Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Excellent Wife: Raising Maidens of Virtue

(by: me)

Again, if lustful looking be so grievous a sin, then those who dress and expose themselves with desires to be looked at and lusted after-as Jezebel, who painted her face, tired her head, and looked out of the window (2 Kings 9:30)-are not less, but even more guilty. In this matter it is only too often the case that men sin, but women tempt them so to do. How great, then, must be the guilt of the great majority of the modern misses who deliberately seek to arouse the sexual passions of our young men? And how much greater still is the guilt of most of their mothers for allowing them to become lascivious temptresses? ~ Arthur Pink

Yikes! I certainly do not want to be one of those “mothers” who allow the “modern misses” in her home “to become lascivious temptresses”. In my household, this seems to be an uphill battle. I alone train up the young ladies in my residence to dress modestly and not “deliberately seek to arouse the sexual passions of young men”. I advise against sex before marriage and prefer courtship over dating. But when my voice seems small and easily ignored or my words appear mocked I wonder if I am really making a difference. I become disheartened when my teaching of God’s word is met with rolling of the eyes and snide remarks as though pointing to the cross is not allowed. They do not wish to feel the sting of conviction. Yet, I take comfort in knowing the Holy Spirit is within me. At times it becomes so offended I feel as though I am angry.

Charles Spurgeon wrote,
“If we do not come out from the world and keep ourselves from its polluting influence, we have not yet learned what pure and undefiled religion really is! We may be very orthodox in creed, or we may be very far advanced in our knowledge of religious matters. We may think ourselves to be Hebrews of the Hebrews, Pharisees of the Pharisees, and as touching the righteousness which is of the Law, blameless. But we are, in the sight of God, only as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal, unless, by Divine Grace, we have learned to keep ourselves unspotted from the world!”

When referring to James 1:27 Spurgeon goes on to say,
“To keep ourselves unspotted from the world,’ implies that we are not a part of the world. We are in it, but evidently not of it. We are one thing and the world is another thing—and we are so much apart from the world that even a spot from the pools of the world would defile us. We are to be quite outside the world even while we are in it….

“Here, in the midst of this world, you and I, if we are truly born again from above, are strangers and pilgrims. We have come into this land as gypsies might have come—pitching our tent here and there—but having no abiding city anywhere. We are in this world as Abraham was in Canaan. We are not related to any of the Canaanites among whom we dwell. We are of another country, to wit, a heavenly one—and we are looking for ‘a city which has foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.’ There are some professing Christians who also try to be worldly, but a worldly Christian is an anomaly and a contradiction!

“No, beloved Friends, if we are truly the Lord’s, we are severed from the world….The Lord Jesus Christ had a people given to Him—a people whom He received of His Father, as He said—‘Yours they were, and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your Word.’ ‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which You have given Me.’ These are they whom God chose in Christ Jesus from before the foundation of the world, having predestinated them, according to the good pleasure of His will, that they should be holy and without blame before Him in love—‘for whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the First-Born among many brethren.’ Now this eternal choice of God has severed Believers from the rest of mankind and they stand apart as much as Israel stood apart in Egypt, even in the midst of the plagues. Thus God’s chosen ones constitute a people that shall dwell alone—they shall not be numbered among the nations. He has made them to be His portion, ‘for the Lord’s portion is His people. Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.’…

“Another clear distinguishing mark is redemption. The blood of the paschal lamb was on the lintel and the two side posts of the house of every family of Israel. It was not on the houses of the Egyptians and to their dwellings the Destroying Angel came with swift, sure, unerring blow, killing the first-born in every house throughout the land. It was the blood-mark that distinguished Israel from all the rest of the people! And today, only those who are sheltered by the sprinkled blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, are safe! Christ has redeemed His people from among men. He loved His Church and gave Himself for her—and He has redeemed that Church and brought her out of the Egyptian bondage of sin with a high hand and an outstretched arm, redeeming her by power as well as by price—and she shall be His forever. Has He not espoused her unto Himself and will He not have her of whom His soul was eternally enamored and to whom, in the Covenant of old, He was joined by bonds of everlasting wedlock? Yes, verily, He will have her to be His own bride, world without end! This is another mark of our separation from the world—the blood-red mark of redemption, effectual redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ.

“…There is a people in this world who have another nature from that of the men of this world. Would to God there were more of them! But there has come, by Divine Grace, a work of Christ in their heart which has changed their entire nature, aspirations, loves, hates—their whole selves—and made the whole world to become new to them because they are totally new to it. When this great change is worked in the heart of a man, it crucifies him to the world and the world to him. And he becomes a member of a community as much above the common race of humanity as a man is above a horse or a dog! He becomes possessed of a higher nature which was born in him by regeneration and which lifts him up into familiarity with God, so that he becomes a partaker of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust….

