Matthew 5:17-30 | Surrender, The Key To Victory!

Matthew 5:17-30 | Surrender, The Key To Victory!

Matthew 5:17-30 | Surrender, The Key To Victory!

All of us want to live a good life, a life that is holy and pleasing to our God. The fact is we have the flesh that is against God’s ways and then our enemy, the devil awaiting in to ambush us. We battle with anger, ego, pride, hatred, lust, and so on. Today, I want to speak to you from Matthew 5:17-30 on the key to victory in our life: Total Surrender. Deep obedience. A life that is surrendered to God, a heart that deeply obeys God can experience victory.

Matthew 5:17-30 | Surrender, The Key To Victory!

This is the sermon on the mount, that is in Matthew 5. Jesus is primarily speaking to his disciples but there is a crowd that is also listening to him. In this passage, Jesus is telling as to what it is to think and live a victorious life in His kingdom. In this extended section which starts from v17, Jesus tells us how we as his disciples should regard the law of Moses, how we must look at murder, adultery, marriage and divorce, wows, revenge, enemies, etc.

I will just read the highlights of this passage.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Matthew 5:20

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:21

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’

Matthew 5:27

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

Let’s look at it:

Matthew 5:17

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

“the law and the prophets”

The expression “the law and the prophets” is a way to referring to the entire Hebrew scriptures, OT. Jesus wants to make it very clear that his authority is not in contradiction to the law. Jesus in fact obeyed the law perfectly. All have come up short about the law of Moses, but Jesus obeyed the law perfectly.

To fulfill is more than obedience. All that the Old Testament intended to communicate about God’s will and hopes for humanity find their full meaning and accomplishment in Jesus’ teaching and ministry.

Many today think, we have Jesus and his Holy Spirit in the NT, we no longer need the law or the OT. That is the wrong way of looking at scripture. Jesus did not abolish the law, but he fulfilled it. Paul is one of the NT writers who has written extensively about the law. What Paul is telling us that now that Jesus has come, we are to look at the law of Moses in a new light, how Christ has fulfilled and law, and what it means to follow the law in light of what Jesus has done for us.

Jesus is not against the law | Matthew 7

Jesus says:

Matthew 7:18

For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Even the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet (Yud) in the law will not pass away from the law. Jesus says not even a little stroke of a Hebrew letter is going to pass until all law is fulfilled.

Most of the law was accomplished on the cross and some will be accomplished at the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Believed That The Scripture Was Inspired

If Jesus’ confidence in the OT extends to the small words and the stroke of the law, why not ours? Today, we have both the OT and NT was the inspired word of God. The scripture is God breathed.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The scripture has come to us through divine choice and human words. This is called the double authorship of the scripture. Jesus believed in that and that is why he said, “every stroke of the law and prophets will be accomplished.”

Question: Are we to follow the law of Moses?

Three types of law:

Civil law

This has to do with administration. The country itself is defined by the law, therefore it is a theocracy. So the system of civil society is defined by laws. What is our function in a democracy, we live according to the law of our land.

Law of Ceremonies

The sacrifices, temple and altar, and some of the festivals. These are ceremonial laws completed in Jesus. How do we follow this law, by faith in Jesus Christ?

Now we do not sacrifice a lamb in the church every time we meet for worship. We do not do that because these sacrificial laws are fulfilled in Jesus.

In Colossians 2:16-17 16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Moral law

This is universal. We do not define our morality by the secular or other religious systems. This is defined by God. The Moral Law Is A Universal Law, Still Applicable To Us.

Now listen, the punishments associated with the moral laws may change from government to government and country to country. In ancient Israel, they had theocrasy, to begin with, where God was the king and Israel was a special anointed state. Yes, later they asked for a king but the laws continued. In Israel, the punishment for certain moral commands was very severe.

Under the OT

For example, under the OT law and under the theocratic kingdom, adultery could be punished by death. A disobedient son could be stoned to death. We don’t practice that today, neither did Jesus practice that in his day. When Jesus met a woman who was accused of adultery, Jesus understood that under the Roman occupation, under their present system she should not be put to death. However, Jesus did not approve of adultery.

When we take the whole law, there is a lot of list of commands, and sometimes it is confusing to us as Christians what commands are binding upon us and what commands are not. All the commands of the law are fulfilled in Jesus and it is no longer binding upon us except for the moral laws. We are not to following the food laws and the civil laws of Israel. But when it comes to the moral commands of the OT, we are to follow them. When it says, “Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, honor your father and mother, etc.” Those commandments are binding upon us today as they were in the days of Moses.

