What do Christians Believe About Adultery?

By: Abu Atallah; ©2000
Looking at society in the West, you might be confused as to whether the Christian God says anything about adultery. Abu Atallah explains why western society is not a good mirror of what God says, and what the God of the Bible does say regarding adultery.?

Dear Friend: Thank you for your question.

This reminded me of a Muslim friend who given a Bible to read. After reading the following passage he said, “I did not think that Christianity and Jesus spoke very strongly against adultery. As I observe what is happening in the profane, blasphemous, Christian West, I wondered if the Bible did say anything about adultery.”

Despite what we see on the movies, which come primarily from the West, about sex and violence, it is by no means representative of the Christian view. There are many people in the West who do not believe in the Bible or Christianity. They might have Chris­tian names, but they do not adhere to the Bible teachings and moral codes. I hope you understand that not all the people in the West are Christians, because they are not. It is the same with Muslims. Not every Muslim is a true Muslim. Thinking of the West as being Christian countries is not correct. Actually what you see happening in the West is contrary to norms and moral codes.

Now let us find out what the Bible says about adultery. One of the Ten Commandments in the Torah says in Exodus 20:14: “You shall not commit adultery.” Jesus said this in the Injiel in Matthew 5:27-30:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

It is very important to see from this passage that adultery starts before the act itself. It starts when you have the wrong thoughts. Even if witnesses do not see you commit adul­tery, in the eyes of God you have committed adultery with your eyes, thoughts, as well as your heart. The Bible says, in very strong terms, it is better to pluck your eye out than cause the whole body to go to hell.

Another passage in the Bible that confirms this is Mark 7:20-23:

He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’”

It is very important to realize here that outward cleanliness is not enough. Washing up or bathing is not enough. We need to be clean from the inside as well as the outside.

Galatians 5:16, 24-25 says: “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature…. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

David sinned and committed adultery. He thought as long as there were no witnesses he can get away with it. But God sent him the prophet Nathan to confront him. God saw him, even though people did not. When he was confronted with his sin, these were his words: (2 Samuel 12)

The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. Now a traveller came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveller who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him. David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.” Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! …” Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”

As you read this passage, you can see how David, with his own sense of justice, condemned himself to death. He sinned against God. Because God is holy he will not tolerate his children to be unholy.

Christians, we need to keep their thoughts and actions clean. David realized this after he sinned and he said the following prayer (Psalms Zabour] 51:10): “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Till we meet again friend.

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