Summary: Can we look as long as we do not touch? What does Jesus say about it?
Bruce Larson tells of an old priest, who was asked by a young man, "Father, when will I cease to be bothered by the sins of the flesh? The priest replied, Son I wouldn’t trust myself until I’d been dead for 3 or 4 days
Today we are going to deal with a subject that has the potential to destroy many lives. As Jesus continues with His six ways that our righteousness can exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, He turns to a subject that has hit many homes and has been the cause of many marriages ending up in divorce.
As I planned this message I realized that most of us are probably not going to run around on our wives, or cheat on our husbands. We’re not going to get involved with promiscuous men and women. In fact, many of us will never even be tempted to actually do those things.
For most of us, the battleground is going to be in the mind. The greatest temptation we face is the invitation to participate with our minds in a world of virtual reality where we don’t think we are actually cheating on our spouses. Instead we’re lured to do it in our hearts.
The religious leaders felt that as long as they did not act out the deed, that they were innocent before God.
Jesus is going to tell us that He is setting a higher standard for those who belong to Him. Once again, Jesus is going to deal with the heart of the problem.
The title of my message is “It Doesn’t Hurt to Look?”
There is a steady stream of sexual immorality in everything from books, to magazines, to TV shows and commercials, to movies, to music, to the Internet that constantly calling for us to "look lustfully," as Jesus put it. It doesn’t hurt to look, does it? Pornography in the United States is a $12-13 billion a year industry - greater than the combined revenues of the Coca-Cola and McDonnell Douglas corporations.
Can’t we just look as long as we do not act? In 1990, over 300 million X-rated videos were sold. That’s more than one for every man, woman and child in the country. Since then sales and rentals of adult videos have risen by 75%.
In our society, we are being bombarded by temptation in the area of sexual purity. According to a 1995 article in the American Family Association Journal, 88% of all sexual activity portrayed on prime-time TV occurs between people who are not married to each other. “It doesn’t hurt to look, or does it?
Today we are going to see what Jesus has to say adultery. At what point are we committing this sin and what can we do to protect ourselves from allowing this sin to destroy our marriages and our families?
(The outline comes from John MacArthur’s commentary on Matthew)
I. THE DEED V 27
Jesus goes right on to the next area in which our righteousness is to exceed that of the scribes and the Pharisees if we want to enter the kingdom of God.
The sixth commandment (thou shall not murder) protects the sanctity of life whereas the seventh commandment (thou shall not commit adultery) protects the sanctity of marriage.
What does it mean to commit adultery?
Sheryl Tedder of Omaha, Nebraska tells the following story. As children’s pastor, I listened as a fourth-grade Sunday school teacher shared a concern. Completing a quarter’s lessons on the Ten Commandments, he had asked the kids, "What is the hardest Commandment for you to keep?" to which most of them responded, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." We couldn’t understand why fourth graders would find that command a problem until a mother quizzed her son on what he thought committing adultery meant. Without blinking, the boy replied, "Thou shalt not sass back to adults."
In the Old Testament adultery was understood to involve sexual relations between a man (married or single) and another man’s wife, or a virgin betrothed to be married to someone else (Lev 18:20; 20:10; Deut 22:22). The primary concern in the injunction against adultery was the violation or defiling of another man’s wife. This sin was punishable by death. Both the adulterous man and woman were viewed as guilty, and the punishment of death was prescribed for both (Lev. 20:10). This showed the severity of this sin on God’s eyes. God made faithfulness to the marriage relationship central to His divine will for marriage relationships.
The Law said that you were guilty if you actually participated in the act. By the way God designed sex. There have been many false views about sex promoted by the church over the centuries. Origen (A.D. 185-254), one of the outstanding early church Fathers was so convicted of his own sinfulness by reading Matthew 5:27-30 that he had himself castrated. God created sex and He created it to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage. We need to understand that any sexual activity outside the boundaries of marriage is against God’s will for you.