Jesus Teaches on Adultery and Divorce
[00:00:00] Write it this morning. We. Are returning. To the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the mount if you remember prior to Easter and and Palm Sunday and all. When we were sharing the Sermon on the Mount the Sermon on the Mount does not present the way of salvation.
[00:00:30] But the way of righteous living. For those who are children of God. For those who want to please God in and contrast in what God says versus that of what the scribes and the Pharisees. Were saying. Or what God was saying. Again. Here in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus exposes the hypocrisy of the religious leaders whom Jesus said sifted out a gnat. But swallowed a camel.
[00:01:12] And so Jesus tells us that we saw earlier in Matthew 5 verse 20.
[00:01:21] Therefore I’d tell you unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and pharisees you will not.
[00:01:29] You will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so today we are at verse 27. Starting there Matthew 5. Where Jesus said. You have heard that it was said You shall not commit adultery.
[00:01:52] But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin carried out and throw it away. Where it is better that you lose one of your members then your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin. Cut it off and throw it away for it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body going to hell. It was also said. Whoever divorces his wife let him give her a certificate of divorce. But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife except on the ground of sexual immorality makes her commit adultery and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. So listless will start in verse 27 here this morning. Where he says 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 lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
[00:03:07] Now in this passage Jesus earns that the meaning of God’s command was much wider and broader than despair at the heart of what God said is much greater than what the Pharisees was teaching much greater than than a mere prohibition on the act of sexual immorality.
[00:03:31] The prohibition of murder. Remember when we. Couple of weeks ago we were talking about murder. The. Prohibition of murder included.
[00:03:43] An angry thought and the insulting word. So the prohibition here. Against adultery includes a lustful look.
[00:03:56] And imagination.
[00:03:59] We can commit murder with our words. We also can commit adultery with our hearts. Or with our minds. So indeed everyone. Who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her at its heart whether it be a man or a woman. Jesus allusion is to all forms of in morality. Here here the emphasis is any and every sexual practice which is immoral indeed is also immoral in love and in thought so. So whatever Scripture tells us prohibits us. To do or in doing. That involves immorality then it too is wrong to say. To dwell upon.
[00:04:57] The same thing. Now. People you know you hear people talk.
[00:05:06] And you hear them say well so-and-so fell into sin as if they were just walking down the road and bowing. You know so we just hit em and just knock them over and they just fell into sin. Have you. Have you ever really thought about that statement. We just don’t.
[00:05:30] Fall into sin. We flirt with it. We see how close we can get to it without sinning.
[00:05:42] We just don’t fall into sin.
[00:05:45] You know I read an article actually I saw a news cast dealing with this. How many of you have ever crossed the Mackinaw Bridge up in the Upper Peninsula. Most of the good. Did did you lot like me now when I was up there with Debby we were driving for you know what’s cool. I tell you I would be a little nervous if I went across that on a motorcycle. Because there’s a portion of it has like metal grids that you can see through. You have you ever seen that.
[00:06:19] I mean I had it when I was driving across it. I was driving and I had my hand sticking out the window. Look hey cool man you can see what they’re doing. Look at the. Look at the road. What do you think you’re doing. But you know it’s kind of scary.
[00:06:38] To some people. And there is a class of people now. Now those who work on the bridge up there they call him timid. And and these are the people who are us who are scared to drive across the Mackinaw Bridge. And they say that. Twelve hundred fourteen hundred calls are made every year.
[00:07:05] To the driver’s assistant program. Now what this program does it has drivers up there on the bridge.
[00:07:14] And then they have phone booths at each end of the bridge and if you’re scared to drive car and this is true if you’re scared to drive across the bridge you stop. You go to this phone booth and you call these these people there to bridge and they will come. And they will drive your car or whatever across the bridge for you.
[00:07:39] Because you’re scared to drive. Now it’s interesting there. The secretary of the Mackinac Bridge.
[00:07:47] Says that some people use it every day as a commute back and forth to work.
[00:07:53] Though work in the Upper Peninsula and then come back and every day they make the phone call. Now. He said that there is this truck driver with this semi truck who comes once a month he said Now this is what he said. He says. He gets into the sleeper behind the cab lays down for the whole trip across the bridge under a blanket.
[00:08:21] He says it’s amazing. Now you know I don’t know I kind of think you know I’ve been by truckstops and stuff.
[00:08:29] You see these big ole truck drivers and stuff. You know I just picture in my mind this mail truck driver coming up to the bridge going to the phone booth calling him and some driver comes he gets himself back in the sleeper and he covers up with a blanket.
