God’s sexual standards

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If you have a bible open it up to Matthew 5. I have titled the message this morning, ‘God’s sexual standards. Pray with me.
I think every Sermon I have preached has been meaningful so far in the book of Matthew but this one is one that is very counter cultural, but personal to many if not all of us in this room. I have spoke about this before, but the sexual revolution has done so much harm in our society and in our churches, in our own homes and we need to understand the significance of what God says when it comes to sex, and purity, and all of God’s sexual standards for us.
Obviously this is just as important today as back then, and like we saw last week. Jesus does care about our actions but for him its more than that, because he knows being God that anything we do first comes from the condition of our hearts.
Our hearts rule our actions, now what I want you to see before we get into the text as our main idea is this…

Living out God's sexual standards comes from having the right heart, which leads to the right actions.

Let us read the text this morning…
Matthew 5:27–32 (ESV)
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 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.
31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Just like last weeks text. Jesus is bringing to light something from the law, something from the 10 commandments. He is specifically addressing the 7th commandment. The commandment that says do not commit adultery and I combined two texts really to show you God’s sexual standards, but as I just said these standards come from having the right heart. Jesus as I told you two sermons ago was Jesus did not come to change any of what the law said, he came to fulfill it yet, but God’s standards, God’s law never changed even when Jesus came and died on the cross and rose again it still remains.
Now I have several points I would like you to see today the first is this…

God demands sexual purity.

As I just mentioned Jesus is bringing to light the 7th commandment, and getting to the true heart of the matter, saying yes committing adultery is a sin, but with Jesus he care about our heart condition just as much.
For the Jews for maybe many of us we look at purity simply as something only physical. They had two standards, don’t cheat on your spouse, dont leave your spouse, and those are excellent biblical standards, but what they did in the process was have horrible hearts while still breaking those standards.
This is hard for me to even say but you are not simply a good godly husband and a good wife if this is your only standard when pursuing God sexual standards. Hear that this morning and you better believe I am preaching to myself to.
For the Jews they knew what the law said about committing adultery and being caught it was a death sentence they would have died, and Jesus ups this standard in the text saying you are so worried about your physical following of the law don’t you realize you have wicked hearts that are not pure will send you to hell.
v28 is explains this. He says But i tell you that everyone who looks at a women with lustful intent has already commited adultery with her in his heart. Now laddies this does not leave you off the hook here there is a general application to all people.
This doesn’t mean that you can never look at someone and admire them, but you must be careful that this does not turn into lustful thoughts of someone who is not your spouse. God really is looking at the heart here, and the heart is a dangerous place for us when it comes to sexual sin. No-one is safe when it comes to this. If you are a young man or women all the way to an adult all the way until later in life you have most likely struggled with this.
Listen to what one of my favorite pastors says.. Voddie Baucham he is not including Christ when he says this..
The wisest man in the Bible fell into sexual sin, the strongest man in the Bible fell to sexual sin, and the godliest man in the Bible fell to sexual sin.
For me to think I'm above falling into this sin is to think that I'm wiser than Solomon, stronger than Samson, and godlier than King David.
The scriptures is full of people make bad decisions based on sexual desires, the world is full of that because our sexual appetites are to often out of control not only physically, but from our hearts.
Let me talk about one of the examples David, and what one scholar said about him. King David on a warm spring night in Palestine when he could not sleep and strode onto the rooftop garden for some cool evening air and a look at his city. As he gazed around, his eye caught the form of an unusually beautiful woman bathing. As to how beautiful she was, the Hebrew is explicit: "The woman was beautiful in appearance, very." She was young, in the flower of life, and the evening shadows made her even more enticing. David's look became a leer, and mental adultery ensued. And then he would not be denied, even when his servant meekly reminded him that she was the wife of Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:1-4). The fantasy preceded the act, and that is how it has always been. No sensual sin was ever committed that was not first imagined. Scripture says this, and our experience confirms it. Our imagination (one of the faculties that distinguish us from animals) is one of God's wondrous gifts. Through it we dream great dreams. Without it there would be no great works of art or great achievements of science. But as with any of God's gifts, it must be used responsibly. When abused, the imagination spawns great evil.
How marvelous our Lord's words are! In one single sentence he elevated our entire concept of sexual purity beyond the mere physical to a matter of the soul and heart. And in doing so, he has shown us our hearts and has uncovered the source of our trouble. His words cut. They are surgical. They expose to us our sin, and they show us his radical righteousness. The question now is, how can we live a life of purity in this age of sensuality?
And I love that question, because as convicting as verse 28 is, and the quote was Jesus helps us get out of the mess that we often make of ourselves.
2nd point is this..

To keep God’s sexual standards we must watch our eyes, and our hands.

