Today on Summit Life, J.D.
Greer addresses a common struggle. The only way to overcome sexual urges is not by learning to love them less, but by learning to love God more. It's when the passion that you feel for God and his plan is greater than the thrill that sin can give you. That's when the power of sin is broken in your life. Welcome to Summit Life with pastor, author, and teacher, J.D.
Greer. I'm your host, Molly Vidovitch. We're in a series on the life of King David called Search for a King, and today we're dealing with an uncomfortable but important topic, sexual sin. If there's one area where almost everyone has regrets, it's this one. But as we'll discover, even in David's greatest failure, God was painting a picture of the redemption available with the coming Savior. If you want to learn more about this ministry, or if you'd like to get your copy of He is Here, 25 Devotions for Advent, visit us at jdgreer.com or call 866-335-5220.
But right now, let's get back into our teaching we began yesterday. Here's Pastor J.D. Sexual sin, as you probably know, has brought down some of the strongest and the very best of people. Second Samuel chapter 11, we're going to walk through the story. We're going to begin in verse one. In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel out to battle, but David remained at Jerusalem. David the warrior has become David the vacationer, and his lack of engagement makes him susceptible to cheap thrills.
You all write this down. The way to successfully resist the enticements of this world is to be busy with a higher purpose. Verse two, it happened, so it happened that late one afternoon when David arose from the couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman who was bathing, and the woman was very beautiful. David was in a place where he could be tempted. He's walking on the roof. He's doing the Old Testament version of browsing the internet alone late at night. One thing leads to another, and then he sleeps with her.
Write this down too. It's easier to avoid temptation than it is to resist sin. The implication, what you walk away with here is avoid temptation, because it's easier to avoid temptation than to resist sin.
For girls, and now comes the most unpopular part of the message, I will acknowledge that up front, the application is quit wanting your body to be noticed. Yes, girls, I know it's our fault if we strike the match to light the fire of our lust, but for God's sake, you don't have to pile twigs at our feet and douse them in gasoline, okay? You can help us. We still friends? We all still friends here? We good?
We good? It is easier to avoid temptation than it is to resist sin. That's my point. Verse three, and David sent and inquired about the woman, and once said, is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? Why are there phrases in there?
Why are there random kind of like, oh, here's a genealogy, because the author's trying to point out to you this is somebody's daughter, somebody's wife, somebody's mother. Let me keep reading here. Then she returned to her house, and the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, I'm pregnant. And out starts a pretty complicated, somewhat ingenious cover-up, and David sends word to Joab and says, put your eye in the very front of the battle, and when you charge the line, have everybody pull back and start to tie their shoe and leave them out there all by himself, and then he'll get killed. And then he writes that on a note, seals it up, puts it in Uriah's hand, and has Uriah carry it back to the battle. Uriah carries his own death warrant back to Joab with no idea what it says. Joab opens it, follows the instructions, and Uriah is killed. Well, after Uriah dies, David takes Bathsheba for his wife and takes her into his house. She bears a son, and everybody assumes that she got pregnant on her honeymoon.
They start making jokes about, ha ha, you didn't wait long, blah, blah, blah. And David rushes this whole thing under the rug. And that's almost how chapter 11 ends, as if he got away with it.
He brushes it under the rug, and it's done. But the last verse in the chapter are these chilling words, verse 27, but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord. That's a bad way to end the chapter.
Chapter 11 marks a turning point in David's life. His family starts to fall apart. His newborn son dies. Later, his firstborn son will die after having slept with one of his daughters.
Another one of his sons leads a rebellion against him, and he dies. Five things I want you to have gleaned from this story. I would encourage you to write these down. Number one, sin can destroy your life.
I want you to understand, because I realize that there are some of you that are here this weekend, I don't know many of your stories, but I know that in a room this size, there are some of you here this weekend that are on the brink of disaster. And maybe, just maybe, God sent you here because I am supposed to give you a message that sin will destroy your life. You have an enemy that wants to take everything good that God wants to give you.
Can God make all things new? Of course he can, but sin kills. It kills. That's why the Puritan John Owen said, be killing sin or it will be killing you. One of those two things has always happened, and you're killing sin or it's killing you. Number two, you should be actively engaged in God's plan. Number two, you should be actively engaged in God's plan. That's how you avoid the sins that grow out of boredom. Again, many of you are susceptible to the sexual sin because your life has no higher meaning. You get this big void right in the middle of your life that comes from not being in right relationship to God. So I can stand up here all I want and say, don't commit adultery, but it isn't going to change anything because God is in the wrong place in your life.
