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Author:Dr. Wes Bredenhof
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Congregation:Free Reformed Church of Launceston, Tasmania
 Tasmania, Australia
Preached At:Langley Canadian Reformed Church
 Langley, B.C.
Title:The 7th Word: God Commands Purity in His People
Text:LD 41 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday
Topic: 7th Commandment (Adultery)

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

Hymn 4
Hymn 1A
Hymn 40:1
Psalm 25:1-4
Psalm 107:1-2 (after offering)
Augment Hymn 28 (Gloria Patri)

Readings:  Proverbs 7, Matthew 5:27-30, Ephesians 5

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Dr. Wes Bredenhof, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.

Beloved congregation of the Lord Jesus,


This afternoon in our catechism preaching, we’ve come again to the seventh commandment.  For many of us, I think this is a commandment that we would rather skip.  It makes many of us uncomfortable, because we know how our lives fall so short of what God says here.  Sure, maybe we don’t outrightly commit adultery, we don’t have sexual relations with people we’re not married to, but we know from what the Lord Jesus says in Matthew 5 that the seventh commandment goes way beyond that.  Lustful glances are enough.  So, the seventh commandment pricks us and makes us squirm a bit. 


But loved ones, being uncomfortable and being pricked is not a bad thing, so long as it results in growth.  It’s not bad as long as we look to Christ as our Saviour, fix our eyes on him, rest and trust in him.  Being pricked by God’s law is not bad, as long as it leads us to grow in thankfulness for what Christ has done, as long as it helps us to kill sin in our lives.  This afternoon, we’ll look at the seventh commandment and I warn you ahead of time that it may be uncomfortable.  But we’re going to do this so that we would look again to Christ and so that we would grow in him. 


So, this afternoon, we will consider God’s Word with this theme:


The 7th Word:  God commands purity in his people


We’ll look at:


1.       The design of this commandment

2.      The fulfillment of this commandment

3.      The challenges to this commandment


The seventh commandment was given by God to Moses at Mount Sinai.  However, the substance of this commandment is much older.  It goes back to the beginning chapters of Genesis and the creation of Adam and Eve.  God joined Adam and Eve together in holy wedlock.  His original design was for a man and a woman to live in intimate fellowship with one another.  There was a holy unity that God instituted when Eve was presented to Adam.  Nothing should come between them.  God put man and woman together as husband and wife:  one man and one woman together forever.  That was the original design of marriage.


The seventh commandment is tied up with that, because breaking that bond of husband and wife is contrary to the will of God.  The seventh commandment exists to protect marriage.  It also exists to protect something that is designed to come to expression only within marriage:  human sexuality.  Our sexuality was designed to function within the marriage relationship.  When it functions outside of that relationship, brokenness and trouble result.  Consequently, the seventh commandment is also designed to protect human sexuality.  God’s command for purity and chastity is there for our good and for our benefit, and not only for those of us who are married, but also for those who are not yet married, or who might never be married, or who were once married and whose spouses have gone to be with the Lord.  For all of us, God has given the seventh commandment because of his love for us.   


It’s also there because of what we learn from 1 Corinthians 6.  In that chapter, Paul says that we are temples of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit lives in us, each of us individually.  The seventh commandment is designed to guard the holiness of this temple.  These temples are not to be used for just whatever, they belong to God, they are inhabited by the Holy Spirit, and therefore they are to be used in a holy way.


The Catechism reminds us that unchastity or sexual impurity is cursed by God.  Of course, that’s true.  And it’s also true that many of us have been unchaste and sexually impure in various ways.  Does that mean that we are cursed by God? 


Here we need to consider the fulfillment of the seventh commandment.  We have not fulfilled this commandment or been obedient to it with any degree of perfection.  But we have a Saviour who has.  The Lord Jesus perfectly obeyed also the seventh commandment and he did it for us.  How you ask?


For one thing, we know for certain that a lustful thought never entered his heart.  He never looked at any woman and had impure thoughts.  Then of course, unchaste actions were also something that never happened in his life. 


But we can go further than that.  Not only did he not do certain things to break the seventh commandment, he also positively fulfilled it.  He was faithful to his bride.  Yes, you heard me correctly, the Lord was faithful to his wife.  That’s what Paul says in Ephesians 5.  He says in verse 2 that Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.  Then later in the chapter he bases the commands to Christian husbands on what the Lord did as a husband for his wife, the church.  The Lord was and is faithful to the church, to his bride.  He has never committed adultery, but he has always been a one-woman man.  And this is for us too!


When the Lord Jesus died on the cross, he died to make satisfaction for all our sins.  He took all our sins upon himself, including all of our sins against the seventh commandment.  Loved ones, today I know many of you are feeling guilty and broken because of your impurity and unchastity.  You’ve had those sinful thoughts and those sinful actions and you hate them all.  You have sorrow for your sin and want to be forgiven.  Hear the Lord speaking to you:  I have taken all your sins on myself.  They are paid in full.  Trust me, rest in me.  You are forgiven much.  I have obeyed the law perfectly on your behalf.  You are my brother, my sister, you are God’s beloved child.  There is no condemnation for you, instead you are accepted because of me.  Loved ones, hear him speaking to you and believe him.  There is hope for all of us in the gospel. 


