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Matthew 5:27-28

Sexual Purity in an Impure World

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.


A three-year-old boy went with his dad to see a new litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother, "There were two boy kittens and two girl kittens."

"How did you know that?" his mother asked.

"Daddy picked them up and looked underneath," he replied. "I think it's printed on the bottom." (Pearl Scully in The Saturday Evening Post.)

Unfortunately, the innocence of youth does not last long. Fallen man has been plagued by the lust of the flesh since the day that Adam ate the forbidden fruit. Our temptation has been so strong that whole civilizations have been confused by its deceptive nature and destroyed by its overwhelming power. Even in our modern society, which is more informed than any in history, there is constant debate over the moral issues of sex.

At the time that Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, the understanding of sexual morality was limited to the literal meaning of the laws of Moses. The seventh commandment against adultery and a few laws concerning rape were the only guidelines available. Most men thought themselves innocent of adultery because they were faithful to their wives or, if they were single, did not have any affairs with married women. The Pharisee in Luke 18:11 thanked God that he was not like other men whose sins included adultery.

However, Jesus expounded on this commandment in such a way as to make everyone guilty of violating it. There are three words in His explanation that we must read carefully. "Whosoever" is a word that includes everyone. It is not limited to married men. For those who are confused about homosexuality, please notice that "whosoever" also includes women.

Secondly, "a woman" does not limit the act of adultery to married women only, but includes all women. The Jewish people had a very limited understanding of the seventh commandment, believing that adultery was an act between a married person and someone other than their spouse. Jesus had now expanded that meaning to include anyone who commits any act of sexual impurity.

The third word that we must examine is the word "lust". This is the word that brands each of us with the sin of adultery. It takes sexual purity to a new level, a level that cannot be reached without a new birth in Jesus Christ. "Lust" means, "to desire", and Jesus said that anyone who has looked on a woman with desire has already committed adultery in his heart.

Lastly, we should not be so ignorant as to apply this passage only to men who look and lust, but to women also. As Jesus continues His sermon it is evident that everything He says applies to men and women equally. Therefore, any woman who looks at a man with sexual desire is also guilty of adultery.

Our society refutes the teachings of Jesus. We are continuously bombarded with messages that are designed to cause us to lust. Clever advertisers know how to use our lusts to manipulate us into buying their products. Television shows use our sinful natures to attract us to their programming. Others will try to influence us to be sexually impure simply to cover or to justify their own sins.

The pastor and worship leader are involved in an art form that draws upon their passions. It is emotional and can often be frustrating. We must be careful that those frustrated passions for artistic expression do not find their relief in lust and sexual impurity. It seems that the devil loves to invade both the pulpit and the choir loft. Sexual impurity is the number one enemy of the modern day minister, and it often begins with some degree of pornography.

Before The Throne:

Pray for your own purity. Ask God for a hedge of protection against the constant bombardment of sexual messages from the media. Seek the power of the Holy Spirit in the spiritual warfare that you are facing. Keep your pastor and church leaders in prayer to protect them from the devil's deceptions. Ask God to protect His name by protecting the reputation of His ambassadors on earth.

For Further Study:

(v.27)
** Thou. Exod 20:14; Lev 20:10; Deut 5:18; Deut 22:22-24; Prov 6:32;

(v.28) ** I say. Matt 7:28-29; ** That. Gen 34:2; Gen 39:7-23; Exod 20:17; 2Sam 11:2; Job 31:1, 9; Prov 6:25; Jas 1:14-15; 2Pet 2:14; 1Jo 2:16; ** hath. Ps 119:96; Rom 7:7-8, 14;

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