July 19, 2015
Part of the chapter that I wanted to focus on is verse number four where the Bible reads marriage is honorable and all and the bed undefiled but whoremongers and adulterers, God will judge. Then, I don’t want to preach on the subject of adultery.
Now, if you would flip back to Leviticus chapter number 20, Leviticus is the third book of the Bible. Leviticus chapter number 20, the book that many people in 2015 love to hate unfortunately although it contains one of the most famous statements in the entire Bible, Leviticus 19 says, “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” One of the most famous passages and the one that Jesus said is the second greatest commandment and the law and it’s only found in one place, Leviticus 19.
Of course, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. It is profitable for doctrine. The Bible says in Leviticus chapter 20, verse 10, “If the man that committed adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committed adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” The reason that I take you to that verse in Leviticus is just to show you the seriousness of the sin of adultery. That verse right there shows you how serious this is.
Flip over if you would to Revelation chapter two. You say, “Well, that’s how God felt about it in the Old Testament,” but look how serious it is in the New Testament. Of course, God said marriage is honorable and all and the bed undefiled but whoremongers and adulterers, God will judge. Here was the situation of adultery in a church in Revelation chapter two beginning in verse 20 where the Bible reads, “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel which calleth herself a prophetess to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
“I gave her space to repent over fornication and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation except they repent of their deeds and I will kill her children with death and all of the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts and I will give unto every one of you according to your work.” Here, we see God talking about the fact that He’s going to come down hard upon those that commit adultery. He’s going to send great punishment into their lives and is even going to kill people as a result of it. He says, “I’ll kill her children with death as a punishment.” It’s a very serious sin.
Now, go to Matthew chapter five because I want to make sure and differentiate what we’re talking about here because there’s adultery as defined in the Bible, literal adultery which would be basically someone who goes in onto his neighbor’s wife, someone who basically commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife. We’re talking about someone who actually has a physical relationship with someone other than his wife or a woman who has a physical relationship with someone other than their husband. That’s what we’re talking about here.
Now, the Bible also talks about the fact that it’s possible for a person to commit adultery in their heart. There are other ways that you can commit adultery that we’re going to see here in Matthew chapter five. I just want to emphasize that tonight’s sermon is going to focus on literal adultery. Actually going out and literally committing full blown adultery is what I want to preach about tonight because some people, sometimes when they’re reading the Bible, they get so into the secondary meanings, the metaphorical meanings, the other things that they lose sight of the main teaching of what God’s warning about.
All of these teachings are important. It’s important to teach on what we’re about to see in Matthew five about looking on a woman with lust. It’s important to look at teachings on divorce and remarriage but also, we need a sermon sometimes just warning us about the danger of actual adultery itself which is a real danger. It is a major sin and it is something that happens. Even Christians have fallen into this sin. Even King David himself committed this sin.
Now, look what the Bible says in Matthew chapter five, verse 27. It says, “You’ve heard that it was it was said by them of all time thou shall not commit adultery but I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her have committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Now, what is Jesus teaching here? He’s clearly teaching here that it’s not just a seen to go out and actually commit adultery but that it’s actually a sin to look upon a woman with lust in your heart. That’s the context.
Now, a lot of people will try to twist this though and try to use this to negate the Bible’s teachings on adultery. For example, when the Bible says in Leviticus 20, hey, adulterers should be put to death, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death, here’s what they’ll say. “Oh, but wait a minute but if you’ve ever looked on a woman with lust, are you going to be put to death too?” They’ll try to use it to negate what the Bible’s saying here.
Look. Get the context of what Jesus is saying here. Obviously, it is a wicked seen to look on a woman and lust after on your heart. It would also be a violation of the Ten Commandments where it says thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife but wait a minute. It is not the same to literally commit adultery as it is to commit adultery in your heart. These are two different things. This whole teaching that all sin is equal is an insane doctrine and it’s not biblical.
When the Bible says that the adulterer shall be put to death, we’re talking about someone who literally commits adultery, not somebody who has a bad thought.
See, David went up on the rooftop and he looked upon a woman to lust after. That was a big sin but if it would have stopped there, he wouldn’t have gone through all the punishments that he went through by actually taking it a step further and actually acting upon it. Part of the reason why it’s such a dangerous doctrine to teach that all sin is equal is that people think to themselves, “Oh, if I’ve already looked with lust, I might as well … I mean it’s all the same anyway, right?”
That’s a retarded doctrine. I don't know what else to call it. It’s nonsense. It’s crazy. Think about it. To say that it’s the same to lust after a woman in your heart as to actually go out and commit adultery like that’s the same thing … Now, look. I’m not condoning of sin. I’m not condoning of looking with lust but it’s not the same. Jesus is not saying, “Hey, these things are equal, same sin.” No. What is he saying in the contest because this is a passage a lot of people misunderstand and let me show you why this misunderstand because look at the next verse.
It says, “Whosoever looketh at on a woman to lust after had committed adultery with her already in his heart and if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish and not that they whole body should be cast into hell.” What people will do is they’ll take this passage out of its context, not understand it and then they’ll say this. “Hey, if you look on a woman to lust after, you’re going to burn in hell.” They’re teaching that you can lose your salvation basically even if you’re saying you knew you believe in Jesus but see, they don’t understand what the passage is teaching.
