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Caging the Beast Within

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2022 12:00 am

Caging the Beast Within

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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July 29, 2022 12:00 am

We are constantly bombarded with images of sexual promiscuity in our modern culture and they come under the title, "sexual expression." But the Bible is clear that sexual sin carries a high price. "Flee youthful lusts," it says . . . and that literally means, "Run for your life!"

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The best way to learn is not by experience, it is by instruction. The best way for you and I to learn that immorality deceives is not by experience, it is by instruction. For some of us involved in immorality, doing things that do not honor God, there may need be intervention. It may be the sermon, it may be a close friend who is warning you.

But for some, the only thing that may ever wake them up is something hardly less than disaster. Exodus 2014 gives us this command, do not commit adultery. Now honestly, that's a notion that many in our culture consider outdated.

In fact, in some ways, impurity is promoted over purity. So this is a unique opportunity for Christians to stand out and shine as lights for the truth of God. This is Wisdom for the Heart with Stephen Davey. We're in a series from our Vintage Wisdom collection through the book of Exodus. Stephen called the lesson you're about to hear, Caging the Beast Within. Proverbs 29 verse 18, it deals with the authority of Scripture and although it does, it's easy to overlook that fact. Verse 18 says this, where there is no vision, the people perish. Where there is no revelation from God, the people perish.

And that perish could be translated as well if you have a numeric standard. The people are without restraint. That's a powerful thought if you take from a congregation, if you take from a society, the authority of declared revelation, if you rob a country of declared truth, people are without restraint. People do anything.

We do anything we care to or desire. It's interesting as we discover ten commands that God has chosen to give to us by way of revelation, you take out, you suck out of our society those ten commandments and you will have a people and a church without restraint. An under attack in our society in this little town is an attack on the authority of Scripture.

There are four fronts on which this battle is fought. Four ways the authority of Scripture is attacked. The first is simply and obviously by public opinion.

Public opinion will attack the authority of Scripture because being without it they can do what they want to do. It's interesting I read a survey, 700 people produce 75% of everything on television which is where the public expels its views. 700 people produce 75% and these people by a national organization were surveyed and they came up with some rather startling facts.

If you wondered why television is what it is, here's why. 84% of them never attend a church or a synagogue or very seldom do. In other words, they are without a revelation from God because they are apart from that propositional truth that is or should be declared. 84% say that government should have no laws regarding moral behavior. 55% say that adultery is perfectly moral. 95% say that homosexuality is not wrong. You remove from public opinion the authority of this book upon which our authority hangs and people become without restraint.

There's another attack however, it isn't just public opinion. It's accommodating theology. There's not just confusion out in our society, there is confusion in the pulpit. There's confusion among people who say that they believe the words of Scripture or believe in God.

But my friend, if you say you believe in God and do not believe in the authority of this book, then you are and I am confused. I would declare the words of John to them as he wrote in the final chapter of this book. Whoever takes away from this book of prophecy, God will take away his part in eternal life. Whoever adds to these words, God will add to him the plagues.

It's pretty strong words. God doesn't want his authority tampered with. Public opinion, accommodating theology, confusion in the pulpit and as a result confusion in the pew. There's another Christian opinion. Often attacks the authority of Scripture. In fact, you just talk to enough Christians and you'll find enough to disagree about. In fact, I've got a plaque hanging in my study.

I love it. It's kind of stuck over in the corner so you don't see it if you first walk in. But it reminds me as I look from my desk to that wall, it says where two or three are gathered in my name, there will be disagreement as to what the Bible teaches.

There's a lot of truth to that. And yet opinion is not our basis for life. It is revelation.

We are to pursue the teachings of Scripture, to discern those teachings and then live by them. Fourth, delayed consequences. Ecclesiastes chapter 8 verse 11 says, because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed swiftly, the hearts of men are given fully to evil. We can fool ourselves and our society can be fooled in thinking that because God's judgment does not fall, then there must not be a judgment at all. Like Robert Ingersoll, the man who used to stand before thousands of people on a stage and take his watch off and he would hold it into the air and he would say, if there is a God, let him strike me dead in 30 seconds.

And then he'd count the time down 29, 28, 27 and the crowd would gasp and he would get down to 10, 9, 8, 7, 3, 2, 1. See, there is no God. It is the delay of consequence that fools people into thinking there is no penalty for sin. And if I violate this book and something doesn't happen to me, it must be all right to violate it.

