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The Sermon On The Mount - Part 6

"Dangerous Liaisons Of The Mind"

by David Legge | Copyright © 2001 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com

'Preach The Word'
He now goes to the prohibition of adultery, He now speaks concerning what will happen men, and the process psychologically and sinfully of a man who falls into lust

We're turning again to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5, Matthew chapter 5, and we're looking this morning at verses 27 and 28. Just before we read these verses together, let's bow our heads in prayer and come before the Lord and ask Him that He will speak to us through His infallible truth today. Our Father, we come to Thee as the One who has inspired this book. We come to Thee who has written Thy word down for us, that we might know Thy mind and Thy will, that we might be instructed in the ways of righteousness and truth. Lord, we live in the world that is full of lying and deceit, and we pray that as we have come and shut the world out in a measure today to seek Thy face and to seek Thy guidance, that Lord You would reveal Yourself to us. We pray for those who are sick, we pray for those who mourn, we pray for those who are sad, but Lord we pray most of all for those who are in sin - believer and unbeliever alike - that You will rescue them, that You will fill this place now with Thy Spirit, and take a dealing with us. For Christ's sake, Amen.

Matthew chapter 5 and verse 27 and 28: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart".

I want to entitle my message today: 'Dangerous Liaisons of the Mind' - dangerous liaisons of the mind. It is true that the Eskimos of North Alaska on the American continent, until recently, lived in such a way and in such a custom as men and women would have done 500 years ago. In fact, for food they depended mostly on the polar bear. They depended on the meat for food, they depended on the fur for clothing, they depended on its fat for cooking, and they depended on its bones and its teeth for tools. So you can see how, in a prehistoric way, they depended upon this animal in every quarter of their livelihood. Because of that, over hundreds of years, they developed an ingenious way of catching polar bears. What they would do is: first all they would kill a small animal, for instance a seal, and they would take that carcass and corpse and drag it across the snow, and bring a trail of blood through the snow leading to one specific central location. Then they would take a knife, and they would freeze the handle of that knife deep into the snow and ice, about two feet. That was a sharp, double-edged knife, and they would place the carcass over the double-edged blade. The polar bear, eventually, would see the tracks of blood in the snow, would follow those tracks of blood and find that there was an easy meal for him. Once he tucked in to the food, that delicacy would be devoured very quickly, but the Eskimos were smart enough to know never to use a large animal upon that blade. The reason why they took a small seal was that they wanted the polar bear to be incredibly hungry after eating the seal. Just as you remember perhaps as a boy, or maybe like me as a husband, once your wife has beat the cream you like to take the whisk and lick the cream off. That's what the polar bear does: he devours the little seal, and he licks the blade. He licks, and licks, and licks - and a phenomenon takes place, because the more blood he licks the more blood he gets. What begins to attract him is his own blood! In fact, it is his own blood that kills him.

I would call that 'fatal attraction'. We could use it as the fatal attraction of sin, but specifically in our context today it is a wonderful illustration of this sin of lust. The Lord Jesus, as He has been doing, addresses the ten commandments and comes as the new lawgiver, as the one who will fulfil and fill up the law of God to its completion, its prophetic fulfilment, and He comes again and addresses for us the seventh commandment: 'Thou shalt not commit adultery', and the tenth commandment: 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wife'. Previously, in verse 8 of this chapter, in the Beatitudes He told us: 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God'. Now He goes, not to the blessedness of the purity of heart, but rather He goes to those who offend in the sin of lust and offend against purity. He now goes to the prohibition of adultery, He now speaks concerning what will happen men, and the process psychologically and sinfully of a man who falls into lust.

Now, what He is speaking of is not what the Scribes and the Pharisees have said. If you look at verse 27 He speaks upon what God has already said, what God has declared: 'Thou shalt not commit adultery'. Now to the Jew although, as we will see in the weeks that lie ahead what they had begun to bring into vogue in relation to divorce - divorcing a man or divorcing a woman for everything under the sun - theologically the Jews saw adultery as a very serious sin. You can see that from Leviticus chapter 20 and verse 10 that teaches that it was punishable by death, stoning. You would think that was severe enough judgement upon adultery, but the Lord Jesus is filling up - He comes and brings it a further step, He goes the extra mile with the law of God. He goes further and He says that it's not enough to refrain from the bodily act of adultery, but the Lord Jesus said: 'I want you as My people to refrain from the adultery of the heart'.

