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"Thou shalt not commit adultery" Exodus 20:14

Divine law supports the seventh commandment

From the December 1983 issue of The Christian Science Journal


Recognizing the seventh commandment as based on spiritual law brings great blessing. How? First, by helping us maintain marital fidelity through obedience to the law. Second, by providing us a basis to work from if confronted by adulterous thoughts or acts.

The seventh commandment in its literal sense excludes sexual intercourse between a married person and one who is not his or her spouse. With Christ Jesus' teachings the mandate was extended to include even the thought of lust.See Matt. 5:28. In her writings, Mrs. Eddy offers this insight: "'Thou shalt not commit adultery;' in other words, thou shalt not adulterate Life, Truth, or Love,—mentally, morally, or physically." Miscellaneous Writings, p. 67. Obedience to the commandment and its fullest implications ensures the fidelity of the marriage covenant and helps a marriage reach its potential as described in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, where Mrs. Eddy states, "Marriage should improve the human species, becoming a barrier against vice, a protection to woman, strength to man, and a centre for the affections." Science and Health, p. 60.

But what if the fidelity of the marriage covenant has been breached? How can the seventh commandment help one then? Recognizing the commandment as based on divine law, rather than as merely a human guideline for behavior, one begins to realize the inherently sinless nature of man as the expression of an infinitely perfect God. This is the basis for individual regeneration in the face of adultery, despite the hurt, shock, anger, or guilt that such an act may elicit.

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