Summary: Who is guilty of adultery? Jesus gives us the answer in the Sermon on the Mount and what He reveals might just surprise us; but, if it doesn't, it certainly ought to change our behavior.
JESUS CONFRONTS ADULTERY
** We introduced this sermon with a 4 minute drama of the woman caught in adultery **
A. WHO IS AN ADULTERER?
1. Those Who Practice Wicked Deeds.
Mt 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’;
Jesus chose murder and adultery to speak of in this Sermon.
Both sins were punishable by death in Jewish society.
Why? Because when you get married, 2 die and become 1 new person.
When adultery is committed and the marriage is broken, that 1 person dies and separates.
* Other reasons. It destroys the lives of innocent people. The spouse, the children, etal.
Divorce and single-parenthood are the leading causes of poverty for children.
* What is adultery?
(1) (Specifically) Sexual activity involving a married person and someone other than spouse. Both participants in this act are adulterers.
(2) (Generally) It refers to having sex with anyone other than your spouse. These include any sexual act prior to marriage, prostitution, etc.
(3) Living Together- Today, 48% of couples lived together before marriage or are still living together. 75% of women lived with a sex partner without being married at some time in the past.
* Living together is iniquity and God hates iniquity. If you are under conviction right now about this then remedy this by getting married very soon. If you have been doing this for years without overwhelming remorse, then you not only need to get married, you might just need to get saved.
2. Those Who Harbor Wrong Desires.
Mt 5:28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Jesus spoke of murder and adultery to illustrate the principle of sin in the NT Age.
Why? Because most people would never commit those, but they all were still guilty of breaking those 2 commands “in their hearts”.
* He revealed that every person is guilty in the heart.
3. Those Who Participate in Wayward Divorce.
Mt 5:31-32 “It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Today we have “disposable marriages”. In God’s Kingdom, there is no such thing as a “no fault divorce”. Irreconcilable differences are not grounds for a divorce.
Mal 2:6 “I hate divorce!” says the Lord, the God of Israel.
The Bible provides only 2 grounds for a divorce for Christians.
(1) Sexual Immorality. If your spouse physically commits adultery, you have the legal right to divorce them. It doesn’t necessarily mean you should, but you do have the right. Can remarry w/out adultery
(2) Abandonment. 1 Cor 7:14-15 reveals that the person abandoned by their spouse is free from guilt and not in adultery when remarrying.
B. HOW TO LIVE SEXUALLY PURE.
Mt 5:29-30 29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
In the Greatest sermon ever preached, Jesus condemns adultery.
These are severe statements that He makes about the danger of sexual immorality– that you are sent to Hell for your sins.
* Note- many think that God will be soft on their sin. Many think they can justify to God why it’s OK for them to live in sexual immorality. Jesus, though, makes no allowances for any kind of excuses.
Ez 18:4 The soul who sins will surely die.
Many point to the adulterous woman and say “Look, Jesus did not condemn her but let her go free.” Look again at that passage, though.
(1) When her accusers stated she deserved to die, Jesus never argued that fact because what they said was true! Jesus merely exposed the hypocrisy of the accusers that were just as guilty as she was. She may have deserved to die, but they weren’t clean enough to judge her.
(2) Jesus told her to “go and sin no more”. He demanded that she live morally once she repented.
Don’t ask Jesus to endorse your sin. When He forgives, you are commanded to leave sin behind!
So what does Jesus mean in vs 29-30?
He is using hyperbole– a figure of speech that exaggerates a statement to make an emphasis.
* He is not saying that you should mutilate your own body. He is saying that you should examine the sources of your temptation and remove or avoid them.