Matthew 5:19

Therefore anyone who sets aside (relaxes) one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

There are 613 commandments and the Jews divided them into lesser and the greater. Jesus says the commands that you consider least are still important. Jesus had confidence in the OT.

We Are To Learn, Teach And Practice The Whole Scripture

Jesus said very strongly, that the scripture should be taught and understood. It is very important that you attend a church that rightly teaches the word of God. The word of God that can help us grow in the Lord. The word of God has great value for us.

The problem during the time of Jesus was that the law and prophets were taught by the Pharisees and the scribes. Their intention to teach and follow the law was good but they put more binding upon people than the law itself. So in this section, Jesus is going to teach us about the right use of the law, but in the midst of it, Jesus does something that is shocking.

Matthew 5:20

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

This is a startling statement. We need to have righteousness surpassing the Pharisees and scribes? When Jesus spoke those words, the audience was surprised.

What does righteousness mean?

Right is defined by whatever is conformed to God’s character. Righteousness is what God is and what God does. It is moral perfection in all areas, behavior, and character.

The Pharisees and the teaches of the law were teaching them the law of Moses. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were the epitomai of righteousness. The people were figuring out how they can match up to them. The righteousness shown by the Pharisees was extreme.

Pharisees = separation. They followed the written law + the traditions based on the law. They were supernaturalists

Sometimes they are portrayed in a bad light nevertheless the Pharisees they were sincere in obeying the law.

They took every law and obeyed it. the Pharisees were a revival movement during that time. They began about 100-150 years before the time of Jesus and they were dedicated to obeying the Torah. and were so much into ritualism they had added so many things to the law for people to do and they were doing more harm than doing good.

Jesus comes and says,

“Do you think the Pharisees are righteous? I know the Pharisees have this extreme righteousness but your righteousness has to go further than their righteousness.”

Matthew 5:48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect.

The people would have thought that there is no way they can exceed that level of righteousness. When Jesus spoke these words, this shocked his listeners. People would have thought that they cannot follow Jesus this way. But Jesus explains later in this passage how we can have a righteousness greater than that of the Pharisees.

What does Jesus mean by this? We could never exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees on a human scale. There is a human scale of righteousness and then there is the Jesus scale of righteousness. This is the amazing good news of Jesus Christ of who he is and what he has done for us. Kingdom righteousness is an inside out righteousness, not outside in.

What Jesus says is that “Your righteousness is pretty messed up and it will never be good enough with all your effort but my righteousness is perfect.”

How righteous is Jesus before God the Father in heaven? Jesus was completely righteous, he meets every righteous standard. The message of the gospel is that you don’t have to stand before God in your own corrupt righteousness, you can stand in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.”

Paul said:

Philippians 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

Here Paul speaks of two different kinds of righteousness: A righteousness that comes from performing the law (doing certain things) and righteousness of faith that comes as a gift of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The bad news is that every one of us is disqualified from pleasing God and accomplishing anything perfect for ourselves from our own righteousness or from the law. The good news is that by believing in Jesus Christ we are offered his righteousness that we can receive by faith.

The message needs to go out again and again, you and I are not good enough. We cannot save ourselves. The world with its eloquent message and repeated message of self-improvement is not the message of the church of Jesus Christ. The message of the church of Jesus Christ is not a message that you can do it, not the message of positive thinking, it all depends on you, etc; you cannot do that.

We need Jesus, we need to Surrender

If you remember anything from this message today, remember you cannot do any good by yourself, you cannot save yourself, but Jesus Christ can do it for you. Who Jesus is and what he did, the sacrifice that he made on the cross as a substitute for your sins and my sins, this is our rescue before God.

We can have righteousness surpassing the Pharisees by top obedience or deep obedience to the scripture that comes deep from our hearts. The actions are a result of our hearts. We have the kingdom of God in us and that requires deep obedience is not only what we do but in our heart. It is the presence of the future already in us.

Now Jesus is giving us some areas or examples where this deep obedience can be practiced.

Beginning v21-48 there is an extended passage where Jesus is going to deal with different areas of the law of Moses that have been wrongly taught and interpreted by the Jewish scribes and teachers of his day.