[00:08:50] Because he’s afraid to drive across. Now now let me ask you this. You many of you get across it. What would it be like. If the bridge had no railings on the side. I mean nothing. Concrete metal. Do you drive across.
[00:09:11] But no railings no walls on the sides.
[00:09:15] Would you drive across it.
[00:09:18] I don’t know either. But I tell you what I would do if I did direct because you know it gets windy up there.
[00:09:27] Have you ever I heard of a little small car that was driving across a bridge and the wind up and blew over the railings and into the water. And and I and I believe if I’m correct that they have times when it’s so windy they do not let recreational vehicles and semis and stuff with road side drive across there. And so just think if we had no railings no signs. If I drove across which I’m not saying I would.
[00:10:04] I would hang as close to the center as I could. I wouldn’t deviate an inch as I drove across that bridge. There’s no way I’d even get close to the edge. But I like to compare it.
[00:10:24] To sin. You know the word of God there is a lot of in the Word of God.
[00:10:31] That it’s black and white.
[00:10:33] You do this. You don’t do that. It’s very black and white but that there are other.
[00:10:41] Things in the Bible. They’re kind of gray you know. And even light gray.
[00:10:48] That people argue over whether you should or you shouldn’t do it. Now.
[00:10:55] I try to make it a habit. That even in the gray areas that I find in the Word of God. That if I if I have any question on what is right or what to do. You can hardly go wrong staying as close to the center as you can.
[00:11:13] Kenya. But you know what many Christians do. They go. Out as close as they can. To the Edge. See how close they can get. Without sending.
[00:11:33] Can you imagine someone. I’m sure there are fools out there who if. They were walking across or driving across a mackinaw bridge with no railing they would probably see how close they could get to drive to the edge without falling off.
[00:11:50] Because there’s people like that.
[00:11:53] But there are more people or more Christians who are like that in relation to sin where you know well the Bible doesn’t say I can’t do this. So they will get as close as they can to whatever sand or whatever admonition that the Bible gives that they will get as close as they can to the end to see how can they get without really sending. They flirt with it. They play with their. And what happens. They send.
[00:12:36] And they deal with the consequences of their sin. Proverbs 6 27 and 28.
[00:12:50] In relation to adultery in relation to what Jesus saying the heart of the matter. You know before a person commits physical adultery.
[00:13:02] They started up here in the mind. They think they fantasize. They. It’s right up here start they flirt with it. And lust. Jesus says.
[00:13:18] Is the same as adultery in the heart. In Proverbs 6 27 28 says this. Can a man carry fire next to his chest.
[00:13:29] And his clothes not be burned or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched.
[00:13:38] You know what. Saying they’re. Get this.
[00:13:42] Take this away from with you today. Remember.
[00:13:47] Play with air.
[00:13:51] Don’t play with fire. Don’t go there.
[00:13:54] Duck ain’t it. Don’t flirt with it. Y. If. You’re going to be burned. Many people have. Looked at King David.
[00:14:07] When he’s on his rooftop. Look at Samson look at many others in the Bible.
[00:14:14] We need to be establishing safe guard. We need to establish batteries. We need to establish rail lines.
[00:14:23] In our lives is safe guard us to protect our purity.
[00:14:31] Do you care what you put before your eyes.
[00:14:37] Last night. Well actually late this morning I know he has to be early this morning. Late last night. I posted a music video. Matter of fact some of you’ve already liked it. What are you doing up that late at night anyway. But I posted a music video by casting crowns. And the name of it’s called slow fade. If you have Facebook I would ask if you don’t know the song I’d ask that you go to my Facebook page. Past Bertoni. And work at it.
[00:15:17] Let me read you a few of the stanzas. Be careful little eyes what you see.
[00:15:24] It’s a second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings. Be careful little feet where you go where it’s a little feet behind you.
[00:15:37] That are sure to follow. Speaking of our children.
[00:15:41] Be careful little ears what you hear when flattering leads to compromises. The end is always near. Be careful little lips what you say. For empty words and promises leave broken hearts astray. It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away. It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray.
[00:16:08] What have I just been talking about.
[00:16:12] And thoughts invade. Choices are made. A price will be paid. When you give yourself away.
[00:16:21] People never crumble in a day. They don’t just fall into sin. It’s a slow fade. It’s a slow fade.
[00:16:34] Matthew 5 in verse twenty nine thirty says if your right eye causes you to see and tear it out throw it away. It’s better that you lose one of your members and that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causing you to sin cut it off and throw it away or it is better that you lose one of your members and your whole body going to hell.
[00:16:56] Now Jesus is not advocating self mutilation here. Actually that would be a cure for lust because the lust is actually a problem of the heart. Ok but what what he’s using is this graphic hyperbole. To demonstrate the seriousness of the sins of lost in the evil desire.
[00:17:21] The point is here that it would be better to lose a member of one’s own body than to bear the eternal consequences of the deal of such a sin.
[00:17:34] He is talking about that sin needs to be dealt with drastically because of its deadly effects. We have to stop pampering it. We have to stop flirting with it.
[00:17:49] Nearly in a little way at the edges. We to hate it. We got a Croshere. When we. Were.
[00:18:02] You will know who this little feller is. Who is it. Wesley who is this. La. All off was in the movie Frozen.
[00:18:15] You’ve seen that movie I guess. Right.
[00:18:17] You remember what Olaf wish he could do.
[00:18:20] You remember the one. What a loss. Wish he could do what.
[00:18:29] Experience summer right. Yeah. Here you don’t get an answer.
[00:18:36] You go all the way back here. There you go you can have all off there.
[00:18:40] All right. Here he is through. All off the little snowman wishes that he could experience summer.
[00:18:51] Now now this is what he says. This is who in the movie he says I don’t know why but I’ve always liked the idea of summer and sun. And Christophe says. Really. I’m guessing you don’t have much experience with heat. And or process. No. But sometimes I like to close my eyes and imagine what it would be like when summer comes. And he goes on he starts singing bees they buzz kids Hello dandelion and I’ll be doing whatever snow does in summer.
[00:19:34] A drink in my hand my snow and get up against the burning sand probably getting gorgeously tanned in summer. Now we laugh at all our song that he sings about forever because we know that if that would happen to us though we know what would happen to us. No man in summer. All our desires something that would actually bring about his end.
[00:20:07] Now here’s the application. We laugh. At that. While we ourselves.
[00:20:16] Are unaware of the deadliness of the desires of our sensual our sinful natures. We when we desire to experience the very thing God forbid is.
[00:20:33] Not really realizing that the resulting sin leads to death affecting our relationship with God affecting our testimony to the world. God warns us against such sins and causes us to repent. He says you know what you sow you will reap. Here is the Sermon on the Mount.
[00:20:58] Right here in this section. Jesus is giving an illustration of how serious sin is. How lustful thoughts are the same as an adulterous heart. Now.
[00:21:12] In the next section Jesus addresses how the religious leaders were misleading the people concerning divorce. There are many.
[00:21:23] Confusing conflicting ideas today about what the Scriptures teach in relation to divorce. But the sad thing is. Many Christians have never really.
[00:21:38] Want have gone through the Word of God to determine what does the Word of God say about it. The Bible clearly teaches what God thinks of the wars.
[00:21:51] In Malakai 2:16 God says I hated but basically for the most part there is four dominant news today on divorce and remarriage. First some would allow divorce and remarriage any time for anybody from anybody for any reason. The second view is that some would insist that biblically there will be no divorce.
[00:22:20] At all for anyone for any reason under any circumstances. That’s the second you. A third view is that divorce under certain circumstances is permissible but no remarriage is ever allowed.
[00:22:38] At any time for anybody for any reason. And then a fourth view is that. They believe liberally biblically both divorce and remarriage are possible. But only under certain circumstances. So here on the Sermon on the Mount.
[00:22:58] Jesus addresses the topic of divorce and this through the context of the say in what is said.
[00:23:08] This is what I believe Jesus is setting the record straight of what this says. He says it was also said.
[00:23:17] Whoever divorces his wife let him give her a certificate of divorce. But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife. Except.
[00:23:28] On the grounds of sexual immorality makes her commit adultery and whoever marries a divorce woman commits adultery. Now here’s the context. OK let’s look at the context of what Jesus was doing here. Jesus again. Which. Can. Fronting the sins of the Pharisees and he was unmasking their hypocrisy.
[00:23:54] And he was showing how they were exchanging God’s standards for their own.
[00:24:00] Because you see a majority of the Pharisees is what they believe was that any husband ought to be able to. Who said his wife to divorce her whenever he wanted. So they twist description of fit that wicked notion and the scripture that they twisted was Deuteronomy 24 3:59.
