I will probably offend everyone here in this sermon today. We are on the Seventh Commandment Exodus 20:14(HCSB)Do not commit adultery. For us to get an idea of what this is and to eliminate any confusion we must look at what Biblical Marriage is.
The way God has made us, if we obey him, we build this very deep, significant, emotional, mental, spiritual, biochemical connection with our spouse; but if we commit adultery or any sexual immorality, we then bond ourselves with, connect ourselves to someone or something else that is not our spouse.
WHAT IS MARRIAGE?
We find ourselves in the Ten Commandments. We’re a Bible-teaching church, and so we like to study the Scriptures. As we read in the Bible, the first wedding between our first parents was immediately followed up with a war. Satan didn’t even show up to Adam and Eve until they were married. Some of you are single, you think, “As soon as I get married, they will relieve some of my temptation.” Actually, Satan didn’t even show up until our first parents were married. The storyline of the Bible is from a wedding to a war, and there’s been a war from the beginning surrounding marriage, especially the marriage of God’s people.
To begin with, I need to do a bit of a teaching, and I need to answer this question: “What is marriage?” We live in a day that is profoundly confused about everything, particularly marriage. Marriage, in the Bible, is a very sacred thing. It is created by God. He officiates the first wedding between the first man and the first woman. He brings them together and he is the one who institutes this, this great gift of marriage.
1. MARRIAGE IS A COVENANT
Well, marriage is two things. It is covenant and consummation, according to God’s Word. So first of all, covenant, you’ll find it in Malachi 2 and elsewhere. “The LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth.” He’s speaking to the men here. “She is your companion and your wife by”—what? “Covenant.”
Now, this is the big debate in our day is, is marriage a civil contract, or is it a biblical covenant? A civil contract is really just between two people. It’s more of a business arrangement; it’s a legal arrangement. It’s like two business partners merging into one business. It’s civil. The Christian understanding, the biblical understanding, is that it is not merely civil but covenantal—meaning, it’s not just two people. It’s two people and God oversees the covenant.
This is why we see marriage differently than our culture does, because we’re Bible-believing Christians.
We want to be very clear: that which is civil is civil and that which is covenantal is covenantal. And our view of marriage is entirely guided by Scriptures. And it doesn’t matter what vote is taken, the Supreme Court or what the politicians or the lawyers determine; ultimately, what we care about is what God has spoken. So it covenantal. This means that it is permanent, that it is exclusive, and it is sacred.
2. MARRIAGE IS CONSUMMATION
Number two, marriage is covenantal and it includes consummation. Two people who are sleeping together are not married because they don’t have the covenantal aspect—all they have is the consummation aspect. Two people who are really good friends and love one another and spend time together, but have not entered into covenant and consummated it, are not married.
1 Corinthians 7:2-5(HCSB)2 But because sexual immorality is so common, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. 3 A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. 4 A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another sexually—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
All sex outside of heterosexual marriage is a sin. Some of you say, “What about that?” Yes, whatever “it” is outside of heterosexual marriage: sex before marriage, sex outside of marriage, polygamy, adultery, fornication, pornography, whatever. Sex is a gift, and it’s to be contained and restrained by marriage.
God created sex so the best place to talk about it is in His house, right? He created sex and the passions and pleasures associated with it for marriage. Because the way God has wired the body and hardwired the brain is that whatever path we go down for the pleasure we receive, we become literally bonded to it, connected to that person or thing.
Now, can you see where this would be a magnificent gift for marriage? If you remain pure, and you’re with your spouse, and you love them emotionally, you’re committed to them covenantally, you agree with them theologically, you invest in them verbally, and you enjoy them physically, you are habituating yourself, you are conditioning yourself to be bonded to them, to be into them, to be connected to them, to desire them, to be satisfied with them, to long for them. And in marriage, that’s wonderful.
God has built this great gift to bring a couple together. Dr. Stephen Arterburn says it this way: “Sexual pleasure is one of the most intense human experiences. Physically speaking, when a man and woman are together,” he says that, “a chemical is released into the brain called an opioid.” That means opium-like. He goes on to say, “Apart from a heroin-induced experience, nothing is more physically pleasurable. This is a wonderful thing in a committed marriage relationship, because it helps bond two people together and bring joy to living together and building a relationship.” It brings oneness.
