While I was doing time on my spin cycle this morning a thought hit me about sexual immorality and how it is affecting the church body at large. Somehow this information in my head was just swirling around as I peddled this morning. So why was I pondering the mysteries of the universe and what’s this about sexual immorality? Was my head in the gutter? Let me rewind here a bit and bring you up to speed.
I have been working the past couple of days on a writing project that required me to research and write a chapter on biblical sin. When you start to study the scripture on sin you see some common terminology of God’s law surface. These words are sin, transgressions, and iniquities. As a scriptural example, let’s look at psalm 51.
Psalm 51:1-2 -1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving kindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
King David broke out each of these words in his psalm. Why couldn’t he have simply used the word sin in each line? The answer is the words carry different weights in the Mosaic law. A sin is a thought that originates in the soul and is an offense against God. As James writes, a sin is conceived and then it is given birth, metaphorically,
James 1:14-15-14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
A sin is a thought contrary to the will of God that you carry out. A transgression is a sin that goes against the law of God. In 1 Samuel King Saul was in violation of the Mosaic law, Deuteronomy 10:10-11, when he sought out a psychic medium and summoned the spirit of Samuel back from the underworld of death.
Deuteronomy 18:10-11 - 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
God specifically stated in His laws that speaking and conjuring the dead was forbidden. When King Saul crossed the line of the law of God he committed a transgression.
1 Chronicles 10:13 - 13 So Saul died for his trespass (transgression-KJV) which he committed against the Lord, because of the word of the Lord which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium (one that had a familiar spirit-KJV), making inquiry of it,
An iniquity is an un-repented sin, that is carried out repeatedly, usually requires planning and scheming, and most of all is worthy of God’s punishment. The book of Micah reveals,
Micah 2:1 - 1Woe to those who scheme iniquity,
Who work out evil on their beds!
When morning comes, they do it,
For it is in the power of their hands.
When Eli’s sons defiled the sacrifice and took the best portions for themselves, with complete disregard to God and the law, they committed iniquities. They never repented of their offenses towards God. Eli knew of the wickedness of his sons and did nothing. An iniquity is worthy of God’s punishment (not man’s).
1 Samuel 3:13-14 - 13 For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. 14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
God forever cursed the house (bloodline) of Eli for their ungodly behaviors and lack of respect for the God Almighty. In 2 Samuel 11,12, we see King David’s iniquities and judgment from God. King David’s sin was that he lusted after married woman, Bathsheba, which is a transgression against the 10 commandments. He schemed to murder Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, and then sent him to die on the front lines of battle. King David almost got away with it. His un-repented sins were now iniquities that were like heavy chains on his soul. God spoke through the prophet Nathan and confronted King David with his iniquitous ways. The punishment from God was severe. King David lost his son born in the unholy union of the flesh.
That should cover a quick refresher on the terms were using, sin, transgressions, and iniquities. Now I am going to turn this boat into the storm and discuss a culturally relevant subject in churches. That is sexual immorality in the church.
I think Francis Chan did an excellent job in covering this topic. There is a great sermon on youtube Francis did back in the summer of 2015. This will bring you up to speed on the topic of sin and homosexuality.
I am going to go one step further and discuss homosexuality and iniquity in the church. I think Francis Chan made things perfectly clear sex outside the union of marriage is a sin. However, a sinner working on their sanctification is welcomed in the church. We have seen all sorts of sexual sin in the bible and how it was handled by the sinner. The boundaries of God's sexual morality can be found in Leviticus 18.
King David was an adulterer. His sin led to plotting and killing the husband of his mistress, Bathsheba. This un-repented sin of King David’s became an iniquity and worthy of God’s punishment.
I am going to speak to the people in the church, those who are saved and are spiritually grafted to the tree of life. A sin is an offense against God. A sin of sexuality includes, adultery, pornography, pedophilia, sex with prostitutes, sex parties, casual sex outside of biblical union, homosexuality, and the list goes on (again Leviticus 18). All of these are an offense towards God. Pastors, clergy, parishioners, the church body, we are all affected by the fallen nature of the original sin.
When you are saved, and you are committing these transgressions, you receive convictions from deep inside of you from the Holy Spirit to repent and change your ways. There can be a horrible struggle here but your will is in a spiritual battle to conform to the will of the indwelling Holy Spirit to walk out of this sinful nature.
I have worked some with churches in my area where the congregation are largely homosexual. The key here is they are working hard in their spiritual life to walk out of this sin. It this their own personal choice and their faith to no longer offend God. They are working with the indwelling Holy Spirit on their own personal basis in their deepening relationship with Jesus Christ. This is a soul that is grafted to the tree of life.
A soul that picks and chooses what scripture it wants to believe is choosing to listen to thoughts that originate from original sin, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It is possible that this soul is not even grafted to the tree of life and the spirit is not quickened. Read between the lines there. When your soul blatantly disregards the convictions of the Holy Spirit and you continue to sin, with no change in heart, you have stepped over the fence into iniquity. And an iniquity is worthy of God’s punishment. Here is the problem the media complex doesn’t understand about Christianity. The church can never hold marriages based on lawlessness on sacred grounds because it is in violation of the laws of God. A church that allows this in has committed a transgression. God pulls back. Some churches confuse the income increasing in the collection plate as a blessing from God. See we hold gay marriages and we’re getting more offerings. This is offerings from man and not God. When the church transgressions become an iniquity, God will judge the church that performs unbiblical unions.
We are changing our laws nationally too in regards to civil union. An iniquity can engross a nation too. Israel was plagued by sexual immorality during the time of Jeremiah. Israel removed God and his laws and became lawless. The Israelites were having a grand time with their open sexuality and sex at temples. Then God used his instrument, kings of other nations, and enslaved Israel for 70 years in Babylon. There are consequences for our actions, especially, for sin, transgression, and iniquity. Our nation has been lying to itself, especially from within the walls of the church, that there are no consequences for our actions. We have raised a generation of kids believing everything is for free and there are no consequences. This is lawlessness and it’s in the church. The church must address the iniquity within her own walls and repent from it.
If you want to learn the straight up facts on learning spiritual warfare, get your information straight from a book that was written from the front lines of spiritual warfare. Get your copy of:
A Field Guide to Spiritual Warfare