Today’s study scripture from Matthew 5:27-30
The nature of humanity
First, I want us to go back to the book of Genesis chapter 3. This is the beginning of the end. Indeed, if Genesis 3:6 was something like, “..and Eve said unto serpent, NO, I do not believe you, liar..“, then the Bible would be very short and our lives with God would be very, very long. But since God gave us freedom and we are abusing it, rather than using responsibly, we have to learn our lessons. So, back to the Bible.
The Temptation and the Fall of Mankind Genesis 3:1-6
In Genesis 3:1 Satan, Lucifer the fallen angel, possessed the body of a snake in its pre-fall form (note Genesis 3:14 for post-fall form) and appeared before Eve. She was the object of his attack, being the weaker one and needing for the protection of her husband. The very first thing what Satan did, he tempted Eve. He questioned God’s authority and good will for us as His creations. Basically, what Satan said was, “Is it true that he has restricted you from great pleasure? This is not at all like good and loving God!”
In her answer in Genesis 3:2-3, Eve faithfully repeated what Adam instructed her about The Commandment from God in Genesis 2:16-17. It is important to say, that Adam knew that Eve is weaker one and needing for extra protection. And, probably, he added “neither shall you touch it“. To make sure that Eve will stay away from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Farther in Genesis 3:4-5, Satan brazenly lied to Eve. In order for Eve to receive the lie he mixed it with truth. Eve, and eventually Adam, did get to know good and evil, though they did not become as God, moreover they did not get to know good and evil as God knows in perfect holiness. By obtaining “the knowledge of good and evil” Adam and Eve, hence the whole mankind, sentenced themselves to death. Thus, Satan became not just a liar, but a murderer too (note John 8:44).
Finally in Genesis 3:6, the Fall of Mankind. Here Eve thought that Satan was telling the truth. That, indeed, she “shall not surely die“, that her “eyes shall be opened“, and she “shall be as gods, knowing good and evil“. She was “beguiled”, deceived by the Devil (note Genesis 3:13; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14; Revelation 12:9). It was not rebellion against God, but deception and seduction to assure her that the things she is about to do is right. Eve did not know what she was doing, she just believed. Her persuasion was so strong and real, that she “saw that the tree was good for food“, “pleasant to the eyes“, “desired to make one wise” and she “did eat“. Adam “did eat” too. But unlike Eve, he was not deceived, he deliberately transgressed.
The Institute of Family and Marriage
According to Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, family – “a group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood, or adoption, enabling interaction between members of the household on their respective social roles. God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society”. Marriage – “the sacred, covenantal union of one man and one woman formed when the two swear before God an oath of lifelong loyalty and love to one another, the sign and seal of which is sexual intercourse” (note Genesis 2:23-25).
From the very beginning God established the institute of family united one man and one woman together. Thus, God created specific, explicit and perfect pattern for us to follow (note Genesis 2:18-22; Matthew 19:4-6). The uniqueness of unity between one man and one woman, the husband and wife, that the two become “one flesh“. This oneness separates them into the family unit under God’s authority and governance (note 1 Corinthians 11:3). Similarly to any society or organization which are established on the principle of division of powers and roles, family established on the same basis as well. Likewise the church is one unit. Though it consists of many members, it is united into “one flesh” called the body of Christ (note Galatians 3:28).
The marriage is more than just a wedding ceremony or agreement between one man and one woman. Because God instituted it, marriage is an untouchable bond sealed and treasured in the Heaven (note Mark 10:6-9). The entire Glory of God reflected in the marriage. Likewise the man was created in the image of God, the marriage too was created in the image of our relationship IN GOD and WITH GOD. Undoubtedly, the purpose of marriage (in all of the diversity of the definition of this word) is to GLORIFY GOD.
Indeed, Paul in his letter to the Ephesians expounded the definition of unity and marriage (note Ephesians 5:21-33). The marriage relationship between one man and one woman is to have the same pattern as of Christ and the church.