That's what the problem is. Let me give you a couple of things to write down. A, only a vision for what God wants to do in your life will give you a sense of purpose strong enough to free you from the boredom that leads to sin.
Was that kind of fast? That's why I put it on the screen, okay. Only a vision for what God wants to do in your life will give you a sense of purpose strong enough to free you from the boredom that leads to sin.
I'm going to give you a B. Don't worry about it. I'll come back to both of them, and then we'll talk about both of them. Only a vision of what God has done for you in the gospel will keep you from giving your body away like it's a piece of trash. Only a vision of what God has done for you in the gospel will keep you from giving your body away like it's a piece of trash.
Let me go back to those one at a time. I want you to get a vision for the great stuff God is doing in you and wants to do through you. There are people, all of you, that God wants you to impact. Your children, your future children, your children's children.
There are people who the only way they will ever hear about or know about God is through or know about God is through you. You're going to throw all of it away. But I don't know what the plan is. Maybe if I knew God's plan for my life I wouldn't be all caught up in boredom and pointless. Well, maybe that's why you're here today because maybe it is time for you to start discovering that plan and having the kind of life that God intends for you to have so you're not driven out of boredom into a life of materialism and sexual sin. Men, you need to realize that your addiction to pornography is going to keep you from having a great marriage.
Even you guys, by the way, who are not married yet, I'm saying your problem with pornography now in college is going to keep you from ever being able to be intimate with a woman in the right kind of way. To keep you from becoming a respectable leader is going to keep you from being used by God because God cannot abide where sexual sin is fantasized about. God's power cannot flow through a body that is yielded constantly to sin. You cannot charge hell with your pants down around your ankles.
Put up B. See, for those of you whose sexual sins in the past make you feel worthless, you see, sexual sin has this vicious cycle to it. What happens is you commit sexual sin and that makes you feel like a piece of trash, like you feel worthless, and that causes you to give your body away even more because it's not worth anything anyway.
Right? I want you to get a vision for the gospel and I want you to see that Christ has purchased you with his blood, the universe's most valuable possession, and washed you and remade you in his image because that'll break that power of despair and it'll recreate your future. Here's number three, flea temptation. Flea temptation, I just can't say this one enough, it is easier to avoid temptation than it is to resist sin. It's time for some of you to take this seriously and to get whatever help you need. Gunning Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a martyr back in World War II, German, wrote this book called Temptation and in that he has a paragraph that I think perfectly describes my own path to temptation.
Listen, this is worth hearing. He says, quote, in our members there is a slumbering inclination toward desire which is both sudden and fierce, with irresistible power desire seizes mastery of the flesh all at once. A secret smoldering flame or fire is kindled.
The flesh burns and is in flames. In this moment God becomes quite unreal to us. Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God but with a forgetfulness of God. The lust thus aroused envelops the mind and the will in deepest darkness. It is here that everything in me rises up against the word of God. Anybody else been on this path?
You know what I'm talking about? Everything in you rises up and you just forget God altogether and resist the word of God. Therefore, look, therefore the Bible teaches that in times of temptation to our flesh there is one command, flee, flee youthful lust, flee worldly temptation. If you're feeling under pressure and on the verge of something, an emotion is dwelling up within you, what does the Bible say?
Run. No human being has within them the strength to resist such overpowering emotions. It's easier to avoid temptation than it is to resist sin. This is Summit Life with Pastor JD Greer. We'll return for the conclusion of this week's teaching in just a moment, but I wanted to remind you about our featured resource this month. For the past 10 years, Chris Pappalardo has been helping Pastor JD hone his ideas and his words, making them clearer and more compelling. He has truly been a gift to our church. And now through the devotional book, He Is Here, his writing can be a gift to you. Through these devotionals, you'll see how central God's presence is, not only at Christmas, but throughout the entire story of the Bible. God isn't distant and God isn't absent. God is here. And by Christmas morning and probably well before, you will be worshiping God in a fresh way this season. We'd like to encourage you to reserve your copy right now by calling 866-335-5220, or visit us online at jdgreer.com. Now let's finish up our teaching here on Summit Life.
Here's Pastor JD Greer. Listen, let me say something that some of you, I know you all think it's crazy. It's why I won't go out with girls who aren't my wife. I won't go to lunch with them. I don't hang out with them. You want to know why? A really simple theory that I developed years ago, and that is if I was never alone with a girl, I could never have sex with her.
How brilliant is that? You're like, what's wrong with you, man? Can you just not just handle like a social, you know, lunch and a social? Yeah, I can handle it probably, but I don't play Russian roulette with my family. I don't leave loaded guns lying around, you know, in my house where my kids might pick up and shoot each other. I don't let a rabid dog run around my house that might bite my children. There's something, the stakes are too high to even play with. This is one of them for me. There are some things it's just worth saying, I don't even want to pick up that gun.
