Summary: This sin is something we just don’t talk about today. It is not one of the Baptist ’biggies’; it is hidden, private, and all the more dangerous.
I. A Discipline that is Deceitful
A. Pharisees Insisted on External Obedience
1. Pharisees had reduced commandment number seven down to the mere physical act of adultery
2. Cup and platter analogy (Matthew 23:25-26), “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also”
B. Pharisees Ignored Internal Obedience
1. They failed to consider that even though "man looketh on the outward appearance...the LORD looketh on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7)
2. "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:" (Matthew 15:19).
II. A Look that is Lustful
A. Appreciating the Need for Love
1. We were created for companionship (Genesis 2:21-23)
2. God commanded them to "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth," (Genesis 1:28)
3. Sex is a dynamic, driving force in the human life. It is a God-given gift to be used in the context of the marriage relationship.
B. Understanding the Nature of Lust
1. Lust, by it’s very nature, is one-sided. Lust is a desire to use another for our own pleasure.
2. Lust is a perversion of sexuality, and if it is left unchecked it can, and will, become all consuming
3. (2 Peter 2:14), “having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls”
III. A Process that is Painful
1. Everything about our natural state is depraved, perverted, and sinful.
2. Romans 7:18a, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells”
3. Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish”
1. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
2. 2 Corinthians 10:5, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”
3. Romans 12:2
C. Mortification - Put to death
1. Colossians 3:5-7, “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them”
2. This can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit
1. Romans 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts”
2. 1 Peter 2:11, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul”
3. The key to starving the flesh is centering our life on Jesus Christ. As we aggressively follow Christ we will be strengthening our defense against all sin. When He becomes the center of our lives, His desires become more important than our desires.