Sexual Chastity
Monday Pentecost 23
29 October 2018
Some years ago, a young woman wanting advice about marrying the person with whom she was cohabiting approached me. After discussing the situation for some time, it dawned on her that I might not altogether approve of "living together." Shocked, she contended that living together without benefit of marriage was not adultery because neither she nor her "live in" were married (and not, most of all, to each other!). She thought the prohibition of adultery could only apply to an affair where one (or both) of the sexual partners is married to someone else. This is certainly not what the Bible means in the sixth commandment.
The sixth commandment forbids all forms of sexual uncleanness and unchastity, including ignoring the sexual unchastity of others. Sexual uncleanness affects all the members of society and its most basic structure, the family and the sacred union of one man and one woman in holy marriage. Chastity in marriage is faithful monogamy. Chastity outside of marriage is celibacy. We need to support both callings.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"The sixth commandment is directed against all kinds of unchastity, whatever it may be called. Not only is the outward act of adultery forbidden, but also every kind of cause, motive, and means of adultery. Then the heart, the lips, and the whole body may be chaste and offer no opportunity, help, or persuasion toward unchastity. Not only this, but we must also resist temptation, offer protection, and rescue honor wherever there is danger and need. We must give help and counsel, so as to maintain our neighbor's honor. For whenever you abandon this effort when you could resist unchastity, or whenever you overlook it as if it did not concern you, you are as truly guilty of adultery as the one doing the deed. To speak in the briefest way, this much is required of you: everyone must live chastely himself and help his neighbor do the same. So, by this commandment God wishes to build a hedge around about (Job 1:10) and protect every spouse so that no one trespasses against him or her."

Martin Luther, Large Catechism,
Hebrews 13:1-5

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (ESV)
O Lord, protect our marriages from all forms of unchastity and make us supporters of the chastity of others in all we say and do. Amen.
For Pastor Charles Wokoma, who is serving the Lord at Jonathan Ekong Memorial Lutheran Seminary, that His gracious Savior would bless his labors and grant him strength
For all foreign missionaries, that the Word of Christ may be proclaimed to all people
For all pastors, that they might not be complacent in their duties, but rather grow in faith as they receive Christ's body and blood for the forgiveness of their sins, while giving the same to God's holy people
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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