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A Heart Of The Matter


27 "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell."


Good Morning my beloved,

We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is an honor and privilege to have you here with us today. Prayer is so important, and our most powerful weapon against the adversary. In fact, I believe that a praying church on their knees is far more powerful than an army of their feet! We are so thankful your prayers and continue to pray for all of you. As we continue to work with a number of Middle-Eastern and Asian countries to introduce the Gospel of Jesus Christ, please continue to keep this ministry and those on the ground in these countries in your prayers.

I remember as a teenager, sitting in church and the pastor said that he was going to use the morning sermon time to tell us how he had broken all of the Ten Commandments. I remember well the shock I felt, and thought to myself, this had ought to be good. As he began to speak, however, it played out much different than everyone thought it would. He began to explain that you do not actually have to kill to commit murder and you do not have to have an extra marital affair to commit adultery. Because Jesus takes the commandments beyond the external act, He makes them a matter of the heart. 

In our last message, we looked at the commandment not to commit murder, and we saw that Jesus took this command and warned that murder was an act of the heart, even if we did not carry out the physical act. Now, Jesus takes adultery and points directly to our hearts as well.In other words, Jesus is saying that the Christian life must go beyond a list of do’s and donts. I believe that Jesus' warning cuts right to the heart. It is amazing how Jesus interprets the Law. He often takes what appears to be our strengths and shows them to be our weakness, revealing that we are guilty. Jesus speaks some pretty strong words.

First, let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You for Your Word for us today. They reveal the deepest secrets of our hearts, and strip us of our self-righteousness. You illustrate to us just how foolish we've been for thinking that we’ve arrived spiritually. Though we are redeemed, we are still sinful. We are thankful that Your grace, is greater than all our sin. Though we are so unworthy, You have given us Your righteousness, and filled us with Your Holy Spirit. Help us Lord, to walk in Your ways, and obey Your commands.

 Father, touch the hearts of those of who do not know Jesus Christ, Who alone can wash away sin. We ask and pray that You will deliver them, and they will come to Jesus Christ. O merciful Lord, we thank You for what You will do in faith believing. Thank You for all You have done for those of us who believe. We give glory to the King, whom we love, Jesus Christ, to Whom we owe everything.
In His precious name we pray
Today's Message: A Heart Of The Matter
Jesus is speaking to the Jews of His day, about the sin of the Jewish leaders who felt that they in themselves were righteous. In fact, they believed they were good enough to get in God’s kingdom without God’s help. This would have been a very hard message for them to understand. As far as the people knew, the scribes and the Pharisees were the most righteous of all people. They must have been thinking, how can You require a greater standard than that of the scribes and Pharisees?

Numbers 32:23 says, "But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out." Here, Jesus is giving us a message on the divine definition of sin. Man often creates his own god, inventing the kind of god he wants and then convinces himself he’s okay. So Jesus is destroying any system of self-righteousness. I believe that the longer, more dedicated and faithful you are as a Christian, the more this reminder is needed. We tend to lower the standard, that why we need to realign the attitude of our heart with God's standard. The standard of God is high. So, Jesus gets to the root of our problem, our heart.
When most people think of the Ten Commandments, they often breathe a sigh of relief and think, I have not broken them. Being angry is a far cry from murder, but Jesus takes the outward command, and goes right to the spirit of the law.In verse 22, He says "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell."

Open your Bibles with me to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5. As we continue in our study of this magnificent passage, we come to verses twenty-seven through thirty. In our passage, Jesus is giving us another illustration of how people tend to lower God's standard, Jesus makes it clear, we have no claim of self-righteousness. It's difficult for someone, who is bound by the curse of sin to keep God's standards. Actually, it's impossible. To put it another way, Jesus strips us spiritually naked, before God.

I invite you to follow along with me as I read these four verses, as we prepare our hearts for the Spirit of God is saying to each of us. Matthew 5:27-30. Listen for the voice of our Lord.
"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell."
Verse by verse, Jesus is continuing to give us standards of holiness for those that are following God. And, He isn’t pulling any punches. In these verses Jesus is referring to the 7th commandment. Here, He uses the example of lust to expose a heart condition and then uses hyperbole to describe the drastic measures we should take to keep ourselves from sin. The stakes couldn’t be higher. He says hell is the destination for those who don’t take it seriously.
Let's look at verse 27, "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’;" Jesus is saying, this is what you heard, this is what your tradition taught you is God’s standard. If don’t commit adultery, you're okay, you're righteous. But, then in the next verse, Jesus says their standard is too low. God is not concerned about the act only. Verses 28, "but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Our Lord is saying that sin is something so deep, so penetrating, it's heinous! The more we understand sin, the more we understand the true meaning of salvation.  If you don't understand sin, you will never understand the meaning of the cross. If you don't understand sin, you will only understand salvation in a superficial view. Just because you didn't commit the act, but you have desired it in your heart, you cannot claim righteousness. 

