Victory Over Temptation will help you to grasp the meaning of this Scripture where Jesus taught about adultery.
May you clearly discern the voice of the Holy Spirit ministering to you through this article.
Victory Over Temptation
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”Matthew 5:27-30
In this passage, Jesus tells us that the sin of thoughts and secret desires is just as great as the physical sin of adultery.
In various places in Scripture, we read that adultery is a sin that condemns to hell, but in this Scripture, Jesus tells us that just thinking about it will reap the same reward.
When the scribes and Pharisees brought the adulterous woman before Jesus to test him, asking Him what should be done with her because the law of Moses instructs that she must be stoned to death Jesus replied: “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” John 8:3-10
Jesus understands that all of us have a sinful nature therefore He told them to let those without sin throw the first stone.
God created us to have sexual desires for our partners within a marriage relationship which is a component of our humanity in essence and inclination.
Between the lines, one might read that Jesus is actually saying that all of us are sinful and that He does not want us to make something that He created to be pure and lovely between a husband and wife become ugly and impure.
Jesus is saying that if we look with desire at someone else we have already committed the sin of adultery in our hearts.
He does not want us to give sin the slighted foothold in our lives by nurturing it up to a point where desire is stimulated and give birth to adultery.
Jesus knows that our eyes are the windows to our souls and He wants us to close the curtains to not allow forbidden desires to grow into strong trees that will later be very difficult to remove with root and all.
Jesus gives us the cure to remove the stumbling block from us.
He tells us to pluck out our eyes and cut off our hands if it causes us to sin.
Yet, having our organs and limbs removed will not cure the problem. William Barcley wrote in The New Daily Study Bible on this passage:
Of course, the words of Jesus are not to be taken with a crude literalism. What they mean is that anything which helps to seduce us to sin is to be ruthlessly rooted out of life. If there is a habit that can be seduction to evil, if there is an association which can be the cause of wrongdoing, if there is a pleasure which could turn out to be our ruin, then that thing must be surgically excised from our live.”William Barcley – The New Daily Study Bible
While traveling on Sanctification Road this is a very important aspect to understand and implement into our daily routines and lives to:
- Identify the forbidden desire,
- And remove yourself from the root of that desire.
This will not be something you will be able to control or manage without removing yourself from that situation.
Simply saying you are strong enough to withstand the temptation on your own will be the road to failure.
The only way to surgically remove the eye and hand that makes you stumble in a practical way is to remove yourself from that person, and or situation.
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”1 Corinthians 6:18
William Barclay’s advice:
“The first way is by Christian action.
The best way to defeat such thoughts is to do something, to fill life so full with Christian labour and Christian service that there is no time for these thoughts to enter in; to think so much of others that in the end we entirely forget ourselves; to rid ourselves of a diseased and morbid introspection by concentrating not on ourselves but on other people.
The real cure for evil thoughts is good action.
The second way is to fill the mind with good thoughts.
If people are harassed by thoughts of forbidden and unclean things, they will certainly never defeat the evil things by withdrawing from life and saying, I will not think of these things.
They can do so only by plunging into Christian action and Christian thought.
They will never do it by trying to save their own lives; they can do it only by flinging their lives away for others.”William Barcley – The New Daily Study Bible
If you have ever succumbed to the sin of adultery like many of us have, all you have to do is sincerely repent of it and accept the words Jesus spoke to the adulterous woman:
“When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”John 8:10-11
Application: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:14
Spend quality time with God in prayer and Bible reading to fill your thoughts with His Word and truth – Psalm 119:11.
Whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things – Philippians 4:8.
Prayer points: Watch and pray not to enter into temptation – Matthew 26:41.
Pray for discipline to train yourself to have self-control and not give in to temptation – 1 Corinthians 9:23-25.
Pray that you will be enabled to walk in the Spirit not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh – Galatians 5:16.
Promise: God, who is faithful, will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can endure, but with the temptation will give us a way of escape to enable us to bear it – 1 Corinthians 10:13.
If we live pure lives that please God we will receive the crown of life – 1 Corinthians 9:23-25.
You may also like to read The Temptation in our At His Feet Series.
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Everything in Him, unto Him, and to glorify His Holy Name!
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