Saturday, March 19, 2016

Concerning Carnal Sins ( Part 1 ) - St. Isaac the Syrian

Our salvation is a very serious and important matter, more important than anything else. What good is it to possess all the riches and treasures of the earth, said the Lord, if we end up losing our soul? (Mt. 16:26).
This is why we must preserve the fear of God in our souls, and proceed through this life prudently and cautiously.
We must be cautious of everything , especially carnal sins, which proceed to ravage our soul. God destroyed the city of Sodom because its inhabitants were only “flesh” and nothing spiritual existed within its boundaries. They were full of spiritual impurity, and on account of this God
turned away from them(Gn. 18:24).
On account of the fornication of only one person, twenty five thousand Jews were put to death in one hour(Nm. 25:9). What was the cause of Sampson’s fall, this giant figure who had been
dedicated to God while he was still in his mother’s womb?
He defiled his body with fornication and surrendered his body parts to sin. Even though he had accomplished great and awesome things, he subsequently fell because he was seduced by
carnal sin.
Thereafter, God abandoned him, he was taken
captive, chained, and handed over to his enemies
(Jdg.16:21). The prophet and king David, from whom Christ came forth, suffered identically.
Because he was careless for only a split second, he was allured by the beauty of a woman, and he fell into the dreadful sin of adultery(2 Kg. 11:2-4). This is why God punished him. David, however, repented with many tears for this serious sin, and God forgave him(2 Kg.12:13).
With all these examples, we must realize that God does not make exceptions. He punishes everyone regardless of whether they happen to be prophets, priests, judges, rulers, or other sanctified people chosen to reveal His name to the people. God does not take revenge; rather, He uses various disciplinary means so that man may realize his mistake, come to his senses, wake up from sin, and seek His mercy and forgiveness. From
all the above, we can see that God punishes
even His saints when they transgress His commandments.
The prophet Ezekiel writes that God does not take into consideration the elderly or the young
(i.e. man’s age), illustrating in this manner that
the Lord’s genuine and beloved people are they who have within them godly fear and who live devoutly according to His will. For God, the saints are they who keep His commandments and who have a clean conscience. Conversely, they who disregard God’s commandments are disregarded by God Himself: He turns His face away from
such people and detracts His grace from them.

Why did God punish Belshazzar? It was because he disregarded the sacred vessels that had been offered to God, which his father had pillaged
from Jerusalem, and he dared using them to drink
along with his concubines(Dan. 5:2-4). In this same manner, they who have devoted their bodies to God and subsequently dare to use their body parts for sinful deeds are punished harshly by
the Lord.
Therefore, let us not disregard the divine words and the warnings contained in the Holy Scriptures. Let us not enrage God with our immoral deeds and improprieties. Let us not shamelessly defile our bodies, which are the temple of God, as the Apostle Paul states (1 Cor. 6:19).