Finding Forgiveness In The Bible After Adultery


Grace is God’s overwhelming desire to treat you and I as if sin had never happened. You can find forgiveness. The world never forgets, but the church should be a place of rescue and grace.

Committing adultery is no light matter, and reconciliation can be a long and painful business. Loved ones will need time to recover from the brutal reality of betrayal, and it takes time to rebuild lost trust. But there is forgiveness in the Bible after committing the act of adultery.

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

When people who commit sin are deeply repentant, there should be a forgiving response in the hearts of God’s people, because the aim should be one of restoration, not judgement. When people commit sin the response of the church at large is understandably one of disappointment. But to condemn these people for not being above reproach is not our role as ambassadors of Christ. There are many verses in scripture dealing with the subject of sexual sin (a temptation “common to man”) and the forgiveness that should follow repentance.

When the local newspaper had a front page article on our mayor’s affair, I was really surprised to read his comments that he had felt a lot of forgiveness from religious people, especially the Christians. This is a good sign. Judgement is finally coming out of the church.

Here is what I wrote to the mayor:

To the Mayor of our city

I voted for you. I just want to encourage you to stay on as mayor.

When King David committed adultery he didn’t resign. It cost him his reputation, but he understood mercy and forgiveness. He was one of the most loved characters in the Bible because He loved people and cared for them. Being forgiven much, meant he could love much. He was quite happy to walk away from his throne, and the politics of it all, but he stayed because he loved the people he was called to serve.

James 3:2 says, “we all fail in many ways.” The great apostle Paul called himself “the chief of sinners”. Perhaps this humble estimation of himself is what made him so great.

“If our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and understands all things.”
It is my prayer, that this will be a new beginning for you, and that you would leave a legacy like King David, who is still known the world over, as “a man after God’s own heart.”

Often when people sin they have a problem with self forgiveness. Repentance is always necessary, but so is self forgiveness. Sorrow for sin is a part of genuine repentance, but receiving forgiveness and forgiving yourself should ultimately restore a persons joy. David prayed, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” All parties involved at some point in time must move on, and forgiveness must flow through the Body of Christ if it is to heal itself. Divorce is not a solution, though it is sometimes a final option if there is no evidence of repentance.

We must remember also, that the world is watching. Judgement has to come out of the heart of the church if we are to win the lost. We should see situations like this as another opportunity to love mercy. There would have been a time when I would have taken the high moral ground and said, “Resign.” Do I think we should just gloss over events like this? No, actions like this will cost people dearly.

Proverbs talks about this and the paths that fools take. It says, “whoever commits adultery lacks understanding,” and, “his shame will never be forgotten.” Proverbs 6:32

The world never forgets. You pay a heavy price for sexual sin, especially if you are in some form of leadership or hold a public office and are under public scrutiny. But the church should be a place of rescue and grace.

Part 1 - Finding forgiveness in the Bible after adultery
Part 2 - Showing mercy and graciousness
Part 3 - The blood of Jesus speaks better things

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