What is Spiritual Adultery? And How Does It Affect The Holy Spirit? - Part II

Sept 2023

As unfaithfulness in the bond of marriage is so serious that most marriages never survive such, and considering that the Holy Spirit, in essence, refers to unfaithfulness to Christ as “spiritual adultery,” we should understand how serious this problem is. In fact, it is meant by the Holy Spirit for us to see the seriousness of such action. The tragedy is that none of us quite understand that spiritual adultery is just as bad in the spiritual sense as physical adultery is in the natural sense. Irrespective, however, of what we say or think, the truth cannot be denied.

Paul tells us that we are married to Christ and, as such, we are to be faithful to Him, and exclusively, which means to place our faith and trust exclusively in Christ and the cross, and to keep it exclusively in Christ and the cross.

Paul deals with this, as well, in his second letter to the Corinthians: “Would to God you could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. (In effect, the apostle is saying, ‘indulge me.’) For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy (refers to the ‘jealousy of God’ [Ex. 20:5; 34:14; Nah. 1:2]): for I have espoused you to one husband (not jealous of the Corinthians’ affection for himself, but of their affection for Christ), that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (They must not commit spiritual adultery, which refers to trusting in things other than Christ and the cross.)”

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty (the strategy of Satan), so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (The gospel of Christ is simple, but men complicate it by adding to the message.)

“For if he who comes preaching another Jesus (a Jesus who is not of the cross), whom we have not preached (Paul’s message was ‘Jesus Christ and Him crucified’; anything else is ‘another Jesus’), or if you receive another spirit (which is produced by preaching another Jesus), which you have not received (that’s not what you received when we preached the true gospel to you), or another gospel, which you have not accepted (anything other than ‘Jesus Christ and Him crucified’ is ‘another gospel’), you might well bear with him. (The apostle is telling the Corinthians they have, in fact, sinned because they tolerated these false apostles who had come in, bringing ‘another gospel’ which was something other than Christ and the cross)” (II Cor. 11:1-4).

In fact, the far greater majority of the modern church is proclaiming “another Jesus.”

“Another Jesus” means that they were proclaiming Jesus, but ignoring the cross. In fact, those interlopers were promoting the law of Moses, claiming that it must be kept alongside accepting Jesus. And, if the people did not accept the law of Moses, meaning that the men would be circumcised, etc., then they were not saved, or else they were not a complete Christian. Today, it’s a little different.

It is not so much the law of Moses that’s being promoted now, but rather something in the place of the cross.

The modern church, at least after a fashion, is preaching Jesus, but it is Jesus, the “good Man,” or the “miracle worker,” the “great example,” or the “great teacher.” All of this means that they are claiming that man can reach his potential if he will only change a few habits, etc., and, thereby, be more like Jesus. In fact, the modern church is ignoring the real problem of man, which is sin.

We must ever understand that man is in trouble, and I mean terrible trouble, not so much for what he does, even though that is very important, but mostly for what he is. Millions today think they are going to heaven because they don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, etc. While it’s certainly good that they don’t do these things, none of that is the criteria. The criteria is that mankind is a sinner, and that his problem can be addressed only by Jesus Christ, the Savior, meaning that man must admit what he is—a sinner—and thereby accept Christ as his Savior and Lord (John. 3:16; Rev. 22:17).

When it comes to the believer, we must also admit that our real problem is sin, but this the modern church will not do. As stated, it claims that the real problem of the modern Christian is that he simply needs to change his habits and become a better person. While all of us need to be better people, still, it’s Jesus Christ the Savior from sin who can make us such, and only Jesus. Let me say it again—the problem with the modern Christian is sin. The only cure for that problem and the only answer for that problem is that we place our faith in Christ exclusively, and what He did for us at the cross, understanding that the cross of Christ is the only answer for sin. When this is done—and, I might quickly add, maintained, meaning that our faith ever remain in Christ and the cross—then the Holy Spirit, who alone can bring about His fruit within our lives, will begin to do His work.

If the believer places his faith in anything else, and I mean anything else, such as the Lord’s Supper, fasting, water baptism, good works, giving money to the work of the Lord, performing good deeds, his church, his religious denomination, etc., then such a Christian is, in fact, living in a state of spiritual adultery. While the other things mentioned are good things that every true believer will engage in, still, the object of faith must always be, without exception, and continue to be, the cross of Christ (Rom. 6:1-14; 8:1-2, 11; I Cor. 1:17-18, 23; 2:2; Gal. 5; 6:14; Eph. 2:13-18; Col. 2:14-15).

I will answer that by asking another question—how serious is unfaithfulness as it regards marriage between a husband and wife? If I remember correctly, it was in late winter of 1992. We were then having two prayer meetings a day, which continued for ten years, and something I continue to personally subscribe. That particular morning, as four or five of us gathered for prayer, I began to petition the Lord for particular things in my own personal life, which I felt I needed. In a very short period of time, the Spirit of God covered me greatly.

The Lord took me away from my own personal needs, although they were many, to the condition of the church, and I speak of the church world as a whole. He took me to the first chapter of the great prophet Isaiah. I will quote both text and notes from The Expositor’s Study Bible that which the Lord gave me as it regards the church. He said: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O Earth: for the LORD has spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me. (In this verse, all nature is invoked to hear Jehovah make complaint of the ingratitude of His people. The invocation is cast in the same form which is so common in Deuteronomy [Deut. 4:26; 30:19; 31:28; 32:1]. To step out of the Song of Solomon into Isaiah is to pass from sunshine to shadow. The love that exults in the one laments in the other. Actually, Isaiah is not the one actually speaking here, but rather Jehovah. The prophet is only His mouthpiece.) The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel does not know, My people do not consider. (The meaning of this verse seems to be, ‘My people do not consider Me, do not reflect on My relation to them as Lord and Master.’)”

“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children who are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. (According to Isaiah, holiness is the most essential element of God’s Nature; hence, he would call Him ‘the Holy One of Israel.’ In their forsaking the Lord, Judah did not renounce His worship, but actually continued it; however, it was reduced to a mere formality. The people ‘honored Him with their lips, while their hearts were far from Him’ [Isa. 29:13].)”

Article is an excerpt from the book Brother Swaggart, Here Is My Question About The Holy Spirit (09-114)


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