RELIGION: ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’

Weekly Devotion

"Thou shalt 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 2:18-25, in which God created woman from man, brought her to the man and instituted and established the lifelong union of marriage between one man and one woman.

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 (cf. Lev. 18). Even a refusal to fulfill one's duties in marriage is contrary to God's intent and design for marriage (cf. 1 Cor. 7:1ff.; Eph. 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, "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. 5:28). He also says, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery" (Matt. 5:32; cf. Mark 10:11-12; Matt. 19:3ff.). And, the Bible clearly teaches: "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (Heb. 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 between one man and one woman and a sexual union only within marriage; and we, as individuals, have also disobeyed and rebelled in our thoughts, desires, words and actions.

Our only hope is in Christ 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 on 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 mercy, forgiveness and life everlasting (cf. Acts 3:19). Only in Him and His blood shed for us on the cross can we sinners find pardon 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 Your heart. Amen.

[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted at [email protected]. More of Moll's devotional writings reflecting the teaching of the Bible may be freely read at Opinions expressed are those of the author.]