THE DESTRUCTIVE POWER OF ADULTERY
Exodus 20:14 (NKJV)
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
Humans are sexual beings! Scientists tell us that our sex drive is virtually equal to our will to live. This is not a bad thing. We are this way because God has made us this way. He designed man with a sexual desire. When God made man, His first command to mankind was for them to multiply. Now, we all know how human reproduction is carried out.
Therefore, we find that God has made man a sexual being. However, our sexuality has been corrupted by sin! God’s plan is for the sexual relationship to be between the husband and his wife only. Any other form of sexual expression, outside of that marital relationship, is sinful! This is the very area addressed by this 7th Commandment.
When we think of adultery, we automatically think of a man being unfaithful to his wife. Yet, this Commandment is far broader than just this. I personally believe that it encompasses the entire realm of human sexual experience. Any sexual expression outside the confines of the marital relationship is a sin against God!
Now, we would all have to admit that we live in a time when sexuality, and the expression of it, are rampant in our modern society. Sex is found on the television, on internet, in magazines, on billboards etc. You name it, in this society, sex sells and it seems to be what people like, because no one stands against the tide of blatant sexual expression that is all around. If our society were somehow found by researchers from a distant time, they would without doubt agree that this is a society obsessed with sex!
When Jesus Christ was on the earth, He looked at His culture and labeled it, “an adulterous and sinful generation.” (Mark 8:38) If He were to speak to our day, what would He say about 21st Century modern world today?
Some may ask, “Preacher, is this preaching material relevant today?” My answer would be, “Yes!” We live in a world where more than 50% of all men say they have committed adultery outside of marriage.
(Ill. That is just the number that will admit to it! Researchers estimate the nearly two-thirds of all married men will commit adultery before the age of 40.) 41% of married women also say they are guilty of this sin. Is it relevant? “Yes!” Because the statistics are just as bad for the church!
Christianity Today did a random sampling of 1000 subscribers and questioned them on the matter of Adultery. 45% said they had acted inappropriately and 23% said they had committed adultery. It is relevant because it has a negative effect on our young people. One-fifth of youth lose their virginity before the age of 13! It is no wonder that AIDs, viruses, sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies are on the increase. It can all be traced back to a lack of morality and standards at home! When children see their parents living immoral lives, it sends the massage that sexual immorality is good and acceptable.
Billy Graham, in a recent survey, found that 40% of youth in Bible believing, evangelical churches were sexually active. He also found that 60% of single adults in these churches were not only sexually active, but over half reported having multiple partners!
I want you to know tonight that God is still against adultery! He still hates it and is still punishing those who are guilty of it this evening. I would like for us to take a few minutes to study this sin called adultery and see that it is a sin not just against your spouse, but that it touches every area of your life.
Adultery is a very destructive sin, allow me to show you how! Adultery is a sin against:
I. YOUR SPOUSE
Adultery does incredible damage to one’s spouse!
A. When a man and woman marry, they become one flesh. (Gen. 2:24.) When one of the partners joins with a person outside that marriage contract, they have broken that bond and have joined with another – 1 Cor. 6:16
B. Adultery says to the innocent spouse, “You weren’t good enough for me.” Adultery has the power to destroy the self-esteem of the innocent victim.
C. Adultery destroys trust! Innocent spouse will have a hard time ever trusting the other spouse!
D. Perhaps this is why Jesus gave an escape clause in cases of sexual Immorality – Matt. 19:3-9.
E. The marriage must be “adultery proofed!” How is this done? By giving heed to the command given by Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 7:1-5.
F. Adultery is also an attack at one’s children! (Ill. David’s children followed in his footsteps. Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar. Absolom took his father’s concubines unto himself. Sexual immorality has a way of filtering down to the children.)
One’s spiritual influence is also compromised when we stooped to committing adultery. Children lose respect for a parent that destroys the family over illicit and indecent sexual pleasures.
II. YOUR SELF
Adultery does incredible damage to one’s self!
A. Adultery, among believers, is the result of being in a back-slidden condition. Then, once that line is crossed, the enemy will continue to attack in that area. Doing it the second, third, fourth times will not be as hard because the will has been softened and one’s guard is let down.
B. Many people are guilty of adultery even though they have never had sexual relations with another person. Jesus wants us to know that adultery is as much a matter of heart and mind as it is of the flesh – Matt. 5:28. (So called “girl watching.” Pornography, sexual fantasies, etc. All lead to adultery of the heart and make a person just as guilty as physical adultery!).
C. There will be a terrible price to pay for crossing that line – Pro. 6:26-29; 32-33.
D. Committing adultery will destroy your Christian witness and testimony. (Ill. The televangelists and others we have heard of here in our own area and generation.) When you commit adultery, just try to tell a sinner how he can be saved? Near impossible! Ill. Prophet Nathan’s words to King David still ring true today, 2 Sam. 12:14.)
