Reformation Day

500 years ago today an Augustinian monk nailed a document to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.  That action ignited what has come to be known as the Protestant Reformation, and the date came to be referred to as Reformation Day.  One of my favorite quotes from Luther is:

“So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: “I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it?  For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf.  His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!”
(Martin Luther)

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A Covenant with My Eyes

“I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?
(Job 31:1, ESV)

I have made a solemn promise never to look with lust at a woman.
(Job 31:1, GNB)

In the 18th-century John Gill, in his Exposition on the Scriptures, wrote about this verse:  “(Job made a covenant)…. Not to look upon a woman, and wantonly gaze at her beauty, lest his heart should be drawn thereby to lust after her; for the eyes are inlets to many sins …. both in bad men and good men …. Job …. entered into a solemn engagement  …. made a resolution in the strength of divine grace, not to employ his eyes in looking on objects that might ensnare his heart, and lead him to …. sin; he made use of all ways and means, and took every precaution to guard against it …. to …. turn his eyes from beholding what might be alluring and enticing to him …. he made a covenant with his eyes, to prevent any impure thoughts, desires, and inclinations in him; for the eye affects the heart, and stirs up lust in it …. the thought of sin is sin (as Jesus taught in Matthew 5:27-30 and 15:19) and (Job) had the same notion of lust in the heart being fornication and adultery as he (Jesus) had …. good men are not without temptation to sin …. and therefore should carefully shun all appearances of evil …. and take every necessary precaution to guard against it.

Job’s commitment to moral purity is an example worthy of being followed (by both men and women). However, in the twenty-first century, the Internet offers us unprecedented access to material that can arouse lust.  I firmly believe in the roles of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God,  and prayer in resisting temptation, but I also agree with Gill that we should take every precaution to guard against sin.  An important precaution that I use in my own life to guard against Internet temptations is Covenant Eyes, an Internet accountability and filtering service.  I encourage you to check out this program.  If you are interested in signing up you can receive a free 30-day trial at  https://covenanteyes.com/signup/?promocode=DY7.  You can learn more at the Covenant Eyes homepage or my Internet Safety page.

God Desires Holiness

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:
that you should avoid sexual immorality;
that each of you should learn to control his own body
in a way that is holy and honorable,
not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother
or take advantage of him.
The Lord will punish men for all such sins,
as we have already told you and warned you.
For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

(1 Thessalonians 4:3–7, NIV84)