What Does the Bible Say About Adultery?
Why is adultery a sin? God’s commandments forbid adultery. It’s in the Bible, Exodus 20:14, NIV. “You shall not commit adultery.”
God created marriage at the beginning. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 19:4-6, “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.’”
To leave your spouse for another person may be legal, but it is adultery in God’s eyes. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 19:9, NKJV. “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
What is Adultery According to the Bible?
It is not just physical, but can happen in your mind, with the internet, magazines, movies, or people. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 5:27, 28, NIV. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The Ten Commandments also forbid lust. “you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,” (Exodus 20:17, NKJV).
Adultery begins in the heart before it becomes physical. It’s in the Bible, Matthew 15:19, NKJV. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”
Marriage is sacred. It’s in the Bible, Hebrews 13:4, ESV. “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
The path of the adulterer leaves ugly wounds and scars. It's in the Bible, Proverbs 6:28-29, NKJV. "Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent."
What warning does the Bible give for committing adultery? It's in the Bible, Proverbs 6:32:33, NKJV. "Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away."
How can we avoid adultery? Don’t covet what you do not have, God is faithful to your needs. It’s in the Bible, Hebrews 13:5, NKJV. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Adultery is a grievous sin – but there is still forgiveness through Jesus. It’s in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 6:8-11, NKJV. “No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
Marriage and Adultery in the Bible
God promises He can bring beauty out of broken marriages. It’s in the Bible, Isaiah 61:1-3, NKJV. “..Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness..”
If my spouse has committed adultery, and asks for forgiveness, should I forgive them? It’s in the Bible, John 8:10-11, NKJV. “When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, “’Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’”
Try all that you can to keep your marriage vows. It’s in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, 16, NKJV. “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife…For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?”
I have tried all to forgive and keep our marriage together, but my spouse has decided to divorce me. What do I do? It’s in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 7:15, NIV. “But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.”
God will never give us more than we can bear. It’s in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
What is spiritual adultery in the Bible? Worshipping other gods, idols, and in ways God hasn't called for. It's in the Bible, Ezekiel 23:37, NKJV. "For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. They have committed adultery with their idols, and even sacrificed their sons whom they bore to Me, passing them through the fire, to devour them"