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Summary: The message today might seem a bit harsh but Jesus spoke and we have to preach it. I admit I am more comfortable whispering repentance and shouting grace.

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TEXT; MATTHEW 5:27-32

TITLE: “Would You Be Blind”

INTRODUCTION: Most Sundays I am excited to preach.

I’m usually fired up to prepare a message and present it. I have to admit that it’s not really the case today.

The passage we’re going to study this morning is a tough and controversial

passage.

It made me wonder why I decided to preach through the Sermon on the Mount. But because that’s what I’m doing, I’ve got to bring a message about adultery, lust, hell, and divorce.

It’s difficult to balance Jesus’ high standards with His grace and forgiveness. I know that discussing such sensitive subjects without offending people is tough.

There are a lot of congregations that treat divorce as the unpardonable sin and

refuse to let anyone serve in a leadership position who has been divorced

--By the way, I can’t find biblical evidence of that position

There are also congregations that just ignore what Jesus teaches on these

difficult subjects altogether.

Now that I think about it some more, let’s just sing a few more songs and go

home!

Well, I really can’t do that in good conscience.

The Apostle Paul told the elders at the church in Ephesus that he was glad that

he preached to them “the whole counsel of God.”

I took an oath to preach the word “in season and out of season” and not

just to “say what itching ears want to hear.”

I’m going to ask that you remember today that I’m not the letter writer

--I’m just the mail carrier

I promise that I will do my best to teach you how I understand Jesus’ teaching and

how it applies to our life.

--Please do your best to receive this message in love

Actually the subject of marriage and sexual purity is so important that we don’t dare

pass over it even though it creates tension.

When I was in youth ministry I hit on this message a lot. Because they were young and I was trying to save them from getting hurt.

If this helps to prevent one affair, one divorce, one broken heart, or one addiction,

it will be well worth the time we spend on it today.

More importantly, if one child is given a secure, loving environment in which to

grow up or one soul is saved for eternity, God will be glorified.

--Jesus challenges us to guard our heart. So let’s look carefully at what Jesus said

Mt. 5:27-32

I. THE OLD TESTAMENT SAYS, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY

A. There was a positive reason for that negative command.

--Sexual intimacy is so powerful—it is to be expressed in marriage only.

1. A car is a powerful machine and it’s an awesome responsibility to drive a car.

a. An uncontrolled car can crash into a marketplace and kill a number of people, so government authorities put parameters around driving.

--You have to be sixteen years old. You have to pass a test. You can’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You have to travel within a speed limit. There are all kinds of restrictions.

Why? Doesn’t the government want us to enjoy driving? Don’t they want us to get to our

destination?

--Of course! The restrictions are there for the benefit of society because driving is a wonderful, but powerful privilege. The majority of the time when we don’t take it seriously we aren’t the only ones effected by our negligence. We hurt a lot of other people too.

2. Sexual intimacy is a wonderful, powerful gift from God.

a. An uncontrolled sexual desire can spin out of control and destroy a whole number of people, so God put parameters around it.

--You have to wait until you are married before you have intercourse. You shouldn’t even look at a women lustfully and this also applies to women looking at men. And there are all kinds of restrictions that we need to keep to preserve that marriage.

3. God, who designed us, wants this powerful gift to be experienced in the safest, most meaningful, uninhibited environment possible.

a. For our personal benefit and the benefit of others in society, He restricted sexual intimacy to marriage only.

b. Outside those parameters sexual intimacy initially creates excitement but wounds and kills the relationship in the end. 9 out of 10 couples that have intimacy before they are married ends in divorce.

C. When we started our study of the Sermon on the Mount, we saw that there is a consistent theme throughout Jesus’ message from the mountain.

--Christ-followers are to be different and distinctive than those in the world.

1. One of the ways you show your distinctiveness is that you honor God’s boundaries in sexual intimacy. And the world notices and can’t believe it. “YOU’RE A VIRGIN!!!”

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