Murder and Adultery

These two appear side by side among the Ten Commandments:

  • You shall not murder.
  • You shall not commit adultery.

Also, they are often spoken in the same breath when found elsewhere in Scripture.  This is understandable because breaking one often leads to breaking the other.

Recall that after King David had committed adultery with Bathsheba, he had her husband killed to cover up the adultery.  Similarly, people today often seek abortion as a means to cover up adultery.  Where adultery is found, murder may not be far away.

None of this is to say that these two commandments are always broken in tandem, but simply that in human experience they often have something to do with each other.  Understanding this, we can also recognize that divorce is the murder of a marriage.

As abortion is a form of murder than can be used to cover up adultery, so “transgenderism” is a form of murder that is also a form of adultery.  A man who seeks to become a woman adulterates his marriage, whether present or future.  He also murders himself so that he may become something else.  He is committing suicide so that a “she” might take his place.

No “transgender” person fully realizes he is breaking God’s commandments – else he wouldn’t do it!  A “transgender” person is deeply confused and is rebelling against reality.  But reality cannot be successfully rebelled against.  It will always win any debate, no matter how vigorously that debate is waged or how long it goes on.

The matter of gender is simple.  Jesus said that we are created male and female.  Keeping this straight, among other benefits, insures the survival of the human race.  Now, no baby comes into this world knowing his or her gender.  It the responsibility of adults to keep track of the matter and – in due time, as necessary – to explain it to the child.  When adults refuse to do their duty, the child can become subject to confusion and depression.  In that confusion – whether as a child or an adult – they can commit adultery against themselves and simultaneously commit murder against themselves by trying to become something they are not and can never be.  Adults who affirm the delusions of “transgenderism” become unwitting accomplices to the unwitting adultery and unwitting suicide.  No one involved consciously intends the destruction – but it is destruction nonetheless.

The deep depression usually found in a person who seeks to change his gender deserves our respect and our compassion.  Compassion gently helps a person back to reality – it does not confirm and support a person’s self-destructive thought patterns.  The strong should help the weak – not become like the weak.  The clear-headed should help the confused – not join in the confusion.

Rejection of Jesus Christ and His commandments leads to moral incoherence, and, if pursued long enough, to moral insanity.  This is where we in 21st-century American society have found ourselves.  The way back is a returning to Jesus our Lord and His commandments.  For to call Him Lord while ignoring His commandments is to make the word “Lord” meaningless, subjecting ourselves to even more confusion.

Where moral confusion abounds, murder and adultery find many outlets.

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OT483 – Psalm 5

Reading the Old Testament with Jesus in Mind: Job through Song of Solomon (podcast)

There is an app that will allow you to automatically download this daily podcast to practically any smartphone.  Just go to your smartphone’s app store and search on “mike gantt.”

Suggestion:  If you are not already familiar with the New Testament, I would not advise you to listen to this podcast at this time.  First, get your grounding in the New Testament.  You can begin with one of these Bible Reading Plans which are focused on Jesus.  You can also listen to my podcast series Reading Through the New Testament a Chapter a Day (SCNT).  The Old Testament needs to be understood in the light of the New Testament; this is what Jesus taught us.  Therefore, we today read and understand the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament.

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Winner or Loser?

In the eyes of the world, Jesus of Nazareth was a loser.  Big-time.

This first-century Jew died with his reputation in tatters.  It’s not just that he died by crucifixion – which was a public shaming; it’s that he had had substantial earthly success within his grasp and had let it go.

Jesus had followers – so many that his rivals were provoked to intense jealousy.  He could have been king of his country, with all the honor and privileges that go along with such status.  Yet he turned down that throne and accepted the fate of a public enemy: humiliation and suffering by scourging and crucifixion.

Loser.

The world thought they had rid themselves of this loser…but He rose from the dead to immeasurable and everlasting glory.  Things turned out this way because in the eyes of God He was something quite different from what the world had considered him to be.

What we are in the eyes of the other people is fleeting, incomplete, and sometimes completely wrong.  What we are in the eyes of God is reality.  And it is reality that will be remembered and revered in the halls of eternity where we will all live.

Let God decide whether you are a winner or loser.  The world has a poor track record in such matters.

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OT482 – Psalm 4

Reading the Old Testament with Jesus in Mind: Job through Song of Solomon (podcast)

There is an app that will allow you to automatically download this daily podcast to practically any smartphone.  Just go to your smartphone’s app store and search on “mike gantt.”

Suggestion:  If you are not already familiar with the New Testament, I would not advise you to listen to this podcast at this time.  First, get your grounding in the New Testament.  You can begin with one of these Bible Reading Plans which are focused on Jesus.  You can also listen to my podcast series Reading Through the New Testament a Chapter a Day (SCNT).  The Old Testament needs to be understood in the light of the New Testament; this is what Jesus taught us.  Therefore, we today read and understand the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament.

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The Possibility of Keeping His Commandments

It is critical that we keep God’s commandments.  However, it is impossible to keep them…if we do not have faith.

What is faith?  It is the assurance that Jesus sees everything – the conviction that nothing escapes His notice.