You Shall Not Murder | Matthew 5

Matthew 5:21

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’

Most of those that Jesus spoke to had not studied the law for themselves. All they heard was the teaching about the law from the scribes and the Pharisees. They did not have the Bible with them. We have the scripture in hand. Now, it is not enough just to hear the word yourself, you need to read it and understand it for yourself.

Matthew 5:21

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’

In the KJV it is given “Thou shalt not kill.” You shall not murder. We all agree to this law. and are not to take anyone’s life.

The law says, “You shall not murder.” This is the 6th commandment, Exodus 20:13. There was something wrong with this teaching during Jesus’ time. They said, “As long as you don’t murder anybody, that is fine. You could harbor anger and hatred or bitterness against someone but as long as you don’t physically kill them, you are fine. You can destroy anyone’s reputation, you can speak evil of people, it is okay, just don’t murder them.” That is how they interpreted it in Jesus’ day. Jesus raises the bar on this commandment. The Pharisees were concerned only by physical death but I am going to give it a deeper interpretation.

Matthew 5:21-22

21“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sisterwill be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Anyone who is angry with a brother: Brother is a fellow Jew. Name calling was highly insulting in Jewish culture. Raca is an Aramaic word that said you are empty headed or calling someone brainless. Fool means moron, is used to demean someone. The point is you are guilty before God and you will be punished, if you are angry with someone or belittle someone.

A gun can assassinate the body, Raca, fool slander assassinates the character. Slander and gossip is a form of assassination, it is a form of destroying a person’s character.

God is concerned about the heart

The teaching of the scribes and Pharisees was right, that you cannot murder but they also taught that anything short of murder was okay. Jesus corrected this and made it clear that it is not only the act of murder that God is concerned about but it is the heart of murder that God is concerned about.

There is probably no one among us who will actually do a physical murder. But do you realize that does not let us off the hook regarding this command? We can have a heart of hatred and anger and bitterness towards other people that we steadfastly hold on to and Jesus says this command do not murder speaks to you. You don’t have to do the act of murder but even if you are angry with your brother or sister and you have a bitter heart towards anyone, you have actually committed murder.

Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. To the Pharisees, the law was only a matter of external performance, not the heart. Jesus said I am going to look at the heart.

Matthew 5:22

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sisterwill be subject to judgment.

What you say about someone, what you say to damage someone’s reputation that can be an expression of a murderous heart. That can bring you into judgment as well.

Jesus continues this idea in v23:

Matthew 5:23-24 23

“Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Jesus is giving us the picture of a person who is bringing a sacrifice to the temple. He/she is coming with an animal and goes all the way to the altar and he suddenly realize that there is someone he has offended and has not settled the problem, it is not right between me and my wife, or me and my sister or brother. I have got to set things right. Key to anger is instant reconciliation. Jesus says, “Don’t go ahead with your religious work, go set things right with your brother or sister. Get it right.”

We are called to take responsibility

It is so easy for us to say, “I am God’s child and I don’t bother who is angry with me.” Jesus says, “No. you want to be a child of God, have a heart for people around you. If you have done wrong against them, set it right. If you have gossiped about someone, set it right with them.”

Matthew 5:24

First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Our society says, if someone has a problem with us, it is their problem. Jesus says that if someone has a problem with you, it is your problem too. If you are having such a thought about someone, we are to settle matters with them. If you feel someone has a problem with you, settle the matter with them. Call that person and say, “The Lord reminded me about this issue that is between us and I am not exactly sure what I did or I did not do but I need to ask you to forgive. Whatever it maybe we can talk and in love solve the matter. If I have hurt you I am sorry and obviously I did because there is distance between us. You are my brother or sister in Christ.”

We are called to take responsibility for somebody’s emotions. It you have a broken relationship, whose responsibility is it? It does not matter who is wrong, it is your responsibility.

Then Jesus uses another example of an adversary, or the enemy. This is the place we tend to get mad at people. The guy is threatening a law suit against me and he is my enemy.

Matthew 5:25-26

25“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Now you know that you are wrong. Settle matters even with your enemy who is planning to harm you. Make friends quickly with your enemies. In both examples it was take care of it now, don’t let it linger, take care of it immediately, get your heart free from that situation. Jesus is exposing something that we have given ourselves freedom to prolong.