It's not the natural attraction, but what the Lord is talking about literally is: the man who is condemned is the man who looks at a woman with the deliberate intention to lust after her

So, in verse 27, He says: 'Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery', verse 28, 'But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman' - whosoever looketh! Now, this is more than a passing glance. What the Lord is talking about in the sense of the Greek word is a lingering view. Any scene of beauty can turn our head, but what the Lord Jesus Christ is talking about is when our head is turned and we turn it back again, when we take the second glance and linger. This is not an accidental sight, but this is an intentional occupation with the object in vogue. It is a deliberate harbouring of the thing in your heart and in your mind. He is not speaking of the natural and normal desires of humanity that God has put into us, and that God has blessed us and said in creation: 'It is good'. It's not the natural attraction, but what the Lord is talking about literally: the man who is condemned is the man who looks at a woman with the deliberate intention to lust after her. A man is condemned who looks at a woman with the deliberate intention to lust after her. A man who deliberately uses his eyes to awaken within his breast a lust, who looks upon a scene, or a picture, or a situation, or a scenario, or a passing person in order to arouse a passion within his heart.

Now, as the Lord speaks, the Jewish disciples - and indeed in the hearing of the Pharisees and the Scribes - they would have known exactly what He was talking about. In fact the rabbis had a saying: 'Passions lodge only in him who sees'. They said: 'Woe to him that goes after his eyes, for they are adulterous'. You see, they even knew that there was an internal desire of adultery, and adultery in itself - in a physical sense - was only the fruit of that desire. Now this is not a sudden evil thought that darts into your heart and into your soul, and you resist it and put it out of your mind and out of your heart - that's not what I'm talking about. We all get the fiery darts of the devil, but this is a heart surrender - that when a scene comes into your mind or into your breast, that you allow it to stay, you allow it to reside, you surrender your heart to that temptation, you mull it over and turn it over in your tongue. Before you know it evil has gained the victory within you. This is the man that voluntarily gazes with a view to arouse these unlawful passions within him. The irony of this sin - just like the polar bear that licks the blade over and over again and feeds his lust, but in the feeding of his lust kills himself - many a man thinks that by committing an extra-marital affair, adultery, by going after fornication, by satisfying his desires by pictures, that they satisfy that lust - but E. Stanley Jones is right when he says that the import of what the Lord Jesus Christ says here is: if you think the act of adultery, or the thought of adultery will satisfy your sex urge, you pour oil on the fire in order to quench it - it doesn't make sense, it makes things worse!

Just as the Lord has spoken about murder, hate, words, He is telling us right throughout this sermon that the acts that we commit that are sinful begin in the mind. They begin when we have the thought, when we nourish the thought, when we feed the thought, when we pour oil upon the fire of our bosom - and eventually that seed will break forth in fruit. Again the Lord Jesus deals with another enlargement of the Old Testament law. The Old Testament law, the ten words, the ten commandments, demanded purity of life - but now the Lord Jesus goes further, and He says: 'I want you disciples to have purity of thought'. For He says: 'To succumb in the realm of thought is the equivalent, whether it be murder, whether it be adultery, to that very act itself, and will be regarded with the utmost severity as it is'.

So, in the light of these facts, I want us today to look at three things. First of all: there is a danger from within. Secondly: there is a danger from without. Thirdly: there is wisdom from the word of God. First: there is a danger from within. Many of you - perhaps not many of you, but some of you at least - will have read John Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress', and if you haven't I encourage you to read it. But another book which is not as famous, but which is perhaps equally as good is Bunyan's 'Holy War'. I've spoken to you about this before, but to remind you: it's a story about a city called 'Mansoul' - speaking of the body, the soul, the spirit, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the human being. The story goes that this Mansoul is a believer, it is ruled by Prince Emmanuel - Prince Emmanuel rules in that land. But there is a foe to Mansoul, his name is 'Diabolus', which just means the devil. He is the enemy of Mansoul. There is a conflict right throughout this book 'The Holy War', and it's of tremendous importance to you and to I to understand the conflict that we are in, specifically with the subject of lust. As you go through that story you find that Bunyan lays tremendous emphasis on the importance attached to the gates of the city of Mansoul. He says that it is at the gates that the main threat is, the main threat of the welfare of the town is at the gates. As you read through the book you find out what the gates are: Eye-gate, Ear-gate, all the ways in which the body can bring information into it - and, effectively at times, take information out of it.

