Most people in this digital age are guilty of stealing music, movies, and other media. I confess that when Napster came out in the year 1999, I downloaded all of the music I wanted. It was made possible because of the Internet. Many in the world watch bootleg movies without paying a cent for them. The sin of stealing becomes less serious to the public if everyone cheats on a test or “shares” the music with a million other people.
How serious is this sin in your life? Do you really care what God thinks? This sin is what led me to true repentance when I was in college. “The law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith (Gal. 3:24).” When I looked into the mirror of the Ten Commandments I began to see my sin as serious and feared the Lord enough to ask Him for help. I saw myself for what I truly was: a thief.
Jesus came to my rescue and made me a new creation. I got rid of all that I had stolen and purchased what I truly needed. The chains of selfishness that led me to steal and sin against God fell away. I became a slave to righteousness. Let the law bring you to Christ so you can be set free.
Director of Community Missions & Evangelism
It’s not uncommon that people would cloud the meaning of this commandment, just a little. And a little is all it takes to produce a larcenous kind of life. It’s a short step from the belief that this commandment exists to protect your personal property, to the belief that you deserve to own as much as you can. By that reasoning, the more you acquire, the more security God owes you. But this commandment doesn’t protect your stuff from others. It is rather meant to protect others from you by forming your heart in such a way that you become a giver instead of a taker. The eighth commandment sets only two ways of life before you: If you’re not giving, you’re taking. Giving protects others; taking endangers them.
You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit. Do you know this phrase? If you do it likely that you have spent some time around toddlers recently. It is amazing that no matter what you give a child they immediately try and take what is given to the next child. If we are not content with where we have been placed in life, in status, in relationships the result can be to act out in a way to claim something that will alter our situation. We take possessions, we claim ideas, we cheat to get ahead when we are not content with where God has placed us. This is not a possession problem, it is a heart problem. The amount of things will not define us. Our relationship with the Lord will. Bloom where you are planted. Be content in all things.
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Exodus 20:15 (the 8th Commandment) in our Summer Sermon Series: “Meant for More. A Study of Commandments.”
I know this is heavy for a Sunday morning, but we have lost our way sexually. We are as confused as we have ever been about sexual health, and there may be no clearer indicator than the recent pornography invasion through cell phones.
Consider these numbers from Covenant Eyes: 20% of all internet searches on cell phones are for pornography, and 57% of American adults view pornography at least once a month. Possibly even more heartbreaking is this line from their research: “1 in 5 youth pastors and 1 in 7 senior pastors use porn on a regular basis and currently struggling.”
This is an epidemic.
This is an epidemic that many in our church are struggling with that is destroying our lives, our families, our churches, and our country from the inside out. If you need help please contact us:
We have a number of staff members who care about you, and are ready to help you walk toward healing, call our church office at 210-226-0363
You may also contact our on-site counselor Terry Davis of the Ecumenical Center at 210-616-0885
This commandment points to two truths, the sacredness of marriage and the wholeness of sexual intimacy, and neither are mutually exclusive. Marriage is sacred in the same fashion as life is sacred (#6), or as the family is sacred (#5); each serve a valuable role in God filling the earth with his glory. Marriage is first and foremost God’s; he made it in his image, therefore it is sacred.
Sexual intimacy, (not just sex) by design is the very consummation of wholeness, or oneness between a husband and wife. It is a physical picture of a mutual reality. God is very serious when he says, “The two shall become one flesh.” Or “what God puts together, let no man separate.” This commandment is God’s way of saying, “stay whole; stay as one!”
Why? Because oneness in marriage is the heart of its sacredness, and if a marriage loses its sacredness it can no longer fulfill God’s purpose.
Is it any wonder than that the enemy would aim to destroy sex and marriage?
Having sex is not the only way to commit adultery. Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:28 move the line between “safe and sin” even further away from physical intimacy. “but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Yet how many times do we feel like we need to know exactly where the line is between right and wrong. Often the question that accompanies this train of thought is, “How far is too far?”Let’s be honest enough to admit we ask it in all kinds of different circumstances that relate to many different kinds of sins.
The problem with this question is that it’s the wrong question to ask.When we ask this question, our attention and focus are directed toward the sin.Maybe a better question to ask is, “How close can I get to the Lord?”When we ask this question our attention and focus are aimed at the Savior. Let’s ask the right questions.
“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3
When we marry our spouse, we each make a covenant or an oath that our spouse and God are the only ones that our hearts will belong to. Marriage can be a beautiful reminder of who we are in Christ. When we become Christ-followers, we make an oath that our hearts will belong to no other (see commandments 1 & 2). But we don’t always act like that is the case.
As followers of Christ, we are His bride. How often do we, as God’s people, long for other things or long for that which is not God – essentially committing adultery in our hearts? I can say for myself that it is all too often. Yet, God keeps His promise. God keeps his oath that we are His people – forevermore. That’s why He sent Jesus; so that we could be purified from sin and presented as the gleaming bride. Jesus gave His life up for his bride…for us!
Have you rejoiced in God’s grace today because our hearts belong to Him forever?
Associate Pastor, Preschool & Elementary
Children are the most vulnerable beings on earth. Other creatures will survive and thrive on instinct. A child will survive and thrive to the degree she is formed in spirit, mind, body, and social context. Marriage—for all of the attention paid to communication, sex, Mars, Venus, love language, etc., etc.—is a vocation ordered to the creation and raising of children. A mother and a father form the body and the character of a child, and whenever there is a disruption of that order, the child’s life bears the imprint of that disruption. Every family knows disruption in one form or another due to the general depravity of man. This commandment does not say, “Thou shalt not be fallen.” That’s now out of our hands. But it does say, “Mind the things you can indeed control.”
As we looked last week at the commandment forbidding murder we quickly found Jesus’ teaching on the topic. You may remember that Jesus dealt not only with the physical act of murder, but the mental state of wrath and malice. It is not too much to assume that the realm of the mind with regards to the command to refrain from adultery holds a similar warning.
We may feel good about ourselves for not committing an act of adultery, but have you allowed you mind to go where it should not? Have you ever been in a place where you began to wonder what if….? The mind is fertile ground for the enemy if not continually surrendered to God. Like most things worth fighting for, our marriages require daily re-commitment to the covenant made with each other and with the Lord. Don’t allow the what ifs. Thank God for your spouse, and work together to strengthen the foundation you have made in Him.