The Gateway of the Eye


I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?
Job 31:1

To break a covenant in the ancient Near East was serious business, resulting in shame or judgment (Joshua 9). That’s why Job’s act was so extraordinary: He made a covenant with his eyes. He couldn’t cast his eyes lustfully upon a young woman; to do so would break his covenant of purity with his eyes (Matthew 5:28).

Why did Job make a covenant with his eyes instead of his tongue, hands, or feet? Surely, he wanted to keep those body parts pure. Perhaps he viewed sight—his eyes—as a gateway for temptation. The tongue, hands, and feet only put in motion what the mind has conceived. And often the mind depends on visual information for its ideas. And perhaps he knew that sight was the gateway for mankind’s original sin: “When [Eve] saw that the tree was good for food . . . she took of its fruit and ate” (Genesis 3:6, emphasis added). Those details are of lesser importance—the point of Job’s action is that he took willful steps to live a pure life before God. And he chose a covenant with his eyes as a way to express his commitment.

Are there any steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of yielding to the temptation to sin? Job’s example may be a good place to begin.

Guarding our hearts begins with guarding our eyes and ears.
Jerry Bridges

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Can man be held accountable for his sinful actions, and yet have Christ act as a substitute for his sins?

Relevant passages:
Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man (Genesis 9:5–6).

[Jesus Christ] then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many (Hebrews 9:26–28).

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18–19).

In Genesis 9:5–6, we read that each man will be held responsible for his actions if he kills another human. It is also clear in Scripture that sin will not be held against those who repent of their sin and trust in Christ’s redemptive work on the Cross. It has been asked how men can be held accountable for their own sins, as murder is, and yet Christ can act as a substitute to remove the consequences of sin. The answer comes as we examine the context.

As God is making His covenant with Noah and his descendants in Genesis 9, the institution of capital punishment is given. Man has inherent worth because he is made in the image of God. The civil law given to the Israelites and other passages of Scripture make it clear that each person is accountable for his own actions and their consequences. God sets up the temporal punishments that accompany the violation of these civil laws. Civil authority is given to punish those who break the laws. In the case of Genesis 9, the authority is being given to mankind to execute capital punishment. This is a temporal consequence for a temporal action. We can place this in the category of civil justice.

The murder of another human is not only an offense against man, but also an offense against God. When King David had sinned by having Uriah killed and committing adultery with Bathsheba, he recognized his sin against God:

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight (Psalm 51:2–4).

Although there was a temporal sin, David recognized that all sins are ultimately an offense against a holy God. In Psalm 7:11 we read that “God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”

If a man were to commit murder in our society, he would be violating two laws: the civil law of the government and the holy Law of God (Exodus 20:13). For the act of murder the civil authorities will execute justice through the courts, and the penalty may include capital punishment.

For violating the Law of God, the consequence is much harsher, since the authority is higher. God’s eternal justice demands the penalty of eternal death in hell. Because everyone has sinned against a perfectly holy God (Romans 3:23), every person deserves that just punishment.

However, Jesus Christ died on the Cross, and God’s wrath against sin was poured out on Him. Those who will repent and put their trust in Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice on the Cross can avoid that judgment and spend an eternity in heaven with God (John 3:16–18). The righteousness of Christ and His sacrifice are imputed to us (credited to our account, though we don’t deserve it), and God’s justice is satisfied (2 Corinthians 5:20–21). There will still be consequences for all who break the civil laws, but those who are in Christ have no fear of the final judgment (1 John 4:17–18).

Repentance vs. Addiction


Repentance is a loaded word in the world of addiction. Can an addict really repent, if he/she keeps going back to their vomit.  Else where I read the true signs of repentance in an addict

  1. Humility
  2. Willingness to serve others
  3. Responsibility for oneself
  4. Attitude of thankfullness
  5. Submissive spirit

I truly beleive that I do have all of these qualities, except in my hour of weakness. the bewitching hour that takes over my sanity and makes me insane. I have overcome a few inner demons  and I am still working on the horde that remains.

Can you actually pray to GOD while you are exercising your weakness…or when you are in the thick of it? I am not sure if it’s right, but I have done so many times. Somehow I figured that GOD would overlook my state of being. Truth be said, he has freed me miraculously, under extreme circumstances, when I knew for sure that I was headed down the rabbit hole.

Acts 26:20 declares, “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” Is this really possible for an addict? How many times can you repent (Is that even repentance?)  before you actually kick the habit?

This idea that if you haven’t completely changed your behavior then you haven’t truly repented, can be damaging to anyone’s faith but is absolutely devastating to the faith of an addict.

