CHAPTER 11

Love or Lust?
Part 1

 

God’s Plan

God has a wonderful plan for man. God is the great DESIGNER. He designs what is good and right and satisfying.  He knows what He is doing, and He does all things well.

God’s desire for man is summarized by GOD’S LAWS. In the Bible we find NUMEROUS laws and commandments which God gave. In fact, the Jewish people have calculated that God gave to the children of Israel 613 commandments which cover all phases of life and activity.

In order to help man to understand His requirements, God gave ten simple commands which sum up all of the others. We call these the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Do you know where in the Bible they are found?  If not, see if you can find them in Exodus chapter 20 or Deuteronomy chapter 5.

These Ten Commandments can be summed up even further. There are two commands which sum up all ten of the ten commandments. If you keep and obey these two commandments, then you have kept and obeyed all of the ten commandments. What are these two commands (see Matthew 22:36-40)?

1)________________________________________________________________________

2)________________________________________________________________________

Finally these two chief commands can be summed up even further. The two greatest commandments can be summed up in ONE WORD. What is this ONE WORD? (Think about the two greatest commandments and the one word they share in common and also read Galatians 5:14.)   __________

Let’s see how this works in actual practice. Think again of the Ten Commandments. These commandments were originally written on two tables of stone which should remind us that they can be divided into two parts. The first part contains commands that point to man's responsibilities TOWARD GOD (the first four commands). The second part contains commands that point to man's responsibilities TOWARD MAN (the last six commands).

Think of the last six of the Ten Commandments and then read Romans 13:8-10. If a person really LOVES his neighbor, then what are some things that he will not do to his neighbor?
_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Think of the first four of the Ten Commandments. If a person really loves God with ALL HIS HEART, then what are some things that he will not do?
_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ 
_______________________________________________________________

Thus, man’s duty towards God and towards his neighbor can all be summarized by ONE WORD: LOVE! See the chart below:

The love that man needs is not produced by man but is produced IN MAN (in a believer) by God the HOLY SPIRIT--"the fruit of the Spirit is _____________" (Gal. 5:22).

LOVE is not the same as LUST. LOVE is in opposition to LUST. The tenth commandment says, "THOU SHALT NOT ___________" and the word "COVET" means "LUST" (see Romans 7:7).

What is LUST? Lust is a desire to have and a seeking to have what is not rightfully mine. LUST says, "I must have it and I must have it now!" LOVE is concerned about GIVING whereas LUST is concerned with GETTING. LUST is wrapped up in SELF whereas LOVE is wrapped up in GOD and OTHERS. LUST seeks to please and satisfy SELF whereas LOVE seeks to please GOD and OTHERS (see Romans 15:1-3). LOVE is thankful for what God has given; LUST is envious of what others have.

In this chapter we want to learn about God’s original plan by which LOVE can be expressed between a man and a woman, a husband and a wife. We will also see how sinful man has deviated from God’s good and right plan through LUST.
 

God’s Plan For Man And Woman

The Lord Jesus Christ has told us that the best way to learn about God’s plan for a man and a woman is to go back to the very BEGINNING (see Matthew 19:3-8).

According to Genesis 1:27, how did God create man?  See the last part of the verse. ____________________________________________________

Mankind does not have only one sex (UNISEX). Everyone is either a "HE" or a "SHE." No one is merely an "IT."  Also there is no such thing as a "HE-SHE" or a "SHE-HE." Neither did God divide mankind into three or four or five sexes. According to Genesis 1:27 there are only TWO sexes, the MALE sex and the FEMALE sex, and every person is either a MALE or a FEMALE, because this is how he or she has been made by their Creator.

It is also obvious that the two sexes are not the same; they are different. Girls are not boys, and boys are not girls. Men are not women, and women are not men. Adam was different from Eve, and Eve was different from Adam, because God made them so. Today there is wrong and unhealthy thinking among people. There is a wrong and unhealthy trend toward UNISEX (one sex). It is man’s wrong attempt to try to MINIMIZE the differences which God has made. Thus women try to look, dress and act like men, and men try to look, dress and act like women. Can you think of ways that this is done?

God wants men to look, dress and act like men, because this is how He made them. God wants women to look, dress and act like women, because they ought to rightly represent who and what they are. God’s attitude towards this unisex trend is seen in Deuteronomy 22:5. In this verse, what does God forbid? ______________________________________________________________________________ Why does God forbid this? ________________________________________ The word "abomination" is a very strong word. It means that God detests it, hates it and is nauseated over it (it makes God sick!). This is because it is so contrary to God’s original plan.

Genesis chapter 1 simply tells us that God made man male and female (two different sexes). Genesis chapter 2 goes back and gives us many more details about how God made man and woman, and how God brought them together in a wonderful union.

