"THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT"
1. As we continue our study of "The Sermon On The Mount" we find Jesus
still discussing "The Righteousness Of The Kingdom"
2. Having dealt with the subject of "murder," He now addressed the
subject of "adultery" in four verses, Mt 5:27-30
3. As we consider His words on this subject (and the ones to follow
concerning divorce), it may be that we find His teachings hard to
a. But Jesus DID warn us (in verse 20) that the righteousness
expected of those who would be citizens of His kingdom is one
with very high standards
b. Therefore, if we truly desire to be citizens of that kingdom, we
must be willing to accept whatever Jesus requires of us.
[On the subject of adultery, notice that...]
I. JESUS GOES BEYOND THE "TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION"
OF THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT
A. THE "TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION"... Mt 5:27
1. Evidently stressed that as long as one did not commit the
actual act, one was not guilty
2. Thereby emphasizing the "letter" of the Law, but not apprecia-
ting the "spirit" behind the Law as well
B. BUT JESUS INTERPRETS AND APPLIES THE LAW DIFFERENTLY...Mt 5:28-30
1. One does not have to commit the "act" to be guilty of adultery
2. One is just as guilty when one "looks at a woman to lust for her"
3. Note: Not the "looking" only, but "to lust" for her is what
a. "to lust" means to have a strong desire for, to possess and
b. A person may look at another with admiration for beauty and
not be guilty of "lust"
C. JESUS' INTERPRETATION WAS IN KEEPING WITH WHAT THE LAW OF MOSES
1. Notice that the Tenth Commandment condemned coveting a
neighbor's wife - Exo 20:17
2. Even in the time of Job, to "look at a woman to lust for her"
was considered wrong - Job 31:1
[So serious is such "lusting," Jesus goes on to say what we should do
with respect to the lustful eye or any other stumbling blocks...]
II. JESUS' PROGNOSIS FOR THE LUSTFUL EYE AND OTHER STUMBLING BLOCKS
A. "PLUCK IT OUT AND CAST IT FROM YOU"...Mt 5:29-30
1. That Jesus is not being literal should be obvious, for one
could still "stumble" with the left eye or hand
2. The key to understanding this passage is found in Mt 18:7-9
a. The "eye" and "hand" represent "offenses"
1) Offenses are "stumbling blocks" that lead a person to sin
2) These would be enticements to do wrong, beguiling allurements
3. Jesus does not want you to pluck out your eye; He wants you to overcome sin
B. THE MEANING OF JESUS' TEACHING...
1. Take drastic action in getting rid of whatever in the natural
course of events will tempt you to sin
2. Such should be the case in regards to ALL sin, as well as the
sin of adultery
[As we contemplate upon Jesus' words, there are several...]
III. IMPORTANT LESSONS TO BE LEARNED
A. THE PRESENT IS NOT OUR ONLY LIFE; WE ARE DESTINED FOR ETERNITY
1. The future holds the possibility of "hell" (Greek, GEHENNA, the
place of everlasting torment)
2. What we do or don't do in the present will determine our place in
B. NOTHING, NO MATTER HOW PRECIOUS, SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DOOM OUR
1. God's goal for us is the "kingdom of heaven" in all its eternal
2. What on "earth" can be worthy of losing that?
C. SIN, BEING A VERY DESTRUCTIVE FORCE, MUST NOT BE PAMPERED
1. Sin is to the soul what cancer is to the body
a. Delay can be deadly!
b. Halfway measures, halfhearted efforts, only give sin time
to wreak havoc.
2. "Radical surgery" is what's necessary to treat the "cancer" of
a. Cut off those things that might lead you to lust after others
b. Such stumbling blocks might be certain books, movies,
c. How much better to dwell upon such things as mentioned in
1. The affect of what Jesus taught is certainly challenging!
2. But if it weren't possible, Jesus would not require it of us -
cf. Mt 11:28-30; 1 Jn 5:3
3. Of course, in our efforts we are not alone, for God and Jesus are
with us - cf. Phil 2:12-13; Phil 4:13
It is important to keep this in mind, especially in our next study on
the subject of divorce...
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