So if repentance doesn’t mean to completely change your behavior, what does it mean?

I believe that repentance means that one has to change his heart and want to serve God more than himself.  Even when your life is consumed by addiction, but if you start spending time in prayer and seeking out encouragement from fellow Christians, you are already on your path to recoery. You may not ever completely beat your addiction, but your imperfect devotion to God is no different from anyone else’s imperfect devotion to God.

Imperfect devotion to God is what we all have. Anyone who believes that their devotion is more than imperfect might as well scoff at the cross, because anyone who’s perfect doesn’t have a need for it.

Even as I write this, I struggle with some old, and some new found addictions. If it weren’t for the cross, I would have taken my own life many times over. But with the cross, I have hope till my last breath. Hope that never diminishes, but grows stronger day by day, hour by hour, second by second.

As Stephen Hawkings put it ” As long as there is life, there is hope!!!”

 

Fairness


Repentance
Repentance

It doesn’t seem fair, that once a person becomes a believer in Christ, that all his sins are forgiven (past, present, and future). However, I am so thankful that God has forgiven my sins (hypocritical, I know). It’s hard for me, as a believer, to watch another believer commit sin, and that person simply continues daily tasks with, what seems to be no repentance. It’s one thing if a person is doing something wrong and is not aware of it, and a completely other thing when a person out rightly knows that what he/she is doing is a sin. Throw into the sack society, culture, family politics, gender cliches, etc. Praise be to God, for loving all of us sinners.

Time of Death


Why didn’t Adam and Eve die the moment they ate, as Genesis 2:17 implies?

The basis for this questions stems from Genesis 2:17, where Adam was told not to eat from forbidden fruit.
“. . . but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

Some have claimed that the Bible doesn’t necessarily mean what it says in Genesis 2:17 since Adam and Eve didn’t die the moment they ate. They argue that the passage really means “die,” not “surely die,” which is what gives the implication that Adam and Eve should have died that day.[3]

Die That Day or Begin to Die?

It is true that Adam and Eve didn’t die the exact day they ate the fruit (Genesis 5:4–5), as some seem to think Genesis 2:17 implies. So, the options are either that God was in error or man’s interpretation is in error. But God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18), so then fallible humans must be making the mistake. Let’s take a look at where the confusion begins to arise. The Hebrew phrase in English is more literally:

“Tree knowledge good evil eat day eat die (dying) die.”

The Hebrew is “die die” (muwth—muwth) with two different verb tenses (dying and die), which can be translated as “surely die” or literally as “dying you shall die,” indicating the beginning of dying — an ingressive sense — and finally culminating with death. At the point when they ate, Adam and Eve began to die and would return to dust (Genesis 3:19). If they were meant to die right then, God would have used muwth only once, as is used in the Hebrew to mean dead, died, or die, not beginning to die or surely die as die-die is used in Hebrew. Old Testament authors understood this and used the terms appropriately, but sometimes we lose a little during translation.

There are primarily two ways people translate: one is literal or word-for-word, and the other is dynamic equivalence or thought-for-thought. If this were translated word-for-word, it would be “dying die” or “die die,” which is difficult for English readers to understand since our grammatical construct doesn’t have a changed emphasis when a word is repeated. The Latin Vulgate by Jerome, which permits such grammatical constructs, does translate this as “dying die” or “dying you will die” (morte morieris). So most translations into English rightly use a more dynamic equivalence and say “surely die,” which implies that it isn’t an instant death but will certainly happen (surely).

What Is Yom Referring To?

With regard to the Hebrew word yom for “day” in Genesis 2:17, it refers directly to the following action — eating — not the latter “dying die.” For example, Solomon used an almost identical construct in 1 Kings 2:37 when referring to Shimei:

For on the day [yom] you go out and cross over the brook Kidron, you will know for certain that you shall surely [muwth] die [muwth]; your blood shall be on your own head (NASB).

This uses yom (day) and the dual muwth just as Genesis 2:17 did. In Genesis 2:17, yom referred to the action (eating) in the same way that yom refers the action here (go out and cross over). In neither case do they mean that was the particular day they would die, but the particular day they did what they weren’t supposed to do. Solomon also understood that it would not be a death on that particular day, but that Shimei’s days were numbered from that point. In other words, their (Adam and Shimei) actions on that day were what gave them the final death sentence — it was coming, and they would surely die as a result of their actions. Therefore, the day in Genesis 2:17 was referring to when they ate (disobeyed), and not the day they died.