Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

07 – Adultery

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This is a series on the “Decalogue” or “Ten Commandments” these are found in the second book of the bible Exodus in chapter 20. Moses receives these words from God on top of the mountain and he receives the commands on two tablets. The first tablet contains the instructions for man’s relationship with God. We pick up the account in the fourteenth verse of chapter twenty where we see the seventh of the Ten Commandments.

 

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

 

Sounds easy huh? That you have marriage and that you should not commit adultery. Let’s look at this in a little further depth.

What is marriage?

God instituted marriage to be between one man and one woman in Genesis two…

Genesis 2:18 (ESV) Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Notice that God made man and woman, not man and man, not woman and woman. God blessed the man by created the woman from the man, she is called woman because she came from the man.

The man was to hold fast to his wife, his wife was to be his help meet and she was to be the object of his affection and desires. Talking about the marriage bed and it is undefiled in the course of marriage. A man who loves, desires, respects, honors and cherishes his wife (remember those words from the wedding day folks?) will stay faithful.

We are to stay faithful because that it the way God made it, one man and one woman. We read this in the book of Proverbs chapter 5…

Proverbs 5:18 (ESV) Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,

Adultery in the Epistles

Paul speaks about this in Galatians chapter five when he speaks of the works of the flesh…

Galatians 5:19 (ESV) Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Paul writes to the Galatians all the things they should avoid, Paul advises that they should be in the spirit and not in the flesh, all of the works of the flesh are listed there and if those sins go unrepentant then they will not inherit the kingdom of God.

It is different nowadays!

I have heard the excuse that it is different today and that it was not like this In biblical times. This of course is nonsense and let’s look at two verses where Jesus deals with people in adultery.

John 4:4 (ESV) And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” 27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him. 31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?”34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” 39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

Jesus was a stranger to this woman but he saw right into her heart and saw that she had been In adultery many times, he had compassion on her and revealed his divine nature to her and it caused many Samaritans to believe in him.

Jesus also dealt with adultery in John 8…

John 8:1 (ESV) but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]

Jesus saw this woman who was caught In adultery and was (according to the Law) about to be put to death by stoning, Jesus has compassion on her and saves her from her sin by asking one simple question.

He then deals with her privately and commands her to change her life and no longer sin. To me that is is a smaller picture of what Christ has done for us, we were in sin, deserved death and we have been saved by Jesus if we truly repent and change.

What did Jesus say about adultery?

Again, just like murder, Jesus talks about adultery in Matthew 5…

 

Matthew 5:27 (ESV) You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

 

Jesus again goes for the jugular with the Pharisees and talks about the heart situation. Simply not acting upon your desires is not good enough; you have to remove that thought, desire or temptation completely out of sight, out of mind and out of your heart. It is a hunger for holiness, simply put have a desire for the wife you have and her only. It is that simple, lust is adultery.

Jesus states that whether you have that dangerous liaison, whether you have not had the courage to do that and simply fantasize or whether you imagine you do what you do with your husband with that actor in your favorite movie, TV show or favorite singer that you call it a “crush” but you secretly lust after and compare your partner too.

That is all the same, it is not fruitful for the marriage and in many cases it either leads to sin or leads to contention when the partner doesn’t measure up to the fantasy. It is all adultery and it is a cancer that eats away at our marriages both Christian and non-Christian.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

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