Summary: If lust is not dealt with, it can ruin our lives completely.

A Messiah Who Teaches Part 2: Adultery of the Heart

Text: Matt. 5:27-30


1. Illustration: There are warning signs that we can be aware of when we are being led away by our lust. These signs begin to surface as we begin to give in to temptation and if not checked will lead us to betray those we love. In C.S. Lewis’ classic, “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”, we have a prime example of a young man named Edmund who’s lust for Turkish Delight leads him into an allegiance to the white witch, betraying those he loves. Just like Edmund, we all are being seduced to lead a life away from the Lord, and if left unchecked we will betray those we love for something artificial and brief.

2. Jesus teaches us that adultery, like murder, begins in the heart. In his teaching on adultery, Jesus stresses that it is:

a. An affair of the heart, and to avoid it we must...

b. Perform Stumbling Block Surgery.

3. Read Matt. 5:27-30

Proposition: If lust is not dealt with, it can ruin our lives completely.

Transition: First, Jesus tells us the dangers of an...

I. Affair of the Heart (27-28)

A. Adultery With Her In His Heart

1. Just as we did last week, we see Jesus, as a good Rabbi, quotes Scripture and then explains it. Jesus moves from the sixth to the seventh commandment, developing the OT teaching on adultery (Turner, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, 89).

2. He says, “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’"

a. Jesus, of course, is quoting from the Ten Commandments found in Exod. 20:14.

b. Adultery in the Old Testament involved sexual intercourse with mutual consent between a man, married or unmarried, and the wife of another man.

c. The term and the penalty (death) applied equally to both the man and the woman (Wilkins, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: Matthew, 244).

d. Adultery was considered one of the most serious offenses because it broke the relationship that was a reflection of God and his people.

e. Adultery was often used to describe the way in which the people of Israel went after gods other than Yahweh (Wilkins, 244).

3. However, Jesus again deals with the heart of the law and not merely the letter. He says, "But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

a. Just as anger is the beginning of murder, lust is the beginning of adultery.

b. The word that Jesus uses for lust means "to strongly desire to have what belongs to someone else and/or to engage in an activity which is morally wrong" (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).

c. Jesus does not, of course, refer here to passing attraction. The Greek tense probably suggests "the deliberate harboring of desire for illicit relationship (Keener, 117).

d. There is a difference between admiring the beauty of another, and in doing so acknowledging the handiwork of God, and lust.

4. By stressing the lustful intention over the act, Jesus seems to be interpreting the seventh commandment by the tenth commandment.

a. Exodus 20:17 (NLT)

“You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”

b. In the popular Greek version of the OT used in Jesus day the tenth commandment began, "You shall not covet your neighbors wife," and used the same word for "covet" that Jesus uses for "lust" (Keener, 116).

c. In other words, in lusting after another, we are taking what belongs to someone else.

d. We are violating not only that person, but also their spouse and your spouse.

e. Proverbs 5:15-17 (NLT)

Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers.

5. Furthermore, this standard applies not only to those who are married, but to those who are single as well.

a. From this warning, we learn the value that God places on marital and premarital fidelity (Keener, 117).

b. Lust if just as sinful if you are single as it is for those who are married.

c. 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NLT)

But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

d. Lust is far removed from true love: it dehumanizes another person into an object of passion, leading us to act as if the other were a visual or emotional prostitute for our use (Keener, 118).

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