According to what is revealed in Genesis chapter 2, which sex was created first? ____________________________  What verse tells us this? ______ The man was made from _______________________________________ (Genesis 2:7) and the woman was made from _____________________ (Genesis 2:22; 1 Cor. 11:8).

How did the institution of marriage originate? Did it gradually evolve from more primitive institutions and customs? Did a group of people meet together and vote in favor of starting marriages? Did an ancient and powerful king send forth an edict (law) declaring that men and women should be joined together in marriage? When did the first marriage take place? Whose idea was it? How did marriage begin?

Genesis chapter two answers these questions very clearly: Who declared that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18)? ____________ Who said, "I will make an help meet (helper suitable) for him" (Genesis 2:18)? ____________ Who took a part of man and from it made a woman (Genesis 2:21-22)? ___________ Who brought the woman to the man (Genesis 2:22)? ___________ Who performed the very first marriage ceremony (Genesis 2:18-22? ____________ Who instituted marriage? ____________ Whose idea was it? ___________ It was Godís idea, not manís. According to what the Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 19:6, who is responsible for JOINING a man and woman together in marriage (circle the correct answer):

a. This is something the man and woman must do and no one else.
b. The Pastor
c. The Justice of the Peace
d. The local government
e. The state government
f.  The Living God

The institution of marriage has been and should be honored by nations and peoples. The legal and public marriage ceremony varies, but the ceremony takes place before God and witnesses. God designed and instituted marriage, but people have misused and abused this institution. God is not the author or promoter of mankind’s sin.

In Genesis 2:22 we are told that GOD BROUGHT THE WOMAN (EVE) TO THE MAN (ADAM). Let’s think about this and think about what God did not do. Notice that God did not bring a man to Adam.  He brought Eve, not Steve, to Adam. Notice also that God did not bring an animal to Adam. The animals were already found to be unsuitable for Adam as a helpers and companions (Genesis 2:18-20). Apes and elephants and peacocks are certainly interesting creatures and fun to watch at the zoo, but they certainly do not qualify as marriage partners for man. Notice also that God did not bring two or three or ten wives to Adam.  He brought JUST ONE woman! ONE WOMAN FOR ONE MAN; THIS IS GOD’S ALL-WISE PLAN! Thus we can make this conclusion:

The marriage partner must be the opposite sex.
The marriage partner must not be an animal but a person.
The marriage partner must be ONE, not more than one.

Also from the teaching of God elsewhere in the Bible we learn two more important facts:

The marriage union is to be permanent (Matthew 19:6).
The marriage union is rightfully dissolved only by death (Romans 7:2-3).

One of the reasons God made man as He did was for the purpose of reproduction. After God made man MALE and FEMALE, He said to them, "Be _________________ and ____________________ and replenish (fill) the earth" (Genesis 1:28). God’s plan was for many people to live on the earth, not just two. God created two, and from these two would come all of mankind (today numbering in the billions). For this to be possible God designed man and woman with the ability to reproduce and bring forth children. This is natural, normal and necessary for the propagation of the human race.

Again we should note that when it comes to reproduction, the man is designed for the woman and the woman is designed for the man, all according to God’s perfect plan. Just as a bolt is designed for a nut, so a man is designed for a woman. A man is not designed for a man, and a woman is not designed for a woman (just as you cannot put together two bolts and you cannot put together two nuts). To try to fit two nuts together (or two bolts) is to go against the plan and design for which they were made. Homo means same, and thus homosexuality means SAME SEX). Homosexuality is going against God’s plan and design.  It is impossible for children to ever result from a homosexual relationship, just as it is impossible to screw a nut into a nut or to screw a bolt into a bolt.

Likewise it is totally against God’s plan for a person to have a sexual relationship with an animal. God’s plan was for all of the animals and plants to reproduce "AFTER THEIR KIND" (see Genesis 1:11,12,21,22,24,25), and mankind is different from animal kind.

Bringing forth children is important but this is not the number one reason why God gave to man the wonderful gift of being able to have sexual relations with a marriage partner. Normally children are meant to be the fruit of a love relationship between husband and wife, but there are exceptions to this normal rule. There are some couples who are unable to have any children (for a number of possible reasons). Does this mean that they cannot fulfill the purpose of their sexuality? No, this is not true at all. God has given the gift of sex for the enjoyment of the marriage partners as they express their love to each other even in a physical way.  Marriage is a love-relationship and it has a physical aspect to that relationship that ought to be precious and enjoyable whether or not God is pleased to give children. God intended that the marriage bed should be holy and pure and right and a great blessing for a man and his wife (see Hebrews 13:4). God and the Bible never condemn sex but only the wrong kind of sex. The wrong kind of sex is that which violates and goes against God’s original purpose. But in God’s purpose and in God’s time, the marriage bed (Hebrews 13:4) was meant to be a place of enjoyment and satisfaction for husband and wife.

