3 February, 2019 – ‘You shall not commit adultery’ is the second commandment misinterpreted by the teachers of the law the Lord brings out in Matthew 5:27-31. Just as the Pharisees, we can look at this commandment and think that since we are not guilty of physically committing sexual sin, we are perfectly innocent, but Jesus explains that the problem of sin is much deeper. This attitude itself of using the word of God to justify ourselves is detestable in God’s sight – Luke 16:15. The purpose of the law is to reveal our sinfulness wholly, making us conscious of the sin (Romans 3:19-20) that is not in our actions only, but in our heart primarily (Matthew 15:19); its purpose is to make us poor in spirit, to make us hunger and thirst for righteousness so that we can run to Christ and be satisfied by God’s grace through faith. If we look at the commandment and feel satisfied with ourselves, God have mercy on us, for we have fallen in the legalistic trap of the Pharisees.
A true child of God, therefore, examines his heart, for he knows the severity of the disease, he know it’s better to lose his right hand and eye than to lose his whole life to sin. Jesus tells us that sin is not only the thing I do, it is the thing that makes me do it, that makes me desire what is evil. We commit sin in our hearts, no one sees it, nobody knows what is in our heart, our thoughts, our imagination, we still look perfectly good in eyes of other people, but God sees it and the sin in our heart is filthy and unacceptable to the holy God. When we see the sin biblically, as a disease, not just the symptoms, we can then receive the treatment. We can receive a new heart, become a new creation, when we know what it is that Jesus has done for us on the cross. The holy Son of God comes in a human body, suffers and dies for one reason – it is because of my sin, it is because there was no other way to deal with the sinful condition of my heart. What the commandment couldn’t do, the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us fulfils – we live by the Spirit, putting the sins to death and living by grace – Romans 8:13. And so we work out our salvation in fear, putting away what causes us to sin, no matter how precious and good it might be to us; we must cut off what sin corrupts and uses against us, knowing that God’s grace is at work in us and he will complete the good work that he began so that one day we can stand before him pure in heart and see him.