See, in Matthew five, Jesus’s goal here is to get people to understand their sinful condition that they cannot be saved by their own righteousness. That’s why even just right before that, he says in Matthew five, verse 22, let me get there myself, he says, “But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council but whosoever shall say thou fool,” watch this, “shall be in danger of hell fire.”
What’s he saying here? He’s saying that even if you commit a minor sin, you’re in danger of hell fire. You say, “Well, you know, I’ve never murdered anybody.” He says, “But wait a minute. If you’re angry with your brother without a cause, if you’re provoking people by saying, hey, thou fool,” he says you’re in danger of hell fire. “Oh, I’ve never committed adultery” but wait a minute. He says if you’ve looked on a woman with lust, you have committed adultery in your heart and that’s a sin.
What Jesus is trying teach in this passage is that any sin will send us to hell. No matter whether it’s a big sin or a little sin, it’s all going to send us to hell. Even if we haven’t committed murder, even if we haven’t committed adultery, we’re still sinful. That’s what he’s saying. That’s what he’s teaching in this passage. This is also summed up when he says that, “Except your righteousness shall the righteousness of this scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Those are people that they would have looked to and thought of as very righteous, Godly people. He says, “Look, your righteousness would have to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees in order for you to make it into heaven.” Then in fact, the last verse of the chapter, he says, “Be therefore perfect even as your father which is in heaven is perfect.”
What’s he doing? He’s raising the bar and setting the standard real high and saying, “Look, if your righteousness is going to get you into heaven, it better be perfect, you can’t even think a bad thought, let alone going out and committing all of this sin.” What is he doing? He’s preparing people in their minds to be able to accept the free gift of salvation by first understanding that they’re a sinner and that they’re condemned to hell. That’s what being thought in this passage. He’s not warning Christians and saying, “Hey, if you think a bad thought, you’re going to go to hell,” or, “Hey, if you say the wrong thing, you’re going to go to hell.”
Once you’re saved, you have eternal life and Jesus said, “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” The Bible says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already because he had not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” The Bible clearly says that, “Verily, I say to you, “He that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me has everlasting life,” present tense, “and shall not come into condemnation but has passed from death unto life.””
Don’t let anybody twist these passages to do one of two things, either to downplay literal adultery and say that it shouldn’t be against the law or to try to say, “Hey, if you commit a sin, you’re going to go to hell so you have to live sinlessly to be saved.” Look, if you have to live sinlessly to be saved, then nobody’s going to heaven because the Bible says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
The whole point Jesus is making is by saying, “Look, even a more minor sin will send you to hell than you think. Even all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is second death.” You don’t have to be a murderer or a literal adulterer to do that. You just have to commit adultery in your heart. You just have to hate your brother in your heart. That’s what’s being taught here.
Let’s just quickly touch on this. This is now what the sermon’s about but just to quickly touch on, adultery in your heart. What is committing adultery in your heart? It’s basically looking on a woman to lust after her. This is also known as coveting your neighbor’s wife. This is when you look and basically desire your neighbor’s wife is another way that the Bible puts this. You’ve committed adultery in your mind. You’ve committed adultery in your heart. That is sin.
He also goes on to say in verse 31, it had been said, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement but I say unto you that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committed adultery.” Mark chapter 10 teaches the same thing. Go ahead and turn to Mark 10. While you’re turning to Mark 10, I’ll read for you from Luke 16:18, “Whosoever puteth away his wife and marrieth another committeth adultery and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”
Mark chapter 10, verse 11, “And he said to them, “Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another committeth adultery against her and if a woman shall put away her husband and be married to another, she committed adultery.” Now, you say, “Pastor Anderson, you keep reading the same statement over and over again.” I’m really not because each of these are all slightly different from one another because one of them talks about the woman putting away her husband, the other one talks about the husband putting away his wife, the one talks about him putting her away and marrying someone else or him putting her away and somebody marries her. It’s basically giving us every possible scenario explaining it from every angle saying, “Look, it’s adultery. Don’t do it.”
When you get married, it’s till death do us part and it’s supposed to be a lifelong commitment for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, the good, the bad and the ugly. You stay with it all the way to the end. That’s what the Bible teaches. If you just say, “Well, you know what, I may get divorced and marry someone else,” that’s considered adultery. That’s what the Bible says. That’s the teaching here but that’s not what the sermon’s about tonight. I just wanted to cover that and touch on that before we get into the real meat of the sermon tonight which is about adultery in the sense that we all know of adultery as basically cheating on your wife, cheating on your husband is what we’re talking about when we talk about adultery.
Go if you would to Second Samuel chapter number 11 first of all because I want to talk about how to avoid adultery according to the Bible, some tips based on biblical principles on how we could stay away from this. This is such a horrible sin. It’s so harmful unto your spouse if you were to commit this sin. It’s a very grievous, major, major sin. We want to avoid this at all cost. We don’t want to just have this attitude that says, “Well, I would never do that. I could never.” The Bible says, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
We don’t want to get real close to sin and play around with sin because we basically think to ourselves, “You know what, I’m never going to go all the way and commit adultery so I can basically fool around with it and so forth.” No. We need to realize that none of us is immune from sin. Therefore, we need to take steps to make sure that this horrible sin does not enter our lives. The Bible has some tips for us to avoid adultery.