E. How can a person guard themselves? Adopt the attitude of the Psalmist – Psa. 100:3, (Ill. Just ask David what happens when you allow your eyes to wander – 2 Sam. 11-12). Notice what Job said about this issue – Job 31:1-11. We are to guard our eyes, our flesh and our mind. If we put the right stuff in, we will get the right results in return – Phil. 4:8.
F. In our world, it is hard to avoid sexual stimulation. Therefore, we are to be on our best guard at all times!
III. YOUR SOCIETY
A. As goes the family, so goes the society. When we see the family unit being destroyed, we come to see that our society as a whole is in danger of collapsing. In fact, every great empire that has fallen has done so as the result of sexual immorality! Is America and the western countries next? It all depends on what we do with our sexuality!
(Ill. Immorality, homosexuality, etc, abound in our days. We need to turn the tide and doing so demands that it begin in my home and yours. We need to covenant together and vow to God that we will guard our homes and our lives against these evil sins.)
B. Immorality in the life of a member of the church can tarnish the entire work of God. Notice, 1 Cor 12:26; 1 Cor. 5:6. Do not think that your sin is a private thing, just a little affair that you can hide when you please. In truth, it is a sin, it is adultery and it tarnishes the name of the church and destroys our ministry in the community!
C. Adultery is such a sin against society that G. Campbell Morgan said, “The adulterer is the enemy of the state. My personal persuasion is that it is an act of treason to the state to allow adulterers and adulteresses to go free and unpunished. The greatness of a people depends upon the purity and strength of the people, and in every nation where the marriage relation is violated with impunity the virus of death is surely and certainly at work.” I agree with that statement!
D. God’s desire is that this type of behavior never find manifestation among His people – Eph. 5:3.
IV. YOUR SAVIOR
A. Of all the reasons for not committing adultery this is the greatest! (Ill. Joseph in the OLD TESTAMENT – Gen. 39:9) If you are saved, you will want to please the Lord and nothing displeases Him more than to see His children committing adultery. Sadly, this which should be our greatest reason for cleanliness in this area is often the very last one we consider.
B. God, however, has considered it and has made several statements concerning adultery.
1. Adultery was considered the “great sin” – Gen. 20:9; Gen. 39:9.
2. Adultery was punishable by death – Lev. 20:10. He will still deal with it today – Pro. 6:23-35. (Ill. Eph. 5:1-7; 1 Cor. 6:9-10)
3. Adultery destroys that which was created to be the most visible and closest approximation of God’s relationship to His people, marriage – Eph. 5:22-23.
(Ill. The Song Of Solomon – Many would remove it from the Bible. They feel that it portrays vivid sexual acts. It does! But, they are between husband and wife and therefore they are good and pleasing to the Lord.)
4. God’s prohibition against adultery was not to ruin man’s fun, it was to protect the home which He had established – Exo. 20:14!
C. When a Christian commits adultery, the cause of Christ is hindered and the Name of Jesus Christ is dragged down. Our duty is to be as sexually pure as we can be. We are to avoid any activity that may fuel passion and lead to adultery.
What can we do to avoid the trap of adultery?
There are five steps which can be taken that will safeguard your life against this horrible sin.
1. Walk With God – Gal. 5:16 – If we are doing this daily, we will have the defense and ammunition available to be able to stand when temptation arises – Eph. 6:10-17.
2. Avoid Sexual Suggestive Activities. Remember the words of Psalm 100:3. Never allow your eyes to behold things that will cause you to stumble. Keep a clean life!
3. Avoid Flirty Relationships – Stay far away from the person who is flirty, watch out for that “friendship” which could lead to other things. Beware that you never just “play around” with someone who is not your spouse! Often, simple flirtation leads to big time adultery! No one just wakes up one day and says “I think I’ll go out and commit adultery today.” It is always the result of things building up on top of other things that leads to that point. If you can stay from those little and small things, the big one will never happen to you!
4. Count The Cost – Take a minute to look at the incredible damage that can be done to your spouse, your Lord, your children and your own life. Nobody, however great the physical body it may be, is worth what you can potentially lose in the end!
5. Love Your Mate Only – Proverbs 5:15-21.
If it is too late and you are guilty of committing adultery, there is hope and forgiveness in the blood of Jesus. He promises us in 1 John 1:9 that He will forgive all our sins when we confess them to Him. Maybe it hasn’t gotten that far, but you are guilty of flirting and doing things that you know are dangerous. Jesus Christ will forgive that also! Maybe your sin is a secret one, you look at pornography and other sexually explicit materials, or watch and read things that you know cause you to lust in your heart. Jesus Christ will forgive that too.
Whatever the need, remember, Jesus loves you and He will make it right!
“Thou shalt not commit adultery!”