7. You shall not commit adultery / Area: Love
We live in an age where sexual sins are polluting our communities. With this command, God intends to protect the sanctity of marriage. When God made man and woman, in the beginning, the Bible states the following: “God created man in his own image, male and female he created him. And God blessed them and said to them, ‘be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth..” (Genesis 1:27,28). And after God created man He said: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helper for him.” And after He made the woman he said: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:18,24). God instituted marriage and God instituted sex for humanity to enjoy within the bonds of one man and one woman in the covenant of marriage. But the world and the sin of humanity have perverted and polluted the covenant of marriage ever since. We see today that prostitution and promiscuity, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and pornography are freely being practiced and made legal all throughout the world. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says God has made everything beautiful in its time, but man has currupted which God has made. God knows that the intention of the thoughts of his heart is only evil continually (Gen 6:5).
There are many passages in Scripture that warn us to flee from sexual immorality. Our bodies are supposed to be temples of the Holy Spirit. God has made our bodies not for sexual immorality but for Him (1 Corinthians 6:12-19). With this command, God sanctions only sexual activity between one woman and one man in the bonds of marriage. All other sexual activities and desire for sex are forbidden. 1 Corinthians 6:18 commands us: “Flee sexual immorality.” 2 Timothy 2:22 commands us: “Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart.” To have a blessed marriage and live a God-honoring life, God wants us to have a pure heart. Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Happy will we be when we strive for holiness when it comes to sexuality. God warns us in His word that no sexually immoral person, no idolater, nor those who practice homosexuality will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). Jesus went so far as to say: “that whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). If that is how God sees adultery, then we have all fallen short and broken God’s law numerous times. And God said in Hebrews 13:4 “Let the marriage bed held in honor by all, and the bed undefiled: but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
The Heidelberg Catechism tells us what this command teaches:
That all uncleanness is accursed by God, and that therefore we must with all our hearts detest the same, and live chastely and temperately, whether in holy wedlock or in single life. Since both body and soul are temples of the Holy Spirit, He commands us to preserve them pure and holy; therefore He forbids all unchaste actions, gestures, words, thoughts and desires, and whatever can entice men thereto.
If we take this explanation to heart, we see that many things in our communities are evil in God’s sight. Sexually explicit billboards, advertisements, sexual innuendos in movies and programs, etc. are all forbidden by God. In Leviticus 18:1-30 and 20:10-20 God lists many sexual sins that are still applicable for us to flee from and to abhor.
The following sins are forbidden by this commandment:
Adultery: having sexual intercourse with someone who is not your husband or wife
Fornication: having sexual intercourse while unmarried
Promiscuity: having sexual relations with many people
Pornography: writings, pictures or videos intended to stimulate erotic feelings by portraying sexual activity.
Prostitution: a woman, man, teenager or child who offers sexual intercourse for payment
Sexual lust: intense sexual desire
Homosexuality and homosexual behavior: sexual attraction to people of the same sex; having sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex.
Incest: sexual intercourse between very closely related people, in your family e.g. with a father, daughter, uncle, niece, cousin, grandfather.
Bestiality: having sexual intercourse with animals
Voyeurism: getting pleasure from watching others having sex or undressing e.g. on Television or the Internet or in real life.
Exhibitionism: undressing yourself in front of other people to attract attention to yourself and stimulate sexual desire.
Orgies: a wild party, unrestrained sexual activity
Sex with minors: Adults having sex with children
Molestation: Attack or interfere sexually with another person
Rape: having sexual intercourse with someone without his/her consent or permission.
Masturbation: stimulation of the genitals with the hand.
Immodesty: dressing in a way that would stimulate sexual desire from another. Especially regarding woman
Sexual provocative advertisements: advertisements that are intended to stimulate sexual desire e.g. on Billboards, in magazines, newspapers, in the cinemas, on television, etc.
Sexual immorality: includes all sexual activity except sex within the bonds of marriage between one man and one woman.
Flirting: behave in a frivolous amorous (showing sexual love) way towards someone who is not your husband or wife
God said in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you should know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust as the Gentiles do who do not know God….For God has not called us to impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives us the Holy Spirit.”
Reality to consider: Engaging in sexual immorality can result in getting one of over 50 sexually transmitted diseases, some which are incurable, or contracting HIV/AIDS. Galatians 5:6 says: “for the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption.”