The Bible says in Second Samuel chapter 11, verse one, this is the most famous story about adultery in the Bible, “And it came to pass after the year was expired at the time when kings go forth the battle that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel and they destroyed the children of Ammon and besieged Rabbah but David tarried still at Jerusalem and it came to pass at an eveningtide that David arose from off his bed and walked upon the roof of the king’s house and from the roof, he saw a woman washing herself and the woman was very beautiful to look upon, and David sent and inquired after the woman, and one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?””
Right away, he sees a beautiful woman and lusts after her and he asks people who is this woman because he wants that relationship with her. Keep in mind, David’s already married and he even asked more than one wife, not even just one and even had concubines as a king which is already wrong. He’s already doing wrong in that sense but when it’s told unto him this is the wife of Uriah the Hittite, the first thing that should have come into his mind is, “Hey, this is off limits. This is somebody else’s wife.” In fact, it’s a wife of a friend of his and one of his loyal servants.
What did David do in verse four? David sent messengers and took her and she came in unto him. He lay with her and she was purified from her uncleanness and she returned under her house. Go to Jeremiah chapter five. The first thing that we need to do in order to avoid this sin of adultery is we need to avoid idleness and laziness. Now, this is something that over and over again the Bible warns about in connection with adultery.
David, it says, at the time when kings go forth the battle, what does he do? He stays home doing nothing. Then, he goes to bed at night and he gets up off his bed in the middle of the night. Why would anyone get off their bed in the middle of the night? Because they’re lazy and can’t sleep. Why? He’s not doing anything. He’s supposed to be out battling and doing his job as a king. He’s sitting around idle so guess what, when you’re idle and don’t do anything, you can’t sleep at night. It’s hard to go to sleep when you haven’t worked and so he’s just laying there on his bed bored because he didn’t work hard.
The Bible says the sleep of a laboring man is sweet whether he eat little or whether he eat much. When you go out and work hard, you want to get on that pillow and you don’t want to get off it again. You’re tired. This guy’s idle. He’s being lazy. He’s not doing the battling and fighting the fight that he needs to fight. He’s just sitting around bored and an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
Look what it says in Jeremiah chapter five, verse seven. “How shall I pardon thee for this? Thy children have forsaken me and sworn by them that are no gods when I had fed them to the full,” pay attention to that phrase, “When I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlot’s houses. They were as fed horses in the morning. Everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife. Shall I not visit for these things saith the Lord and should not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?”
What’s he saying? When they were full, when they’re like fed horses in the barn that don’t have any work to do, they don’t even have to go out and get their own food, it’s all just being delivered to them and they’re sitting there bored, full of food and idle, what do they do? They begin to neigh after their neighbor’s wives comparing them to animals. Animals don’t have any loyalty to their spouse. The Bible’s saying that’s what people are like sometimes when they get idle. They can be like that.
Now, we’re not going to turn there for the sake of time. You go to Jeremiah 13 but of course the famous passage in Ezekiel that talks about Sodom and how they got into fornication and abomination. Of course, they went into way worse things but it mentions that it started out with idleness and fullness of bread, exact same thing here. See, when people are idle and full of bread, then what do they do? They get bored and they start dabbling into sin instead of staying busy on the right thing.
See, if we as Christians would fight the good fight like David should have been at war, if we as Christians would fight the good fight, we would not have the same temptation to go off into sin and everything. It’s when we stop fighting, when we stop serving God and being excited about doing something with our lives and we’re just sitting around bored that the lust of the flesh really enters in and causes us to even consider committing sins like this.
Look at Jeremiah chapter 13, verse 23. “Can an Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then, may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil. Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me saith the Lord because thou hast forgotten me and trusted in falsehood. Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear. I’ve seen thine adulteries.” and then watch this, “and thy neighings.”
Remember the horses, the fed horses neighing after their neighbor’s wife? What does neighing mean? “The lewdness of thy whoredom and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, oh Jerusalem, wilt thou not be made clean? When shall it once be?” Look at Jeremiah 23, verse 14. Jeremiah talks a lot about adultery as being one of the sins that was the downfall of the children of Israel at this time. It says in Jeremiah chapter 23, verse 14, “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing. They commit adultery and walk in lies. They strengthen also the hands of evildoers that none doth return from his wickedness. They are all of them unto me as Sodom and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.”
Here, he talks about even preachers, prophets doing a horrible thing by committing adultery. Now, look. David was a prophet. David was a man of God but when he stopped fighting, adultery was there waiting for him. That’s why we need to make sure that we don’t let idleness and laziness enter in. As a preacher, we got to keep fighting and keep on standing strong and preaching hard, not strengthening the hands of the evildoers. You see, a lot of preachers, they have no fight in them and so they’re not going to war, the spiritual warfare that we should.
Therefore, they basically are sitting around real comfortable and then basically, they’re looking for something to do. They’re looking for some excitement because we as human beings especially as men, we like excitement, don’t we? As men, we’re looking for a challenge. We’re looking for excitement. We’re looking for some new frontiers, some new conquest. It’s in our nature. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s who we are as men unless you smoke pot or something and you just sit around and you’re apathetic and you don’t care.
