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Catechism Class: H/C41A Q108 – Adultery


Catechism Class: Adultery – What is it?

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 41A

We live in a deeply sexualised society.  We need to remember that God hates adultery, marital unfaithfulness and sexual promiscuity of any kind, and that’s the very point that the catechist drives home in Lord’s Day 41, Q108.  

Let us see:-

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The Act of Adultery.   Exodus 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery.

Q108. What does the seventh commandment teach us?   A. That all unchastity is cursed by God. 1 We must therefore detest it from the heart 2 and live chaste and disciplined lives, both within and outside of holy marriage. 3

When a man and a woman are married and consummate the marriage, they become one flesh.  They belong to each other.  Mark 10:7-9 flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”  They are intended to be inseparable for the rest of their lives, and no ‘third party’ is to come between man and wife.  Adultery is a foul sin.  

  • God’s CURSE is upon ALL unchastity.  Strong language from the catechist. All sexual activity outside marriage is sin. Human sexuality is so sacred that any form of unclean behaviour attracts the curse of God.  It is sin. Hebrews 13:4 God hates uncleanness, sexual uncleanness, and those who practice it have no place in God’s kingdom, and the alternative to being in that eternal Kingdom is to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, under the curse of God.  The souls of men and women are at stake.  Christians must speak up, and tell the truth, and not be afraid of modern opinion and call upon sinners of every shade to repent of their sin and turn to Christ for forgiveness and salvation.
  • Christians must not tolerate sexual uncleanness.  We must detest it from the heart.  Remember in our last lesson, when we talked abut the root cause of murder being anger in the heart?  Remember that we saw that there was a kind of ‘righteous anger – that we could be angry and sin not, anger with a valid cause?  This is one of those legitimate thing that Christians must hate.  We must detest all forms of sexual immorality.  But when we talk about something that affects the heart, we are talking the language of sanctification.  The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts. Our bodies are the temple of the Spirit.  2 Corinthians 1:22   Galatians 4:6,   Ephesians 3:17.  Because the Holy Spirit indwells the believer, that believer will abhor sin, will be revolted by it, and turn away from it and when sin is found in the heart we will repent of it and seek forgiveness.  Our hearts detest uncleanness, our own uncleanness, or the uncleanness of society.  1 Thessalonians 4:3-8  
  • Christians should be a good example in morality. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8   How many Christians ruin their testimony, and bring the gospel into disrepute with dirty jokes, and innuendo.  With flirting and even with adulterous behaviour.  The catechist reminds us that we should live chaste lives.    Ephesians 5:3-5   
  • Singles are not exempt!  It is worth noting that the catechist calls for chastity both from married couples and from people who are single.  Sex before marriage has become commonplace in our society.  The law of God is that all sex outside marriage is sin, and that includes people who are not married.  Paul wrote about singles and marriage and sex in 1 Corinthians 7:1-7 

So, the act of adultery is more than some wretched man having a casual fling with a woman, a one night stand or a marriage break-up caused by infidelity.  The concept of adultery includes ANY form of sexual activity outside of marriage.  

In our next lesson, we shall look at the allure of adultery.  

Think about it:-

  1. What is the origin of marriage?  Was it originally ordained by God, or by an Act of Parliament?  If God ordained marriage, what right has the state to change it?
  2. When asked, “Is homosexuality a sin?” What should be the reply of a Christian?
  3. Can Christian singles have casual sex?  If not, why not?
  4. Christians are to live chaste lives, and be an example to those who are not members of God’s kingdom.  In March 2017, an American newspaper reported that Vice President Mike Pence (USA) has a rule that he does not eat with a woman or attend an event where alcohol is being served unless his wife is present.   So, is it good practice for married men or women to avoid meetings or events where they are alone with others of the opposite sex?
  5. Is watching ‘Emmerdale’ or ‘Coronation Street’ a sin?
  6. What should a Christian do if he/she finds themselves facing sexual temptation?

© BobMcEvoy Oct 2020

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