I don't want to pick it up because I couldn't handle it if it went off. It never starts, you realize this, it never starts with the moment of sin. It starts with being on the roof. You understand that?
Stay off the roof. Number four, most important point, be captivated by God's beauty. Number four, be captivated by God's beauty. David was seduced by Bathsheba's beauty because he was not captivated by God's. David was seduced by Bathsheba's beauty because he was not captivated by God's. In fact, in the next chapter, if you flip over one page, chapter 12, God says to David, verse 10, look at it, the problem David with all this is that you despised me.
See that? Now despise, like David was like, I hate you God. No, David never said that. No, despise means that he loved the pleasure of Bathsheba more than he loved God. So he was willing to trade in God, trample on God's glory in the dust, forsake God's plan all to get the pleasure of a night with Bathsheba. That is despising God in the same way that a man with three little kids who comes home to his wife and family and tells them that he's leaving all them for his secretary despises his family. It's not that he started to hate them, it's just that he despised them in the sense that he didn't love them enough to turn down temptation for them.
So he trades them in for a relationship with this woman that is despising them. David despised God by being willing to separate himself from God to get a night of pleasure. What that means, listen, what that means is that the way you can avoid sin is to increase your delight in God to the point that you love him more than you do sin.
Write this down. You will only really be free from sin when the pain of what you'll lose is greater in your heart than the thrill you'd receive. You'll only really be free from sin when the pain of what you'll lose is greater in your heart than the thrill that you'd receive. You see, a lot of people are going about trying to conquer their lust in entirely the wrong ways. They think they can overcome their lust by lessening it, by taming it, by dampening it, or bringing it under control.
No, that's not true. The only way to overcome sexual urges is not by learning to love them less, but by learning to love God more. It's when the passion that you feel for God and his plan is greater than the thrill that sin can give you. That's when the power of sin is broken in your life. It's not when you become less human, like you become less sexual and less tempted. God is never about you becoming less human. What happens is those desires, as strong as they are, are brought into captivity by an even greater desire.
Here's the example I always use. If you've been at our church, you've heard me give this, but for the sake of people that haven't been here, this is how I think about it. I tell college student guys all the time that they could turn their sexual desire on and off like a light switch, and when I tell them that, they never believe me. I told a group of guys over Christmas this, and they're like, you're crazy.
That's just not possible. And I'm like, no, no, it's great. You can turn your sexual desire on and off like a light switch. They're like, you're old now. You just don't remember what it was like to be in college. You're 37. That makes you old, and therefore, you just don't remember what it's like to be us.
There's no way you can turn it on and off like a light switch. I'm like, yes, you can. I'll prove it to you. So you're with a girl. You're at her house.
You're alone. You're on the couch. You're around first, second base, whatever you all call it now, because I'm not cool anymore, and I don't know. When I was in college, it was called the point of no return, and that meant once you get past that point, when everything in you is on fire and there's no way you could say no if you wanted to. Wherever that point is, you cross that point. I mean, that train has left the station.
You know exactly where this is headed, right? At that point, you feel like there's no possible way you could stop, and in at that moment walks that girl's army ranger father. Boom!
Off like a light switch. Now, what happened in that moment? Was it that all of a sudden you lost all your desire for girls?
No, not at all. It's just that your desire for her in that moment was, remember math class? Less than the fear that you have of her father, and it's not that you quit desiring girls. It's that that desire for her was overpowered by your desire to stay alive.
You tracking? The way that you will overcome sin is when your captivity to God, when the passion you have for who he is and what he is doing in your life, the value that he is to you is so great that it brings all these lesser passions under control. It's not that they dampen or it's not that they lessen. It's that you learn what a treasure God is, and you would never give up something that great just so you could have a cheap thrill. So the way that you learn to bring these less under control is not by loving him less but by loving God more. Now, some of you hear that and you're like, well, great, pastor, how do I increase my love for God?
I mean, I'd love to just press a button and do that. Great question. You learn to love God by seeing more of his beauty. You learn to love God by seeing more of who he is, which is why the most important thing in this passage and every passage of Scripture is not that you learn some techniques that David used. The most important thing in this passage of Scripture and every passage of Scripture is that you see how it points you to the beauty of Christ.
Watch this. Usually, up in this series, up until now, usually it is David that pictures Christ for us, isn't it? When David was a shepherd, he was like Jesus. David was like Jesus when he fought Goliath. David was like Jesus when he forgave Saul. Here, David is not like Jesus.