We as men are ambitious and we have certain driving, passions and everything but here’s the thing. We need to direct those toward doing something for the Lord and fighting the good fight rather than just having all this energy and passion inside of us and instead of fighting the Lord’s battles, instead of going to war, basically, it just becomes about some conquest of adultery which is what David ended up doing with all that energy that he had. That’s where the sin is. The first thing we need to do to avoid adultery is that we need to avoid laziness and idleness. Get out there. Work hard. Do something with your life and stay busy with other things. Don’t just sit around bored because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
Secondly, go to Proverbs chapter six. In order to avoid adultery, we need to avoid evil women or we could talk to the women and say you need to avoid evil men. There are evil people out there who are ready to commit adultery with you because it takes two people to commit adultery, right? Guess what, there are evil people who are out there who want to commit adultery with you and you need to stay away from these people and avoid these people who like to play if you’re going to avoid adultery itself.
Now, the proof is found right here in Proverbs six, verse 26. Look what the Bible says. “For by means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread,” watch this, “and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.” Do you see that? The adulteress, I mean there are women out there who are hunting for a man to commit adultery with. They want to take a married man and commit adultery with them. That’s what the Bible says.
Now, you might look at that and say, “Well, how can this be? How can such a creature exist?” It’s out there. The Bible talks about adulterers and the Bible talks about adulteresses, people who by nature, they’re evil people. This is a game to them. This is a sport to them. This is something that they are out looking for and hunting for, not something that’s just going to accidentally happen. There are actually people who are seeking out this type of relationships. It’s wicked. The Bible warns us about it.
Look at verse 23. Let’s get the full warning. “For the commandment is a lamp and the law is light and reproofs of instruction are the way of life to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart.” It goes back to what we’re talking about earlier. Don’t even go down that route, he’s saying. Don’t even think about it. “Neither let her take thee with her eyelids for by means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbor's wife whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
“Men do not despise a thief if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry but if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold. He shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding. He that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonor shall he get and his reproach shall not be wiped away for jealousy is the rage of a man. Therefore, he will not spare in the day of vengeance.”
What’s the Bible saying? It’s saying, “Look, if you commit adultery with somebody’s wife, they’re going to be so mad that they might even kill you.” He’s saying jealousy is the rage of a man and he’s not going to spare in the day of vengeance. There are many people who’ve been killed because they committed adultery with somebody’s wife and basically, somebody even just took it into their own hands to just take care of it which you say, “Well, that’s not right.” It still happens though. Is that what you’re going to tell the guy that you committed adultery with his wife? “Hey, this is legal.”
You still might be killed. In fact, a friend of mine in the alarm business back many years ago, he caught his wife with another man and he came this close to killing the guy. He grabbed the guy and threw the guy through a window. The guy didn’t have any clothes on. The guy was seriously injured all cut up and went to the intensive care unit and everything like that because he just threw the guy through the window. The guy barely survived which otherwise, my friend could have been in serious trouble for manslaughter or second degree murder or whatever. Anyway, it definitely is rage that you’re going to face there when you don’t respect people’s wife.
The Bible says in verse 35, “He will not regard any ransom.” You can’t pay this guy off to placate him. “Neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.” There are wicked people out there that you need to just stay away from. Now, go to First Corinthians chapter 7. I’ve come across people where I got the feeling that they were this type of person and these are the type of people that we should avoid. The Bible says go not the way to her house and basically, the adulteress is hunting for the precious life. God gave us that warning for a reason, to tell us to avoid this type of person.
I’ve gotten around women where I’ve noticed them basically acting flirtatious with men other than their husband. You see that going on and you just have to think to yourself, “I need to stay away from this. This is a bad person.” Even if it’s to the point where you don’t really necessarily want to say anything but just put it in your mind and say, “You know what, she’s acting inappropriately toward that guy or she’s acting inappropriately toward me or whatever, I just need to stay away from her.”
I’ve seen people like that in church. I’m not saying at this church but I’ve been in other churches where I saw women that were like that. I would make a point to literally walk a different way and just not even come into contact with that person because you don’t want to be ensnared. The Bible also warns, it says, “To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.”
Basically, what this woman’s going to do when she’s hunting the precious life is going to give a lot of compliments and make you feel real good and macho about yourself. It’s basically just her way to manipulate you into committing adultery with her. Obviously, there are men who know how to push the right buttons psychologically too. They go hunting for women to commit adultery with and tell that woman things that her husband wouldn’t tell her and whatever and get her to commit adultery which leads me to my next point. This is the most important point.
If this is the only thing you get tonight, this is the most important point because what are we talking about tonight? The sin of adultery, major sin in the Bible but how do we avoid it? How do we stay away from it? Number one is we avoid idleness and laziness. Those are sins that could lead us toward adultery. Number two, we stay away from and avoid evil women and evil men, the people that are prone to this kind of behavior but thirdly and most importantly, if you want to avoid adultery, you must have a right relationship with your spouse. This is the number one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine, top nine ways to not commit adultery is have the right relationship with your spouse.
