Matthew 5: 27-28 ” Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
The rabbis of the day had this saying “Passions lodge only in him who sees.” They also said ” Woe to him that goes after his eyes, for they are adulterous.” What Christ is speaking of here is not the fiery dart of the devil that tries to get you to fall but he is warning us of the surrender of your heart to the temptation. When you allow the temptation to reside in your heart you have already committed the act. Just as the Lord has spoken about murder, hate, and our words. He is telling us throughout this sermon that the acts that we commit, that are sinful begin in the mind and then lodge in the heart. They begin when we have the thought, when we nourish the thought, when we feed the thought. And just like with murder the Old Testament demanded purity of life. But Christ goes farther and says I want you to have purity of thought. This part of Christ sermon deals with the eye gate. We all know the war for your soul is strong. The enemies tactic to bring you down is the lust of the flesh. We Know from the time your born we are born with a sin nature, that means we have a tendency towards what is wrong and not the right. But by the grace of God when we trust in the Lord and receive salvation we receive a new nature. The sinful nature is the flesh that feeds upon sin, but our new nature is the Spirit of God. Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” We must realize there is a danger that lies within us. The flesh lusteth against the spirit, the old nature that you were born with of wickedness and sinfulness and of the flesh that feeds on everything the world has to offer is everyday fighting with the new nature of righteousness and holiness that God places inside of you. The war is on and everyday we are pulled between the two natures. 1 Peter 2:11 ” Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Abstain from them. If you know what will make you fall stay away from it. The converted alcoholic shouldn’t go back to the bar to be a witness. There are certain things Christians should just stay away from. But we must see it’s not just a one-sided battle with the flesh doing all the fighting. We can overcome sin, we don’t have to struggle with sin. We must let the Spirit the Holy Ghost go to war against the flesh. Left on our own we fall into sin. The old nature comes and rises above to control us, we give in, we struggle, we become defeated, the flesh prevails. But being led by the spirit, the spirit convicts us, the spirit rises above to control us and we become victorious. To walk in the Spirit is to walk in the obedience of God. Read 2 Corinthians 10:5. This verse means to arrest them, to put them in handcuffs. Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. The lust of the flesh will come but when it does come treat it like an intruder and hand them over to the police which is the Holy Ghost within us. We will continue with this in part 2 but until then, I ask you today, do you struggle with sin, do you struggle with the flesh, then we must continue in prayer, asking God to give us the strength to overcome.
The devil doesn’t come at you with a pitchfork and a red cape. He comes at you disquised as everything you have ever wanted. Priscilla Shirer.