When it comes to the act of adultery, society has placed great disapproval on it but still, it happens quite often. Not only this is a societal stigma, but adultery is objected in terms of moral and religious aspects. In most states of the United States, the act of adultery even has its legal consequences. Looking at its dictionary definition, “adultery (n.) is voluntary intercourse between a married person and someone other than that person’s current spouse or partner”.
We can see that adultery in the eyes of the world is not accepted and not a morally right thing to do. But, how about from the perspective of God?
By taking a look at what the bible says about it, it teaches us that in fact, the physical act of adultery is not accepted by God. We can even see it in different bible verses about adultery.
For those familiar with the 10 commandments, God’s laws given to Moses, the 7th commandment both can be found in Ex 20:14 and Dt 5:18, that “You shall not commit adultery”. From this, we can see from the historical perspective of the bible that in the time of Moses, the people are already committing this act, and God considers this a sin if one disobeys from his law.
Jeremiah 3, Matthew 16
However, in Jeremiah 3, Israel is called to be unfaithful to God and has committed adultery against him, in verse 6. So what God did to her, Israel, was divorced her from all of her adulteries. You might think, is it possible for land to commit adultery and even divorce it? Not only in the old testament, but adultery is also mentioned in the New Testament. In Matthew 16:4, Jesus is talking to a group of teachers of the law about their demand from him to show “a sign from heaven” and he replies how there is a wicked and adulterous generation asking for a sign. Also, if we think deeply, maybe more than the physical act of committing adultery, maybe there is a spiritual connection that God is trying to convey with his word.
Going back to Israel’s adultery, if we read the chapter before that, Jeremiah 2 talks about how the Israelites have forsaken God in exchange for worshipping worthless idols. They made idols out of wood and stone to worship, and instead of worshipping God himself only. Thus, they are those breaking the 2nd commandment of God to “not have any other gods beside him” (Exo 20:3). They continued on worshipping idols instead because of their unbelief to an invisible God. And this is actually not pleasing in God’s eyes and even called it an act of adultery, being unfaithful to him.
In John 4, Jesus was with the Samaritan women and knew that she has had five husbands. You might think, how did Jesus know? Was it because he likes to gossip in his spare time after preaching God’s word? Or maybe there is a deeper meaning behind it? Also, what does it mean for God to divorce Israel?
At this point, it is very important for us to really understand the meaning behind God’s word and even know his thoughts. Even knowing deeper about this subject of adultery in the bible, it is best to do it with people who share the same goal of wanting to understand this subject, rather than doing it on our own and thinking of different possibilities.
Below are a list of additional verses regarding adultery:
- 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
- He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. – Proverbs 6:32, ESV
- And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery. – Matthew 19:9, ESV
- You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. – Matthew 5:27-28, ESV
- Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. – 2 Corinthians 6:18, ESV
- But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. – Matthew 5:28, ESV
- 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, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. – 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10, ESV
- 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 – 1 Corinthians 6:9, ESV
- No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13, ESV
- Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, – Galatians 5:19, ESV
- Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. – Romans 7:3, ESV
- And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” – Luke 18:18-20, ESV
- For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God – 2 Thessalonians 4:3-5, ESV
- But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. – Revelation 21:8, ESV
- It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife.- 1 Corinthians 5:1, 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, ESV
- To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. – 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, ESV
- For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. – Romans 13:9, ESV
- 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, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV
- 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. – 1 Corinthians 6:11, ESV
- However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. – Ephesians 5:33, ESV
- You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’ – Luke 18:20, ESV
- “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” – Exodus 20:17, ESV
- For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, ESV
- Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. – Colossians 3:5, ESV