In fact, I would say that virtually all adultery is pretty much a result of not having the right relationship with your spouse. Now, that’s not to obviously give people an excuse for adultery if they have a bad marriage. There’s no excuse for adultery but the best way to avoid adultery is to have the right relationship with your spouse because if you have the right relationship with your spouse, why would you be looking elsewhere? You wouldn’t. The reason that people are looking elsewhere is because they have a bad relationship with their spouse.
Look at David himself, bad relationship with his wives. That’s a whole another sermon in and of itself that I’d preach other times but here’s a guy who did not have a right relationship with his wife, part of the reason because he didn’t have one wife. That’s one of the big problems right there. Look what the Bible teaches in First Corinthians seven, verse 1 because I’m not making this stuff up. I’m throwing this stuff from the Bible. It says in verse 1, “Now, concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”
He says, “Look, to avoid fornication, be married,” because expecting people to be celibate is too much to ask in most people. He says to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, let every wife have her own husband and says, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body but the husband and likewise, also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” It says, “Defraud ye not one the other except it be with consent for a time that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer and come together again,” watch this phrase, “that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”
What’s he saying? If you don’t have the right relationship with your spouse, Satan will tempt you and to avoid adultery, you need to have that relationship with your spouse. That’s what the Bible says. Now, what’s he saying in verse three and four, he says, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body but the husband and likewise, also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”
What he’s saying is that when you get married, you’re no longer your own person anymore, where it’s just, “Well, I’m my own person, my body, my choice.” Is that what the Bible says? No. The Bible says the husband hath not power of his own body but the wife. The woman hath not power of her own body but the husband. Basically, as a man, when I’m married, my body belongs to my wife and her body belongs to me. That’s what the Bible says. He’s saying, “Look, don’t defraud the other by withholding from them what is rightfully theirs.”
When you get married, part of even the vows that we say in our American style wedding in 2015, what do we say? To have and to hold from this day forward. Part of what you’re bargaining for when you get married is a physical relationship. Now, there are so many weird teachings out there today. We live in such a weird time, don’t we? You’d think that this stuff is just common sense. You grow up and you’re a man and a woman grows up and you start thinking about these things as you get older. The girls start looking good to you and everything like that. You end up getting married and you both enjoy that physical relationship that’s just reserved for within marriage and so forth and you live … People now have all these weird, creepy ideas about everything.
Part of it is because there are so many wicked people in our world and there are so many people who are being molested today or being exposed to really weird stuff at a really young age or being exposed to pornography at a really young age or just being exposed to all the sin and filth of our world. Kids are watching this stuff on TV even as a little child way before they’re old enough to even process it or understand it. What you have is a generation growing up today that is perverted in their mind or that just has weird ideas instead of just normal, you grow up and “Hey, all these girls look beautiful. I think I’m going to pick the one I want and marry her and be physical with her. It sounds great. Let’s do it,” and looking forward to getting married.
Now, you have these weird people that people contacted me and saying, “Well, you know, what if I just want to get married but I just don’t want to have that physical relationship with anyone? I just have an aversion toward that physical relationship but I just want to get married to have a life companion.” What? Where does this even come from? Where did I get … Look. If you’re a man and you’re supposed to be attracted toward women and you’re a woman, you’re supposed to be attracted toward men and here’s the thing. If you’re not, then don’t get married. If you’re this rare bird that just you’re a man and you just don’t have any interest in that, then save us all and don’t get married.
You say, “Well, I want that companion.” It’s called having a friend. Hello, people. It’s called friends when you have buddies that you hang out with and do stuff with but there’s no physical component, that’s called a friend. That’s not a wife. That’s not a husband. Here’s the thing. If you’re like, “Well, I don’t want to have a physical relationship,” then don’t get married because if you get married, guess what you’re signing up for, a big, long physical relationship that’s going to last for decades and that’s going to happen all the time. That’s going to frequently be taking place.
If you don’t want that, then what are you doing getting married? “Well, but I just …” Shut up and quit being an idiot and understand what the Bible says about marriage that the woman hath not power over her own body but the man and that the husband hath not power of his body but the woman. Today, we live in such a warped society. Here’s what I’ll say. “Oh, I was raped by my husband.” What? He’s your husband. He owns you. Look. It goes the other way too because guess what, your wife owns you guys. You can’t tell your wife, “No, I don’t want that physical …”
Look. You think I may be crying about my wife raped me? What kind of stupidity is this? This is the society that we’re living in today. “Oh, I got molested by my spouse.” What? You’re married. This is the kind of garbage today that we have in the world that we’re living in. What does the Bible teach? The Bible teaches, “Hey, look. If you’re married, you signed up for it. You know what, you just consented to decades of you know what.”
I don’t ask my wife’s permission every time I touch my wife like, “Honey, may I touch?” No. We’re married. We already got that permission slips signed a long time ago. It’s called a marriage certificate. It’s in a frame on the wall. She doesn’t have to ask my permission. It’s like, “Get your hands off. I didn’t give you permission to touch me. What are you doing? You pervert.”
I feel stupid even preaching about this but you have to because it’s Bible and we’re living in this crazy, twilight zone of 2015 America. We actually have to tell people this stuff that should be common sense. It should be just common sense. There’s no, “Hey, when you get married, you’re consenting to a lifetime of physical … because that’s what marriage is.” Hello. People are crazy though today.
It says here, look, if you defraud each other because look, there’s nothing new under the son. God knows that even though it should be common sense, “Hey, when we get married, we’re getting married so that we can be physical with each other. Otherwise, we would just be friends,” then there are still going to be people out there who withhold this relationship from their spouse. It’s not just women who do it. It’s even men that would do it.
In fact, Islam even teaches this. Islam teaches this is a way to punish your wife. Refuse to have this relationship with here. It’s right there in the Quran. Look it up. The Quran says, “Hey, if your wife won’t obey you, then withhold this relationship from her.” That’s not biblical. That’s not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that the man has not power of his own body but the wife and vice versa. What the Bible is teaching here is that if we have a right physical relationship with our spouse, then basically, we’re not opening ourselves up to temptation.
Here’s why because the Bible says, “The full soul loadeth an honeycomb but to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.” Every bitter thing is sweet to the hungry soul. Let me ask you this. Do you want your wife being a hungry wife in that area? No, because then it’s open to temptation. You don’t want your husband to be hungry in this area because then it’s an opening to temptation again.
If you’re smart, you’ll understand, “Hey, wait a minute. If we’re going to keep ourselves purer and exclusive to each other and keep away from adultery, we need to make sure that we regularly partake of this relationship within marriage so that we are satisfied within marriage and that one or both parties don’t start going and looking elsewhere for satisfaction because they’re not getting what they need out of that relationship.”
It goes beyond just a physical relationship. I don’t want you to misunderstand me and think that that’s all that marriage is about. It goes beyond that because we as human beings, we don’t just have a physical need in this area. Human beings also have a need for love and closeness and bonding with their spouse on an emotional, spiritual, mental type level and not just a carnal level.
Think about it. When you got married, you weren’t just marrying a concubine. You’re actually getting married because you actually love, I hope so, that you actually love that person and you wanted to have that closeness and relationship and communion. We need to provide that for our spouse in order to avoid adultery. We need to provide that friendship, that companionship and that relationship because when people go out and commit adultery, that’s sometimes what they’re looking for.
Now, listen. There are two types of adultery that I’ve seen and that you see in the Bible. Number one, there’s adultery with a stranger. We see that in the Bible. That’s David and Bathsheba. Was he buddies with Bathsheba? No, stranger to him. “Who is this woman? Bring her to me,” or the one where it says that they assemble at the harlot’s houses. What’s that talking about? Stranger.
Then, there’s also adultery with someone that you know. In all of the cases of adultery that I’ve seen in my life, it was always with someone that they knew very well. If you look at adultery, in most cases when I’ve known men who committed adultery, usually the woman that they committed adultery with was not as good looking as their own wife. They often would commit adultery with a much lesser appearing woman. You’re like, “What in the world? What are you doing?”
Here’s why, because they’re not just looking for a physical, carnal relationship. They’re actually looking for someone who appreciates them or praises them or gives their ego a boost or that they like being around and have companionship with. This is dangerous when people go down this road. Now, go to Romans chapter 13 because the next thing that I want to say about avoiding adultery, first of all, we talked about, hey, you need to make sure that you’re not idle and lazy.
Number two, we need to make sure we avoid loose women or men who are this type that would be an adulterer and women that are adulteresses. We need to stay away from these evil people. Thirdly and most importantly, we need to have a right relationship with our spouse because if we have a right relationship with our spouse, we’re not going to need to go look somewhere else, not that anyone would need to or that it would ever be condoned but the Bible says that Satan would tempt in that situation.
Fourthly, this, we need to not even start down the road toward adultery and even put ourselves in situations that could lead to adultery. Now, look what the Bible says in Romans 13:12. “The night is far spent. The day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
Now, listen. The Bible says in Job 24, verse 15, “The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight saying no eye shall see me and disguiseth his face.” What's the Bible talking about? Those who walk in darkness and those who are making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof, they’re putting themselves in a situation where sin can happen versus people who walk honestly in the daylight and they are just not making provision for the flesh.
What am I saying? I’m saying this. You’ll never convince me that anybody is just living a godly Christian life, having a great relationship with their spouse and then just, “Whoops, I committed adultery.” You’ll never convince me of that because committing adultery is such a major sin and it’s such a big leap. It doesn’t happen by accident. The reason that I’m preaching this sermon is because I believe that if you actually follow these steps, you’re not going to commit adultery and your spouse is not going to commit adultery because I believe it’s preventable.
I don't think that people just slip and do, “Whoops, I accidentally committed adultery.” That’s not real because the vast majority of people who I’ve known that committed adultery, it was with people that they knew and it was people that they had a relationship with and people that they had known for a long time. It’s not just something that just boom, it happened. You say, “Well, with David, it just happened. Boom.”
No, because David had already been living a life of take another wife, take another concubine, stay home from the war, sit around and do nothing, walk around on the roof at night checking out babes. No, it didn’t just go from David’s doing everything right in his life and then boom, he’s committing adultery. No. He made all these mistakes leading up to it, taking on multiple wives, taking on concubines, being lazy, being idle, X, Y and Z. It’s not something that happened by accident.
You see, there’s a road that leads you down a path to adultery and if you’re smart, you won’t even start going down that road and you’ll stay far away from it because it doesn’t happen by accident. You’ll flee from it. Remember when Joseph was tempted to commit adultery where Potiphar’s wife, she was that adulteress that’s hunting for the precious life and she kept saying to him, “Lie with me. Lie with me,” to Joseph.
Then, finally she waits till everybody’s out of the house. None of the servants are in the house. It’s just her and Joseph. She grabs hold of him and says, “Lie with me.” What does he do? He runs away to the point where she literally rips his coat right off him because he runs away. What does the Bible say? Flee fornication. That’s how we have to be. We have to not even get close to it and we need to run screaming in the other direction like Joseph did.
What is this path that leads us to adultery? What is this making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof? Now, I’m going to focus on the adultery with someone that you know because that seems to be the most common type of adultery that happens. You need to be careful not to form close friendships with people of the opposite gender that you’re not married to when you’re married. Now, look. You single guys, you need to make some close relationships with the opposite gender. I’m not talking about the singles here. I’m talking about when you’re married or when they’re married. You don’t need to be buddy-buddy with people that you’re not married to because you’re on the path to adultery.
Now, look. There’s nothing wrong with interacting with people that you’re not married to. It’s not like, “Well, I’m married so I’m never going to interact with a woman again. I’m never going to talk to a woman at church again or I’m never going to have any kind of dealings with any women.” Obviously, we’re going to talk to people and deal with people but we need to make sure not to build these close relationships with people of the opposite gender or cross certain lines.
Here are some good rules of thumb when you’re crossing the line. These are some major crossing the line red flags. Number one, because remember we’re talking about walking honestly as in the day, not walking in darkness, when you’re basically talking to someone other than your spouse and you’re basically deleting the history of that e-mail or deleting the history of that phone call even if it’s totally innocent at this point, even if nothing’s happening at this point and it’s in the real embryonic stages of talking to that person, when you’re deleting phone calls or deleting e-mails and basically hiding the fact that you spent time with that person from your spouse, something’s wrong with that picture.
Here’s the thing. If your relationship is legit in the sense of, “Oh, yeah. It’s a business contact that I have to go talk to,” like for example, I’ve got a job where I was talking to different women in different offices. You go talk to this person, talk to that person. In the course of business, that’s the world we live in but I didn’t have to sit there and delete those e-mails and delete those phone calls of like, “Well, you know, I don’t want my wife to see how much I’m talking to this.”
That right there, when you start hiding stuff, it’s like they say about gambling. When you know that you have a problem, when you start gambling, you have a problem the first time you do it but anyway, they say you’re having a serious gambling problem when you’re doing what, when you start lying about it to people and saying that you went somewhere else when you really went to the casino.
When you’re sitting there and hiding it by saying, “Oh, wow. I don’t want my wife to see,” or, “I don’t want my husband to see that I’m talking to this person that much or maybe talking about stuff that’s real unrelated with business or just going over the line,” when you’re hiding stuff, that right there is a red flag because now what you’re doing is you’re sharing a secret with someone else and you’re building a wall between you and your spouse. Where you’re hiding stuff form her or hiding stuff from him, that’s a red flag that you’ve gone over the line right there. You need to get away from that person and stop having that friend or whatever association when you’re sneaking around, when you’re deleting e-mails, texts, calls and stuff to try to hide that.
Here’s another way over the line. When you’re talking to someone that’s not your spouse of the opposite gender and you actually say something negative about your spouse to that person even if it’s just minor, that’s a huge red flag. When you’re basically talking to another woman and you say, “Oh, well, my wife doesn’t really like it when I do X, Y and Z or whatever,” just saying something negative, complaining about your wife.
Look, this is stuff that people do. Don’t just sit there and think that I’m just coming up with all these crazy scenarios and just making up fairy tales. No. This is how it starts, friend. I could tell you about churches I’ve been in where people commit adultery. I could tell you the stories about it and it starts with this type of just getting a little too close with people and then next thing you know, you start letting your guard down.
Next thing you know, I’m whining about my wife to her and she understands because she would never be like that. John down at the office, when I talk to him, he understands me. My husband, I can’t talk to him. She starts complaining to John about her husband and what a barbarian he is at home. John’s at the office with his lavender tie and he’s real understanding and he’s telling her everything’s okay. These are just signs that you’re crossing the line.
Now, here’s another sign that you’re crossing the line. There’s nothing wrong with being friendly to people, being nice to people and look, this could happen at work, this could happen at church, this could happen at any association where you’re around people. There’s nothing wrong with being friendly, happy to see someone, nice to someone but here’s the thing. If you show up at church or you show up at work or you show up at some other social function and you’re like real disappointed that that person’s not there, you’re not looking forward to go on to work, you’re looking forward to seeing her or you’re looking forward to seeing him, there’s something seriously wrong in your mind.
When you’re not going to church to go to church, you’re not going to work to go to work, you’re not going to this social function to go to the social function, you’re going to see him, you’re going to see her in your mind and it’s a slippery slope. You’ve got to stay away from it. You got to just realize that, look, once you’re married, you’re supposed to keep yourself only unto them so long as you both shall live. You say, “Well, it’s nothing physical.” You know what? It doesn’t start physical most of the time. It starts emotional. It starts in your hearts.