This is why it’s covenant and it’s consummation: it speaks of this in
Genesis 2:24(HCSB)This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. Here is God speaking, Moses’s recording of our first parents: “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife”—there’s the covenant—“and the two shall become one flesh.”
See, so when God tells you to be faithful to your spouse, to practice chastity before marriage, to enjoy fidelity within marriage, what he’s saying is, “I want the best for you. I want you to be one with your spouse. I want you to be connected theologically. I want you to be connected emotionally. I want you to be connected mentally. I want you to be connected financially. I want you to be connected biologically. I want you to increasingly grow to be one.”
A CIVIL MARRIAGE IS NOT A COVENANTAL MARRIAGE
There’s the consummation. It’s between a man and a woman.Marriage is between a man and a woman, because God created us, in the previous chapter of Genesis, male and female. In our culture, we don’t believe that people are made male and female; we believe that God makes androgynous people who then determine their gender identity. So you’re not a man or a woman; you’re a person who gets to decide if you will live as a man or a woman. So a man can dress like a woman, or a woman can dress like a man, or you can undergo some sort of gender reassignment surgery and change your entire biological identity.
God made us male and female. It’s led to the point in our culture, well, why can’t a man marry a man, and why can a man marry a woman? And so what we have today is not a definition of marriage, but the absence of a definition of marriage.But let me tell you this: It’s not a covenantal marriage. It’s not a biblical marriage.
Romans 12:2(NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” the Bible says. 1 Corinthians 1:21(NLT)Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.
“That the world in its human wisdom would never know know God,” the Bible says. Romans 8:7-8(HCSB)7 For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. says the Word of God.
Christians think differently about everything, not just this thing. We believe we’re made male and female in the image and likeness of God, that marriage is not just civil and contractual, it is covenantal, it is for one man and one woman, and it is defined by covenant in the presence of God and consummation between the husband and the wife.
So God created the body, and he created the passions and pleasures of the body for marriage. God was very gracious and very wise to give us such a great gift, so that we might be one. That’s what the Bible says. And when we sin, we do great destruction to our own body, to the hardwiring of our own brain, and to our ability to really enjoy our spouse, and to be faithfully devoted to them.
Sexual immorality is idolatry. Anything you put above God or worship instead of God is idolatry.
Some of you say, “Idolatry? I don’t even understand what he’s talking about.” The Ten Commandments begin with these two commandments. First of all, there’s one God; and, secondly, you’re to worship that God alone, and worship of anyone or anything other than the God of the Bible is idolatry.
Romans 6:16 (NLT) Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.
2 Peter 2:19 (NLT) They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.
MARRIAGE IS A PORTRAIT OF SOMETHING FAR GREATER
Here’s why this is so incredibly important, because according to the Scriptures, marriage is an illustration—it’s a pattern, a precedent, a foreshadowing of something far more significant and greater.
According to the Bible, marriage is a portrait and a picture of something far greater. The Bible tells us that marriage is a portrait and a symbol and a picture of Jesus’ love for the church. You can read this in Ephesians 5:22-31, where it says that Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to present her to himself as a radiant bride without blemish or spot. The history culminates in Revelation 19 near the end of the Bible with a wedding.
Ultimately, the greatest wedding of all is the wedding between Jesus and his people. Revelation 19 says that history ends with a wedding supper of the Lamb, and that the church is like a bride wearing white. So you men, we’re not individually brides, but collectively we relate to Jesus with respect, following, adoration, covenantal affection, and fidelity.
We don’t worship other gods because that’s whoring. That’s why in the Bible idolatry is adultery. When we’re worshiping other gods, we’re cheating on Jesus. We participate in false religion and spirituality. We’re cheating on Jesus. We teach that the church is to be like a bride and that Jesus is like a groom.
Spiritual adultery is unfaithfulness to God. It is having an undue fondness for the things of the world. Spiritually adultery is analogous to the unfaithfulness of one’s spouse:
Jeremiah 3:20(ESV)’But like a woman faithless to her lover, even so have you been faithless to me, O house of Israel,’ says the LORD”
Isaiah 57:8(NLT)You have put pagan symbols on your doorposts and behind your doors. You have left me and climbed into bed with these detestable gods. You have committed yourselves to them. You love to look at their naked bodies.
