Lust and Immorality

What is the danger of making promises to people or God? How do we unknowingly at times, deceive others and let others deceive us? How do we shield ourselves from deception? How do we discern deception in us and others?

Overview

Matt 5:21-26, Matt 18:15-17, Luke 12:57-59, John 17:20-23

The session covers the following topics from biblical perspective:

  • Desire
  • Disassociate
  • Divorce
  • Dedication

Discussion

Bible Passages

Matt 5:27 “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 lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; 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, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

31 “It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Bible Passages (Cont'd)

Matt 19:7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

Desire

Matthew 5:27 “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 lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 

IS DESIRE WRONG?

Meaning of desire

The word for desire in original translation is used both:

  • negatively as in covet and
  • positively as in spiritual desires

Desire becomes wrong when it:

  • Turns to covetousness (desiring what doesn’t belong to you)
  • Goes out of control

“You cannot stop birds from flying over your head but you can stop them from building their nests in your hair.” Martin Luther

 

Disassociate

Matt 5:29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; 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, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

Disassociate

Jesus is obviously speaking figuratively implying complete disassociation with circumstance causing sin. The problem is not with the eye or the hand, it is with the heart. That is where the disassociation should occur, but it may need to start with the physical disassociation.

The point is – tough measures need to be taken

Divorce

Matthew 5:31 “It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Does the bible give exception to Divorce?

Mark 10:11,12 and Luke 16:18 are clear. Mark 10:11,12 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

What of the exception in Matthew?

The word for “adultery” in this context is fornication. So I subscribe to John Piper’s view [1] that Matthew is likely to be talking of a pre-marital divorce on grounds of fornication. In Jewish culture, an engaged couple could be divorced before marriage as Joseph, Jesus’ father was initially considering before God revealed the divine conception plan and before marriage.

 

“Till Death do us part”

Divorce and remarriage:

  • After marriage, is clearly a no – no in the Bible
  • Separation is allowed in exceptional cases.

Other verses:

Deut 22:19

Jeremiah 3:1

Malachi 2:16

1 Cor 7:11-13

Romans 7:2-3

“Till Death do us part”

Deuteronomy 22:19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.

Jeremiah 3:1 “If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again?    Would not the land be completely defiled?

But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers—

    would you now return to me?”

declares the Lord.

“Till Death do us part”

Malachi 2:16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty.

So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.

Romans 7:2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

Is this a hard teaching?

Matthew 19:10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

In today’s world a hard pill to swallow, even as it was in the past. The disciples realized this that there is a risk

  • Of being stuck in a bad marriage
  • Or being stuck without marriage.

Partner choice before marriage is extremely critical and should come under much prayer and discernment of several people. That is the only solution. That is the solution Jesus is pushing towards. Marriage is no experiment. It is a lifelong commitment.

Dedication

Matt 19:10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

Very few can receive a life of singleness for Christ, maintaining the high standards of thought discussed. Only these should consider remaining unmarried.

Lust and immorality -recap

Desire – To covet is sin

Disassociate – Cut off

Divorce – Not an option

Dedicate – If called

Discussion

1.In what ways can we clip desire in the bud?

2.What examples of “cutting off eye and hand” can we apply in our lives?

3.What does the lesson on divorce stress on marriage?

4.To whom can we encourage choice to remain unmarried?

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