MATTHEW 5:27-30 / YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID
Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; v28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 Now if your right eye is causing you to sin, tear it out and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand is causing you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
WHAT DOES IT SAY?
Jesus continues to contrast and compare the Old Covenant Law (Torah) with His New Covenant Truth. And, again, He is using the Mosaic Covenant and the Ten Commandments, specifically the “Second Five” which deal with personal relationships. Specifically, in these verses, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY”.
Jesus is warning against lusting after a woman even in your heart. There is much more that could be said, but, Jesus go straight to the point: “If you think it, you’ve done it!” He warns of the consequences of being ‘swept or dragged away and imprisoned’ by your sin (from the Greek language used in the Bible) and offers a radical and unthinkable remedy as opposed to spending an eternity in hell.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
What this means must be framed by the “Why” of the matter. Why did God warn against adultery (and murder), besides the obvious penalties stated, such as “Your whole body will go to hell” – and why that?
God is warning against a much greater threat. He is warning against separation from His Presence.
Isiah 59:2. “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
The willful lust of adultery (or murder), is Sin against God, and it separates you from the presence of God. It is the litmus test of self-centeredness. It shows a deliberate rebellion against and a disregard for God and others. And, being absent from the presence of God opens the door to every sort of destructive harm and damage to the human condition, now in this life, and later, eternal separation from God, “
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
We, who call ourselves Christians, should experience God in the ways described in the Bible. Yet, we suffer needlessly because of our failures, blaming the ‘weaknesses of our flesh’.
Look at the example of Job:
Job 1:5 tells us that “When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send word to them and consecrate them, getting up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Job did so continually.”
Consider that Job was obsessed with the sins of his sons. So much so, that he was gripped with doubt and fear. Suddenly …
Job 1:6 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 8 The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job?
Now the ‘spiritual door’ was opened and Satan came among them, and, God allows Job to suffer at the hands of Satan. Now read …
Job 3:25. “For what I fear comes upon me, And what I dread encounters me. 26 “I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, And I am not at rest, but turmoil comes.”
We call on the Name of God and beg for mercy, yet we fail to repent of our own rebellious ways, and a ‘spiritual door is opened’ and Satan comes among us, and we can no longer obey God and His Word. So, we say “All of these things you are asking are too difficult for me. This is a far-off thing you are asking of me. I won’t be able to do these things until I get to heaven!”
But, God says, in Deuteronomy 30:11
“For this commandment which I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it far away. 12 It is not in heaven, that you could say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us and get it for us, and proclaim it to us, so that we may follow it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you could say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us and get it for us and proclaim it to us, so that we may follow it?’ 14 On the contrary, the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may follow it.”
And again in Romans 10:6
“But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), 7 or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8 But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13f or “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”
The contemporary postmodern Church in America, and most parts of the world, will tell you, if you are a Christian, that God is your loving “Daddy” (Abba), and that is true. They will tell you that He understands your frailty to sin, and that you should “do your best and forget the rest” because “He loves you so much, He can never love you any less”. But, these are lies of a religion fallen into apostasy. They neglect to tell you about the consequences of sin, rebellion against God and that continued deliberate sin separates you from Him.
NOW – WHAT WILL YOU DO?
The Bible tells us that “we don’t have to sin”, but when we do, we have an advocate in Jesus Christ, Who is before the Father on our behalf, Who is the atonement (payment) for our sins. But, that we must turn to Him, confess our sins to Him and repent (acknowledge sin is wrong and turn away from sin).
1 John 2:3 “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5but whoever follows His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6the one who says that he remains in Him ought, himself also, walk just as He walked.”
You can be assured that …
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.“
I pray that, as we who confess the Name of Jesus, will overcome by the word of our testimony and by the Blood of the Lamb.
Your Brother and Friend,