Ezekiel 16:30(NLT)”What a sick heart you have, says the Sovereign LORD, to do such things as these, acting like a shameless prostitute.
The Bible tells us that people who choose to be friends with the world are “adulterers” an an “enemy of God” James 4:4(NLT)You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.
The “world” here is the system of evil under Satan’s control.
Ephesians 2:2(NLT)2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.;
1 John 5:19(NLT)We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one
The world system, with its contrived and deceitful scheme of phony values, worthless pursuits, and unnatural affections, is designed to lure us away from a pure relationship with God. Spiritual adultery, then, is the forsaking of God’s love and the embracing of the world’s values and desires
1 John 2:15–16(NLT)15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
The person who commits spiritual adultery is one who professes to be a Christian yet finds his real love and pleasure in the things that Satan offers. For believers, the love of the world and the love of God are direct opposites. Believers committing spiritual adultery may claim to love the Lord, but, in reality, they are captivated by the pleasures of this world, its influence, comforts, financial security, and so-called freedoms.
The concept of spiritual adultery against God is a major theme throughout the Old Testament (Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:20; Ezekiel 16:15–19). This theme is illustrated especially well in the book of Hosea. The prophet’s wife, Gomer, symbolizes the infidelity of the children of Israel (Hosea 2:2–5; 3:1–5; 9:1). Hosea’s commitment to Gomer symbolizes God’s faithful, patient love with His erring people.
Spiritual adultery is like trying to straddle the fence with one foot in the world and the other heaven. We cannot have both. As Jesus warned the church in Laodicea, Revelation 3:15–16(ESV)“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth”.
The love of the world is primarily an attitude of one’s heart, and we can cast away worldliness by cultivating a new affection.
Colossians 3:2(NLT) Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
To avoid spiritual adultery, “set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth”
The result is that marriage is far more than just a man and a woman. When it is covenantal, it includes the Lord Jesus, a portrait of the church and the eternal kingdom of God. And it is for those people who are in the New Covenant with Jesus—they’re in saving relationship with Jesus Christ. And the consummation is not sexual, but it is spiritual, where after the resurrection of the dead and all things are made new, just like a bride would go to live with her husband, so God’s people will go to his kingdom, the place that Jesus is preparing for us right now.
What happens is, if you’re confused about marriage, that covenant, you’re ultimately confused about salvation and that covenant. If you’re confused about how God has covenant with us, you’ll be confused about how to have covenant in marriage. Or vice versa, if you’re confused about the covenant of marriage, you’ll be confused about the covenant of salvation.
Some of you people say, “Well, what did Jesus say?” Jesus says this
Matthew 19:4-6(NLT)4 “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” 5 And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
He quotes Genesis 2:24(NLT)24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
And then later on the Apostle Paul quotes it in
Ephesians 5:31(NLT As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
So here’s how it goes: God says it, Moses writes it, Jesus who is God says it again, and Paul restates it. You know why? It doesn’t change. It doesn’t matter what you, I and they vote on. If God, Moses, Jesus, Paul vote, that trumps all other votes, even the Supreme Court vote.
THE PENALTY FOR ADULTERY
So, if marriage is covenantal, what happens when you violate the terms of the covenant? What happens when you commit adultery? That’s the next question. Here is the penalty for adultery. This is why there are penalties for adulteries in the Bible. There’s one in the Old Testament, one in the New Testament, and one for the eternal kingdom of God. In the Old Testament, the penalty for adultery is death. Let that sit for a moment. All right, next time you watch Bridges of Madison County, just remember this: Leviticus 20:10—and it says this numerous places in the Old Testament—“If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, “both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to”—what? “Death.”
See, in the Old Covenant, the Old Testament, there wasn’t an opportunity for repeat offenders. You commit adultery, you die, we move on.
If you were born in a different day, some of you would be dead. The only difference between life and death for you is the date of your birth. You’ve committed adultery; you should be dead.God takes this very seriously, doesn’t he? When I hear people say things like, “Hey, everybody makes mistake, nobody’s perfect, who are you to judge?” I think to myself, they should be dead, not arguing or defending. They should have some sense of gratitude that they even have breath in their lungs to state their case.
In the Old Covenant, the penalty was death; in the New Covenant, the penalty was divorce. Matthew 19:9(HCSB) And I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.
