Lessons Of A Lifetime

A WRITTEN WARNING
OR
HELP IN TIME OF NEED
SUNDAY MAY 26, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I [Jesus] say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. And if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members [body parts] perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

“And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members [body parts] perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

“Furthermore, it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.”                                                                                                   Matthew 5.27-32

Something To Consider:
Jesus quoted the Old Testament Law which was given to Moses by God in Exodus 20.14 and Deuteronomy 5.18, which states; “You shall not commit adultery.” This commandment was written as a warning to both men and women of any age. And yet, once again, Jesus addresses the heart of the issue by directing His expansion of the law, directly at men, by saying, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Yes, because of the culture and time of the writing of the bible, it appears to have been written from a masculine point of view. But Jesus, as God His Father in heaven, is not a respecter of persons. That is, He lays the blame at whatever doorstep is in need of correction and comfort. How then are we doing when Jesus commands, “You shall not commit adultery”?

This may be a touchy subject for some, or for many, or for most, men and women included, but it is nonetheless a subject of concern! With the tremendous amount and easy access to TV and cable programming, magazines, and even billboards and their sexual overtone advertisements which bombard our society on a daily basis, the enemy freely plants immoral ideas and thoughts in our minds on a near constant basis.

How do we respond? How should we respond? Even watching a baseball game or the evening news on TV opens us up to the onslaught of almost non-stop sexual innuendos that if meditated upon, if not abruptly removed by the clicking of a remote, may lead an individual, both male or female to begin that thought process that leads to yielding to the sexual flaunting temptations of our human flesh. And that is where the warnings and restrictions of the law or of the Word of God greatly benefit us by our heeding their instructions.

Something Else To Consider:
Some declare emphatically that the restrictiveness of the law no longer applies to New Testament born-again believers. We will not attempt to argue or debate that issue; except to repeat what the apostle Paul stated in 2 Timothy 3.16; “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man [or woman or young person] of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

And if one looks closely enough with an open mind and heart, it is easily seen that Jesus has greatly expanded upon the Old Testament teaching, at least from a spiritual, heart examining perspective. And we must not forget what Jesus declared a few lessons ago, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

According to Jesus, a man looking at a woman to lust after her constitutes his already committing adultery with her in his heart. Wow! Jesus on many occasions and with many subjects greatly expanded the meaning or the teaching of an Old Testament law or requirement. Why? Because Jesus clearly understood that it was and still remains the thought of evil that ultimately leads individuals to a place of actual committing sin.

Therefore, as we attempt to control our thoughts and restrict them to the things of God, including the Word of God, we are more likely to be found walking in the Spirit of God and thereby not fulfilling the lust of our flesh or our eyes. In other words, we must resist the temptation of sin and its sinful pleasure for a season. We have in the form of the written Word of God warnings and a sure means of spiritual help in our times of need.

Something More To Consider:
Let us be quite assured, Jesus was not advocating bodily mutilation when He mentioned, “And if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you.” Or when He added, “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members [body parts] perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” He was painting a picture with words as dramatic as possible, to declare the destructive nature of sin if let go uncorrected and unconfessed.

As horrible as it would be to pluck out one’s eye, or to cut off one’s own hand, Jesus was proclaiming that it would be better by far than losing our place in the kingdom of heaven because of uncontrolled, unchecked, and unconfessed sin. Can we understand from a natural standpoint that what one eye can do the other eye can to? Do we for a moment really think that what our right hand can do that our left hand cannot do also? These are real warnings spoken by Jesus with real eternal ramifications!

Furthermore, Jesus was coming to the rescue of women’s rights of every generation when He challenged divorce by men for any reason whatsoever. Therefore, Jesus always has an eye firmly fixed on those who are struggling with and against sin and the sin of others. These warnings of Jesus are not for the purpose of nailing anyone to a wall of shame, but rather for the purpose of making us keenly aware of areas in our lives that may need immediate attention before Satan creates a stronghold we cannot humanly escape from.

A Few Final Words:
Therefore, will we heed the many written warnings contained within the Word of God, especially the nearly neglected words of warning spoken by Jesus and recorded for us and others to learn from? If we are willing to observe all things Jesus taught, including what He taught concerning adultery, lust, and divorce, we will gladly find all the help we need in our time of need.

The sin of adultery according to Jesus, begins with our lustfully looking at and longing for that which is forbidden for our own good. Let us therefore, heed the written warning as we approach end time events. “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery in his heart.” And that holds true for a woman lusting after a man or a man or woman lusting after another of the same gender. Sin is still sin. And sin, any sin separates us from God. Be not deceived!

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, let us not hide from the heart issues of sin. Give us boldness to seek forgiveness from You as needed. In Him Always, Amen!

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