Matt. 05:27-28 How to keep from committing Adultery (Pt. 1)

A sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church, Manhattan, KS, 05 Jun 2011

Translation By Nate

27. Y’all heard that it was declared, “Do not commit adultery,”

28. And I myself am saying to you that everyone who looks at a woman for the purpose of lusting after her already has committed adultery with her in his heart.

29. So, if your right eye scandalizes you, snatch it and throw it away from you, for it bears together for you that [only] one of your members might be destroyed and not the whole of your body be thrown into hell.

30. And if your right hand scandalizes you, cut it off and throw it away from you, for it bears together for you that [only] one of your members might be destroyed and not the whole of your body depart into hell.

31. It was also declared, “Whoever divorces his wife must give a divorce certificate to her,”

32. yet I myself am telling you that every one who divorces his wife (except for a matter of immorality), is making her to commit adultery, and whoever happens to marry one who has been divorced is committing adultery.


Protecting a clear glass of water from getting contaminated.

Starting Point: The 7th Commandment (v.27)

Mat 5:27  ᾿Ηκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη [τοῖς ἀρχαίοις TR, f13], οὐ μοιχεύσεις.


The verb “commit adultery” is found 26 times in the Greek Old and New Testaments, beginning with the 7th Commandment, of which this is an exact quote:

o       Exodus 20:14 NASB  "You shall not commit adultery.

o       Leviticus 20:10 NASB  'If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

o       Deuteronomy 5:18 NASB  'You shall not commit adultery.

o       Jeremiah 3:9 NASB  "Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.

o       Ezekiel 23:37 NASB  "For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. Thus they have committed adultery with their idols and even caused their sons, whom they bore to Me, to pass through the fire to them as food.

o       Hosea 4:13-14 NASB  They offer sacrifices on the tops of the mountains And burn incense on the hills, Under oak, poplar and terebinth, Because their shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters play the harlot And your brides commit adultery. I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot Or your brides when they commit adultery, For the men themselves go apart with harlots And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes; So the people without understanding are ruined.

o       Hosea 7:4  They are all adulterers, as an oven glowing with flame for hot-baking, on account of the kneading of the dough, until it is leavened.

o       Matthew 5:27-28, 32 (|| Luke 16:18)

o       Mark 10:19 NASB  "You know the commandments, 'DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.'" (|| Matt. 19:18 || Luke 18:20)

o       John 8:4 NASB  they *said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.

o       Romans 2:22 NASB  You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

o       Romans 13:9 NASB  For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."

o       James 2:11 NASB  For He who said, "DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY," also said, "DO NOT COMMIT MURDER." Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

o       Revelation 2:22 NASB  'Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

o       Jesus, Paul, and James all weigh in on the fact that this command remains authoritative and that it was not done away with by Christ. Rather it is affirmed that all who practice this sin and do not repent will be sent to hell.

The meaning of adultery

o       Considering the fact that in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea, God says that idol worship is adultery, we should be clued in to the fact that the command not to commit adultery is broader than just sexually violating another man’s wife or another wife’s husband.

o       Adultery is the willful breaking of a covenant, taking a relationship which was intended to be exclusive and adding parties not intended for that relationship. A marriage covenant can be adulterated by adding other sexual partners, and a spiritual covenant can be adulterated by adding other gods to a relationship which was intended by God to be exclusive with only one.

o       I think this is why Jesus speaks against divorce in the next few verses. Although there is a place for divorce, any divorce which is made in order to open the way for you to marry someone else is adultery because it is willfully breaking the covenantal relationship of marriage which God intended to be exclusive between one man and one wife and no one else.

o       From the beginning of time, God set the pattern for us. He created one woman, Eve, to be the covenantal partner to Adam. Not another man, only one woman.

o       For this same reason, fornication is a class of adultery, because it is entering into the exclusive act of marriage without any covenantal commitment for an exclusive relationship. (Unmarried – 1 Cor. 6:9)

o       The case law throughout the old and new testament specifies types of physical adultery and calls these abominable and sinful:

·         Incest (close relatives – Leviticus 18:6-18, 1 Cor. 5:1)

·         Classic adultery (neighbor’s wife – Lev. 18:20, 20:10)

·         Prostitution (Lev. 19:29; 1 Cor. 6:15-20)

·         Homosexuality (Lev. 18:22, Rom. 1:27,

·         Pedophilia (1 Cor. 6:9)

·         Lesbianism (Rom. 1:26)

·         Bestiality (Lev. 18:23, 20:15-16)

·         Ritual abuse (Ex. 32:6, Num. 25, etc.)

·         Onanism (Gen 38:9-10)

·         Impurity (Lev.15:16-32; 22:4; 23:10)

§         2Cor. 12:21b …mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.

§         Gal. 5:19  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,

§         Eph. 4:19  and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

§         Eph. 5:3  But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

§         Col. 3:5  Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.

