Let’s look closer at what Jesus is telling us. Follow me on this journey as we dissect the sin of adultery, as well as sin in general, and as we look at what Jesus teaches us about dealing with sin in our lives. When we look close at sin, and when we address the immorality involved…….I believe that we will gain insight and save ourselves a ton of trouble in the future.
It’s funny, I have seen many relationships broken by adultery and new relationship begun through adultery and what I find interesting is that often these relationships end in adultery…….what were they thinking? That suddenly they would become “above” God’s wisdom?
Matthew 5:27-28 (TNIV)
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Again Jesus quotes one of the Ten Commandments, the seventh commandment from Exodus 20:14, “You shall not commit adultery”.
In the Old Testament God tells us, His people, that a person must not have sex with someone other than his or her spouse. But again, I believe that people missed God’s heart. Jesus “fulfills” the Law here and explains God’s heart by telling us, “But I tell you” that even the “desire” to have sex with someone other than who you are married to is mental adultery and is wrong. Again, Jesus emphasized our heart. If the ACT is wrong then so is the desire to do the act.
For a man or a woman to look at someone and lust is the same as committing adultery. What does “lust” mean? It means the desire for an illicit relationship. If we simply avoid the act of adultery but we have a mind filled with lustful thoughts and desires for someone else we miss the point of God’s law.
Let me say this first though, Jesus was not condemning our natural interest in the opposite sex or even healthy sexual desire. My gosh, if you want some heart pounding sexual imagery, just read the Old Testament book “Song of Songs”.
Within the context of marriage our sexual, and I believe, spiritual desires for our spouse are a gift from God. So why would sex outside marriage be wrong?
First, would you agree that sex with someone creates a bond? Maybe even a bond that is not based on the person but on the desire? My next question is, should a relationship be based on this sexual desire or on the whole person? I believe that our sexual desire is a complement to our marriage and should not at all be the basis for our marriage, in any way shape or form. Sex is a complement to the marriage relationship. In Hebrew, the word for this would be “dode“. In Greek it would be “eros“. Obviously this where we get the word “erotic” from.
Why would adultery be wrong? That seems pretty obvious to me. It is self centered and hurts others.
Why would lust be wrong? Maybe that doesn’t seem so obvious. Lust so very often leads to action. The realization of our societies attitude toward sexual behavior has created major problems. Abortion would be no problem in our society if the immorality that feeds it was addressed, meaning, abortion would not happen. Many cases of HIV/AIDS could be handled much more successfully if the morality that feeds it was addressed. Sexually transmitted diseases are not an issue when Biblical morality is practiced.
Inside marriage, the deepest of relationships, lust for someone outside the relationship leads to hurt. If you know that the person you love lust after others, what does that do to your self esteem, how you feel about yourself?
So now comes the big question, with so much sexual imagery around us: On TV, at the newsstand, ON THE INTERNET, in the way we dress and on and on…….how do we control this lust that so very often leads to hurt relationships and to a hurtful view of ourselves? Let’s talk about that next….