The book of Proverbs has much to say about the wrong kind of sexual involvement, but it also has something to say about the right kind. Read Proverbs 5:15-19. Within the boundaries and confines of marriage, there is safety and satisfaction and sure delight. The husband is to enjoy his wife (Proverbs 5:18) and be sexually satisfied by her (Proverbs 5:19), and he is to be exhilarated or intoxicated with her love (Proverbs 5:19, this is the meaning of the Hebrew term as reflected by some of the translations). But at the same time he is strongly WARNED not to look elsewhere for satisfaction but to be content and thankful for the wife God gave to him when he was young (see Proverbs 5:15-18,20-23).

The bed of marriage is U___________________ (Hebrews 13:4). It is pure and unsoiled and not polluted. It is enjoyable and right and pleasurable. It is a mutual expression of love as the husband GIVES of himself to please his wife, and the wife GIVES of herself to please the husband (1 Cor. 7:3). Marriage is a good thing and God honors it and blesses it: "Whoso findeth a _________ findeth a ________thing, and obtaineth favor of the LORD" (Proverbs 18:22).
 

A Deviation From God’s Perfect Plan

Marriage was designed in heaven for the blessing and good of mankind. It was also meant to portray a wonderful picture of the believer’s relationship to Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:21-33). Sinful men have polluted God’s purpose in marriage and have perverted the picture.

The STANDARD for what is right and wrong, proper or improper, holy or sinful in the realm of sex, love and marriage has been given to us by God in the first two chapters of Genesis. This is the way it was at "the B______________________ " (Matthew19:8). Anything that deviates from what God instituted in Genesis 1-2 must be considered abnormal, unnatural, improper and CONTRARY to God’s perfect design and plan for a man and a woman.

Let’s take a look at some verses of Scripture which show how man deviated and turned away from God’s standard:

  1. What deviation do you find in Genesis 4:19?
    ____________________________________________________________
  2. What deviation do you find in 1 Kings 11:3?
    ____________________________________________________________
  3. What deviation do you find in Romans 1:27 and Leviticus 18:22?
    ____________________________________________________________
  4. What deviation do you find in Leviticus 18:23?
    ____________________________________________________________
  5. What deviation do you find in John 8:3-4?
    _____________________________________________________________
  6. What deviation do you find in Matthew 19:3,6,9?
    _____________________________________________________________

Today we live in a world system (1 John 2:15) and in a society that cares little about God’s standards. Instead men approve and applaud that which deviates from God's standards. This is done not just by pornography which is inundating the land, but also by many TV shows, radio programs, movies, videos, DVD's, books, magazines, etc. Today a young person who remains sexually pure is often considered an oddity and an object of scorn. It is a very sad thing when the violation of a standard becomes so common that it becomes the norm. Man does what is right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25), and he thinks, "If everyone else is doing it, how can it be wrong?" The believer knows that if God said it and if man violates what God said, then it is wrong no matter how many are doing it (see Exodus 23:2).

In Hebrews 13:4 we learn that God sanctions the marriage bed but He strongly warns that His judgment will fall upon these two things:
 

1) FORNICATION (Greek-Porneia) is a general word which refers to any kind of unlawful sexual intercourse (compare the English word "pornography"). It would include such things as sexual immorality, prostitution, premarital sex and even homosexuality. In Hebrews 13:4 it probably refers primarily to those sexual sins committed by unmarried persons (since the next word refers to a sin that the married commit).

2) ADULTERY (Greek-Moicheia) is a more specific word which refers to a married person having unlawful sexual relations with someone who he/she is not married to (going beyond the marriage relationship to a third person). Thus in Hebrews 13:4 it refers to those sexual sins committed by married persons.
 

Thus this verse does not condemn sex (which is good and honorable and right) but it condemns SINFUL SEX which is here defined as sex OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE (both premarital sex which is sex before marriage and extramarital sex which is sex during marriage with someone who is not your marriage partner).

God has good and safe BOUNDARIES which man needs to stay within for his own benefit and safety (just as on a mountainous road there are often guard rails to help keep the car on the road and prevent a disaster). When it comes to sex there are too many young people who are plunging off the road and falling into disaster, often resulting in wounds that never heal and scars that always remain. Don’t deviate from God’s road! Don’t turn aside from God’s path! Stay on the road of sexual purity and you will forever be glad that you did. The God who created you surely knows what is best for you. Trust and obey Him!

In the next chapter we will consider some of the WARNINGS found in the book of Proverbs regarding the wicked and worldly woman, lest we ourselves get TRAPPED and CAUGHT!


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