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Tag Archives: adultery

Dead to the Law

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only during that person’s lifetime? 2Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. 3Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress. 4In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.6But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit. (Romans 7:1-6, NRSV)

Interesting thought. We have died to the law and are joined to the life we have in Christ.

The only way you can not be married anymore is if your spouse dies. Otherwise, you are committing adultery.

We are freed from our life of sin and shame because in Christ we have died and been raised to new life.

Live in that love and show that to the world!

 

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Commandments for Life

12Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 13You shall not murder.14You shall not commit adultery. 15You shall not steal. 16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:12-16, NRSV)

Honor your father and mother is the only commandment in the 10 commandments that comes with a promise. If you honor your father and mother you will have a long life. Maybe this is because of the other commandments that say if your children disobey you you should take them outside the city and stone them to death!

Or maybe it is because you were a gift to your parents from God and by honoring them you are showing God honor and by following them you are showing God you can follow God.

And all of these commandments help us to love others and that is what God wants us to do. So honor and love.

 

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Teaching on Divorce

When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2Large crowds followed him, and he cured them there. 3Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?” 4He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 7They said to him, “Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?” 8He said to them, “It was because you were so hard-hearted that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.9And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another commits adultery.” 10His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. 12For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 19:1-12, NRSV)

So is it ok to get a divorce? I struggle with this because when I do premarital counseling my hope is this couple will make it for the long haul, but marriage isn’t about love it is about commitment and sometimes that commitment isn’t there. I also struggle with this because I know several divorced and remarried couples that are very happy and committed to each other. So what is the answer?

Well according to this passage and all of its parallel passages in the gospels, Jesus says that if you divorce and remarry you are committing adultery. In this passage, Matthew adds the except for unchastity, which isn’t in the parallels.  I have a friend from before seminary who had long conversations with me on these passages because she was in the process of getting a divorce then. And because of these passages, she decided not to remarry or even pursue a relationship that might lead to that. She, in a sense, made a “eunuch” of herself for the sake of others. She did not want to make another person an adulterer because of her sin. And for that I applaud her. Not many could do this as Jesus says. But I also tell those I know who are divorced and remarried to own the sin of adultery. We are all sinners and divorced and remarried people can publicly name that sin without shame.

So can we get divorced? Yes and no. But in and through everything that happens in your life God still loves you!

 

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Teaching on relationships

27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell. 31“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:27-32, NRSV)

How many of us are doing this?

Not the looking on another and lusting after them, but the other parts that Jesus says. Plucking out eyes, cutting off hands…

I haven’t seen anyone missing an eye or a hand and found out it was because they plucked them out or cut them off.

But if we are all honest we have looked upon another lustfully at some point. So why do we have both eyes and hands?

And what about the divorce of a couple. Only on grounds of marital infidelity. But is that always the case? And if you marry a divorced woman (which I would include man there also) you commit adultery.

Our lives are supposed to be pure. And it is impossible for us, but ask God to help you and talk with your partner about your feelings and thoughts and work together with God to make a holy union and a relationship which strives to follow His guidelines.

 

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Fulfilling Love

170212“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell. “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. “Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:21-37, NRSV)

Really Jesus, if my eye offends me pluck it out or if my hand offends me cut it off…

I guess none of us actually believe He meant this, or we don’t really follow it, or we are not honest. Becuase if we believed it and were honest there would be a lot of us without body parts, but I see no one walking around with one eye or missing hands.

So what does all of this mean? What is Jesus saying to us here?

Remember where this teaching falls, in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus tells us who is blessed, those who have been held down because of things out of their control, and those who look after them. Then He continued with telling the disciples you are the salt of the earth and the light to the world. You shine light on the darkness and bring to light things of God and you flavor the earth with the grace of God. And you do this by looking out for those who are held down in the blessings.

And here Jesus continues the look at who we as disciples should be.

We should not be angry with anyone because that draws away from the love that God has for all of us. [And a side note here, this is a scriptural reference for the passing of the peace in the ordo of service before we come to communion. “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” Now, this talks about offering a gift but it is also good for when we come and get the Holy Supper. If you have an issue with a brother or sister go and make peace about it before you come to the Lord’s Table.] Anger also keeps us from seeing God’s love for ourselves.

Adultery is us focusing on our own needs instead of the needs of others, and what God is leading us to do.

All of these you have heard it was said help us to focus on God and others and not ourselves. Where is your focus, because the law is fulfilled in us loving God and our neighbor.

So how can we fulfill love?

 

 

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what must I do

Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”  And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”  He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  The young man said to him, “I have kept all these; what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions. (Matthew 19:16-22, NRSV)

This is a great interchange between Jesus and what could be any of us…

The person asks, “What good deed must I do to have eternal life?”

What do I have to do to get the gift, we all want to know, right!

And Jesus replies, “Don’t ask me about what is good, only God is good, keep the commandments.”

And here is where the conversation gets good.

The person replies, “which ones?” I need to know what I have to do and what I don’t have to do.

Which part of the Bible do I need to follow and what is up for interpretation!

Then when Jesus tells him the commandments to keep, the person replies, “I’ve kept all of those!”

Really?

You’ve never thought bad thoughts about any one…

You’ve never looked on another person lustfully…

You’ve never thought about or taken anything from someone else…

You’ve never said something about someone else that wasn’t the full truth…

You’ve always honored your mother and father and never said anything cross about them…

And you’ve loved everyone as you love yourself…

Well then ok, then you only lack this one thing.

Why is it so hard to love like Jesus? Because He loved (loves) everyone where they are and doesn’t need them to be perfect before He will love them.

Stop worrying about how to make Jesus happy and start looking at the needs of others, then Jesus will be happy!

 

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condemned

Then each of them went home, while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’ (John 7:53—8:11, NRSV)

Jesus was in the temple or on His way tot the temple, when He is brought a woman who has sinned. She was caught in adultery, my first thought is if she is committing adultery, where is the other person? It takes 2 to tango after all…

But that’s not the point… The scribes and the Pharisees want to stone her, and Jesus simply tells them to let the first one of you who is without sin to cast the first stone. After a while they are all gone and Jesus asks two questions, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

No one has condemned her. Which is interesting because the next thing Jesus says is “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” You see Jesus could have condemned her, because He met His criteria for the person that could cast the first stone.

Jesus knew she was a sinful person, just like the scribes and the Pharisees that brought her there. But He looked on her the same way He looked on the scribes and the Pharisees and you and I, with love. He loves us enough to give us a second chance, and be gracious to us when we get it wrong.

He is the one that can condemn us, but yet He chooses not to when we turn to Him and confess we are wrong.

So trust in His grace, mercy and love!

 

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