Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Don't Look, Don't Touch!

Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery.”

This is pretty clear, right? Any married person having sex outside of that marriage covenant is a clear violation of God’s law. Make no mistake about this. It doesn’t matter how your spouse is treating you, it doesn’t matter if you’ve “fallen in love” with someone else, it doesn’t matter what you want or what you feel - any sexual relations outside of your marriage covenant is wrong!

We live in a society that places little to no value on commitment and way too much value on emotions. Your covenant with your husband or wife wasn’t intended to be based on emotions. Your love - and your fidelity - should be based on what you promised, not what you feel at any given moment.

Adultery is serious. It’s devastating. It destroys lives and tears families apart. It carries from one generation to the next like a disease. Many thousands of men and women, even people who were strong in faith and used mightily by God, have fallen to the sin of adultery...and God hates it!

The consequences of adultery are tragic.

Proverbs 6:32 “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own life.” Do you see that? Adultery destroys your life.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers...will inherit the kingdom of God.“ Adultery keeps you out of the kingdom of God.

Proverbs 6:34 “For jealousy is a husband’s fury; Therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.” There are always consequences of adultery - In this world (with other people) as well as the next (standing before God).

Listen to what Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” There is no question here, God will judge adulterers. Why does He hate adultery so much? Because He intended marriage to mirror His relationship with the church. You see, marriage isn’t a two-way contract - it has three partners. You, your spouse and God. God is always faithful to us, He never fails us. He keeps His promises and His covenant and He expects us to do the same! This is the type of covenant He created marriage to be, faithful and unconditional!

For most people, it’s obvious that going outside of your marriage covenant for sexual gratification is wrong. We can see that there are drastic consequences for adulterers. But what we don’t seem to realize is that God’s command against adultery doesn’t only apply to our actions - it is also binding on our very thoughts. Jesus said this in Matthew 5:27-28: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.“ Wow...Jesus just told us that a lustful look is going to be judged the same way as a physical act!

God has poured out His grace on us and has empowered us to live a godly life. Because of this, He expects us to go further than mere outward obedience. Now He expects obedience from the heart. He expects us to do more than abstain from illegal relations - now He expects us to guard our hearts and our eyes. Job had insight on this even before Jesus came. This is what he said in Job 31:1 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.

There is one more side to adultery that often goes unspoken. This is the spiritual side of adultery. You see, when we were born again, we committed our lives to God. We entered into a covenant of grace, commitment, and loyalty. When we made Him Lord, we made a promise to serve Him exclusively. But so many of us break this promise and go outside of our covenant with God to find satisfaction. We break our commitment and begin to “cheat” on God for the thrills of sin. Listen to what James tells us in his letter: “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.“ Whenever we take God’s plan and passion for our life, and mix it with the way the world does things - we become spiritual adulterers.

While I’m writing this, I know that there will be people who will nod their head and mentally agree with every word - but then go right back to what they were doing before. So listen to this closing statement from Romans 2:22, and take it to heart: “You who say,Do not commit adultery (those of you who agree with everything you’re reading right now),’ do you commit adultery (in action, in thought, or in spirit)?

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