[00:24:22] We’re talking about giving a wife a bill of divorcement. But see they wanted to do it for any reason. Any time. If you burned your bagel. So this is where Jesus begins his teaching on divorce. And he says. He he says it was said.
[00:24:41] Now he’s not referring to what the old testament law. The old testament said he’s talking about what the Pharisees what people had been wrongly taught by their rabbis. It was said.
[00:24:53] Which is similar in verse 21 where we read Jesus as you have heard that the ancients were told in both cases he’s talking about what they were being taught and in both cases he said.
[00:25:06] But I say to you this is what I say. You he was declared with authority. What you’ve heard is wrong but what I’m telling you this is what right. In fact when Jesus finished speaking there the Sermon of the Mount.
[00:25:23] It says that the crowds were amazed at his teaching for he was teaching them as one having authority not as their scribes. So the people.
[00:25:34] Guided by their leaders tolerated divorce remarry for any reason. And Jesus response 32 is God does not permit divorce except for one very specific reason in the case of sexual immorality we call it. The exception clause except for.
[00:25:58] This exception clause is important. That while Jesus was plainly confronting the Pharisees too lax of attitude toward divorce.
[00:26:10] He recognizes an exception except on the grounds of sexual immorality. Now. Some Christians would prefer to ignore to explain away the exception clause and insist that divorce is never permissible period. But you see in the same way that we cannot take away. And make.
[00:26:38] What Jesus say say more lax. It’s unbiblical. To make more rigid. And put laws. And rules that Jesus did not say.
[00:26:56] What we really need to deal honestly with everything that he taught we can add we can’t subtract from his words. So the Pharisees interpreted Moses as instruction to mean. If you find something distasteful about your wife. Go ahead and divorce her.
[00:27:16] To them. Doing the paperwork was more important.
[00:27:21] Than what God is really saying. Jesus names only one condition. Where divorce is not the cause of adultery and that is in the cases where the marriage bond has already been destroyed by one party’s infidelity.
[00:27:41] It is wrong to divorce one’s spouse except for the reason of sexual immorality.
[00:27:50] It’s significant that the sexual infidelity is the only legal basis. Yes Jesus gives for divorce. Otherwise you’re committing adultery is highlighting as he did the the divine purpose. For marriage because he said from the beginning.
[00:28:09] He stressed that that God’s original design for marriage was one man to one woman for life. That’s why he intended marriage to be. Adultery. Especially unrepentant.
[00:28:26] Or long Perman faithfulness constitute a serious breach of that union. And in this case. Jesus says that the one area. That if this happens he dissed it he does not command. That every time this happens. This is what you are to divorce your spouse. But he is saying in this case.
[00:28:54] If you did divorce your spouse for this one reason then you are not committing adultery. People who wish to believe that there are no biblical grounds and offered a voice for divorce that they they point out that the exception clause is found only in Matthew’s Gospel.
[00:29:15] Not the other three.
[00:29:19] How many times does God have to say something to make it true. He told me that.
[00:29:26] Well if he put it in two out of four gospels is it true or does he have. Or does it have to. The majority have to say it three out of four gospels to make it true. All he has to do is say it once. Don’t have to be in Luke Mark John. He said it once and I say wobbliness only in the Gospel of Matthew.
[00:29:57] It’s not relevant. There’s one additional case. That.
[00:30:05] I see besides death. Well when your spouse dies.
[00:30:10] You don’t have to worry about it anymore. But there’s there’s another. Additional case in which I believe from what the Scripture says. Divorce is permissible.
[00:30:22] Is stated by the apostle Paul in First Corinthians 715 to see that Christians in the porn church they have a lot of questions. What do we do. We’re now say we’re both believers what we do or should we stay together as husband and wife if one of us is a believer and the others not sure we get the divorce of our spouses or unbelievers or should we get back together with partners long gone after our conversion or cry.
[00:30:52] Should we remain single they had they had all these questions. And Paul addresses a lot of these questions in this letter the first Corinthians.
[00:31:01] Actually the first seven verses talks about celibacy. He says you know celibacy is good.
[00:31:07] But it can be tempting. And celibacy is wrong for married people and celibacy as in Mary it’s a gift from God.
[00:31:18] And then here Paul goes on and he gives guidelines for Christians married to unbelievers who want to leave. And this is what Paul says to those Christians who are married. To an unbeliever. Who wants to leave and divorce you because you’re a believer in First Corinthians 7:15 it says. But if the unbelieving partner separates divorces you. Let it be so.