There's a war on! Every day you're being pulled between these two natures

This passage of Scripture that we have read this morning deals with the Eye-gate. I don't think I need to tell you today in the world in which we live that the war is on. The war for Mansoul - the war for your soul - whether you're ruled by Prince Emmanuel or not, Diabolus is trying to bring you down into the mire and into the dirt of the lust. Everyone of us, the day that we were born, were born with an old sinful nature. All that is is a bias toward everything that is bad, a tendency, a bent in us to do that which is wrong and not to do that which is good. But the miracle of the grace of God is that when we trust the Lord Jesus Christ we receive a new nature. The first nature that we were born with is the nature of the flesh that feeds upon sin, but the nature - supernaturally - that is given by God to us, born from above, is the Spirit.

Now I want you to see how these relate the one with the other. Turn with me to Galatians chapter 5, and this is so important - we're talking now about the danger from within. Galatians chapter 5 and verse 17, Paul says: 'The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would'. Now I want to break this up for you for a moment, because I want you to understand everything that Paul is saying about the danger from within. First 'the flesh lusteth against the Spirit', that old nature that you were born with of wickedness and sinfulness and of the flesh that feeds on everything that this world can give it, is forever, every day, fighting with the new Spirit of holiness that God has given you in Christ. There's a war on! Every day you're being pulled between these two natures.

In fact, in the book of 1 Peter 2 and 11 it talks about how these fleshly lusts war against the soul. They are in a war against your heart! Indeed, a literal translation of Peter could be this: 'Fleshly lusts, which take the field against the soul'. Paul goes on, he says: 'The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh'. Now, the word 'and' in Greek can also be translated 'but', it's determined by the context that it's in. So you could translate this, I believe: 'For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, but the Spirit against the flesh'. That's so important, because as you read that verse you can become very negative and pessimistic and think: 'Here I'm in this ping-pong ball match, I'm pushed from one extreme to the other. I don't seem to be able to control myself, and there is this battle and it just depends on the way I feel about how I will live this specific day' - the word 'but' makes a difference. 'The flesh wars against the Spirit, but the Spirit can war against the flesh'. The Spirit is well able, the indwelling Holy Ghost - if we will let Him - will war against those evil things within us.

Paul says these words, and I think we can all identify with them: 'So that ye cannot do the things that ye would'. That's the truth, isn't it? Left to ourselves - you've experienced it, I've experienced it - left on our own, perhaps in a moment of lack of fellowship with God, we fall into sin. The old nature comes and rises above and controls us, and we give in and we become defeated in the struggle. Whenever that happens we are bound to fail, the flesh will prevail! It may not be the actual sin, whatever it may be, but it can be the voluptuous look of that evil desire. So what Bunyan is saying is what I'm saying, and what the Lord Jesus Christ is ultimately saying, there is a spy in the castle of Mansoul! There is a weak link! There is a traitor in the eye that opens up the gates and can let sin into the city, and ultimately let ruin come in!

How does it happen? Turn with me to 2 Corinthians chapter 10, verse 5 - now here's the answer, right? You've all identified, I hope, honestly, with me that this is the way we live, that there is this danger from within - but what is the answer to it? How can we overcome it? Second Corinthians 10:5, we can: 'Cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God' - here it is - 'and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ'. Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ! You're having trouble with your eyes, you're having trouble with your thoughts - your eyes, your thoughts are causing sinful deeds - how do you stop it? Bring into captivity those thoughts. Do you know what that means? Arrest them! Put the handcuffs on them! You might say: 'That's alright saying that, but I just have them, and when I have them I can't help them' - look! It is possible by the Holy Spirit to arrest those thoughts to the obedience of Christ, in other words to what He is talking about in the Sermon on the Mount. The Lord Jesus isn't going to tell us something that we cannot do! 'Every thought', do you think Paul would have said that if it wasn't possible? 'Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ'. That means that it is possible! Let this rejoice your heart: it is possible, when the thought discloses itself within our mind or heart, that we can treat it like a criminal, like an intruder, like the spy that it really is!

There is a weak link! There is a traitor in the eye that opens up the gates and can let sin into the city, and ultimately let ruin come in!

