[Exodus 20: 14]
“You shall not commit adultery.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today, among the Ten Commandments, I will talk to you about the 7th commandment telling us not to commit adultery.
‘Adultery’, according to one dictionary definition, is the voluntary sexual relations between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.
Just about 30 or 40 years ago, these things were considered very immoral.
Most people considered them to be a very bad sin and if anybody was known to have committed such a sin, he/she wouldn’t be able to lift up his/her head, and sometimes this kind of person was kicked out of the village.
But as time passed, people’s consciences have become more and more numb and the sense of sin has become weaker.
Especially, with the spread of computers and Internet, not only adults but also little students came to have contact with filthy things. They have contact with the things that they shouldn’t have contact, and see and hear and accept them with feelings. So, their heart is more easily stained with worldly lust, and more people commit those sins in action.
But no matter how full of sins this world is, we children of God should not do such things.
Romans 13:12 says, “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
Through today’s message, I hope in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that you will keep the God-given commandments completely and your hearts and deeds will become holy and pure, so that you will all become God’s children who are suitable to become brides of the Lord..
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as explained above, the 7th commandment telling us not to commit adultery, contains many meanings. The first is the general meaning of adultery, namely, God is prohibiting us from committing the adultery in action.
Adultery in action is one of the representative works of the flesh, and the Bible clearly tells us that those who commit this sin will not be saved. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says, “Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals,  nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Of course, in case of a new-believer who doesn’t really know the truth, God may give him the chance of repentance.
But after going into the 3rd level of faith and knowing the truth to some extent, if one commits this kind of evident work of flesh, it is very difficult to receive the spirit of repentance.
Also, Proverbs 6:32 says, “The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it.”
Leviticus 20:10 says, “If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” God strictly prohibits committing adultery.
Also, I hope you will remember that the Bible strictly prohibits not only sexual relations between a man and a woman outside marriage but also relations with an animal or with the same gender.
Today, people’s thoughts have changed a lot, and in dramas or movies, many times they describe immoral adultery as something beautiful.
Also, even between a man and a woman who are not married, some think it is OK if they are going to get married.
But we should realize God prohibited these things not only some decades ago or just in the Old Testament times, but today in the New Testament times, God is prohibiting these sins just as strictly.
I urge in the name of the Lord that none of you should follow this trend of this world and make yourself unclean.
Secondly, there is adultery of the heart.
Matthew 5:27-28 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’  but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
It’s not adultery in action but just by having lustful desire looking at a woman, adultery is already committed.
Just like all other works of the flesh, before men commit sins in action, they first have sins in their heart.
Because they hate in the heart, they cause damage to others, and because they have anger in their heart, they get angry and curse.
In the same way, if you have adulterous thinking in the heart, it may develop into the action of adultery. Therefore, even if it hasn’t come out as action yet, if you just have it in the heart, it is already adultery. It is the same root of sin.
Even if you didn’t commit the sin in action, if you have adulterous thoughts in the heart, you cannot hide it in front of God who is looking at everything.
No matter how much you pretend to be holy, if you have an adulterous mind in the heart from seeing, hearing and thinking adulterous things, how can God recognize you as His holy child?
I have even seen some people teach that men cannot cast off an adulterous mind from the heart and they can only try to do it.
But this is not the will of God at all.
We cannot do it by men’s ability, but if we receive God’s strength through prayers and fasting, we can definitely get rid of sinful natures from our heart. Jesus wore the crown of thorns to forgive you of the sins that you commit with thoughts.
Also, God sent us the Holy Spirit so that He can help us to cast off sinful natures in our heart.
Thus, if we once cast off the sinful nature itself from our heart, we will not even think about anything that is of the untruth.
Even if we may see or hear something bad, we do not accept any feeling related to those bad things, so we will not think of anything that is not truth.
Of course, in the process of casting it off, you may think you have cast it off, but you may feel it keeps coming up again and again.
But if you are really trying to cast off sins and evil by believing the word of God and obeying, it, it means you never stay at the same state. When you peel off the layer of an onion, even after peeling off a couple of layers, you still get the same layers, but if you continue peeling it off, finally, nothing will be left to remove.
It’s the same with our sin natures.
So, if you look at it with the eyes of faith, you won’t become discouraged thinking, “I have tried so hard, but I haven’t cast off sins and evil yet.”
To the extent that you try to cast off, you firmly believe that you are definitely changing, and you hope that you will finally become completely sanctified, so you can march on with more strength.
It’s not that you thought you had cast off something but you are remaining the same all the time and it’s not that you didn’t have such evil before and that it is newly emerging.
It’s just that you didn’t know it, but you had it in your heart, but now you have come to realize it and cast it off. So, it means you are getting closer and closer to perfection, so you should be more thankful.
In the process of trying to cast off the sinful nature, even if adulterous thought came into your mind for a moment, God does not condemn you to have committed adultery in the heart.
The problem is when you accept the thought that came into your thoughts for a moment and develop it more with your imagination. If you repent of it immediately after you realize it and if you just keep on trying to become completely sanctified, God will give you more grace and strength.
He helps you to win the victory at the end.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, thirdly, there is spiritual adultery.
But more fearful than these is spiritual adultery. Spiritual adultery is committed when you love the world more than God although you profess your faith in God. Physical adultery also originates from your lust that loves the world more than you love God.
Colossians 3:5-6 says, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.  For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience.”
Even if you receive the Holy Spirit, experience God’s works, and have faith, if you do not cast off greed from your heart, you will love worldly things more than God.
When I explained about the second commandment before, I told you that whatever you love in the world more than you love God is an idol.
So, if you have greed, it will give birth to spiritual idolatry, and furthermore, it will become spiritual adultery. Then, how are spiritual idolatry in the second commandment and the spiritual adultery in the 7th commandment different from each other?
Spiritual idolatry in the second commandment is everything that you love more than God.
Physical idolatry is when a man who does not know God at all makes an image and worships it. But when a man who has weak faith loves the world more than God, it is spiritual idolatry.
Being a new-believer, because he has little faith, he may not be able to cast off the world and love the world more than God.
Because they have doubts thinking, “Is God really alive? Is there really hell? Is there really a resurrection?” it is not easy for them to forsake the world and live in the Word.
So, they may love money or fame more or they love their family members more than God, thus they are worshiping idols in a spiritual sense.
But as they listen to the word and pray, they experience God’s answers, and they come to believe in the heart that the words in the Bible are true and that there is heaven and hell. They come to know that they should love God first and they should try to do it.
Now, even after they have certain faith like this, if they keep on loving the world more than God and continually accept things that belong to darkness, it is to forsake the love they received from God and this is spiritual adultery.
So, spiritual idolatry and spiritual adultery seems to be similar, but they have distinctive difference.
Brothers and sisters, the Bible often likens the relationship between Israel and God to the relationship between a father and his child, but sometimes it likens it to the relationship between a husband and a wife.
Here it is like the relationship between a husband and a wife who have vowed to love each other with all his/her heart. but in the history of Israel, many times the people forsook the covenant of God and worshipped foreign gods.
The Gentiles worshipped idols because they did not know God, but the people of Israel knew about God very well.
God chose them and led them to the land of Canaan, the land flowing with mild and honey, and God showed that He was alive by demonstrating so many signs and wonders before them.
Yet, the people were deceived into following their desires. They accepted the idols of the Gentiles and they loved them and worshiped them more God.
1 Chronicles 5:25 says, “But they acted treacherously against the God of their fathers and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them.” It tells us it was spiritual adultery when the people of Israel worshiped idols.
Also, Jeremiah 3:8 says, “And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also.”
The northern, Israel, was committing spiritual adultery by worshiping idols and was forsaken by God and was destroyed. But even after seeing this, southern, Judah, did not repent but kept on worshiping idols.
The people of Israel who brought about God’s wrath by committing spiritual adultery finally were destroyed by the swords of the Gentiles. Still today, in the New Testament times, God’s children are the brides of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:2 says, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.”
The apostle Paul taught the believers and tried to lead them into the truth so that they would prepare themselves as pure brides when they went before the Lord who is the bridegroom.
And now, if you have believed in the Lord, received the Holy Spirit, and come to believe in a heaven and a hell in your heart, and if you call the Lord, ‘My bride,’ and yet if you still love the world and compromise with the untruth, this is spiritual adultery.
About this, James 4:4 says, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
He who makes himself an enemy of God, betrays the Lord, and commits adultery, cannot become a bride of the Lord. He won’t be able to participate in the wedding banquet of the Lord.
That is why spiritual adultery is more fearful than physical adultery.
For example, suppose a younger brother cursed at his elder brother and spat on him. This is a great offense, but there is a chance of the elder brother forgiving his younger brother.
But if a son did that do his father, it is something so depraved, and something that is very difficult to be forgiven.
Adultery committed between people is difficult to forgive and be forgiven, but if you betray God and the Lord with spiritual adultery, this sin is even more grave.
So, Jeremiah 11:11-14 says, about Israel that was full of spiritual adultery, they should not even pray for them, and even if they cry out, God will not listen to them.
In the same way, even today, if you go beyond a certain limit in spiritual adultery, you won’t be able to hear voice of the Holy Spirit and you cannot receive answers to your prayers.
You will be even farther away from God, and you will be stained with more worldly things, so you will commit sins that lead to death including physical adultery. This is to crucify Jesus Christ all over again and the way of death.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.”
The body of the saved children of God is the holy Temple where the Holy Spirit dwells.
Therefore, not to be ashamed as the temple of God, you should have the qualifications in both actions and heart.
Especially, you who are leading your Christian life in this church have seen, heard, and experienced so many works of God until today.
Also, you have listened to so many messages telling you about the will and heart of God, the providence of salvation, and why you have to become sanctified. Therefore, you should never forsake the will of God.
I hope you won’t have anything to do with not only physical adultery but also spiritual adultery and you will only long for the truth and fill your heart with it, so that you will become perfect brides of the Lord.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you who have listened to this message will adorn yourself most beautifully, spotless and blameless as the bride of the Lamb, and participate in the wedding banquet with joy.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we have Chusok (the Korean Thanksgiving) holiday this week.
Many of you will be going back to your hometowns, and I hope you will be protected on your way and you will have happy holidays in the Lord.
Even though your family is not evangelized, you should never bow down before idols. Please have peace with others wisely and I urge you to please God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will preach the gospel and give many testimonies in the Lord, and have a gracious and peaceful time.