“Whoever divorces his wife”—who’s saying this? Jesus. “Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality”—and it’s a big word, but for our purposes, we’re going to say primarily adultery, but it can include other things because people are very perverted and can find ways around rules. “And marries another commits”—what? “Adultery.”
So What’s the clause, the exception for divorce? You’re supposed to be married; the two become one. If we’re going to take a knife to the one and make them two again, the issue should be for something as strong as adultery.
Now, some Christians are going to come along and they’re going to get really legalistic and say, “No, you should never, never, never get divorced.” Divorce is something that should not be rushed into. For those of you who are hearing this, hear me on this: adultery does not mean you should get a divorce. Adultery means you have that as a possibility—it’s not a requirement. You don’t have to get divorced, but according to Jesus, you have a right to be divorced.
But, but, I would encourage nearly all of you, if I knew your personal case, If you’re going to go do that with someone else, put all that time, energy, effort, and investment in, oftentimes it is good to make that same investment in the relationship you already have.
This is why I would discourage anyone from rushing into divorce in the moment of hurt. And if you are a victim of adultery, your spouse has cheated on God and cheated on you, your proclivity can be out of anger, hurt, or frustration, or out of shock, horror, or embarrassment to just run into divorce. Don’t do it under those kinds of emotionally draining, straining circumstances because, well, it’s like getting married.These are massive decisions that involve many people and they implicate the rest of our entire life.
Some of you say, “Well, I just want to get it over with.” The truth is that when two become one and then they become two again, you’re going to have suffering and scars in your soul for the rest of your days on the earth. You never fully recover and heal from that.
In addition, my encouragement is particularly concerned about children. If you have children, sometimes the hurt, wounded parent thinks, “We’ll get a divorce and move on.” True or false, for those of you who are divorced with children that if you have children, it’s never over? Because you still got the holidays. You still got the birthdays. You still got the school performances. You still got the soccer games. You’ve still got life together. And so the myth in our culture is get divorced and move on, but you’ll carry the scars with you and if you have children, to some degree, you never just move on.
DON’T BE DECEIVED
Whatever you do, don’t go to the Bible looking for a way to get what you want, OK? Go to the Bible looking for what God wants. In the Old Covenant, the penalty was death. In the New Covenant, the penalty was divorce. In the eternal kingdom, the penalty is damnation. You can go to hell for this.
1 Corinthians 6:9–10(HCSB)9 Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, 10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom., “Do you not know that the unrighteousness will not inherit the kingdom of God?” Jesus says every good tree bears good fruit. You’re not saved by your works, but you’re saved to do your works. How you live your life doesn’t make you a Christian, but it demonstrates whether or not you are a Christian.
“Do not be deceived”—wow, there’s a big idea. Apparently in our world, there’s deception.I don’t know if you’re aware of the fact that there’s deception in our world. “No sexually immoral people”—this can include all kinds of sexual sin, fornicators, pornography,—all of it. All right, the word there is _porneia_—it’s where we get our word pornographic. “idolaters”—other religions—“or”—what? “Adulterers. or anyone who practice homosexuality, or thieves, or the greedy, or drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit”—what? “The kingdom of God.”
See, the things that we have parades for, God sends people to hell for.
Hence that word “deceived” that I made mention of just a moment ago. God is holy. His holiness is mentioned more than any other attribute in the Bible. God is a God of wrath. God’s wrath is spoken of some six hundred times. Do not be deceived. Not everyone is saved. Not everyone knows Jesus. Not everyone is forgiven. Not everyone is going to heaven. And the big idea here is not, have you sinned, but are you changing?
In the next verse, 1 Corinthians 6:11(HCSB)And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.he says, “And some of you used to be like this.” See the people in the Corinthian church, like the people in our church—guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty. And he says, but once you meet Jesus, the answer is changing, changing, changing, changing, changing. Christians aren’t perfect, but they’re different than they were, and they’re in the process of becoming less like who they were and more like who Jesus is.
My question to you is, has there been any change in your life? If there’s change after meeting Jesus, you should have a degree of confidence that you’ve, in fact, met Jesus. If you’ve met Jesus and there’s not been any change in your life, I would say to you that you likely have not met Jesus, because you can’t meet Jesus and not change.
