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"Love, Lust and Liberty"

A Bible Commentary by
Gnamou Henry

Subject One: Love

Lesson One: The Primary Emotion

Human emotion is one of the most complex and multifaceted elements of our make-up. It is the internal guide system that we use to govern who we are and how we feel as individuals. The Bible declares in Psalms 139:14; sc “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”  Human emotion was designed with several levels of variation; within it are highs and lows of happiness and highs and lows of sadness etc... Webster’s dictionary defines emotion as a moving of the mind or soul; excitement of the feelings, whether pleasing or painful; disturbance or agitation of mind caused by a specific exciting cause and manifested by some sensible effect on the body. 

Emotion is the aspect of our nature that we must learn to is the key factor by which we receive, interpret and reciprocate information. It determines whether we will live our lives in chaos or in peace.

What is the greatest emotion? Which of our human emotions would stand above the rest if we were to somehow line them up together? Would it be joy or happiness; would it be anger or even sadness? If we were to take a poll and gather a consensus of the world’s view concerning emotion…if we were to conduct an international survey of what people believed the greatest emotion was, I suppose that the majority would determine that love is the greatest of them all.
Love is an extremely powerful emotion; in fact it is one of the greatest gifts that God has ever bestowed upon mankind. The apostle Paul declared in the book of I Corinthians that love, even when compared to other powerful attributes, is the greatest and most powerful of them all; sc “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. “ (I Corinthians 13:13).

How can we explore such an extraordinary emotion, how can we expound upon it? Webster’s dictionary defines love as a feeling of strong attachment induced by that which delights or commands admiration. I propose that love could also be referred to as the “Operation of Life” because it is one of the most essential elements to life itself.

When studying love from an analytical standpoint, we discover that it is much more than just an emotion; fro love is also a deed. Paul shares in I Corinthians 13:1-12 that love is kind, love is gracious and generous, love is giving and sharing; love is longsuffering and does not behave irrationally or seeks credit for its own efforts. Love is strong and enduring; not childish or immature. If a person is ever captured by love, if they are ever caught and reeled into its enchanting embrace, they will discover just how captivating love can be. Love is not surface but love runs down to the very depths of the soul… love is a most enthralling and invaluable sentiment.

We express our love in relationships with our significant others; how we feel about them and what we do for them. We express our love for our children, how we care and protect them. We express our love for God, how we walk and commune with him. I submit to you very passionately that love is quite remarkable; for to live life without experiencing love in one form or another is a great disservice to the heart…it is a robbery of the soul. I propose further that if there is no other reservoir by which to draw love, if there is no other resource by which to feel a tender loving hand of care, then I present a treasure in Jesus Christ. For in him lies the epitome of love. In Jesus Christ is pure unconditional love. He will love despite who we are, and will not judge us for past mistakes.

James Taylor, a famous rock n roll artist from the late 1960’s early 70’s sang a song entitled “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You,” although he was referring to companionship, I humbly submit that there is nothing sweeter, noting more rewarding than being loved by God; for His love is irrefutable, it’s unforgettable.

Subject Two: Lust

Lesson One: The Sin that Corrupted the Angels

There is no casual way to approach the subject of lust, it can only be identified for what it is, sin. Lust is the most denigrating, most demoralizing sin that we as believers have ever had to contend with. It is a vicious sin, at times even profusely violent. A constant indulgence in this sin will ultimately lead to the destruction of the body, soul and spirit.

The approach to this lesson must be scrupulous... for to be impetuous would greatly diminish the clarity for which the points of view are presented. The Bible instructs us to beware of lust, to be very cautious of it, for it is a very dangerous sin. sc “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.“ (I Corinthians 10:6). In the Scriptures lust carries such an enormous weight that even a simple pondering thought could lead to utter disaster. God is so critical of lust that one doesn’t even have to physically engage in the act of adultery to be guilty of the sin; a simple look of lustful intent automatically incriminates us. sc “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Mathew. 5:28). Lust does not discriminate against anyone; it will lure a person in by thought and then violate and victimize them. And when it is finished lust will lay waste to them.

The Scriptures reveal that lust has not only brought great distress upon mankind, but it has also crept into the spirit dimension and have driven spirit beings to sin abominably as well.  sc “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bear children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:1, 2, 4).

