Adultery and God’s Mercy

Have you ever attended a wedding? It is always a beautiful sight to behold, a rare occasion to marvel at the beauty in God’s creation manifested through friends, family, and the church. A celebration of two people starting their life as one. However, years down the line, some of these unions end up suffering the pain of adultery.

What Is Adultery?

What is adultery? Adultery refers to the act of a married person having a physical relationship with someone other than their spouse. The sixth commandment lays it out clearly: 

“You shall not commit adultery.”

Exodus 20:14

Adultery often leaves marriage partners bitter and disillusioned. It robs children of the love and security of a healthy family and denies them a good role model for their own future marriages. Forgetting the goodness and mercy of God by giving in to immediate physical passion brings self-inflicted consequences to the body and soul

However, we serve a merciful God Who is always willing to forgive you and fully embrace you as His child regardless of your sins.

God’s word tells us just how harmful adultery can be, but it also speaks of grace and mercy from a loving God.

In the book of John 8:1-11, we see God’s mercy in action when the Pharisees bring before Jesus a woman who has committed adultery.

In front of everyone, they insist she be stoned, according to the law of Moses. Trying to trap Jesus, they ask if He agrees.

Jesus’s answer is perhaps one of the most loving statements in the Bible, a perfect example of how God feels toward each and every one of us when we sin: 

Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

John 8:7

This silences the woman’s accuser, and one by one, they leave, until Jesus is left with the woman:

“Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’

‘No, Lord,’ she said.

And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more.’”

John 8:10-11

God is Merciful

What is Jesus showing us? 

Adultery was and still is a sin. 

The woman in the story has apparently been found guilty and, according to the law of Moses, is to be punished by death. 

Jesus does not condone what she has done or dismiss her sin as a light act. He knows, and she does too, that what she has done is wrong. However, Jesus’s message is one of forgiveness, not judgment. He condemns the sin, not the sinner, commanding her to change her ways and not sin again. 

This message is for all of us. We are all called to change our ways and live life for the glory of God. Jesus wants each person present to see that they, too, are sinners, and that their main responsibility is to mend their own ways and serve God in their actions.

How Does this Commandment Help You Live As A Christian?

1. It keeps you on the straight and narrow.

The Bible is clear that we must remain faithful to our sacred marriage vows and the family that God has created for us. 

2. It redirects you toward God’s grace.

The grace shown by Jesus toward the woman is evidence that God is gracious to embrace you when you seek His presence and come back to Him.

3. It helps you respect boundaries.

Jesus’s directive helps us stay in our lane, avoiding temptations and striving to be an encouragement to others. Not only should we respect our own marriages, but we should respect others’. 

What guilt are you still carrying in your heart? Do you know that Christ paid for it once and for all? Believe in God and change your ways. He wants you to “sin no more” so your relationship with Him will be restored. 

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