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Who Is an Adulterer? Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
October 2, 2020 4:00 am

Who Is an Adulterer? Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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October 2, 2020 4:00 am

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Thou shalt not commit adultery. This is what your tradition taught and you've been told that this is God's standard. If you just don't commit adultery. Your righteous but God never was really concerned about the only but more so about the tube behind the cosmetic touches and find what needs to be fixed in deal with those issues sooner rather than later. That's really what John MacArthur's current study on grace to you is all about. In his series called the sinfulness of sin. John is helping you take a penetrating look at your spiritual condition right down to those heart attitudes that no one else can see the place where sin can take root. Every Christian needs to inspect those attitudes regularly. John study will help you do that so follow along now and here's today's lesson were looking at Matthew chapter 5 in our study going to look at the passage in verses 27 through 30. Matthew chapter 5 verses 27 to 30 while you're turning to it and getting it ready for our study, let me say that in the fifth chapter of Matthew.

Our Lord answered the question in the forefront of the minds of the people who had seen his miracles, people who had heard some of what is said and were really wondering whether he was the Messiah.

They were curious about whether this miracle worker was in fact the one who would bring God's kingdom. There were certain elements in the teaching in the life and ministry of Jesus that made him think he might be the Messiah. And so they were quizzical they wanted to know if you want also to know what his standards were for his kingdom there were curious to know that if he was the Messiah, he should pretty well square with what Moses said. So they were curious about how he viewed the things of the law of God, the things of Moses and Jesus summarized his message to them.

In verses 17 through 20 of chapter 5, he said, think not that I am come to destroy the law of the prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. For verily I say him to you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.

But whosoever shall do and teach them the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. In other words, what he was saying was this I am the Messiah. And my message is the same message that Moses gave you. Not any different. I would not change it. I would not destroy it. I would not alter it. I came to fulfill it and he went a step further.

He said the standards for my kingdom must exceed the standards that you are now living by verse 20 I say unto you, that except your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees shall in no case enter the kingdom of heaven, there was the basic standard Jesus gay but he required for his kingdom of righteousness beyond that of the scribes and Pharisees, and by the way they were the most righteous people in the Jewish society so I say what I ask is more than they asked but not more than Moses asked and not different than Moses. I have not come to alter the law to change the law but to fulfill the law and the law itself demands more than you are now giving is a higher standard. As far as the people knew the scribes and the Pharisees were the most righteous of this was a very hard thing for them to understand they did not understand how he could require a higher righteousness than that of the scribes and Pharisees and still accept Mosaic law because they thought the scribes and the Pharisees live the law of Moses to the hilt.

And so the question is if you believe in Moses. The question in their mind and you believe in the law of Moses.

How can you require a greater standard than the scribes and Pharisees who teach us the law of Moses. The fact is, though, the scribes and the Pharisees sat in the seat of Moses and though they claimed to be the proponents of the law of Moses. The truth was, they themselves had lowered the law of Moses to their own design and were not even keeping that which God originally intended. And so Jesus comes to lift the standard back where it was in the beginning of this is hard for the people to understand. And so, point by point, the Lord goes through verses 21 to 48 giving them illustrations of how the scribes and the Pharisees and the people as well, fell short on every aspect of God's absolute standard. He wants them to see that the people were not living up to God standard and lowered the standard and he wants to raise it back where it really should be in effect what he does here is destroy any system of self-righteousness see what man tends to do is this.

If he doesn't want to come God's way. He creates his own God creates his own religious system says this is what is required.

This is what I'll accomplish.

Therefore, I'm justified when I do. He drags the law of God down to something he can do does it and then commit convinces himself he's okay and what we say to a person like that today. As you know, that's not the way it is the standard of God is too high.

You can't keep it and that is exactly what Jesus would say, scribes and the Pharisees invented a standard lower than the divine one figured out how they could keep it At the best they could therefore convince themselves they were righteous and Jesus is not on your life unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees will never enter into my kingdom. And this is not a violation of Moses. This is not adding to Moses. This is not changing the law of Moses. This is just reiterating where Moses put it in the beginning get it backward below and that is really what he's doing throughout the fifth chapter and as we come to verses 27 to 30. He is giving another illustration of how the people had lowered the law of Moses and how he must lift it back up again in order to destroy their self-righteousness and what he does throughout this chapter is contrast the righteousness they thought they had with the true divine standard, and thus he literally strips all men and women start naked, spiritually speaking before God, they have no claim of self righteousness. Let let's look at the illustration in verses 27 to 30 verse 27 Ye have heard that it was said phrase there by them of old which is in some of your versions is not in all the manuscripts but it is probably picked up because it used so frequently in the chapter. It really reads you have heard that it was said, but of course he has reference to their traditional teachers them of old. The agents were taught them so you can put it in italics. I guess because he does have reference to that, but he says you heard that it was said that I shall not commit adultery.