See, this is what Jesus said in Mark seven, verse 20. It says, “For from within out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries.” Where do adulteries proceed from? From within out of the heart of men, starts up here. When you start thinking to yourself, “You know, my wife is this, that and the other. Oh, but she on the other hand is nothing like my wife. I like her better,” that, when you start making negative comparisons about your wife with other women or you start making negative comparisons about your husband with other men, look, this is where adultery begins, in the mind, in the heart.
When you are getting real close with other people that you’re to married to, you’re really looking forward to seeing them even though you have a legitimate reason to get together with them, whatever business or whatever, you’re deleting call history and e-mails to try how much time you’ve been … You start criticizing your spouse to that person, these are dangerous things to play around with. You need to hear this every once in a while just so you don’t let your guard down and just basically indulge in these type of relationships and think it’s fun to fool around with this. “As long as, well, you know, I’m never going to go all the way and commit adultery or anything.” Don’t even go down that road. Don’t even make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof.
Here’s another thing. Do not … Here’s another thing that’s over the line. Don’t get together with someone of the opposite gender alone. Now, remember with Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. That’s where she’s ready to strike because they’re alone. This is why if you have to interact with someone that is of the other gender that you’re not married to, and again, we’re talking about married people here especially, you need to be in a public place. If you have to get together and talk to somebody about business or you’re talking to somebody about church, about this and that, always make sure that somebody else is there with you.
For example, women will constantly say to me, “Oh, Pastor Anderson, may I speak with you about …” “Okay.” “Oh, well I need to talk to you in private.” Here’s what I always say, “This is as private as I get. We can step a few feet away from the crowd. That’s as private as I get.” Why? Because I’m not going to take some woman that I’m not married to into my office and just be alone in my office for some counseling session for 20, 30, 45 minutes where she tells me all about how her husband is this and her husband … Think about it.
She’s going to criticize her husband to me in the privacy of my office? This is where pastors get into adultery. This is where other types of professions get into adultery. We need to make sure that we’re not alone with the opposite gender but to be in a public place. If you need to talk to someone, talk to them in a restaurant, talk to them in church, talk to them outside. Don’t go into a room with them. “Oh, yeah. Come over to my house.” It’s just you and them or, “Hey, go over to their house.”
Think about this. You’re making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof. Not only that, but your reputation could be harmed because even if you are spiritually strong and you’re not going to commit any of these types of sins, what about the accusations that could be hurled against you when you go and lock yourself in that room for an hour to just talk and do some counseling? What are people going to say though? Even that person them self could lie about you and say, “Yeah, you know, this is what he tried or whatever.” Think about Joseph. These are things that you need to be real careful.
Now, listen. How can you commit adultery? Just stop and think about it. How can you or your spouse commit adultery when you’re in love with each other, you’re working on the relationship, you have a vibrant physical relationship and romantic relationship and emotional relationship and you’re not building close relationships with anyone else outside the marriage and you’re never alone with a woman that’s not your wife in a situation where you could even commit adultery? Then, how are you going to commit adultery? It’s never going to happen, is it, because you’re not even making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof. You’re not even putting yourself in that scenario where adultery could happen.
Instead of just saying, “Well, I hope my spouse doesn’t commit adultery,” why don’t you have a good relationship with your spouse and why don’t you make sure that you keep yourself above reproach and keep yourself away from these temptations and things and not even play with fire. The Bible said, “Can you take hot coals into your bosom and not be burned?” No. Don’t play with fire and keep yourself pure because listen, I’m not just speaking theoretically here because I’ve seen people do this stuff and this is where tit starts.
You need to start thinking about what can I do to make sure that my marriage lasts and that it doesn’t end in divorce and that it doesn’t end, even worse, in adultery happening? Basically, you need to put work and effort into your marriage. You might think to yourself, “Well, you know, my marriage, this isn’t really that important to me and I just don’t really have a need for this real deep relationship with my spouse.”
Here’s the thing. Your spouse might not feel the same way. You need to make sure not only that you’re getting what you need from the relationship but you need to make sure that your wife is getting what she needs or that your husband is getting what he needs so that everybody is getting satisfied in the relationship and that people are not then looking elsewhere, looking in the wrong places and going into sin. We need to make sure that our wife is happy in all areas. We want to make sure that she’s physically happy, want to make sure that she’s emotionally happy. Women need to make sure that their husband is happy.
They can sit there and get all pried, “Well, that’s his problem. I don’t care what he thinks he needs or what.” It’s like no. If you’re smart, you’ll keep your husband happy. If you’re smart, you’ll keep your wife happy because people go looking elsewhere for a reason because they’re not getting what they need at home. Man is a monogamous creature. God made us to be monogamous. God made us to be married for life, two people for life. It’s how God created us but then why are so many people wanting something else? It’s because we fail to follow God’s design. Honestly, if you have the right relationship with your spouse, you can be happy in that relationship and not need anything else. You can actually just be satisfied within marriage and that’s what God wants for our lives.
Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much Lord for these warnings and just pray that we’d heed these warnings, Lord. Please help people not to play games with this and get real buddy-buddy with somebody else’s wife or real buddy-buddy with anybody that they’re not married to, Lord. I just pray that you’d just help us to instead focus our efforts toward building a relationship with our own wife, building a relationship with our own husband, Lord. Help us to work on what you’ve given us and not covet some other relationship, some other unicorn that we think is because the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, Lord. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.