Meditation–COMMITTING ADULTERY

In the Old Testament, or old covenant, God clearly states in the Ten Commands that He forbids adultery, which violates the marriage covenant between husband and wife. That covenant is so strong and significant because it mirrors the covenant between God and His people. In the New Testament, proclaiming the new covenant, God ramps up His prohibition. Not only does He forbid His people from committing adultery — breaking the marriage covenant — He says, “Don’t even think about it.”


“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14 (NIV)

“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.” Luke 16:18 (NKJV)

“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-29 (NLT)


OUR GOD IS A GOD OF COVENANTS.

Throughout human history, starting with Adam in the Garden of Eden, God established a covenant, or contract between the two of them. The contract was conditional. “If you, Adam, obey Me, I will bless you. If you, Adam, disobey Me, you will be punished.”

The first man and woman in Paradise.

As we know all too well, Adam disobeyed God. Yes, Eve played her part in the disobedience, but it was Adam who was given the charge to preserve order in the Garden, and he failed to do so. 

Fast-forwarding through time and the imposition and dissolution of several other covenants, God instituted a new covenant, inaugurated with the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus the Christ, the Anointed One of God. 

It is a covenant not of laws but of grace. It is not a conditional covenant, either, based on “If you will, I will; if you won’t, I won’t.” It is a one-way covenant in which God proclaims that He will faithfully execute His part of the deal even though we, His people, often fail to exercise our own role.

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LET’S LOOK AT SOME COMPONENTS of this new covenant through the lens of marriage.

As husband and wife go through the trials and joys of living together (The two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. [Mark 10:8 NASB]), they will become tighter in their need for and dependence on one another. They also will conflict when they disagree.

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”  

—Jeremiah 31:33 (ESV)

So, here are some components of that covenant with God’s commentary:

  • FORGIVENESS – Each of us is called to extend grace and compassion to our spouse. We will disagree. We will argue. In the end, we need to forgive and seek forgiveness. GOD SAYS: “Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you.” Colossians 3:13 (GNT) 
  • FAITHFULNESS – Each of us is called to take our covenant vows seriously. We need to trust each other, and that means mutually agreeing to the covenant. GOD SAYS: “Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.” Psalm 85:11 (NIV)
Husband and Wife building a relationship along the lines of God’s plan for families.
  • LOVE/RESPECTThe Bible says the man (husband) is to love and honor his wife, and the woman (wife) is to respect her husband. The husband is responsible for his wife’s safety and wellbeing. GOD SAYS: Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)
  • SHARPENING – As husbands and wives disagree with each other, and they will, they should do so in a way that encourages them to spend more time together, praying with one another, and sharing God’s will for their lives as revealed in His Word. GOD SAYS: “As iron sharpens iron, so a person sharpens his friend.” Proverbs 27:17 (NET)

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THE FAMILY UNIT IS FOUNDATIONAL for our society to function properly. 

Not only does our moral code, given to us by God through His Word, address family issues, but our legal code supported by three branches of government traditionally has enforced that code.

God counsels against sin but will “give us over” to our sin if we continue to reject Him.

Unfortunately, the covenantal relationship at the heart of our civilization is under attack in our land, and throughout the Western world, as “secular progressive” advocates promote marriage stripped of its biblical underpinnings, as God, Himself, is stripped from His pivotal role as originator of our moral code.

Some have reduced our sense of propriety to advance their personal interests contrary to what God has given us in accordance with His creation plan solely to satisfy their individual wants. Many of those seeking high elective office have taken up their cause and promise a continued scaling back of legal protections enforcing that moral code.

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WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US?

As a country, as a society, as a community, that leaves us in deep conflict. 

However, as individuals who remain faithful to God’s moral code, that leaves us clinging more fervently to the God of our salvation. Our boat may be rocking on top of vicious waves, but just as Jesus’ disciples called out to Him for protection when their boat was taking on water (see Matthew 8:23-27), we can call out to our Savior for His protection.


“Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.” ~ Jesus says

— John 13:34b (CSB)


He has given us the model of faithfulness and endurance that shows us daily how to negotiate the highs and lows of our lives, how to share joy and pull together against sorrow, how to show grace and tenderness and how to swallow pride and selfishness, how to promote harmony and goodwill and how to refrain from discord and dissension.

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GOD’S NEW COVENANT with us illustrates this point very well. It is the model we are called to emulate in marriage. It is why adultery cripples the family. 

Jesus goes first. (In marriage, each spouse should commit to going first, although generally it’s the husband role.)

