Cut It Off (Matthew 5:27-30)

WW2015-wk34Just this week hackers released data from the cheating website, Ashley Madison, a site devoted to assisting extramarital, or better put, adulterous relationships. News especially broke out and had a field day when it was found out Josh Duggar was one of those members on the site. Many people are disturbed by this fact, and rightfully so, that Josh and many others would turn to this. A couple of thoughts run through my mind on this topic. The first is this: Why was there such a website in the first place? How can there be any toleration of offering an adultery service? The reality is the Ashley Madison site reflects the downward spiral of our culture. If there is a break between the permanent union of one man and one woman, then implications will follow. The second thought from this headline is a call to examine. While it is clear the members of this website were engaged in sin, we would do well to reflect on ourselves, on our own lives and check our heart’s motivations. This is what we find in Matthew 5:27-30. Jesus restates the seventh commandment, “You shall not commit adultery.” He doesn’t stop there, though. Just as Jesus calls out the anger that leads to murder, He denounces the lust that leads to adultery. He says, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (verse 28). The men and women on the Ashley Madison site may have acted on their sinful desires but the truth is if we have a lustful heart for sexual immorality, we are guilty of sin. What person can say they have never sexually lusted in their heart? Chances are nobody can say that. We all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and sexual sin is definitely included in the falling short. Our only hope for salvation is to trust in the One who is always pure, Jesus Christ. Repenting of our sins and believing in Him is the only way. Only then can we be able to do what Jesus tells us to in Matthew 5:29-30, to cut off sin and nip it in the bud. Don’t flirt with sexual lust. Don’t go near it. Cut it off! It is better to cut it off than to allow your desire to become action and receive condemnation. So, this week, when you are faced with the temptation to lust in your heart after that man or woman who is not your own, resolve to cut it off at its core. Getting to the root means dealing with the heart. Do not give sin any room in your life. Will you be perfect? No, you will struggle at times. But be committed to growing in purity. Because of the power of the gospel, you can cut it off!

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