This is what your tradition taught you this is what the rabbis have said this is what the scribes and the Pharisees of said and you have been told that this is God standard. If you just don't commit adultery. Your righteous but verse 28.

I saying to you, that whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. In other words, Jesus says there standard is too low.

Let's put it back where God intended it. God never was really concerned about the act only, but more so about the two behind the act and in verse 29 he gives them a solution.

If thy right eye offend the pluck it out and cast it from me, for its profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish. Not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend the cut it off and cast it from the for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. In other words, you're a lot better off to cut off your arm or the pluck out your eye if it leads you to sin, and sin is not simply what you do is what you feel and think in your heart. So the second example that our Lord uses is the example of adultery and he is really saying to a self-righteous person, you can't say because you didn't do it you're all right if you ever thought your wrong. If your busted if you have a desire to commit the sin, you're a sinner and you are not righteous and you cannot claim righteousness just as back in verses 21 and 22 they said, thou shalt not kill. But Jesus said whoever is angry with his brother is in danger of hell. I'm telling you it isn't just a matter of whether you do the murder.

It's the issue of what you feel in your heart. And here he is saying exactly the same thing, only using another illustration in verses 21 and 22. His illustration was the sixth commandment.

And here in verses 27 to 28 is illustration is the seventh commandment of the underlying principle of the sixth commandment thou shalt not kill is the sacredness of life. The underlying principle of the seventh commandment, thou shalt not commit adultery is the sacredness of the basic unit of life, marriage, and so he picks out these two illustrations. Thou shalt not kill, which speaks of the sanctity of life shall not commit adultery, which speaks of the sanctity of marriage and he says you are not righteous before God. If you've ever been angry or if you ever thought a thought of adultery. What is try to do is show them a really sinful they were. No matter what the outside of their behavior so his concern here is the sanctity of marriage in verses 27 to 30 deals with the spirit of marriage in verses 31 and 32. The law of marriage the spirit of marriage and the law of marriage will begin to look at the spirit of marriage as we see his comments on the sin of lusting and committing adultery in your heart to say another word about the two illustrations.

He begins with anger and sex are two very powerful things they really reach deep down in the human experience. They aptly illustrate the sinfulness of man. In fact, I doubt whether there are any two illustrations that are more apt than these two to really cut us to the very core with all experience the temptations of anger and blessed very common and they reached deep into the basic sinfulness of man and those Jews were sitting on the hillside in Galilee during the Lord Jesus Christ confronting them about their anger and about their lust and their hearts would have to admit, by virtue of their own consciences that they indeed were sinners and the fact that they never killed anybody, and the fact that they never actually did the of adultery didn't exonerate them from the sinfulness of sin, which reigned in their heart. Jesus wants to go right to the heart of man and show them that no matter what they've done. They can't fit into his cane. So Jesus sets a high standard. Just the fact that he says it.

Anybody looks on a woman to lust after her's committed adultery with her already in his heart, is a tremendous statement to somebody living in our society today when the temptations are so vast temptation is always been around. Didn't matter whether woman was covered from head to foot in a long robe, such as in the East and that time and had a veil over her face. The temptation would still be there, as Satan would move in and there would always be those things which the devil would use to generate lust, in which the flesh would pounce upon to initiate the temptation, but it seems to me that in the society in which we live.

Temptations are are so much more rampant and so much more visible and so much more common all around us because of the virtuous society we live in. I believe that sex in marriage and the beauty of which God has designed it was meant to be a very personal discovery. Not something plastered all over billboards and taught classes in and presented in books. I think it's something very private. Something very special, something very unique and I think that the fact that we pander and propagate it and sell it and teach it and talk about it incessantly all over the place.

All that does is just illicit, evil responses out of the heart of evil men and evil women doesn't do anything to help the situation we find explicit sex seminars explicit sex books, running the gamut people constantly preaching on the subject and talking about the subject and advocating this and that.

