This is the first post under the category of spoken truth I am writing this year. I had put off writing on truths for a while because I had been writing some of them without emphasizing much on what is more important to God; and, that is, the grace He extends to us even after we realize how extremely low we fall on the scale according to His standards.
I’m pretty much the kind of person who doesn’t know how to present truths gently especially to repeat offenders. I usually have that wondering question, “I thought we’ve been through this before severally?”
So yeah! God has been working with me on that as well. Because every single time I fall, guess what He does? Remember January and the Chicken? He cheers me on instead. I truly hope therefore that I present this post showing exactly what it means and what it is like to be cheered on by God when you fall.
Every year I always write a post on my blog discussing sex and sexuality; of which, I confess I haven’t done a pretty good job about in the past but oh well! What can I say, honestly? Work in progress…
Anyway, this post is quite long…and before you get somewhere in the middle and are tempted to quit reading, I would really recommend that you finish it to the end.
So let’s get to it…
Sex is a topic that is being discussed widely and openly especially by the youth today. So we can’t ignore and pretend that young people have no idea what sex and sexuality is.
It is not always my favourite topic to write about, because as I always say, “let’s be honest, no grown up adult really wants/likes to be told what to do with their sex lives.” Most people will say, “it is my life, they are my choices, and my decisions.” And you can’t disagree with that because that’s true! Thank God for free will!
If we check today’s trends, current entertainment, most magazines, social media, even the marketing of products today, there is a high level of sexualisation. Why? Probably because, there is also a high degree of sex consumption.
Sex is broad and I can’t really exhaust the different vantage points of the topic in one post because there so many ways to approach the topic.
But just to define it shortly so that we can jump into the post; sex is a gift from God to man, to be used purposely in the institution of marriage between a man and a woman; for procreation purposes and enjoyment of each other.
I don’t want to write the same things which I wrote about in my previous posts, which you can find here and here. (And if you are the curious types, you can read this post first then you can finish off with these ones later.)
This year I would like to approach it from another angle. From the root. And that would be —Desire (basically desire is, — you see, you like, you want/you must have.)
Well, in the past, (and yeeees I am old please) people in church mostly approached sex like as a taboo of sorts. Couldn’t be discussed openly anywhere without suspicious looks. I don’t know if this is still happening today…young people tell me?!
So anyway, as I said…I later learnt…it is a gift from God to be enjoyed in the institution of marriage. So then, what makes sex to be regarded as sinful, is when it is used in any other way or form that is contrary to this definition. Because it is God who created the sexes and also defined sex and its use. And before you jump ship thinking, “well, this post isn’t for me”, just hang in there for a while.
Now, to the main reason why I am writing this post. There is a commandment that says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” And there is also a law in the Old Testament that said, that adulterers were to be stoned to death.
“‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.” Leviticus 20:10
What the religious leaders understood by this statement, was; if any person was caught committing adultery, the only fate for that person was immediate stoning —and this was not for adultery cases only — but also, disobedience to parents, murder, rape, idolatry, fornication, kidnapping, homosexuality, false witnessing, blaspheming, bestiality, and several others which were part of those offenses deemed as punishable by death.
So this one time, some pharisees catch a woman in the very act of adultery. They had seen Jesus deal with very many cases that addressed people’s sins, sicknesses, death, hunger, and several other problems; and they knew He was compassionate.
They also knew that He had announced in public that He was from God, and He and God were one. Now, stay with me here so that we get the drift… They also knew the law of God from cover to cover, they had memorized it. So, most likely they thought, “this man says, He is from God, that means He would not dare violate God’s laws! He would see to it to the letter!”
And remember, they also knew that He was extremely compassionate. So they decided to put Him to a test where, He would not know what to do before a crowd of people.
It is highly likely they dragged the woman who was caught in adultery in the streets causing a commotion all the way to where Jesus was. Of course, this gathered a crowd you can imagine! Even here in town, it takes some two or three people to start yelling and before you know it…there is a crowd!
They intended to box Him into a situation where He would fail to uphold God’s laws before all those people. And this would also give them an opportunity to shame Him before the people who had grown to love and follow Him.
So before we continue with this story, I would like to take you back to the sermon on the mount. Where Jesus was teaching His disciples and said,
27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
What Jesus was basically saying is, it is not the act itself that makes it a sin, sin itself arises from just the desire.
So if we weigh ourselves on this scale. It basically roasts us. Yes, both you and I. Roasted! See, if this is the standard, then we have all sinned. And before you try and get yourself out of this mix; let me take you to a trip down memory lane where you stuck those celebrity, ‘man crush monday’s and woman crush wednesday’s posters somewhere in your dorm room or bedroom, or even, just that first crush you obsessed over.
So back to the story of the woman caught in adultery….
The Pharisees bring her to Jesus after shaming her, dragging her viciously and literally announcing to the whole world that she is an adulterous sinner.
And they say to Jesus, (even calling Him teacher, notice, that sleek hypocrisy?)
4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?”
Most likely Jesus thinking inwardly, (what has my creation become? How ruthless has man turned out to be?)
And just with this thought, allow me to digress here again for a bit. One time David sinned against God when he numbered the people of Israel (sort of like, he took a census) yet God had forbidden any census to be taken in Israel. So God sent a prophet named Gad to tell David that He would punish the people of Israel. But David pleaded for forgiveness. So God gave David three options to choose from on how he would prefer to receive the punishment.
2 Samuel 24
12 “Go and tell David, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you.”
13 So Gad came to David and told him; and he said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I should take back to Him who sent me.”