Without that assurance, you will not be able to find the strength to consistently do His will.  With that assurance, His strength will be yours.  Keeping His commandments will be the delight of your heart.

Therefore, strengthen your faith that you might keep His commandments.

Faith is not an alternative to keeping His commandments; it is a path to keeping His commandments.

Posted in Obeying Him | 1 Comment

OT481 – Psalm 3

Reading the Old Testament with Jesus in Mind: Job through Song of Solomon (podcast)

There is an app that will allow you to automatically download this daily podcast to practically any smartphone.  Just go to your smartphone’s app store and search on “mike gantt.”

Suggestion:  If you are not already familiar with the New Testament, I would not advise you to listen to this podcast at this time.  First, get your grounding in the New Testament.  You can begin with one of these Bible Reading Plans which are focused on Jesus.  You can also listen to my podcast series Reading Through the New Testament a Chapter a Day (SCNT).  The Old Testament needs to be understood in the light of the New Testament; this is what Jesus taught us.  Therefore, we today read and understand the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament.

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Living for Self or Living for Him

Each day, we have the opportunity to live for ourselves or live for Him.  We make a lifelong decision to serve Him, but we have the opportunity each and every day to renege on that commitment. That is the temptation – the snare – we seek to avoid.  But it is so easy to fall into it.

Before Christ,

  • I was a man…to seek my own dreams in life.
  • I was a husband…to make my life better.
  • I was a father…for what it would do for me.
  • I was a worker…for how I could further my career.

Since Christ,

  • I am a man…to seek the fulfillment of His dreams.
  • I am a husband…to make my wife’s life better.
  • I am a father…for what it will do for my children.
  • I am a worker…to further His purposes in my workplace.

It is so easy to fall back into that “before Christ” way of thinking.  We must form new habits of mind; we must constantly reinforce them.

Before Christ, we lived for ourselves.  Maybe we didn’t even consider ourselves all that selfish.  Still, we were in it for ourselves.  The life lived for Christ must truly be for Him.  The day before us is His day, to do His will, to advance His agenda.

It’s a totally different way of living.  This must be our declaration:  Today, I will be a man, a husband, a father, a worker to serve His interests and not my own.  (Translate to your own circumstances.)

This is what it means to “take up our cross daily and follow Him” (Luke 9:23).  Your old life is under a death sentence anyway; live today for His purposes!  (His commandments, as I wrote yesterday, will help you do that.)

…so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
–  1 Peter 4:1-2

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OT480 – Psalm 2

Reading the Old Testament with Jesus in Mind: Job through Song of Solomon (podcast)

There is an app that will allow you to automatically download this daily podcast to practically any smartphone.  Just go to your smartphone’s app store and search on “mike gantt.”

Suggestion:  If you are not already familiar with the New Testament, I would not advise you to listen to this podcast at this time.  First, get your grounding in the New Testament.  You can begin with one of these Bible Reading Plans which are focused on Jesus.  You can also listen to my podcast series Reading Through the New Testament a Chapter a Day (SCNT).  The Old Testament needs to be understood in the light of the New Testament; this is what Jesus taught us.  Therefore, we today read and understand the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament.

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To Understand Love, Understand God’s Commandments

I wrote yesterday (Understanding the Structure of God’s Commandments) that when Jesus told us to love one another, He was not eliminating or replacing the Ten Commandments.  Rather, He was explaining them.

His servant Paul made the point this way (quotations from the Old Testament are rendered in all capital letters):

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.  For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
–  Romans 13:8-10 [bold emphasis added]

Thus “love your neighbor as yourself” is a summary (“is summed up”) of God’s other commandments for human relations.

If you are adding numbers to achieve a sum, does it change the sum if you eliminate one of the numbers being added?  Of course.  Likewise, if you remove one or more of the commandments being summarized, you alter the meaning of the summary.

James, another servant of Jesus, explained it this way:

If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.  But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.  For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.  For He who said, “DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” also said, “DO NOT COMMIT MURDER.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
–  James 2:8-11

James is showing how removing one of God’s commandments from the mix changes the mix.  That is, remove one or more of God’s commandments that are summarized as love, and you no longer have love as God has defined it.

Those who seek to justify perversions of marriage – such as “same-sex marriage” and unilateral divorce-on-demand – on the basis that “love is love” and “all love is equal” and “ending an acrimonious marriage is more loving to the children” are simply redefining the word “love” to suit their own selfish purposes.

If you want to understand what Jesus meant when He told us to love, seek to understand and obey the commandments that add up to love.

Posted in Obeying Him | 1 Comment

OT479 – Psalm 1

Reading the Old Testament with Jesus in Mind: Job through Song of Solomon (podcast)

There is an app that will allow you to automatically download this daily podcast to practically any smartphone.  Just go to your smartphone’s app store and search on “mike gantt.”

Suggestion:  If you are not already familiar with the New Testament, I would not advise you to listen to this podcast at this time.  First, get your grounding in the New Testament.  You can begin with one of these Bible Reading Plans which are focused on Jesus.  You can also listen to my podcast series Reading Through the New Testament a Chapter a Day (SCNT).  The Old Testament needs to be understood in the light of the New Testament; this is what Jesus taught us.  Therefore, we today read and understand the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament.

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