Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XI: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Surpassing Righteousness
E. The Biblically Consistent Righteousness Of Christ's Subjects Regarding Adultery
(Matthew 5:27-30)
  1. Introduction
    1. When Jesus asserted one's righteousness had to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees if he were part of the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20), He had to clarify to His Hebrew listeners how that could be, for the Pharisees adhered to the principle of Halacha, "concern for every jot and tittle of performance" regarding the Mosaic Law, Zondervan Pictorial Ency. of the Bible, vol. Four, p. 748.
    2. Matthew 5:21-7:6 provides many illustrations of Jesus' point, with Matthew 5:27-30 commenting on how His kingdom righteousness regarding adultery far surpassed the righteousness of the Pharisees as follows:
  2. The Biblically Consistent Righteousness Of Christ's Subjects Regarding Adultery, Matthew 5:27-30.
    1. Jesus said that the scribes and Pharisees taught one should not commit adultery, Matthew 5:27.
    2. However, Jesus declared adultery was far more in God's eyes than the physical act itself, Matthew 5:28:
      1. The Greek Testament verb for "adultery" in Matthew 5:27-28 is moicheuo, sexual intercourse in violation of the marital union of at least one party involved, and it differs from, porneia which is "every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse," including sexual intercourse by unmarried people, U. B. S. Greek N. T., 1966, p. 14; Arndt & Gingrich, A Grk.-Eng. Lex. of the N. T., 1967, p. 528, 699-700.
      2. This law was the seventh commandment of the Ten Commandments, and was designed "toward protecting the sanctity of the home," Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, p. 140.
      3. However, Jesus claimed that "adultery" in God's view was comprised of a man's merely looking upon a woman to "desire" (epithumeo, Ibid., p. 293) her sexually in his heart [mind], Matt. 5:28. [By way of application, since a married man OR a married woman can commit adultery, if the genders in Jesus' statement are reversed in that a woman looks upon a man who is not her husband with sexual "desire, longing", she, is likewise guilty of adultery in God's estimation!]
      4. Since this law was given to protect the sanctity of the home, and since Jesus did not clarify if the one who lusted was married or unmarried, if one sexually lusts after anyone who either IS NOT nor WILL BE his or her SPOUSE, that party is already guilty of the sin of ADULTERY in God's eyes!
      5. Thus, any mental lust for sexual union with parties other than one's (lifelong) spouse is the sin of adultery in the eyes of God, for he is guilty of undermining the sanctity of the [eventual] home!
    3. With this lofty standard on moral uprightness, Jesus directed that if one's right eye was the cause for his sexually desiring a person who neither was nor would be his lifelong spouse, which sin keeps one from heaven (apart from God's salvation), he should pluck it out and cast it from him, that just one member of his body perish rather than have that member be a vehicle to commit mental adultery and condemn all of him to hell, Matt. 5:29. This command "is strong language, used to emphasize the comparison; i.e., [the] sin [of adultery] is so dangerous, because it leads to eternal condemnation, that it would be better to lose . . . eyes temporarily than to lose life eternally." (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Matthew 5:29-30).
    4. In the same context of the sin of adultery, one might translate his lust into the initial steps of heading into the act of adultery where he might sin by using his hand to touch the party lusted in a lustful manner. In that case, though the act of sexual intercourse had not yet been reached, that lustful act still constituted adultery in God's eyes due to the lustful motive behind it. Thus, one was best cutting off his hand and casting it from him lest his entire body be condemned to eternal destruction in hell, Matthew 5:30, Ibid. Note how this directive condemns all errantly lustful "petting" that falls short of actual intercourse, for, in God's eyes, the motive of desire in the MIND already condemns the act involved to be the sin of adultery!
Lesson: In God's view, any thought or act that has the motive of sexual desire behind it, when directed toward a party other than one's lifelong spouse, is adultery! God views this sin as devastating in terms of eternal consequences, so, if we have committed it, we need to believe in Christ or go to hell, and we believers are to live above it [in the Spirit's power] as those who are headed toward Christ's Kingdom.

Application: May we trust in Christ for salvation, and may we avoid every form of adultery as believers!