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What is adultery according to the Bible?

God made man. God made women. And God made marriages. Cupid’s story is for the hopeless romantics, but for believers, it is God who makes a match. But even before we came to know of the word of God, adultery was a punishable offense. It was only marriage that God made, but adultery is man-made.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth- Genesis 1:27-28

In the current times, adultery and cheating have become common, and it is indeed shameful. Is it something that God would his children to partake in? This rhetorical question keeps believers in faith, but, don’t humans slip? Some might say, “I didn’t sleep with another woman, just found her attractive.” Breaking news, it is still worthy of punishment according to the Bible.

If you have landed on this page, then it assures us that you are God’s child looking for an understanding of God’s word. Let us find out the answers to the most basic question to live a blissful life- What does the Bible say about adultery and forgiveness?


What is adultery according to the Bible? 

According to the old testament, when a woman had sexual relations outside her marriage, it was considered a sin. Notice, how the old testament included only adultery against the husband. But with Jesus’s expanded version in the New Testament, a sexual relation outside one’s marriage is adultery- man or woman!

For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man- 7:2-3

The answer is simple, according to the Bible adultery is a sin. Every God-believing and God-fearing person should refrain from this sin, lest they lose their place in God’s eyes. Of course, God has already begotten his only son for our sins. That doesn’t mean that one knowingly commits a sin, hoping for forgiveness. When one is ignorant of God, ignorant of the Bible, and commits this serious offense, God can consider forgiveness. But a purposeful offense isn’t worthy of forgiveness.

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

adultery and bible

Still, our giving Father in heaven doesn’t keep one away from forgiveness. An adulterer can also find forgiveness from Him if they truly repent their sin, have a humble heart & the ability to forgive others in their lives. God wants us to think about the impact of adultery in our lives, the amount of hurt it causes to our spouses, and the damage it does to our children. Every believer who stops to think about this before committing the sin will save their family from the demon’s attack. They can retain the blessing upon their family, and continue to survive with love & understanding.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness- 1 John 1:9

One in the faith of Christianity is versed with the Ten Commandments. It isn’t devoid of mentioning about this sin either.

Thou shalt not commit adultery- Exodus 20:14

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Types of Adultery in the Bible

what is adultery according to the bible

Don’t we all immediately think about physical relations the moment we hear or read the word “adultery”? That’s how we’ve known it, and end up cornering a physically sexual relationship worthy of punishment. But, there are five types of adultery in the Bible. Let us understand them, lest we continue to commit this spiritual crime.

1. Mental Adultery

Remember how we mentioned that looking is fine? It’s not! Looking at someone in a lustful or sexual manner, even though you choose to not act upon it is a type of adultery. It isn’t something new though. This has been going on for centuries now, but it is only seeing its boom in the present world. A believer will change the way they look at things. When a married woman sees an attractive man, or when a married man sees an attractive woman, they shouldn’t lust for them. One in faith should look at another human outside marriage as nothing but another beautiful creation of God.

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart- Matthew 5-28

2. Spiritual Adultery

We all fail God at some point in our lives. Spiritual Adultery is the name given to us failing God- us being unfaithful to God. According to the Bible, every time a believer attaches themselves to the materialistic world, the world under Satan’s power, we end up cheating on God. To testify, God wants us to have everything this world has to offer. But without a spiritual hold, we are nothing but Satan’s puppets. Those who indulge in idol worship serve two masters, and that is a sin according to the Bible.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money- Matthew 6:24

3. Energetic Adultery

Energetic adultery isn’t a loud sin, but it is one that can kill your marriage at a slow rate. What is this type? Imagining being physically involved with another person apart from the partner, visiting places where we feel sexually attracted to someone else, talking to people who try to sway us from following our commandments, looking at other men/women on social media, speaking to someone for long without our partner’s knowledge all fall in this category. In fact, making eye contact with someone looking for something beyond friendship is also frowned upon in the Bible.

God doesn’t want us to stop talking to people. But these are things we do sub-consciously participate in often. It has to stop to keep the sin of adultery at bay.

4. Emotional Adultery

emotional adultery

Do we really commit emotional adultery? YES! Which relationship is problem-free? Since we are all different, a difference of opinion isn’t extraordinary. Sometimes, things go a bit too far, and we find our marriage in trouble. It is at such times that we feel the need for someone’s shoulder. Sharing confidential information about your marriage, being “innocent friends” with someone of the opposite sex for emotional support, seeking advice outside your marriage, having emotional intimacy with someone other than your partners all speak the language of emotional adultery.

With phones becoming a part of our bodies, emotional adultery doesn’t require much effort. If you are speaking/chatting with someone, man or woman, for long hours, at odd hours, and feel irritated when your partner asks you about it, know, that you are an emotional adulterer. God doesn’t approve of it! Find your solace and peace in your partner.

5. Visual Adultery


The title is self-explanatory. Every time we look at someone who we think is attractive, we are committing visual adultery. Watching porn, magazines, and lusting after someone outside our marriage because of our eyes, we become an adulterer.

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Bible Verses about Adultery

bible verses about adultery

Now that we know the various ways in which we could become an alterer, rather a sinner, let us read the word of God. It helps to remember what God expresses about it so that we can stay vigilant and out of the demon’s hand who could force us into sin. Please also take a look at some of the verses listed above, in which God condemns adultery.

Your adulteries and lustful neighings, your shameless prostitution! I have seen your detestable acts on the hills and in the fields. Woe to you, Jerusalem! How long will you be unclean?”- Jeremiah 13:27

Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery- Luke 16:18

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery- Matthew 19:9

But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself- Proverbs 6:32

And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her- Levicticus 18:20

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body- 1 Corinthians 6:18

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh- 1 Corinthians 6:15-16

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God- 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person- Mark 7:20-23


Consequences of Adultery according to the Bible

consequences of adultery in the bible

When God gives a man or woman in marriage, know that He loves you. When he loves us so much, that he invests time in finding us a match, how can we deny our partners of love? An adulterer denies their spouse love and also disrespects God’s love. The consequences of adultery according to the Bible, therefore, are vast.

Below are a few Bible verses, that speak about the consequences of adultery.

If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death- Leviticus 20:10

He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself- Proverbs 6:32

If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel- Deuteronomy 22:22

Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works- Revelation 2:22

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. 20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? 21 For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths. 22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. 23 For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly- Proverbs 5:18-23

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality- Galatians 5:19

Adultery is a sin. These consequences shouldn’t scare you. Committing sin should scare you. Stay away from the wrath of God, and the shackles of the demon. Satan would want you to defy the laws of God. It is in your hands, and your strength to pray hard, and keep these negative thoughts away. The strong you are spiritual, the lesser the chances of the demon’s attack on you.

Save your marriage, save your relationship, and celebrate the fireworks of spiritual love! 

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Hemali Adhiya

Hemali Adhiya is the co-founder and author of the e-magazine Love Smitten. Alongside writing and editing for several other websites, she hosts a YouTube Channel- Total Angrezi. Traveling is her way to unwind, and she loves recording these experiences!

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