"It Hath Been Said"
Date: 13 September, 2015
Text: Matthe 5:27-42
Title: It Hath Been Said
Jesus has gathered his disciples together in a mountain and is preaching to them. Others are listening in.
He has declared the strength of the law. That it would not be changed until the end of time. That he is the fulfilment of the law and the prophets. That greatness in Heaven is dependent upon a high view of God's law. And yet, the law does not exist for righteousness.
He showed that the law for righteousness would condemn most of us (if not all) for murder.
The law dealt with the external act of murder. But, Christ dealt with the internal heart of murder. Where the Law would judge the act, Jesus would judge the murderous desire.
The Lord deals with other issues of the heart today by preaching against adultery, divorce, deceit, and vengeance.
I. Do not commit adultery.
A. The obvious reading of the law.
27 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
def. Adultery is an unlawful physical relationship with someone elses wife.
exp. Adultery is a horrible sin that destroys marriages and families.
ill. Remember the woman taken in adultery. She was sharing a bed with someone who wasn't her husband. The Pharisees brought her to Jesus expecting him to sentence her to death.
John 8: 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him.
exp. Adultery was punishable by death in the OT. Le 20:10 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.
exp. But, Jesus is looking at a bunch of adulterers accusing this woman. They may have committed the act of adultery. Or they may have been guilty of adultery of the heart.
HE THAT SEES THE HEART MAKES A HEART SEARCHING STATEMENT.
John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
app. Careful, those who are self righteous tend to look at the outside and ignore the heart. God isn't going to deal with our hearts. 1Ch 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
B. The adulterous heart.
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.
exp. He deals with men because men are attracted by sight. Men must guard their eyes and not look with wicked desire upon a woman. If there is a lustful look it is the sin of ADULTERY in the heart of that man.
ill. Job had a wise plan for dealing with wicked thoughts.
Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
ill. David neglected to look away and his lustful look became the act of adultery.
2Sa 11:2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
note: Bathsheba wasn't without blame. She should have been more modest in her bathing.
quote: Matthew Henry "And if looking be lust, they who dress and deck, and expose themselves, with design to be looked at and lusted after are no less guilty. Men sin, but devils tempt to sin."
app. You may think, "I would never be unfaithful to my wife and commit the act of adultery." We must not only be on guard from the act but from the look or thought.
C. Sin in whatever form needs to be dealt with severely.
exp. Those who were trusting in their self righteousness, must now examine God's high standard for righteousness. You can't get into heaven as an adulterer. You have to repent of your adultery and do what is right.
ill. Remember that adulterous woman - Joh 8:11 And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
ill. Rahab the Harlot is in the Hall of Faith of great men and women of God. She found a place of repentance. But, that sin had to be severely dealt with and put away.
1. It's better to lose an adulterous eye than to go to @#!*% as an adulterer.
29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into @#!*% .
2. It's better to lose a adulterous hand than to go to @#!*% because of an unwillingness to repent of your sin of adultery.
30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into @#!*% .
exp. God is not advocating self mutilation. It would never be necesary to do so, because God's grace is sufficient to give victory over any sin. But, in the scope of eternal @#!*% , severe self judgment is better than eternal punishment.
app. Have you justified lustful looks because it is a common sin of mankind? Jesus doesn't give it licence. He condemns it as the very sin of adultery and commands us to deal severely with it.
II. Do not divorce.
A. Divorce in the OT had been a matter of convenience.
31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
exp. God never intended divorce.
· Marriage was to be one man and one woman for life.Matthew 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
· Divorce was because man was so hard hearted against God. Mt 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
exp. Marriage is a sacred covenant before God. It is so wonderful that God uses marriage as a picture of Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5: 25-28 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
app. Marriage is a precious institution ordained by God for the purity and protection of the family.
B. Jesus gave only one valid allowance for divorce.
32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
· You could only divorce your wife if she was adulterous.
· If you divorced her for any other reason, she would marry another and be guilty of adultery.
· The person who married the one who was divorced committed adultery as well.
app. The law was being used by mankind for their own convenience and they thought they were righteous in doing so. We can try to justify our actions, but God trieth the hearts.
III. Do not swear an oath.
A. An oath before God was binding.
33 ¶ Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
exp. A promise with God as witness was binding. Some would give the vow of a nazarite and not cut their hair or eat certain foods for a certain amount of time.
Nu 6:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:
Nu 30:2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
ill. Paul kept his vows.
Ac 18:18 And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.
app. Careful what you promise to God. Don't enter into an agreement with God casually.
B. Man tried to get around it by different wording.
exp. Some men thought could have a promise more easily broken by swearing by something less binding than God. BUT JESUS SAID....
1. Heaven is God's thrown.
34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
2. Earth is his footstool.
35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool:
3. Jerusalem is His great city.
neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
4. They were God's creation.
36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
app. Man cleverly tries to make sub clauses to his promises, but that is empty to God. God would have you mean what you say and just do it without having to swear.
C. God was concerned about heart integrity not mouthed promises.
37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
exp. Your yes should be yes and your no should be no. If you have to back up your word with a promise, there is an integrity problem.
ill. It bothers me when someone says, "Well to tell you the truth pastor." Or if they have to say, "Honestly."
question: Why would you have to verify your word with a promise? Shouldn't your "yes" mean "yes" and your "no" mean "no"?
IV. Do not avenge yourself.
A. The law gave an opportunity for vengeance.
38 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
exp. Wicked men would love the law for it's very retribution upon their enemies. They were ready to hit back as soon as they were hit.
app. Equal penalty would protect the innocent but it was being used to vindicate vengeance.
B. Jesus would teach none resistance to wickedness.
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil:
exp. Jesus would take acception with those who loved the power of the law to get even with the wicked.
note: Jesus would not be a activist. He would not seek to punish those who punished him.
Lu 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
1. Let him hit you again.
but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
exp. What gracious power is possessed by those who can suffer and not feel the need to punish back.
ill. The bold deacon of the early church, Stephen, was a giant of a man spiritually. How like his Lord in his stoning death as recorded in, " Acts 7:60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
app. How like the Lord are you? What are you expecting others to pay for the wrong they have done to you?
2. Give more than he demands.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
exp. If they lost a judgment and were to surrender their coat. They were to give their cloak as well as a symbol of grace.
ill. Katie and I were able to practice this several years ago. We sold a vehicle and soon after a piston had to be replaced. The cost of the repair was 1300 pounds and more than the man had. We didn't have to help him but we paid for the repair even though to do so was a great expence.
app. God totally met our needs and we lacked nothing. But, we had an opportunity to bear a good testimony for Jesus.
3. Serve more than expected.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
exp. Roman soldiers could command people at the time to carry their luggage for a mile. If they were compelled to go a mile, Jesus said to voluntarily go another mile beyond that.
quote: "Go the extra mile." I'm sure this is where it comes from.
app. Do you go the extra mile when compelled by someone? Or do you grudgingly give what is requested and not a foot more?
4. Freely share what you have.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
exp. Those who had a need, were welcome to have their need met by you. Christians of all people ought to be hospitable to those in need.
ill. The syrian refugees are fleeing a country of war seeking a safe place for their families. There are many people with real needs. We need to help when needed.
Heb 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
app. God freely meets your needs. Freely meet the needs of those who are around you.
The law is only concerned with the outside. But, Jesus will judge the heart?
How is your heart today?
1.) Is there adulterous lust in your heart?
2.) Is there an unwillingness to work through marital difficulty?
3.) Is there an integrity issue? (Does yes and no from you mean yes and no?)
4.) Are you vengeful or generous? (suffering willingly, giving extra when sued, going the extra mile, meeting other's needs?)
(continued next week.)
V. Do not hate.
43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.