Thou shalt not commit adultery.Exodus 20:14 ASV
As in most of the others, with regard to committing adultery, GOD did not give a reason for this prohibition.
NONE WAS NEEDED.
Nevertheless, the highest intelligence and reason approve and endorse the commandment.
The sin of adultery is against a number of vitally important entities:
(1) It is against God. (Genesis 39:9)
(2) It is against the very body of the sinner. (1 Corinthians 6:18)
(3) It is even against the soul of the violator. (Proverbs 6:32)
(4) It is against the family. No marriage can withstand the destructive force of this sin. (Matthew 19:9)
(5) It is a sin against personality.
Adultery produces the fallen countenance, and one may see a hundred of them on any street corner any day.
The glorious distinction of Christian women consists in large measure of that striking absence from their faces of the guilt and shame so evident in the faces of adulterers.
Even the pagan exclaimed, “Ye gods! What women are these Christians’ wives and daughters.”
(6) Adultery is a sin against the whole society.
The sexual miscreant hurts himself and his partner, who is, under all circumstances, the victim of an assault upon personality.
To make a beast of oneself and a thing of someone else is to rob the world of two persons.
A scarlet “A” has been burned into the conscience of America today, as attested by the widespread violation of this Divine Law.
Our vocabulary is an eloquent witness in the various names given to this sin: adultery, fornication, incest, rape, seduction, lechery, lewdness, wantonness, lasciviousness, infidelity, libertinism, libidinousness, promiscuity, homosexuality, harlotry, whoredom, prostitution, concubinage, polygamy, bigamy, polyandry, sodomy, carnality, pornography, being “gay” (in the current meaning), child molestation, the liberal trans agenda in it’s many confusing forms, etc., etc.
We have already noted in the chapter introduction that Christ has included in the violators of this law all of those who entertain the antecedent thoughts and attitudes leading to this sin.
Interestingly enough, however, Christ abolished the death penalty for adultery (John 8:11).
The Saviour was anticipated in this judgment by Joseph, the husband of Jesus’ mother Mary, who refused to invoke the penalty against her despite his presumption of adultery on her part (Matthew 1:19).
Monogamy as advocated in the N.T. is God’s prescribed way of avoiding the violation of this law (1 Corinthians 7:2).
This is marvelously successful, provided that, at the same time, the believer will obey the edict of the Spirit of God that he shall also control his imagination.
“Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”Luke 16:18 RSV
Jesus answered, “Have you not read that HE who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said,
‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
So they are no longer two but one flesh.
What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”Matthew 19:4-6 RSV
Jesus’ answer was plain, even blunt.
God does not allow divorce.
There’s really no problem at all about knowing God’s will. To be sure, problems and difficulties occur, but from what sinful men do, not from any ambiguity regarding what God commanded!
“What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Divorce is man’s will, not God’s will.
How shocking this truth must have been to the Pharisees who not only allowed, but also practiced, divorce on a colossal scale.
How shocking it is for many today!
People have no trouble knowing the truth on this question, but they do have quite a problem trying to make what they do bear the light of this truth! See Matthew 19:9.
“Our spiritual weapons are mighty before God, effective in the casting down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4,5).
This is not surprising, because the great proliferation of wickedness that led to the Deluge came about because “every imagination” of man’s thoughts was evil, and only evil, continually (Genesis 6:5).
We shall explore this a little further.
Man is naturally inclined to look upon the opposite sex and to stimulate his imagination with the supposed excitement and rapture of illicit love. (This, of course, makes him already guilty in the eyes of God).
There are a few solid facts that should help men to control their carnal imaginations.
Regarding illegal sex, it is death not life.
Look at the Book of Proverbs for some real help here:
Her end is bitter as wormwood …
Her feet go down to death …
Her steps take hold on hell …
Her way is the way to hell …
Going down to the chambers of death …
-Proverbs 5:4-5; 7:27
Sin always promises pleasure, but delivers wretchedness and death!
It promises liberty, but delivers slavery and debauchery.
Sin promises delight, but delivers eternal remorse and sorrow.
In this context, people should remember that “God destined us in love to be conformed to the image of His son” (Ephesians 1:5, RSV).
The plain meaning of this, of course, is that the destiny of every person ever born is that of being a Christian.
That is why God made man, and that alone fulfills the purpose that God intended when any human being was made.
Now, follow this deduction: Would an all-wise supremely intelligent God have made such a being as man in such a manner as to have resulted in any possibility whatever that that God-made being would actually be happier serving the Devil than in serving God?
The positive answer that thunders from the gate of heaven is NO!
It is impossible to suppose such a thing. Therefore, man’s greatest happiness, not only eternally, but in this present life, invariably derives not from his walking in forbidden ways, but in humble submission to the Law of God.
Then seize that ugly imagination by the throat and strangle it!
Far from telling the truth, it is trying to seduce the soul with falsehood and deceit.
All of those glittering allurements with which the imagination is loaded are not truth at all, but abominable lies.
Jesus warned that “the Scriptures cannot be broken” (John 20:35); and although people may fancy that they are indeed breaking the Scriptures.
May it never happen to us!
True Christians are called to set a high and beautiful example in a profligate generation.
Those who are the “called according to His purpose” are indeed luminous in a world of grim and reeking darkness. Theirs is not merely honor, but happiness also.
To do so is to fulfill a noble destiny and to claim fellowship with the Most High.
God help his people to stand for truth and righteousness, regardless of the social climate.