Summary: Sexual immorality is rampant in our society and the overwhelming sentiment of our culture seems to be "if it feels good - do it!" God calls us to a higher standard though and Jesus sets us straight on the truth about adultery. Also includes thoughts on

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The Truth About Adultery - Matthew 5:27-28 - November 20, 2011

Series: Kingdom Life – A World Turned Upside Down #13

Well, this morning we are going to continue with our study of the Sermon on the Mount. To this point we have worked through the Beatitudes, one by one, and we’ve seen what it is that we’re called to, and what it is that has been made possible for us, in Jesus Christ. We have heard Jesus affirm that He has not come to do away with the Law and the Prophets but rather that He has come to fulfill the very Word of God. Furthermore He has challenged us with His own words as He has said, “unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees …. You will certainly not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20) And then we’ve begun to discover what that righteousness looks like, because Jesus gives us six examples to illustrate the point He is making.

We looked at the first one a few weeks ago. Jesus took one of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shall not kill,” and in essence said, “As long as you have not taken another’s life you feel you have kept this commandment. But there’s more to it than that. You’ve given heed to the letter of the law but you’ve completely missed the spirit of it. You harbour in your hearts, anger and bitterness and rage against another and in doing so you’ve kept alive in your heart the very things that lead to murder. You have betrayed the spirit of the Law and the heart of God.” Hatred, becomes murder, because it stems from the same heart.

And that’s where this righteousness that He’s talking about – this righteousness that surpasses that of the Pharisees – needs to take root. It needs to take root in the heart, because the heart is the wellspring of life, and all the things we do and say, flow forth from what is in the heart. If you get the heart right, that which comes from the heart will be right as well.

The Pharisees excelled in wearing masks. To all outward appearances they were the epitome of righteousness - but it was all external. That’s why Jesus called them, “whitewashed tombs.” They said and did all the right things, went through all the right motions, but in truth their hearts were far from God. Spiritually they had no life. And many people in churches live like that today. My desire is that we would get our hearts right before God. My desire is that we would stop wearing masks. This is God’s desire for us as well.

Romans 12, verses 1-2, say this … “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1–2, NIV)

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