This week we will look at a commandment that has the potential to bring peace to many, however, its frequent violation has brought misery and certainly no peace to many in a lifetime. Satan has so infused his will into society that this commandment can sometimes willfully be ignored in an attempt to justify worldly pleasures.
Seventh Commandment – “You shall not commit adultery”. We are to abstain from sexual immorality (sex outside of marriage) and be chaste in body, mind, passions, speech, and behavior. (1 Thess. 4:3-5; Eph. 4:29; 1 Pet. 3:2). So, what does such a requirement entail that seems so difficult for many to obey? We are to fulfill our family duties, love and live in understanding with our spouses, and enjoy sex within the boundaries of marriage. How miserable it must be to go from day to day not knowing if your lifestyle is stable due to the actions of an unfaithful spouse!
We are to keep good company. (1 Cor.5:9) We are to be modest in dress. (1 Tim.2:9). We are to resist temptations and avoid all occasions of immorality. (Prov. 5:8). It is only too plain today to see that lack of modest dress is an invitation to immorality. So, what are some of the other sins prohibited by the seventh commandment? Such a short commandment is full of potential sin.
> Sexual immorality, sexual promiscuity, and lusts of the flesh. (Eph. 5:5; Rom. 13:13-14).
> Fornication, adultery. (Heb. 13:4; Lev. 20:10; Dt. 22:21-24).
> Rape. (2 Sam. 13:14; Dt. 22:25).
> Incest. (Mark 6:18; 1 Cor. 5:1; Lev. 20:11-12, 14).
> Transgenderness. (Dt.22:5).
> Sodomy or homosexuality. (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27)
> Bestiality. (Ex. 22:19; Lev. 20:15-16).
> Unclean or impure thoughts and affections. (Mt. 15:19; Col. 3:5).
> Speaking or listening to immoral or impure thoughts. (Eph. 5:3-4).
> Looking upon immoral, adulterous behavior. (2 Pet. 2:14).
> Enticement for sexual immorality. (Prov. 7:10-13).
> Polygamy. (Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 7:2).
> Unjust divorce. (Matt. 5:32).
> Desertion. (1 Cor. 7:12-13).
Today many of these activities are not only accepted by society but are approved by a government of men. Some of these activities are even treated as entertainment. Actors portray some of these activities under the guise that they are only acting. Jesus emphasized the internal aspects of this commandment – if we even lust in our hearts or minds we have violated this commandment.
The sanctity of love and covenant are affirmed in the Seventh Commandment. It declares the sacredness of the family relationship. The family is protected by this commandment. Marriage is a God ordained institution, comprised of a loving union between one man and one woman, and intended to last for as long as either is alive. Marriage is designed for the mutual support of the husband and the wife, that they may grow in their spiritual and moral character, and that they would have children and train them in the knowledge and discipline of the Lord. The marriage of certain blood relationships is forbidden. (Mark 6:18; 1 Cor. 5:1; Lev.18:6-18). The Bible even goes so far as to instruct Christians to marry only those of the same faith. (2 Cor. 6-14-15).
Though not part of God’s original plan for man, God allowed divorce because of the hardness of man’s heart. After the fall of man, sin entered the world, thus leading to the potential of extreme unfaithful behavior…physical or spiritual…of the marriage partners. Thus, divorce was allowed, for fornication, or unchastity, or sexual immorality (Matt. 9:9), and desertion (1 Cor.7:8-24). These permissible reasons for divorce have been viewed differently by the church in history, but that is a study unto itself beyond the current subject.
Families are of great importance because they are the chief custodians of children and property, which are two basic aspects of all societies. Whoever controls the property in a nation controls the present; whoever controls the children controls the future. Thus, a free nation relies on the family for stability. The church should and can be the foundation of a strong family. If the family declines, society will decline. The widespread acceptance of adultery reveals the widespread violation of vows, which shows a basic dishonesty within a people, both by those who commit adultery…they violate their word…and by a society that does nothing to stop this…sometimes encouraging it. If this vow or contract is violated, all vows, contracts, and oaths are in danger.
Ephesians 5:21-33 reveals the principles of love, subjection, and service in the marriage relationship. This is not an absolute subjection leading to bondage, but subjection in relation to God’s law-order producing liberty and security. The authority of the husband is to be used to build up his wife and family, just as Christ did for us. Such action would infuse life into the family, and hence, into the society as a whole. Today many of society’s problems can be related to ‘no God’ and ‘no family’.
Next week we will look at the Eighth Commandment, another commandment that is not very long but is so full of do’s and don’ts that can make for a better society and a better life here on earth.
“Socialism is an idea so stupid, that only an intellectual could believe it.” George Orwell