And so that opinion as well attacks the authority of Scripture. So what do we have today, men and women? We have what one man writes about in a fantastic little book called The Integrity Crisis, Warren Wiersbe. He says, for 1900 years, the church has been telling our world to repent of its sin and to live pure. Today, 1900 years later, the world is looking at the church and saying, repent of your sins and live pure. For 1900 years, the message has been suspect. Today, men and women, the messenger is suspect.

Why? Because there is no longer an authority of Scripture in the home, in the church, in society. God has spoken directly to such things as moral purity. In fact, he selected 10 commands as we've been studying in Exodus chapter 20.

And one of those 10 commands is very specific. Verse 14, you shall not commit adultery, period. Now that's expanded in the New Testament with other verbs or words used in the original language. Moikos for adultery, that is illicit relationships between those who are married and in fornication, as he will tell us in the New Testament and Ephesians and Galatians to flee these works. And he puts side by side another word, porneia, from which we get our word pornography.

It is the Greek word that means or can be translated fornication, that is immorality among unmarried people. So all the way back in the beginning of revelation from God or at least written revelation, we have a declaration toward moral purity. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Now what I want to do is several things. I want us to discover how it invades our lives. And let me say right off the bat that we are all impacted by this potential sin. In fact, according to the New Testament, Jesus Christ says, If you merely look on a woman to lust for her, you commit adultery in your heart. James even expands it further in chapter four, verse four, where he says, You adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? In other words, adultery covers a wide spectrum. We're going to deal primarily with a moral spectrum, but it knocks on the door of every one here. I realize the gravity of this kind of sermon and how it may impact my own life.

Let me talk first of all about how it invades our lives. First, it is the ever present capability in a person's flesh. Galatians chapter five, verse 19 talks about adultery and fornication being the work of the flesh. What I want to do first of all is just lay the simple foundation that we recognize within us lies a beast. The apostle Paul said, Oh, wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of death, this beast within. There was the capability in all of us, ladies and gentlemen, to do heinous crimes against our God. Dr. Howard, a great expositor in Australia, was preaching in his church, and it was his typical approach to call sin, sin. We need more of that today. And an officer of the church approached him and he said, Dr. Howard, don't you understand it by being so specific?

You could cause problems. In fact, let's suggest that you call things not necessarily sin, refer to them as mistakes. And Dr. Howard got out from behind his desk and he said, follow me, sir. And he went down into the basement of his church and into a utility room and he pulled off a shelf, a bottle, and he wiped the dust off it and he showed the man the label. And he said, the label reads obviously here, rat poison.

Dr. Howard said, what you are suggesting is we take this label off and we replace it with one that reads peppermint candy. The point was made to call it anything other than it is actually makes it more dangerous. So let's begin with ourselves and call ourselves what we are in our flesh. The works of the flesh are adultery and fornication. There is a beast within all of us that must be caged.

We're going to work toward that end. The second point, it is an evil creation in a person's mind. Of course, Jesus Christ cleared that up in Matthew chapter five, where he says it doesn't necessarily have to be an act. It can be a thought. It can be a creation in the mind. It can be a silent secret thing that no one else knows about except you and your thoughts. And what is capability then becomes a creation in the mind where it begins. That which is capability that turns to creation then finds culmination. Number three, it is the erotic culmination in a person's senses.

The beginning of David's decline is a verse of scripture that says, and he saw the first words recorded from Samson's mouth and judges. Chapters 14 to 17 were the words I saw a woman. We need to be very careful. Men and women, what we see, what we hear, what we allow to influence us, especially on the basis of that interview and that survey, what we allow to invade our living rooms, what we will listen to.

Why? Because in the pathway that leads to destruction, there is the sensual, the senses that find their culmination in those evil deeds. So beware of what we see and hear. When we see something or listen to something that does not honor God, take the advice of the apostle Paul who said, flee fornication. Run. Hightail it out of there. Get moving. Don't flirt with it. Don't cuddle it. Move.

Run. Because if that culmination then finds activity, number four, it is the enveloping control of a person's future. Be careful. Be careful what you allow to invade your senses.

Psalm 101, David says in later years of his life, he says, I will set no evil thing before my eyes. Because ultimately, if we allow it to invade our lives, it will control our lives as we're going to see in a moment in Proverbs. And it is a battle. If you feel like you're the only one here who faces that battle, you're wrong.