Then we follow Him. (In marriage, this allows the other spouse, usually the wife, to feel free to follow.)

The Lord makes all of this possible because, as Scripture tells us, He loved us first.

“We love, because He first loved us.” 

— 1 John 4:19 (NASB)

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PRAYER

Our Heavenly Father, we are so blessed by Your faithfulness, by your new covenant with us in which You promise to forgive sin and, eventually, ensure everyone will know the Lord. We see how our marriage covenant between husband and wife, man and woman, is a symbol of that covenant arrangement, and that we are called to be equally faithful in abiding by it. Lord, that means not only avoiding the physical pain of adultery, but also the emotional sliding away of lust. Lord, help us keep our marriages pure, which are the foundation of civil society. We lift this prayer in the name of Your Almighty Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN

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Questions for Personal Meditation and Small Group Discussion

1. When Jesus says that even thinking about committing adultery is a violation of God’s marriage covenant arrangement, can you see how wondering thoughts and desires can interfere with the close marital relationship a man and a woman need to become “one body”?

2. Can you see how the faithfulness required of a husband and a wife toward one another is modeled after the New Covenant arrangement between God and man, where God unilaterally pledges His commitment regardless of how man acts, and each of the two spouses is required to pledge his/her commitment regardless of how the other spouse acts? (Jesus noted the exceptions, which are forms of abuse.)

3. Do you accept the foundational aspect of marriage and family as institutions on which to build civil society and that, if the family unit breaks down, it wreaks havoc on the larger body, that the current divorce rate and the large number of adulterous relationships are destabilizing to families, harmful to children, destructive of the marriage partners, and detrimental to the larger society?

4. Are you grateful that God is a God of love, grace, and compassion (yes, and of wrath, too, because there needs to be accountability and judgment), that He is faithful to His promises, and that His promises are designed not to harm us but to prosper us, to give us hope and a future?

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Would you like us at LoveAndGrace to pray for you? If so, please indicate in the Comment field. God bless!

Meditation–GOD VERSUS THE HOMOSEXUAL LOBBY

The homosexual lobby, those forces pushing for “inclusion” of same-sex marriage, normalization of homosexual activity, and insistence on acknowledging multiple genders, is engaged in full-scale warfare with the Christian community of believers. No longer does the lobby argue for recognition; it has left argument and discussion far behind. Now it pushes for legitimization and blatantly maligns anyone who dares stand in its way. Naturally, the strongest counterforce is the community of believers, those who live according to the promises and commandments contained in God’s Holy Word. It is God, and His church, that the lobby wants to dethrone.

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God left them and let them do the shameful things they wanted to do. Women stopped having natural sex and started having sex with other women. In the same way, men stopped having natural sex and began wanting each other. – Romans 1:26-27a (NCV)

Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. – 1 Corinthians 6:18 (NLT)

For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality. – 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NET)

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HERE ARE SOME RECENT HEADLINES in which the homosexual lobby has muscled its way into the public sphere to further its agenda:

The key words are: “For this is God’s will.”
  • The San Antonio City Council has banned Chick-fil-A from San Antonio International Airport over “a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior” by the company’s corporate offices as part of a new concession plan for the airport.
  • 2020 Democratic Party candidate Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., once cordial to Vice President Pence when the latter was the state governor, now calls Pence’s religious beliefs “fanatical.” 
  • A Lebanon, Ohio, high school student says she was punished by school authorities for posting Bible verses in the school hallways in response to LGBTQ “pride” flags posted in the school by the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club. 
  • Christian-based adoption agencies, like New Hope Family Services in Syracuse, NY, have been issued ultimatums from government agencies requiring them to cease their policy of placing children only in homes with a married mother and father. (By the way, a progressive leftwing web site, publishing the same story, headlined its account this way: “Hate group files lawsuit to ensure adoption agency can discriminate against same-sex couples.”) 

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THE PROPHET ISAIAH WARNS US against reversing God’s created order, where the good things He has created are rejected as evil and the evil things he warned us about are exalted.

Here are his words of warning:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter  for sweet and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20 (NASB)

Jesus said the evil we speak was born in our hearts.

In rejecting an application from Chick-fil-A to establish an outlet at the San Antonio Airport, a city council member said the council’s action “reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion.” Missing all sense of irony, he went on to say: “Everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport.”

The council member said the city’s action targeted the parent company for its “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.” He tried to cover his tracks by saying he did not single out Christian religious beliefs.

The company, itself, which was founded by a family with strong Christian values, has issued statements saying its restaurant chain does not discriminate against any group. 

