Matthew 5:27 - 28
ESV - 27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
With continual longing with the mind made up to commit the act if at all possible (Jas. 1:13-16). It becomes a state of the heart and is as deadly as the act itself (1Sam. 16:7 Mk. 7:19-23). Chastity is a virtue common to both sexes. Because of social, cultural restraints and legal prescription, one may not have actually indulged in adultery. But it is rather more important that we must keep inwardly pure in our thoughts and feelings, for that is the requirement in God's eyes regarding this matter. Physical union though instituted by God is not the basis of marriage. Marriage is first spiritual, then physical. When that order is reversed infidelity creeps in. We may be bodily pure but the heart can become corrupt and adulterous. Joy and laughter fill and freely flow the newlyweds. But the initial endearing expressions of love pass with a passage of time and that is when the couple must take extra care to continue in love. Malachi 2:15 admonishes, "Guard yourself in spirit and do not break faith with the wife of your youth." Bathsheba had been wronged by David, in that he caused her to commit adultery and murdered her husband, Uriah the Hittite. This act he committed was as a result of seeing a naked woman. In the modern it is freely available via porn in the Internet, TV and other social media. With continual longing with the mind itself is a SIN according to Christ. The only commandment that is sort of repeated within the Ten Commandments is with reference to adultery. Commandment Seven: "You shall not commit adultery;" Commandment Ten: "You shall not covet your neighbour's wife" (Ex 20:14,17). Almost all the New Testament Epistles speak against adultery and fornication (Rom 13:12-14; 1 Cor 6:13-20; 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 4:17-24; Col 3:1-7; 1 Thess 4:3-7; 2 Tim 2:21,22; 1 Pet 2:9-11; 4:1-3; 2 Pet 2:9,10). Here are a few practical suggestions to help you remain faithful to your spouse: Realize whom God has given you as partner is the best for you. God knows all about us and our times are in His hand and knowledge. We can trust God our Father that He has given us the best. At any cost avoid comparing your spouse with another person. This is extremely dangerous. It is unavoidable that a person's defects become obvious when you live long enough and close enough with him or her. Satan tempts you here to dream of a perfect person. His suggestions will be appealing but deadly. The truth is that there is no perfect husband or perfect wife or perfect couple! Learn to enjoy things together. When you visit families, do go as a family. No saint on this earth is beyond the reach of the devil. We don't become sin-proof on this side of eternity. By mutual consent you may for a time of special prayer stay apart; but get back to each other soon (1 Cor 7:5). Sort out differences through patience and dialogue as and when they arise. Shalom to your home!
I would say that "adultery of the heart" would be experiencing the same lustful emotions, thoughts, desires, and intentions toward another person that would be present or would result (if left unrestrained or unchecked) in committing actual physical adultery with that person. The only thing lacking would be the expression of those mental processes in physical action. God created the two sexes of humanity to be physically attracted to one another, but even lower creatures experience that same physical attraction. In my opinion, it is when human attraction is reduced to that same primal or superficial level, to the exclusion or overriding dominance of consideration of the attributes of the other person that make him or her unique as a human being who is created in God's image -- in other words, objectifying the other person, or viewing them just as an instrument for one's own physical satisfaction or gratification -- that "adultery of the heart" (which, as Jesus said, is just as wrong in God's eyes as the physical act of adultery) occurs. However, momentary lustful thoughts would not (in my opinion) be "adultery of the heart", but would be a form of temptation. It would be the subsequent entertaining, dwelling on, or fantasizing about those thoughts (rather than recognizing and immediately rejecting them) that would be wrong.
