On the mount, where Jesus Christ started preaching to his disciples, he first preached a one-action-with-its-reward sermon which we all know as The Beatitude (Matthew 5:3) which was to help them get a brief knowledge of what it takes to become acceptable children of God and partakers in the kingdom.
He continued by correcting a thought that probably might have generated within them. “Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;” he started “I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
This is a check that would help prepare their mind for the many things that he would later do and teach; teachings that might seem too hard for them to understand or keep up with.
One of these teachings is that which I will like to call The Teaching of ‘Heart-ward Sins’ which was recorded in verses 21-30 and was divided into two parts. These two parts are ‘Heart-ward Murder’ and ‘Heart-ward Adultery.’
The summary and purpose of Christ’s teaching of The Heart-ward Sins is this: All sins starts from the heart, and that is the basis for the actual sin; therefore allowing it to start in your heart at all is sin itself, even it, is the real sin.
He told them: concerning murder, “You heard that it was said that anyone who murders will be subject to judgment…, but I tell you that [not even until you murder] anyone who is angry with a brethren will be subject to judgment” (vs. 22) and concerning adultery, “You heard that it was said that you shall not commit adultery, but I tell you that anyone who [even if he had not committed adultery per se] looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (vs. 28)
These are the sin from the heart and, if we examine truthfully, most of us are guilty of them. One way or another, everyday, we murder our brethrens in the eyes of Jesus Christ and we commit adultery with opposite sex in his eyes.
Are we then, by this, rendering ourselves grateful of his selfless death for us on the cross? Aren’t we nailing him the second time (Hebrew 6:6b), calling him a lie (1 John 5:10) and grieving the Spirit of God everyday (Ephesians 4:30-31) by ignoring one of the first teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ?
One of his first teachings; that means one of his most important teachings that he thought and one of the most important lessons he wants us to live by in everyday of our life!
So how do we get rid of these heart-ward sins? Or put literally, how do we make sure that we are not killing ourselves further every day?
The Works of Flesh are Heart-ward and Death
In Colossians 3, Paul the Apostle called lust and some other qualities by the name of the things that belong to earthly nature. And, as a matter of truth, most of us are aware that the flesh is of the earth and the earth is itself dust.
Also in Galatians 5, he listed hatred and discord with the acts of the flesh that he mentioned. Therefore it is obvious that either anger or hatred or murder or lust or adultery or any other forms of sexual immoralities are heart-ward and they all lead one to death for “if you live according to the flesh, you will die” (Romans 8:13); and they lead one away from the kingdom of heaven for “those who live like this (like the flesh would live) will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21b)
How to Get Rid of Sure Death
God told Adam and Eve that they will die if they do not abstain from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but they do not listen and, as we all have heard and seen, they died (Genesis 2:17; 3:6). How hurtful! If only they had listened, they wouldn’t have died. In other words, they would have got rid of sure death.
Here we are today, our Savior beaconing unto us, not to abstain from the three of knowledge of good and evil this time around, but to abstain from these heart-ward sins, so that we would not surely die and so that we would not be guilty of the judgment.
The only way we can do this and get rid of sure death is to simply abstain from the heart-ward sins.
The scriptures records of Apostle Paul saying these: “by the spirit put to death all the works of the flesh.” If we claim to have the spirit of truth in us, as we all claim to do, let us make use of this spirit to put these heart-ward sins to death. Then we would be free from sure death.
Hence, practically, whenever we notice that the thoughts of lust is budding or whenever we notice that the devil is introducing anger into our system (2 Corinthians 2:11), we should immediately get rid of both the thoughts of lust and the urge to anger. Then the Lord would have mercy on us and would “forgive us all our sins” (1 John 1:9)