The Bible says we are not to commit adultery, yet, sadly, we know approximately 70% of all marriages include at least one affair. The commandment regarding adultery couldn’t be more clear -- there is no possibility for misunderstanding unless one is trying to rationalize their bad behavior. We’re all sinners they say, so adultery is no better or worse than the other commandments -- as if that somehow will lessen their judgment -- and allow them into a heavenly eternity with the One they openly rebel against. But light and darkness cannot exist in the same space, and there is no greater Light than the Lord, and no greater earthly darkness than adultery. That’s why adulterers go to such great lengths to hide what they’re doing -- they know from both a secular and spiritual perspective that what they are doing is so very wrong. But most don’t turn from their weakness. Instead, they offend the Lord, and then try and diminish the offense by saying and/or, by their actions, suggesting that adultery is “just” another sin -- and the sins of Christians, even if continued, will be forgiven. That position is biblically unsustainable, and treats the blood of Christ as a common thing, something God will not abide.
First, let’s state the obvious. At the least, not committing adultery is one of ten things the Lord found most important to those who claim His name. The Ten Commandments are special by design, so we ignore them at our own risk.
Next, God goes out of His way to make clear that adultery is a special crime against His holiness, as it is one of the few sins that by and of itself disqualify us from heaven. This is a sobering fact revealed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV). “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Equally important, 1 Corinthians 6:18 says, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” The use of the word “every” is important, because it defines what we’re talking about. Contextually, fornication and adultery are the “only” sins that take place inside our very being. Then the Word goes on to say that when we engage in such acts we are not only sinning against God, but against ourselves.
As bad as that is, the next verse in Corinthians ups the ante. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit [who is] in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” Adultery is also a sin against the Holy Spirit, and that’s a sin that will not be forgiven. “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy [against] the Spirit will not be forgiven men.” (Matthew 12:31) Blasphemy being dictionary defined as “irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable.” A clear definition of adultery.
Still have doubts? Proverbs 6:32 says, “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He [who] does so destroys his own soul.”
Let’s review the bidding. When we commit adultery we are disqualifying ourselves from eternal life with our Savior -- are sinning against our own bodies -- are fouling the home of the Holy Spirit, and in doing so committing a sin that will not be forgiven -- and in the process killing our very soul.
No serious person who makes an effort to understand the intent of the Word can ever again refer to adultery as “just” another sin. We can’t, because God doesn’t.
Society has turned adultery into a ho-hum, everyday acceptable reality. That’s what happens when a culture decides to live outside rules made by our loving God for the sole purpose of protecting His creation from self-inflicted harm. Yet instead of living by His standard, we’ve lowered the standard to make acceptable what He says is not acceptable.
Rhetorically, what kind of father would God be if He didn’t warn us of the consequences of our actions?
We all have choices to make. Almost all are tempted. But God has the answer. “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest [your] hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, [as] in your ignorance; but as He who called you [is] holy, you also be holy in all [your] conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:13-16)
Edward Mrkvicka is a lay minister and counselor, and life-long Bible student. His religious writings have been awarded Best Christian Book of the Year, Best Christian Study of the Year, named a National Best Book Awards finalist, and a winner in the Christian Choice Book Awards. He has also been awarded the prestigious Faith Writers Seal of Approval. His efforts on behalf of families, understanding adultery, and the devastating effect of divorce on children has earned him a United States Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. His newest book, No Innocent Affair: Making Right the Wrong of Adultery, is available at Amazon.com.