We want the results of sin stopped in our lives! We experience the terrible results of sin, and we cry out to God to free us from the pain, suffering, and heartache caused by our sin. Often, however, we have a difficult time crying out to God for His reign (kingdom) in our hearts, so that we can avoid sin altogether.
In our study of Jesus’ sermon, we have already heard Jesus pronounce the blessing of His kingdom for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt 5:6). If the blessing is found in an eager desire for His righteousness (Matt 6:33), should we not be crying out for a hungering and thirsting for righteousness, instead of crying out for sin’s consequences to be removed? The blessing of the kingdom is not promised to those who hate the results of sin, but rather to those who long for its righteousness!
The consequences of sin are horrible, and their value to motivate us to repent is tremendous. However, God’s desire for us in the kingdom goes far beyond hating the outcome of our sin. God wants us to be willing to rid ourselves of sin and its causes regardless of the cost to us.
The unfaithful spouse may hate some of the things that their adultery has caused, but the blessing of the kingdom lies in them learning to desire faithfulness. The reign (kingdom) of Christ in us is worth any price that we have to pay for it! Jesus says our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law (Matt 5:20). This week, He teaches us to TREASURE faithfulness, not just hate adultery. Christ wants us to stop sin at its source by practically hungering and thirsting for His righteousness!
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell (Matt 5:27–30).