14 And David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”
Check out David’s answer! He preferred to fall into the hands of God than the hands of man. Because even He himself, knew, that man was not merciful. God was. But man no.
Now back to the story of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus has been posed the question. What do You say?
6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
Look at that. All of a sudden the crowd is gone. All those voices probably chanting, “stone her, stone her” nowhere to be heard! And she is left alone with the only person who is without sin…The only one who had the right to say, “stone her!” But instead,
10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Again, Look at that! Grace! Grace! O Grace! O Loving Grace! O Amazing Grace! How extraordinary that God wouldn’t condemn her but man would have stoned her to death without a shred of mercy. The same sentiments that David had also observed and expressed in his time.
The reason I point this out is because in this life…You are a friend, you are a sister, you are a brother, you are a father or a mother. And in your midst there is a loved one who is probably struggling with some sexual sin in their life. Could be pornography addiction, masturbation, bestiality, adultery, homosexuality, or whatever it is. Or could be you are struggling with it too.
And the question that Jesus was posed to by the pharisees is being posed to you today. What do you say?
Supposing as well you are on the receiving end like this woman, your heart would have been crying out inwardly, ‘If only I could be shown mercy.’
We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Jesus once taught, about those who thought their sins were not worse off than others.
2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
Just because you had sex before marriage, or you have caught yourself up in an adulterous affair doesn’t make you more sinful than the one who is spending their day perusing magazines with highly sexualized content. And I am also not trying to diminish the severity of these sins because God is gracious. They also carry their own dire consequences and burden of wreckage in the lives of those involved and those around them being affected.
What Jesus taught us is that, when that sin is brought before God and the person caught in it desires another chance and He is asked, what do You say? He will always say, “Mercy! Grace! Forgiveness! Get me the best robe; let us throw a feast and celebrate, for one who was lost has been found.”
Now, Jesus also said some more things to the woman,
11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Neither do I condemn you….go and sin no more. A charge to change her life and live a different one. Now you get when Jesus said, all must repent or perish. Why?
Because even though He is gracious, He is also holy.
That is why Jesus had to come and die on that cross for that woman’s adultery, and for you and I’s innumerable sins.
Nothing is beyond the forgiving arms of God. You may have been forgiven by God but are still struggling with some sins. Of course, if the devil has done a number on your conscience and mindset for several years it will take a while to overcome.
God is able to pull down those strongholds. If we commit our lives to Him and let Him clean the mess. Some times, we might fall back, and come back to the throne of grace with a shamefaced look but Jesus will always say, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”
When we experience guilt, it is not God condemning us. Remember, Jesus said He did not come to condemn, but to seek and save the lost. Guilt is our conscience telling us, there is a better standard than this, so that we can try again.
And you can choose to see guilt in such situations as your friend. Because if you keep coming back to God and He keeps saying, “Mercy! Grace! Forgiveness! Get me the best robe; let us throw a feast and celebrate, for one who was lost has been found.” You will eventually desire to serve the one who has shown you mercy and grace, and loved you even while you were in the depths of degeneracy.
Just imagine how you feel when you disappoint a loved one. Knowing very well you deserve their reproach, they choose to forgive you instead, — the truth is, you will end up feeling even more guilty. The probability of committing that error again more and more is not likely, because why? Guilt is your friend this time.
But when we are not true and honest with God with our sins and struggles, how then can we receive mercy? For mercy is usually extended to those who need it, and desire honestly to overcome.
As I began this post, I mentioned free will. Yes, God has given us a gift of choice, but imagine how awesome and cool it would be if we used that choice to choose Him instead of choosing ‘the self’ and our own desires. Plus that way, you also get peace—not always worrying about all the consequences that come along with sexual sins.
And this my friend! Is the representation of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote saying, Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. 1 Timothy 1:15
Before I conclude, I don’t know if some of you are like me. I am the type to question. “Why would God surely give laws to stone people to death and not understand when people actually take them seriously and observe them to the letter?”
Well, this is what the Holy Spirit honestly impressed on my heart. Because God gave us the law so as to show us that we would not be able to keep it. It was impossible to keep His laws. And when Jesus was probably thinking, (what has my creation become? How ruthless has man turned out to be?)
It is because He had intended that the law would firstly reveal to us our own sins and, secondly, we would come to that point like Paul did; when he cried out,
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Romans 7:24
and show us the need for a saviour.
And also, that we needed mercy and grace. We more than needed mercy and grace. That way, before anyone would pick up that stone so as to stone the adulterer, you would also think, “tomorrow it could be me.” Because even just mentioning God’s name in vain or disobedience and arrogance to a parent was worthy of death.
But man perverted God’s laws with His own imaginations and interpretations; clearly overlooking his own “small sins” and took upon himself the judgement role that was solely meant for God.
Jesus once confronted the Pharisees while they were busy on their judgemental duties and righteous lives telling them to go read the scriptures some more, (quoting from the book of Hosea) since they were so “well versed” with them.
But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew 9:13
To conclude, as you have patiently journeyed with me on this post, I really hope you have seen that God is not some judge waiting for you to make that step one more time so that He can knock your head off! It is not about judgement or condemnation at this moment.
At this moment, He says, “Today, if you will hear My voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” There will be a day when people will not be able to say, ‘today’, and when that day comes, then His judgement and wrath will have come too.
But as long as we can still say today, it is the grace and the goodness of God that brings us closer to Him and to true repentance..
God bless you!
And may you have a lovely week! 🙂