From Mount Sinai, God spoke the Ten Commandments as an overview of the whole Law, and were given in descending order of honor and authority. #1 No other gods before Me, #2 No carved images to worship, #3 Do not take name of God in vain, #4 Keep the Sabbath holy, #5 Honor your father and mother, #6 Do not murder. The first four were people’s relationship to God, the next six were people’s relationship to others.
#7 You shall not commit ADULTERY
After the sanctity of human life, respect for the covenant of marriage was paramount. God began marriage in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve as an example of physical and spiritual oneness that produced completeness and children (Gen. 2:18-25; 3:20). God’s original intent was to bless sex inside of marriage as beautiful and unrestrained (Heb. 13:4). Sex is powerful because it is not just a sharing of bodies but a sharing of souls. What is done sexually is the deepest, most profound expression of a person. God built men and women, marriage, sexuality and the home. Adultery, which devalues marriage and tears apart the oneness, damages the home and can have unforeseen individual consequences (Prov. 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:1-27). While women have a need to be wanted relationally, men have a need to be wanted sexually.
As sex was made for marriage, premarital sex (fornication) is a form of pre-adultery as it is a lack of respect for the future covenant of marriage. Every law is a legislation of morality—either personal, societal, or divine. When the individual decides what is right then he is a god to himself and will conflict with others, when society decides by majority then they are god and will eventually conflict with others, when God decides then people live in peace or conflict with God Himself (Jud. 17:6; Prov. 29:18). Before the Law, adultery was known as ‘great wickedness’ and in the Law, marital covenant breakers should be put to death (Lev. 20:10). In the NT, unrepentant sexual sin (including adultery) is a heart issue and should result in church discipline and/or removal (Gen. 20:9; 39:9; Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22; Matt. 5:27-32; 1 Cor. 5:11-13; Eph. 5:5). Sexual fidelity can only be recovered through repentance, forgiveness, and relational repair (1 Cor. 6:9-20). Married couples should focus on their spouse as if they were still dating!