You shall not commit
(Exodus 20:14, NKJV)
Adultery is both an external (body) and internal
(mind) sin that affects your spiritual
relationship (soul) with God. Believers are to
run away from sexual immorality and to the cross
Introduction – A
A. Righteousness requires pure actions driven by pure
B. You were already bought at a great price.
2. Applying the
A. Abraham – Guilty of Adam’s Sin.
B. 144,000 Believers – Pure and Chaste.
C. Some practical steps to prevent sexual immorality.
Introduction - A Serious
I have a serious
indictment to make: Adultery is a rampant
problem among men, even at our church, even
among the pastoral staff! “No way!” you say?
OK, how many of
you men will admit to committing adultery? None…
“You shall not commit
adultery” (Exodus 20:14, NKJV) was
taught by the LORD Jesus who explained it this
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not
commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that
anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has
already committed adultery with her in his
heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to
sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is
better for you to lose one part of your body
than for your whole body to be thrown into
hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you
to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is
better for you to lose one part of your body
than for your whole body to go into hell.
(Matthew 5:27-30, NIV)
So now how many
of you men will admit to committing adultery?
You see, all of us face the temptation to lust
and “all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans
Adultery is a
cancer of the soul that starts in the heart and,
if unchecked, infects the whole body. It is a
form of sexual immorality that, unfortunately,
is very common today. How does adultery or
1. Understanding the
A. Righteousness requires
pure actions driven by pure thoughts.
16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked
them. 17 “Don't you see that whatever enters
the mouth goes into the stomach and then out
of the body? 18 But the things that come out
of the mouth come from the heart, and these
make a man ‘unclean.’ 19 For out of the
heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery,
sexual immorality, theft, false testimony,
slander. 20 These are what make a man
‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands
does not make him ‘unclean.’ ” (Matthew
Adultery is a
serious offense to your spouse, your family, and
your God. Lust is also a serious offense to your
spouse, your family, and your God. 1 Cor. 13:5
says love does not demand its own way, but lust
- Lust demeans
your image or valuation of your spouse.
- Lust for
another divides your interests and breaks
the “one flesh” goal of marriage.
- Lust raises
unrealistic expectations for your spouse.
- Lust leads
to adultery – adultery of the heart soon
becomes adultery of the flesh.
Lust/adultery endangers your family health
- Lust reveals
a lack of trust in God’s provision for your
lust will keep you out of God’s kingdom (1
How does Jesus’
teaching on lust square with the famous “look
but don’t touch” rule?
- It doesn’t.
Jesus' teaching is that we should not look
with lust, period.
How does Jesus’
teaching on lust square with pornography or even
R-rated movies containing sex/nudity?
- It doesn’t.
Jesus' teaching disallows viewing sexual
images because they invoke lust by
How does Jesus’
teaching on lust square with opposite sex
friendships, other than your spouse?
- It doesn’t.
Intimate friendships with opposite sex
partners is a very slippery slope. I see
this at work all the time – two coworkers go
to lunch every day and talk about anything
and everything. It will not be long before
one or both has some marital issues that
they begin sharing with each other. Before
long the satisfaction they miss in their
marriage will be filled by their friend.
This is why He
says it is better to cut out that which feeds
your lust than risk the fires of Hell (Matthew
B. You were already
bought at a great price
believer's body belongs to the Lord who redeemed
him at a price that cannot be repaid, he must
avoid adultery [sexual immorality] at all costs:
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins
a man commits are outside his body, but he
who sins sexually sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body is a temple
of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you
have received from God? You are not your
own; you were bought at a price. Therefore
honor God with your body. (1 Cor 6:18-20,
immorality must be understood as sexual lust or
acts outside the confines of the marriage
What is sexual
is sexual union only between the consenting
husband and wife (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6).
All other sexual activity before, during, and
after marriage is IMMORAL:
- Sex between
friends or strangers (affairs, prostitution,
- Same sex sex
whether safe sex or not.
- Sex with
anyone not your spouse (adultery, incest)
molestation including "date groping"
- LUST for
another in a sexual way (Jesus said adultery
of the heart Mat. 5:28) such as pornography
(now available on the internet), nudity (not
just "adult entertainment" but mainstream TV
now), and improper and impure thoughts
Since all of
these are defined as sexual immorality and
condemned in Scripture, then why does Paul
consider it important to warn the church about
susceptible to this sin and have in large part
been defeated by it. Sexual immorality is
rarely spoken against and never in such absolute
terms as are given in Scripture. Lust, in
particular, is the silent sin which cripples
many believers, ruins marriage relationships and
families. Paul gives this warning to the
body of Christ for all time because we need it
-- today more than ever.
immorality is a major sin which defiles the
believer, the church, and the world.
Has this sin lost
its shame in the church? Certainly it has
in the world. Consider the air force
pilot, Kelly Flynn, was ousted from the military
because of adultery. Actually, they considered
the problem of adultery much less severe than
rank insubordination, for which she technically
should have been dishonorably discharged.
Illicit affairs still tend to bring church
leaders down. But has lust, generally seen
in addiction to pornographic material, gotten
the attention and the shame it deserves in the
Why is sexual
immorality such a problem for the believer --
after all, as Paul says in 1 Cor. 6:12
"Everything is permissible for me..." (NIV)?
Sin never brings a profit and always tries to
enslave a person. The sin of sexual
- 1 Cor. 5:1-5
a shameful activity that defiles the
holiness of God's church.
- 1 Cor. 5:6-8
rebellion against truth (Jesus said, "I am
the Way, and the Truth..." (John 14:6, NIV).
- 1 Cor.
5:9-13 influences others to sin.
- 1 Cor.
6:9-11 denies the unbeliever entrance to
God's kingdom because one cannot hold sin
and the cross. As the old hymn "Rock
of Ages" explains: "In my hand no price I
bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling"
- 1 Cor.
6:12-17 defiles the body which is meant for
the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1 Cor. 6:18
confuses the spiritual aspect of the sexual
union which transcends the physical.
is a major sin which infects the believer,
tearing down his resistance much like a virus.
Left unchecked, it will always lead to greater
and more frequent sin.
immorality must be avoided by the active,
on-going commitment of the believer to the Lord.
Paul makes it
clear that God desires and requires a PURE
- Note that
Paul clearly shows that we cannot separate
ourselves from all unbelievers in the world:
this would be impossible. The problem is sin
INSIDE the church not outside.
Paul makes it
clear that God desires and requires PURE
- Know who you
are (washed--1 Cor. 6:11, holy temple-- 1
- Know whose
you are (bought at a price--1 Cor. 6:19-20).
- Flee (180
degree turn) from temptation.
- Always be
fleeing is the tense of the verb for "flee."
- On sexual
temptation, John MacArthur said: "We are not
to consider it a spiritual challenge to be
met but a spiritual trap to be escaped. We
should get away as fast as we can."
In the end, we
must realize that we do not exercise authority
or self-rule over ourselves -- in Christ, the
believer is owned lock, stock, and barrel by
2. Applying the
A. Abraham – Guilty of
(1)When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the
LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I
am Almighty God; walk before Me and be
blameless. (2) "And I will make My covenant
between Me and you, and will multiply you
exceedingly." (3) Then Abram fell on his
face, and God talked with him, saying: (4)
"As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you,
and you shall be a father of many nations.
(5) "No longer shall your name be called
Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I
have made you a father of many nations. (6)
"I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I
will make nations of you, and kings shall
come from you. (7) "And I will establish My
covenant between Me and you and your
descendants after you in their generations,
for an everlasting covenant, to be God to
you and your descendants after you. (8)
"Also I give to you and your descendants
after you the land in which you are a
stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an
everlasting possession; and I will be their
God." (Genesis 17:1-8, NKJV)
God and committed adultery with Sarah's servant,
Hagar (Gen. 16). Even though this was at
Sarah's request (for she wanted a son so badly),
Abram sinned against God's command for marriage
from Gen. 2:24-25. God's design for marriage is
one man, one woman, for life. As a result of
Abram's sin, God did not speak again for
In the LORD we
can find forgiveness and reconciliation. Abram
was reconciled to God through the grace He
extends to each of us in His Son, Jesus Christ.
We find Abram in verse 3 falling on his face
before the Almighty -- an appropriate posture
for any of us to take when God speaks.
B. 144,000 Believers –
Pure and Chaste
(1) Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb
standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one
hundred and forty-four thousand, having His
Father's name written on their foreheads.
(2) And I heard a voice from heaven, like
the voice of many waters, and like the voice
of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of
harpists playing their harps. (3) They sang
as it were a new song before the throne,
before the four living creatures, and the
elders; and no one could learn that song
except the hundred and forty-four thousand
who were redeemed from the earth. (4) These
are the ones who were not defiled with
women, for they are virgins. These are the
ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.
These were redeemed from among men, being
firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. (5) And
in their mouth was found no deceit, for they
are without fault before the throne of God.
(Revelation 14:1-5, NKJV)
1. God has
special rewards for His children who live in
integrity and purity.
14:1, we see another picture around God's throne
in Heaven as we see the Lamb of God on Mount
Zion. We know this is in Heaven because
Jesus has not returned to the Earth as of yet.
He is with 144,000 very special believers.
What does this
group represent? This group of believers
has a special place before the throne of God
because of the conduct of their lives.
There are some Bible teachers who emphasize
God's grace to the exclusion of other important
doctrines, such as the pursuit of holiness.
Many believers are lulled into the idea that
they can simply "rest" in God's grace and not
worry about following Christ! This is what
happens when we fail to study and teach the
whole counsel of God. The 144,000
believers "follow the Lamb wherever He goes"
(14:4) indicating they set their sights on
following Christ. This was their primary goal.
remained pure and honest in all of life. This is
not to say they were perfect. Romans 3:23 still
holds true for the 144,000. But as they began
each day and throughout each day, these
committed believers pursued holiness, purity,
and integrity in their lives. God is concerned
about the conduct of your life. He has a special
reward for these 144,000 believers. Are you
pursuing holiness, purity, and integrity in your
life? If so, you may be among this special group
sealed with the name of God the Father on your
2. Note the
conduct of these believers.
The 144,000 have
the unique privilege of singing a new song
(Revelation 14:3), obviously taught to them by
the Lamb of God Himself (Rev. 14:1).
Again, there are eternal rewards for
faithfulness to Christ which are
incomprehensible to us here on Earth. But
these rewards are absolutely certain because
they are promised by God (1 Cor. 3:14) and kept
by His power (1 Peter 1:4-5).
14:4, the 144,000 were sexually pure and that is
the tremendous commendation of this verse.
Following Christ by faith, they overcame the
temptation of lust and immorality that has been
present in the world since the fall of humanity.
Note that they were not sexually pure because
they were virgins. Their virginity is an
additional fact of their lives. The main
point is that they were sexually pure.
does not defile a person before God so long as
it is between a man and woman married to each
other (you have to be very specific these days).
It is given to a man and woman who commit
themselves to a lifetime union of their entire
lives (Gen. 2:24). The union between a man
and woman who are married is even commanded (1
Cor. 7:3-5). Finally, Hebrews 13:4 clearly
shows that it is adultery and fornication which
defile one before God, not sexual intimacy
between two who are lawfully married. So
Rev. 14:4 does not teach celibacy as a "holier"
lifestyle than marriage. Rather, it agrees
with the rest of Scripture that overcoming the
temptations of adultery and fornication are
highly commended by God. The follower of
Christ will turn away from such lusts and turn
instead to the living LORD Jesus Christ for
strength, contentment, and ultimate redemption.
deep in the heart of a person (Rev 14:5). God
considers in the thought process one's motives,
secret plans, and longings. One with no
deceit begins with a motive or purpose of
glorifying God. The plan in one's heart is
to follow God's will. And the longing of
one's heart is to do that which pleases the
LORD. Genuine integrity in one's life will
not be possible until the inner thoughts are set
in order. Jesus explained clearly that our
actions are driven by what is inside us (Matthew
12:34-35; Mark 7:20-23). Integrity driven
by the purpose of glorifying God will bear the
fruit of righteous conduct.
Keep in mind that
honest living is the result of inner integrity.
Time will reveal such a hidden virtue. If one is
honest with the LORD Jesus Christ, to whom the
believer owes his or her life, then one will be
honest with others. If one cannot be honest with
God, then how can one expect to live with
integrity? Let it be said of you that "no lie
was found in your mouth." Just as the 144,000
found, a man or woman who tells the truth is
called "blameless." There will be nothing anyone
can honestly hold against a person of integrity.
before the throne of God – when a believer
approaches the throne of God, he/she will be
without fault. The holiness of God will shine
right through all the dark pride bringing
confession and repentance. It is a natural part
of drawing close to God.
C. Some practical steps
to prevent sexual immorality
- Keep your
eyes focused on eye contact -
"I have made a
covenant with my eyes; Why then should I
look upon a young woman?” (Job 31:1, NIV).
When talking with a woman or looking at a
woman, keep your eyes on her eyes – never go
below the nose!
- The “bounce
away” method is described by Stephen
Arterburn – train yourself when confronted
with a visual images that stimulate lust to
look away as soon as possible. Whether it is
a click of the remote control on a graphic
TV show or movie scene, a scantily clad
coworker or jogger, look away quickly –
bounce your eyes to something good.
- Avoid places
where you may be tempted -
"25 Do not let your
heart turn to her ways or stray into her
paths. 26 Many are the victims she has
brought down; her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death"
(Proverbs 7:25-27, NIV) – such as
a particular part of town you choose not to
drive by anymore, or the computer at night
after your wife has gone to bed… turn it
- Guard your
heart – "22 The eye
is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are
good, your whole body will be full of light.
23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body
will be full of darkness. If then the light
within you is darkness, how great is that
darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23, NIV).
What you allow as input through your eyes
will drive you to or away from lust. Replace
lustful thoughts with godly thoughts through
earnest, diligent study of God’s word. Lay
down godly tracks - godly ways of thinking -
in your mind.
tells in her testimony of growing up with the
"wild crowd." She ran with the wrong people and
did the wrong things. One day she was with one
of her friends when her older sister walked by.
Her sister saw who she was with and called her
off to the side. "Jill," her sister said, "if
you get pregnant, it will kill your father."
Jill said that she thought about that a long
time...because she loved her father deeply. A
couple of weeks later she said she was with her
boyfriend and he was trying to get her into bed.
He tried everything and finally said, "The only
reason you won't do it is because of what your
father will do to you." "No," she said, "that
isn't true. The reason I won't do it is because
of what I would do to my father."
Father gave a priceless gift to redeem us from
sin. To commit sexual immorality of any kind
tramples this priceless gift in the dust, making
the cross a mockery of our Father's love for us.
You are not your own -- you were bought at a
price. Therefore, honor God with your body by
remaining pure in a perverted world that will
one day pass away.
20 My son, keep your father's commands and
do not forsake your mother's teaching. 21
Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten
them around your neck. 22 When you walk,
they will guide you; when you sleep, they
will watch over you; when you awake, they
will speak to you. 23 For these commands are
a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the
corrections of discipline are the way to
life, 24 keeping you from the immoral woman,
from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife.
25 Do not lust in your heart after her
beauty or let her captivate you with her
eyes, 26 for the prostitute reduces you to a
loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon
your very life. 27 Can a man scoop fire into
his lap without his clothes being burned? 28
Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet
being scorched? 29 So is he who sleeps with
another man's wife; no one who touches her
will go unpunished. (Proverbs 6:20-29, NIV)
MacArthur New Testament Commentary,
Moody Press: Chicago, copyright 1984, p.
© Copyright 2007,
Randy Lariscy. All rights reserved.