The Ten Commandments Series
The Seventh Commandment: Part 2
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God, Christ, Church, Marriage and the Holy Spirit
God’s relationship with His people was portrayed as a marriage (Jeremiah 3:14; Ezekiel 16:1-63). The relationship between Christ and the Church is also portrayed as a marriage (Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-9). And when Israel—whom God referred to as His wife—turned to false gods, God called it “commi[ting] adultery” and “play[ing] the harlot” (Jeremiah 3:1-9). Idolatry is spiritual adultery.
The more we understand the relationship of the Church with Christ, the better we understand what our marriages should be like.
These and similar scriptures emphasize the importance and sanctity of the marriage relationship in God’s eyes. And since marriage is intended to illustrate our relationship with Jesus Christ, every kind of sexual sin can be viewed as a shameful sacrilege against God. The marriage of a godly man with a godly woman helps them to understand their relationship with God and Christ and helps them to grow spiritually. Likewise, the more we understand the relationship of the Church with Christ, the better we understand what our marriages should be like.
And if both a husband and wife are Christians, they are spiritual partners who help one another stay strong, grow spiritually and to better serve the Church and other people. A husband and wife who both have the Holy Spirit have a monumental advantage—they are truly like-minded with each other and with God as both of them have the “eyes” and “ears” of spiritual understanding and outlook (Matthew 13:16-17). And the fruits of the Holy Spirit they build—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)—are exactly the virtues needed for a good marriage!
The more ways that a husband and wife are compatible, the easier it is for them to have a harmonious marriage, and by far the most important way to be compatible is spiritual like-mindedness. This is mentioned in numerous Old Testament scriptures and in two New Testament verses. Speaking of a single or widowed woman, Paul wrote that “she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39; see also 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Spiritual like-mindedness has huge practical advantages. When you are “agreed” on biblical issues, you can “walk together” and strengthen one another (Amos 3:3). You agree on what Holy Days to observe, what to teach the children, etc.
If you already are married to someone who doesn’t share your religious convictions, God still wants you to be a devoted, loving spouse and a humble “light” to your mate (see 1 Corinthians 7:12-17; 1 Peter 3:1-2, 7; Matthew 5:14-16).
The Seventh Commandment
In Genesis 2:24, “cleave” means a permanent and exclusive relationship between the husband and wife. There should never be any sharing of sex, intimacies, romance or flirtations with anyone else. And any of those infidelities are temptations to other forms of cheating.
The consequences of immorality are self-destructive, destructive to others and inevitable.
Sexual attraction is powerful, and any type of power can be used for good or evil. Sexual relations are a powerful blessing within marriage, but sexual relations outside of marriage are a powerful evil. Satan despises marriage and wants to destroy humanity with a culture that is increasingly immoral, immodest, indecent and obsessed with sex. People “call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20). Romans 1:18-32 explains how one sin leads to another and to evermore perverse sins.
The consequences of immorality are self-destructive, destructive to others and inevitable (see Proverbs 6:26-33). Think of the divorces, broken families, diseases, violence, crimes, mental problems, suicides, ruined reputations and financial losses that can be a result. And if a person does not deeply repent of those sexual sins, he “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
As stated in Part 1, the Seventh Commandment forbids more than extra-marital sex (a sin against one’s present spouse). The spirit of the law behind this commandment includes prohibitions against premarital sex (fornication, a sin against one’s future spouse), homosexual sex, incest, prostitution, bestiality and other forbidden relationships. As explained before, Jesus Christ made it clear that even mental sexual lusting is a grave sin (Matthew 5:27-30).
By implication, the Seventh Commandment forbids immoral interactions made possible by modern technology, such as pornography and cybersex. All of these sins are tragic and terrible transgressions against God.
Homosexuality and homosexual sin
Both the New Testament and the Old Testament make it clear that homosexual sexual relations are a sin. See Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. The main problem with the legalization of homosexual marriage is not the wedding ceremony. It is the fact that it officially condones a forbidden sexual relationship, just as heterosexual marriage officially condones a sexual relationship that God encourages. God forbids all heterosexual and homosexual sexual relations except the sexual relationship between a man and woman married to each other. For a thorough biblical explanation of this subject, please read “Homosexuality and Same Sex Attraction (SSA)” at: ucg.org/beyond-today/blogs/breaking-free/homosexuality-and-same-sex-attraction-ssa.
The awful consequences of immorality
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament have many warnings against immorality. In the book of Proverbs, it’s significant that much space in the first nine chapters is devoted to warning about the temptations and foolishness of sexual sin.
Sexual sins are unique in that they are especially destructive to the minds and hearts of the persons committing them. (And they often are physically destructive, such as when they result in an STD—a sexually transmitted disease—or a violent conflict.)
1 Corinthians 6:18 (New Living Translation) says: “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.” In this context, “body” includes one’s mind and heart. Paul is quoting from Proverbs 6:32: “But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself” (NLT).
People usually try to keep their sins secret, but they often get exposed. “Be sure your sin will find you out” is the warning in Numbers 32:23. And regardless of how well someone hides a sin from other peo ple, remember that God sees everything. “God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad” (Ecclesiastes 12:14, NLT).
There are many excellent articles covering aspects of sexual morality and teaching our children about God’s perspectives on sex, morality and modesty provided on the ucg.org website. Articles covering sexual addictions and relationship issues are also covered on the Breaking Free blog, which can be found at ucg.org/blogs/breaking-free.
Preparing for Something Greater
It is common for people to worry that they are missing out on sexual pleasures and therefore are tempted to make very bad decisions to get some of those pleasures. But Christians are focused on preparing for something greater. God is offering us the opportunity to have a joyful and glorious life—everlasting life—in the Kingdom of God!
In God’s “right hand are pleasures forevermore!” (Psalm 16:11). In God’s Kingdom, you will never miss any of the pleasures you experienced and did not experience in your previous life, and you will never regret any of the sacrifices you made to be in God’s Kingdom!
Lastly, let’s always remember that God is extremely merciful. No matter what sins a person has committed, when God sees that he or she has sincerely and deeply repented, He will always forgive (Psalm 103:8; Ezekiel 18:30-32; 1 John 1:9). True repentance includes both godly sorrow and a determination to “go and sin no more” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10; John 8:11). Then God promises: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
God wants you in His Kingdom, and Jesus Christ wants you to be part of His Bride!
This article is part of a series. To read other articles that focus on the Ten Commandments in this series please go to the following website: www.ucg.org/tags/the-ten-commandments-series.
Following are links to articles I wrote for the United News and a sermon to teach about God’s perspectives about sex, morality and modesty, to enable appreciation for the differences between males and females and to advise parents about their critical responsibilities for teaching their children. These more in-depth articles cover topics addressed in the article above.
“Good Sex, Bad Sex”
“Heart-to-Heart Talk With Men and Teen Boys”
“Heart-to-Heart Talk With Women and Teen Girls”
“Teach Your Children Godly Morals and Modesty”
“The Many Enticements to Promiscuity”
“How to Prepare for Your Future Marriage”