We need that hope because the challenges with regards to the seventh commandment are so great.  We live in a time where sexual impurity is all around us.  Sexual impurity is paraded in front of our eyes on a daily basis and so often, we get sucked right in.  The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour and he knows one of the quickest ways to destroy us is through the perversion of our sexuality.  The world is his willing accomplice and biggest cheerleader.  To make matters worse, we have the left-overs of our sinful nature calling out and saying, “This could be fun.  You deserve a break.  There’s a lot of pleasure to be had here and now, why deny yourself?” 


These challenges and temptations come to us in a variety of forms.  But we’re going to focus on one in particular this afternoon.  This is something that challenges, tempts and even captivates many of us.  This is something that affects young and old.  It’s something that both men and women have struggled with and been enslaved to.  It’s something that draws in both singles and married people.  That something is pornography. 


Necessity requires that I be direct.  There’s a saying that sin is like fungus – it grows best in the dark.  We need to bring this sin into the light and be honest and forthright about it, even if it is uncomfortable.      


Statistically, they say that one in ten Christian men is enslaved to pornography.  I doubt that statistic very much.  After all, everything can be rationalized.  “I’m not enslaved to pornography, because I only look at it once a week or once a month or whatever.  Sports Illustrated is not pornography.  It’s not porn, it’s art – I just appreciate beautiful art.”  Then we have the people who outright lie on statistical surveys because of their pride.  Loved ones, the reality is that many men AND women have problems with pornography.  We might find comfort in knowing that we’re not alone, but it’s not a great comfort, it’s not a true comfort because it says a lot about how successful the devil, the world and our own flesh have been in deceiving us, in leading the church into evil.


Let’s put away our rationalizations and come clean.  Let’s be honest.  Pornography is anything that arouses lust and impure thoughts in our hearts.  It’s usually produced with the intention to do just that.  Furthermore, we know that pornography is usually not just a matter of looking.  If we’re honest, we know that impure actions typically accompany the viewing of pornography.


Today we all know about the biggest source of pornography.  Years ago, many people wouldn’t dream of walking into the local corner store and buying a dirty magazine.  Their pride would never allow them to do such a thing – what if someone sees you?  They might even feel guilty about having spent their money on such garbage.  But today, you can view pornography in the privacy of your home.  No one has to know.  No one will see.  You’re anonymous.  And it’s all free and it’s easy to find, you can find it without even looking.  Sometimes it will come to you.  Google for something innocent and then temptation presents itself and before you know it, you’re down the wide pornformation highway.


I don’t think we need to dwell on the fact that things are bad, even among us.  What we do need to dwell on is the way out.  What we do need to dwell on is the way to respond to this challenge.  How can we be pulled out of the porn pit? 


Let me say it again:  not one of us should despair.  Not one of us should think that he or she is a hopeless case.  Listen:  we have a Saviour.  He came for sinners, not for the righteous.  If you are a sinner, if you are enslaved to pornography, Jesus Christ is for you.   We have the Holy Spirit.  He lives in us and he will help us to fight.  He will empower us to grow in Christ.  Brother, sister, don’t begin to think that you are beyond redemption, that you are beyond the reach of grace.  Don’t think that things will never change, that it will always be like this.  Things can, may, and must be different.  You need to hold on to God’s promises.  You need to trust that he is gracious and merciful, even to a sinner like you.      


Let me begin by saying to all of us, and especially to the young people:  if you’ve never looked at pornography, let me plead with you not to start and to hate this poison with all your heart and avoid it.  I’ll give you three reasons why.  Three reasons why we should not only avoid pornography but also seek to combat it and kill it where it exists in our lives.


First and most importantly, it defeats the purpose for which we were placed on this earth.  We were put on this earth to glorify God and enjoy him forever.  We were not put on this earth for our own pleasure and to be enslaved to our sexual lusts.  God put us here for himself and for his glory and his will is that we would enjoy him.  The way we do that is through Jesus Christ.  Pornography defeats this good purpose of God.


Second, and closely related, is the fact that slavery to pornography is spiritual suicide.  Any one who has been enslaved to pornography knows that it kills you from within.  It deadens your soul and makes it difficult if not impossible to have a meaningful relationship with God. Your prayers become superficial and meaningless, if there is any prayer at all.  The guilt is overwhelming and the only way to get rid of it is to silence your conscience.  The way you silence your conscience is by avoiding the Word of God – which is the very thing that can save you.  Don’t kid yourself:  slavery to porn is spiritual suicide.  Proverbs 7 hits the nail on the head when it warns against lust.  What it says there about the adulterous woman can also be said about pornography:  “Her house is a highway to hell, leading down to the chambers of death.”  Pornography is a highway to hell.  That is no exaggeration.  Brothers and sisters, avoid it if you can.  If you’ve already been trapped, commit yourself to warfare against it or perhaps recommit yourself.  As someone once said, if you’re not committed to killing sin in your life, it will kill you.  That goes for any sin, not just for pornography and lust.  This is a holy war.    