I've heard the most strangest kind of counseling supposedly coming from men of God but II just boggles my mind and I don't think ever in the history of the Western world since the death of Greek and Roman paganism have we seen the unbridled indulgence of sexual passion so encouraged and so elicited and so praise as we do today. Mass media lures with sex to sell its products glamorize is illicit pleasure sex crimes are at an all-time high, divorce, infidelity and perversion are being praise their subjects for humor in our society pleasure first philosophy is rampant, hedonism is in full force monogamous marriages threatened faithfulness is laughter and ridicule and locked and we could spend hour after hour just illustrating that but it's not necessary, you know it's all around. I have to avoid even looking at a magazine rack. I would not even going by magazine anymore because I really want to bombard my mind with what is there just on the cover alone the stuff inside a new morality has been espoused the situation ethics saying it right is relative, and whatever feels good. You gotta do as long as don't hurt anybody else in our whole society is literally sex man.

It's just that we are so preoccupied with sex. It's beyond belief.

CS Lewis is a great illustration. He says you can get a large audience together for a striptease act that is to watch your girl undress on a stage and he says if that doesn't indicate how warped our view of sex and our view of womanhood is imagine it this way.

Suppose you want to a country where you could fill a theater by bringing in a covered plate on the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let everyone see them just before the lights went out there contained a mutton chop or a piece of bacon when you think that something had gone wrong with their appetite for food.

Why should we think that it's any different in our society when we get all out of shape because somebody takes off their close Playboy philosophy is nothing but a mutton chop mentality. It's a perversion there's something wrong with us or something deep down inside that's wrong it's being pandered and played to in our society, you have comes along and says why get Alex upset about sex. It's only a biological necessity, like eating drinking and sleeping. That's not new. That kind of philosophy comes right out of the past right out of Greek and Roman paganism in first Corinthians chapter 6 and verse 13 the apostle Paul reiterates that philosophy as he confronts the Corinthians about their preoccupation with this evil sex thing and here's what here's what they were saying. Verse 13 first written six foods for the body and the body for foods that I was a little a little phrase they were saying somebody come along and say well you know you shouldn't do that, that's evil. And they say well good for the body and the body for foods what they mean is it's only biology it's a cattle proverb day you well.

Sex is only a biological thing. That's all good for the body. The body for foods just biology. That's it like eating, sleeping and drinking well, it says God shall destroy both Ian and them because the body is not for fornication but for the Lord and the Lord for the body. The body is not just biological is spiritual belongs to God. He says to the current you just can't give your body over and say it's only biology that's the mutton chop philosophy that's the Playboy philosophy can't do it body is not for fornication. The bodies for the Lord and the Lord for the body, but you know verse 15 says that your bodies are the members of Christ.

When I take the members of Christ and make them the members of a harlot or a prostitute and that's anybody who has illicit sex. What I do that, don't you know that one. It was joined to a harlot becomes one body, and he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

So if you go to a harlot you enter an adulterous situation.

You join the Lord to that sin isn't just food for the body and the body for food. And in verse 18 he says, flee fornication for now evil. Sexual behavior the view that sex is only a biological urgent.

Gotta live it up.

Enjoy it situation ethics be restrained, don't be inhibited. Live it up with whoever you want just biology. Anyway that philosophy is literally drowned our society in a sea of sexual perversion is bombard us with a barrage of propaganda that is shattering homes, destroying families, ruining individual lives destroying the capability of an individual to do what is right unless he has completely committed himself to Jesus Christ was just the boxes.

The society at a rapid rate, relationships have been replaced with perversions, concern has been replaced by can 2%'s love is been replaced by E that's the way it is in our society. On the other hand, whenever you talk about sex.

You not only have the people we have in their chair because it's her favorite subject, but you also have the people to grab the Bible and head for the door there rather prudish about it.

That's the Victorian view. You know they want to go so far the other way.

They say sex is shameful.

It's depraved, it's less than holy. By the way this is done even today, and it's it's been done in the past. That's not the answer. You can't go to the extreme that is biology and you can't go to the other extreme that the castration or whatever mutilation will solve the problem. It will and one is just as much a perversion as the other because God is wonderfully designed.

This is a part of human life in first Corinthians chapter 7 verse three. The apostle Paul discusses something of it. He says let the husband render to the wife her duties talk about the physical relationship. Likewise also the wife unto her husband, the wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband and likewise also the husband has not power of his own body, but the wife stop depriving one the other, except it be with consent for the time that you may give yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your lack of self-control. In other words, he says, you have every right and every responsibility to give your body to each other in the fulfillment of sexual desire that's within marriage. God's design.

