June 23, 2018
Matthew 5:27-28… You have heard it 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.
This was spoken by Jesus near the beginning of His public ministry. He didn’t waste any time getting to the point. I have heard it said, “I listen to Jesus… the New Testament, but I don’t care for the Old Testament.” In just one sentence, Jesus quotes the Old Testament and then gives a New Testament application. His application is more comprehensive and condemning than the original command. What he was doing was telling us that He watches the heart. People had learned to be deceitful… doing one thing while thinking another. Jesus dealt directly with that. And furthermore, He knows that every action is first evident in the heart as a thought or a contemplation. New Testament Christianity deals directly with the intents of the heart. Even when your actions are commendable, God is more concerned with the reasons behind the actions.
God, in love, dealt with the ugliness of our hearts through Jesus. In the verse at the top of the page, Jesus was not giving us something to try. We can’t control our thoughts that well. This whole teaching of His, called the Sermon on the Mount, was to point out the impossibility of living as a Christian… we must come to Him for the power and the right spirit. We can’t do it on our own. You can’t get enough things right to outweigh the bad things you think and do. And that may be the main error of modern Christianity. We think God grades on the curve and will reward us if our balance is in his favor. We are not balancing good and evil. I am sorry if that messes with your system. We are running to good and avoiding even the appearance of evil.
It is impossible for a human who has not been born again by the Spirit of God. (John 3:1-21) Only by God’s Spirit, which is given to us at salvation, can we even hope to live a righteous life. So, young men, when your eyes wander and look at a woman in an unhealthy way, the healing you need is in Jesus… in relationship with Him. Don’t rely on your strong discipline; turn to Him. When you stand before God, your only plea is, “I believe Jesus.” and, “I trust Him”