and cursed just as nations and peoples are blessed and cursed, the lesson ought to be more generally drawn from the larger context. The more we drill down into the details, the more difficult it becomes to speak authoritatively. This does not mean that we should shy away from doing so. Sometimes the cause and effect of personal sins are easy to see. But Job’s friends made some huge mistakes when trying to apply this general principle to his life. When we do this sort of thing, it simply means that we do so more carefully, prayerfully and biblically.

Now, in the case of national sins and consequences for those sins, it is easier to determine, especially if we look in the right places. Modern liberals and legalists have made sins out of behaviors that the Bible does not recognize as sin. Both tend to neglect the weightier matters of the law. Liberals say it is a sin to drive an SUV for we might hurt our mother. Legalists say it is a sin to consume alcohol for we might hurt the body, the temple of the Lord. Both have jettisoned the requirement to discern these matters biblically, and so while straining out gnats, they swallow camels.

We do have a list of many sins for which God will rightly bring His chastisement and if we do not repent, then ultimately His wrath and judgment. This first phase of His wrath is a turning away and letting us run headlong into these sins.

Sexual sins have ever been a snare, not only to those in the world but also to those in the church. This is nothing new. But God is letting us run headlong into these things and we must see that the fact that this is happening is proof that God has begun to judge us in it. And the Church, liberal and legalist, is strangely silent in this area. It is no wonder that these sins are rampant in those quarters. It is always easier to point out somebody else’s sins rather than one’s own sins.

The Church is full of such sins. This, in itself, should not alarm us. The Corinthians were just such sinners, but had repented. The Apostle Paul says, 1 Cor 6:9-11 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

If the Church is a haven of healing for refugees from the world, then we should rejoice. But if the church has become a den of iniquity, then we have reason to sorrow. It is not clear at this time what the outcome will be in short term in this country. I know that long-term, God will purge His Church, separate the wheat from the chaff and perfect His bride. But we must not lose touch with what God is doing. The danger is all around us.

Let us have a mind to be done with all such sins that will lead us away from Christ, both individually and corporately. Let us repent in such a way that we can say, “Such were some of us.” But now we have been washed and have put away those things that defile. So, let us confess and let us walk in the newness of life, hating all things that defile and loving whatsoever things are pure.

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