The Sermon on the Mount Part 6

by Mike Ratliff

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NASB)

One marker missing from “Liberal Christianity” that is one of the major elements that disqualifies it from being genuine Christianity is its abandonment of Sola Scriptura. Because of that, all of those characteristics that makes Christianity Christian are gone such as believer’s living lives of repentance such as that “living sacrifice” analogy given to us in Romans 12:1 along with how from that flows genuine Spiritual growth into Christian maturity in Romans 12:2. With little to no emphasis on genuine Biblical repentance, “Liberal Christianity” simply tries to emphasize unity, political correctness, feelings, with a spiritual hit by using spiritual formation into all sorts of mysticism, but mostly these “churches” do everything they can to appeal to the world so the leaders in those “organizations” would never preach a sermon like our Lord preached in Matthew 5, 6, & 7. Why? Because it brings people face-to-face with their sinfulness. This is offensive and since these men refuse to proclaim the real gospel message of the good news of what God has done on their behalf that they could never do for themselves, they will never preach anything to offend anyone so the descent into darkness of Liberalism just speeds up with each compromise. 

When I was a relatively new Christian one Sunday morning our Pastor walked off the stage and sat down as three of our Deacons took his place. They then gave to us a very short, concise history of how they had been dealing with a man who was member of our church who had abandoned his wife and son to move in with his girlfriend. These Deacons followed the Biblical plan given to us in the New Testament of counseling this man singly at first then with two and then the most senior Deacon going with them to counsel the fellow. Even through several sessions with the man, he refused to repent, leave his girlfriend, and become reconciled with this wife. We went into a voting session and voted the man out of the church membership.

That was probably in 1987 or early 1988. I had never seen anything like that and have not seen it since. I shared that with some people I worked with who were professing Christians and a few of them got very angry and one even told me that it didn’t matter what the New Testament said, if you treat people like that, you are not expressing the love of God, et cetera.

31 “And it was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife let him give to her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that everyone divorcing his wife except for the matter of fornication makes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:31,32 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1)

The Rabbis had taken Moses’ command of how to deal with an adulterous wife and turned into a legal process of divorce for any reason. However, Jesus tells us that God sees divorce as appropriate only in case of adultery. Also, if the fellow like the one in the example above divorced his wife to marry his girlfriend, he was committing adultery and forcing his ex-wife into adultery if she remarried. Now, as you can see, Andy Stanley’s examples in his cute little display here about homosexual couples committing adultery is totally bogus and unbiblical, which reveals a great deal about his liberalism.

My brethren, in our approach to our Lord’s commands, what we have to understand is that we must be neither liberal like Andy Stanley and those who emulate him in their simply shrugging them off nor must we fall into the error of Pietism by looking at the Sermon on the Mount and say things like, “God said it, I believe it, leave me alone!” No, we study what our Lord said and grow spiritually, presenting our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is our spiritual service of worship. And we must not be conformed to this world, but become transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (my paraphrase of Romans 12:1,2)

If we do that, will adultery be a problem? No, this is how we put into action taking up our cross and following Jesus. This is self-denial and God-focused living and worship.

Soli Deo Gloria!

10 thoughts on “The Sermon on the Mount Part 6

  1. Self denial—a word that is anathema in today’s society and even much the church. I have learned that often I can not overcome my desires/sin by sheer willpower or often, even desire to overcome them. As Paul said, I do, or desire to do, in the fleshly man what I don’t want to do, or desire to do, in the spiritual (new) man. Who can save me?
    I have to rely on God to help me. But how does that work? It works through self-denial –refusal to act. Of course I have to get into prayer, focus on God and worship. Eventually that “void” I have made through self denial God refills with something else—victory.

  2. “Self deniala word that is anathema in todays society and even much the church.”

    Agree. Sadly, I’m afraid we do have to include the (American) church in that statement, to our shame.

    We seem to be amidst a “deny yourself nothing” culture. The fruit of that is costly on so many fronts.

    I believe the more we hide God’s word in our hearts, the more our will will align with His from the outset. That way, the only one getting “denied” is the devil.

    Thank you for a very good article. I know I’ll be more vigilant now. Shalom.

  3. Wow, I always get encouraged when I see churches obeying the truth (ie: the deacons and the adulterous man). Thanks for sharing that story, that really lifted my morning!

  4. Mike I must say that as much as I fell so deeply in love with Jesus when I was first saved and how powerful of a conversion I had I thought I’d NEVER ever fall back into some sin that Jesus set me free from. I’d say the compromise came in my life when I thought I was justified to have something I’d never had before I was even saved.
    Everything went so very well in my life for about the first 4 years of being saved with my marriage and with my husband.Then instead of me joyfully serving the Lord continuing I grew tired and worn because My husband was not a Christian. I reasoned that well “I know I’m saved” but I can dabble in what I thought would make me so happy and just loose my rewards when I get to heaven…..Anyways I won’t say what all happened since it is very personal. But for a season I did go down the wrong road and no one really knew at Church. If they did they would have rebuked me and I would have stopped I’m sure because that would have been so embarrassing to me and then I would have gotten help as I’m sure the Church would lovingly do.

    To make a long story short without saying what all happened, The Lord Chastened me and I became very unhappy, scared and that peace and protecting I had (that hedge) was gone. I missed that greatly. I learned of God the Father’s love. I think that I compartmentalized God. I know he is triune but when I was first saved I fell deeply in love with Jesus and didn’t know that the purity and holiness of my cleaned out heart was because I had been reconciled to the Father as well as the Son and the Holy Spirit. I learned through God taking me to the woodshed of God the Father’s love and His Holiness in my life and was quite moved in awe that God loved ME enough that he was not going to let me live like the world.

    Anyways, I say all this because if a person really is saved God will discipline and rebuke you and it’s much, MUCH WORSE than if the Church rebukes. If I wasn’t so good at (hiding) things as I was and still struggle with and I had just let a woman know whom I could have trusted at Church it would have saved me from all the wrong choices and decisions I made. We need transparency with one another and that’s why it’s good to do what God’s word says and “Confess our faults to one another”-James 5:16.

    Church discipline is very, VERY loving and will protect the body which is paramount but also if the person is genuine will stop them from making such horrid and lurid choices that have such grave consequences.

    The Consequences in my life are HUGE. . MY only hope for mercy is the character of God because people can be so cruel and unforgiving…— “have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy…relationships with people ARE damaged or destroyed, but my relationship to the LORD must remain intact. In either case hope is in God ALONE. I thank GOD that He can pardon and cleanse because of who he is “a righteous God and a Savior,” and he has cleansed me and forgiven me not because I deserve another chance, I don’t but because Jesus is a complete SAVIOR. Is. 45:21.

    SIN is SERIOUS—, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight.” God is not to be used as the rubber stamp for what we approve or disapprove, for he is the holy and mighty defender of the wronged, the despised and the weak. Social sin is sin directed against God’s very person when we sin against others.

    I fear for people who placate sin not because I’m any better or I’m holier than Thou,, I’m far from it but because people don’t SEE the huge ramifications that they will have destroyed or damaged their relationships with people.

    Pastors who compromise and downplay sin are probably themselves holding onto some sins and so they do it because they themselves don’t want to feel so guilty…..Jesus even said – “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household!”-Matthew 10:24-25

    Sorry so long and a bit personal, maybe someone will take HEED

    May the Lord be glorified and magnified in your writings and through you Mike “`

  5. One of the most telling things about the Liberalists is they have to force mutual exlusivity both onto Lord Jesus and the Gospel where it simply does not exist. Andy Stanley takes passages like “”A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” as an excuse to implement secular political correctness and to ignore sin in one self and others. This is blatent false “either or” teaching as well as being as being a logical fallacy. Of course we can love others and still condemn sin. The Lord Jesus did not say to the adulterous woman, i love you so much as to tolerate your sin, go and carry on sinning as your sins are forgiven That would not be love, he loved her so much he told her the truth, forgave her sin and told her to stop sinning. But liberal christianity is not christian at all, we don’t even have the same Jesus, their Jesus is a psychological politically correct mental construct from the mind of fallen men. Their Jesus is Maitreya, the new age political Jesus and world teacher.

  6. Mike,

    You’re the first teacher or pastor who has stated this truth and have held to it as well. I’m a single woman in my senior years and there have been a few times that a man has come into my life and fell in love (so he said) and wanted to marry me. However, because of Jesus’s teachings, I said no and stated and went through all the Scriptures that verified the Truth I live by. Why, even a few pastors thought I was off of my rocker because I wouldn’t marry. But see, both of these men had been married at least once prior and it was not adultery that caused the divorce with them. It was because of other reasons. So, because of the teachings of Jesus in the area, I would not marry either men. Everybody in church was pushing me to marry and even the pastors pushed the idea to marry. It was like I was some crazy woman who took the Word of God too seriously. And even one woman told me that God told her that I was to marry this particular man. And that man himself thought I was a nut for going by the Bible. Needless to say, people think me too “religious” and a stickler on the Bible but I will not marry anyone who has been married before and their divorce wasn’t due to death or adultery.
    Now, I must say, this isn’t easy, having never been married, and growing older to boot, but, I’ll have God as my witness and the peace of conscience by following the Lord. Denying self. That’s not always easy, especially as we age but it soooooo worth it. I love Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father and if I spend the rest of my days alone, without human comfort, so be it. I’d rather be with God than any person on this earth.

    Like Linda, I’m a little long winded but wanted to tell my story and thank you, Mike, for touching this seemingly unforbidden doctrine in our churches today.

    May God bless you, your household, this ministry and all the other folks who post here. Amen, in Jesus Name.

  7. Thanks for sharing that Denise. Those who follow what God’s Word says like you did there are sadly few and far between. My the Lord bless you my sister with his peace and joy.

  8. For me though, I had pre warnings several times (to get help) before I ended up choosing the wrong path. But my problem was I really COULDN’T share with anyone what was truly going on because I don’t think anyone would have really understood..

    I’m glad you kept pure Denise,, I give the Lord a high praise and you a thumbs up.

    For me, I near the end of my fiasco, every single time God at every corner I turned and I was hitting a brick WALL. I knew it was God’s rod and His staff ~
    I’m a very scrupulous person now. and I follow the Lord of glory very closely who stood by me through all the grunge I put him through. I’ve learned the HARD WAY. He had to break this lambs legs“

    All I can say is OH, if more churches would discipline their church member’s

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