What is adultery in the bible?

What is adultery in the bible? Definition of Adultery, What is committing Adultery, What is the punishment of adultery in the bible, Why Adultery is a sin in bible, Divorce and Adultery: what does the Bible say about divorce, Adultery and Fornication difference, Consequences of Adultery.

What is adultery in the bible? Definition of Adultery, What is committing Adultery, What is the punishment of adultery in the bible, Why Adultery is a sin in bible, Divorce and Adultery
What is adultery in the bible? Definition of Adultery, What is committing Adultery, What is the punishment of adultery in the bible, Why Adultery is a sin in bible, Divorce and Adultery

Falling for someone is uncontrollable. Although love is a blessing of God, engaging with the wrong person can bring severe consequences. Adultery is a sinful act, no matter how genuine your feelings are. It is always a sin and ruins many lives. 

But why is adultery a sin? Is adultery a punishable act? What will happen if you engage in an adulterous act? What are its consequences?

One should know about the consequences, meaning, facts and depiction before arriving at any decisions. Let us discuss the biblical meaning of adultery and its depiction in the Bible.

Definition of Adultery:

Adultery is sexual intercourse between a married person with someone else; other than their spouse. 

When a person gets involved in a sexual act with a person other than the person they are legally married called adultery. 

Adultery is also called infidelity and cheating. Some people get confused between fornication and adultery, but there is a thin line of difference between these two terms. 

In the biblical dictionary, adultery is called marital infidelity. A person who commits adultery or engages in adultery is called adulterous. A man already married who gets involved in a sexual act with another woman is called an adulterer.

A woman committing adultery is called an adulteress. Adultery is regarded as a sinful act and highly condemned in the bible.

What is committing Adultery:

A marriage is a union of a man and a woman into one flesh. God has created marriage covenants as a pure and sacred relationship. No one has the right to destroy these pure covenants of God. Some people cross their limits and break their marital beds by involving sexual intercourse with a person other than their spouse. This act is called adultery.

The holy book of the Bible highly condemned adultery and other sexually immoral acts which are against God’s will and design. God has created one man for one woman and asked them to become one flesh. A person cannot form a union and become one flesh with another person. Thus adultery is an act of committing sexual immorality against God’s will.

What is the punishment of adultery in the bible:

According to the Old Testament, if a man commits adultery with another’s wife, both adulterers will be stoned to death following the verse mentioned in Leviticus 20:10 in the bible. Several crimes are punishable by death, and adultery was one of them. These laws specifically applied to Israel.

The new testament does not recommend death punishment for adultery. 

Jesus does not favour hurting sinners. It can be observed from John’s story. When a woman is caught in a sexually immoral act and brought to Jesus. Pharsis asks to uphold the law and punish the adulteress by stoning to death. 

But Jesus called the person with no sin to put the first stone. No one is sacred and pure to punish the women. Jesus asks her to live her sinful life and repent. It is the perfect example of Jesus’ promise of forgiveness.

Although the death punishment is no longer in use, it does not mean the sinners can escape from the spiritual punishment. The sinner, both the adulterous, can not inherit God’s kingdom. They have to suffer the pain and guilt of committing a sin and destroying lives. One can not leave a happy life by destroying others. Adultery is a sin against a person’s own body, depicted in First Corinthians 6:18. Adultery will lead to spiritual death and punishment in hell.

Remember, Jesus, forgive those who repent. Repent your sin with all your heart to save yourself from the consequences of Adultery. 

Why Adultery is a sin in bible:

Adultery is an immoral and unforbidden act. Adultery is a sin highly deplored in the Bible, evident from many verses. Although Adultery is not depicted more often as other crimes such as murder, self-righteousness it is condemned sin. 

Genesis 2:24 depicted that “a man should hold fast to his wife and become one flesh.” It means a man and woman become one flesh after marriage, and no one is allowed to intervene in these sacred bonds. 

One man is enough for one woman, and no one has the right to make them apart. This union forms one flesh, those who cross their lines sin.

In the NIV exodus, depicted that,” you shall not commit adultery.” This verse clearly shows God’s will. The one who commits Adultery is against God’s will.

