Seduction and Sin

seduction, sin No Comments

James 1:14-15, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then, when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth for death.” Temptation follows this order: enticement (external), lust (internal), sin, and death. Let’s focus on “enticement.”
The English word “entice” comes from the Greek word which literally means “to lure by bait.” In James 1:14, the word is used metaphorically. Synonyms of the word entice include: seduce, allure and beguile. In 2 Peter 2:14, Peter writes of those who “beguile unstable souls.” In 2 Peter 2:18, he writes of those who “allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness (lasciviousness-DS).”
What is involved in seduction? The answer to this question can be seen in two examples. The first example comes from the writing of Marilyn Lancelot in her new book, Detour, as she describes the effects of gambling casinos on her. The casino affected her physically with the repitition of sounds, bright colors, and pleasing atmosphere. It affected her emotionally as she describes herself being in a “love affair” with gambling. She felt tremendous excitement. She also had some fear because of the risk involved (the risk of losing large sums of money). She was also jealous. When someone else occupied “her” slot machine, she was jealous and resented it. There were psychological affects of gambling. She told herself that she never lost, but always “almost won.” She deceived herself. There was further seduction from without. The employees of the casino were always very helpful. They offfered her drinks. They offered to cash checks for her. They gave her VIP treatment. They gave her free meals and free lodging. She writes, “In my entire life, I have never been treated more grandly” (Detour, p. 89). She thought to herself, “how could this place be evil or dangerous?” She also thought, “If it looked good and felt good, I wanted more of it.” Clearly, she had fallen prey to seduction. She developed an addiction to gambling that cost her her job, her homes, her reputation, her freedom (she spent time in prison) and put her soul in jeopardy.
A second example of seduction is found in Numbers 25. The children of Israel committed sin by joining themselves to Baal-peor. They forsook God and worshipped idols. Baalam was instrumental in bringing out this trespass by beguiling the people (Numbers 31:16; 25:18). In the latter passage, the Bible says, “they vexed you with their wiles.” They were seduced! To worship Baal is to become involved in one of the fertility religions. Baal’s female counterpart was Asherah. The fertility religions represented by Baalism perverted fertility which wa a gift from God in makng sex a mysterioius ritual (the seed of your body in exchange for the multiplication of your crops) which revived Satan’s rivalry with heaven. Temple prostitutes served the worshippers. Sexual sin always involves the presentation of one’s body (and, therefore, of our whole selves) to the dark powers that wish to control it (John White, Eros Redeemed). Sexual sin enslaves us to the “gods” to whom we unwittingly yield ourselves. Every time we sin by misusing the sexual parts of our bodies, or by indulging in sexual fantasies, by pursing pornography or paying for time on erotic phone numbers, their power over our behavior increases. Sexual seduction is a powerful force for evil in our world today. God was displeased with Israel and punished them for their sin. Twenty-four thousand were slain by a plague. The wages of wickedness are severe.
The fall of every person into sinful conduct involves the same pathway: enticement/lust/sin/and death.
The only remedy once we have sinned is God’s grace and our faith working by love (Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 5:1-6). Idolatry can be anything to which we give extreme devotion. Idolatry is to hear the words of darkness and to act upon them. When we do this, we sin against God. Because of our sin, we must turn to God, repent and obey His will.