Third, pornography destroys marriages and families.  There is a line that young people who use pornography tell themselves:  “When I get married, then I won’t need pornography anymore.”  Guess what?  You get married, and pornography doesn’t go away.  It does not go away.  It’s a lie.  Marriage does not solve the porn problem.  Unless you do something about it, pornography will continue to be there and it will erode and eventually destroy the intimacy in your marriage.  Then some people get the idea that pornography can help the intimacy in their marriage.  So they introduce their spouse to it.  It seems to make things spicier for a while.  But in the end, it drives a wedge between husband and wife and they begin to resent each other or worse.  Pornography will not make your marriage better.  It will destroy your marriage, guaranteed.  Then we tell ourselves, “When children come along, then I’ll deal with this problem.”  Children do not solve the pornography problem either.  In fact, quite likely, you’ll pass the problem on to them.  Children can smell hypocrisy from a hundred miles away.  Your problem will become their problem and you could potentially destroy them spiritually.  Your children will be distant from you and they will not respect you or love you.  And worse, they could turn their backs on Christ because of you.  Woe to those who make little ones stumble!  Better to have a millstone hung around their neck....!   


Loved ones, we could add many more reasons, but those are three good reasons why pornography needs to be hated, avoided, combatted and killed in our lives.  But now you say, “Okay Pastor, you’ve made your case, now how do we go about this?  I’ve got a problem with porn, how do I deal with it?”


There is a lot that could be said there too, but I’m only going to mention two things that you need to do.  Only two things.  If you have a problem with pornography, you need to do these two things today.  Not tomorrow.  Today.  You have to strike while the iron is hot.  I beg you, plead with you, admonish you:  please go home and do these two things as soon as you can.


The first thing you have to do is get on your computer and go to a website.  The website is Covenant Eyes,  That website has various resources to help you.   It will show you how Christ delivers from sin in practical terms.


The second thing you have to do and do right away is install a filter on your computer.  In Matthew 5, the Lord Jesus spoke of cutting off anything that causes us to sin.  One way of doing that is by having an internet filter on your computer.  Every single home that has a computer with access to the Internet must have a filter installed.  Brothers and sisters, you need to have this.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it.  And once you have a filter, you need to have it set up properly.  Someone else needs to have the password, not you.  You may need to have it set up to restrict internet access at certain times.  You may need to enter in certain key words that trip you up or certain web sites or search engines that lead you astray.  Whatever it takes, you need to put yourself on as short a leash as you can.  Cut off the thing that causes you to sin.  And if you want a suggestion for a filter, K9 Web Protection is free, and it allows you to restrict internet access in the ways I was just describing.


So, loved ones, if you’re struggling with pornography, you know what you need to do and you know when you need to do it:  right away. But again, above all, let’s remember the gospel and fix our eyes on Christ.  In him, we are pure and chaste in God’s eyes.  We have his Holy Spirit living in us, and he will give us help and strength.  We are so richly blessed with the gospel.  Through Christ we have peace with God.  But it is a peace which starts a war.  The normal Christian life is for the believer to be at war with sin.  Christians are not sinless people, but they are soldiers who declare war on their sin and fight against it.  And you may have been sitting here thinking, well, this whole sermon has been wasted on me because I don’t struggle with pornography or lust.   But brother, sister, you have your own sins don’t you?  I didn’t mention your pet sins, but you have them, we all do.  And you too have to fight against sin and hate it and kill it.  All of us are sinners in need of a Saviour.      


The Lord Jesus wants to take all of us further and deliver us not only from the curse of sin, but also its power.  That’s what sanctification is about:  it’s about seeing the old nature more and more crucified.  It’s about wanting to have that old nature dead and gone, not only in principle, but also in practice.  It is Christ who does that, and it’s to him that we all need to look. 


Let us pray:


Our gracious Father,


We praise you for your lavish grace and mercy in Christ.  We’re grateful for his life of obedience to the seventh commandment and for his satisfaction for all the times that we’ve broken that commandment.  Father, we thank you that all of his righteousness is ours and that the curse of sin has been broken.  Father, we pray that you would also deliver us from the power of sin, especially sin against the seventh commandment.  Please forgive us all our transgressions of your law because of Christ and what he’s done for us.  Please continue working in our lives with your Word and Spirit.  We pray especially for those among us who are enslaved to pornography.  Father, please set these captives free.  Please set them free through our Saviour and through the power of your Spirit.  Please do it for their sakes, for the sakes of their families and marriages, but above all for the glory of your great Name.  Help us all to hate sin and fight against it.  Please forgive our every sin and weakness and hear our prayer in Christ’s name, AMEN.                           

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Dr. Wes Bredenhof, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.

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