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DESPITE CLEAR BIBLICAL WARNINGS from the Creator, the civic culture in the U.S. and Canada have tilted farther away from the Bible’s holy standard of good and evil within the last two generations.

In the U.S., Democrat Party candidates are running away from the Bible, attacking God’s order and those of their countrymen who worship the Lord. 

By any name, evil is evil. Lucifer was the devil’s name before he challenged God … and lost.

A May 2019 article in the evangelical magazine, Decision, published by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, describes the challengers to President Trump and Vice President Pence this way:

 “As (Democrat party) presidential challengers line up, most, if not all, support the major policy goals advanced by the LGBTQ activists, even to the point of prosecuting religiously motivated business owners whose values collide with the demands of the sexual revolution.” – Decision, Jerry Pierce. May 2019, p. 11. [anot. and emph. mine]

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the Canadian Parliament on Nov. 28, 2017, to issue an apology to the LGBTQ2S “community” for past discrimination, ushering in a policy of “reparations” for those civil servants and military personnel who lost their positions from this “discriminatory policy.”

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WHO, OR WHAT, IS DRIVING THIS PHENOMENON?

The Apostle Paul told us in his letter to the Ephesians that we who follow Jesus Christ are battling against demonic forces far stronger than we are: 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12 (NASB)

One columnist penned an article on Satan’s “Ten Commandments,” which he said are being followed by the homosexual lobby:

“The Bible tells us that Satan has the ability to “appear as an angel of light.” Nowhere is this more evident than in the radical attempt to promote homosexuality in society today as something good.” – “Satan’s 10 commandments to the homosexual lobby.” Paul Kokoski, April 10, 2013.

Among those items the author listed as “commandments” are to “never lose sight of the fact that God is your ultimate enemy” and “always see your sexual opponent (anyone who rejects homosexual acts) as your enemy.” 

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IF OUR OPPONENT IS STRONGER than we are, what are we to do about it? 

Jesus told us the answer. You invoke an even stronger power on your side.

From Genesis through Revelation, and here in Romans 16:20, the message is clear: In the end, God Wins!

Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house. – Mark 3:27 (NLT)

To be accurate biblically, we do not invoke a stronger power on our side; we join a stronger power on His side, but the point Jesus made is clear:

Satan is our enemy, he hates us, and he is stronger than we are; however, Jesus is our friend, He loves us, and He is stronger than Satan.

Robert A.J. Gagnon, an American theological writer in a book exploring the Bible’s views on homosexuality, confronted the mistaken argument that homosexuality is an innate condition set at birth, which also needs beneficial protection from the federal government.

He wrote: 

Homosexual passions, however, are almost certainly not primarily or directly congenital. They can be created, elevated, reduced, and sometimes even eliminated, depending on familial and peer influences and macrocultural sanctions. [emph. mine]

[Gagnon is an American theological writer and former professor of New Testament studies at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Taken from Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views (co-authored with Dan O. Via. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. 2003)]

Let’s not be misled. Satan will use any tool that works to delude and deceive, to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10a). 

Jesus came to give us life and to give it to us in abundance (John 10:10b).

God gave us a choice: To believe a lie or To believe the Truth.

Let’s hold onto the Truth.

“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”

-John 17:17 (NASB)

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PRAYER

Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth – GOD’S Holy Word

Dear Lord God, You are so merciful. You love us so much. You told us how we should live, yet we turn away from Your commandments and instructions. We are stubborn and want to live life on our terms, then we come running to You to ask You to heal us from the hurt we’ve placed on ourselves. Right now, O Lord, our two North American countries are flirting with organized sin, with a sin-crazed, coordinated, highly efficient lobby that seeks to destroy the world You created for us. Lord, fill us with the courage to confront this evil and lead us with Your strength to defeat it. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. AMEN

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Questions for Personal Meditation or Small Group Discussion

  1. Although the Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin, along with adultery, pedophilia, and bestiality, many advocates claim that people are born with a same-sex attraction, which should place that sexual activity in a different class. Do you agree with that view, or do you hold that the Bible is inerrant and should be followed explicitly?
  2. Do you see Satan’s hand in the homosexual lobby’s push for equality in marriage and work-related spousal benefits? 
  3. Are you troubled about the whole issue of the Bible and homosexuality residing in opposing camps because you know someone intimately who struggles with same-sex attraction? How do you think you can help that person come to a peace with the Creator, who has told us clearly that it is a sin and offensive to Him? Can you see the grace that our Creator and Savior offers to us?

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Would you like us at LoveAndGrace to pray for you? If so, please indicate in the Comment field. God bless!

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