God’s People Are To Practice Instant Reconciliation | Matthew 5

Jesus is applying this deeply to our hearts. Those of us who feel that we can walk all over people, accuse people, abuse people, belittle people is charged by God as murder.

If we take a poll today, most of us have not physically murdered someone. Do you see here how God has raised the bar or raised the standard of what it means to be righteous? We thought being righteous is related to the deeds that we do, Jesus raises the bar to the thoughts of our mind. Jesus is not saying anger leads to murder, but Jesus is saying anger is murder. Remember, this is not talking about being angry for the right reasons. Anger is a good emotion but when we have this bitter anger towards somebody, it is equivalent to murder.

Illustration:

Do you remember getting frustrated and angry at someone because of some incident? Do you remember being angry with someone and keeping that resentment in your heart? You wanted to see their downfall? You would do anything you can to spread gossip, slander, and rumor about them. Jesus is warning us about this.

William BarclaySo Jesus forbids forever the anger which broods, the anger which will not forget, the anger which refuses to be pacified, the anger which seeks revenge.”

John speaks in the same line as Jesus:

1 John 3:15

Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

I am speaking to people who know this passage. It is amazing to me how we can know what the Bible says and how we can give ourselves freedom to be angry, we can give ourselves freedom to be bitter, give ourselves permission to have people in our contact and keep them in arm’s distance and treat someone very differently. Some of us we get pretty good at holding on to the anger, the hatred, the bitterness and for some reason we just do not want to let that go. Rarely does anger stay in a full boil. You cannot sustain that anger very long. So what do you do, “You turn the flame down and let it simmer and it is amazing how long it can stay on simmer.”

Jesus has made us aware today that the consequence to such things are damaging, dangerous to our hearts, literally making us guilty of something as serious as murder and we think we can still get away with it but the scripture warns us that such people has no eternal life in them.

Even if you feel that someone has that feeling towards you, you should take a stand about it.

Some people say, ”Pastor I have tried to set it right but they are not ready for it.” Listen, if honestly before God you have humbled yourself and tried to settle the matter with that brother/sister and you have done what you can to set it right and they are still not willing to cooperate, then you just release that matter into the Lord’s hands and not hold onto any anger or bitterness.”

Romans 12:17-18

Do not repay evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Sometimes, there are broken relationships that can never be reconciled. That is just life.

When you forgive you are released, you walk that way, if the other person walks our way too there is reconciliation. If there is no forgiveness from the other person you draw a line.

Paul says, it always does not depend on you. True reconciliation means two parties coming together. So sometimes all we can do is to say, “God I have tried my best, you have seen me how I wish things were fine and I humbled to take an initiative. It did not really work. but now I release it into your hands. I want to have an open heart and walk right before you.”

Don’t miss the point of what Jesus is saying here. How we relate to one another in the heart is very important. We can be very good with our appearance and use of words before people, but our heart matters to God.

You Shall Not Commit Adultery

Matthew 5:27

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

Do not commit adultery is from Exodus 20:14. This is the seventh commandment.

Definition Matthew 5:27: Adultery is by definition the voluntary sexual activity between a married person and someone other than his/her spouse. This is what the Jews believed adultery to be and that is what we still believe adultery to be.

Jesus is going to take that definition of adultery which is a relationship outside of marriage and Jesus is going to make it more personal. He says in Matthew 5:28

Matthew 5:28

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Then Jesus asks have you ever committed murder? We say no. Jesus said, “If you are angry with someone, or you call someone without a brain or a fool, you have committed murder in your heart.”

Here is the next question, “Have you ever committed adultery?” We say no. Jesus says that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

In Ezekiel, God condemns Israel for spiritual adultery, not just when they worship idols, but when Israel’s heart and eyes desired other God’s.

Ezekiel 6:9

How I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eye, which have lusted after idols.

Jesus now gives a right to adultery. If you look at a woman lustfully, you are guilty of adultery. Jesus did not say anyone who looks at a woman, but he said anyone who looks at a woman lustfully. That is the problem. Looking lustfully is the key word in the passage.

We need to understand what lustfully means. James in his epistle gives us a very good understanding:

James 1:14-15

14but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. (Now look at the word “evil desire.”) 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. When the desire is conceived that is the point where lust begins. If I harbor that evil thought against a woman in my mind, I long for it, take hold of it, that is when lust begins.

Example

We have a lot of examples of lust in the Bible. One of them is David and Bathsheba. King David’s palace has a birds eye view of the city of Jerusalem. One evening he steps out of his verandah to get some fresh air or to look at his city and the scripture tells us that as he looks upon the rooftops of the homes that is nearby, there was a woman who was bathing and David looked upon her. You know the rest of the story as to how David summoned her and had adultery with her and later killed her husband to cover up his sin.

By the way, when David saw her there, he had not yet committed adultery, he had not yet lusted, he simply saw her. We all see things around us all the time. The question is what do we do with what we see. With what he saw, he continued to look, then he sent for her. Then he had relations with her even though he was married and she was married. You know how the whole thing played out. This was not David’s good time for sure, it was the low point of David.

You have to understand where lust began and where adultery began. When did David commit adultery with Bathsheba? Most people would say when he took her to him and had relationship with her. According to Jesus adultery took place before that. Adultery took place when David looked upon this woman and wanted her. Instead of looking away and moving onto his place, he stayed there, he looked, he pondered and saw it and lust was filled in his heart and that is where David committed adultery.

David committed adultery even before Bathsheba came into the palace, before Bathsheba was even aware of it.

So you need to always remember that sin is in action.

This is what Jesus is trying to help us to understand here that there is a connection between what the eye sees, what the heart longs for and what the actions reach out for. You cannot stop seeing things. The question is what are you looking at? The difference is it is one thing for me to drive on the road and see something that is inappropriate and turn my eyes back on the road and keep going, it is another to sit and look. That is a whole different issue.

If we see the book of Job, there is some good lessons we can learn from him. Job in this book talks about his determination to be careful with what he looks at.

Job 31:1

I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.

He did not say I will not look at a girl, but he made a covenant not to look lustfully at a young woman. Because there is a connection between what my eyes see and what I do.

Job 31:7

if my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes, or if my hands have been defiled, Heart stands for the seat of emotions and will. Our heart can be led by our eyes.

Job 31:9

If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,

Why would a person lurk at a neighbor’s door? Lurking is not just seeing. Lurking means to remain hidden and waiting in ambush to look at something without the other person’s knowledge.

Here is the reality of the situation, deeds of shame begin with thoughts of shame. They are enticed by fantasies of shame. God has given all of us wonderful imagination but do you know that sin has taken over that wonderful thought process what God has given us and made it sinful, it has been corrupted. We can easily just given in to the thoughts of the imagination as to what gives me pleasure rather than using my imagination for the Kingdom of God and for the purposes that are out there for the glory of God. So there is a point in time where we need to stop the thought pattern or move away from what we see is wrong, otherwise there is a strong possibility that our heart maybe led by what you see.

John W. Stott“I doubt if ever human beings have fallen victim to immorality, who have not first opened the floodgates of passion through their eyes. Similarly, whenever men and women have learned sexual self-control indeed, it is because they have first learned it in the eyes of both flesh and fantasy.”

John Stott says that people fall into an immoral action by what they have seen. The world says I saw that but at least I did not act out. That is the worldly definition of self-control but Jesus takes it further and says: let’s see Matthew 5:28

Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesus is saying lustful thoughts are adultery.

Matthew 5:29-30

29If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right-hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Jesus uses hyperbole, deliberate exaggeration. He is talking about husband-wife commitment which has to be single-minded, single-eyed, and single-handed commitment.

Here Jesus is not advocating self-mutilation.

We need to take radicle action to get yourself free. See the usage of right eye, and right hand. Here is the point, in the Bible right always means strength and the best of you. Right eye, right hand, right foot symbolically represents the best of you. This is why Jesus is saying specially saying, if your right eye, if your right hand. That which is of most value to you causes you to fall into sin, get rid of it even if it is your right hand.

What is Jesus saying, if by seeing something you are led into sin, don’t see it. Live as though you are blind and your eye had been plucked out and you could not see that thing. If what you touch causes you to sin, live as though you don’t have a hand to touch that thing. Live as if you literally don’t have a hand to go and grasp and have that thing. Better you would do that than to fall into sin and to be absolutely captivated and just taken over by that thing.

Now, we are not making rules as to what you can see or not see. You cannot live your life on rules, yes you need to apply wisdom.

Wisdom

Matthew 5:29-30 29If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

I may be able to escape a particular of temptation of the world but some of you may fall prey to it. Then there will be some things that you may never fall prey to but I may be tempted to fall prey to it. So all of us deal with different temptations, so rules will not work. You need to take heart on what is enticing you and deal with it by the power of the Holy Spirit in you. I may to do in some area of my weakness and you have to apply this in whatever area of your weakness. Apply the wisdom of this word in your life.

How much do you care about sin? How much do you care about walking with Jesus Christ? Cutting a hand or plucking an eye is a gory picture, it is painful. If you need to keep away from an adulterous relationship, it is like cutting a hand, you dare not go alone to that place. Do not even go, it is difficult as cutting the hand. But if you care about sin you will do that.

We need to take the areas of our weakness and put them in lock and key and throw away the key, we don’t even know where the key is.

That is what Jesus is talking about in terms of the radicle action to get yourself free.

If you are suffering with adultery, don’t even go to that place, you know the time, place, person when you are tempted. Don’t go near. If you are struggling with alcoholism, don’t go to such friends, don’t stock it in your home, don’t go to places where it is serve. Don’t walk in the edge of the cliff and expect not to fall over it.

Matthew 5:30b

It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Eternity Is More Important Than Today.

We live in a world that says we need to live for today and we need to enjoy today. Live for today is in the songs and the slogans of the world. Jesus said take one day at a time, but he did not say live for today.

Matthew 5:30b It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

The principle is eternity is more important. So what you are going to do today, in the short time span God has given us on earth is going to affect eternity. It is a better thing for you and me to live today radically with a thought toward eternity. Matthew 5:30b

Conclusion

Matthew 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus uses the laws of Moses and gives us a new interpretation. To be angry with someone is equal to murder. To look at someone lustfully is to commit adultery.

Some of you may be thinking if God measures me at my heart, then I don’t even stand up, I don’t even match up. how can I live up to that?

There Is Forgiveness When We Mess Up.

When we mess up, the blood of Christ keeps on cleansing us from sin. But there is hope of being able to please God even at the heart level that too is given to us in the word of God.

2 Peter 1:3-4

3His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Peter says that corruption is not only caused by actions, but it is also caused by evil desires.

The Bible says our heart is deceitfully wicked.

Jeremiah 17:9-10

9The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 10“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

We have come to Christ, we humbled ourself to Jesus. When we did, we invited the Holy Spirit into our lives and now, His power is working in our lives:

2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

The very power that created the universe now resides in every born again believer but it is not automatic, I have to surrender to it. You have to surrender to it. God says, “I have given you everything you need for life and godliness, but I will let you resist me if you want to.”

That means that God has given us the power to overcome the world, but if you still want it, I will let you have it, but you will be miserable. You can resist me. That is why Paul says:

Ephesians 4:30

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The Spirit wants to bring the character of God in you and me but we can say, not in that area, I want to keep this area to myself. My walk with Jesus is learning to surrender myself than it is anything else. Surrender is the key to victory. Surrender is key to loving my wife and children. And it is the key to letting God use my life. The power is there, we just have to surrender to it.

We can have righteousness surpassing the Pharisees by top or deep obedience that comes deep from our heart.

Matthew 5:20

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Here is why we don’t? We don’t want to.

There needs to come to a point in our life where we want the righteousness of Christ, the godliness of Christ more than ourselves. We need a totally surrendered heart. We begin to say, “Jesus thank you for making me your child. Lord, I am angry with this person, but I am going to surrender this thing to you. I am going to let you take this from my heart. I ask you to forgive me for my delayed response or delayed surrender. Lord, I am not going to live under the dominion of the flesh anymore. I cannot do this with my own power but need your help, need to work with my contacts and my situation where it is almost impossible to commit that sin.

I have been reading these passages for years but I have not listened to you, then tell others that I believe in the Bible but sometimes I cannot tell it by the way I think and by the way I behave, and by the way I live. so I am going to start changing that and I am going to do it by changing my will. Lord, I let you do that. I give you permission to change my heart. Your Spirit is already in me. I am going to stop grieving your Spirit and start cooperating with your Spirit in Jesus name, Amen

Take Away Points:

All Scripture Is Inspired.

God’s People Are To Practice Instant Reconciliation.

Be Careful, Our Heart Can Be Led By Our Eyes.

Eternity Is More Important Than Today.

There Is Forgiveness When We Mess Up.

A Heart That Deeply Obeys God Can Experience Victory.

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