Murder. Adultery. Divorce. (Matthew 5:21-32)
It was another difficult morning at Bible study yesterday because the topics were so personal. But Jesus doesn't tend to pull punches - He lays it on the line and forces us to respond. So here was the basic teaching:
- God wants to get to the heart of the matter.
- God considers sinful anger against another human as murder. All men are image bearers of God and only God is the judge of men, therefore we are to reconcile relationships as far as it is up to us so that our worship is not hindered and so that we aren't found guilty of murder.
- God also considers lust to be adultery. Therefore, radical amputation is sometimes necessary to remove the temptation, but it pales in comparison to the punishment that comes from not dealing with sin.
- And finally, God views divorce and remarriage as adultery with the exception for unfaithfulness in a marriage. We also concluded that remarriage is allowed to a believing spouse whose unbelieving partner refuses to stay in the marriage. This was particularly hard teaching because bad marriages and divorces abound in the church...abound. I mean it, they abound.