7th Commandment: Do Not Commit Adultery (Exodus 20:14)
Adultery: Taking someone else’s spouse (or allowing oneself to be taken) whether in action or thought. Again, this commandment seems straightforward, but there are also deeper meanings.
OT Perspective: God made a covenant with His people, one to take most seriously as a marriage. Time and time again, they broke that covenant, yet God showed mercy. He had to continually send them judges, prophets, and teachers to turn them back to Him. There will come a time when each person in the house of Israel will know God and will have no need to be taught of their God who has always been a husband to them. (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
Isaiah 54. God affirms his role as Redeemer and husband of His people—His holy city.
Jesus’ teaching: Matthew 5:27-30…lust is the same as adultery. Cut off anything that may make me sin! Matthew 19:3-12…divorce and remarriage is adultery. Better not to marry in the first place. Whatever we do should be for the purpose of the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, it can be concluded that our commitment to God and His kingdom supersedes all else. To be distracted from this is adultery.
Paul points out that God has not cast away His people Israel, but now the Gentiles have been grafted into the holy “tree.” (Romans 11:1-16) God’s desire is that His people would turn to Him by jealousy, if necessary. Now we who are not descended from Israel should also be careful to “stand by [our] faith” else we be cut off from the tree even though we have been grafted in (vss. 19-21).
Ephesians 5:22-33…The marriage relationship is a picture of Christ and the Church. Wives should be subject to their husband because the church is to be subject to Christ. Husbands should love their wives because Christ loves the church and wants us to be presented to Himself spotless. Husband leaves father and mother—there should be no more attachment to previous life.
James 1:27—what matters is keeping oneself unstained by the world. We are in the world and should be interacting with people ("orphans and widows”—those with whom we have something to share). However, we should be different, separate—holy.
Jude 1-4—Kept for Christ. We belong to Him; therefore, keep with the faith. No License to sin.
Revelation 19:1-8—there will come a judgement on the “harlot”—someone or something which has worked against God’s work with His people—“bondservants.” At the wedding supper of the Lamb, the church is described as His bride and it will be given her to clothe herself with fine linen, which is the “righteous acts of the saints.” Not all the imagery makes sense to me right now, but we can clearly see that “righteous acts” are expected of us while we wait for this day. So let’s be careful not to be distracted from being ready for that day.
This is the blog of Tyler Shepard, the Associate Pastor for Centre Union Church in Yeagertown, PA.
I hope you are encouraged and challenged to walk more closely with Jesus Christ!