Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What is the Positive Application of the Seventh Commandment?

Remember that every commandment is both positive and negative.  When a commandment is stated negatively (“Do not…), the opposite positive is implied.  And where a commandment is stated positively, the opposite negative is implied.  For example, the fifth commandment is stated positively – honor your father and your mother.  Therefore the opposite negative is also implied – Do nothing to dishonor your father and your mother.  What is the positive application of the seventh commandment – Do not commit adultery?  Reserve all sexual activity for your marriage.  Receive all sexual gratification from your spouse alone.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 (CSB) says, “3 For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you keep away from sexual immorality, 4 that each of you knows how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not with lustful passions, like the Gentiles, who don’t know God. 6 This means one must not transgress against and take advantage of a brother or sister in this manner, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses, as we also previously told and warned you. 7 For God has not called us to impurity but to live in holiness.”

The positive application of the seventh commandment means that we honor our marriage and the marriage of our neighbor.  Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.”

Mark Rooker wrote, “The positive content of the commandment is respect for the marriage of another man.” 

The Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “The Seventh Commandment requires the preservation of our own and our neighbor’s chastity, in heart, speech, and behavior.”

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