Notes from the Gathering 5.10.14, Matthew 5: 27-32
Welcome to River Market Community Church!
We are a church plant. We are a variety of people from different backgrounds and places in life... If we are honest this is the last thing most of us thought we would be doing together...starting a church.
But, We have encountered the gospel and it has changed us...
Gospel- simply put
Sinner saved by Jesus works and not your works for your relationship with God. Embrace, repent, and believe.
We exist to glorify God by the gospel of Jesus; as a family joined by the Spirit, transforming the City.
Where we(the plant) are currently: verbal explanation
Where we(the plant) are headed: verbal explanation
Where we see God working in and around the Church: verbal explanation
Leading Questions: Leading Questions are sent out the week before the gathering to help you spend time with God looking at the Scriptures that will be discussed. It is to help guide you to ask, wrestle with and bring questions and insights that you have to the gathering. It will allow you to share these with other people and engage with the message. Currently these questions are implanted in the message. In the future, as the church grows, the questions will be discussed in small groups before the message.
--PRAY first, PRAY now--Today is a tough teaching because all people across the world (no matter gender, race, creed) struggle with. But it is something good to look at because it is applicable and possible to live out. And because we all struggle and fall in these areas of life, this may be hard to hear and work through, God please help us now!
...'LUST FILLED -TO- LOVE FLOWING HEARTS'...
Where scripture falls in entirety thru the Word. Creation, fall, redemption, restoration.
We have been walking thru the Gospel of Matthew...(expound)
BEFORE reading the scripture passage reference the questions below and have people keep them in mind as they hear the passage read and allow all to share.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If 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. And 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. “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:27-32 NIV)
1) Question: What are your scripture objections? Intellectual, moral??
-a) god doesn't exist & b) the Bible is just a story book not Gods words. Please be patient and keep an open mind with us.
-Man was created to spread his seed, shouldn't he do so as much as possible?-I have heard about this in the news & This verse is why some religious crazies cut off their arms and take out their eyes.Codi- causes her to become an adulterous if divorced? How the heck can people be married today and not be adulterous...
2) LEADING QUESTION: What does this passage reveal about God?
God takes these issues very seriously.
3) LEADING QUESTION: What does it reveal about people?
People don't line up with God..
& THE PREQUEL FROM LAST 2 MESSAGES
I. THE NEW AUTHORITY(prequel)
As we move into this next section of verses starting at 21 and going through the end of the chapter, verse 48 we will see one of the more important sections in the New Testament.
II. THE NEW STANDARD(prequel con't.)
Startling as Jesus authority was, the new standard he sets before men was more startling.
V27-30 'Thought Same as Action'Lust/Purity and Adultery2nd Example of New Standard...BUT gives abounding grace to cover it.
LEADING QUESTION: What is the original command from God?
Exod 20:14, 7th Commandment
LEADING QUESTION: How does Jesus expand on it?
-thought equals action.
v27-28 The Forbidden Desire
v27 (Exod 20:14; Deut 5:18) OT 7th commandment to not commit adultery was viewed by the Jewish as a function of theft: it was to steal another's wife.
LAW- O.T. 7th Commandment. Outward action/manifestation Exodus 20:14/Deut 5:18; Guilty Punished by Death Lev. 20:10
Jesus continues and goes on to deal with the heart of the law setting the new standard...v28 NEW
STANDARD- Jesus- thought/desire equal action
The religious of the day were all about the outward apperance of following God and outwardly living up to God's law and man's(their) interpretation of it. Jesus insisted to point in another direction--toward purity that refuses to lust.Heart of matter is lust and intent.Check out: Job 31:1; Prov 6:25; 2 Peter 2:14
-to the Jews this idea of lustful looks as being the same as the act of adultery would be foreign. -Also, It broadened the application to every woman married or single.(I know this isn't fair BUT here is a fun fact-man who slept with married woman=death for both; man sleeps with unmarried, single woman, or prostitute=monetary payment or a marriage proposal.)
-EVEN TODAY, Christianity baulks at the idea that thought life equates with physical act. & this is not treated seriously.--that is why pornography is rarely talked about.--Sex is often avoided in Christian circles as it is some tabboo topic. But sex in the marriage bed is an amazing gift of God where the man and woman literally, physically two become one. In the marriage bed all things are open as long as the man and woman approve and it doesn't involve any other outside person/animal(sad that this must be added, but it is needed.)--SO, Jesus knowing peoples hearts and how they have twisted and distorted the physical act of sex; he speaks to the heart and addresses the inner desire and thoughts which lead to the physical sexual actions which will or will not be honoring to God.
'He was not saying that every look of appreciation or pleasure equates adultery, but when the look is treasured and fantasy enacted toward that person, adultery is already in action.'- Ed Glasscock
-Jesus is not speaking of the Natural, Normal Desire-Part of Human Instinct and Nature-Literal Greek Meaning-Man looks w/ deliberate intention of lusting after.--uses Eyes to stimulate desires--man who uses his eyes to awaken lust-passion awakened & desire stimulated
Most of us would look at this new standard that Jesus calls humanity to live by and say that is impossible to hold up. There is no way I(we) can have all my lust turned into love without some radical change. And unfortunately some people who have felt the same way and thought the same thing where looking for a radical cure...and so they took Jesus' next words literally...leading to some notoriously crazy zealots to castrate themselves.
v29-30 The Radical/Surgical Cure
--it is unfortunate because as radical an action of chopping off your arm or gouging out your eye, the lust does not cease.Jesus uses rhetorical hyperbole to emphasize the horror of this internal sin.-"pluck out the eye"--the 'eye' is the part of body most commonly blamed for leading to sexual sins.(Num 15:39; Prov 21:4; Ezek 6:9; 18:12; 20; Eccl 11:9) (Job 31:1)-The eye is the organ that feeds data into the brain, but the heart interprets and applies what is perceived. Thus Jesus stated that adultery comes from the heart(Matt. 15;19) but begins with what the eye sees.--the eyes and vision is a truly a gift from God! but without one disciplining the use of the gift can easily become perverted.
So if we don't take the rhetorical hyperbole literally, what can we learn?Jesus insists anything which is a cause of, or a seduction to, sin should be completely cut out of life."causes you to stumble," stumbling- block, skandalon'-bait you stick in a trap.-somethingwhich trips a man up, sends him crashing to destruction, lures him to ruin.NOT Literal->anything which helps to seduce us to sin is to be ruthlessly rooted out of our lives. (Habits, Associations, Pleasures)
HOW? (do we, become free from forbidden thoughts and desires?)1 Way to Fail for sure=(own willpower), Sit down and say I will not think/do these-You are trying to fight human instinct and natural desire1)Be honest and Humble yourself before God(frequently in prayer)2)Share your Struggle With & Walk with Others3)Action-Be aware and bounce your eyes. Also, Be Outward Focused In Service, Helping Others4)Thoughts- Take them Captive by filling them with Good(truth). Bounce your thoughts.This is moving toward being Gospel centered in life.
v30-again Christ was not advocating the mutilation of the body but putting emphasis on the horror of sin.---'Tear out the offending member'- this is an exageration of what someone should do as this external application of truth is exactly what Jesus condemns of the religious of that day. BUT the temporary excruciating pain that would result is nothing to the eternal torment of being seperated from God in Hell(Gehenna).
"Imagination is a God-given gift; but if it is fed dirt by the eye, it will be dirty. All sin, not least sexual sin, begins with the imagination. Therefore what feeds the imagination is of maximum importance in the pursuit of kingdom righteousness(compare Phil. 4:8)."
V31-32 'The Bond that Can't Be Broken'
Divorce and Remarriage3rd Example of New Standard...BUT gives abounding grace to cover it.
MANY OF US BELIEVE that now, here in America, is a horrible time for marriages w/ the divorce rate rivaling the marriage rate. More people today are getting divorced than those who keep their wedding day vows and remain married. Without question, there are many different views of marriage today.
What are some of the views you or people you know hold about marriage?-waste of time-1st time is just practice-A way to secure the future financially-same sex marriage-one of biggest problem is selfishness. To be married you have to be selfless. =Marriage is a feeling that feeling good with another person. Expectations that it is to feel a certain way, when it changes they want to end it and find another.-human creation of 'soulmate' is not godly. People were created for God, not 2 people created for each other...-feeling of love instead of an action love-a society where every contract can be broken and you just pay the price. this has led to a lot of people to not want to get married.
America's predicament is nothing new and not the first time a society as a whole has experienced the same thing...
AT THE VERY TIME OF JESUS:Jesus speaks as a reformer: He was seeking to deal w/ a situation in which the structure of family life was collapsing and in which national morals were becoming more immoral.
Marriage Bond stood in danger of total destruction
Jews, Romans, and the Greeks- process of destroying marriage and home--Divorce was easy & women were property
I. Marriage Amongst the Jews-Theoretically- the Jewish Nation had highest ideal of marriage. Sacred Duty of Men. -Ideally Jews hated Divorce(Mal. 2:16).-Practically- Fell well short. Women were objects and divorce was simple.Deut. 24:1 "some uncleaness"-- there were 2 interpretations: strict & liberalstrict=sexual immorality & liberal=messed up dinner, talked to a man, cursed, etc.w/ the Cultural Surroundings, liberal school of thought dominated.
II. Marriage Among the Greeks-again, low view of women. -relationships outside of marriage for men were ordinary-the Greek married for domestic security, but he found pleasure elsewhere.-Only Men had freedom to do as he pleased. Wife(woman) was to be morally pure.--Corinth- Temple of Aphradite. 1,000 pristesses, took streets at night to prostitute tied w/ religion. Changed the nation, brothels, etc.--In Greece. Class of women arose called hetairai. Mistresses of famous men.Divorce: required no legal process, wife could be dismissed with 2 witnesses.
III. Marriage Among Romans-Originally founded(religion and society) ON HOME. Wife was included and involved.-1st 500 years of existance, not one divorce is recorded.--then came the Greeks. Rome conqured Greece by military BUT Greece conquered Romans in a social and moral sense.---RESULTs: catastrophic, by 2nd Century B.C.- divorce as common as marriage.
AT THE TIME: JESUS PRESENTS AN IDEAL WHICH MEN DIDN'T DREAM OF. HE RETURN'S TO THE FATHER'S PLAN FOR MARRIAGE.
What is the original command from God?
How does Jesus expand on it?
-points to the original design for marriage...
It's important for us to look at God's design and plan for man and woman Genesis 2:24. where 'two become one.' A sacred and holy union between man and woman, that the union represents the same relationship between God and man. God's plan was for the union to be one that is everlasting here on this Earth. God has designed it to be a union that He creates, that He allows, a bond that cannot be broken.
-but the sin and the depravity of man shows us how it has broken down....--Why does God allow divorce?? God allows divorce because the hardening of the human Heart (Matthew 19:8)---God's design did not include multipler partners or casual sexual meddling. To prostitute the privilege of intimacy with someone other than one's own partner is to break the bond of oneness.
--Moses law in Deut 24: originally written to protect women from being casually discarded by their husbands, but this had been twisted by some very liberal rabbis to give men the freedom to do just that.
SO WHAT DO WE DO WHEN A PERSON IS STUCK IN LUST AND IT MANIFESTS ITSELF IN AN OUTWARDLY ACT OF ADULTERY?Let's remember that Jesus previous warning that thoughts are equal with actions...When sin is present(lust, fornication, adultery, etc). All should be forgiven and all attempts should be made to preserve the union as long as the dishonoring attitude toward the holiness of the marriage bond is not tolerated.-However, if the man or woman cannot and choose not to return to an attitude of the holiness of the marriage bond, divorce will be granted.