In the book of Proverbs, God deals with the same thing. Chapter 5 in verse 15 drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well other words, enjoy the married situation stay away from the harlot, the strange woman he talked about earlier in chapter 5 will destroy you break out of your own cistern, running waters out of your own well. Let thy fountain be dispersed abroad in rivers of water in the streets.

Let them be only thine own and not for strangers with the don't give your seed to a stranger. Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth, B is the loving kind or dear and pleasant role, let her breasts satisfy the at all times and be thou ravished always with her love of God has designed its physical relationship and he is sanctified, and blessed and so is that this is pure and right. But our world has made a mutton chop out of we've gone into some kind of a twisted jaded lecherous perversion and this, of course, appeals to the heart of sinful evil men. So as we come to this passage. In verses 27 following. It's a very fitting word for the society in which we live.

We need to see what Jesus is saying now the Pharisees had their own viewpoint. Verse 27 thou shalt not commit adultery. And because they didn't do that.

They thought they were righteous they thought they go right into the kingdom had the chief seats. Maybe you're like maybe Sadie is not so bad.

I've never actually gone out of my life I've never committed adultery I have never done that kind of thing.

But Jesus says if you ever looked on a woman to lust after her. You've done it in your heart and that's enough to damn you to hell forever. That's the implication of verses 29, 30, so your self-confidence is shattered here.

See the external system of laws and not cut it because God is after the attitude and you see what Jesus wants to do is show them they can't they can't help themselves see that you deal with the outside your they could not commit adultery.

They couldn't do anything with the inside.

So Jesus hits them where their helpless, hopeless, powerless, which should drive them in desperation to God, who alone can change the heart desperately wanted to believe they were okay.

Jesus shows them, they will. This is grace to you with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us. John is Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary here in Los Angeles and is titled our current study, the sinfulness of sin. John you talked about the philosophy that drives our society that you just should do whatever feels good and how that conflicts with the Bible's clear teaching on sin is one of the symbols of the meltdown of our society. Concern over sin, and in doing what's right. It's a foreign concept in today's culture like you're speaking a different language because responsibilities a foreign concept that everybody's trouble is caused by somebody else. People don't want to take responsibility. I'm a victim I'm a victim of these people are those people are this historical pattern or whatever it is that the hardest thing to get a sinner to do is to take responsibility for his behavior, but that is absolutely critical to any kind of response to the gospel you're not in the problem you're in because of somebody else you're there because of you. You are the problem and the problem that makes you the problem is the problem of sin in you.

But this culture has done everything possible to disassociate responsibility from the individual we all are victims. Everybody should have at least one victim category as an excuse for what's wrong with you and if you have three or four victim categories while you're really empowered in this culture that I did a series on this in the book of Ezekiel and I said it's so bad to let people think their victims because if you're a victim and you're not responsible. How do you get them from there to the gospel which says you are responsible for your sin and you need to repent of it, wrote a book that I think in my think others who know me well would have to be in the maybe the top three books that I've ever done called the vanishing conscience. People often comment about it. This culture has no conscience. This society has no conscience.

They been stripped of conscience and as a result of that, they're going pell-mell headlong in the streets right into hell and we see what a culture looks like when the conscience doesn't function because the conscience is the personal restraint that keeps people from acting in sinful overt, wretched, rebellious ways. The vanishing conscience would be a book for our time. It would be a book for this week.

It deals with the victim mentality dismisses personal responsibility deals with treating sin is a disease and the elevation of human pride in all of that you need a copy of a 250 page book for those of you have never contacted us before will send you a copy of the vanishing conscience free of charge. One of my all time favorite John MacArthur books the vanishing conscience to make sure your conscience aligns with God's word pick up a copy of the vanishing conscience again. It's our gift to you.

If you've never contacted us before. Just call or go to our website and request your book today. Our number here 855 grace and our web address The vanishing conscience will show you how to fight habitual sins, overcome temptation and maintain a pure thought life is an ideal gift for a young believer or someone you're discipling. And as John said will send you the vanishing conscience for free. If you've never contacted us before you can also buy extra copies to give to your friends or the people in your Bible study. Here's her number again 855 grace and our website and thank you for telling us what these daily broadcasts mean to you and thanks especially for praying for us. We rely on that more than you know to let us know how God is using this listener supported ministry in your life right us at box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or email us at that's our email address one more time. now for John MacArthur in the entire grace to you staff, I'm Phil Johnson. Keep in mind you can watch grace to you television this Sunday on DirecTV channel 378 or check your local listings for channeling times and then join us Monday for another half hour unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to

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