Summary: Jesus taught about divorce. He called believers to a life of faithfulness. Unfortunately, sometimes faithfulness is abandoned and lives are destroyed. What is our response to those who experience the pain of divorce and unfaithfulness?
Today we will be looking at Matthew 5:27-32.
If you do not have a Bible with you the Scripture passages can be found on the bulletin insert.
I have always been amazed at how plainly the Bible talks to us. Though inspired of God and full of deep content the Scriptures are relatively easy to understand. The problem for most is not understanding what the Scriptures say - it is in how to apply them in everyday life.
This morning I am going to talk about a very sensitive subjects: adultery, lust and divorce. There is within me the desire to overlook these subjects. They can be embarrassing to talk about. And because so many are wounded by adultery and divorce I know the subject can, if not handled with grace, reopen some of those wounds.
On the other hand, as an undershepherd, I recognize that God’s Word speaks to these topics and so I must declare the whole counsel of God. And, because there are so many wounded I must allow God’s Word to speak this morning as a preventative measure against further damage.
(TRANSITION) With all that said, let’s do just a little review and then jump into God’s Word.
Is one that blesses (Beatitudes)
Is one that seek to influence its surroundings (Salt & Light)
Is a community of righteous sinners because Jesus fulfilled a law we could not
Is a kingdom of peace and reconciliation
Today we will see that the Kingdom of Heaven is a kingdom of faithfulness. I am going to shoot straight this morning and tell you upfront that I am mainly going to be talking to men (That does not mean you ladies need to check out.) In my experience, men, struggle more with lust than women (I know there are always exceptions...)
(TRANSITION) Let’s jump into the Word this morning and see how God will help all of us.
READ MATTHEW 5:27-32
Jesus begins His teaching by once again using the phrase, “You have heard that it was said...” Jesus is trying to correct the erroneous teaching of the Scribes and Pharisees. Let me explain this a bit. Jesus is not saying that their teaching “You shall not commit adultery” is wrong. IT IS THEIR APPLICATION of the Law that was wrong.
Again, the religious folks were teaching the people that only the ACTUAL act of adultery was a sin. A man could lust after a woman, fantasize about her - just as long as he did not physically commit the act of adultery. The focus of their teaching was on the ACTION and not the heart.
Jesus, however, gets to the heart of the matter. Jesus goes beyond just the physical act to the reason that act occurs - lust!
5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
You see, before a man ever commits adultery with his body - he first commits it in his mind. In his heart he has already had her. With his eyes he has already undressed her. In his mind he has already committed the actions.
Jesus teaches us that good fruit comes from a good heart. He also tells us that bad fruit comes from a corrupt heart. He goes on to teach us that what is in the heart of a man is what will come out - in his words and in his actions.
Let me just clarify something. Jesus is not telling us that that physical act of adultery and adultery of the mind are the same thing - they are both sins. I have heard people say, “Well, I have already committed adultery in my heart so I might as well go through with it in the flesh.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The ACTION of adultery can bring great pain and damage. BUT IF WE CAN GET OUR LUST UNDER CONTROL AND UNDER THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST MUCH DAMAGE CAN BE AVOIDED.
You may have enough fear of being caught to never act on the adultery being committed in your mind. Nevertheless, your thought life has to be surrendered to Christ because it is still leading you down a sinful path.
ILLUSTRATION: Billy Graham, the world-famous evangelist, traveled the world. Early in his ministry he made a covenant with his wife to never be alone with a woman. He would not even ride in an elevator alone with another woman. He understood that extended times away from home and from his wife were a mine field of temptation.