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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, October 07 2021

The Seventh Commandment - Part 1

Today, most people in relationships totally ignore what the Bible reveals. Our society is increasingly immoral and actually amoral. The consequences are catastrophic. When the building block of society—the family—collapses, other societal structures soon follow.

by Don Hooser

God intends that we regard His Instruction Book, the Bible, as the foundation of all knowledge, including knowledge about marriage and sex.

Following one of God’s first instructions to Adam not eat the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:16-17) God declared: “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him..." (Genesis 2:18,). Then God created Eve as the perfect complement to Adam adding: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (verse 24).”

The word “joined” meant for them to be permanently and inseparably welded together. The Hebrew word for “be joined” can be translated as cleave, cling, hold fast, be united or be married. God views marriage as a sacred covenant by which husband and wife promise before God to faithfully stay together, loving and serving one another.

“Adulterate” means to contaminate or make impure. God forbids anything that spoils marriage. Adultery is so serious that under the Old Covenant, adulterers were to be put to death (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22). The Seventh Commandment -- "Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) forbids more than extra-marital sex (a sin against both one’s self as referenced in 1 Corinthians 6:18 and one’s spouse). It prohibits premarital sex (fornication), homosexual sex, incest, prostitution, bestiality and other forbidden relationships, some of which are listed in Leviticus 18 and 20. In addition to adultery, the New Testament in at least 19 places condemns all forms of “sexual immorality” (the Greek word being porneia, from which we get the English word pornography).

Sinful actions begin with sinful thoughts (James 1:14-15), and Jesus magnified the seventh commandment showing that it includes adultery in one’s mind: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).

The Greek word for “to lust” is epithumeo, meaning carnal coveting, craving and fantasizing, forbidding the viewing of pornography and the “soft porn” so prevalent in modern media. Furthermore, the passionate sharing of physical affection (kissing, caressing, etc.) by a man and woman that results in sexual arousal should not take place until after marriage.

God’s intent is that sex should be pleasurable and this is also emphasized by various scriptures including Proverbs 5:15-19, Ecclesiastes 9:9 and the Song of Solomon. God intended husbands and wives to become intimately united physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and He gave us the seventh commandment to exalt and protect the precious relationship of marriage.