Matthew 5:29–30 ESV
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.
Think Jesus takes sexual sin seriously? You bet he does this is one of his strongest sayings in all the bible. He uses this in a couple of places in scriptures, and believe it or not early in church history, people took this literally, I read during the early church people would gouge out there very own eyes because of their sin and even try to emasculate themselves. Origen of alexander took this text so much to heart that he himself castrated himself, one of the people I read said he later went on to believe that he interpreted that verse incorrectly in fact another man I said said Origen still had his eyes and if he had removed them, he would still have has his mind’s eye.
I think what makes it hard even for believers today is our eyes have far to many places to wonder, seen to many things we should not have seen. Some of the older people in the congregation can attest to this, but we have now on Television, internet, books, far to many things that captivate our eyes and lead us down a path of sin. When I was way to young I was exposed to things no young man should be exposed to our kids now have things like Instagram, tik-tok, youtube, countless internet sites that even if you are careful can see things that you should not see.
Our phones have given us so many good things, but the enemy uses it more and more to take our eyes off the right things. We have to learn to make a covenant with our eyes to not look and seek out things that are ungodly.
My biggest fear for the church and myself is that we have become so desensitized to things that God wants us to have no part of. In fact I heard it said this week, I have heard of a young man say I watched a smutty film or a I would ad a young lady saying a read a smutty book, and say it does not affect them at all, that is dishonest.
The true reality is if we want to keep God’s sexual standards we must watch our eyes, and our hands. One man I read sees the seriousness of it. He says "Act decisively, immediately, even if it is painful... [The drastic nature of the remedy is simply the index of the radical danger of the sin. It is not a situation for negotiation"
How do we do this? Well its Two fold One you might have to get rid of some stuff that is causing you to violate God’s standards. And this might be really hard for you, and that doesn’t mean next week I see all the congregation without a right eye, and right hand. But I used that quote because we need to put to death all the things that may cause us to violate God’s sexual standards. If that means you need to stop watching something stop watching, if you need to delete an app delete an app, if you have to cut your internet off because you can’t control yourself then do it. If you have a relationship that is not honoring God fix it or get rid of it.
Don’t mess around with any sin especially this kind of sin. If you remember in the book of Genesis Joseph was in a tough situation in Potiphar’s house she tried to seduce him, and what did he do he fled he ran out of that house to many of us today want to see what Potiphar’s wife or whatever else can do to satify our fleshly needs instead of getting out of these situations. Instead of running, and its going to cost you dearly if you don’t
1 Corinthians 6:18 ESV
18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
Jesus is calling us to radically cleanse ourself from sexual desires that do not line up with the scriptures.
Secondly we live in the power of the Holy Spirit thinking about the right things. Romans 8:13
Romans 8:13 ESV
13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
The Holy Spirit can transform your life of sin, into a life of righteousness.
Remember Phil 4:8
Philippians 4:8 ESV
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Get in the word, get your prayer life right, fill yourself with the good things of God, if you want to watch your eyes, and your hands think about Godly things. It will help you tremendously.
Why should all this matter to us, because of the reality of hell.
Listen to this.. We live in an age of extreme sensuality. Many say (and I think they are right) that never in the history of the Western world, since the time of Greek and Roman paganism, has the state of marriage and sexual morality been so low. And even more tragic, immorality has invaded the church at every level. from teenage to mid-life, so that no age group is untouched. Moreover, the havoc this has wrought goes far beyond the relational horrors of divorce, illegitimacy, and abortion to the very perversion of faith. I know of one former church leader and theologian who after continuous adultery and finally dissolution of his marriage began to discard the essentials of his Christian faith. Why? When one's willful conduct contradicts one's theology, either the conduct or the theology must change. We must understand that much of the heresy we observe today has roots that are moral rather than intellectual.
We must never let our piety and spiritual accomplishments dull us to our potential for sin. We must mortify the very members of our bodies. If our eyes, hands, and feet are causing us to stumble, we must take desperate measures to keep that from happening. If we are stumbling because of what we are seeing, we must make a covenant with our eyes to stop, to leave the scene if necessary. We must not give in to what others will think. We must expect some misunderstanding and even ridicule when we make godly choices. "You have to be kidding! You mean you haven't seen such and such? You haven't read that best seller? You're culturally deprived.
Go on like this and you'll be an intellectual dinosaur." But Jesus says it's better to be a cultural amputee than for our whole body to go to Hell.
To keep God’s sexual standards we must watch our eyes, and our hands, because eternity is at stake.
this leads to my next point.

God’s sexual standard for marriage is until death do us part.

