Matthew 5:27-28 ESV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
What is adultery?
In the purest sense it is marital unfaithfulness, and/or it is having sex with someone with whom you are not married.
Yet, the Bible also speaks of adultery against God. So, what would that be? It is unfaithfulness to God, i.e. disobedience and rebellion. It has to do with being intimate (united in heart and mind) with the world’s system, which is of Satan, in place of intimacy with God, and thus becoming enemies of God.
It is to oppose holiness, righteousness and purity by engaging oneself in what is wicked, immoral and impure. It is a forsaking of one’s love relationship with spouse and/or with God to go after “other lovers” mentally, emotionally, romantically, physically and/or spiritually. And, it is to embrace the values, thinking, believing, attitudes and behaviors of this sinful world in place of embracing God’s righteousness and holiness.
But, there is a whole lot more which goes along with this adultery, for it often also involves hypocrisy, deception, manipulation, fakery, and trickery, because those who are unfaithful to spouse and/or to God will often pretend one thing while they do another, and/or they will try to trick you into believing that one thing is taking place while the opposite is happening. And, they will even lie to themselves in order to justify or to rationalize their own behaviors in order to ease any guilt they might otherwise have felt.
A Heart Issue
And, this then takes us to this matter of the heart. For sin against God and against spouse truly begins in the mind and in the heart before it ever is acted out. And so what Jesus is saying here is that it doesn’t become adultery at the moment we engage in physical sex with someone, or at the point that we literally deny our Lord with our lips, but we commit adultery against God and against spouse when, in our minds and hearts, we lust after someone or something who or which is not ours to have.
For, many people profess with their lips faithfulness and love to God and to spouse but in their minds they are committing adultery. Their hearts are somewhere else, given over to their own sensual pleasures, to do in their minds what ought not to be done, which is then often followed with their actions. For our actions speak to what is truly in our hearts, and what is truly what we think and believe. And, this is why many people will profess one thing with their lips but their actions say the opposite.
Matthew 5:29-30 ESV
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
A Singular Remedy
God has given us a singular remedy in his Word for how to overcome our flesh and for how to walk according to the Spirit instead. And, that is that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).
And this teaching here, though to be taken more metaphorically rather than literally, is just one aspect of that remedy. For, it teaches us the principle that we must forsake our lives of sin and remove from our lives whatever might lead us into sin, too (See also Hebrews 12 and Ephesians 4).
Yet, so much of the church today is not teaching this. They are not teaching death to sin and living to righteousness. They are teaching a cheap grace gospel which declares or which insinuates that we can believe in Jesus and have the hope of heaven when we leave this earth but that we don’t have to turn away from our sins, and we don’t have to obey Jesus Christ, but that we can continue with our sinful addictions and claim Jesus’ grace covers it all. And, this is a lie straight from the pit of hell!
So, what they are selling (promoting, marketing) is salvation from sin absent of the cross. What they are promoting is hard-heartedness towards the commands of God and indifference to his teachings on holiness and righteousness. What they are pushing is that we don’t have to apply the truths of scripture to our lives, i.e. that we can ignore them, for we don’t have to do what they say, even though God says we do.
So, those who believe this cheap grace gospel feel empowered to go on in their adulteries, their self-sufficiency, their pride and their indifference to the things of God while claiming heaven as their eternal destiny, and this is just WRONG! For, it is encouraging hard-heartedness to the things of God and superficial professions of faith which are not followed up with action. And, this is the reason America is on such a spiritual and moral decline.
So, what is bottled up (stored) in people’s hearts, because they have not been cleansed of their sins, comes spilling out. Thus, they spread seeds of indifference to God and to his Word, and of rebellion and adultery. They spread seeds of discord, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, hypocrisy, lies, slander, hatred, mockery, pride, selfishness and lust. And, nothing from their mouths can be trusted because their lips are full of deceit, trickery and manipulation.
They may appear righteous on the outside, or that they are on your side, but they are the god of their own lives. And, they have no conscience about deceiving you, either, if it is to their advantage to do so.
For, they have become callous of heart and mind and so they will attack and ambush anyone they perceive as a threat to their kingdoms, i.e. to their lifestyles, or to their goals and objectives. For, they must protect their addictions and the kingdoms they are building for themselves, no matter who gets hurt in the process. And, this describes a lot of our leaders in America, too.
So, they are enemies of the cross of Christ and they are enemies to those who are following Jesus Christ with their lives, too. So, don’t be surprised if they persecute you for your stand for Christ and for His Word. Yet, what they sow they will also reap, as we all will (Gal. 6:7-8).
Matthew 5:38-42 ESV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”
This is a lot like “tit for tat.” This has to do with “equivalent retaliation” (Wikipedia). It has to do with getting even by paying someone back for what he or she did to us with something equally as nasty. The true meaning of “keeping no record of wrongs,” in 1 Corinthians 13, is that we should not trade “tit for tat.” We should not make a ledger of wrongs against us with the intention of paying the other person back for what he or she did to us.
This word “resist” means literally “to set against.” It means to fight; to tear apart. We are not supposed to tear each other apart and have knock down drag out fights with people. We are not supposed to be hateful, mean and nasty with people just because they were mean, nasty and hateful with us.
So, the whole point of this is that it is better to be wronged than to get even. Jesus said we would be hated and persecuted for our faith in him, and for the sake of his gospel. And, he said we are blessed when we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. So, we should return hatred with love and persecution with kindness and forgiveness.
Now, this is not saying, though, that we can never defend ourselves or others, or that we cannot answer our accusers with the truth, or that we cannot take a stand on the truth. Jesus and Paul did all of these. They defended themselves and the truth against false accusations and trickery and deceit. Paul often spoke in his own defense, which was also in defense of the gospel. And, we are instructed to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness and to proclaim the truth in opposition to the lies.
Matthew 5:43-48 ESV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Love Your Enemies
But, we are not to hate those who are enemies of the cross and those who would lie to us, betray us, cheat on us, and use us to their advantage. Instead, we are to love them, which means we pray for them, and we do good to them (God’s good), and we say things to them that will benefit them for eternity. And, we set the example before them of what it means to walk according to the Spirit and no longer to fulfill the lusts of our flesh.
For Our Nation
An Original Work / September 11, 2012
Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.
Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.
Friday, February 8, 2019