We continue our series on what is commonly known as the seven deadly sins and their blessing opposites.
The purpose of this is to identify seven key areas of primary sin so that we can learn how to overcome such sin in our lives and live lives that are pleasing to God and spiritually healthy. More than this, by learning about and choosing to receive the blessing opposites, we can live a life that is truly Christlike and that is full of the peace and the joy of God.
So far: Pride & humility, envy & contentment, sloth & zeal, greed & generosity
Today we start with: lust 情欲
Lust is one of those topics that no-one really wants to talk about. We want to be quiet about it. I appreciate this. I will try to be as tactful as possible.
The thing is, the world is not quiet about lust. In fact, the world is very, very outspoken about lust – it’s pretty much everywhere. Christian writer Phillip Yancey says that we are living in the most sexually-saturated generation in the history of the world. So if the church says nothing (or little) about it, guess who gets to hog the microphone? The world! So let’s address this.
The Bible is God’s handbook to us. God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what’s best for us because He made us. He knows that lust – as opposed to healthy sexual desire which I’ll come back to later – is bad for our health, bad for our relationships with each other and bad for our relationship with God.
A constant refrain you have heard me using and I’ll continue to use today is that from Galations 6:7 “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
With regards to today’s topic, if you sow in lust you will reap the damaging consequences of that.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Why is lust so bad? It’s internal. It’s not as though it affects others. It’s not like violence or theft or rape. What exactly is the problem? なぜ情欲はそんなにも悪いのでしょうか？
These are important questions because without good clear answers, we can justify whatever happens in our hearts.
For years, Christian leaders and research groups have spoken about the damage that unchecked lust can do to a marriage and to relationships with the opposite gender in general.
But today I’m going to refer to secular studies which are only just now coming out but in droves, supporting Biblical principles and teaching.
Lust has been around for as long as there have been humans, but it’s only recently with the advent of the internet and in particular high speed access to the internet that lust has gone particularly haywire.
Gary Wilson, physiology teacher & TED lecturer has some interesting things to say on pornography (http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxGlasgow-Gary-Wilson-The-G-2;search%3Atag%3A%22tedxglasgow%22)
The purpose of porn is to incite lust. ポルノの目的は情欲をそそることです。
Porn use and addiction is so widespread now that university study groups are unable to conduct studies because there are no control groups. They cannot find any guys who have not been viewing porn to compare them to those who are.
Putting it another way: there are no guys out there who are not regularly entertaining lust to compare them to those who aren’t.
And so it seems normal. This is a dangerous position to be in.
It’s like having everyone smoke from the age of ten, and not being able to find any control groups (people who don’t smoke) and so just concluding that lung cancer is normal.
Guys brains are physically changing because of internet porn addiction. The chemicals in the brain require more and more viewing of novelty and more and more intensity to get the same kick. Chart. This is the nature of addiction.
Continued Consumption chart.
These chemical changes lead to physical changes in the brain itself.
These changes are real and they are shocking
Symptoms of arousal addiction: ADHD, social anxiety, depression, performance anxiety, OCD. 覚醒依存の症状：注意欠陥過活動性障害、社会不安、鬱、パフォーマンス不安、強迫神経症
Physical harm. And ironically, it is killing sexual desire. Chart (Italian society medicine).
We see this in Japan. Japan would at least equal, if not exceed any other country for internet porn use. What we are seeing now in society is a whole generation of guys who are not interested in intimate relationships with women. No doubt there are other factors here. 20 years of Gameboy cannot be good for social skills. Absent fathers must be another factor. But the prevalence of internet porn and a culture of lust is probably the greatest factor.
Bible teaching. Romans 1 talks about the penalty that people receive in their bodies for wayward sexual behaviour “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
The good news is that these symptoms are reversible. It’s very interesting how and with whom they are reversible. Go to the website if you’re interested and see for yourself.
The main point of today’s message however, is not to talk about lust. It’s to talk about and encourage you all in the blessing counterpart of lust. Lust, like other sins, is a perversion of something good that God created. What is it? What is this blessing that God created for us? 情欲は他の罪のように神が創った良いものの変態です。では神が創った良いものとは何でしょうか？
Marital love 夫婦愛
There is a lot of Biblical teaching on marriage and love but perhaps the finest example of the beauty of marital love as God intended it to be is the whole book of the Song of Songs.
Your homework for this week is to read the book of Song of Songs(8 ch)今週の宿題は雅歌を読むことです。
If you’ve never read it before, you might be surprised. It might make you blush.
It describes (sometimes in detail) the very beautiful and sensual relationship between a man and a woman as God intended it to be. It’s a fascinating read because it’s so sensual and at the same time so pure.
“God intends that such love – grossly distorted and abused by both ancient and modern people – be a normal part of marital life in his good creation.” NIV commentary
And this is so different from so much of the rot that the internet and other media.
This teaching on the sin of lust and the blessing of marital love can understandably be confusing and hard because we humans are not black and white and our situations are not black and white. We can’t simply turn a libido switch off while we’re single and suddenly turn it on on our wedding night. We don’t function like that.
God understands. He created us the way we are. And it’s good! His desire is not to sit waiting to punish us for any and every wayward thought. God’s desire is that we find direction and fulfillment in His ways.
Look at 1 Corinthians 7:36 as an example. 第一コリント7：36を例に取ってみましょう。
If a man is acting improperly toward the girl he loves 男が愛する女性に対して不適切な行動をとっているなら
– God will punish him? 神が罰する？
– he must repent? 悔い改めるべき？
– he must swim the full length of an icy river? 凍りついた川を泳ぎきるべき？
– he should get married? 結婚すべき？
He should get married! There is a practical and wonderful solution!
The world’s way: leads to strained and broken relationships with others and with God, it leads to a diminished capacity to love, it can lead to unwanted pregnancies, abortions and any number of STDs. 世の道：人や神との関係がうまくいかない、愛する能力が低下する、望まない妊娠、中絶、あらゆる性病へとつながる。
God’s way is simple and beautiful.神の道は素朴で美しいものです。 A man and a woman keep themselves pure for each other. They marry and don’t have to worry about any of the others things. They just enjoy each other. Now, being human, it’s not always going to be that straightforward for us. Finding the right person, knowing the right time etc are going to be huge and sometimes complex decisions. But the Biblical principle and the blessing of marital love is clear.
Unfortunately most people outside the church and even some in the church would see this as naive and simplistic.
It’s not. It’s God’s way. And God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
I want to finish with a message for the young single people here today. You are ambassadors for Christ. You represent Him. He lives in you.
I want to encourage you to please Christ with your lives.私たちの人生がキリストに喜ばれるものであるように
I want to encourage you to live in purity and I want to encourage you to seek in good time, a marriage partner who shares your faith, your love of Christ, your godly values.
Prayer for singles.