THE BIG PICTURE and gospel application- this is very applicable teaching but boiled down comes back to the gospel and is gospel centered...& it is because the entire Bible is about Jesus from beginning to end...so when we look at the Bible and any teaching from it should seek to return to Jesus...because their is hope in the message of Christ, their is hope in the Gospel of Jesus.
LUST FILLED TO LOVE FLOWING HEARTS(only one radical cure, Jesus, by faith in Him can heal us and cure the disease of lust)
IF WE LOOK AT this section of Scripture, we see the 2nd & 3rd Examples of the New Standard Jesus sets up before mankind...They both seem impossible to live out BUT God gives abounding grace to cover it. Thank God that Jesus never calls us to live a certain way without providing the Way.
Jesus says apart from me, apart from God you all have hearts which are bent toward destruction and death. Apart from God we are a diseased people enslaved by lust filled hearts and we are in need of a cure in order to have love flowing hearts.We crave and desire after all sorts of things- men, women, careers, toys, etc etc...falsly believing that we(our lust) will be satisfied once those things are obtained.
Jesus says it's such a serious problem, such a serious injustice of personal relationships between people on Earth and between each individual and God that it has the most severe eternal consequence imaginable. The consequence for everyone who does not get their heart fixed is eternal separation from God the Father. Jesus says the whoever has a lust filled heart will be throne into hell.
BUT, Jesus didn't just come to smash our hopes and dreams with setting up this impossible way of life doomed to eternal destruction. Some time after He brought this teaching which reveals the importance of love in all relationships between people and God, Jesus knew that individuals were enslaved to their hearts of lust and could not make their hearts right even if they wanted. Jesus says it will do you no good to chop off your arms or pluck out your eyes. Jesus says there is only one way, it is the way I will make available to you.
So, Christ gave himself up for all of mankinds sins including lust so that mankind could receive new hearts. So that mankind could be forgiven for their sins. Christ was cruxified taking the punishment for all sinners, defeated death by rising from the dead so that mankind could be forgiven and set free from their lust filled, eternally doomed hearts. And to all who believe in Jesus are forgiven and given new life, love flowing hearts with the promise of eternal life.
Jesus says believe me, follow me, live with reverence of God and respect of people, teach others what I taught you and show them how to follow me, usher them into the kingdom. You aren't alone; I, my Spirit, will empower you to do so.
& that/this is the Gospel of grace:
We are sinners saved by Jesus works not our own for our relationship with God.
The Church exists both through the gospel and for the gospel.
The gospel is a word; so the church must be word-centered.The gospel is a missional word; so the church must be mission-centered.The gospel is people focused; it creates the Church and the Church is a family that is community centered.We the Church are to be gospel centered.
PRINCIPLES APPLIED-Becoming Gospel Centered:
YOUR GOAL IS TO FOCUS ON THE FOLLOWING OVER THE NEXT 1-2 WEEKS.
...'LUST FILLED -TO- LOVE FLOWING HEARTS'...
Being Word-centered and missional:
Spend time in the following scriptures. Ask yourself, "How am I to apply my life to match these scriptures?"Ezekiel 36:22-321 John 2:162 Samuel Chapters 11 & 12; then follow with David's Psalms 32 & 51Isaiah 53 & 1 Peter 3:181 Corinthians 10:13
Answer this leading question: Are there any clear warnings, commands or promises?
1st, Allow God to become missional in your life by prayerfully entering the battle to turn lust into love in your inner being. Ask God to convict you and show you what your next step is to allow the Holy Spirit to change your lust into love.
-2nd, Answer these Leading Questions:
In one sentence state the main truth you find in this passage?
How does this passage call you to react or change?
People focused, community centered
Living in community:-get coffee with someone and share about the above things. Ask for prayer and for help in needed areas ad share what steps God wants you to take, commit before God with that person to move in the direction God has made clear, and ask for the other person to hold you accountable to travel your God given path.
So, I hope we all have a little better understanding of this section of Scripture. And that you have gotten answers to questions you may have or at least were able to refine your questions.
End of gathering. who are we praying for? Add to list... & Close in prayer.