GOD’S WISDOM FOR HIS PEOPLE, Week 4
CHEATING IN LIFE
The 10 Commandments, Exodus 20
The 7th and 8th Commandments are both about cheating…one is about cheating your spouse and the other is about cheating yourself. Ultimately at the heart of both of these is cheating and being disobedient to God.
Today we are going to talk how to develop a life without cheating.
INTRO: The culture we live in today scoffs at the concept of sexual fidelity in marriage, consider the following:
A study of 104 leading television writers and executives conducted by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, they found that Hollywood’s views run far from the mainstream. Though 85 percent of Americans believe adultery is wrong, only 49 percent of TV writers and executives do. When Americans are asked about abortion 59% say its wrong, 97% Hollywood says abortion is fine. While 96% percent of Americans have religious affiliation, 50 percent of the TV writers and executives have none. — Newsweek
? It is no wonder that our society is inundated with sex that is contrary to God’s 7th commandment. Our divorce rate and the number of married couples in counseling over affairs have never been higher. It is time we stop listening to Hollywood and listen to God’s Will!
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that healthy marriages are built on sexual fidelity and that the healthiest sexuality comes in a committed relationship of one man and one woman in marriage for life.
COMMANDMENT 7: CHEATING YOUR SPOUSE
“You must not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14
I. PURPOSE IN MARRIAGE
- A. Partnership
(To understand a healthy marriage it is necessary to understand the purpose of marriage, God has created marriage to have 3 elements to it and in a particular order, and the first of these elements is ‘’partnership.”)
“It is not good for the man to be alone.” God (Gen 2:18a)
- Adam was Productive without Eve, he had already started ”work” – but he was not Complete without Eve!
“I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Gen 2:18b
Note: When Eve is created nothing is said about her existing to make babies, she was made first and foremost to be Adam’s “helper” ‘(2:18) which means ”a counterpart” or ”partner” of equal value!
ILLUS: Adam and Eve had the world’s only perfect marriage. She couldn’t talk about the man she might have married and he couldn’t complain that his mother was a better cook. — Robert S.
- 3. God’s purpose for marriage was clear from the beginning, one woman for one man for life! God made no other women for Adam or any other men for Eve.
ILLUS: According to an article the New York Times, a new marriage idea has come up…“trial marriages”, how ever do not increase the chance of a marriage lasting or being successful. In fact, those who live together before marriage, separate and divorce in significantly greater numbers than those who go directly to the altar.” — Robert C. Shannon
? A good marriage is one built first on ”partnership,” both with each other and with God!
- B. Pleasure
- 1. Marriage was to be Enjoyed , a relationship of great pleasure!
““At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” Genesis 2:22-24
- This 2nd Purpose in marriage is pleasure!! When God brings Eve to Adam to present her to him the first words out of his mouth were, ‘’This is bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh…” in English, ’’WOW!”
- Marriage was to be enjoyed, a relationship of great pleasure, as was their relationship with God.
ILLUS: In the ”Peanuts” comic strip, by Charles Schulz, Charlie Brown says to his friend, ”My Granpa and Granma have been married for fifty years!” The friend replies, ”They’re lucky, aren’t they?” Charlie Brown answers. ”Granma says it isn’t luck–it’s skill!”
- Too many young people enter into marriage today expecting pleasure without the responsibilities that are required to find it.
? Happy couples and well adjusted couples are those who live responsibly and a disciplined life and have pleasure in marriage!
- C. Partnership, Pleasure and Procreation
“Then the man—Adam—named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.” Genesis 3:20
- Only after Partnership and Pleasure do we see the 3rd purpose in marriage, bearing children!
- Eve was valued as an equal person & not just as a baby factory.
- Women became valued only as far as they could produce children for their husbands, this was not God’s plan for marriage, it was a distortion of it.
- Children should be the product of two people who are equal partners first, whose relationship is loving and joyous, the environment will then give the greatest atmosphere in which another generation will know the joy of God’s purposes!
? The 7th commandment was given to allow marriages to experience the deepest sharing, with the greatest joys, and children who would grow up in the most stable environments.
II. PURITY IN MARRIAGE
- A. Preserving
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28
- It is Difficult to Preserve a marriage that has under gone cheating
- The Pain of Unfaithfulness can be greater than the pain of death, and it can start with just one look at another man or woman.
- The broken vows and trust in the union is devastating.
- To look on another man or woman and allow a process of fantasizing to develop with lust: “anyone who even looks”
- This is precisely why Pornography can be so devastating, especially for men who are more visually directed than women.
- The processes of lust once stimulated will cause one to seek opportunity to find expression for that lust.