Immediately when I say adultery or other sins, some will say, “Oh, but all sin is equal.” All sin is equally damning, but all sin is not equally devastating. Adultery has a different consequence than stealing. All sin is equally damning, but not all sin is equally devastating.
YOU GO TO HELL FOR THIS
It’s come to the point now, we have things like Ashleymadison.com, which is actually a dating site for married people who want to commit adultery without getting caught, and has 31 million users. with over 400 pastors on it that just got caught. So today we mourn the lost of 400 Pastors and Ministers who had to step down because of their Sexual Immorality. Their slogan is a dating website for married people—so their official slogan is, “Life is short, have an affair.”
It doesn’t matter what you or your spouse want to do. It matters what God wants you to do. The highest authority is not you or your spouse or both of you in a unanimous vote. The highest authority is God. The vote that matters is what God has to say. Do not be deceived. In the Old Covenant, it was death. In the New Covenant, it is divorce. In the eternal kingdom, it is damnation. You go to hell for this.
HEART ADULTERY PRECEDES PHYSICAL ADULTERY
How many of you right now—don’t raise your hand—are feeling relieved that you’ve not committed adultery? You have. Here’s what Jesus has to say. What I find curious about Jesus is, people who don’t know the Bible think they know Jesus. They will say, “Well, the God of the Old Testament is really angry and harsh, but Jesus is really nice.” What Jesus does in Matthew 5 is take the laws of the Old Testament and makes them more difficult. He doesn’t lessen the requirements of the law; he increases them. All right, if you read the Bible honestly, you’d say, “The God of the Old Testament is really tough, but he’s nothing like that Jesus. That Jesus takes things to a whole ’nother level.”
Here’s one occasion when Jesus does that. Matthew 5:27–28(HCSB)27 “You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery.28 But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart., “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’” Where do you hear that? Exodus 20:14. Jesus is a Bible teacher, and he’s commenting here on the Ten Commandments, and he’s commenting specifically on the seventh commandment. “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with”—what? “Lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
See, when they heard the seventh commandment, people thought adultery is what you do physically. Jesus says that before it involves your physical body, it starts in your heart. Physical adultery and heart adultery both count.
This is just the violation of the first two commandments. The first commandment is there’s one God—you worship him alone. If you start worshiping sex, and all of a sudden, sex becomes god to you, it’s violating the first two commandments, which leads to violating the seventh commandment. And so Jesus deals with the heart issue behind it all.
This could change your whole marriage and renew your mind. Your standard of beauty is your spouse. God does not give us a standard of beauty. He gives us a spouse. God didn’t go to Adam, “Well, what do you like? Tall, short, white, black, Asian, young, old, long hair, short hair, skinny, formerly skinny? What do you like? What do you like?” He came to Adam. He said, “Eve.” Adam said, “Eve looks amazing. That’s amazing right there.” Eve’s standard of beauty was Adam. Adam’s standard of beauty was Eve.
Marketing, pornography, coveting, lust—what Jesus calls “adultery of the heart”—is having a standard of beauty other than your spouse, comparing your spouse to them, becoming dissatisfied, and then ultimately becoming an adulterer; if not just in your heart, also with your hands.
Your standard of beauty is your spouse, so here’s what this means. Whoever you married, that’s what you’re into. Okay? If you marry someone short, you’re into short! You love short! You’re thinking about short! You’re glad for short! Yay, short! Okay? God does not give you a standard of beauty. God gives you a spouse. All right.
Now consider this: the culture in which we live—back to that word “deceived”—, celebrates lust and adultery? true or false? A study was done. It said of all the sexual acts that are on television, ten to one are out of the context of marriage, ten to one. A TV producer was asked why and basically said, “Because they’re more interesting and exciting.”
Sin always is. Think of the popular movies in our day. Think of the popular books in our day. Think of the trashy romance novels.
Every form of entertainment in our culture plays on lust—when’s the last time you heard a great song about a faithfully married couple, who grew old together and loved one another and didn’t cheat on one another? When is the last time you heard a song about fornicating and adulterating? It starts in the heart.
This would include the use of technology for cybersex, for sexting, for flirting. You know what most divorce attorneys will tell you? When their client walks in, the first thing they do is go to the spouse’s Facebook page, look for YouTube videos gets cell phone records,etc. Much of present divorce cases are nothing more than presenting the facts from social media because that’s where people go for heart adultery.
