In this past Sunday a.m.’s message at Uptown Church (online via Facebook) our guest speaker (Mike) rocked as we’ve been going through “Paradigm Shift”- Jesus speaking in Matthew chapter five.
I have often found Amplified version of The Bible a real help re. understanding elements of the Greek- here it is:
Mt. 5.27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who [so much as] 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 and leads you to sin, tear it out and throw it away [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; 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 and leads you to sin, cut it off and throw it away [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Men and boys in particular battle (or simply give in to) lust which of course is key in the mind, with our eyes, desires that are not given to the Lord, not prayed over, not a matter of faithfulness to God, His Word, His commands, His will. I deal with it as do all men and of course plenty of women are also tempted with it.
Note the clarity: [“that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation”].
As porn is such an idol, an addiction and a mega money-maker that can and does often include forced prostitution/human trafficking it cannot be viewed as “harmless”. Further, for married people it is a distraction from commitment to one another and can morph into a habitually selfish, private distancing element.
In very brief, continuing from-the-heart prayer, interaction with God the Holy Spirit, close accountability partner/s whom we voluntarily and regularly share and receive help from, Bible studies on lust (or whatever the issue may be), and sharing groups (12 Step and the like) can and do bring many including I myself through -as opposed to stuck in the cycle of temptation, sin, addiction/s.
Three more super-brief observations-
The introduction of a concept of “hell” in this passage as in many others attributed to Jesus is HIS choice. Whatever hell is, nobody wants it and God doesn’t want it for humans. As for universal salvation, that takes more faith than I have though I’d love it to be a reality- it’s up to God like all else is -unless we decide to take His place. Universal salvation? Nada. Universal temptation? Obviously a reality.
Lastly, I have often heard people minimizing sexual sin vs. other sins while Jesus and other New Testament speakers never do. Note here as in many other NT texts there is most certainly a connection with displeasing God and judgment re. sexual sins. I’m not debating and don’t particularly care where it falls on some sort of list of sin, sinful, exceedingly sinful. It’s easy to recognize sexual sin named along with judgment in the second Testament though we may want to disconnect the two -Jesus does not do so.
God help us “make straight paths for our feet” and be healed from choices that directly compete with God’s choices for us!
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn