1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (NKJV)
9 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 homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
We find ourselves in Eastertide, the time of year that we celebrate the way the resurrection of Jesus has transformed the world and our individual lives. Hope has arrived: forgiveness has been achieved and new life has entered into the world. And to everyone who turns from his sin and trusts in Jesus’ death and resurrection, God grants that forgiveness and new life.
In our text, Paul catalogues a number of sins from which Jesus’ resurrection power frees His people. Today we consider the sin of adultery. Marriage is a covenant of companionship, a covenant in which a man and woman swear to be exclusively loyal to one another until death. It is an oath of, among other things, sexual exclusivity. All people, therefore, whether married or single, are to assist married couples to fulfill their oaths by reminding them of their vows and refusing to tempt them to betray them.
God commands married men and women to turn from adultery to his or her spouse. The first motion is from adultery. The 7th commandment clearly expresses God’s hatred of adultery. He commands in no uncertain terms, “You shall not commit adultery.” In its most basic sense, to commit adultery is to engage in sex with someone who is not one’s spouse. However, the law of God always points to the heart. The act of adultery is the consummation of perverse desires hatched in the heart. Consequently, spouses must watch over the heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life (Pr 4:23). To turn from adultery is, as married couples, to so control our sexual desires that we not pursue in fantasy or reality any person other than our spouse.
But not only are we to turn from adultery we are to turn to our spouse. You husbands are commanded by Scripture to drink water from your own cistern and to rejoice in the wife of your youth. You are to be satisfied with her breasts and intoxicated with her love. You wives in turn are commanded by Scripture to welcome the advances of your husband. The Shulamite sings in the Song of Songs, “Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its pleasant fruits” (4:16). So Paul summarizes in 1 Corinthians 7:3-4, “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another…”
So husbands and wives, how are you doing? Husbands, have you been consistently turning sexually from others and to your wife? Are you watching your eyes, controlling your thoughts, governing your words, and monitoring your actions? Your wife is the woman God has given you – treasure her exclusively. Wives, have you been consistently turning sexually from others and to your husband? Are you welcoming your husband, controlling your thoughts, governing your words, and monitoring your attitudes and actions? Your husband is the man God has given you – treasure him exclusively.
Reminded of the call on married men and women to turn from others and to their spouse let us confess that we have treated adultery lightly, we have courted sexual unfaithfulness, and we have failed to pursue our spouses faithfully. And, as you are able, let us kneel as we confess our sin to the Lord.