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Determine Not To Sin (Job 31:1)

Updated: Jan 1, 2020

Sermon on 22 September 2019 by Brother Gaius

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

This message was difficult to prepare. To be honest, I am still sinning. It is a difficult topic, but I believe God is preparing me as well. When I saw the verse, I was reminded of my youth. It was a sin that was with me for a certain period of time. It doesn’t mean that if I passed my test, the sin would never come back again. King David also committed this sin despite being so close to God. This also applies to all of us. We shouldn’t take it for granted that if we passed a test, it would never come back. We must always be alert and be on guard. We must listen to God so we can be more like Jesus in our time on Earth.

What is sin? When did sin started?  Right at the beginning of the Bible, God told Adam and Eve not to eat the forbidden fruit. However, Eve ate it. That was the first time sin entered the lives of humans. Is sin eating something that’s tempting? No, it is not about eating the fruit or something we do that causes us to sin. Sin is disobeying God. If God asks me not to go left, but I continue going left, that is a sin. I’m like many of you with children. They ask me why they’re not supposed to do something. I reply that their role as my child is to listen and obey and don’t ask why. Since young, I wasn’t very obedient. I enjoyed testing water and see how far I can go. Hence, God had to allow some challenges to come into my life and allow me to realise why I shouldn’t do something. Following God is the best will for us. Sometimes, you don’t understand now but when you grow up, you will understand. Whatever God tells us not to do but we do is a sin.

Genesis 3:6-7 - “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”

In Verse 7, at that moment they ate the fruit, sin entered. When we sin, we feel embarrassed and uncomfortable because the Holy Spirit is convicting us, telling us that we are not doing things right. My students ask me if they’re allowed to watch dirty things. I reply if they think that it’s right, they would watch it openly in front of everyone but they watch it in an enclosed room alone.

1 Samuel 15:22-23 - “So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”

Sister Liling mentioned that it is important to obey and sacrifice. We can claim to sacrifice many things to God, but if we didn’t obey God, all of those comes to zero. What God wants is obedience, not how much we can do. When we are serving God, we shouldn’t use it as a transaction. In our daily walk, have we been obedient to the slightest thing? We can do everything and obey but don’t submit to what God gives to us. Fat is good and when we offer fat of rams, it is the best offering to God. However, submission is the best offering you can give to God. When we don’t listen, we commit big sins. When we sin, we cannot have communion with the Lord. He is light that cannot be darkness. At the moment when Jesus cried out my God, my God, God couldn’t be near Jesus as Jesus bore all our sins on the Cross. Obedience is truly better than sacrifice.

John 14:15 - “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

John 15:14 - “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”

We’ve been often reminded by Pastor Justin that if we say we love God, we will obey His commands. When we do that, there is a relationship with God. Sin is not obeying God. Love God by obeying Him. The true mark of us loving Him can be seen by the fruits of God. I would like to encourage everyone to obey God if we love Him. Read the Bible and we will understand.

Galatians 5:19-21 - “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

I would have committed many of those sins when I was younger. The desires of sinful nature are about our sexual sins. God knows very well that this is one big sin that many of us struggle in in different parts of our life. It is something of importance that we must acknowledge and know what we have to do with it. If I still have outbursts of anger, I will not inherit the kingdom of God. If these applies to us, I pray that God will use this opportunity to bring us back to Him.

Back to Job 31:1,

He knows that lust is a sin. He is determined not to look at a young woman lustfully.

Who is Job?

Job 1:1-3 - “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.”

This is also what God says about him. He seems like a perfect man, feared God and stayed away from devil. He doesn’t want to commit sin. Job is very successful person and had a very large possession. He was blameless and perfect with complete integrity. He was greatly blessed and that was the reason why the devil challenged God to remove his possessions and see if he still obeyed God. God knew that Job could take the test and allowed the challenge to be upon him. Why does God allow? He has His biggest purpose because He wants our faith to be strong in Him. God is a giver of good things but when things are bad, it doesn’t come from Him. Instead, He allows it to happen. Many times, we don’t understand God. There are many human questions but God answers in His own great way.

Job’s possessions were suddenly all gone and his all his 10 children died within a day. How would we feel if we were him? After he lost his possession, he contracted sickness. He was being tormented. What the devil wants to do is to make Job curse God. However, he didn’t curse God nor sin. His three friends came to see him and saw his plight. They felt sad for him. They sat there with Job for 7 days and night in silence. Until the seventh day, Job started to speak, saying illogical things. God only gives good things, and God doesn’t take away good things. When humans are tormented, they start to doubt God. His first friend said he must have done something wrong for this to happen. His second friend said he did something wrong and needs to repent. His third friend came and told him once again he did something wrong and he must repent. However, Job said he never did anything wrong. The debate happened 8 times. Instead of giving support, his friends didn’t give comfort to Job. That’s why, he made that statement (Job 31:1).