§         1Thess. 2:3  For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit;

§         1Thess. :7  For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

But Jesus says it goes beyond fornication, adultery, and idol worship, it even applies to our thought life:

Heart Adultery (v.28)

Mat 5:28  ᾿Εγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ βλέπων γυναῖκα πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν ἤδη ἐμοίχευσεν αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ.

o       πᾶς - all/whoever/anyone/everyone

o       βλέπων γυναῖκα - looking at a woman – this statement was directed at a group of men, but applies to both genders, whether the attraction is homosexual or heterosexual in the other direction – a woman looking at a man and dreaming about being married to him.

o       πρὸς τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτὴν - for the purpose of lusting after herNAW/ to lust for herNKJV/ with lust for herNASB/ with lustful intentESV/ lustfullyNIV.

o       Epithumew in the Bible

- evil desires Proverbs 21:26 Brenton  An ungodly man entertains evil desires all the day: but the righteous is unsparingly merciful and compassionate.

- neighbor’s wife Exodus 20:17 Brenton  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house; nor his field, nor his servant, nor his maid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any of his cattle, nor whatever belongs to thy neighbour. (|| Deut 5:21)

- food Numbers 11:4-6 Brenton  And the mixed multitude among them lusted exceedingly; and they and the children of Israel sat down and wept and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?  5  We remember the fish, which we ate in Egypt freely; and the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the garlic, and the onions.  6  But now our soul is dried up; our eyes turn to nothing but to the manna. (|| Psalm 106:14)

- rich man’s food Proverbs 23:1-6, 24:1-2 Brenton  1  If thou sit to sup at the table of a prince, consider attentively the things set before thee...  desire not his provisions; for these belong to a false life…  6  Sup not with an envious man, neither desire thou his meats… 1  My son, envy not bad men, nor desire to be with them.  2  For their heart meditates falsehoods, and their lips speak mischiefs.

- water from Bethlehem 2 Samuel 23:15 Brenton  And David longed, and said, Who will give me water to drink out of the well that is in Bethlehem by the gate? now the band of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. (|| 1 Chron. 11:17)

- silver off idols Deuteronomy 7:23-25 Brenton  23  And the Lord thy God shall deliver them into thy hands, and thou shalt destroy them with a great destruction, until ye shall have utterly destroyed them..25  Ye shall burn with fire the graven images of their gods: thou shalt not covet their silver, neither shalt thou take to thyself gold from them, lest thou shouldest offend thereby, because it is an abomination to the Lord thy God.

- pagan gardens Isaiah 1:28-29 Brenton  And the transgressors and the sinners shall be crushed together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be utterly consumed.  29  For they shall be ashamed of their idols, which they delighted in, and they are made ashamed of the gardens which they coveted.

+ woman Psalms 45:10-11 Brenton  10  Hear, O daughter, and see, and incline thine ear; forget also thy people, and thy father's house.  11  Because the king has desired thy beauty; for he is thy Lord.

+ shade of husband Song of Solomon 2:3 Brenton  3  As the apple among the trees of the wood, so is my kinsman among the sons. I desired his shadow, and sat down, and his fruit was sweet in my throat.

+ food (fellowship offering) Deuteronomy 14:26 Brenton  26  And thou shalt give the money for whatsoever thy soul shall desire, for oxen or for sheep, or for wine, or thou shalt lay it out on strong drink, or on whatsoever thy soul may desire, and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice and thy house,

+ food (meat) Deuteronomy 12:20 Brenton  20  And if the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy borders, as he said to thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh; if thy soul should desire to eat flesh, thou shalt eat flesh according to all the desire of thy soul.

+ food (meat) Job 33:19-20 Brenton  And again, he chastens him with sickness on his bed, and the multitude of his bones is benumbed.  20  And he shall not be able to take any food, though his soul shall desire meat;

+ dominion 1 Kings 11:30-37 Brenton  30  And Achia laid hold of his new garment that was upon him, and tore it into twelve pieces:  31  and he said to Jeroboam, Take to thyself ten pieces, for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give thee ten tribes..36  But to his son I will give the two remaining tribes, that my servant David may have an establishment continually before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for myself to put my name there.  37  And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign as thy soul desires, and thou shalt be king over Israel.

+ dominion 2 Samuel 3:21 Brenton  And Abner said to David, I will arise now, and go, and gather to my lord the king all Israel; and I will make with him a covenant, and thou shalt reign over all whom thy soul desires. And David sent away Abner, and he departed in peace.

+ fortified cities 2 Chronicles 8:5-6 Brenton  5  And he built Beth Horon the upper, and Beth Horon the lower, strong cities, --they had walls, gates, and bars;  6  and Balaath, and all the strong cities which Solomon had, and all his chariot cities, and cities of horsemen, and all things that Solomon desired according to his desire of building, in Jerusalem, and in Libanus, and in all his kingdom.

+ wealth, riches and honor Ecclesiastes 6:1-2 Brenton  1  There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is abundant with man:  2  a man to whom God shall give wealth, and substance, and honour, and he wants nothing for his soul of all things that he shall desire, yet God shall not give him power to eat of it, for a stranger shall devour it: this is vanity, and an evil infirmity.