Hebrew 13:4 states that “let the marriage be held in honour and keep the marriage bed pure, God will judge fornicators and adulterers.” This statement means that marriage is a sacred relationship and should not get defiled by any act. God is watching sinners and won’t forgive them for their unfaithful deeds.

Adulterous and sexually immoral persons get treated as sinners and offenders against Gods. However, God forgives those who repent; it is not too late to back out and repent for your deeds. You know you are sinning deep inside, and repentance can ease your sufferings.

Divorce and Adultery: what does the Bible say about divorce

God never favoured divorce. When two people get joined by God, they become one flesh. They get tied with each other for the rest of their life. They cannot split and separate from each other. However, one who crosses the lines of the marital relationship and commits a sexually immoral act with another person is adultery, and it is a sin.

Desertion by an adulterous partner makes divorce permissible.

Matthew 5: 32 states that “whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce. But everyone who divorcé his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Matthew19:9 depicted that everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits Adultery. But here, the sole exception is sexual immortality.

This statement clearly shows the will of God, that divorce is a sin itself. But if any spouse crosses their lines and commits an act of sexual immorality with another person, it is adultery and a valid ground for divorce. 

Jesus prohibits divorce except when any spouse commits a sexually immoral act. It is an offence against God and a legal reason to break a marriage. 

A husband and wife can reconcile and start their relationship again by giving another chance; it is not a sin.

However, the spouse who got cheated can choose to continue or back out of their marriage; it is their choice. If they want to get divorcé, they are free to follow their will, as it is hard to reconcile with someone who broke their heart.

Jesus does not allow remarriage. However, if your partner committed adultery, you are free to divorce and remarry someone else.

Although the bible explicitly prohibits divorce, it is allowed in two conditions, if your spouse dies or your partner commits adultery first.

Adultery and Fornication difference:

Adultery is an act of having sexual intercourse with a person other than their spouse. Adultery is depicted in the bible several times and considered a great sin. In simple terms, a married person involved in a sexual relationship with another person is called Adultery.

Fornication is sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons. Fornication gets mentioned as idolatry and prostitution in the bible.

Fornication is sexual intercourse between two people not married to one another. Sexual conduct or misdeed that occurs outside the marital bond is fornication. 

Fornication is a much broader term that includes adultery in itself.

In Hebrew 13:4, those who defiled the marital relationship get referred to as adulterers and fornicators.

Bible asks everyone to flee from sexual immorality, including fornication and adultery.

Although there’s a fine line of difference between these two terms, they both are sinful acts in the bible.

In the new testaments, apostle Paul said that fornication is a sin against one’s own body and an offence against God. A person who commits fornication and adultery cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

When people engage in a sexually immoral act, God calls them fornicators and adulterers.

Consequences of Adultery

Adultery is a sin that destroys everyone’s life, including adulterous ones. There is no punishment prescribed for adultery in the bible; but there are severe consequences.

Corinthians 6:18 depicted that, “get away from sexual immorality. Adultery is a crime against one’s own body.”

These statements clarify that a person committing a sexually immoral act destroys their own life and leaves them in guilt and remorse. Adulterers will bear the consequences of their deeds which lead to spiritual death. Spiritual punishment is more severe than any other punishment.

Those who engage in adultery will lose their honour and bodily strength and deteriorate their reputation. 

Proverb 6:32 states that “One who commits adultery lacks sense and destroys himself.” This statement meant that adultery leads to self-destruction. It will ruin everyone’s life, including the one who commits adultery. 

Be ready to bear the vengeance of the hurt spouse. Your parents will feel ashamed of you. Innocent children will blame you for destroying their childhood and all the suffering they are going through. It blurs the lines of inheritance. 

Those who get engaged in adultery are forbidden to inherit God’s kingdom. Adultery is a crime against gods, and God will abandon you. You will feel the burns of hell’s fire for the rest of your life.

Jesus forgives those who repent truly, not those who guiltlessly sin, and asks for forgiveness.

Read also: Infidelity definition bible; Haggai:in the bible, meaning, Nehemiah, Zechariah, Death; What does Adultery mean in Islam; Adultery in the New testament; Lust Meaning in The Bible; What does the Bible say about marriage?

Editions: march-september-novembrer 2022

External resources: Reasons not divorce after infidelity ; Openbible

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