Adultery is the sexual intercourse that a married man or a married woman has outside marriage. For instance, if a married man lies carnally with his neighbor’s wife he commits adultery. Adultery is commonly called ‘extramarital affair’

The Scripture condemns adultery in various ways, for the law says: “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14 - NKJV), and again: “The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 20:10 – NKJV). Notice that, according to the law (therefore according to the righteous judgement of God), those who commit adultery deserve death.

Jesus Christ completed the commandment of the law concerning adultery, for He said: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).

The Lord Jesus said also: “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery” (Luke 16:18). As you can see, both he who sends away his wife and marries another and he who marries her who is sent away from her husband commit adultery. Furthermore, if a woman sends away her husband and marries another, she commits adultery, as it is written: “And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery” (Mark 10:12), because the married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; therefore she can remarry only if her husband dies. Paul explains this when he says to the Romans: “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man” (Romans 7:2-3). For this reason those brothers and sisters who were called by God while they were divorced or separated cannot remarry as long as their partners live, because if they remarry they commit adultery. Therefore, beware of all those who teach that a divorced brother is allowed to remarry while his wife is still alive, and that if a brother sends away his wife for fornication (that is, for marital infidelity) he can remarry, because they lie against the truth and through their lies they encourage some believers to commit adultery.

The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews says: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4 – NIV), and Wisdom says that no one who touches another man’s wife will go unpunished (Proverbs 6:29). This means that those who defile themselves with their neighbor’s wife are punished by God. Do not be deceived, therefore; don’t be deceived by those who say, in order ‘to tranquillize’ those who want to marry their neighbor’s wife, that even David, who was a man after God’s heart, committed adultery and then he was forgiven by God! Because even though David was forgiven by God, he was also punished by God because of his adultery with Bath-Sheba, for God, through the prophet Nathan, pronounced these judgements on David: “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun …. because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.” (2 Samuel 12:10-12, 14), and after a while He executed them, just as He had said.

The book of Proverbs exhorts us to flee the immoral woman and contains many words which show what awaits all those who lie carnally with their neighbour’s wife. I want to quote these words that you may understand how harmful and dangerous is to lie carnally with another man’s wife. “If thou seekest her [wisdom] as silver, …. understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life” (Proverbs 2:4, 11-19); “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly. Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?” (Proverbs 5:3-20); “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts” (Proverbs 6:23-35); “Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words. For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death” (Proverbs 7:4-27)

However, whereas, according to the wisdom of God, adultery must be avoided, according to foolishness adultery should be committed, for today there are many who think that they are wise, but actually they are fools, who advise people to commit adultery because they consider adultery beneficial; according to these people adultery has good effects on the married life for it is ‘a means of escape from boredom and routine.’

We live indeed in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, which calls evil good! But we know that foolishness stops its mouth and it is not justified by its actions because its actions are unfruitful works, whose end is death. The facts speaks for themselves: those who commit adultery are unhappy, they live in fear, they are full of all kinds of troubles (some of them have heart troubles, some have contracted venereal diseases, some are blackmailed, some are threatened, some are abused, and some have left the wife of their youth and their children); and many of them are put to death by the husband or the lover of the adulteress and they go in the fire of hell. What shall we say? We have to recognize that the words of the Wisdom of God are true; we see their fulfilment in those who refuse to heed the Word of God.

Therefore, to sum up, both those who are unmarried and those who are married must flee from the immoral woman because she leads men to destruction. Yes, it is true that adultery seems to be an harmless and wonderful act because that’s how the devil makes it appear in the movies and on many worldly magazines, yet know this, that bitterness and death are hidden behind its seeming beauty. It can’t be otherwise, because the Scripture calls adultery sin and says very clearly that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Do not be deceived; do not be deceived by sin! Flee the adulteress, who lies in wait like a robber, even in the place of worship.