“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14
While we might commonly think of adultery only in the narrowest sense of being unfaithful to the marriage vow by engaging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage, this commandment of the LORD God really applies to all perversions of – all adulterating of – God’s original design and intent for the marriage relationship described for us in Genesis 2:18ff.
Thus, a person commits adultery when he or she is unfaithful to the marriage vow and has a sexual relationship outside of marriage; but a person also commits adultery through divorce, evil thoughts, pornography, fornication, sexual immorality, homosexuality and any other sexual perversion. Even a refusal to fulfill one’s duties in marriage is contrary to God’s intent and design (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:1ff.; Ephesians 5:22ff.). And, whatever is not in accord with God’s intent and design at creation – the lifelong commitment and union of a man and a woman in marriage – is adultery.
This is why Jesus said, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). He also says, “Whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 5:32; cf. Mark 10:11-12; Matthew 19:3ff.).
And, the Bible clearly teaches: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).
When we consider this commandment, we again see our sins and failures to live up to God’s holy intent and design in creation. In fact, our whole culture is in rebellion against God’s will and design for marriage and a sexual union within marriage; and we, as individuals, have also disobeyed and rebelled in our thoughts, words and actions.
Our only hope is in Messiah Jesus, who kept this commandment perfectly in our stead and then bore our full punishment and won our pardon and release when He suffered and died upon the cross for the sins of the world and rose again on the third day.
He calls upon us all to repent of our evil ways and turn to Him in faith for forgiveness and life everlasting (cf. Acts 3:19). Only in Him and His blood shed for us upon the cross can we sinners find pardon, forgiveness and peace (Cf. 1 John 1:8 – 2:2)!
O dearest Jesus, forgive me for my sins in thought, word and deed. Change my heart to be like Yours. Amen.
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]