Sins Are More Mental, Than Physical
Old school and traditional preachers love to preach the hell-fire and brimstone sermons against people drinking, smoking, and cussing; But no sin is committed with the body except fornication.
Old school and traditional preachers love to preach the hell-fire and brimstone sermons against people drinking, smoking, and cussing; and sometimes they throw in fornication, but they are leaving out many more vital mental sins that will actually send the soul to hell way before the fleshly sins of drinking, smoking and cussing will.
First, we need to understand that Jesus taught us that even thinking about committing a sin is grounds for conviction, and not just committing the act itself. He says; “but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” St. Matthew 5:28.
Also anger; He says that we cannot be angry with our brother without a cause or we will be in danger of judgment. St. Matthew 5:22. So anger and lust are two sins that should be mentioned more often than drinking, smoking and cussing. This is because anger and lust are mental and spiritual sins that eventually bring forth physical sins.
“…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 forth death.” James 1:14, 15.
So why do preachers stress sins of the flesh more than mental and spiritual sins? Because they themselves are either unlearned and feel the need to exalt themselves over people they know are unlearned. They are not teaching in love, but in strife and are being Lords over the flock: “neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:3.
This in itself is a sin called variance, which means to cause strife and contention. But let us look deeper at the fleshly behaviors of drinking, smoking and cussing and then we will look closer at the spiritual and mental sins preachers themselves commit. The only reason they preach on these subjects is because they have been trained in them from the tradition of men.
Drinking is not a sin, but drunkenness is. As far back as the Old Testament, wine and strong drink were a normal part of life. Wine was sometimes offered as a gift to Kings and an offering to the Priest. Numbers 15:5, 7; Exodus 29:40; Ezra 6:9. Paul himself, admonished Timothy to “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.” 1 Timothy 5:23. And Jesus himself drank wine when He taught the disciples how to commune, although he Himself was not a drinker during His ministry.
However, drunkenness is considered sinful, whether it be by wine or strong drink. “… envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:21.
As far as smoking, which could be referred to as cigarettes, cigars, or weed, all are harmful to the flesh and mind and is ungodly behavior, and many believe that it defiles the temple of the body and they use the passage that talks about defiling the temple from 1 Corinthians 3:17; which reads: “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
However, when this passage is read in context, defiling the temple in this chapter means any man who builds upon the foundation something other than what the Lord and the apostles taught concerning Jesus and the gospel. It talks about a man’s works and laying idolatrous foundations such as wood, gold, or stone, and does not actually refer to the human body as being the temple, but the teachings of the gospel in the temple of the Lord.
Another scripture they use is 1 Corinthians 6:19 which reads; “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
This passage is interesting because it clearly says that any sin that a man commit is not committed with the body, except for fornication. “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” Verse 18.
This means that all sins begin in the mind and heart and not the body, as Jesus was explaining in St. Matthew 5:22, 28. Sin is manifested in the flesh when we act on the initial sin of the mind. So, the sins of the mind and heart is the actual sin, unless it is fornication, thus, according to scripture, fornication is the only physical act counted as an actual sin. Murder begins in the heart, adultery, covetousness, and idolatry all begin in the heart.
Cussing, which is considered filthy communication out of the mouth, is another ungodly behavior discouraged by the scriptures. “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” Colossians 3:8. We are also encouraged to “shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” 2 Timothy 2:16.
Preachers are right to condemn such behavior, but if we really want to get technical and picky, foolish talking and jesting (joking and clowning) is sinful, which many preachers do from their pulpits, such as telling long stories and jokes to the congregation, using flattering words and worldly theories of theology and philosophy, debating with outsiders on their pulpits, which is classified as partaking in other men’s sins and the filthiness of idolatry. “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.” Ephesians 5:4.
Nevertheless, neither drinking, smoking or cussing are considered damnable sins in the flesh but are lifestyle choices that do not reflect the holiness of God. Believers and sinners alike should always pray that God delivers them from these behaviors so they can be spotless and blameless at His coming.
Many will argue however, that these behaviors are filthy and defile the flesh, but Jesus said: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” St. Matthew 15: 18-20.
In other words, Jesus refuted the arguments of the scribes and Pharisees when they accused the disciples of eating with unwashed hands, like many preachers do today in convicting believers of being unclean and filthy. But the truth is that sins begin in the heart and mind first, then manifest through the flesh if we allow them to.
Not to diminish the warnings against the bad habits of drinking, smoking, and cussing but these behaviors defile the flesh no more than eating fatty foods, junk foods or even the wearing of cosmetic make-up, the putting on of jewelry, fake hair and even wearing of certain clothes. These also could be considered defiling the flesh if we thought on defiling the temple as many old-time preachers would have us to believe. Also, driving glamorous cars and living in multimillion dollar houses all defile the flesh.
Sins come just as the Bible says, not from the flesh, but from the mind. “Every sin” means just that. No sin is committed with the body except fornication. When people commit fornication, they are joining themselves to the body of a harlot or whoremonger. Preachers need to study their Bible before condemning people for things they themselves unknowingly commit every day.