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  • Chad Werkhoven

Proverbs 6:20-35 - All Inclusive Sin

Adultery wreaks havoc over every dimension of life. Stop it before it starts.

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Read Proverbs 6:20-35

Listen to passage & devotional:


Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 109

Q. Does God,

in this commandment,

forbid only such scandalous

sins as adultery?

A. We are temples of the Holy Spirit,

body and soul,

and God wants both to be

kept clean and holy.

That is why he forbids

everything which

incites unchastity,

whether it be actions, looks,

talk, thoughts, or desires.



Adultery wreaks such havoc because it always involves multiple sins. This passage in Proverbs helps demonstrate that committing adultery violates not just the one particular command, but every commandment in the second table of the law:

  • 5th Commandment: adultery forsakes our father's command and mother's teaching (v20)

  • 6th Commandment: those who commit adultery "have no sense... and destroy [kill] themselves" (v32)

  • 7th Commandment: Adultery itself, which is precipitated by lust (v25)

  • 8th Commandment: In adultery, one person steals the spouse of another (v24, 26, 29, 30-32)

  • 9th Commandment: Adultery is rooted in and perpetuated by lies and falsehoods, and those caught in it will never be fully trusted again (v33)

  • 10th Commandment: The Old Testament word for covet is the same word the New Testament uses for lust. Verse 25, which reads "do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes" can also be translated "do not covet in your heart..."

Dig Deeper

Adultery begins long before two people physically come together. This is why the catechism warns against "looks, talk, thoughts or desires" that "incite unchastity."

Jesus teaches this concept in the Sermon on the Mount when He states that a man who "looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Jesus goes on to warn that because of the danger that this sin includes you must get rid of everything that cause you to "stumble," even if that means gouging out your eye or cutting off your hand (Matthew 5:27-30).

Of course Jesus is using hyperbole in His warning, otherwise our churches would be full of blind people with no hands. What He means, and what the Proverbs and our Catechism reinforce, is that you need to get rid of whatever it is that causes temptation in your life.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who has called us out of a life of lust and into a full covenantal commitment with the Triune God;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Since it's impossible for you to separate yourself from every source of temptation, pray that God will strengthen your heart so you can keep yourself from lusting after the things of this world;



Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 1 Peter 5


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