"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 lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 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 go into hell."
Sin destroys relationships. How do you destroy sin?
The Bible teaches us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Sin ruins, destroys and causes death - death of personal happiness, relations, physical death and the second death, eternal torment. Our passage today reveals thoughts are sin (Matthew 5:28). Jesus uses hyperbole to teach us to deal radically with sin (Matthew 5:29-30).
The radical dealing with sin is recognizing our sin, repenting of it and believing the gospel which teaches us that Jesus died on the cross for our sin, rose again on the third day and is Lord of all (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 10:9). When we believe the gospel we receive pardon from the penalty of sin, freedom from the power of sin and the promise of removal from the presence of sin when Jesus returns (Romans 5:10; Romans 6:6-7; Romans 8:23).
So what does this mean for you?
The way you deal radically with sin is through living by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20), that is, by attempting to obey the word of God expecting Jesus to fulfill it in your life. Look up Romans 6:11-14 and then live in obedience under the freedom of God's grace. Count yourself dead to sin, that is, know that you do not have to respond to sin's prompts to disobey God in thought, word and deed.
Some helpful advice is to not place yourself in a position to participate in sin. Actively offer yourself to God daily to do His will. If you do sin, confess your sin to God, repent of the sin and begin again to obey God with confidence (1 John 1:9; 2 John 6).
How do you deal with mental adultery in this radical way (many have a pornography problem)?
Admit pornography is sin. Repent of the sin and believe the gospel. When you believe the gospel, you become a believer in Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). Immediately you have incomparably great power (Ephesians 1:19-20). So, confess to God your own powerlessness to overcome your sin of pornography and ask him to help you, to give you the grace to use the power you now have to not look at or think of the pornography (Hebrews 4:16). Attempt to obey the Lord fully expecting Him to help you not sin.
Put pornographic thoughts out of your mind as they pop up and think godly thoughts instead (Ephesians 5:3). If you dwell on the porn, then confess your sin, receive His forgiveness and restoration to fellowship and begin to obey by faith again. Rid your house of all porn and stay away from porn sites as much as it depends on you. Do all you can to avoid porn, always trusting the Lord to give you victory.
Are you dealing radically with the sin in your life? If you do, you will experience a transformed life that is satisfying, gratifying, and completing beyond your wildest dreams (Romans 12:2). Receive this challenge, start now.
Questions for reflection: