Summary: This sermon knocks down the ’you can look, but you can’t touch’ mentality. God’s not just concerned with bodily adultery, but also the adultery that takes place in the heart.
A Heart Affair
A sermon on Lust
Today we are going to talk about a subject that is very disturbing. That subject is adultery. And the most disturbing fact about this subject is that we are all adulterers. Does that shock you? It should! But it is a reality.
Read Matthew 5:27-30 NIV
You have heard
"You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery" (Matthew 5:27).
From whom? Rabbis, Pharisees
What’s wrong with that? Nothing – it is the Law – but they didn’t deal with the heart of the issue. They didn’t deal with the lust, which leads to the physical act. They felt that as long as they didn’t commit the physical act, they were okay.
But I Tell You
"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).
The Heart of the Matter
Jesus isn’t contradicting the Old Testament Law –Jesus gets to the heart of the matter; the doing isn’t all that is sin, the wanting is sin as well. The Tenth Commandment forbids the coveting of a neighbor’s wife – I guess the Pharisees missed that one!
Men are stimulated by sight. The powers of this world capatalize on this. Look at the abundance of pornography and sexual movies in our culture. Sexually explicit stuff sells because men are aroused by sight and desire. Listen to this:
“There was a monster lurking about, and it surfaced each Sunday morning when I settled in my comfy La-Z-Boy and opened the Sunday morning newspaper. I would quickly find the department-store inserts and begin paging through the colored newsprint filled with models posing in bras and panties. Always smiling. Always available. I loved lingering over each ad insert. It’s wrong, I admitted, but it’s such a small thing. It was a far cry from Playboy, I told myself.” (Every man’s Battle, p.13).
Jesus tells us that it is no small thing; we’ve had a heart affair, so to speak. The act may not have occurred, but the desires associated with the act have.
Women aren’t off the hook
Women lust too. Though, not as visually stimulated as men, they can look at a man and lust. Also, women who dress scantily and seductively are equally guilty for provoking lust in those who are looking.
Listen to the words of a guy named Thad from an excerpt from the book, "Every Man’s Battle."
“I want to be free, but I’m becoming frustrated and angry with the church. The Bible says that women should dress modestly, but they don’t. The women soloists are always wearing the latest, tightest fashions. I look at them, but all I see are curves and legs. You know, that one who always wears the slit way up the thigh? That thigh flashes with every step she takes. I just get enraged! Why do they make it worse?” (Every Man’s Battle, p. 23).
Christian women have a responsibility to dress appropriately even in a society that celebrates flaunting one’s body parts.
Lust knows no age barrier
It is interesting to note that I had a pastor once tell me that he visited a house where a very old man sat on the porch flipping through pornography. The point is that you can be old and lust after women or men just the same as a younger person.
Lust leads to physical adultery
Lust is simply the inside desires of the outside act of adultery. If not controlled, it can lead to physical adultery; look at the example of David (see 2 Sam. 11:1-5).
Realizating our inability to measure up to God’s standards
Everyone has committed adultery in their heart; this reveals the corrupted nature of the human heart and our desperate need for a Savior. We can only be successful in battling lust when we’ve been given a new heart.
"If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell”(Matthew 5:29-30).
Is Jesus advocating mutilation of the body? No, take this figuratively.
Jesus is telling us to get rid of whatever causes you to lust, no matter how important it is to you. ‘Causes you to sin’ is basically referring to whatever sets a trap for you or ensnares you.
For the Christian, one who has gained righteousness by grace through faith, the warning to cut loose from things that cause us to sin must be heeded. The warning clearly tells us to go to whatever extremes necessary to keep stumbling blocks out of our lives; tempting relationships, ellicit media, and seedy places. It is better to lose something than to lose everything. Like Timothy, we must flee youthful lusts. Like Joseph, we must run from the seductress. The person who is sold out for God will receive help from the Holy Spirit to overcome the temptation to lust after others