WSC Q&A #70

Q: Which is the seventh commandment?
A: The seventh commandment is, you shall not commit adultery
Matthew 5:27–28 “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.”

Marriage is one of the most sacred institutions God has given mankind. When God created Adam and saw that he was alone, for the first time in his creation-work he said, "it is not good". This is because God created man in the image of God, and to bear the image of God means that we are relational, just as God is relational. We were created for fellowship and union with not only God, but also with each other. Marriage is one way in which the image of God is expressed in our relationships. 

Because of this, we need to have a broad understanding of what adultery is. It is not simply sexual unfaithfulness within the marriage relationship. It is anything  that perverts, twists, rips out of context anything that belongs to marriage alone. We'll talk more about this in the coming weeks as we look at what the commandment requires, and what it forbids.

This is another hard commandment, particularly as we realize that adultery goes far beyond simply having extra-marital affairs. But if we are united to Jesus Christ, then we know that the image of God is being renewed in us, and part of what that means is that the Holy Spirit is restoring us and making us more like Jesus every day. Because of this, these laws, these commandments, they no longer become a burden that condemns us, but rather, they are seen as God's good design. They are part of his love and care for us as he reveals what is best for us and how we can best enjoy his good gifts. They also become a joy and an encouragement as we seek to live lives of gratitude in the service of our great God, who has forgiven all of our transgressions-past, present, and future-for the sake of his Son Jesus Christ.

Posted on May 3, 2016 .