True or false, this includes pornography? Does pornography qualify as heart idolatry, heart adultery? It does. All right, if looking at someone with lustful intent means anything, it certainly includes pornography. Thirty percent of all Internet data is pornographic. That’s more traffic to porn sites than Netflix, Twitter and Amazon combined. It contributes to sexual addiction, sexual slavery, and sexual assault. One in four women are sexually assaulted, one in six men. That’s just reported. We’re in a culture that’s absolutely untethered, out of control, celebrating things that we should be mourning.
Pornography kills real love, offers a hollow counterfeit and ultimately leaves you lonely.
If our sexual fantasies are heavily influenced by porn. It normalizes behaviors that before seemed appalling. It is no coincidence that serial killer Ted Bundy, in the interview preceding his execution, noted, “I’ve lived in prison a long time, and I’ve met a lot of men who are motivated to commit violence just like me. And without exception, every one of them was deeply involved in pornography- without question. Without exception. They were deeply influenced and consumed by an addiction to pornography. There’s no question about it. The FBI’s own study on serial homicide shows that the most common interest among serial killers is pornography.” Porn portrays women as nothing more than sex objects that need to be dominated, so it’s not surprising that porn users, male and female, start seeing real women as nothing more than a collection of body parts, free to be used and disposed of.
Those who are addicted to porn idolize porn and have made it their god. They have sell enslaved themselves to it and worship it and you allow it to control and destroy you. The idol always lies. It tells you you can have your pleasure without any consequences.
You don’t just look at porn you worship sex.
And here’s the truth: we’re all worshipers. We are passionately giving ourselves away to someone, to something, to a cause, to a person, to an experience, to a pleasure, to a pursuit, to a passion. We give ourselves away. We give our money, our time, our energy. It’s what we talk about. It’s how our identity is formed. It’s what we commit ourselves to. We’re all worshipers, Christians, atheists, those who are members of other religions, all are worshipers. The only question is who or what are you worshiping?
What you glory in you sacrifice for, what you sacrifice for is what you worship.
And make no mistake: Every time you see an image, lust in your heart, go surfing on the Internet, you’re worshiping. You’re not worshiping the Creator; you’re worshiping the created, and it’s idolatry. And the issue goes deeper than just sexual orientation or preference. It goes down to the root issue of idolatry.
Malachi 2:13-15 (NLT)Here is another thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, weeping and groaning because he pays no attention to your offerings and doesn’t accept them with pleasure. You cry out, “Why doesn’t the LORD accept my worship?” I’ll tell you why! Because the LORD witnessed the vows you and your wife made when you were young. But you have been unfaithful to her, though she remained your faithful partner, the wife of your marriage vows. Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.
MARRIED COUPLES, FIGHT FOR FIDELITY WITH FREEDOM AND FREQUENCY
Number two, married couples fight for fidelity with freedom and frequency. There is never an excuse for adultery. Jesus lived, died, rose a virgin, OK? You don’t have to have sex. See, in the early church, it was virtuous to be chaste and unmarried. In our day, we make comedies about forty-year-old virgins, because that’s a joke that nobody even could conceive of.
Part of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Once you get married, however, a good defense is frequency and freedom. I’m not going to get into great detail, but you married couples, do you get my point here? DO it often and don’t always do it the same.
DON’T FIRST CHEAT ON GOD
OK, this one’s important: before you cheat on your spouse, you have to cheat on God first. The first commandment, one God. Second commandment, you worship that God alone. Adultery doesn’t come until the seventh commandment, and you won’t even get to the seventh commandment if you don’t violate the first two commandments. Sex is god, and I worship by having sexual sin.
That’s why in Romans 12, he says to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God because this is your spiritual act of worship. Worship is what you do with your body. You can’t say, “Man, I was walking with Jesus. Next thing I know, I committed adultery.” No, you weren’t. Jesus didn’t lead you into adultery.
DON’T LET YOUR EYES RECRUIT YOUR HANDS
Sexual sin starts with your eyes which then recruit your hands. In Job 31:1 he says, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look upon a woman lustfully.” Adultery doesn’t start here, it starts here—who you look at, what you look at, what you click through, what you’re enticed by. Your eyes, your eyes, are the beginning of your adultery, and then they recruit your hands. So guard your eyes. Guard what you see.