What would you do if you went home today and suddenly you heard a rustle in the back room, and you saw this dark figure running out of the back window and over the fence and away - and when you went upstairs into the jewellery box everything was lying around? You would go first of all to the phone, ring the police - isn't that what you would do? The police would come, and if they could catch him they would chain him and take him away. Now listen, when those thoughts come into our mind, when we look upon things with our eyes, we are told to bring them into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ - every single one of them! He wants us to turn to the Holy Spirit who indwells us, and literally drag that sin, arrest it, say: 'Lord Jesus, did You see what's in my mind?', and bring it into the presence of Christ - and when you bring it into the presence of Christ it will disappear! That is the danger from within. There is a spy in the city of Mansoul, and we need to realise it.

The second thing is this: there is a danger from without. There are internal considerations that we've looked at, but there are also external, because you have the devil - Diabolus - he is assaulting outside the gates of Mansoul. He is assaulting the city with his forces, his onslaughts are serious, and do you know why they are more serious? Because he's got a spy within us. They can collaborate - the old nature within is in league with the enemy without, and when those two meet together and that old world system outside the city of our lives comes into contact with that old spy, the eye that lives within us, that's the end of it! We give way, we sin, and that is the offence!

Now, please don't misunderstand me: we all have temptation, we all can have those darting thoughts that come into our heart and into our mind, that's not what I'm talking about - I'm talking about when we surrender to them. There is a difference between temptation and sin. That great Christian author Guy King on one occasion asked his children's meeting: 'What is the difference between temptation and sin?', and a little boy replied: 'Temptation is when you're asked to do it, and sin is when you've done it'. Isn't that it? Temptation is when you're asked to do it, sin is when you've done it. Martin Luther put it like this: 'We cannot prevent the birds flying over our heads, but we can prevent their making nests in our hair'. The sparrow can't prevent the cuckoo depositing its egg in her nest, but she can turn it out - she doesn't have to sit on it and wait until it hatches, she can push it out and it's gone! If she doesn't do that, she'll realise that she will be in a heap of trouble: her home will be gone.

Now this is the crux of what the Lord Jesus is saying in the Sermon on the Mount with regards to lust. He is saying, as Thomas a Kempis said: 'Resist beginnings'. Don't even let it start! It is so tempting to let the thought come into the mind and let it stay there for a few moments - but the problem is this: when the combination of that thought and the dangers without come together, they can make life so difficult, and the only way to prevail is to let God deal with the spy inside of me, and let God deal with the world outside of him. There is a danger from without, and the weak link is the Eye-gate. The Eye-gate must be guarded, for if it sees the dark sight of a form, or a picture, or sees words written in a book, or sees a programme, or sees a website, it can kindle the thought within him and it can cause mutiny within Mansoul! It can cause a rebellion and a down-falling, anarchy! That is how that spy and that enemy without collaborate. James, I believe, was thinking exactly the same thing when he said: 'But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death'.

The reason is the advertiser wants to excite you about their product, and they know - maybe they're better theologians than some of us - that the greatest thing that will excite you is sex

Now there are other gates whereby the enemy can enter into our lives if we will let him, but specifically we're concerned with Eye-gate today. If you look around the word of God it's not too long before you see how men and women sin through Eye-gate. In Genesis 3 the mother of all sin, Eve, in Genesis 3:6: 'When the woman saw'. Now, Satan had already tried to convince her that God wasn't on her side, and that God was hiding something from her - that was trying to get at her from the Ear-gate. But you can see how powerful the Eye-gate was, because as soon as she saw that the fruit was good to eat, she fell! Joshua chapter 7 and verse 21 you've got Achan - sin in the camp - and when he's describing how he took the treasure, he coveted it, and lusted after it, and hid it, he says: 'When I saw all the treasure'. The great prophet Elijah, he's on Mount Carmel, he's undaunted by the prophets of Baal - he's gaining a glorious triumphant victory for the honour of God, but as soon as Ahab's wicked Queen Jezebel sends him a letter by a messenger, his eyes see the letter and it says in Kings: 'When he saw'. There was something about seeing the letter - he knew she didn't like him - but there was something different that made it real to him and made him fear and he ran away. Remember Peter on the waves? Walking to the Lord Jesus Christ, and what faith he had even to step out of the boat and for those few seconds be walking along the water, but it says in Matthew's gospel: 'When he saw' - for one brief second he took his eyes off the Master, he caught a sight of the mountainous waves that boisterous winds had raised, and when he saw he was gone!

