Adultery As Defined By Jesus: Part 3

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

29 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 thy whole body should be cast into hell.

30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. – Matthew 5:27-32

I’m going to look at Jesus’s teaching on adultery in three parts: verses 27-28, verses 29-30, and verses 31-32. This is part 3.

31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. – Matthew 5:27-32

Divorce and remarriage are so commonplace that I wonder how many people, including our religious leaders, stand by the teachings of Jesus in this regard? Not many, it seems. I am thankful for those who do because marriage is hard and all the more for those whose generation bred child-like men and women who are self-serving, unreliable, and resistant to hard work.

Add acceptance of fornication and high adultery rates to the mix and divorce becomes just another thing that people do. So is remarriage. By this standard, how many are adulterers? A high percentage of people.

There can be forgiveness in Christ for all sin, but when we fail to acknowledge sin and willingly commit sin without regard for the price that was paid for us, that is not good.

If you marry someone and later find out that they had sex with someone before they married you—and this is presuming you did not know this already and accepted the fact before you married them—then you can divorce.

Adultery is not mentioned, but that’s because it doesn’t have to be. Adultery is also a form of fornication because fornication means sex outside of marriage. Adultery is also divorce by definition because you are severing your bond with your spouse and joining with another. It’s a done deal pending the forgiveness of your spouse—which they are not obligated to give in any measure.  

Is there any other cause for divorce other than fornication? I think there might be, but each person should seek the Lord in this. Abuse and extreme cases of neglect or failure to provide marital duties that men and women should provide seem like a good reasons, though, maybe you should not remarry once you get a divorce. Paul the apostle says that if an unbelieving spouse leaves, the believing spouse is not bound. In that case, remarriage might be acceptable.

I personally don’t like to instruct people in these areas. I would just say that we should be cautious about who we marry in the first place, abstain from fornication, and do not commit adultery. Sometimes you wind up in a bad situation because you made foolish choices in youth, then this becomes your lot in life. You have to learn to “abide in the calling wherein you are called,” hold hope for your spouse, and trust in the Lord.

You can read more about marriage and divorce in 1 Corinthians 7 and Ephesians 5. I’m sure there are many in-depth studies available on this topic Online as well.  

As far as the relationship between Jesus Christ and the church goes, what can we say?

Would Jesus divorce a church that committed fornication with Satan? It seems so. Especially when it comes to worshipping the false prophet and beast as God. There will come a time when many who call themselves Christian fully join with someone other than Jesus, and this is when the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon comes into her fullness.

I also think about the Church of Thyatira in Revelation 2. Fornication is rampant and accepted, and I think this includes both literal fornication and spiritual fornication between Christians and the things of this world. Jesus says, “I will kill her children with death,” meaning all that was birthed by a church that is in league with this world. Perhaps some souls are spared but the works burned up, like Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 3, but I would not bank on that.

As a sign off good conscience towards God and the sacrifice and will of our Lord, Jesus, we should not look for any loophole that condones sin and “turns the grace of God into lasciviousness.” Many parables are given that warn about unfaithfulness in the church, and to think that we can just get away with that because of the blood of Jesus is foolishness.

Many people have been personally touched by fornication and adultery. Witnessing or experiencing the effects can create a great hatred for fornication and adultery. How much more should we esteem faithfulness to Jesus Christ: the Son of God, God With Us, and the One we call Lord? I hate any teaching that condones fornication against Jesus, and I think God does too. I think this is what “the doctrine of the Nicolaitans” represents, though I could be wrong.

We all fight against the flesh and against sin. Let no one accuse you. Yet, Jesus will try our hearts towards Him. We can seek Him now so that our blind spots and hardness of heart can be revealed to us and so we can be strengthened in Spirit and walk more faithfully to Him. He forgives but He is not to be trifled with or taken advantage of either. Make no mistake about that.

This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series. Subscribe for notifications of future posts.

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