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Adultery:  What are we to believe about it? 

Gary Googe Dec 08

We find that originally God created one woman for one man.

Genesis 2:21-24 

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 

22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 

23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave [DABAG = adhere] unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. [Emphasis added] 

When divorce was a problem during our Lord’s earthly ministry, He reminded people of this.

Matthew 19:8 

8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. [Emphasis added]

When God gave Israel a system of law by which to live, He forbade them to commit adultery, even making that law a part of The Decalogue [The Ten Commandments].

Exodus 20:14 

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Then later in the second giving of the Law, He gave it to them again.

Deuteronomy 5:18 

18 Neither shalt thou commit adultery.

Under the law God gave Moses and Israel, the penalty for adultery was death.  With so many divorces today where adultery is a part of it, can we even imagine having such a law in place today in America?  And if you think it to be extreme or unjust, bear in mind that it was our absolutely righteous God who put this law in place for Israel.

Leviticus 20:10 

10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. [Emphasis added]

Even though we today are not under the Law given to Moses, the Law reveals to us what God thinks of adultery.  It is to be avoided because it surely is a serious violation of God’s policy for His people.  Aren’t we to work toward pleasing our Lord in all that we do?

Colossians 3:16-17 

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. [Emphasis added] 

What do you suppose God thinks of all the adultery and resultant divorces in America or anywhere today? We have the record of what He thought about it in the nation of Israel.

Again, Leviticus 20:10  

10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. [Emphasis added]

The penalty He instituted for adultery was the same as it was for committing murder and certain other heinous crimes.

Genesis 9:6 

6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. [Emphasis added] 

Please note the wisdom of Solomon on this matter.

Proverbs 6:29 

29 So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. [Emphasis added]

Therefore, if you’re married and thinking of getting a divorce, it is pure foolishness on your part.  If you’re looking for counsel that would advise it as a good solution to an unhappy marriage, you won’t find it in the Bible.

Foolishly thinking there was a way to get around God’s law, we have men in the Bible who instead of getting multiple divorces had multiple wives.  For instance, note that even Solomon, a man who clearly knew better, had multiple wives, even concubines [a woman who lives with a man but has lower status than a wife or wives].

1 Kings 11:3-4 

3 And he [Solomon] had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 

Then we have a statement that clearly shows us the heart of the problem and greater evils that come forth. 

4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. [Emphasis added] 

Even Solomon’s father, David, had multiple wives and concubines.  He certainly didn’t set a good example on this for his son.  In this respect neither one of them serves as a good example for us. 

In my lifetime I’ve conducted numerous marriage ceremonies.  Some of those marriages have turned out well, but others have not.  What’s the difference? Were some just luckier than others? Hardly! The old principle relates to this—If all else fails, follow directions! When there’s conflict, do your best to work it out, creating reconciliation. The other party may not comply, and you can’t always help that.  But be sure you’re not contributing to the problem in one way or another. Today, as it was with Israel, laws have been put in place to provide a way for divorce.  But, again, notice what our Lord said was the cause. 

Matthew 19:7-9 

7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 

8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 

9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. [Emphasis added] 

This “hardness of heart” is, of course, all to do with one’s resistance to the authority of Scripture.  We find that the older resistant people become, their resistance to truth increases all the more.  Sensitivity to truth can eventually become nonexistent.  I see this more and more among the retirees in my neighborhood. They’ve said no to the truths of Scripture so many times that they’ve become practically insensitive to it.  It is this that caused our Lord to make His observation about children. 

Luke 18:15-17 

15 And they brought unto him also infants [BREPHOS = a term for very young children], that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 

16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer [APHIEMI = permit] little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 

17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. [Emphasis added] 

Yes, we need childlike faith when we approach the Scriptures.  We need to acknowledge our ignorance and our great need for enlightenment.  Otherwise, we cannot please God. 

The chief need of a newborn child involves feeding.  In our case we need the milk of the Word. 

1 Peter 2:2 

2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: [Emphasis added] 

Ignorance makes us vulnerable to making all kinds of mistakes that could and should have been avoided.  Such is true with adultery as it is with so many other things. 

Hebrews 5:13 

13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. [Emphasis added] 

It is knowledge and application of the Word of God that makes one wise in one’s decision-making.  It is this wisdom that causes one to avoid the sins of adultery and others.  Hence, it is God who gives us all the resources by which to avoid succumbing to all kinds of temptations. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. [Emphasis added] 

It is God who is always faithful in every respect.  It is from Him that we can gain the power to resist any and every temptation that comes along.  For more information about this, please see my article about it on this website—

Temptation:  How can it be resisted? 


Adultery is actually more the result of a broken marriage than the cause. There are all kinds of crazy things a person may do in their state of unhappiness with a relationship.  But it is from the wisdom of Scripture that we can become wise in our decision-making concerning a multitude of things.  We just have to make a firm decision to learn the truth, make the applications of it, and live a life that’s pleasing to our God and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Colossians 1:9-11 

9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 

10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; [Emphasis added] 

It is in this passage and others like it that you’ll find the guidance you need to avoid adultery and a multitude of other sins that can destroy what could have been a wonderful marriage and a wonderful life.  Knowledge of truth is power.  It can be knowledge used to curse or it can be knowledge used to bless.   

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