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The Big Battle Plan for Attacking Adultery

I preached an entire sermon on this heartbreaking subject as part of our series on the Ten Commandments. The seventh commandment states: “You shall not commit adultery.”

As I prepared for the sermon, nearly every single one of the small mountain of books and commentaries I read dealt entirely with the theological issues and skipped the painful, practical and pastoral ones.

This article on adultery is intended to help fill that gap, both for those who are suffering from this sin and those who are helping those who are hurting.

For starters, consider this fact: Almost half of all marriages (41 percent) will be tarnished by the sin of adultery.

That doesn’t include the secret porn habits of who knows how many more otherwise “faithful” spouses. It also doesn’t fully account for the adulterous desires harbored by the majority of all married men (74 percent) and women (68 percent) who would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught.

Admittedly, it’s hard to find consistent statistics on infidelity. If anything, however, the numbers are low for two reasons in particular: 1) Some people would rather lie than admit to adultery; and 2) There’s no consensus on the definition of adultery up until extramarital intercourse.

The precise degree to which adultery exists, however, does not change the indisputable fact that it is pervasive—in marriages, in entertainment, in politics, in the workplace—and it ruins marriages, devastates families and in the most visceral sense, violates our relationship with God.

Now, consider how serious adultery is.

In the Old Covenant, you could be put to death for adultery (Levi. 20:10). In the New Covenant, you can get divorced for adultery (Matt. 5:32, 19:9). And, if not repented of, adultery can result in eternal damnation (1 Cor. 6:9–10).

All sin is equally damnable, but not all sin is equally devastating. The implications of adultery are far reaching, legacy altering and covenant damaging.

With that in mind, here is a comprehensive list of resources and information for you to use as bullets for attacking adultery.

10-point battle plan.

Here are tactics and reminders that I included in my sermon about adultery:

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Pastor Mark Driscoll is the Preaching and Speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. His audience—fans and critics alike—spans the theological and cultural left and right. Follow his updates at twitter.com/pastorMark.