Why does the idea of sin not take Christians by the neck and shake the Devil out of them? Because the vast majority of Believers care little about sin in their own lives, and give precious little thought about how and why sin deceives us and seeks to destroy us. Sin is the prevailing evil within every persons life, and his most powerful enemy without. The evidence is conclusive that there has been a mass defection from the ranks of first century Christian orthodoxy into the camps of the enemy, where sin is dumbed down. Sin simply is not part of the conversation. The simple prerogative of God's Holy written word, as put by John Owen, is just this, be killing sin or it will be killing you.
To get a good understanding of sin we need to have a Biblical idea of what it is to be a prostitute, and what it is to be her customer, because the Bible is clear that those who sin have been drawn away by her enticements, and once that lust conceives, it gives birth to sin and death. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full‑grown, brings forth death. James 1:14‑15
Proverbs 23:27‑28 says, For a prostitute is a deep pit and a wayward wife is a narrow well. Like a bandit she lies in wait, and multiplies the unfaithful among men.
For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two‑edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps lay hold of hell.
A woman came to meet him, dressed like a prostitute, having a hidden agenda. She is loud and defiant; her feet do not stay at home. Now in the street, now in the squares, she lurks at every corner. She grabs him and kisses him; she brazenly says to him,"I've made fellowship offerings; today I've fulfilled my vows. So I came out to meet you, to search for you, and I've found you. I've spread coverings on my bed Crichly colored linen from Egypt. I've perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let's drink deeply of lovemaking until morning. Let's feast on each other's love! My husband isn't home; he went on a long journey. He took a bag of money with him and will come home at the time of the full moon." She seduces him with her persistent pleading; she lures with her flattering talk. He follows her impulsively like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer bounding toward a trap until an arrow pierces its liver, like a bird darting into a snare C he doesn't know it will cost him his life.
Is God here warning us about prostitutes and wayward wives? Yes, of course, but there is a deeper reason Solomon sounds this warning. These verses are actually a commentary on the verses in James above. The prostitute mentioned above can be categorized in two ways: first, it is outward, the prostitution of the word and doctrine, through ignorance and false teachers. This is the sin of being carried away by every wind…. This prostitution is willful in the sense that we use our eyes and ears and deliberately look upon and listen to books, movies, or preachers, who appeal to our ability to reason, and thereby entice and draw away the will to some philosophy or teaching that satisfies a desire for something other than truth.
Secondly, it is inward. There are temptations of the prostitute, presented to the mind and imaginations, that lives in each and every person. Unbelievers are–all the time–seduced by this prostitute that live within, but they have no choice. Born again believers, on the other hand, are given the Spirit of Grace and adoption; and being sons and daughters of the Most High they are given strength through the Spirit of Truth and the Word to resist the temptations, lures, and devises of the indwelling prostitute, which Paul calls the law of sin and death.
I have written in a previous article about Our Treacherous Heart and how we not only battle against an obvious outward enemy, but that our worst enemy lives within our own hearts, and that we are ignorant of it workings, even though there are many verses of Scripture documenting this evil fact. We go on our way entertaining prostitutes and are ensnared in all kinds of worldly activities, all the time thinking we are protected by the blood of Jesus, and doing the lord=s will, while rebelling against His explicit commands not to hang around on street corners in the red light district of our minds and hearts. The blood of Jesus does cleanse us from all sin, but to presume that we can live in open rebellion of unchastised hearts and minds is to presume too much.
Sin's general inclination is to lust, and is discovered to the soul by so many surprises into foolish wonderlands of the imagination. I need not enumerate what those are lest we find ourselves blushing and giving away our little secrets. These sins of the imagination manifest themselves in the flesh's eager readiness to move in close and be stimulated and excited. Even while praying or minding a good thing, our hearts deceive and trick us, and catch us off our guard, drawing us away into contrary thoughts and imaginations.
Our deceitful hearts would voluntarily press after every evil, given half a chance, and would openly oppose that which is good, with a heated passion. One of the obvious signs of sin in another's life is opposition to corrective measures that would help prevent sin or shed light into a dangerous path. Sin's purpose in this battle is to seduce, overcome, and take the soul captive to the law of sin, which dwells within them. The will power is then defeated, and stripped of its authority which was a free gift of grace. The yoke of Jesus is thrown off, and in worst cases, rage and madness sets in. Examples of this can be seen in the liberal progressive Christianity of the Emerging church, where a vain headiness and a stubborn crusading for sin, cannot be held back; but just as common, although not as apparent, is the average ignorant churchgoer, hellbent to get some satisfaction out of their boring life by escapades into the prostitution of their souls.
The outward lures of immorality are hard enough to resist, given the openness of sin in this late hour, but the dripping honey of an immoral imagination, and ungodly thoughts, provoked by the continuous infiltration of evil through television, radio, movies, marketing, and approved by nearly every pulpit, makes chastity an unrealistic goal for the average Christian. The supposed impossibility of living for Christ has made the 21st century Christian presuppose that God must necessarily approve of all the sinful lives that institutional Christianity is producing and endorsing today. All sinful endeavors have been elevated, sanctified, and approved, if said endeavor can be adorned in Christian garb.
Indwelling sin is a wayward wife that lays in wait, and only the lack of opportunity stops her from fulfilling all the desires of the imagination. Given the opportunity, most Christians would, and do, enter into sin, and is documented by the gross failure of Godly living amongst so called Christians.