The Lustful Mind of Humanity
Adultery is an “act of unfaithfulness in marriage that occurs when one of the marriage partner voluntarily engage in sexual activity with a person other than marriage partner.”
Unfaithful bride, Loving Bridegroom
God’s perfect creation has been corrupted and destroyed by sin. Even after flood, when the Almighty wiped out the wickedness of men and cleansed the Earth with water, humanity continued to rebel against the Creator. The tower of Babel is just one example of how people were unfaithful and dishonored God by following other gods and pursuing their own glory. But the love and mercy of God is greater than His wrath, so He made a covenant with men ones again (note Psalm 103:8; ). God promised to Abram (Abraham after circumcision in Genesis 17:4-5) that He would make him a great nation and a blessing to the world (note Genesis 12:1-3). Likewise, God made a covenant with Abraham’s seed Moses. God established the Mosaic covenant with the Israelites after He saved them from slavery in Egypt (note Exodus 19:3-6).
The Divine Oath
In both situations, with Abraham and Moses, the covenant was conditional. The giver of the covenant, the God, promised to keep His divine oath if the conditions or commandments of the same covenant will be satisfied completely by those who accepting the covenant (note James 2:10). In the same manner, a bridegroom gives an oath to his bride and a bride to the same bridegroom. And by the power of God they become a husband and a wife.
Any broken promise has its consequences. For example, if Abraham or any man from his family break the covenant what was established with God, the same man (soul) would be “cut off” from his people and no longer receive blessings from God (note Genesis 17:14). There is no difference with Mosaic law (note Exodus 20:1-17) in general and adultery (note Exodus 20:14) in particular.
The covenant law between God and Israel prohibited adultery, hence made the faithfulness to the marriage as a divine will for human relationships. In the Old Testament adultery is considered as an offense against God. Breaking one of God’s commandments would lead to physical and spiritual death (note Leviticus 20:10; Proverbs 6:32). In case with adultery, both the adulterous man and woman were viewed as guilty, and the punishment of death penalty was prescribed for both (note Deuteronomy 22:21-22).
Corrupted and Unrepentant Heart
If in the Old Testament adultery was treated as “the work of flesh” only (note Galatians 5:19), Jesus Christ brought it up to the highest level. Jesus expanded mere social relationship between husband and wife and made it as a matter of the heart (note Matthew 5:27-28). Thus Christ said, that if the act is wrong, then so is the intention. To be faithful to your spouse with your body, but not with your mind is equal to mental treason and separation. Farther, in Matthew 5:29-30 (also Mark 9:43; Colossians 3:5), Jesus used this graphic hyperbole to demonstrate all seriousness of the sin of lust and evil desires. The point was, that it is better to lose “one member of your body”, rather than have eternal consequences of the guilt of such a sin.
Though adultery is a “deadly” sin which creates enmity with God and cutting of the adulterers from inheriting the Kingdom of God (note James 4:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10), it can be and it is forgiven (note John 8:3-11). Your sanctification comes through repentance, faith and God’s grace, with the power of the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ. Once sanctified you are included in God’s Family (note 1 Corinthians 6:11).
Nowadays, Satan uses exactly the same tactic he used in the very beginning when he tricked out Eve. His tactic is the threefold temptation:
- Appealing to body – “good for food“.
- Appealing to soul – “pleasant to the eyes“.
- Appealing to spirit – “make one wise“.
From our side, the separation from God can be caused by:
- Having lack of the knowledge of God’s word, like Eve was.
- Being not responsible with the knowledge of God’s word, like Adam was.
- Being prideful, liar and murderer in the heart, like Satan.
Acting out sinful desires is harmful in several ways:
- Having sinful thoughts excuses sin rather than condemns it.
- It destroys life – psychically and spiritually.
- It is deliberate rebellion against God.
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Images taken from: FreeBibleimages, thank you!