We live in a visual world, we live in a world that history has never ever seen. You look at marketing anywhere, on the television, in the newspaper, in magazines, even on the radio - everything is advertised by sex. The slogan is: 'Sex sells'. Whether it's ice-cream or a 4x4 greasy jeep, they will sell it with sex! Do you ever ask yourself the question why that is? The reason is they want to excite you about their product, and they know - maybe they're better theologians than some of us - that the greatest thing that will excite you is sex. In our world things all around us - imagine, you see this is what people don't think when they sit down for three hours watching the television at night, that there was a time a few months ago before this programme was shown that there was a group of people around a table discussing how they could get you to watch that, how they could get you to watch that programme! There are literally men and women today discussing how to market items, how to get you to buy them, and they're doing it by calculating what is more likely to awaken the sinful natures and desires within your soul. We live in a generation of voyeurism - voyeurism simply means that this generation gets turned on, gets a satisfaction, by watching others enjoy themselves.

Now let's be frank - and we've got to be frank, I know that maybe some of you'll be uncomfortable by some of these things that I have said, but that frankly is just too bad because our young people are listening to this every day and if we don't say anything about it we'll lose them to sin and to the world! Channel 4, Channel 5, I would vouch to say perhaps every night of the week, you can get whatever you want to view - that's not because I view it, I don't have them. Now don't tell me that if you put your young teenager in a room with a television upstairs that they'll not look at it! My friend, this is the age in which we are living, where you can get whatever you want through cable, through satellite, through anything where the censoring laws in our land are being relaxed to allow almost any perversion to be broadcast as entertainment. Videos, internet - did you know that 12% of the Internet is pornography? Twelve per cent! Every day there are 300 new pornographic sites added to the Internet! It can be the press, it can be the glossy magazines, it can be anything. D.A. Carson says this, and this is so true: 'Our advertisements sell by sexual titillation, our bookstores fill their racks with both the salacious and the perverted. The vast majority of pop songs focus on man-woman relations, usually in terms of satisfying sex, physical desires, infidelity and the like - and into this society Jesus speaks His piercing word: 'Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her''.

We live in a society where it is easier today to commit adultery in the mind than it has ever ever been. Let me leave you in the last five or ten minutes of our meeting with some wisdom from God's word concerning this, and we'll look at this more next week, at the specific things the Lord Jesus tells us to do with regards to our sins that so easily beset us. But I want to leave you with six things, very quickly, that a man called Rick Holland preached on one occasion, and I heard him preaching it, six things whereby we can avoid committing this sin within our mind and then avoid, effectively, the fruit of it which is the sin of adultery or sexual immorality. Take these down if you've got a pen.

We live in a society where it is easier today to commit adultery in the mind than it has ever ever been

One: undertake the pursuit of biblical instruction - undertake the pursuit of biblical instruction. You go to the Psalmist: 'How can a young man cleanse his way?'. You're saying that: 'It's alright, but I can't handle it. I can't! How?' - by taking heed according to God's word. 'Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Him'. Now, my friend, and this is for the older brethren - it shouldn't just be up to you to put the word of God in. Now please, older folk, more mature folk in the faith, Titus 2 says that the older men are to teach the younger, that the older women are to teach the younger. Please teach our young people what they ought to be doing, and even sit down - remember Ezekiel? This is a wonderful phrase, where he came to the River Chebar, remember what it says? He sat where they sat. They don't need somebody sitting down telling them they just need to quit, they need a bit of understanding and they need a bit of love. Undertake the pursuit of biblical instruction, you've got to put it in and the assembly have got to put it in.

Secondly: undress the deception of sexual sin - undress the deception of sexual sin. If you read Proverbs 5 - and you should read Proverbs, for this will give you more guidance on it than I can this morning - but the adulterous woman in Proverbs is called the 'strange woman', or the 'foreign woman', and the point is this: she's described as having honey dripping from her lips, she's described as speaking smooth words, but the word of God says her steps lead to death and take hold upon hell. In other words, what we see with the eye, we need to realise Satan is an angel of light, deceptive, beautiful, but with an awful deadly bite - and unless we undress the deception, instead of undressing the figure, we'll fall!

