Summary: The heart is the center of our being and what determines who we are. It’s important and needs to be watched carefully to avoid impurities.

(Based on Southeast Christian Church’s “living a Life of Integrity” and a message by Darrel Land)




INTRODUCTION: A. Most Sundays I am excited to preach

1. I’m usually fired up to prepare a message and present it

a. I have to admit that it’s not really the case today.

b. Maybe you’re assuming that it’s because I’ve spent the last two weeks spending

over 4 hours a night in final rehearsals and performance of The Promise and that

I’m tired

--I am tired but that is not the reason

2. The passage we’re going to study this morning is a tough and controversial


a. It made me wonder why I decided to preach verse-by-verse through the Sermon

on the Mount.

b. But because that’s what I’m doing, I’ve got to bring a message about adultery,

lust, hell, and divorce.

--I thought I might preach on something easier – like MONEY!

3. It’s difficult to balance Jesus’ high standards with His grace and forgiveness

a. I know that discussing such sensitive subjects without offending peoples’

sensibilities is tough.

b. There are a lot of congregations that treat divorce as the unpardonable sin and

refuse to let anyone serve in a leadership position who has been divorced

--By the way, I can’t find biblical evidence of that position

c. There are also congregations that just ignore what Jesus teaches on these

difficult subjects altogether.

4. Now that I think about it some more, let’s just sing a few more songs and go


a. Well, I really can’t do that in good conscience.

b. The Apostle Paul told the elders at the church in Ephesus that he was glad that

he preached to them “the whole counsel of God.”

1). It’s the preacher’s job to communicate all of God’s Word to people.

2). We take an oath to preach the word “in season and out of season” and not

just to “say what itching ears want to hear.”

B. I’m going to ask that you remember today that I’m not the letter writer

--I’m just the mail carrier

1. I promise that I will do my best to teach you how I understand Jesus’ teaching and

how it applies to our life.

--Please promise to do your best to receive this message in love

2. Actually the subject of marriage and sexual purity is so important that we don’t dare

pass over it even though it creates tension.

a. If this helps to prevent one affair, one divorce, one broken heart, or one addiction,

it will be well worth the time we spend today.

b. More importantly, if one child is given a secure, loving environment in which to

grow up or one soul is saved for eternity, God will be glorified.

--Jesus challenges us to guard our heart. So let’s look carefully at what Jesus said

3. Mt. 5:27-32 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I

tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery

with her in his 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. It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a

certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for

marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries

the divorced woman commits adultery.”


A. There was a positive reason for that negative command.

--Sexual intimacy is so powerful—it is to be expressed in marriage only.

1. A car is a powerful machine and it’s an awesome responsibility to drive a car.

a. An uncontrolled car can crash into a marketplace and kill a number of people, so government

authorities put parameters around driving.

--You have to be sixteen years old. You have to pass a test. You can’t drive under the influence of

drugs or alcohol. You have to travel within a speed limit. There are all kinds of restrictions.

b. Why? Doesn’t the government want us to enjoy driving? Don’t they want us to get to our


--Of course! The restrictions are there for the benefit of society because driving is a wonderful, but

powerful privilege.

2. Sexual intimacy is a wonderful, powerful gift from God.

a. It seals the covenant relationship of marriage and continually renews the commitment.

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