The question is not what but why do we commit adultery in the heart? To conclude a question with hypothetical answers would be unlimited, skewed, even justified but the reality comes from the history of past events. 2 Samuel chapter 11; King David and Bathsheba will open our hearts to conclude the questions and convict the nature of sin we live. Sin is the performance against the commission given by our Heavenly Fathers righteous law. From the beginning of creation God teaches what we need to understand about sin. If we look further into the explanation, God gives one command which takes us three phases to break. Phase one, looking at the forbidden fruit. Lusting with the eye. Phase two, justifying the reason to lust after the forbidden fruit. Listening to what we want to hear. Phase three, the action taken when enough justification convinced the person that its ok. Then the conviction of our hearts tell us we made a mistake. While sin nature is growing and temptation being acted on, the consequences seem minimal. Whether a believer or nonbeliever commences on wrongful acts the end results are the same. This command, to not eat from the forbidden tree is sin, the commission became complex by the separation of God and mankind. Therefore the consequences become anxiety, fear, and depression, do these emotional tormented action seem minimal? What todays social acceptance seem to view is the lust we feel in our hearts is normal. Will we really say filthy movies are ok? What is the idea by hind this ideology? The answer is, Another way to destroy God's creation, separate God from man, separate man from woman, and sadly separate children from mom and dad. This is what we want to believe is normal. What is normal and healthy is to gain a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ, grow as a believer by prayer, reading, and studying what sin is. Whether we know not what sin is, we still have to realize the actions we take in sin will always have a reaction. Simply put, God has given us a way out, Jesus Christ will lift the stained window from our eyes if we search out our hearts and realize there is no escaping the nature of sin but by Jesus.
Adultery of the heart is exactly what it says. When your heart is controlled by the mind your thoughts betray you. When Jesus made his remarks he did so because people did-and still do-think they are not sinning as long as they don't act. To be a Christian is to be Christ like, in thought and deed. Jesus is telling us the mere lustful thoughts are enough to convict us of sinning. God wants us to be as his Son and that is to be pure in heart. We cannot be pure in heart when we have lustful thoughts. The first book I read after confessing my hope in Christ was "Meet the Holy Spirit" by Pastor Jack Hyles and I will always remember what he said about the proper way to be led by the Holy Spirit. He said the Spirit needs to control the heart, which will control the mind, which controls the body. He is saying the same thing Jesus says, the heart shows us who we are all the time. Lust of the heart will control the mind which will control the body. And we have sinned already. I know it's hard but that is why Jesus forgives us. Remember lust is not always sexual, that was the example Jesus gave. However you can also lust after money, things, and false gods. To remain on the right path keep the Holy Spirit in your heart.
Adultery, of course, is conjugal infidelity. An adulterer was a man who had illicit intercourse with a married or a betrothed (engaged) woman, and such a woman was an adulteress. Adultery is forbidden in the Bible: Ex. 20:14 Deut. 5:18; Matt. 5:27; 19:18; Luke 18:20; Rom. 13:9; Jas. 2:11. Lev. 18:20; Lev. 19:29; Deut. 23:17; Acts 15:20; Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 5:11 vs. 9,10.; 1 Cor. 6:13, 15, 18; 1 Cor. 10:8; Eph. 4:17, 19, 20; Eph. 5:3, 11, 12; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3-5, 7 Matthew 5:28. "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her" —with the intent to do so, as the same expression is used in Mt 6:1; or, with the full consent of his will, to feed thereby his unholy desires. A sinful thought is as wicked as a sinful act. Job makes a covenant with his eyes lest he looks upon a virgin (Job 31:1). And so Jesus who came "not to destroy, but to fulfill" (Mt 5:17), in full agreement with the ethical and religious teaching of Judaism, makes the intent of the 7th commandment explicit when he declares that "everyone that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Mt 5:28). - And in the spirit of Hosea (Hosea 4:15) and Johanan ben Zaccai Jesus has but scorn for those that are ready judicially to condemn though they are themselves not free from sin! "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (Jn 8:7). Whereas society requires the death penalty to secure the inviolability of the home life, Jesus bids the erring woman go her way and sin no more.- Max L. Margolis http://classic.net.bible.org/dictionary.php?word=adultery Matthew 5:27 Do not commit adultery The term for adultery refers to a consensual sexual relationship between a married person and someone other than his or her spouse. See Exod 20:14. Matthew 5:28 looks at a woman to lust Jesus wants His followers to deal with sin where it starts: the mind or emotions. Block out temptation. Build a hedge against temptation. This is more than just avoiding the magazines, movies, and TV channels that cause you to stumble (not to mention the internet). It also means severing any emotional attachments that threaten your marriage. Maintain appropriate distances in relationships. Flee from temptations.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.