[00:31:50] In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved or some translation says is not under bondage. God has called you to please. So any wife.
[00:32:05] Any husband. I believe in that situation. Paul or God through Paul. Is not is not is telling the believer not to try to insist. That the unbelieving spouse stay if she is determined she or he is determined to go.
[00:32:26] If the unbelieving spouse leaves let him leave the brothers sisters no longer under bondage to the marriage vow. In such cases so in God’s sight.
[00:32:37] The bond of a husband and a wife has dissolved only by death.
[00:32:41] According to Romans 7 adultery here in Romans or Matthew 5 also Matthew 19 and an unbeliever leaving the scene here and first Corinthians 7 15. So when the bomb is broken by any of these ways. I believe a Christian is free to remarry to another Christian.
[00:33:02] Or to stay single. I believe by what the Scriptures say that when divorce is Biblically permitted.
[00:33:13] Then remarry is permitted. I believe if if divorce is forbidden.
[00:33:19] Then remarriage is forbidden.
[00:33:22] And one last word as I close here. Usually divorce.
[00:33:31] It just creates such a tangled mess. So many times tangled mess of broken lives broken relationships. And some of the practical dilemmas that we get are created by divorce. You know they just simply don’t have any clear biblical solution. The Bible doesn’t address some of the situations that divorce might bring. And once that principle is the reality that when a sinner comes to faith in Christ for the first time when he initially gets saved. Scripture tells us that he becomes a new creature.
[00:34:12] With a whole new life principle a whole new and purified heart.
[00:34:16] We see it. You want the scriptures in second Corinthians 5:17. Therefore if anyone is in Christ he’s a new creation.
[00:34:27] The old has passed away. Behold. The new has come. So when we are saved the moral guilt. The spiritual stigma.
[00:34:43] Of our past sins are done away with forever because of the work of Christ on the cross of Calvary on our behalf. And we believed in him. Just as Mary Magdalen’s.
[00:34:53] Past guilt and shame of hers S.N. were totally erased. It became utterly irrelevant to Jeezy’s. When she was there and he met her and he saved her. Likewise every genuine believers. Pre conversion sense say nothing about who we are now once we are saved.
[00:35:21] That’s who we were. That’s the old that’s the path. I am a New Creation now. Therefore ordinarily under most circumstances. In fact and or determining whether a person is fit for ministry or remarriage or whatever. You don’t look at the past it’s done away with God says it’s he has chosen to forget it to not ever bring it up against our case again.
[00:35:53] In my counseling office. Many. People ask me. What should they do.
[00:36:01] If they have violated the scripture concerning divorcing their mate. And they believe or maybe the mate was a believer and and they truly have a heart wanting to be right with God wanting to do what’s right. And I say. What do you do with any sin.
[00:36:25] You confess it to God.
[00:36:28] You ask forgiveness. What does the Scripture say. He is faithful and just. To forgive us our sins. And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Whatever the sin is we don’t. Have to go around feeling guilty.
[00:36:49] About our sins. Now as a believer you may sin. Yes. This is a fact our our fellowship and relationship with God yes this is a sin to Hell no because Jesus paid the penalty for that sin.
[00:37:07] But to reestablish to to make sure when we are talking about a body in the vine and having that flow of spiritual you know the Holy Spirit or illumining the Word of God and us understanding the word of God and that’s obeying the Word of God to get back right with God.
[00:37:22] That’s what the Word of God is all about. It is profitable for teaching for doctrine for reproof for correction for instruction in righteousness. We ask.
[00:37:35] We can fast. God forgives. And we go on with life. We continue doing today.
[00:37:46] What God wants us doing today. Whatever that may be in your life. Was for. Lord God we. Thank you for.
[00:38:00] Giving us your Holy Spirit. That you tell us convicts the world of sin you convict us when we are in sin when we do sin.
[00:38:09] You convict us that it is sin so that we might get right. We might confess it is sad we might repent of the sin and we might forsake the sin. So that we can be back in a right relationship with you being used by you empowered by you to do the things you tell us to do.
[00:38:27] So Or we thank you. We ask that if there is anything in our lives that is hindering you working through this that you expose that sin that the Holy Spirit convicts us and that we might we might confess it and repent of it and forsake it. So that the remainder of the day and tomorrow and the next week you might be able to use us. In your kingdom.
[00:38:54] For your glory and we pray this in Jesus name Amen.