Speaker: Mr Yap Chee Kai
Sermon Title: Adultery, Divorce: Eliminating Lust, Embracing Holiness
Scripture Text: Matthew 5: 27 – 32
We should strive for holiness in light of Jesus’ teachings. “Be holy for I am holy” (Lev. 19:2; 1 Pet 1:16).
Striving for holiness is essential for seeing God.
Why God demands us to be holy?
* Jesus’ radical teaching challenges the scribes and Pharisees’ ‘false’ beliefs.
* Jesus transcends the text and lives beyond its words.
* Jesus focuses on the inner thought and heart of the commandment.
Christ’s teaching fulfills the law in the Gospel.
1. Our Heart’s Desire (vv.27-28)
* In verbatim agreement with Exodus 20:14 and Deuteronomy 5:18.
* Adultery begins with the eye, then the heart, before leads to an action.
* Jesus’ standard on sexual ethic is to avoid lust and embrace holiness.
Reexamining our heart’s desire.
2 Samuel 11:2-3 illustrates the point.
In Matthew’s context of adultery, James 1:13-15 uses the metaphor of conception, birth and death.
2. Radical Action Needed (vv.29-30)
* Jesus makes it clear that sexual sin is extremely serious.
* Jesus’ gruesome analogy to emphasise the urgency of the situation that demands radical action to eliminate sinful lust desire which has resulted in “adultery” in the heart.
Radical action is needed immediately to eliminate lust and embrace holiness.
* The “muscular secularism” views the Bible in conflict with cultural values.
* Joseph flees sexual temptation from Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39.
* What radical action do you need to take, personally and corporately?
3. Marriage Sanctity for Life (vv.31-32)
* Jesus explicitly forbids divorce.
* Divorce is never encouraged despite laws concerning divorce in Deuteronomy 24.
* Jesus emphasises the wrongness of divorce by referring to remarriage as adultery.
Marriage is for life because it is God-ordained, covenant relationship between a man and a woman.
Make very effort to reconcile and restore the marriage.
Three observations for us to reflect upon today.
1) Radical obedience in Jesus’ hard teaching on today’s passage.
2) Do not pass judgment on the failures of others or condemn them, no matter how serious the sin.
3) God’s love and grace can offer us forgiveness and healing through our repentance.
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