Summary: Dealing with the subject of adultery through the Sermon on the Mount
Title: The Place of Adultery in our Society
Theme: Help us to understand how to avoid adultery
Text: Matthew 5:27-30
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14 AV)
This is one commandment that was thoroughly condemned. Although it is taken lightly today by our society it was not in the Biblical times. It was so abominable that it was punishable by death in the Old Testament.
And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 AV)
We see this practice in the New Testament when the Pharisees brought to Jesus the lady caught in adultery.
They had every right to stone her according to the law. But they wanted to test Jesus. Jesus startled them. He did not give the same answer. Although the law said that she should be put to death he turned the charge to them. Who among them could cast the first stone? Who could condemn her to die? Not one of them. In the truest of sense only Jesus could pass the sentence but he did not. Why?
1) He knew their heart and their intentions
2) He had compassion
When Jesus came with him he brought a new way. A better way. A way that was not based on a mans works or will but totally on God. He revitalized the relationship between God and man. He fulfilled all that had been looked forward to.
But he had to show the Pharisees, the scribes, the disciples and all who listened that they could not do it.
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Jesus extended the definition of adultery. Oh anyone could say I have not committed the physical act of adultery with another woman. Especially in the Biblical times who would considering the consequences. Although I have heard of some people meeting these same consequences in todays society. But Jesus said there is more.
He said again that sin is not just physical but it is also spiritual. Sin is not just external but it is internal just as our relationship with God is not just external but it is internal.
We worship God "in spirit and in truth".
Now if one looks on a woman and lusts after her he has just as much committed adultery.
So we must ask ourselves what is adultery.
Stamps says, "What Christ condemns is not the sudden thought which Satan may place in a person's mind or an improper desire that arises suddenly. Rather it is a wrong thought or desire that is accompanied with the approval of our will. It is having an immoral desire which would seek fulfillment if the opportunity arose"
It is not just having a thought that pertains to a person. Many times we are tempted with ideas and thoughts. This is not a sin. But it is the contemplation. The fantasizing about. I would if I could idea. If only this then that. I have heard this in all areas. If I thought I would get away with it I would steal. If I wouldn't get caught.