Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Damage Done by Adultery

I recently came across a fine article written by Rusty Miller, which appeared in the June 2003 issue of Abundant Life Magazine. The article was titled “Adultery’s Consequences”, and noted the damage that the sin of adultery wreaks upon society, the church, children, marriage and the soul. The article was a bit longer than the space allotted here, so I would like to take the main points, and concisely summarize them.

Teaching such as this is needed because of the frequency of the sin. It is certainly a societal problem, but how many times have we seen Christian families devastated by the sin of adultery? We wonder how a man or woman could behave in such a treacherous way. Lives and souls are destroyed by sexual infidelity. Consider the following:

  • Society. The wise man wrote, “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). The ubiquitous presence of adultery is symptomatic of a nation that has turned away from God. There are the physical burdens of broken homes and economic devastation that stretches state resources, but the greater damage is to the moral fabric of our country. No nation that has turned away from God can continue to prosper (cf. Acts 17:26-31).
  • The church. Anytime a family is damaged by infidelity, the church of which it is a part is damaged as well. Brethren become discouraged by the hypocrisy of the adulterer, despairing that one in which they trusted could be guilty of such treachery. Elders are stressed as they deal with the consequences of the sin, both in counseling the innocents, and in disciplining the sinner. The preacher is discouraged by the dismissal of his messages of warning. The damage can even be greater when, as has often been the case, it is one in a position of leadership that is guilty of the sin! Churches have split because of a preacher or elder’s unfaithfulness to his wife.
  • Children. These are the true innocents. While it is possible on occasion for a spouse to contribute to the unfaithfulness of their husband or wife (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5), such is never the case with the children. However, the children suffer the most. Fathers move out of the home, bitterness is a constant companion, and a close relationship with a parent becomes distant. Children are to be nourished, cherished and raised with the Lord’s admonition (cf. Ephesians 6:4). Adultery robs a child of spiritual guidance and sustenance, and brings God’s disapproval upon the one guilty of such a betrayal (cf. Matthew 18:6).
  • Marriages. Marriage is the most intimate and close relationship upon the earth (cf. Genesis 2:24). It should be a union closer than that of a child to his parents, or of parents to their child. Malachi reveals that God hates divorce, because “…it covers one’s garment with violence… Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously” (Malachi 2:16). The marriage bond is inviolable save for the sin of adultery (cf. Matthew 19:9). It alone is just cause for divorce. This clearly shows the nature and degree of the betrayal of the cheating spouse.
  • Souls. The Bible clearly reveals that God will judge and condemn those who commit the sin of adultery (cf. Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). As with any sin, repentance can bring forgiveness. However, adultery often leads to other entanglements such as remarriage, making such repentance less likely. The most tragic loss of all is the loss of a soul to eternal damnation.

Because of it’s destructive nature, Christians should speak out against, and be ever vigilant to avoid the sin of adultery! It must not be tolerated among God’s people!