We will have another sermon in Matthew several months down the line, but I do want to spend a little time on this because divorce is a serious thing in the world we live in, it even plagues the church quite a bit. In one of the things I was studying this week it said that 8 out of 10 people are either directly or indirectly affected by divorce. I am one of those 8 people. My parents got divorced when I was a small child, I never got to see a Godly marriage for myself upclose, and that’s not God’s design.
Jesus is Matthew 19:4-5
Matthew 19:4–5 ESV
4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
I heard it said that marriage is the deepest of all human relationships and when you look at the language of scripture it makes since because only with your spouse do you become one flesh. Together, and that is the standard. And unfortunately that standard get’s broken to often without biblical justification. Now if you remember what I said a few weeks ago, Jesus is not changing what the scripture says, he is teaching his followers how the law was meant to be applied, so the Pharisees the scribes used to use Dt 24:1 to justify various types of divorce. Listen to the verse.
Deuteronomy 24:1 ESV
1 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house,
Listen to the insanity of what was going on to justify this standard. [That verse taught that a husband could divorce his wife if he found "some indecency" in her, and that is where the controversy lay. The burning question in Jesus' day was, what does "some indecency" mean?" Those in the very liberal rabbinical school of Hillel interpreted "indecency" in the widest manner possible. They said a man could divorce his wife if she spoiled his dinner!
They also extended "indecency" to mean a wife's walking around with her hair down, speaking to men in the streets, or speaking disrespectfully of her husband's parents in his presence. A wrong word about a mother-in-law and a woman could be out on the street! Rabbi Akiba, who was of this school of thought, went even further, saying that the phrase "she finds no favor in his eyes" meant that a man could divorce his wife if he found a woman who was more beautiful. Such husbands were bigoted and arrogant.
Fortunately, they were opposed by the school of Shammai, which limited
"indecency" to offenses of marital impropriety short of adultery. "Indecency" did not refer to adultery, which was punished by execution, but rather suggested other types of sexual misconduct such as shameful exposure. There is much more that I read that ill save for the next sermon. But the insanity just doesn’t stop.
But today we see people leave people for all kinds of reasons they are not happy, there is someone else, they don’t fulfill my every need, and Jesus says there is only one way that divorce that is justified and that is sexually immorality, for the Jews sexually immorality of any kind subjected them to death that is how serious God takes it read Lev 20 later on and see that. Sexually immorality according to the text is having sexual relationships with someone who is not your spouse.
God want’s marriage to be permanent. And he shows us just how serious this if we violate what he says. because of what he says in the second part of verse 32..
he says if you do get divorced without this taking place then you cause the next person you marry to be guilty of adultery.
If you get remarried after a divorce and the grounds for divorce was adultery then you getting remarried to that person as long as they did not divorce on the grounds other than adultery is not committing adultery make sense. These are heavy words here. Because it speaks of the permanence of marriage.
Two things to add and we will address this again in a few months. Paul speaks of one other ground for divorce, and he says it clearly not I but the Lord. Listen to these verses 1 Cor 7:12-16
1 Corinthians 7:12–16 ESV
12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
Paul says in short if you are a believer and your spouse who is not a believer leaves you are not liable for that divorce. But even then God’s sexual standard for marriage is until death do us part.
lastly I have to say this and I hate that I have to. Many people are unfortunately in abusive marriages, and I wish the Lord spoke on this specifically, because there has been a-lot of bad information given to believers to keep people in those marriages and I just want to say this.. If you are in one of those situations seek help a Godly Husband and a Godly Wife should should abuse their spouse and if they are I would argue they need to look and see if they are believers in the first place. You have to protect yourself and your family if you are in those situations God is gracious he forgives. Leave and protect yourself for your sake and your families if you are caught up in one of those situations. I looked up Godly sources this week and one said.. If you are in an abusive situation right now, whether the abuser is a spouse, parent, child, caretaker, teacher, relative, or anyone else, please know that God does not want you to remain in that situation. It is not God’s will for you to accept physical, sexual, or psychological abuse. Leave the situation, find someone to help you stay safe, and involve law enforcement immediately.
Ill add to that Through it all, pray for God’s guidance and protection.‌Last point to hammer home is this. I believe we all need this point.

Gods desire for us when we break his sexual standards is that we repent and restore our relationships.

There is not a person in this room that has not fallin short of God’s standards. Whether its physical adultery, spiritual adultery, un-Biblical divorce we all all fall short of the glory of God and his standards. so what do we do…
Listen to Martyn Lloyd-Jones- But on the basis of the gospel and in the interest of truth I am compelled to say this: Even adultery is not the unforgivable sin. It is a terrible sin, but God forbid that there should be anyone who feels that he or she has sinned himself or herself outside the love of God or outside His kingdom because of adultery. No; if you truly repent and realize the enormity of your sin and cast yourself upon the boundless love and mercy and grace of God, you can be forgiven and I assure you of pardon. But hear the words of our blessed Lord: "Go and sin no more.
Take those words to heart, Go and sin no more because of the one who said them, he himself was without sin, even the temptations that you and I have he had, and yet he conquered all of them to the point where he died on the cross without sinning one time dying the death that we deserve rising on the third day to save even us who are adulterers.
I am convinced that one of the biggest stands we can take against the world, against the evil of the day is return to God’s sexual standards, and that is going to take each and every one of us understanding what his standards are, getting rid of all that is causing us to sin, and repenting of that sin.
One last quote this morning and then we will pray. The key to spiritual victory is a circumcised heart (Deut 10:16; 30:6). A new-covenant heart has God's law written on it (Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 26:2427). It is a new heart gained by faith in Jesus and being born again (John 3:3-16).
Everything we try to do in the Christian faith rests on the fact whether or not we have been born again, and if we have we can follow his standards. Let us pray..
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