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- Riches and Godliness
- Further Warnings about Riches
- Sexual Sin
- Prohibited Forms of Sex
- Epilogue: Be Wary
Riches and sex are both good in themselves; in fact they are blessings from God. However they both are easily and often misused, bringing ill effects for both ourselves and others. Indeed, few things have the capacity of riches or sex for both good and harm. So it should be no surprise that they feature so prominently in the Bible’s teaching on our relationships with others and moreover our relationship with God.
Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. … 24“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:19-21, 24 NET
But people who want to get rich keep toppling into temptation and are trapped by many stupid and harmful desires that plunge them into destruction and ruin. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with much pain. 1 Timothy 6:9-10 ISV
[Paul, instructing Timothy what to teach believers:] Tell those who have the riches of this world not to be arrogant and not to place their confidence in anything as uncertain as riches. Instead, they should place their confidence in God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 GW
The experts in the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught committing adultery. They made her stand in front of them 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. … 7When they persisted in asking him, he stood up straight and replied, “Whoever among you is guiltless may be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Then he bent over again and wrote on the ground. 9Now when they heard this, they began to drift away one at a time, starting with the older ones, until Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10Jesus stood up straight and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11She replied, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.” John 8:3-4, 7-11 NET
In contrast to other sins, sexual sin involves the misuse and mistreatment of one’s own body. Moreover, Paul seems to imply that sexual sin adversely affects the body or one’s being in a deeper way than any other sin (cf. CEV, GNT, NLT).
[Jesus:] You have heard that it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you, anyone who stares at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28 ISV
Gazing longingly at a woman with sexual desire, is committing adultery in one’s heart and in a spiritual sense.
[Moses, speaking of any woman who had had premarital sex:] She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by having sexual relations before she was married. You must get rid of the evil among you. Deuteronomy 22:21b NCV™
[Paul, speaking of ungodly people:] For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 27and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:26-27 NET
This teaches that homosexual relations are unnatural. In v. 27, the phrase “received in themselves the due penalty” implies that the committing of such acts carries its own natural consequences.