Thirdly: understand the value of safe distance - understand the value of safe distance. The Proverbs 5 also says: 'Young man, I'm telling you son - father to son - I know what I'm talking about'. He didn't say: 'I went up to her door, knocked it and gave her a tract'! He says: 'Keep far from her, pass not by her door'. Like Joseph running out of Potiphar's house, he left his coat with her to get out as fast as his feet could carry him away from sin. That's what God is saying: when the thought comes to us, put it out of your head! I was reading the 119th Psalm again this week in my daily readings, and what a blessing it was to me to get those verses all together in the way that the Psalmist puts them. Here is a man who committed adultery, and do you know what he says in that Psalm? 'Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity'. Do you know what that word 'vanity' means? Worthless things! Turn away my eyes, Lord, from beholding worthless things! Psalm 101 would be a good Psalm to write over your TV - if you want to keep it - 'I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me'. What about Job? I don't know how many times, as a young man, I turned up Job chapter 31 verse 1, and said: 'Boy, you're some man!'. 'I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?'. Do you know what the bottom line is here? I'll never forget this statement as it was said to me on one occasion: 'I refuse to be entertained by that for which Christ died'. Do we?

Fourthly: unmask the regret of sin's aftermath - unmask the regret of sin's aftermath. In other words, we get this sort of, it's as if the devil drugs us into thinking: 'Look at the grass on the other side of that field, that would be great!'. But when we get to the other side of the field we're left in guilt, in remorse, and we just wish that we could turn back time and not commit that sin - but the fact of the matter is, at the point that we're tempted we need to unmask the regret of sin's aftermath; we need to think about the remorse that we will feel; we need to contemplate the public disgrace; perhaps the disease; perhaps the marriage that will never ever be the same, or trustworthy again; what your children will think in years to come when they hear of what went on in your marriage; what your mind will conjure up in times that you would just wish you could forget those things. It really is the question: 'Is an hour of pleasure worth the disaster of a lifetime?'.

Do you know what they need? Intimacy, intimacy! Every young person that has had a one night stand has found out that intimacy can only be found in marriage

Fifthly: unmask the satisfaction of marital fidelity. Do you know what the wise man in Proverbs says? 'Son, drink from your own cisterns'. You see, the mistake of the world is that you can satisfy the desire in your heart by physical relationships - like the polar bear licking the blood off the blade, do you know what happens? You keep licking because you get hungrier, and hungrier, and hungrier - and that's not what men and women need. Do you know what they need? Intimacy, intimacy! Every young person that has had a one night stand has found out that intimacy can only be found in marriage.

Sixthly: unleash the horror of God's omniscience. This is the real motivation, for the wise man in Proverbs says: 'The ways of a man are before the Lord', He sees it all. I don't know about you, but when I contemplate these things and when I think upon my past and my mind, this gives me poverty of spirit. The miracle of grace is that failure is not final, it is not! God can give to you, through the blood of Christ, something that is more precious than even virginity is - the road to recovery through the grace of God. As we come to the penetrating word of God, and as we have looked at it honestly today, do we not say with the hymnwriter, Walter Chalmers Smith:

'One thing I of the Lord desire,
For all my way has darksome been,
Be it by earthquake, wind, or fire,
Lord, make me clean!
Lord, make me clean!

So wash Thou within, without,
Or purge with fire if that must be,
No matter how, if only sin
Die out in me!
Die out in me!'

If you come back next week I'll tell you what the Lord tells us to do with regards to these sins in our lives. Let's bow our heads. Do you know what I read this week as I was studying that passage of Scripture? One leading Evangelical scholar, who we would all know if I named him, said: 'Some men can look at artistic forms and pictures and just see them for appreciative art' - balderdash! And all you men can say 'Amen' to that, you know exactly what I'm talking about, and maybe some women here as well. These sins of the heart are hidden from everyone, but we can bring them into the light and the Lord can cleanse them and make us whole.

Father, we pray, help us to guard Eye-gate. Oh, Lord, we know that there is an enemy within - but, Lord, greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. We pray, our Father, that we will feed the right nature, and that we will not watch worthless things. Lord, make us holy, cleanse us from our sin, and let Your nature be formed in us we pray. Amen.

Don't miss Part 7 of 'The Sermon On The Mount': "Cut It Out!"

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Transcribed by:
Andrew Watkins,
Preach The Word.
August 2001
www.preachtheword.com

This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the sixth tape in his 'Sermon On The Mount' series, titled "Dangerous Liaisons Of The Mind" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.

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