Why is it that prostitutes were to be stoned? And, why is it that Jesus saved a prostitute from being stoned when the opportunity allowed itself to be rid of such an evil? Was it because the outward act of prostitution was seen by Jesus as no different, or at least no worse, than the prostitution of one's own soul, that was being displayed by all those present? The death of prostitutes commanded in the Old Testament was to teach those who "had ears to hear and eyes to see" that it was not the outward act of prostitution that was so offensive to God, but the inward, constant, and pornographic prostitution of the inward man that is the thing that so appalled and angered God. It is the flippant, light minded, and inconsiderate attitudes toward sin, of those who call themselves brother and sister that draws the ire of the Almighty. What we have failed to understand is that it is the mortification of sin, the stoning of the prostitute, and the destroying of the old man that spells the great failure of individual Christians and the Church.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing… Who is Paul talking about? He is talking about himself, Paul the Christian, the author of two thirds of the New Testament, the Godly man Paul; he says that in himself dwells nothing good. Is that possible? Yes! Paul said that often when he would want to do good, he instead did evil. Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Paul went on to say, Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. It is indwelling sin that Paul had to fight; it is the prostitute living inside Paul, and in each of us, that Paul was required to stone to death. And, here is the most important thing Paul says, and that we need to hear, Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. You must understand this if you will ever live the Holy life God requires. Paul made a profound, earth shaking, discovery, he says he found a law. Now, get this! He is not talking about a law like the Ten Commandments or a speed limit regulation, or a tax law ordinance. He is talking about a law like a law of nature, like the laws of physics, a law that says that water will always freeze at 32 degrees at sea level. It is a law that is a constant influence, like gravity. So, what was this law? when I would do good, evil is present with me. This law is the law of prostitution, that lays wait for any opportunity to draw away, entice, conceive, birth, and then kill those who are so foolish to wander into her neighborhood and listen to her deceptive words. The prostitute receive great joy in the fall of the righteous, and Paul says that every time his Godly inclination to do good arises the prostitute appears with her lures to entice and inflame some lust of greed, envy, hatred, jealousy, desire, or ambition. In Paul's case it was the heat of covetousness, inflamed in his heart, that brought the prostitute out in him, in all her pretended glory and cheap makeup, and warred against the law of grace, and caused him to cry out in his hopeless state, Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
The failure to understand this law of prostitution that lives in every Christian is exactly the reason for the failure and demise of the Body of Christ. Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jer 16:12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me: It is not for nothing that we are warned to not trust the counsel of our own hearts. In Pro 28:26 the wise man says, He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.
Our every thought is subject to the temptations of the prostitute and must be guarded. We ignore these warning at a great cost. Jesus has told us to die to our desires. We have an enemy inside us who never sleeps, and that even our dreams are subject to her lures. Our hidden fleshly desires, whatever forms they take, are her daily bread. Our only hope to defeat her is to deprive her of those things that give her health. Her and all her children must be stoned or starved to death. Psa 137:8, 9 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
The lackadaisical attitude of Christians today is not acceptable by our Father. Perfecting holiness in the fear of God and to grow in Grace every day by the mortification of indwelling sin, is the way of freedom and peace in His household.
Outward and inward prostitution is rampant throughout Christendom, and God's children are thumbing their noses at His just dictates, claiming a cleansing and a justification that permits licentiousness and looseness, that is nowhere to be found in God's word. The Emerging filthiness, Catholic pornography, and Protestant haughtiness, are all the offspring of the great whore who is enshrined in the hearts of men.
Everywhere the Bible pleads with us to mortify the deeds of the flesh, but not only are we not seeing the fruits of mortification in believers, we scarcely see any leaves. There is a great noise of religion in the land, and certainly no lack of preaching, and those professing to know the way are growing exponentially, but if you will measure them according to the discriminating grace of our Lord, the numbers are not so multiplied. Where is that Christian, who owes his or her conversion to this great age of light, and who talks and preaches at such a rate of spirituality, as only a few in days past were familiar with, who gives any evidence of a mortified heart? If worthless spending of time, idleness, movies and clubs, envy, strife, discord, ambitions and dreams, wrath, pride, worldliness, and selfishness be the measure of Christianity today, then we have Christians in great abundance. Now, if this is true of those who claim to have light, what can we say of those of the Emerging Progressives, who despise the true Gospel, or those who have no more of the light than to deny themselves some meager comfort or enjoyment.
To conclude: Of this prostitute, a.k.a. this law of indwelling sin, there are may more words that remain to be said. But, if by chance you make the discovery, as Paul did, you should become acutely aware of her ways and means, her power, her ability to prevail over the flesh, and her ability to succeed through deception, and that she is the greatest adversary you will ever encounter. But, as for those true characteristics that mark Christians, who truly understand the seriousness of what Paul discovered, and the warfare involved, their walk will not be void of, humility, self-denial, watchfulness, diligence, separation, and continual prayer to the Lord for help. These are some of the tools we must learn to master if we will win the battle against the prostitute that live within us.
To the God who is all knowing, even the deep things of our hearts, give us strength and mercy to fight the good fight against, not only those who would oppose us from outside, but arm us with weapons to stone every impure thought, and give us light enough to see us through tomorrow's conflicts.
To the only wise God and Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.