“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7:3-4
- 1. Paul is saying, The Best way to Stay Pure…Fulfill your marriage commitments
- The Bible teaches, Husband + Wife = One Flesh (1 + 1 = 1) “Two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.” Mark 10:8-9
- Both partners are seen with equal need, equal responsibility.
- Make sure each other’s needs are met in your marriage
- It is indeed a foolish spouse, a foolish society, and a foolish world that thinks adultery is only a minor problem or something that everyone is going to do anyway so we need to quit being so uptight about it.
- Adultery undermines the Equation, it destroys the Unity .
- Don’t commit adultery – find God’s plan for a joyful union
- While we live in a culture that encourages sexual diversity, the Bible teaches sexual discipline! It is for these reasons that so much spiritual damage is done when sex occurs outside marriage. In God’s economy 1+1=1, not 2! Sex can bring great joy when followed God’s way, or great pain when we ignore His command. Don’t commit adultery – find God’s plan for a joyful union!
COMMANDMENT 8: Cheating Yourself
“You must not steal.” Exodus 20:15
- So often people take what is not theirs because they can’t or won’t wait for it, or believe they shouldn’t have to wait for it. We all know that we can’t always have what we want when we want it.
ILLUS: The person who looks for quick results in the seed planting of well-doing will be disappointed. If I want potatoes for dinner tomorrow, it will do me little good to plant them in my garden tonight. There are long stretches of darkness and invisibility and silence that separate planting and reaping. During the stretches of waiting, there is cultivating and weeding and nurturing and planting still other seeds. — Eugene Peterson
I. STEALING FROM OTHERS
? Stealing Destroys relationships that are built on trust, and it destroys self respect when one receives by theft that which does not belong to them. Stealing destroys character as it breeds corruption. Theft can compromise our relationship with one another and with God, in this way it hurts the soul and society.
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that God condemns the taking of anything that does not rightfully belong to us, that taking from others or from Him that which is not rightfully ours destroys our soul and society.
- A. Receiving
“If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.” Eph 4:28
- 1. There are only 3 ways of getting anything in life:
? By GIFT : an act of grace, the receiver may or may not deserve the gift.
- We don’t deserve to be saved, but God offers us His salvation if we simply ask.
- The act of getting a gift is an act of love on the givers part, the receiver is usually overwhelmed and grateful.
? By WORK: a way of getting by earning.
- This way of getting things has a lot to do with us, we receive by deserving what we get, for services rendered.
- Work produces a sense of self respect. This is why God created work even before Adam’s fall into sin.
? By Stealing: Theft or taking it!
- This does not create self respect, rather, it creates self hatred.
- b. This does not create productivity, it creates loss.
- It Destroys our relationship with God and our society.
- 2. Sadly, there are too many people today that see stealing as the only way to get ahead in this world…
ILLUS: A London taxi driver used to wrap up his garbage each week and leave it in the backseat of his cab during his lunch break with all the windows down. Always by the end of the break it was gone. Someone had stolen it and gotten a big surprise!
- No wonder why we have put bars on the windows of their homes, double locks on their doors, and Ring video devices on our Porch.
- Sadly, Last year the city of Houston experience unbelievable theft after their hurricane and this year all over the Carolina’s homes were robbed immediately after the storms…It’s unbelievable but this is a trend.
ILLUS: “A man walked into a convenience store, put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving his $20 bill on the counter. So how much did he get from the drawer? $15. Go figure.”
II. STEALING FROM GOD
- It is not only possible to steal from People, you can actually steal from God!
- A. Responsibilities
8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple.” Malachi 3:8-10a
? A Giving Church is a Powerful Church, no matter their Size !
- Stealing from God doesn’t just Impact us materially, it also Impacts us Spiritually as Well.
“If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Malachi 3:10b-12
- God honors Givers , when we give we are acting like our God!
- There is Rich Blessing in Giving and reward for the Future. Those who hold their giving back are missing these Blessings.
- Those who give to God for all the rights reasons bring a joy to others as well as themselves.
ILLUS: There was a knock on the door of the hut occupied by a missionary in Africa. Answering, the missionary found one of the native boys holding a large fish in his hands. The boy said, “Reverend, you taught us what tithing is, so here–I’ve brought you my tithe.” As the missionary gratefully took the fish, he questioned the young lad. “If this is your tithe, where are the other nine fish?” At this, the boy beamed and said, “Oh, they’re still back in the river. I’m going back to catch them now.”
- The young lad had faith and a heart to give…that is what God calls of us!
CONCLUSION: Cheating damages our Marriages, Our Relationships between husband and wife and children, and between us and God. God is trying to help us when he tells Moses to write down “You must not commit adultery.” & “You must not steal.” Let’s listen to Him and have the abundant life He Promised!!
GOD’S WISDOM FOR HIS PEOPLE, Week 4
CHEATING IN LIFE
The 10 Commandments, Exodus 20