You Shall Not Commit Adultery

20: 14

    REFLECT: Have I been unfaithful to my spouse? Am I involved in pornography? Are lust and a wandering eye affecting the relationship with my mate? Do I take that second look? Am I conscious of what I am looking at? Am I aware that others, co-workers or family members, are following my eyes? What is my witness in this area?

    You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14).

    The body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. God raised up the Lord, and He will raise us up too by His power. Don't you know that your bodies are parts of the Messiah? So, am I to take parts of the Messiah and make them parts of a prostitute? Heaven forbid! Don't you know that a man who joins himself to a prostitute becomes physically one with her? For the Scriptures say: The two will become one flesh; but the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

    Therefore, run from sexual immorality (see Genesis 39:12)! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the fornicator sins against his own body. Or don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don't belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God (First Corinthians 6:13b-20 CJB).

    We live in a sex-saturated society today. Sins that used to be kept in the dark are now flaunted in public. Our sense of shame has been replaced with brazen defiance. Norms that used to be accepted are now being challenged; people living abnormal lifestyles now want to be accepted as normal. Sex sells everything today. It is in every industry, all the time, year after year, day after day, every minute, every second. We cannot escape it. Like Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah, we are swimming in an ocean of sexual excess and perversion while trying to stay clean. Sex crimes are at all-time highs, while infidelity, divorce, and perversion are now commonplace. We are obsessed with sex to a degree perhaps never seen before in the world.

    We have the seventh commandment exactly because sex is God’s idea. Your generation didn’t invent sex. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). The commandment: You shall not commit adultery, is God’s response to our obvious abuse of His great gift of sexuality. He recoils at the thought of a woman leaving her home in the middle of the night to sleep with her neighbor’s husband. He is disgusted at prostitution. He is angry with the teenager who seeks to satisfy unrestrained lust. The seventh commandment is the LORD’s desire to protect us from ourselves.

    ADONAI approves of sex within the confines of a marriage. Adultery is the abuse of this great gift. Like fire, it can be used for good or it can destroy. Fire in my fireplace can be a good thing. It warms my family and can cook our food. But fire in my living room can destroy both my house and my family. The same can be said for sex. Within the confines of marriage sex is a good and godly thing. But outside of marriage it can destroy my family. When Sha'ul wrote the church at Corinth he reminded them that since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of sexual self-control (First Corinthians 7:1b-5).

    When Jesus, restated the seventh commandment in Matthew 5:27-28, He broadened it, just as He had the sixth, to include thoughts. You have heard that it was said, “Do not commit adultery.” But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Looking at a woman lustfully does not cause a man to commit adultery in his thoughts. He already has committed adultery in his heart. It is not lustful looking that causes the sin in his heart, but the sin in his heart that causes lustful looking. The lustful looking is but the expression of a heart that is already immoral and adulterous. The heart is the soil where the seeds of sin are imbedded and begin to grow.386 The point that Yeshua made is this: the fact that you may not follow through and act upon your thoughts does not makes you guiltless.

    The Biblical standard is simply this: you shall not lust in thought, word, or deed. Faithfulness to your marriage partner is mandatory. This is the believer’s ethic of sex. You may not agree with it. The world certainly doesn’t like it. You may choose to reject it. But as a believer, you cannot repeal it or revise it.

    The word adultery comes from the Hebrew word which means adulteration. The term was first used when the Israelites were worshiping idols, thereby adulterating the true worship of God with godless idols. They had perverted that which was originally pure and clean. That’s what adultery is. It is when we wipe our feet on the pure and clean love that the LORD has given us. When we understand this deeper meaning of adultery, faithfulness and commitment in marriage makes sense; anything else seems unreasonable.387

    What does the seventh commandment have to say to those who are not married? The New Covenant uses the term adultery to refer to sex outside of marriage. It uses a different word for sex between two unmarried people: sexual immorality (First Corinthians 5:1, 10:8; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3). And the prohibition against sexual immorality is just as strict as it is against adultery. Many unmarried people today believe that they are in love, but they are actually in lust. Once the sex starts, they cannot tell the difference. Sexual immorality refers to premarital relations and adultery refers to extramarital relations, but the message is exactly the same. Believe me, if you have no disciple in your sex life before you get married, you will have no discipline in your sex life after you get married. God doesn’t make mistakes on His counsel regarding sex in our lives.

    Do you take that second look? Your eyes will see what they see. You can’t do anything about that. But once you see something provocative, you don’t have to take that second look. It’s the second look that will get you in trouble. King David was not at fault for seeing Bathsheba bathing. He could not have helped noticing her, because she was in plain view as he walked on the palace roof. His sin was taking that second look, dwelling on the sight, and in willingly giving in to the temptation. He could have looked away and occupied his mind in other ways. The fact that he had her brought to his chambers and committed adultery with her showed the immoral desire that already existed in his heart (Second Samuel 11:1-4).

    A popular proverb goes, “Sow a thought and reap an act. Sow an act and reap a habit. Sow a habit and reap a character. Sow a character and reap a destiny.” That process perfectly illustrates the point that, no matter where it ends, sin always begins when an evil thought is sown in the mind and heart.388

    In the 1920s American society whispered, “Follow your libido,” in the 1960s it boldly pronounced, “If it feels good do it,” and today our society screams proudly, “Love the one you’re with!” But why didn’t it work then, and why doesn’t it work now? You can’t swim in the toilet and come up smelling like a rose. Thousands of years ago Moses claimed that ADONAI gave him a command and he wrote: You shall not commit adultery. And this commandment came out of the holy nature and character of ADONAI Himself. Since you and I are created in the image of God, this commandment is written for our own good. If we follow God’s blueprint for living, we can prevent a multitude of health problems. But wrong choices always have their consequences. The explosion of pregnancies outside of marriage, in addition to the proliferation of AIDS and STD cases today proves that God’s plan is meant to insure our happiness and well being.389


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