MEN, CONQUER LUST, NOT LADIES
Men, Your manhood is not best expressed by conquering ladies, but rather, conquering lust. An animal will conquer others. A Spirit-filled man conquers himself—self-discipline, self-control. You’re a worshiper; you’re not an animal.
LADIES, KNOW THEY ARE ONLY HALF THE PROBLEM
Ladies, Men are indeed a problem, but you know they’re only half the problem. Right, ladies? Some you women are flirtatious. Some of you women say, “Well, I never committed adultery.” How about an emotional affair? “Well, what’s an emotional affair?” And some of you say, “Well, you know, he initiated.” Well, OK, but you’re not a passive woman; you’re a godly woman. We can’t just blame this all on the men. Men bear large responsibility, but they don’t bear entire responsibility.
COME CLEAN BEFORE YOU GET CAUGHT
Lastly, you should come clean before you get caught. Some of you are already living under the anxiety of, “I’m guilty; I hope I don’t get caught.” And some of you are living under this myth: “If I tell my spouse, then that will hurt our marriage.” The truth is, it’s already damaged, and the other person doesn’t know why.
The intimacy is severed because what sin does is sin separates. It never reconciles. Sin distances. It never unifies. Seventy-four percent of men have said that they would commit adultery if they could be guaranteed they never get caught. Sixty-eight percent of women have said that they would commit adultery if they were assured they would never be caught.
Let’s just be honest and say that God has already caught you. He knows. And so what I’m going to ask you to do is have the talks, because many of you don’t want to have the talks, but because I love you and I’m your pastor, I need you to have the talks. The first talk is with Jesus. And if there is adultery or adultery of the heart, you need to have the talk with Jesus. You need to confess your sin to him. You need to get some hours away in a quiet, private place. You need to get a journal and a pen. You need to write down all of your sexual sin. Write it all down. It’s going to take some hours to remember things.
Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin so that you could see, apart from the grace of God, who you are and what you do. This will destroy you, and it’s exactly what you need. You need to see yourself as God sees you so that you’ll know you need God to help you and to save you from yourself. And you need to pray, you need to cry, you need to call out to Jesus, you need to ask for forgiveness.
THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY
John 8, “Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and sat down and he taught them. And the scribes and the Pharisees, the religious folks, brought a woman who had been caught in”—You know the story, “Adultery.” Guilty or innocent, this woman of adultery? Guilty. Caught. “‘Now in the Law of Moses we are commanded to stone such a women,’ they said. So what do you say?”
How many of you today are in the position of this woman? Caught by God in the act of adultery right now you’re before Jesus, guilty? “‘So what do you say?’ they asked. “This is what they said to test him, “that they might have some charges to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.” We know not what. “And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And he bent down once more and wrote on the ground. And when they heard it, they all went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.”
True or false, Jesus was the only one who had a right to pick up a rock and to kill this woman. True or false? True. He’s the only one who didn’t have hand adultery or heart adultery. He’s the only one who’s sinless and with clean hands. Jesus stood up—can you imagine this moment?
How many of you right now, you feel like Jesus is standing over you? “I’m a guilty adulterer, Jesus is standing over me. He has every right to kill me.” “And he said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? No has one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said”—hear this, adulterer—“‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more.’”
Then Jesus went to the cross, and he died for this woman’s adultery. And Jesus went to the cross and he died for your hand adultery and your heart adultery, and he paid the penalty of death so that we could receive life, and he commands us to go and sin no more.
Adultery and sexual immorality is misdirected intimacy. It’s a perverted take on what God has created. Our goal is to redirect your intimacy back to God.
Kill your sin before it kills you and who and what you love. Paul says here that Jesus Christ died for our sins, so we could put our sin to death; because Jesus died for sin, we could put sin to death.
Put it to death, because Jesus died for it. And I would say fight and keep fighting. And if you struggle or fail or fall, get up and fight again. This is a lifelong battle for some, but it doesn’t have to be a lifelong series of failed battles. And some of you will say, “It’s too late, I did it again, I’m already halfway there. I may as well see it through.” No, repent at any point. Repent at every point. Turn around, go back, start over, come clean, get help, talk to God, talk to Christian leaders. Talk to good friends, be honest, get the help you need. It’s never too late.
Remember that Jesus is the one who had the right to condemn you and instead, he died in your place to save you.