Call to Repentance
Proverbs 5:21-22 (page 991)
Call to Worship
Psalm 135 (page 971)
Old Testament Reading
Proverbs 5:1-6, 15-23 (page 990)
New Testament Reading
1 Corinthians 6:12-20 (page 1777)
Jesus Say What?!
Matthew 5:27-30 (page 1502)
No one could ever accuse Jesus of taking sexual sin too lightly.
Unfortunately, that is an accusation that could be directed at many of those who follow Jesus. We are, after all, sensitive to the oft-repeated claims that Christians talk about sex too much, that we make too big a deal of it, that we repress our young people and give them a distorted outlook on their sexuality so that what God designed to be good is something about which they will always feel ashamed.
And we are so sensitive to those claims that we can go overboard to demonstrate that we are cool, sophisticated, and understanding. We don't want to sound like we're hung up on sexual sin or ranting about it so we try to talk about it less and emphasize its positive aspects when we do.
And, honestly, I'd rather not talk about adultery. I'd rather not make an issue of this. I'd like to assume that no one in my church is struggling with temptation, that everyone agrees with me about where we draw the moral lines.
And I'd rather not preach this passage to people who have not already decided that Jesus is the Son of God and must be obeyed. Preaching this passage to an unbeliever would be like handing him one of those over-sized marshmallows and asking him to swallow it whole: even if he was willing to give it a shot it would be more likely to choke than to nourish him.
But Jesus' words are not marshmallows. They are life-giving bread and my job is simply to slice and serve. The Holy Spirit will help us chew and swallow.
And there's great joy in the result. While these words are startlingly negative and chastening, they serve the purpose of shocking us out of a moral complacency that would cheat us out of the benefits and blessings of God's design.
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