But there is another. Uriah. Uriah is innocent. Uriah is heroic. Uriah dies in absolute loyalty to David. Uriah won't enjoy pleasure at the expense of his people.
Uriah carries his own death warrant to the battle. Uriah is faithful to the end. And because of his faithfulness, he dies for David's sin against him. Like Jesus. Jesus was loyal to us. Jesus put our needs above his. Jesus carried his own death warrant to the cross. Jesus refused to enjoy the comforts of heaven when we were suffering and dying. He was faithful to us to the end. And because of that faithfulness, he died for our sins against him. But there is one crucial difference between Uriah and Jesus. Uriah had no idea that David had done any of this against him. Jesus did.
And did it anyway. But even, listen, even with that, Uriah gives us a picture of the steadfast love of God, which God had promised David would never depart from him. Yes, David made a bad mistake.
Yes, there would be plenty of bad consequences. But God would never depart from David. And God would ultimately take the death penalty for David's sin. Seeing fat about God is what captivates your heart to the point that you are willing and able and even desirous to say no to sin. Can I tell you make this really clear what the gospel says to your sexual sin?
Can I make this really clear? You and I have made decisions that are not only harmful to our families and shameful, you and I have made decisions that are worthy of our eternal death. But Jesus took the penalty for us. You might have made a devastatingly bad sexual decision which should ruin your life and your eternity, but Jesus has taken the penalty for that. And now, because of that, he specializes in resurrection and repair. That means that even after you've made a mistake like David did, God can heal that and even use it for good in your life and in the life of others.
I know of two, at least two, beautiful stories, three, let's follow another one, three beautiful stories in our church where there has been unfaithfulness that tore apart a marriage and God not only granted forgiveness, God granted healing where that marriage came together stronger and more a demonstration of his grace than it was before. You see, right now maybe some of you are feeling that discouragement in your soul that comes from sexual sin and it is pushing you down into despair. Listen to me, that's not the voice of God. That is not the voice of God that is pushing you into despair. God calls you always, God calls you upward into hope.
In Christ he has given you steadfast, never stopping, never to depart from you kind of love. Jesus went to the cross so he could erase your past and was then raised from the dead so he could recreate your future. The God of the cross can cleanse your past, the God of the resurrection can recreate your future and believing those two truths will fill you with the Holy Spirit which will redefine your present.
He says, I know what you've done. I took the penalty and behold, I can make all things new. If any man or woman is in Christ, they're a new creation.
The old has gone, the new has come and given baby skin. Sexual sin is great, yes. God's grace is greater. Listen, you don't gradually take steps bringing yourself closer to God.
That's not how it works. You all at once embrace the billion steps he took to come close to you of the cross. It's a gift that he offers and when you receive it and you believe it, God in that moment can with his blood wash you and recreate you and redefine you.
It is a gift that you receive. You don't need higher self-esteem, you need Jesus. You need Jesus.
Which leaves me the last thing and I don't have any time at all to give so just for you type A people, you write it down, okay. Here's number five, don't cover up your sample. Proverbs 28 13 says, whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Don't cover up your sin. You understand some of you are here by divine employment. God can heal, he can cleanse, he can recreate.
You have to receive. There's hope even in David's darkest moment because his failures ultimately point us to the cross. That means there's hope for you no matter your darkest moment. Look to the cross to the cross today. This divine appointment with us here on Summit Life might be your greatest victory and if you want to re-listen to or share today's message with a friend or a loved one, you can find it online free of charge by visiting jdgrier.com. Remember today's message is called self-destruction.
So J.D. as we look to this holiday season, we all know that it's important to spend regular time in scripture but why is it especially important at Christmas? Well you're right it is of course important all year long. We love Jesus all year round but I think in this season in particular we can get so distracted with all the commercialization of the holidays that we can forget that this really is a time to reflect on how lost we were and how dark the world was without Jesus and how he really is here and that's what these 25 devotionals do is they walk you through preparing your heart to experience the presence of Jesus.
It gives you some great insight into Old Testament stories showing you how all the Old Testament struggles were pointing you forward to a Savior and a King you could hope in and how your struggles are really pointing you also to the hope that you can only find in Jesus. So I'd invite you to get a copy of this, this 25-day Advent devotional called He Is Here and you can get yours today at jdgrier.com. Give us a call at 866-335-5220 and remember to ask for the book titled He Is Here 25 Devotions for Advent. That number again is 866-335-5220 or you can give and request the book online at jdgrier.com. I'm Molly Vitovich, thanks for being with us.
Today we learned about King David's biggest failure but next week we'll look at David's response to his own sin as we discover the steps of true biblical repentance, maybe his greatest victory. See you next time for Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by J.D. Greer Ministries.
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