It is a battle in the in the life of every believer who pursues Jesus Christ. Take heart. I'll never forget sitting in the office of one of the most godly professors I had had in my seminary experience. He was a man in his mid 60s approaching 70.

He impacted my life like no other. And we were sitting in there and the news had just erupted of a man in spiritual leadership who had fallen morally. And he was exhorting me as as I viewed the ministry of moral purity. I kind of chuckled and I I said to him, boy, it'll be sure nice to turn 70. And we laughed. He didn't flunk me laugh. And then he looked at me straight in the eye and he said, The older I get, the more difficult the battle becomes.

I said, Thanks a lot. That's the truth. Why? Because the flesh is not laid off at 60 or 70 or 80. We take it to the grave. And while we are on the process through life, we cage it, we discipline it, we guard it, we watch it. Let's to control our lives. If we allow it into our lives, what are the results? Turn to Proverbs chapter five, Proverbs chapter five. Let's take a look at one who fell.

What are the results? How does it impact a life that has given to its control? I'm gonna give you three clear points. First of all, immorality defrauds your husband or your wife. And I will add to that your future husband, your future wife. It is a thief. It steals the delight of discovery from that one you will marry.

It takes from that one you are married to and it gives in a defrauding way to someone else. God never intended that. Let's take a look at what the scripture says, chapter five verse seven. Now then my sons, listen to me. Do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her. He is talking about the seductress. Do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your vigor to others and your years to the cruel one. Let strangers be filled with your strength and your hard-earned goods go to the house of an alien. You see what a thief immorality is? And you groan at your latter end when all your flesh and your body are consumed and you say how I have hated instruction and my heart spurned reproof and I have not listened to the voice of my teachers nor inclined my ear to my instructors.

I was almost in utter ruin in the midst of the assembly and congregation. Drink water from your own cistern and fresh water from your own well. Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets, let them be yours alone and not for strangers with you.

Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice in the life of your youth. Don't take from that spouse what is theirs. Don't allow someone to steal.

Don't give it away. F. B. Meyer, a great teacher of scripture, said that for a man to be involved with another woman or a woman to be involved in the life of another man is like a bank robber coming and robbing a bank. It is money that does not belong to him.

But in the confines of arrangement that God has designed by his delight and for our delight, it is like putting deposits into a bank, making investments in a relationship that will last for life. Immorality to frauds, it steals. Secondly, immorality deceives your intellect. And I'll refer to this not just in adultery alone, but anything that is immoral, any activity that violates the authority of God's scripture, anything that is sin according to his book, it deceives.

You could add the word in your notes, it depreciates your intellect. Have you ever considered the thought that personal purity provides a foundation for right decisions? You think, how in the world could that man do something like that? You read the newspapers? How could somebody be so stupid?

I'll tell you how. They are involved in things that have entrapped their intellect and it is depreciating the ability to discern right from wrong what is dangerous and what is safe. One of the greatest reasons to live a pure life is to be able to make decisions that honor God and protect our lives. Let me show you what Proverbs says along that line in chapter 6 verse 32. The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense. Look at chapter 7 verse 7. And I saw among the naive, I discerned among the youths, a young man lacking sense. There it is. It isn't until you and I repent of immorality and sin and come back into fellowship with Jesus Christ that we are given again that foundation for making decisions that will honor him. But let me warn you that are involved if possible.

When you are in that situation, you may make grave errors of judgment because the foundation for judgment in part is personal purity. You remember those aspirin that tasted delicious? I can't remember the name of them.

They had a unique little name and they were orangish just like candy. We would fake headaches, you know, to get that kind of stuff. Well, one night, my brother and I slipped out of bed.

I'm sure it was his idea. He climbed up the counter and got a brand new bottle of aspirin. Pulled it down and we opened it and we ate it all. Went back to bed. My mother woke. Sometime later, we're not even sure how long, but sometime later went into the bathroom and saw the empty bottle lying in the sink. She came rushing into our room and my brother and I were fast asleep. The next thing I remember is laying on my side staring at the waist of the biggest nurse I've ever seen in my life as she pumped my stomach. You see, for me, that sleep could have led to death.

I don't know. It could have been disastrous. I desperately needed intervention.

That's the point. For some of us involved in immorality, doing things that do not honor God, there may need be intervention. It may be the sermon. It may be a close friend who is warning you.

But for some, the only thing that may ever wake them up is something hardly less than disaster. The best way to learn not to eat more than two aspirin is not by experience. It is by instruction. The best way for you and I to learn that immorality defeats, defrauds, deceives is not by experience.

