I. YE HAVE HEARD THAT IT HATH BEEN SAID BY THEM OF OLD TIME, "THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY."
A. Adultery by our definition is: a married person having sex with someone other than their spouse.
B. That is exactly what the Pharisees taught.
1. Is that not true, is that not one of the ten commandments?
2. Yes, the seventh commandment states, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, [both] the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
C. Adultery was a sin for which the penalty was death. God made no provision for a sacrifice that could atone for the sin of adultery or murder.
1. When King David was praying to God to forgive him of his sin of adultery and murder he said, "You do not want sacrifice, else I would give it."
2. Why so severe, that God did not even provide a sacrifice to cover that sin?
a. A strong family is the foundation of a strong society.
b. When the family bond is broken, it is only a matter of time until that society is destroyed.
c. The prisons are not large enough to house all of the social misfits.
d. Laws must be liberalized, so that prisons can be emptied of less severe criminals.
e. The financial burden on society to keep the vast numbers of criminals incarcerated will finally bankrupt the nation.
3. God desired the perpetuation of the human race.
a. He created man with the reproductive capacity.
b. He commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply.
4. The purpose of the law was to establish the rules by which a society could be formed and be perpetuated.
5. For children to grow up and be productive citizens in society, they need the security and loving environment of a good home.
D. Because there was no sacrifice that could atone for the sin of murder and adultery, what did David do when guilty of both?
1. He cast himself upon the mercy of God. "Have mercy upon me O God, according to the abundance of Thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions."
2. The whole purpose of the law was to drive us to seek the mercy and grace of God.
a. The law actually condemned us all to death.
b. "The soul that sinneth, shall surely die."
3. In the New Testament we have the interesting story in John 8
of the woman who was brought to Jesus who according to the Pharisees was caught in the very act of adultery.
a. Knowing the graciousness of Jesus, they were seeking to trap Him by placing Him at odds with the Law of Moses.
b. They said to Jesus, "Moses in the law says we are to stone her, what do you say?"
c. What did Jesus say? "Whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone."
d. What did Jesus say to her? "Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more."
e. There is forgiveness from God if we will repent and forsake our sin.
E. What was wrong with the way the Scribes and Pharisees were teaching the law?
1. Again they were teaching it only as a physical thing.
2. You may lust all you want, you may fantasize and picture yourself involved with that person, but as long as you did not commit the physical act, you were righteous.
II. "BUT I SAY UNTO YOU."
A. "Whoever looks at a woman and lusts after her, has committed adultery with her in his heart."
1. In these days, it could also be reversed, if a woman looks at a man and lusts after him.
2. Women in their endeavor to be like men, now have the clubs where they go to watch men do strip tease dances, and hoot and holler as men used to do as they watched the women.
3. The word looks, is to look in such a way that it stirs up the lusts and passions.
4. It is in a sense that second look, the deliberate looking with desire.
a. It must be noted that many women with great needs, dress in such a way as to deliberately encourage that second look. The tight fitting clothes, the low necklines.
b. The temptation is all around us. Billboards, magazines, the T.V., movies, so many are deliberately designed to cause you to look and lust.
c. Jesus is speaking of the man who deliberately uses his eyes to stimulate his desires for that which is forbidden.
B. "Therefore if your right eye offend thee, pluck it out."
1. We must not take the words of Jesus literally. If you would pluck out your right eye, you could still be stumbled by your left eye.
a. And even without eyes, you could still fantasize in your imagination.
b. Jesus is seeking to shock our senses as to how important it is to keep our minds pure.
c. Our minds cringe and are repelled by the thought of a man gauging out one of his eyes.
d. Our minds should cringe and be repelled by the thought of desiring sex with someone other than our spouse.
2. The word translated offend, is the Greek word skandalon which is literally a stumbling stone. A stone that someone trips over.
a. So many people are tripped up by not putting a guard over their eyes.
b. The case of Achan in the Old Testament,
When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they [are] hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
c. Job declared,
I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
d. Further down in this sermon Jesus will say:
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness!
e. James said:
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
C. What is said of the eye, can be also be said of the hand.
D. The chief point is, the importance of spending eternity in heaven, and that can only happen by our coming to Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins.
E. This is why it is so important to understand the contrast in the difference the way the law was being taught by the Pharisees and the way Jesus interpreted the law.
F. The basic difference is that the Pharisees taught the law in such a way that you could read it and feel innocent. The way Jesus interpreted the law, we are all guilty.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
G. It is the consciousness of my guilt that drives me to the cross to seek the mercy and grace of God.