Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery
Today I will be talking about the seventh commandment. Many adults place a lot of attention on the importance of warning young people about falling into sexual sin. We are instructed not to visit each other when our parents are not home, we are instructed to stay out of dark and secluded corners, to be back home by a certain time, we can’t even hold a young lady’s hand innocently without judgment and criticism. Right there and then, an adult will come, warning us about falling into fornication and sexual sin.
So today, I was given the privilege to share a message that you don’t hear preached too often. Today I will be addressing the commandment about sexual sin. The sin that adults don’t like to talk too much about, even though it has their name on it.
This is the sin of adultery.
But, why would I need to preach about this commandment. Isn’t it true that all married Adventist men and women are faithful to their marital vows?
I don’t think it’s possible that some of the same adults who warned us young people about fornication are unfaithful to their spouses. No that’s impossible… or is it?
It is with a very heavy heart that I have to report that Adventist adults commit adultery. To make it even worse, many pastors, elders, and church leaders are chief of sinners.
However I am not here to cast judgement, because that belongs to the Lord. I’m here to make us aware that it is a problem and that there is a solution, and that solution is Jesus, even for the man or woman who is caught with their pants down, in adultery.
Let Us pray.
In Judges 6:23 Gideon was face to face with the angel of the Lord, he was terrified and feared for his life. But the Lord said “Thou shalt not die”, “Thou shalt not die”. Was this a commandment? Thou shalt not in this context was a promise, It was a promise to Gideon that you have been chosen by God and you will not die. There are many other examples like this in the bible where “Thou shalt not” is used as a promise.
We can look at Exodus 20:14 in the same way. The 7th commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery." becomes a promise instead of God telling you what not to do. If we read it like a promise, it sound like God is saying: “I have chosen you, and you will not commit adultery”. It is a promise that God’s chosen people are called to a different standard than the world. The chosen people of God are royalty and live a life that reflects the character of God.
God promises that we will not commit adultery, we will have no desire to commit adultery. There is only one condition, it is that, by faith believe that His promise is true. He will then give us the grace and strength to live out this promise.
Marriage at creation
In the beginning, God created marriage in the garden of Eden. Marriage is a glimpse into the covenant relationship God has made with us. Ephesians 5:25 says “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”. Jesus’ love for us, his church, was so strong that he gave up his life to save us. Nothing less is expected in a husband and wife relationship.
During the time of ancient Israel, whenever the nation would turn away from God and worship the foreign idols, God would call Israel an adulteress. God had made an everlasting covenant with Israel where he promised to bless them and make them a great nation. In spite of this, Israel would still fall for idols made of sticks and stones.
This same problem exists today in marriages. Many married men and women leave their good good spouses to pick up old sticks and stones. Many sacrifice their faithful and loving Christian husband for a sweet talking man with little extra dollars or a six pack and nothing else.
Godly proverbs 31 wives are forsaken for women with little to offer more than cleavage in a tight top. The devil deceived Israel to trade blessings for cursing, let’s not make the same mistake.
Adultery is such a serious a disrespect to the marriage vows that it is the only biblically valid reason for a divorce.
Ellen G. White in the Book Patriarchs and Prophets
Chapter 27 p308 says
The seventh commandment forbids not only acts of impurity, but sensual thoughts and desires, or any practice that tends to excite them. Purity is demanded not only in the outward life but in the secret intents and emotions of the heart. Christ, who taught the far-reaching obligation of the law of God, declared the evil thought or look to be as truly sin as is the unlawful deed.
This quote reveals that the act of adultery starts in the mind. James 1:15 says: "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
To prevent adultery you need to guard the avenues of your soul. You might condemn adultery but love to watch it in your favourite TV shows. You may sit and listen to your friend talk about their relationship with a married man, or a married man talk about his side chicks. You must nip it at the bud, walk away or tell them to SHUT UP, or else it could bear fruit in your own lives.
Even though I promised that this sermon was for adults, I want to drop in a bit of advice for us young people. A life of fornication can lead to a life of adultery. If we cannot control our desires with God’s help now, we might struggle to control them when we are married. We too as young people need to guard the avenues of our soul and even though we cannot commit adultery with our spouse, we can commit adultery with God when we follow after the ways of the world.
Even though adultery is rampant in our society and even in our church, I am going to give you 5 tips to prevent adultery.
But before I give these 5 valuable tips, I want to remind you that if God could not prevent Israel from committing adultery, you cannot prevent your spouse from committing adultery. These tips I will share will tell you, how to help yourself, from falling into adultery. Since marriage is a symbol of God’s loving relationship with us, these tips will work in your spiritual life as well. It is impossible for to be walking with God and commit adultery against your spouse.
How to prevent Adultery from God and your Spouse
1. Practice Daily Loving Affirmation. Tell God and your spouse how much you love them. When you wake up in the morning, practice telling God and your spouse how grateful you are to have them in your life. When you are around others, let everyone know the name of your spouse and Jehovah. Testify and tell them something nice God and your spouse did for you.
2. Spend quality time together with God and your spouse. Find out about their history, the things that make them happy or sad. Share the details of what happened in your day. Talk about your dreams and aspirations. Tell them your fears and your secrets. Pray together, a family that prays together, stays together.
3. Give gifts to God and your spouse. Find out what they like and appreciate, then make the effort to deliver. You may have heard your spouse speak passionately about a hobby, or a type of clothing, or vacation to special place, make the dream a reality. The best gift you could offer God is a broken spirit and a contrite heart.
4. Show acts of service to God and your spouse. For your spouse, deliver breakfast in bed, fix the broken door, do the laundry, take the kids out for the day, give a day-off from chores. For God, He says whatever you do to the least, you do to Him. Seek out the needs of one of his needy children, help an old person with tasks, donate to a charitable cause.
5. Finally we can touch, daily give our spouse an embrace. Hugs and kisses for no reason. Hold hands, sit beside each other when at the same event, a foot massage after a long day. Since we cannot physically touch God, we can touch the lives of His children. Many people have been forgotten or written off by society. Show them that there is a God who cares by caring for their needs. Show compassion to people, just like Jesus touched and healed while he was on earth.
If we follow those five tips, with the help and grace of God, we are sure to prevent adultery in marriage and our walk with God. Amen.