- Understand it (vv.27-28)
- Obey it (vv.29-30)
Summary: Since Jesus came to fulfill the OT, we can and should excel in our obedience to the OT in such a way that exceeds the surface "obedience" of the scribes and pharisees (5:20). Jesus gives a second example of the type of heart-obedience he desires by explaining and applying the law "You shall not commit adultery." The scribes and pharisees taught people that purity was achieved by merely avoiding adultery, but Jesus brings us back to the heart of this law, teaching us that true purity will not just avoid the physical act of adultery but also the internal condition of lust that produces it. Jesus teaches that an adulterous heart is just as damning as an adulterous act. Therefore, to avoid adultery we must deal with the heart issue of lust by ruthlessly removing stumbling blocks from our lives (vv.29-30).
- What misunderstanding of "you shall not commit adultery" is Jesus correcting in vv.27-28?
- What is the proper understanding of this law and how should this shape our view of the Law?
- What is the relationship between adultery and lust?
- When does a natural sexual desire turn into lust?
- "A adulterous heart is just as damning as an adulterous act." How can this be?
- How does Jesus teach us to deal with the heart issue of lust vv.28-29?
- How should we understand and apply the strong and intense language of vv.29-30?
- What does it mean to be sexually pure in marriage? In singleness?
- How would you confront this lie: "my lust only effects me"?
- The heart is the high ground of the soul. If we win the heart, we win the war. What are some strategies for fighting lust that will help us win the high ground of the heart?
- Do I tend to focus on surface obedience or heart obedience when it comes to sexual purity?
- What objects am I beholding (eyes), activities am I participating in (hand), or places am I going (feet) that tend to cause me to stumble into lust?
- How might I deal severely with these stumbling blocks and thus win the battle for the heart?
- What factors most shape and influence my sexual desires?
- What would it look like for love, not lust, to shape my relationships with others?
- What strategies might be wise to add to my "battle plan" for pursuing sexual purity?
- Confess any lust you have in your heart and sinful actions that have stemmed from those lusts.
- Praise God for sending Jesus to live a pure life so that He could purify you with his blood
- Praise God that the deepest stains from your sexual history are cleansed by the blood of Jesus
- Ask God to help you to, by the Spirit, fight the sin of lust and win the high ground of the heart.
- Ask God to give you wise strategies to fight lust and a heart to help others fight lust.