Summary: Jesus teaches about the real meaning of righteousness in the light of sexual purity.

What Is The Meaning Of Righteousness?

Jesus’ teaching makes it clear that sin, just like righteousness, if first of all an internal thing.

God’s evaluation of us takes place in the heart. God judges the source and origin of sin.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks within himself, so is he

In Matthew 5:21-26 Jesus gives an example or illustration of heart righteousness, teaching that murder is not simply a manner of outward manifestation. In fact the sin of murder occurs in the heart even if the outward act is never accomplished.

Beginning in verse 27, Jesus gives another illustration of inward, heart righteousness. It has to do with adultery and sexual sin in general.

Matthew 5:27-32

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 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. 31“It was said, ‘WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE’; 32but 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.

The Bible Condemns Sexual Immorality

Adultery is having sexual relations to someone other than one’s marriage partner

Leviticus 20:10

‘If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Deuteronomy 22:22

If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.

1 Corinthians 6:9-13

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

12All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. 13Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.

Galatians 5:19

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,

Vs 21 and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God

Revelation 21:5-8

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said*, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” 6Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7“He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. 8“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

God’s Evaluates Sexual Purity From The Heart

Jesus teaches the true meaning of righteousness when it comes to sexual purity with an emphatic statement in verse 28

28but I say to you that everyone…

Once again we need to understand that Jesus is not making a statement in contrast to God’s Law but rather he is making an emphatic statement in contrast and refutation of what was taught by the Pharisees.

He is saying, “This is what the Law of God means. Here is God’s measure of whether you violate this commandment or not.”

Vs. 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.

The clear point here is that when God measures sexual purity – he looks internally at the thoughts and intents of the heart.

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