Matthew 5:20 NIV

20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:27-28 NIV

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:29-30 NIV

29 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. 30 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.

Matthew 5:31-32 NIV

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 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 19:3 NIV

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

Matthew 19:4-6 NIV

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Matthew 19:8-9 NIV

8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

The resources available from King Jesus, can rescue us from the root causes of sexual brokenness and empower us to live redeemed.

Jesus points us back to God’s original intention for marriage and calls us to soft hearts, as we live within the blessedness of covenant love.

Because of the realities of sinfulness, Jesus allows divorce in some cases, to protect the innocent and minimize the damage caused by sin.

During the “On the Mount” series you are encouraged to read Matthew 5:1-7:29 each week. As you read Jesus’ sermon, reflect on the following questions:

· What is Jesus teaching me about living with him as King?

· What new lesson do I need to apply?

· What command do I need to practice obeying?

We live in a sex-crazed culture. The good news is that King Jesus came to redeem our sexuality. He is forming a kingdom people redeemed to live in sexual wholeness amid a broken world. What consequences of sexual brokenness do you see in society? In individuals and families? What are the greatest challenges of living morally pure today?

Read Matthew 5:27-28 and Ephesians 4:17-24. What does Jesus say is the root of marital unfaithfulness? Why is it important to deal with this sin at the root? Although Jesus identifies the role of our thoughts and desires in sexual sin, why is it important to differentiate “adultery of the heart” from adultery? In what ways can we apply the admonitions of Ephesians 4 in this area?

Read Matthew 5:29-30 and Job 31:1-12. In these verses Jesus uses hyperbole to make his point. What’s the principle he is teaching when speaking of gouging out your eye or cutting off your hand? What would be some appropriate ways of living out that principle today?

Read Matthew 5:31-32; 19:1-12 and 1 Corinthians 7:12-16. What does Jesus teach about marriage in these verses? How did his view of marriage differ from the religious leaders of his day? How does his view differ from the view held by many Christians today? What exception does he give that allows for divorce and remarriage? What other conditions might allow for divorce and remarriage?

Practicing Obedience: This week spend some time in prayer asking God to restore Jesus’ holy vision of marriage to the church. Ask him to continue his work of sexual redemption in your life and to reveal any practical steps you might need to take to live redeemed.