Respectable Sins Study 8 (answers)
- Solomon’s sin of multiplying wives and concubines, explicitly forbidden in Deuteronomy 17:17 led to disastrous and serious consequences for God’s people. First the kingdom was divided and the Northern Kingdom apostatised into idolatry under Jeroboam, this led to multiplied deaths, captivity and dispersion for those in the north and ultimately a similar fate to Judah except God preserved a remnant who returned. Idolatry got into Solomon’s heart and then into the peoples although we believe he repented in his old age as the last chapter of Ecclesiastes points.
- The verses teach that the FRUIT (note singular) of the Spirit is a totality of godliness that because of the illustration takes time to form as a tree ages (and as fruit takes time to ripen) and trees bear different amounts of fruit. Fruit trees take careful cultivation and the right conditions (a true church). The need for temperance is emphasized for the older men (note much of paedophilia, pornography and perversion is among older men). Solomon clearly indulged himself.
- The difference between will-power and Christian self-control is the source and motive of the power. Unregenerate will-power has a selfish motive and does not address the inside thought life (the whited walls or sepulchres that were the Pharisees). Often highly disciplined men like athletes have grave weaknesses and sin—for example they leave their wives and commit adultery. Christian self-control has God’s grace and the Spirit as its source and the word as its standard, affects the thoughts as well as deeds and seeks to glorify God out of thankfulness.
- Our battle is against fleshly lusts (I John 2:15-16). The lust of the flesh (overeating, sexual lust and sin, drunkenness, binge drinking and alcoholism), the lust of the eyes (covetousness, envy, jealousy, love of money) and the pride of life (unbridled anger, impatience, ambition and desire for fame).It is true that failure in one area leads to failure in more e.g. King David. The consequences of these sins are obesity, diabetes, abortions, unwanted children, rape, addiction to porn, promiscuity/fornication, adultery, sexually-transmitted diseases, liver disease, violence, injury and murder, gambling and bankruptcy, expletives and blasphemy.
- The means of grace to help us exercise self-control are the Scriptures (Psalm 119:9-11), prayer, Christian fellowship, godly marriage. We may also have to avoid certain people or places. The great need for a true church and Christian fellowship flies in the face of the individualism and the inordinate ambition of our society because we belong to each other, exist to minster to and edify each other and are called to submit to, serve and love others. Loving our fellow believer manifests God to them (I John 4:12).
- Envy and jealousy are the fruit of a reprobate mind. Envy is fretting at what another person has or is able to do and wanting it. Jealousy is annoyance that someone else is usurping your place or being elevated above you or taking what is yours.
- Competitiveness is not per-se sinful. Doing your best is personal and can be devotional and acceptable to God but being driven by envy, jealousy and pride or the desire to impress is sinful. Often the reaction to defeat exposes the true motive. Good work(s) may engender jealousy, envy, cruelty and even murder. There are MANY Biblical examples e.g. Cain, Isaac (Gen.26:14), Joseph’s brothers, Rachel and Leah, Saul, Haman. The verses quoted can be summarised in wholeheartedness, discipline and diligence.
- Three Scriptural facts need to be remembered when we are tempted to envy or jealousy:
1) God’s sovereignty. 2) A sober estimate of ourselves and undoubted gifts. 3) Our place in God’s church for the common good.
9. God is jealous of rivals (idolatry) and is jealous of his people’s devotion and will take vengeance on those who persecute them. Jealousy causing fruit is seen among the Jews beholding Gentile believers (Rom.10:19 and 11:11).
10. Success in Christian ministry or any pursuit in life can tempt others to envy. Godliness can also do it. It is sinful because we ought to rejoice with those who rejoice and be thankful for signs of Christian growth or success in others because it is all to the glory of God.