Do not defile yourselves by any of these practices, for by all these things the nations I am driving out before you have defiled themselves.
I. THAT BY SIN WE CORRUPT OURSELVES. "Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things" (verse 24); "that ye defile not yourselves therein" (verse 30). Our Lord tells us that "out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications," etc., and that "these things defile a man" (Matthew 7:19, 20). And Paul tells us that we "are the temple of God," and that "if any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy" (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17). Those sins which a man commits against his own spirit or his own body - those wrongs which a man does himself - end in positive and serious injury. They enfeeble, they degrade, they brutalize, they bring down a man's tastes and appetites to the meanest levels, they lay and leave his nature open to the worst temptations. In the practice of vice a man sinks down daily until he becomes thoroughly corrupt, averse to all that is holy, prone to everything impure.
II. THAT BY SIN WE CONTAMINATE SOCIETY. "In all these the nations are defiled" (verse 24); "and the land is defiled" (verses 25, 27). Societies as well as individuals become corrupt. Even one Achan defiled the whole camp of Israel and paralyzed its power. One incestuous member of the Corinthian Church infected and stained that Christian society. How much more will many evil-doers corrupt the community! It may not take a large number of unholy, impure, unrighteous souls to make a Church or society "defiled" in the sight of the Holy One, no longer a fit dwelling-place for his Holy Spirit, a community to be abandoned to itself.
III. THAT BY SIN WE INCUR THE HIGH DISPLEASURE OF ALMIGHTY GOD. "Ye shall not commit any of these abominations" (verses 26, 27, 29), "of these abominable customs" (verse 30). The Holy One, in his righteous indignation, threatens that "the land shall spue them out" if they indulge in such iniquities. No stronger language could be employed to indicate the uttermost conceivable detestation and abhorrence which God has of such sins as these described. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31); and it is a fearful thing to have done or to have become that which God regards with Divine abomination, to be the object of his awful resentment and indignation; to have to feel that he, the Divine Father and the righteous Judge, cannot look on us without terrible aversion.
IV. THAT BY SIN WE ARE DETERMINING OUR DOOM. (Verse 29.) Whether by being "cut off from among the people" we understand excommunication and exile or death, the penalty is severe. It is certain that verse 28 points to stern rejection and utter destruction.
1. It is certain that by open sin we expose ourselves to exile from the Christian Church, and even to banishment from all decent and honourable society. The Church, the family, and the social circle must exclude the wanton offender for the sake of their pure and innocent members.
2. Also that by continuance in deliberate sin, whether open or secret, whether of the body or of the soul, we shall be rejected from the city of God. "There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination" (Revelation 21:27). - C.
Ye shall do My judgments
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