Lord's Day 33

Week 32 :: Week 33 :: Week 34


The seventh commandment is concerned primarily with our personal and relational purity. Adultery, while primarily defined by a sexual intimacy outside the bounds of marriage, also applies to our desires and our speech. As Christians, we are united in covenant with God through Jesus Christ, and as such, we are to live, love, and talk in a way that brings God honor and exemplifies the purity and Lordship of Christ. To live unchaste, intemperate lives is to break faith and covenant with God and our fellowship with one another. 

Francis Beattie’s commentary on this commandment teaches that “this command requires the preserving of our own and our neighbor's chastity in heart, speech, and behavior. This implies chastity in body and mind, affections, words and conduct, and the preservation of it in others. It requires us to keep a watch over the eyes and senses, temperance and keeping chaste company, wearing modest apparel, marriage under proper conditions, conjugal love and fidelity, diligent labor in our callings, avoiding and resisting all temptations to the violation of this command. Such are some of the main things which this command requires to be observed.” 

Interestingly, chastity is a word that is scorned in our popular culture as being “puritanical” and “outmoded.” Our own denomination (PC(USA)) has debated the inclusion of chastity as a requirement in the ordination of its deacons, elders, and ministers of Word and Sacrament. I Thess. 4:3-4 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know who to control his own body in holiness and honor…” The clear teaching of Scripture reveals that, living in faith by the very grace of God, we are called to set aside the old life of sin and disobedience, to leave behind the ways of the flesh, and to live modest, humble, pure, and holy lives in faithfulness to God. 


Gracious and Holy God, in an increasingly unchaste world, sanctify us by the power of your Holy Spirit, to live lives of purity and chastity, in thought, word, and deed, that we may bring you honor and glory in all that we do. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Question 70

Q. 70. What is the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Scripture Proofs

Ex. 20:14.

“You shall not commit adultery.

Question 71

Q. 71. What is required in the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbor’s chastity, in heart, speech, and behaviour.

Scripture Proofs

1 Cor. 7:2-3;

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.

1 Cor. 7:5;

Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

1 Cor. 7:34;

and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.

1 Cor. 7:36;

If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.

Col. 4:6;

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

1 Pet. 3:2.

when they see your respectful and pure conduct.

Question 72

Q. 72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.

Scripture Proofs

Matt. 15:19;

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

Matt. 5:28;

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Eph. 5:3-4.

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.