Shun moral impurity
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, as well as the Light of the Word. Without His insight and interpretation, most people will think they are free from the condemnation of sin. Hearing the word, “Thou shalt not kill”, the majority of people in the world will claim to have kept this word of God. However, hearing the true explanation: “Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment,” every mouth is stopped and allthe world become guilty before God (Romans 3:19). Christ’s true interpretation makes everyone see the need for forgiveness and salvation.
Our Lord now explains and applies the next commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Limited understanding, again, will lead most people to conclude that they are morally upright and righteous. That superficial righteousness is lost, as we listen to Christ’s revelation on the commandment. “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Christ effectively takes the veil of deception away to make everyone in the world see the need for salvation in Him. Christ makes the world see the need for divine mercy and He makes the church see the need for heart-cleansing.
“Ye have heard …” We have heard, indeed, from the voice of our conscience, from the voice of society, from the voice of self-interest, from the voice of judgment and from the voice of priests and preachers. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery.” This moral code had been in effect before the dispensation of the law (Genesis 20:1-7; 38:24), and it is still in effect today after the dispensation of the law; in this dispensation of grace (Matthew 19:16-18; Romans 13:9,10). Christ has not come to excuse and conceal the sin of mankind. No! He came to expose and cleanse the sin of the world. He has not come to condemn and leave man under condemnation. No! He has come to reveal the guilt and condemnation of all men in order to make men seek God’s forgiveness, mercy and salvation through Christ. His light searches us. so that His love may save us.
The Pharisees and scribes of His time had reduced the commandment, which prohibits adultery to the mere physical act of adultery. They imagined that as long as they were not actually guilty of the act, they were perfectly innocent and free from guilt or condemnation. The great mistake of the Pharisees was that they never read the Ten Commandments properly. If they had truly considered and thoroughly studied them, they would have seen the error of isolating each of the commandments. While the seventh commandment says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”, the tenth commandment says, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife.” This law forbids lust in the heart or improper desire of “inordinate affection” for any woman in the heart. Here again, we have Christ faithfully showing us the insufficiency of external righteousness. His inspired interpretation and faithful revelation of what is in man’s heart helps us to see our need of Christ as Saviour and Sanctifier. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).
Christ is not only the Teacher come from God, He is also the great Physician (Doctor) sent from God. He is the Saviour with the divine Word. He is also the Surgeon with divine Wisdom. For a man with a cancerous eye or hand, there are times when ‘plucking out the eye’ or ‘cutting off the hand’ becomes necessary to save the whole body. It is the last resort, when all other treatments fail.
“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” If a man or a woman, as dear and precious to you as your right eye, be an occasion of offending God; a means of exciting unholy desires in your heart, delay not to separate from him or her. “And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” If anyone who is as necessary, useful and profitable to you as your right hand be a constant means of impure desires or immoral deeds, cut her or him off and let there be a total and final separation.
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 5:27-30; Matthew 5:27; Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 22:22-24; Proverbs 6:32-35; Romans 1:29-32; 13:9,10;1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 2:19-23; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2,3; Hebrews 13:4; Matthew 5:28; Exodus 20:14,17; Mark 7:20-23; Romans 7:7; 2 Samuel 13:1-4; Colossians 3:5,6; James 1:14,15;1 John 2:16; Genesis 6:5; Proverbs 15:26; 24:9; Isaiah 55:7; Matthew 5:29,30; Psalm 119:37; Job 31:1; Proverbs 5:8-13; Proverbs 6:25-29; 7:25-27; Romans 6:13; 8:13; Galatians 5:24; 2 Corinthians 10:4,5; 1 Corinthians 9:27; Mark 9:43-48.
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