Sunday, 26 November 2000 00:00

The Awfulness of Adultery

Exodus 20:14 (KJV)

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

The 1631 edition of the King James Bible came to be known as The Wicked Bible because when it was being compiled the printers left one word out of Exodus 20:14. The word "not" was accidentally excluded and the verse read, "Thou shalt commit adultery." One recent survey proclaimed 45% of all men have had an extramarital affair. Another survey suggests 70% of all men under 40 expect to have an extramarital relationship. 41% of married women admit to cheating on their husbands. Why are so many people finding themselves in the grip of adultery?

  1. Lies About Adultery...
    There are several common myths about adultery that can be corrected with Scripture.
    1. Lie #1—Adultery is harmless to me. Many movies seem to promote adultery as a relatively harmless activity. The English Patient received 12 Oscar nominations for its depiction of adultery between a handsome count and the wife of his best friend and colleague. No harm? The Bible says "the adulterer shall be held with the cord of his sin" (Proverbs 5:22).
    2. Lie #2—Adultery is therapeutic to me. Can adultery revive a dull marriage? No. "Drink waters out of thine own cistern" (Proverbs 5:15). Adultery poisons the marital union.
    3. Lie #3—Adultery is impossible for me."If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1). No person is exempt from temptation, even the "spiritual."
    4. Lie #4—Adultery is the end of me. Not necessarily so. Marriages can be restored. But why go through the pain of seeing a marriage destroyed and then put back together?
  2. Lust Before Adultery...
    Do you really want to protect yourself and your mate from the harm of adultery?
    1. Adultery begins with a sinful heart...
      Jesus said, "I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:27,28). John MacArthur says, "this is not an incidental or involuntary look, but a repeated and intentional gazing" by men or women.
      1. This is why adultery is expected among the lost—their hearts are not regenerate. We are not to be adulterous "as the pagans who know not God" (I Thessalonians 4:5)
      2. This is why adultery is a struggle in our lives—we remember the pleasures of sin. We end up doing the very thing we do not want to do—simply for the pleasure.
    2. Adultery ends with a broken heart...
      God will take his child and teach him that adultery is wrong, and will break him of both the act and the thought. His desire is that "each one of us knows how to take a spouse for ourselves in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the pagans" (I Thessalonians 4:4). Marriage is a covenant—we are called to be people of honor—we keep our covenants. In addition, we are called to live "a cut above" (this is the word "holiness") from others.
      1. God will break you by His word and by His work.
      2. God will heal you by His power and His people.
  3. Lives After Adultery...
    David is a great example of how God can take the person who has violated his vows and use him in great and mighty ways. In some ways a marriage that has been restored after the sin of adultery can be better than before. There is a greater intimacy, a greater transparency, a true sense of love. The scars remain, but the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin.

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