Dave Jenkins – Who is an Adulterer?

Matthew 5:27-30, “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.”

Jesus continues to unmask the self-righteous externalism typified by the scribes and Pharisees by showing that the only righteousness acceptable to God is purity of heart. Without that purity, the outward life makes no difference. God’s divine evaluation takes place in the heart. He judges the source and origin of sin, not its manifestation or lack of manifestation. 1st Samuel 16:7, “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Jesus’ second illustration of heart righteousness has to do with adultery and sexual sin in general. In verses 27-30 He focuses on the deed of adultery, the desire behind it, and the deliverance from it.

Matthew 5:27-28, “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.”

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Book Review – Christ-Centered Exposition: Matthew

Matthew There is certainly no shortage today of commentary sets available to pastors, laymen, and students. These sets range from classic works to what seems to be a barrage of new efforts recently hitting the market. How does one decide what type of commentary set to utilize, let alone spend what could be a considerable amount of money completing? The answer to that question largely depends on what you are looking for in a commentary, specifically whether you desire a deep dive into every nuance of the text (the nerdy approach) or what could be considered a more pastoral perspective, a text that examines those nerdy elements when necessary yet provides the pastor with valuable insight that can be grasped by his parishioners. If the latter option is what you desire, then the Christ-Centered Exposition series should be at the top of your list of options.

Edited by David Platt, Daniel Akin, and Tony Merida, this commentary series is focused on providing the pastor with helpful tools to exegete Scripture and to in turn, share that needed and powerful exegesis in a manner that is understandable to their flock. The Matthew commentary which I recently had the pleasure of taking a look at is a fine example of what this series has to offer. As noted in the subtitle of this particular commentary, the focus is wholly on Jesus and examining the Messianic aspects of this particular gospel.

The format is such that if desired, the pastor can take each section and use it as the basis for a sermon series on Matthew. In fact, that is the overall intent of this commentary, namely to help pastors better note the main idea of a text, break it down into smaller outlined sections, and then to share the main idea and the truths subsumed within to a hungry flock of sheep that so desperately need to hear the truth of who Jesus is and what he came to accomplish and how that ties into a holistic understanding of the scarlet thread of redemption found throughout Scripture. To that end, this commentary meets and exceeds its intended goal.

An example of the quality exegesis and application provided by David Platt, the author of the Matthew contribution to this series, can be observed in his treatment of the Sermon on the Mount. Any pastor who has taught through this portion of Matthew understands that one could spend several months examining and teaching on all this section of this gospel has to offer. Platt, instead of diving into a verse by verse, piece by piece analysis, takes a “30,000 foot view of the sermon, seeking to get at the heart of Jesus’ message.” After establishing the overall setting of the sermon focusing on points to pay attention to such as matters of literary and historical importance, Platt then proceeds to the text, providing the reader with some sort bursts of excellent biblical exegesis. He does not spend much time analyzing every Greek word or digging too deep into the text as after all that is not his focus. His purpose is to give that 30,000 foot overview, spending most of his efforts at extracting how this Sermon on the Mount presents to us as the people of God the message that the law intended all along, namely the need to be that set apart ecclesia/assembly that exhibits in their hearts and actions their love for God and their fellow man.

In order to help the reader think even further about the text under examination, Platt provides a helpful “Reflect and Discuss” section. These questions can be used by the reader for their own personal growth and study of Scripture and perhaps more importantly for the intended audience of this commentary series, that being pastors, these questions can form the basis for concepts to include in a sermon or teaching on this material. Pastors who read the excellent exegesis and who take the time to answer these reflection and discussion questions will find themselves very much prepared to present not just a quality sermon, but a message that helps their flock grasp the underlying meaning, purpose, and application of the text. If there is anything that determines the quality of a commentary series, it is those factors, and this commentary set meets and exceeds all of those.

As noted, in the world of commentary series there is much to choose from and often it is difficult to know what to buy and what to pass on. I highly recommend the Christ-Centered Exposition series and in particular, the Matthew commentary in this series authored by David Platt. It is highly readable, expertly written, replete with helpful insight and biblical exegesis, and it will serve as a great tool for sermon preparation and personal study for years to come. I look forward to the other contributions that will be coming to this quality commentary series.

This book is available for purchase from B&H Publishing by clicking here.

I received this book for free from B&H Publishing for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Thomas Watson – The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

Some are of opinion, that this was the first sermon which ever Christ gave, therefore it may challenge our best attention. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’. Our Lord Christ, beginning to raise a high and stately fabric of blessedness, lays the foundation of it low—in poverty of spirit. But all poverty is not blessed. I shall use a fourfold distinction.

1. I distinguish between ‘poor in estate’, and ‘poor in spirit’. There are the Devil’s poor. They are both poor and wicked—whose clothes are not more torn than their conscience. There are some whose poverty is their sin, who through improvidence or excess have brought themselves to poverty. These may be poor in estate—but not poor in spirit.

2. I distinguish between ‘spiritually poor’ and ‘poor in spirit’. He who is without grace is spiritually poor—but he is not poor in spirit; he does not know his own beggary. ‘You know not, that you are poor’ (Revelation 3:17). He is in the worst sense poor—who has no sense of his poverty.

3. I distinguish between ‘poor-spirited’ and ‘poor in spirit’. They are said to be poor-spirited who have mean, base spirits, who act below themselves. Such are those misers, who having great estates—yet can hardly afford themselves bread; who live sneakingly, and are ready to wish their own throats cut, because they are forced to spend something in satisfying nature’s demands. This Solomon calls an evil under the sun. ‘There is an evil which I have seen under the sun—a man to whom God has given riches, so that he lacks nothing that he desires—yet God gives him not power to eat thereof’ (Ecclesiastes 6:2). True religion makes no man a niggard. Though it teaches prudence—yet not sordidness.

Then there are those who act below themselves as they are Christians, while they sinfully comply and prostitute themselves to the desires of others; a base kind of metal that will take any stamp. They will for a piece of silver—part with the jewel of a good conscience. They will be of the popular religion. They will dance to the devil’s pipe, if their superior commands them. These are poor-spirited but not poor in spirit.

4. I distinguish between poor in an evangelical sense—and poor in a popish sense. The papists give a wrong gloss upon the text. By ‘poor in spirit’, they understand those who, renouncing their estates, vow a voluntary poverty, living retiredly in their monasteries. But Christ never meant these. He does not pronounce them blessed—who make themselves poor, leaving their estates and callings—but such as are evangelically poor.

Well then, what are we to understand by ‘poor in spirit’? The Greek word for ‘poor’ is not only taken in a strict sense for those who live upon charity—but in a more large sense, for those who are destitute as well of inward as outward comfort. Poor in spirit, then, signifies those who are brought to the sense of their sins, and seeing no goodness in themselves, despair in themselves and sue wholly to the mercy of God in Christ. Poverty of spirit is a kind of self-annihilation. ‘The poor in spirit’ (says Calvin) ‘are those who see nothing in themselves—but fly to mercy for sanctuary.’ Such an one was the publican: ‘God be merciful to me a sinner’ (Luke 18:13). Of this temper was Paul: ‘That I may be found in Christ, not having my own righteousness’ (Philippians 3:9). These are the poor, who are invited as guests to wisdom’s banquet (Proverbs 7:3, 4).

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