Summary: In our modern society, some of the Ten Commandments are ridiculed, & others ignored. But I think this 7th Commandment is actually hated by many.
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
A. Today is Valentine’s Day, a special day, a day in which much emphasis is placed on romantic love. But if you listen, you’ll discover that the world gives very mixed messages about the nature of love & the ways to express it.
We are bombarded by a media that has abandoned God, ridicules Christians, & seeks to replace Christian values with their Godless ones. So pervasive is this influence in our society, that even many church leaders have succumbed to it, & no longer speak out with any courage or conviction.
So I feel compelled today to give you an idea of what God has to say on the subject, for He does speak clearly, & we need to hear it.
B. Back in the O.T., when God gave the 10 Commandments to the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai, the 7th Commandment was this, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
In Matthew 5:27-28, as a part of His great Sermon on the Mount, Jesus enlarged upon this, "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."
Now in our modern society, some of the 10 Commandments are ridiculed, & others ignored, but I think this 7th commandment is actually hated by many. They say, "How could a God give us such a strong sex drive, & then put so many restrictions on it? It just doesn’t seem fair!"
C. I’m convinced that God gave all the Commandments for our benefit. God knows us inside & out. And His desire in giving commandments & restrictions is that we might improve our quality of life, & enjoy an abundant life.
Don’t ever think that God is some kind of fiend who arbitrarily sets down rules just because He likes to see us squirm. God is a compassionate God who loves us, & always gives those things which are best for us in our lives.
Now if we can understand that, it may take some of our spirit of defiance away, & motivate us to obey the commandments of God.
PROP. So our question this morning is, "What is it that this commandment prohibits?" As we study it, I think we’ll find that it prohibits three very common sexual sins today.
I. WHAT DOES THIS COMMANDMENT PROHIBIT?
A. First of all, it prohibits adultery. That simply means, "Sexual contact outside of marriage by married people." It means infidelity. It means being unfaithful to your wife or your husband. That’s basically what it prohibits. And you understand that, I hope.
ILL. When God brought Adam & Eve together in the Garden of Eden, Adam looked at Eve & said, "She is bone of my bones & flesh of my flesh. She shall be called `woman’ for she has come out of man." Then the Bible says, "For this reason a man will leave his father & mother & be united to his wife, & they will become one flesh" [Genesis 2:23-24].
That statement is so important that it is repeated 4 times in the Bible, twice by Jesus. And when Jesus repeats it, He adds this, "What God has joined together, let man not separate" [Mark 10:9].
So God gives us this command because He wants to preserve the sanctity of marriage. He wants everybody to realize that marriage is meant to be so special that it requires a life-long commitment on the part of both people, to give ourselves wholly & completely to one another.
APPL. Now any other use of marriage makes marriage into something bizarre. If we are unfaithful to our spouses then we become just mating animals, & we make a mockery of the sanctity of marriage.
ILL. Do you remember the story about Tony Toto, of Allentown, PA.? He operated a pizza parlor there. Tony Toto survived at least 5 attempts on his life, all arranged for or carried out by his dear wife, Frances, & her lover.
Twice she arranged for assailants to beat him over the head with baseball bats. On one occasion she put a tripwire across the basement stairs in their house, hoping that he would trip over it & plummet to his death.
Twice she arranged for him to be shot. The first time she drugged his chicken soup so he would sleep soundly, & he was shot in the head, but miraculously survived. The 2nd time he was shot in the chest, but only sustained minor injuries. Now this is a picture of a real happy couple, isn’t it?
Even more miraculous than Tony’s survival was his attitude toward his wife once he found out she was responsible for all of this. Tony, a self-confessed lady’s man himself, said that he held his wife blameless.