“Sanctification is the great open separator of Christians from the world! And they are so separate and so distinct that they will never be mixed together, not even in that day when their bones shall lie mingled in the same cemetery—when grave by grave the righteous shall sleep side by side with the wicked! There shall be a distinction in that day of resurrection when the dead in Christ shall rise first—‘The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.’ There shall be a distinction in that day when the King’s words, ‘Come, you blessed,’ or, ‘Depart, you cursed,’ shall make an everlasting division between them—and all the universe shall know that the Lord does put a difference between Israel and Egypt!...

“Abstinence from evil and seeking that which is right will manifest our separation from the world, especially if the Glory of God is our one great objective in life. I like that word of my dear friend, Mr. George Muller, when he says, ‘Never begin a day without feeling joy in the Lord.’ I think that is a very blessed rule—to live constantly walking in such a way that you and God are on close terms of happy fellowship so that all that you do you do heartily as unto the Lord! Your common service as a domestic servant, or your public service as a preacher, you do in the Presence, not of the great Taskmaster, but of your great Father and Friend, of whom you have become an adopted child and to whom you are separated to be a priest serving Him every day!

“…the Christian never expects to get any good from the world. He is to keep himself from the world, specially from the spots of the world….

“You will never get anything out of the serpent, even though you stand and listen to his philosophical questions and his new explanations of God’s Word. You will get nothing more out of him now than mother Eve did when she got from him a curse to all her posterity. You can get no good out of the world, nor out of the Prince of this world….

“…If there is any man here who is a professor of religion and who can go, tonight, and indulge himself in vice, or who can find himself at home with the world, well, he belongs to the world. Where you find your pleasure, there your heart is!...

“In particular, we must keep ourselves unspotted from the lepers of the world. There is a certain number of leprous men in the world. You can tell them by their conversation and, sometimes you cannot help going very near where they are. But if you hear them cry, “Unclean!” just give them a very wide berth. I wish that Christians were more careful about this leprosy in the matter of books. As soon as ever you see that there is leprosy there, do not go and play with it, and examine it, and look at it. You will catch it if you are not careful! Keep clear of it! Keep yourselves unspotted from the lepers of the world….

“And not only will your circumstances be likely to spot you, but the favors and honors of the world will spot you. So you have received a degree, or you have had a rise in business and the people all speak well of you, do they? And there is that thoroughly worldly lady who has a secret admiration for you. Well, well, well, be careful! Joseph had the favor of Potiphar and of Pharaoh in Egypt, but he kept himself unspotted. Mind that the world’s favor does not spot you. ‘Ah,’ says one, ‘I don’t get much of that! I get all frowns.’ Very well—persecution, slander and frowning need not spot you, but they may, you know. There are many who cannot bear the cold atmosphere and biting frosts of persecution. Mind that you are not spotted in that way….

“…If you go with the current of the age, you are swimming the wrong way, for all that is of the world comes of evil even to this day. There is no change in the Scripture and there is no change in the world. If you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you. The current of human opinion always was, is and will be, till Christ shall come, an evil current that will bear you the wrong way if you yield to it….

“…The Lord help us to watch every action and, more than that, every thought and every word! I would like to be able to take my words out of my mouth and look at them before I speak them—and to have all the actions of my life done as under the watchful eye of God, to see whether they will look right in the Day of Judgment. If you cannot sleep over a thing, do not do it. As the good man said to his boy, ‘My boy, pay as you go.’ ‘Suppose I cannot pay, Father.’ ‘Then, don’t go.’ So would I say to you, examine your life as you go. If you dare not examine an action, or look at it, then do not do it! When you do not know whether it is right, then it is always best to feel sure that it is wrong. Even though it might be right to another, it will be wrong to you if you have not faith that it is right, for, “whatever is not of faith is sin.” If any question arises about moral conduct, that question makes it evil to you….

“…mind what company you keep! And when you find people getting rather “fast,” or rather “loose,” leave them—get away from them! You do not need to be muddied, so keep yourself unspotted from the world.

“Above all, cry to God to preserve you from evil. If you go out every day, covered and protected by Divine Grace, then, and then only, can you be kept unspotted from the world. I would like to see a Christian not kept in a glass case away from trial and temptation, but yet covered with an invisible shield, so that, wherever he went, he would be guarded and protected from the evil influences that are in the world in almost every place….

“…what am I to say to those who are not only in the world, but also of the world? Do you not know that “the earth, also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up”? What will become of you, then? And you who belong to the world and have your portion in this life—and your joy in this world—in that great day when the elements shall melt with fervent heat, where will you be? Then you may call to the rocks to hide you, but you will call in vain! If your portion is in this life, what will you do in the life to come?

“Some of you are living within the boundaries of this mortal existence and that is your all. Poor Soul! Poor Soul! Poor soul! Poor Soul! The Lord in His mercy bring you to know the life eternal! And when you once get that, your great desire will be to be delivered from the power of sin and to keep yourself unspotted from the world! The Lord bless you, for Christ’s sake! Amen!” (Charity and Purity by Charles Spurgeon.)
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