Sin is Illicit Love
by Norman P. Grubb
It has been helpful to me to understand this. The root of sin, the power of sin is not the sin, but the love of it is. We always live where we love. Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” We might turn that around and say, “Where your heart is there will be your treasure too.” We live where we love. Now sin is an illicit love match. Because Jesus says this, “You are enticed to love something you shouldn’t.” Now, all my sex powers and all my being is for Jesus. Yet they also may have their human expression in their rightful proportion. Thank God that that is the liberty of the gospel. We have a rightful human expression of a minor kind. But the major idea of my whole sex powers is that they are unto Him.
Even though the philosopher Freud was an atheist he had some truth in tracing down a great deal about the sex problem. He is quite right, but not wholly right because he missed the main point. But he has a good deal there. But all my powers are unto Him. Now that’s my marriage. My marriage is unto Him. My true marriage is in the Spirit to Him. Now sin is an illicit love match. It’s the temptation coming, “Here, you love this.” “You look at that. You follow sex along that line. You think those dirty thoughts there. You follow up with dirty acts.” The same with greed, or anger, or pride. I’m only using sex because it is the simplest and clearest to use. Now it says, “When lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin.” Conception is a marriage. “When lust hath been conceived it brings forth sin.” In other words, my heart has embraced that lust and I produce a child, and the child is sin.
So the temptation to look in that direction isn’t sin, but to keep looking becomes sin, to keep thinking becomes sin, to keep acting, etc., becomes a love match. Now you have the words later on in James. You have that striking expression in James 4:4, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses” who are following false lusts, “know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is an enemy of God.” Verse 3 tells about spending time on our own lusts, “Ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss that ye may consume it on your lusts.”
Then he says, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses.” Why? Because I have a true marriage. My true marriage is the blessed Lord. Therefore, as soon as I sin in my heart by following up a lust, following out an anger, following out a hate, following out pride, following out a vanity or something, I am an adulterer. I am temporarily, if you like, married to something which is false. I am embracing an illicit love. So what I am getting at is that the power of sin is love. If the temptation can lead me on from enticement to love then it has me. For I will always follow my love.
Karuizawa Japan Conference of 1954