Summary: Christians should avoid any lustful desire to an opposite gender.
CONQUER YOUR LUST
Read the Matthew 5:27-30.
BIG IDEA – Christians should avoid any lustful desire to an opposite gender.
Why should Christian avoid lustful desire to an opposite gender?
1. Christians should avoid lustful desire to an opposite gender because it is an act of adultery with that person.
Adultery is usually referred to as sexual relations by a married person with a partner other than his or her spouse, but v. 28 makes clear that Jesus is not limiting his commandments to married people but speaking of sexual sin in general.
For the Lord Jesus, adultery does not happen when it was actually committed by a person but it starts in the inner thoughts and hearts of the person. He said that when a person looks at a woman lustfully he has committed adultery with her in his heart.
Actually, verse 28 can be translated into two ways: (1) one who looks at a woman with the intention of committing adultery, (2) one who looks at a woman for the purpose of getting her to lust after him.
When these scenarios happen, the person is guilty of adultery. However accidental glancing or looking is not yet a sin. The Greek word for look in this passage is “blepon” means continuously looking rather than just casting a passing glance.
But in most cases, having adulterous thoughts are tantamount to the act. Jesus condemned the internal seed of the outward sin. He was actually setting a more stringent standard of sexual ethics.
2. Christians should avoid lustful desire to an opposite gender because it has serious personal consequences.
Lust must be treated with the utmost seriousness because it can cause a person to be thrown into hell. Jesus used hyperbole to emphasize the seriousness of the sin.
When he said that “eye should be gouged out and hand be cut off and thrown away,” he was asking the Christians to make a radical sacrifice or drastic measures to avoid temptations to sexual sin. It means that we should remove from ourselves anyone or anything that could lead us into this sin.
It is not a literal instruction; since evil arises in the heart, amputation or self-mutilation will not help. It is quite possible to be blind or crippled and still lust because it is an internal struggle.
Matthew 15:19 (NIV) For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
James 1:14-15 (NASB) But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
How does one prevent lust from resulting to sin?
Romans 13:14 (NASB) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
1. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ – clothe yourself with Christ. Let Him reign over your life. Make no provision means that we deprive and eventually starve to death our lust.
2 Timothy 2:22 (NASB) Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2. Redirect your passion to Christian values – “flee and pursue” this implies that you stay away and focus on something virtuous like faith, love, righteousness, and peace.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
3. Discipline your mind to think of praiseworthy things – let your mind dwell only on thoughts that noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Filter what goes in to your mind.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
4. Ask God’s help through prayer – God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
5. Let God’s word be the judge – expose your thoughts to God’s word and see if it stands the test, if not drop them.
Lustful desires are attractive but don’t be deceive by them. They are destructive in all angles. Conquer them.