Sexual sin. It is a destructive issue we face more often than we like to admit.
Whether it is lust, pornography, adultery, same-sex attraction, or any number of other desires that deviate from God’s good design, we are inclined to bury these parts of our lives in the dark. Yet, in Sermon on the Mount, Jesus wisely and lovingly shines a light on our hearts. Getting to the heart of sexual sin, he explains what lust is, where it comes from, and how, by God’s new covenant grace, it be put to death.
This Sunday we looked at Matthew 5:27–30 to learn from Jesus what lust is and how to combat it. And the answer, which may or may not come as a surprise, is to look more at the beauty and goodness of God than to merely turn away from the flesh. While external barriers and accountability are helpful, it is a heart full of Christ that empowers us to flee from sexual lust.
You can listen to this sermon online, and you can find discussion questions and related resources below. In particular, there are notes below that deal directly with the subject of pornography.
Matthew 5:8, 27–30
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
- When our culture is saturated with sex, why is discussing this topic so difficult? What has been the most helpful / harmful things you have heard related to sexual purity?
- What are the 7th and 10th Commandments? How does Jesus connect these two verses? What do we learn about the Law of Moses and how Jesus reads it?
- Read Mark 7:20–23. What do we learn about the heart? How does this passage help explain the background of Matthew 5:27–30?
- What is lust? What are some characteristics of lust? And how does it help to see lust as something more than just sexual desire?
- How have people understood Matthew 5:29–30? Why is it important to see these verses in connection with the heart?
- What is the solution to an impure heart? (Hint: Read Deuteronomy 30:6; Jeremiah 31:31–34; Ezekiel 36:26–27; Matthew 5:8).
- Why does it matter so much that you see the heart as the problem? What happens when you try to walk in purity but without addressing the heart? What happens if you try to aim at the heart but don’t flee from temptations to sin?
- How does delighting in Christ help you fight temptations to lust? Talk practically about ways to grow in the Lord, to feed on the Word, and delight in him.
- Offer the chance to discuss more personal matters with the group. Invite men to seek out trusted men, women to seek out trusted women.
- Purging Pornography with the Power of a Greater Pleasure — This gets at the heart
- Ten Steps To Win Over Pornography — This gets at wise steps in defeating pornography
On the Sermon on the Mount
- Sermon on the Mount: Kingdom Life in a Fallen World by Sinclair Ferguson
- Sermon on the Mount: The Character of a Disciple by Daniel Doriani
- Sermon on the Mount: Restoring Christ’s Message to the Modern Church by Charles Quarles
Soli Deo Gloria, ds