St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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The Commandment: You shall not commit adultery.

This commandment seems to have been forgotten by society today, not just in the unbelieving world, but even in the church. But at the core of this commandment is the same concern as all the rest of the commandments in this table: the welfare and goodwill of the neighbor. But because of the rampant disregard for this commandment, we must also spend a bit more time unpacking it.

The sin of adultery is perhaps the most difficult of sins to face because it is a marketed sin. Sins such as theft and murder aren’t positively promoted in media or society, but adultery is…because it makes a LOT of money and because it is the easiest of sins to promote. In our naturalistic, secularistic world, biology and bodily functions are seen as part of nature and therefore neither good nor evil. The only moral consideration surrounds consensuality, that is, if all people involved in the sexual act are doing it willfully, then its “naturally” good.

Many, many songs have been written over the years promoting adultery. Our teens and children are raised listening to these songs, so they hear, from early on, that sex is little more than a bodily function, an act of recreation, a thing people in love do (married or not) and should be free to do without restriction. Television and media entice children and adults alike to embrace promiscuity, impure thoughts and desires, and to act on those desires without reservation — should the need arise. As some point we should do a study on the “male sexual enhancement” industry and the women’s beauty industry to see how the media and marketing have turned us all into walking ads and use our sexuality for profit.

And because the natural inclination of sin is to always go further and deeper into sin — because sin is never content with simple sinning — we now have a society where children — CHILDREN — are being told they can change their gender, and worse, without anyone’s consent. We cracked the door open to this in the 1960’s with the “sexual revolution,” and now we’re watching the endgame of that horrible dark moment of history. And we’ve not even mentioned the horrific divorce rate in the west, both inside and outside the church.

So, what do we have? Sexual promiscuity among kids, teens, and young adults who are influenced by music and media telling them it’s okay to “experiment” as long as they’re “responsible.” And if those kids/teens aren’t responsible and a child is conceived, then take a pill or have a procedure and end the pregnancy – easy peasy. This sexually loose and “progressive” mentality is taken into adulthood where men and women (or men and men or women and women) live together outside of God’s intent (matrimony), and it’s considered normal or progressive. And marriage…well, only if it’s not an inconvenience or only if it’s not too expensive. This commandment is trampled upon by unbelievers and believers alike, and so few people consider the eternal consequence. It seems people allow their fears, inhibitions, desires, and their passions to rule their faith when it comes to human sexuality.

But it’s not just the physical act but it also dwells in the heart and the eyes. People think lustful thoughts and allow their passions to subdue them. Or they turn on the TV or a page on the internet and tantalize their passions by watching the sexual act performed for them.

As with all the commandments, when we break the sixth commandment, we are hurting our neighbor and causing our neighbor to sin. Let us consider this again: sexual activity outside of marriage, or adulterous behavior in marriage is a sin, and is harmful to the neighbor. Yes, it destroys faith and does not reflect Christ to anyone. It matters not how we justify it. Sex and sexual relationships are meant for marriage, where God placed it from the beginning, and marriage is meant to be one of chastity and respect where husband and wife love and honor each other and hold sacred the marriage bed, where children are held in high esteem, where the unborn are protected, and where family is the cornerstone of a community.

Thus, we must put to death the lies of the Sexual Revolution, and instead encourage our children to marry and to hold sacred God’s gift of marriage and sex. All of the worldly philosophies about “testing the waters” and living together first to “make sure,” these things are not godly, not Christian; Jesus never teaches such things. We must instead encourage our children to live chaste and honorable lives, respecting the opposite sex, learning self-control, and help them discern the difference between the truth of God and the lies of this fallen world, and we must forgive them if and when they sin without encouraging them TO sin.

And for those who can control their bodies and remain celibate, then may they do so and use their time to serve the Lord. But for those who must marry, may it be a blessed and godly marriage between the husband and his wife, one that lasts a lifetime, where forgiveness, mercy, love, commitment, and sacrifice are at the center.

Even so, where divorce occurs, forgiveness is still the champion. Where promiscuity occurs, forgiveness is greater. May we never use forgiveness as an excuse to manifest sinning, but may we hold fast to our Lord’s forgiveness so that should we fall, we have Christ to pick us up, restore us, and help us stand firm.

Prayer: God of marriage and sex, help Your people live lives of chastity and respect toward others so that we do not allow our passions to rule us, but instead live to serve our neighbor with love and godliness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.