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"And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him." (Gen.22:2-3)
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Br. Samuel Babu, Believers Brethren Assembly, (BBA), Majlis - Bahrain For the last few days, we have been relentlessly praying for Br. Samuel Babu, who suffered Cardiac Problems and was admitted in Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain. It was well pleasing for our Lord to call HIS child to the Eternal Home, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no tears, no sickness and no death. He went to be with the LORD around 10:30 PM Bahrain Time today (Friday 23rd 2015). Let us uphold the grieving family members to the Throne of Grace. May the Lord bestow upon them heavenly Grace, Peace and strength and console them with the word of God.

"Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" says Mathew 5:28. Is this as serious a sin as the actual adultery, and should it be dealt with as in 1 Corinthians 5:11, 13 by putting away? How does this verse apply to sisters?

                                                   Bro. Jijo Angamally

At the outset let me say that ALL sin with God is GREAT (John19: 11) and therefore serious, whether open or in the heart. This is an unchanging fact.

Now regarding discipline as we have it in 1 Corinthians 5, you will notice that the assembly at Corinth was expected to act, indeed berated for not acting, though they had known all about the matter. If such an act had been in the heart as we have in the question, no one but the Lord of course would have known about it. No one, therefore, could be expected to take any action. The person himself will have the responsibility for honest confession to God, and cleansing through the blood of Jesus Christ (1John 1:7, 9). God knows the heart and for this reason this action of confessing is necessary for the restoration of communion with God.

The word translated 'looks' refers to the continuous process of looking. The idea is not that of an incidental or involuntary glance but of intentional and repeated gazing. Intentional looking with the purpose of lusting.

John Macarthur says: Jesus is not speaking of unexpected and unavoidable exposure to sexual temptation. When a man happens to see women provocatively dressed, Satan will surely try to tempt that man with lustful thoughts. But there is no sin if the temptation is resisted and a gaze is turned elsewhere. It is continuing to look in order to satisfy lustful desires that Jesus condemns, because it evidences a vile immoral heart. David was not at fault for seeing Bathsheba bathing. He could not have helped noticing her, because she was in plain view as he walked on the palace roof. His sin was in dwelling on the sight and in willingly succumbing to the temptation. He could have looked away and put the experience out of his mind. But he failed.

Lust means "strong desire" It is the setting of the heart upon, or a longing for. In this matter we have an example of Mrs. Potiphar and Joseph. This was blatant lust. We must never allow our emotions to lead us away into sin, but by the indwelling Holy Spirit seek to ensure purity of thought. Should we fail, the remedy of 1 John 1:7 is available, as it is for every other sin of ours.

Women are equally susceptible to lustful looking, and even to inciting to lust. Arthur Pink has this to say: If lustful looking is so grievous a sin, then those who dress and expose themselves with the desire to be looked at and lusted after… are not less but perhaps more guilty. In this matter it is not only too often the case that men sin but women tempt them to do so. How great then must be the guilt of the great majority of modern misses who deliberately seek to arouse the sexual passions of young men. And how much greater still is the guilt of most of their mothers for allowing them to become lascivious temptresses."

Having said that, it would be necessary also to point out that, all admiration of an individual, even of the opposite sex, does not constitute lust. Beauty and shapeliness can be admired in a perfectly clean way. We admire flowers, plants, animals, and such like, for they are all creatures of God, like the human beings. It becomes sin only when lust enters.

We see a way out in the decision of Job "I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then I could gaze a virgin" (Job 31:1). Just as the adulterous heart plans to expose itself to lust-satisfying situations, the godly heart plans to avoid them whenever possible and to flee from them when avoidable.

Pray with Psalmist "Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You" (Ps. 119:37-38) and heed the exhortation of Paul "flee from youthful lusts" and cultivate a "pure heart" (2 Tim 2:22)

Like Job, therefore, we must make a convent with our eyes and with all other parts of our bodies, mind, and spirit to shun lust and pursue purity.

Remember the popular proverb "Sow a thought and reap an act. Sow an act and reap a habit. Sow a habit and reap a character. Sow a character and reap a destiny"

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