That's the problem the church faces today, because people think of sin superficially, they think of sin minimally. And as long as people think of sin superficially, they will make light of their sin. They're left with a minimal requirement for salvation. Unless people understand the truth about sin, they can never understand the truth about salvation. That was the issue with Pharisees and the scribes, and, I believe that is the issue yet today. Because people do not understand how evil sin  is, they do not understand the great lengths He had to go to accomplish salvation. Therefore, the extreme of what His death on the cross means. 
Sin is so deep, so powerful, so consuming that only Jesus Christ can change it. This is a very great concern to me. That's why I preach so much about sin and repentance, and the superficial gospel presentations in our culture today. It's become very shallow, easy believism and cheap grace. We must understand just how powerful the grip of sin is, so powerful in fact, it's casts the souls of men into hell.  And if the church truly understood that, it would change the direction of evangelism, it would be more directed at the damning character of sin. I believe the church must confront people with the holiness of God. You cannot just preach about the love of God, without preaching about judgement and condemnation. There must be preaching of that which God says is right and wrong. It has to start with the holiness of God against the sinfulness of man.
Jesus wanted people to understand the doom of judgement, the reality of hell. That's why He talked more about hell than any other person in the Bible. That's why He preached that sin sends people to hell. You have teach about judgement before you teach about grace. That's why Jesus is teaching it isn't just the matter of committing the act of sin, because it’s the issue of what you feel in your heart. Sin is not simply what you do, it is what you feel and think in your heart. That's the point. It is at that point, Jesus Christ moves in to offer the deliverance that only He alone can give. Man can only modify their behavior, only God can change the heart. Unless you fully understand what you were, you will never understand what God has made you in Jesus Christ.
The church today not only suffers from superficial preaching, but superficial concepts of holiness and sanctification. And, as a result, superficial transformation, failing to understand the magnanimity of the change that is needed in our lives. That is what Jesus is forcing us to think about as He preaches this profound sermon. 
In Luke 24, Jesus said "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem."
And, in Proverbs 23, it says "For as he thinks within himself, so he is."  
In Matthew 15, Jesus said "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders." The heart is where the real problem is. Deep down in his heart, man is a sinner.

That's why God says in Ezekiel 36, "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." The Bible is very clear about sin, those who sin earn eternal punishment. Sin was a serious issue then, and still is today. The holiness and justice of God require that sin must be punished. But for those who accept Christ as Lord and Savior, the punishment for sin is no longer upon us. Jesus took that punishment for us. What we fail to understand, is that is not intended to break down, but rather to increase holiness in the believer. That does not mean that we can become complacent about sin and in our relationship with Him.

The word "adultery," is a very simple word, it the verb "moicheuó," meaning unlawful intercourse with someone else's spouse. That's the technical meaning. However, in verse 28, Jesus is teaching us that the spirit of the law is much broader, that anyone who lusts after a woman has committed adultery in his heart. I would like you to notice, that while Jesus is identifying with their view of adultery, He doesn't say anything about the woman being married. I believe that He is intentionally using the term in the broadest possible manner. Any relationship between any man, any woman, outside of a biblical marriage is a sin. And, I believe it needs to be said that way. It's not just a homosexual issue. All sin is sin.  
God's law hasn’t changed, I don't care what the preachers are saying today. Nowhere in Scripture does it even imply, that if the culture says something is not a sin, God is okay with it. Any sexual immorality is still a vile sin today. Man is concerned only with the outside, God examines the sin of the heart. That's why Jesus is saying the desire to lust is a desire to sin and is equal with actually committing the sin. That's why Jesus says "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." The sin has already happened. By the way, it's not just about a man lusting after a woman, it goes both ways. There are just as many women who are guilty of this as men.
Preaching is supposed to convict us. Hebrews 4:12 says "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Because when Jesus returns, all the lies, deceit thoughts and intents are going to be laid bare. Far better for us to ask Him to fix our hearts now. We’re all in the same boat because sin is the natural result of a fallen world. Temptation to illicit sexual desire is not sin. Satan will inevitably temp us. The sin comes in what you do with that temptation. If you ponder the thoughts, if you maintain the temptation, then it becomes sin. 
Titus 1:15, "To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled." That's why there's pornography! If lustful looking is so grievous a sin, then imagine what God thinks of the sin that is celebrated in the churches today. It's amazing to me that some churches even call themselves a church, catering to people in the area of sexual sin. I don't believe we have we seen the unbridled indulgence of sexual passion so encouraged in the church as we have today.
And, so to drive the point even further, He says in verses 29 and 30, "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
To the Jew, the right was symbolic of the better of the two. As a footnote, Jesus is not saying that there is a physical remedy for a heart problem. That's not the point. The point He's making is there is nothing too precious to eliminate from your life if it causes you to sin. In other words, it's better to get rid of your most precious possession, if it's going to cause you to end up in hell. Even if it’s your right eye or your right arm. He's saying anything that causes a man to remain in his sin, get rid of it, because nothing is worth going to hell! 
Sin must be dealt with, nothing is precious if it affects your eternal destiny. If the problem is your television, get rid of it. If the problem is your computer, get rid of it. Whatever it is, if it brings you to sin. Whether in thought or deed, get rid of it! I believe this is so important in our society where a new morality is being espoused.
In Closing..
Tragically, many people today believe that Jesus is soft on sin.  They feel safe continuing in their sin. When Jesus talks about sexual immorality, they think we haven't committed that, so we’re ready for Him! If Jesus’ words are true, and they are, there is going to be multitudes of people who are deceived. The culture today is so preoccupied with sex, it’s beyond belief. "You don't have to deprive yourself, you can live uninhibited. If you can think it, do it! You do you." That propaganda is shattering homes, destroying families, and ruining individual lives. Our society is literally drowning in a sea of every imaginable sexual perversion. Lechery has replaced love. 
How grateful we should be, those of us who know and love God, that He has given us the ultimate resource for victory!

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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