Friday, June 14, 2013

Adultery



We are facing challenges economically, morally, spiritually and politically. People, including unbelievers, are asking, "Where is God?" In times like these, it is vitally important that we are vigilant in reaching out in love with the Truth of Christ—not just here, but around the world.
We are living in an age where sin is portrayed as a mere illness of the body or mind; when sin is denied or laughed off, when sin is rationalized as merely doing one's own thing, or doing what comes naturally. But a belief in the Holy God and respect for the authority of his word demands that adultery be recognized and acknowledged for what it is . . . sin.

The seriousness of the sin of adultery can be seen in several ways. Under the law of Moses the penalty was death by stoning. (Deuteronomy 22:21 ff, John 8:4,5). Again, the only ground that God gave for divorcing one's mate was sexual immorality. He said, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery. And whosoever marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery" Matthew 5:32. But the seriousness of adultery is seen most clearly in the eternal punishment of those who commit the sin. An impenitent adulterer cannot go to heaven. Ephesians 5:5 says: " "No whoremonger, no unclean person hath an inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God." And in Colossians 3:6, we are told that because fornication, uncleanness, and inordinate affection, the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience.

What is adultery? Technically there are differences in the original Biblical language as there is in the English between adultery and fornication, but as used in this brief study, adultery is illicit sexual intercourse between married or unmarried persons. God has graciously provided -for the sexual desires of men and women to be satisfied only in marriage and to engage in pre-marital, or extra-marital sex, before or outside of marriage is to sin in God's sight. It should be made clear, however, that the sin of adultery, as serious in God's sight, and as hateful as it -is to those who commit it, it is forgivable! The story of Jesus and the woman who was taken in adultery (John 8) shows that adultery may be forgiven when God's conditions of pardon are met.

 And the LORD said to Moses, "Give the following instructions to the people of Israel.

"Suppose a man's wife goes astray, and she is unfaithful to her husband and has sex with another man, but neither her husband nor anyone else knows about it. She has defiled herself, even though there was no witness and she was not caught in the act. If her husband becomes jealous and is suspicious of his wife and needs to know whether or not she has defiled herself, the husband must bring his wife to the priest. He must also bring an offering of two quarts of barley flour to be presented on her behalf. Do not mix it with olive oil or frankincense, for it is a jealousy offering—an offering to prove whether or not she is guilty"   (Numbers 5:11-15)

This test for adultery served to remove a jealous husband's suspicion. Trust between a husband and wife had to be completely eroded for a man to bring his wife to the priest for this type of test. Today priests and pastors help restore marriages by counseling couples who have lost faith in each other.

Trust is a fundamental bond in a marriage. Without it, the couple has little reason to invest themselves in it. The marriage will simply unravel. This test served to re-establish trust and prevent the marriage from breaking apart.

A thousand forces can tear at a marriage's unity. Husbands and wives should work to strengthen the bond of trust in marriage. Oftentimes, building trust is a matter of practicing trust—being vulnerable, voicing needs or fears, inviting help, listening. Sometimes these are risks. But if they feel risky, then that's evidence that there's a lack of trust. Habits of trust are practiced. Good patterns develop only by repeatedly choosing to do these hard things.

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. ... (1 Corinthians 7:1-40)

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4 ESV)

For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.( Ephesians 5:5)

For many people, even for many Christians, the grass always seems greener somewhere away from one's own spouse. The world used to take adultery seriously, but how things have changed. The tabloids and TV chat shows send the message that adultery is -- well, normal. "Everybody's doing it" becomes a moral guideline, pushing aside that rather blunt statement in the Ten Commandments:

Do not commit adultery.

Are there forces tearing your relationships? It might be a marriage or a relationship with a friend or family member. Restoring those relationships may require you to take a risk. Whether you were wronged or you are at fault, what can you do to begin the process of rebuilding that relationship?
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We are living in an age where sin is portrayed as a mere illness of the body or mind; when sin is denied or laughed off, when sin is rationalized as merely doing one's own thing, or doing what comes naturally. But a belief in the Holy God and respect for the authority of his word demands that adultery be recognized and acknowledged for what it is . . . sin.

The seriousness of the sin of adultery can be seen in several ways. Under the law of Moses the penalty was death by stoning. (Deuteronomy 22:21 ff, John 8:4,5). Again, the only ground that God gave for divorcing one's mate was sexual immorality. He said, "Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery. And whosoever marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery" Matthew 5:32. But the seriousness of adultery is seen most clearly in the eternal punishment of those who commit the sin. An impenitent adulterer cannot go to heaven. Ephesians 5:5 says: " "No whoremonger, no unclean person hath an inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God." And in Colossians 3:6, we are told that because fornication, uncleanness, and inordinate affection, the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience.

Adultery is the complete corruption of God’s good creation of marriage. Through the sin of adultery, Satan tempts us to seek sexual fulfillment in avenues other than the one God has ordained—within the bounds of monogamous, heterosexual marriage. Adultery rips at the fabric of society because it tears apart marriages and families which are the building blocks of society. God’s law in general, and the 7th commandment in particular, is held up as the standard for Christian behavior.

This is not the time to fall into temptation, lose hope or give up. This is the time for God's people to redouble their efforts. This is the time to reach out in the name of Christ. This is the time to repent and rebuild what has been damaged by sin and neglect.


Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju



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