Read Romans 13:8-10 and open in prayer for one another in response.
You shall not commit adultery.
In the beginning (5 mins)
Genesis 2:20-25 describes the origin of marriage. What can we gather from these verses?
- Marriage is for companionship – to do life together in partnership.
- Marriage is for a man and a woman.
- Marriage is exclusive and intimate – the two become one, naked and unashamed. Sex is designed to take place inside of marriage. Not for a fling but as part of the marriage union.
- Marriage is for family units – leaving the family of origin to start a new family.
- NB: please remain sensitive to those who are not married. 100% of us are also unmarried for a great portion of our lives and those who are married have a 50% chance of becoming unmarried again later in life as widows/ers.
The command to Israel (5 mins)
Read the following with regard to the 7th commandment:
Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 18:1-5, 20, 24-30, 20:10 (the whole chapter directs Israel to not do the detestable things that Egypt and the original land owners did, the subject of the chapter is sexual immorality).
Proverbs 6:20-35 (v32)
Israel’s history (10 mins)
Malachi 2:10-16 merges the issue of unfaithfulness to God with unfaithfulness in marriage. While God rebukes Israel here for marrying women who serve other Gods, he seems to accuse them of marital unfaithfulness which matches their unfaithfulness to Yahweh. What spiritual lesson does God teach us about adultery?
The marriage covenant is a model of our covenant with God. He is faithful and we must be faithful in our marriages. The Genesis language of the two becoming one is profound. Disobeying the 7th Commandment is not simply breaking a law but revealing our unfaithfulness.
The Gospel (10 mins)
Read Matthew 5:27-30. Discuss how Jesus speaks of the 7th Commandment.
Similar to the 6th commandment, we can break this command in our hearts and minds before any real testable action takes place.
When the gospel went out from Jerusalem to the Gentiles, the Christian church in Jerusalem was concerned to write to them. Read the letter in Acts 15:23-29. Being a brief letter, what do we notice of high priority?
Abstaining from practices associated with idolatry as well as sexual immorality. The concern is for Christians everywhere to not live as the pagans live. See Galatians 5:19; Eph 5:3; Col 3:5; 1 Thess 4:3; Heb 12:16; 13:4, not to mention much of 1 Corinthians!
Christian Living (15 mins)
The Israelites were told to not do what the other nations do in terms of sexual immorality. Christians are instructed in the same manner. We must stop living for the cravings of our own hearts but as mature people who have been saved by grace. Read Ephesians 2:1-10 to remember what we have been saved from and remember the gospel that saves.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.