Should I Really Rip Out My Eye To Resist Sin?
Sin is an ongoing battle for the Believer and is one of lifelong difficulty. It is a matter of such seriousness that there may be times of dealing with it that calls us to take extreme measures; this is the teaching of Matthew 5:27-30. To learn more about this teaching, and the ways and means to deal with sin, consider listening to the following sermons by Dr. Richard Caldwell:
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Should I Really Rip Out My Eye To Resist Sin?
This season on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host, Dr. Josh Philpot are before a live audience seeking to answer questions that are on the hearts and minds of those in attendance. The questioner begins by sharing that Matthew 5:27-30 tells us what we ought to do concerning our sin and how we should deal with it. But, they ask, what does Jesus mean when He tells us to rip out our eye?
Dr. Caldwell reads Matthew 5: 27-30 to give the context for the saying “rip out your eye." He tells us first that this passage teaches that sin is not just an external issue. A careful reading of the text reveals that our sin is a heart issue before it’s a physical issue. Jesus is teaching that sin must be battled on an internal level. Sin is about what goes on in the mind, as well as with the body. It’s about what takes place in the realm of our thoughts, our intentions, ambitions, and motives.
Our Lord speaks here of the seriousness of sin. So serious in-fact that He tells us it would be preferable to lose a member of our body than to lose our very soul. The passage should remind us that our lives do not end with our physical death. There are consequences for the lives that we live and it does not all end at the grave. So Jesus tells us that it would be better for us to lose a member of our body now than to spend an eternity in hell.
Deal With Our Sin Radically
Dr. Caldwell explains that these sayings teach us that we must be willing to deal with our sin radically. He believes these sayings to be metaphorical, meant to be understood figuratively and not taken literally. They mean to teach us whatever it takes to deal with the sin in our lives, that we need to be willing to do it. Sin is a very serious issue with eternal consequences. It's hateful to God therefore, it must be hateful to us. All sin is worthy of not only physical death but, it’s worthy of everlasting death. So we must recognize the seriousness of what’s at stake and be willing to do the battle. Dr. Caldwell gives some advice on how we practically battle against sin. He also points out and explains some of the means we are given as Christians to do this.
Dr. Philpot points out that this text appears to be speaking to men on the subject matter and the particular sin presented. He asks does this make the teaching applicable only to males then? Dr. Caldwell responds that while the example used by Jesus is that of men and the sin of adultery, by understanding it in the figurative sense, we can see how it applies to everyone. What our Lord teaches with this example is where the battle of sin begins. The battle of sin is in the heart and mind. So while Jesus here only uses this one example it applies to all sin and all kinds of sin issues for all people.
Three Avenues Of Temptation
Dr. Caldwell says if we go back to Genesis and look at how Satan tempted Eve, we will see three avenues in which she was tempted. He explains these and tells us that coming to the New Testament, we can see, that these three avenues of temptation have never really changed. These are the same manners of temptation that human beings are still dealing with today. The emphasis in these temptations is on the elevation of man, exalting our physical satisfaction over the wellbeing of our souls.
Giving in to these temptations results in the exalting of self and the diminishing of God. As Christians, we want to humble ourselves before God that He would be exalted and honored. Hence, what is most important is not what would physically satisfy me but what is good for my soul and most satisfying to God. We want to hear the Word of God, submit ourselves to what it teaches, and obey it. We want to put to death the deeds of the body and mortify our sin. We want to do this, willing even to lose a member of our body over having our soul perish in hell.
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The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
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