Living With A Pure Heart In A Defiled World (Matthew 5:27-30)Ken Miller, July 6, 2014
Part of the Sermon On The Mount series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
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Text: Matthew 5:27-30
In Genesis 1:27 and 28, the first commandment God gave to man was to be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth.
Proverbs 5:15-19 - God tells us to enjoy the wife of our youth.
Hebrews 13:4 - Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.
Marriage is God's idea.
When Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, He must have created quite a stir, because He repeatedly said, "Ye have heard that .... but I say unto you..." He was speaking against the Torah, or at least improving on it.
The Sermon on the Mount is still a controversial subject among some people. In 2006 President Obama said the State Department couldn't survive by following the Sermon on the Mount.
In Matthew 5:32 Jesus said that divorce causes adultery. In verses 27-30 He redefines adultery. In our day of undress it is easy for people to play down what Jesus said here.
Matthew 5:27 is not law but a relationship with our Master. When we love Him, we do not want to disappoint Him or sever that relationship. The Old Testament addresses the physical act, but Jesus raises the bar much higher; to just look on a woman with lust is committing adultery. This looking is consciously and continuing to look with wrong intent. This can be a modestly or immodestly dressed woman.
Someone has said, "Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny."
It has been said that the spiritual life does not rise higher than the sexual battles.
Inciting lust in the United States and maybe the world is a multi-billion dollar industry. Much of the clothing industry is geared toward sexual incitement. It used to be that a porn movie would be shown at a theater once in a while, but now people carry this trash around in their pockets with electronic gadgets.
Yes, looking is lust; yes, it is sin; yes, it leads to hell. Verses 29 and 30 give us the solution to lust. If your eye offends you, pluck it out and cast it from you. If your hand offends you, cut it off and cast if from you. Why didn't Jesus call for prayer and meditation to keep us from these temptations? Because he knew this was a monster that needs to be dealt with decisively. CUT IT OFF; CAST IF FROM YOU. Strong action is needed.
Seven ways to overcome lust:
1) Remember the purpose for which your body was made. 1 Corinthians 6:13 - Your body was made for the Lord.
2) Cut out wrong things. If you know there is an immodest billboard ahead, decide not to stare at it. Look instead at your modestly dressed wife or daughters at that time.
3) On-line temptations. All our internet connections need protection. If your computer is more than your spiritual like can handle, take a hammer to it and smash it!
4) Making our own clothing. It is wise for us to make our own clothing, because so much of what we buy is intended for immodesty. Teach the younger sisters to sew their clothing.
5) Yielding our bodies to God. Romans 6:19 - We are servants to righteousness and holiness. E. Stanley Jones said we can direct our energies into creative things like writing, poetry, art, farming, or building a house. In short, staying busy is a good way to avoid temptation. Renew your mind through studying God's word and meditation and prayer.
6) Personal accountability. Confess your faults one to another and pray for one another that ye may be healed. Accountability groups are a good way to keep us from sin.
7) Marriage. Getting married is a good antidote to lusts, but it is not automatic.
Our culture has promoted falling in love as something that just hits you and may lead to marriage. Many other cultures have had and some still have arranged marriages. Some have encouraged marriages.
Our ministry and parents are thinking about their responsibility in that regard. Get ready for that, singles!
Titus 2:11 and 12. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut if off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (KJV)