The 18th Chapter of Leviticus contains a verse by verse detailed description of the sexual relations that God considered “unlawful” for his chosen nation, Israel. Two chapters later, Lev 20, God describes the corresponding punishment that is due when any of the laws are broken. The laws, stating who should not have sexual relations with whom, are God’s explanation in detail about the meaning of the 7th Commandment—“You shall not commit adultery”—in Exodus 20.14. Adultery comes from the word adulterate which in simple terms means “to deviate from the established pattern”. God established the pattern in Gen 3.24 when he instructed Adam and Eve: “A man will be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh”. A deviation from this pattern would be called adultery. The world in Noah’s day did not honor the command of sexual morality and thus became so wicked in sexual immorality that God chose to rid the earth of mankind save for 8 souls who were righteous and start all over. In starting over, God selected a nation, wrote the commandments in stone, and then filled in the blanks through his prophets, for the sexual moral compass of men and women in Israel to be established forever. God later comes, born in the flesh, as the Son of God. Jesus takes the last step in Matt 5 of applying the commandment against adultery not only to the outward execution, but to the inward desires of man found in the heart. The message is now delivered to all of the human race and not just Israel.
Sexual immorality was a major problem in the ancient city of Corinth, Greece. Athena, the goddess of sex, controlled the thought of the day. Paul was astonished as he wrote: “A man has his father’s wife…And you are proud!” In Judah, the punishment for this crime had been death by stoning since the commandments were inscribed, and Paul in his days as a devout Pharisee no doubt supervised this type of punishment as he did over Stephen’s death recorded in Acts 7. Paul teaches about correct sexual mores’ for two years in Corinth and instead of punishing lives, now lives were changed. He writes as a warning that “Neither the sexually immoral, adulterers, male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders will inherit the kingdom of God.” Paul, however, concludes with success, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”. Jesus died as punishment for our sexual sin which he never committed.
The story in John 8 provides great insight for the solution to adultery. A woman, caught in the very act, is delivered to Jesus by the Pharisees and teachers of the law. “Teacher, in the law Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. Now what do you say?” Jesus bends down and writes on the ground with his finger, and then stands straight saying: “If any one of you is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” One by one stones are dropped and one by one each man leaves until Jesus stands alone with the woman. “Where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?”, Jesus asks. “No one, sir,” she replies. Jesus then declares, “Neither do I condemn you, go and leave your life of sin.” The pivotal change from the Old Law to the New Law is demonstrated with this powerful testimony of grace and mercy. The sin was not excused then and the sin is not excused today. God has not changed his mind about moral sexual relations and immoral sexual relations. God has removed the stones and now asks men and women involved in sexual immorality to “go and leave their life of sin”. He stands today not as Punisher (for now) but as Savior and calls all people to repentance. The law against adultery remains right and good and valid for every man and woman on earth.
Unfortunately, nations will become drunk on the wine of sexual immorality, refusing to honor the 7th Commandment, and then Jesus does return as Punisher, 2Pet 2-3, Rev 18. For those who turn from wickedness and reach for righteousness there is a blissful, eternal reward, called eternal life. For those who refuse to leave their life of sexual sin, then there remains no more sacrifice for sin, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and fire that will consume the enemies of God (Heb 10.19-39).
Is Athena back from Corinth and in control of thought in America with her supply of wine? State by state, homosexual marriage is approved by our nation’s judges in the name of equality. The number of un-wed births in the U.S. has grown to over 40% of total births. One last example to ponder----porn business in the U.S. is over $10 billion dollars in annual revenue: This is more than the combined revenue of the NFL, NBA, and MLB combined! The sad part of this is that people pay for services rendered. The answer may be Matt 24.37 “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man.” sj—5/14