Summary: This study takes a look at the Ten Commandments from a New Testament perspective.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
When we looked at the commandment not to commit murder, we saw that Jesus took this command and warned that murder was an act of the heart even if we did not carry out the physical act. Jesus has also taken adultery and pointed directly to our hearts as well. Look at Matthew 5:27-29
7 " You have heard that it was said to those of old, ’You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
This warning cuts to the heart. How many times have you heard men say things like, “There is nothing wrong with looking as long as you don’t act”? Is this true? Our hearts and minds are the battleground for temptation. You cannot be tempted in this area unless you allow yourself to be drawn with your eyes. Look at this passage from James 1:14-16
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
We are drawn away when we see temptation and do not turn away. When King David was drawn into adultery with Bathsheba, it was not a surprise attack by Satan. He looked down from his rooftop and saw a woman bathing. Instead of turning away, David took the lust for her into his heart and there his wicked desire was conceived. Because David allowed that desire to grow into lust, it gave birth to sin and sin led to more sin and before he realized what was happening, David’s flesh was driving him and he was no longer being led by God’s Spirit. David committed a chain of sins that he never thought he would commit. In fact, he resisted many of these things throughout his life, but in a moment of compromise, he gave place to the Devil and quickly his life and spiritual condition was out of control.
The Spirit of God calls and leads us, but does not force our obedience. God leads and calls us to follow. When temptation arises, God has promised that He will always make a way for us to escape. When temptation is present, two voices will always be calling. One calls for us to follow and one lures us toward captivity. Proverbs 9 gives a wonderful description of these two voices. Look at Proverbs 9:1-6
Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars; 2 She has slaughtered her meat, She has mixed her wine, She has also furnished her table. 3 She has sent out her maidens, She cries out from the highest places of the city, 4 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!" As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 5 "Come, eat of my bread And drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding.
The Spirit of God’s wisdom calls us to forsake foolishness and live as God leads us into the way of understanding. We are called by faith to follow God’s instructions and if we hold on to wisdom, we will find the way of understanding, gain knowledge, find the path of life, will receive honor and obtain all the promises of God. The call of wisdom does not offer instant gratification for the flesh, but the hope of the promises of God. Proverbs 9 also warns that the voice of temptation competes with the voice of wisdom as we are called to come to sin. Look at Proverbs 9:16-18
16 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here"; And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 17 "Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant." 18 But he does not know that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depths of hell.
Temptation promises secret pleasure and a sweet experience, but the end result is bondage and death. Proverbs 7 describes a foolish man who followed the flattering words of an adulterer who promised him pleasure. The Bible describes this man as “a bird that hastens to a snare and does not know that it is for his life”. How do you lure animals into traps? To lure a mouse into a trap you bait it with something the mouse desires. A bird hurries to the snare because the bird sees something desirable and rushes to get it. Lust is the same way. Satan lays the trap but Satan has no power over you. He only promises that you will have great pleasure if you will turn your heart and mind over to your flesh. Look at Romans 6: