“You shall not commit adultery.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. With their idols they have committed adultery, and they have even offered up to them for food the children whom they had borne to me.
When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.”
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 15-19
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Questions to Consider:
1. What does the phrase “commit adultery” mean? What, specifically, does the seventh Commandment prohibit? Exodus 20:14 prohibits one certain sexual sin but doesn’t mention others. Does this mean other sexual sins such as fornication, bestiality, or homosexuality are allowable? Why or why not? What does this teach us about understanding an isolated Bible verse in light of the totality of Scripture?
2. Continuing to remember that the context of the Ten Commandments is God establishing Israel as a nation and setting her apart as His own special people, why would God give Israel the command not to commit adultery? Since God established Israel as a tribal society (things like land inheritance, leadership, and the pedigree of the Messiah were tied to tribe) how would adultery and resulting illegitimate children have impacted the structure of Israelite law, culture, and society? How would a culture of faithfulness to one’s spouse have differentiated Israel from the surrounding pagan nations? How would purity in marriage have been a reflection of God’s purity to the pagan nations?
3. How would you restate the “thou shalt not” of the seventh Commandment as a positive (“Thou shalt _______.)? What are some practical things we can do to guard ourselves and our marriages against adultery? What are some ways the church can help couples, and singles, prevent adultery?
4. Examine the Genesis, Matthew 19, and Hebrews passages. At what point in history did God first emphasize faithfulness in marriage? What did Jesus and the author of Hebrews have to say about keeping marriage pure?
5. What is adultery a metaphor for in the Old Testament according to the Ezekiel and Hosea verses? Who is represented by the husband? The adulterous wife? How is idolatry a form of spiritual adultery? Ephesians 5:22-33 shows us that marriage is a picture Christ’s (the bridegroom) relationship to the church (the bride). According to James 4:4, how might the church (or an individual Christian) commit adultery against Christ?
6. In the Matthew 5 passage, how does Jesus go beyond the mere prohibition of external behavior and zero in on the heart? Why does Jesus focus on the attitude of our heart above external behavior? What do verses 29-30 teach us about taking practical steps to remove things from our lives that tempt us to sin?
7. How is the “lustful intent” Jesus speaks of in Matthew 5:28 at the root of all of the sexual sins in 1 Corinthians 6:9? How is lust a form of coveting and sexual immorality a form of stealing? How is sexual immorality a sin against your own body, while other sins are outside of your body? (18) What is the good news of verse 11? Take a moment to pray and thank God for washing you clean from your sin. How are verses 19-20 a follow up to verse 11? Why, according to 19-20, should we flee sexual immorality (18) and live lives of purity?
Married or single, we all need to glorify God in our bodies and be on our guard against lust, the root of all sexual sin.
This week, pray and ask God to help you identify:
1. Any ways or situations in which you’re tempted to lust. Are there any “eyes” you need to gouge out or “hands” you need to cut off? For example- romance novels you need to get rid of? Men you need to avoid spending time with? Repent of past sin and thank God for His forgiveness.
2. Ways you can proactively glorify God in your body. Maybe you need to dress more modestly or speak more words of encouragement. How can you actively bring God glory by the way you use your body?