The term “sons of God” mentioned in this passage refers to the angels of God; sc “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them." (Job 1:6). The angels in this particular case however were fallen angels. Many scholars believe that the angels mentioned here are the same angels that Jude refers to in his self-entitled book; sc “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 1:6). It is also believed that Peter made mention of them as well in his second self-entitled book; sc “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;" (II Peter 2:4). The term “daughters of men” mentioned in this passage refers to human women. Whenever the topic of “sons of God” and “daughters of men” is discussed among scholars the question is always raised of how it was possible for angels who have no reproductive organs to not only marry but bare children with human women; sc “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven." (Mark 12:25). The answer is somewhat unorthodox. The only way that fallen angels (demons) could have had this kind of involvement with human women is through the extreme and unrelenting possession of human men. It is believed that the men and women of Noah’s day were so demonically possessed…through rituals, ceremonies and worship that the entire biological system of fetal conception and child bearing was infected. The children born to these abominable and unlawful unions were abnormally large, “giants” as the Scriptures indicate...monstrous, grotesque, beasty type of people. This illicit and illegal, lust was a direct violation of God’s procreation plan for mankind, and as a result these people were destroyed in the deluge (flood) of Noah.

Throughout the Scriptures lust is mentioned several times; though it is not listed in what has become known as the “seven deadly sins” in Proverbs 6:16-19, but the apostle John does mention it in one of his self-entitled books; sc “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” ( I John 2:16). It is also mentioned in the “Decalogue” (the Ten Commandments), through the use of the word “covet;” sc “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house (lust of the eye), thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife (lust of the flesh), nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17). Paul confirms this in Romans 7:7; sc “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." 

Paul also discusses lust as he commissions the church at Rome to gain control over their flesh, sc “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” (Romans 6:12).

Lust is a sin of the soul, whether or not we ever indulge in any physical act, it can still send us straight to hell. sc “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”  (Ezekiel 18:4). sc “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Mathew 10:28). I propose that the sins of the soul are much more difficult to control because they are unseen. People tend to sin much worse and much longer when they think their sins are hidden, but may I suggest very fervently that sin is never hidden, and every man shall give an account for the deeds done in his body. sc “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:12).

Subject Three: Liberty

Lesson One: Freedom from Spiritual Strongholds

In order to fully grasp the content of this subject we must first establish a proper understanding of three very important terms; strongholds, liberty and freedom. These three terms are the foundation by which this study is based. The first term, strongholds is actually a term with several interpretations, however there are only two in particular that are most applicable to this lesson. The first interpretation is defined as an act of laying siege upon; to surround something or someone with an adversarial force, such as when a company of soldiers encamp around the walls of an empire and seal them in. The second interpretation is defined as an act of building a fortified wall around a particular individual or individuals to enclose them in, such as when an army backs their enemy into a small corridor on the battle field and physically builds a wall around them so that the only exit is directly toward them.

As long as there are true believers there will be an enemy waging war; there will always be keenly engineered war tactics specifically designed to dismantle any upward mobility of the believer. One of the greatest war tactics that the enemy has ageist the believer is strongholds. Strongholds are crafty entrapments that keep a believer from moving forward toward their destiny; they are entrapments that hinder and stunt their growth in God.

Some strongholds are designed for short term attacks; such as a swift apprehension or a sudden rushing in of the enemy, such as when the Scriptures declare; sc “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59:19). There are other strongholds that are designed as a long term attack; the enemy will lay siege upon the believer and use time and patience as a method to gain victory. It is a “knock off” imitation of how the Bible demonstrates a stronghold; sc “And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee." (Isaiah 29:3).

Strongholds by Webster’s definition are “A fastness; a fort or fortress; fort field place; a place of security." It is similar to the second interpretation of strongholds that was given earlier in the lesson. This particular kind of stronghold is indicative to a spiritual barricade; the enemy will literally box the believer behind a seemingly impenetrable wall where they cannot see, understand or ascertain God in their mind, and he will use things like lust to maintain his hold. If a person is not careful they can become so steeped in a stronghold that they lose their way and instead of pursing the things of God they find themselves circling around the same place year after year. It is this kind of stronghold that will eventually enslave the believer if it is not torn down. sc “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;).“ (II Corinthians 10:4 ). The walls must come down, the strongholds must collapse under the power of our God; and they will; believe it, command it and take the victory! sc “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days." (Hebrew 11:30).

The next two terms are very closely related; freedom and liberty; in fact these terms are so closely related that we will simply just define both of them together. Webster defines freedom as “The state of being free; exemption from the power and control of another; liberty; independence. Made captive, yet deserving freedom more.“ Webster defines liberty as “The state of a free person; exemption from subjection to the will of another claiming ownership of the person or services; freedom; opposed to slavery, serfdom, bondage, or subjection.” Paul renders a great correlation between these two terms in his letter to the Galatians; sc “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.“ (Galatians 5:1); the way Paul presents freedom and bondage as two distinct laws is also quite brilliant; sc “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:2).

The greatest gift afforded any individual who’s been detained or incarcerated is freedom. Freedom to the captive is not just a frivolous term, but rather it becomes the ruler…the master, the only foreseeable reality to peace and tranquility. It is Jesus Christ who frees us from bondage, and it is incumbent upon us and most advantageous that we as believers continue to fight for freedom and not be entangled again in the shackles of captivity; for the Bible declares; sc “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.“ (John 8:36).