It is by instruction. Let me give you a third. It defrauds, it deceives and it destroys your character. And I'm referring here to an unrepentant person who refuses to give it up, whatever it might be.

It destroys your character. Listen to these words. Chapter seven, verse 24. Now, therefore, my sons, listen to me and pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways.

Don't stray into her paths. For many are the, and I've inserted the word moral, for many are the moral victims. She is cast down and numerous are all her slain. Her house is the way to shield or the grave, descending to the chambers of death.

And let me say this. He's referring this in light of a woman, but we can take anything that is immoral. And if we pursue it, its steps lead to death. The death of what? The death of our character. The engagement of immorality may take our character unless we come to Jesus Christ and repent, call it sin.

And I want to stop right here before we get into the solutions and just say this. There is a word in scripture that is beautiful. It is the word forgiveness. Isaiah writes, the Lord said to me, come, let's reason together, literally come, let's talk together. Though your sin has left a deep scarlet stain, I can wash it as white as snow. First John chapter one, as you well know, it says, if we confess, if I admit it's sinful, if I confess my sin, he is faithful and just to forgive my sin and to cleanse me from all, all, all unrighteousness.

But we begin by calling it sin, admitting before God that we have violated his command. What would you think of a doctor who found a tumor within your body and said, take two aspirin and come back next week? That wouldn't be an appropriate response to what he found. What would you think of a fireman responding to a three alarm blaze by saying, well, ma'am, it'll probably burn itself out soon enough. Just wait.

Or a policeman who arrives on the scene of a bank robbery and says, well, boys will be boys. That's an appropriate response to what's happened. You know, that's what God wants from us. Let's just take a look at what this stuff is.

Let's call it what it is and admit it. And that opens the way by his forgiveness to do three things. Victory precedes all three.

Let me give them to you. Victory over this sin begins with a determination to abstain. Put it down.

It isn't going to be a picnic. It means a persuasion in our soul that we will not violate by the grace of God, his command. It begins with a determination, a commitment. It means simply saying, God, I'm not going to make any excuses about my sin. No excuses. I'll obey you.

I'll call it what it is without any excuse. And by your grace, never do it again. Victory begins with a determination to abstain. Secondly, victory is strengthened by discipline. David writes, thy word have I hidden in my heart.

I've treasured it up so that I will not sin against you. That's discipline. Have you ever found it easy to sit down and memorize a verse of scripture?

Absolutely not. I've never talked to anyone who said that was easy, but that is part of the discipline. David understood the value of it. It is a discipline like David who said, I will not set any wicked thing before mine eyes. I will watch what I see. I will be careful what I allow into my life. And let me say a word to every mom and dad here, especially of our young people at this point in their lives. Be careful that you help discipline, that you help them create a sense of what's right and wrong.

They face incredible temptation. It's changed even from from my day. My heart beats for you. Betty Lou isn't on the top 10 anymore. It is tonight's the night.

That's the theme. Teenagers were surveyed and they came up with what has been a mind blower as a youth pastor and former churches is grabbed me. 36% of all the teenagers interviewed could not say with any sense of authority that immorality outs or or relations outside of marriage were wrong. And is it any wonder that the next statistic is true? 46% of churched teenagers have given away their purity. I challenge every father to get involved. Every mother to be aware they are facing incredible pressure. One more.

Victory is assured by dependence. Galatians Chapter five, verse 16 says, Walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. That isn't get five minutes of the spirit. Get a taste of the spirit. He is saying to walk in the spirit parapeteia, which means all that surrounds my life as I go through my life will be depending on the spirit of God. And it is that kind of life that will protect me from fulfilling the lusts and the desires of the flesh. Have you ever asked yourself how can I be seen as distinctively different in the world today?

This is probably one of the greatest emerging ways. Moral purity. When we as believers pursue purity, not only are we obeying our king, but we're also shining as lights in a world that desperately needs light. This is Wisdom for the Heart with Stephen Davey. Today's lesson is called caging the beast within and it comes from our vintage wisdom series through the book of Exodus. Stephen pastors the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina. You can learn more about us and our ministry at If you have a comment, a question, or would like more information, you can send us an email if you address it to info at Take a moment and write to us. Then join us next time as we continue through Exodus on Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-18 19:34:28 / 2023-03-18 19:44:12 / 10

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