+ real estate Deuteronomy 18:6-7 Brenton  6  And if a Levite come from one of the cities of all the children of Israel, where he himself dwells, accordingly as his mind desires, to the place which he shall have chosen,  7  he shall minister to the name of the Lord his God, as all his brethren the Levites, who stand there present before the Lord thy God.

+ real estate Genesis 49:14-15 Brenton  14  Issachar has desired that which is good; resting between the inheritances.  15  And having seen the resting place that it was good, and the land that it was fertile, he subjected his shoulder to labour, and became a husbandman.

+ homesickness Genesis 31:30-31 Brenton  30  Now then go on thy way, for thou hast earnestly desired to depart to the house of thy father; wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?  31  And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid; for I said, Lest at any time thou shouldest take away thy daughters from me, and all my possessions.

+ satisfaction of the soul Isaiah 58:10-11 Brenton  10  and if thou give bread to the hungry from thy heart, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light spring up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as noon-day:  11  and thy God shall be with thee continually, and thou shalt be satisfied according as thy soul desires; and thy bones shall be made fat, and shall be as a well-watered garden, and as a fountain from which the water has not failed.

+ God Isaiah 26:8-9 Brenton  For the way of the Lord is judgment: we have hoped in thy name, and on the remembrance of thee,  9  which our soul longs for: my spirit seeks thee very early in the morning, O God, for thy commandments are a light on the earth: learn righteousness, ye that dwell upon the earth.

+ God’s commands and judgments Psalm 119:20, 40-41 Brenton  My soul has longed exceedingly for thy judgments at all times…  40  Behold, I have desired thy commandments: quicken me in thy righteousness.  41  And let thy mercy come upon me, O Lord; even thy salvation, according to thy word.

+ see Christ Matthew 13:17 NASB "For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired* to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

+ see Christ Luke 17:22 NASB And He said to the disciples, "The days will come when you will long* to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.

+ food Luke 15:16 NASB "And he would have gladly* filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.

+ food Luke 16:21 NASB and longing* to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man's table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.

+ Passover Luke 22:15 NASB And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired* to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;

- 10th commandment Romans 7:7 NASB What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET*."

- 10th commandment Romans 13:9 NASB For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET*," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."

- silver, gold, or clothes Acts 20:33 NASB "I have coveted* no one's silver or gold or clothes.

- idolatrious immorality 1 Corinthians 10:6 NASB Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave  evil things as they also craved*.

- suicide Revelation 9:6 NASB And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long* to die, and death flees from them.

- things you do not have James 4:2 NASB You lust* and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot  obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.

+ church office 1 Timothy 3:1 NASB It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires* to do.

+ godliness in other people Hebrews 6:11 NASB And we desire* that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,

+ understanding of prophecy 1 Peter 1:12 NASB It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long* to look.

·         Galatians 5:17 NASB For the flesh sets* its desire* against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

o       So Jesus said, “everyone who looks at a woman has committed adultery with her in his heart,” right? WRONG. Merely looking at a woman is not a sin; the sin is in the purpose for which you are looking: are you looking at her because you have Christian love for her and want God’s best for her, or are you looking at her as an opportunity for sexual excitement, as fuel for an unfaithful thought life, for selfish reasons that would just as soon she be an inanimate object? There is nothing wrong with greeting members of the opposite sex, of acting with kindness toward them, praying for them, etc, as long as it is done for the purpose of unselfish Christian love rather than for the purpose of selfish human gratification.

o       The humanist says we are all just animals and there is nothing sacred about marriage, anything you desire goes, as long as both parties consent. Humanism also says that what goes on in your thought life doesn’t matter, only outward actions matter, so girls should dress as provocatively as they can to get guys thinking about them, and guys should consider lust part of being a normal, healthy, red-blooded male. But that’s not what Jesus says. Jesus says anyone who looks to lust is guilty of breaking God’s 10 commandments and therefore we must guard our hearts.

o       The Muslim solution is just as humanistic, but it goes in the other direction, it says guys can’t help it if they lust, so it is the woman’s fault if a man experiences feelings of lust toward her. Therefore all women must be kept indoors so nobody can see them, and if they have to go out, they must be covered in shapeless black garments from head to toe so that no man sees them. Again, that’s not what Jesus said. He said that we must guard our hearts so that we do not sin. Lust and adultery is still the man’s sin even if there were sins on the part of the woman too. Both will be held accountable before the judgment seat of Christ.

o       This means that not only are the physical acts of adultery sinful, but the mental acts of adultery are sinful, such as:

·         Flirting

·         Girl watching

·         Guy watching

·         Fantasizing

·         Pornography

·         Sensual touching

Indulgence & Hell or Sacrifice & Heaven? You choose. (vs. 29-30)

Principle of sacrificing things that are important to you in order to avoid temptation.