Job 31:7-8 - “If my step has turned from the way, Or my heart walked after my eyes, Or if any spot adheres to my hands, Then let me sow, and another eat; Yes, let my harvest be rooted out.”

Job 31:9-10 - “If my heart has been enticed by a woman, Or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door, Then let my wife grind for another, And let others bow down over her.”

For us to say such a covenant, it says a lot about our faith. That is how strong in faith Job was.

Job 31:11-12 - “For that would be wickedness; Yes, it would be iniquity deserving of judgment. For that would be a fire that consumes to destruction, And would root out all my increase.”

If we have this lust and continuing it, it is a fire that burns all the way to hell. He knows how dangerous the sin is. The sin continues to live in our current times. Why is this lust such a big sin? Why must we not lust? If we lust, we betray the union between Husband and Wife.

Genesis 2:24 (KJV) - “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

This is the meaning of marriage. In today’s world, we have belittled this union. It is a matter of choice. This is a subtle sin the devil has put in our minds. Marriage is sanctified by God and we shouldn’t take it lightly. Partners have said vows and if they decide to go separate ways, they have broken a vow. If a person can break a vow on a person you loved so much, what other vows can that person break? How trustworthy can he be, especially to God? When we go through water baptism, we take a vow. When we keep the vow, God blesses us.

Ephesians 5:31-33 - “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

1 Corinthians 6:15-17 - “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”

Matthew 5:27-30 - “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

1 John 2:15-16 - “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”

Marriage is equivalent to the relationship between Christ and the church. If we can divorce our partner, it means that we can divorce Christ. If we have a relationship outside of our marriage, we become one flesh with another person. If we leave Jesus and worship other idols, we become one with the other idols. God is a jealous God. He sacrificed His life for us. When we are with God, we are one with Him. We can’t look at anyone without thinking they are pretty or handsome. However, they shouldn’t remain in our minds because it is lust. When you are angry, don’t let it stay in your heart. Don’t let the devil enter your heart. If you see something lustful, see it and walk away. The devil is not as crafty as what we think. He always uses the same tactic to attack us through our pride.

What should we do then?  We should flee and forget. Running away is not easy. Sexual immorality is a sin about your own body. We are bought by God for a high price so we should honour it. Before you watch something dirty, always be reminded that Jesus is beside you. If we leave our hearts empty, the same evil spirit will come back and fill us. There are many sexual sins happening in our society. We are seeing more and more of such perverted news. God has already foretold that such a time will come. If you’re not careful, it will overcome us.

Genesis 39:10-12 - “So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.”

1 Corinthians 6:18-19 - “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

Matthew 12:43-45 - “When an unclean spirit out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Luke 11:24-26 - “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

Don’t leave our minds empty. Fill them with good things and things of the Lord. Don’t keep thinking of a pretty lady that walked past you. Once we get angry, make amends and reconcile. Don’t fill yourself with anger and sleep with anger. God wants us to forget it.

Psalms 1:2 - “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.”

Romans 13:13-14 - “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

When we talk to people, we usually end up gossiping. These conversations don’t only happen out of church but sometimes in the Unity Corner. When someone tells us something that seems to be going downhill, start talking about something good. Every time we start service, we say God be with you. Even if a good looking person walks past us, we will be in peace. This happens when we fill our heart with things of God.

2 Timothy 2:21-22 - “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

Philippians 4:7-8 - “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

How do we determine and follow to the end?

Ephesians 6:11 - “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

1 Peter 5:8-9 - “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

Do what Joseph did. Flee temptations and stand firm. Don’t let our heart waver. If you have difficulty controlling your anger, there are also believers struggling too. You are not alone. We build one another up and encourage each other in love.


Flee & Forget

James 4:7 - “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

We must always be humble as only God is great. Whenever we are faced with temptations, it may be because we are proud. If we are humble, God will always keep us in His grace. In His grace, we are able to overcome.

Fill & Follow

Galatians 5:16-18 - “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 - “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

Galatians 5:24-26 - “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

It is not about our might. When we follow the Holy Spirit, these temptations will not be able to tempt us. Most importantly, we must be humble. Pastor Justin says we come into this church to move in and move out, not to join the world but to bring others to Christ. Let us continue loving each other. We are not to talk to each other in a proud manner but in a gentle and loving manner. We need to bring people back to Christ and not pull them down. Jesus walked a humiliating path to the Cross to bear our sins. We should follow after His will and encourage one another. This is a very difficult sin to take off but it can come back anytime when we are proud. Everything in our lives is done to glorify Him.


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