General references to Ex 20:14 Le 20:10 Job 24:15 Mt 5:27 19:9 Rom 7:3 1 Cor 6:9 2 Pet 2:14
Adultery is the name given to a sexual relationship by a married person with someone other than his or her legal spouse.
The most notorious case in the OT is that of David, 2 Sam 11:2-12:25.
Adultery is a sin against both God and other human beings, Gen 20:6 Ex 20:14.
Adultery breaks the great commandment to love one’s neighbour, Rom 13:9.
Adultery is the expression of an attitude of the heart, Mt 5:28-29.
Adultery is the separation of those whom God has joined together, Mt 19:6.
Remarriage after divorce is considered adultery, Mt 19:9 Rom 7:3, except in the case of unchastity on the part of one of the partners, #Mt 19:9.
Impurity of thought, word and deed is forbidden, Mt 5:27-30 Eph 5:5.
Each of us needs to learn self-control in the area of sexual behaviour, for the body is to be kept pure, 1 Thess 4:4-5 1 Cor 6:15,19.
Hosea brings out the pain of adultery from his own experience. It is not clear whether whether Gomer was already a prostitute when Hosea married her, or became so afterwards. Nor is it clear whether she was a ‘street prostitute’ or a ‘temple prostitute’. What is apparent is that Hosea uses his own sad relationship to illustrate the spiritual adultery of Israel with foreign Gods. Adultery represents faithlessness in human relationships on a par with faithlessness in the relationship between God and man.
One of the tragedies of faithlessness by a marriage partner is that it produces in those affacted a distrust and a suspicion which may make it difficult for them to develop deep and lasting relationships with other people and with God.
The problem is that many people today engage in a relationship on the basis of romantic love, with little regard to faithfulness. People need to learn again that, given a choice between romance and faithfulness, the latter is worth far more.
What of those who have committed adultery? Are they forever barred from the kingdom of God? See the long list of sins catalogued in 1 Cor 6:9-11, and Paul’s comment: ‘and such were some of you.’ See also Jn 8:1-11: ‘Neither do I condemn you … Go now and leave your life of sin.’ The door to heaven is open to every penitent sinner.
‘The Christian Church has often emphasised the sins of the flesh out of all proportion to the sins for which our Lord reserved his most extreme judgement – the sins of pride, arrogance, indifference, bigotry. It is possible, alas, to be an upright, pure sexually-continent, well-respected man and yet to have the harlots and the publicans go into the kingdom ahead of you.’ (Blanch, The Ten Commandments)
Hilde Houlding, coordinator of the Calgary Family Service Bureau’s counseling division, describes an affair in this way:
‘An affair is often an attempt to find a little bit of paradise on the side, pursuing the belief that if one just finds the right sexual partner there will be instant happiness and everything will fall into place. An affair is often able to fulfill this myth until it itself becomes a relationship that has to be worked at and looked at in a long-term light.’
Seen in this way “paradise” soon becomes a prison.