Does God Forgive Adultery: How To Receive Forgiveness From Him?

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Published by Kimberly Wall


Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

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Adultery is an act of unfaithfulness that violates the marital vows when a married person has a sexual relationship separate from his or her wife or husband. It is considered a serious breach of trust and a violation of a person’s faithfulness to his or her spouse. Ultimately, adultery is a serious offense against God.

Adultery is a worldwide phenomenon and a sin that we face regardless of race, creed, and age. As one of the most controversial topics in our society, it often leads to heated discussions and debates.

Key Takeaways

  • Adultery is considered a grave sin in Christianity, as betraying marital vows and disrespecting the sacred bond of marriage.
  • While adultery is a serious offense, forgiveness is possible through genuine repentance and seeking God’s grace.
  • Confession and sincere prayer are highlighted as crucial steps towards receiving forgiveness for adultery in Christian belief.

Does God Forgive Adultery?

Adultery is a difficult and often controversial topic, especially when it comes to matters of faith and religion. With many different interpretations and opinions regarding related passages in the Bible, it can be difficult to know what is considered acceptable and what is not. One thing is that, when it comes to adultery, God is the one who must ultimately decide whether to forgive the sexually immoral.

The Woman Caught In Adultery

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.

John 8:6–7

After spending the night on the Mount of Olives, Jesus arrived in the Temple area and began teaching the gospel to the people who surrounded him. The Pharisees and the Scribes brought before him a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery[1]. They confronted Jesus with questions about the stoning of an adulterous woman, as required by Mosaic Law.

Jesus said nothing and instead wrote something on the ground. But they pressed Him for a response according to God’s law. In John 8, Jesus aptly replied, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one, the accusers are left with the feeling that they too are sinners. Jesus then said to the woman, “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”

God forgives sinners. Clearly, Jesus Christ forgave the woman who committed adultery. In the Bible, we can read numerous instances of God’s wisdom and grace and how His abounding love and mercy extend to sinners. As the Father forgives our trespasses, the very act of adultery can be forgiven.

A clandestine affair of man and woman whispering in an upscale restaurant, dimly lit with warm, intimate tones

Why Is Adultery A Serious Sin?

Sin Against God

Adultery is a serious sin against God, and it is important to understand its rationale. Basically, it is a violation of the sanctity of marriage and a disregard for the commitment that is made between two people in a marriage. It is a form of betrayal, a violation of trust, and a sign of contempt for the other person in the marriage.

God instituted marriage in the Garden of Eden when he united Adam and Eve. It is a holy bond between man and woman, similar to the piety between God and mankind. We are made in His likeness, and marriage is essentially a godly state.

Adultery involves the breaking of an important covenant and institution. Marriage is meant to be a sacred union between two individuals, and when one or both of them break this covenant, it is a clear manifestation of disrespect to God as well as to the spouse.

Destroys Relationships

Adultery can cause emotional, spiritual, and even physical harm. It can tear apart the fabric of marriage and family. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Not only does adultery hurt the parties involved, but it can also hurt innocent bystanders, such as children and other family members.

Adultery often leads to divorce and broken families, a serious and malignant state many people experience and suffer from. Oddly, a large part of society tolerates and even encourages adultery and divorce.

It can also lead to a host of physical ailments, such as sexually transmitted diseases. Adultery is a sin that should not be taken lightly and should be confessed and repented of.

Is Adultery An Unforgivable Sin?

Many people think that if a spouse commits adultery, God can forgive him or her. But, like premarital sex, significant and disastrous consequences happen to both parties.

Despite God’s forgiveness, this does not mean that the consequences of adultery are removed. The hazards of the sexual sins of immorality and adultery lead to the destruction of married life.

But many other people believe that adultery is an unforgivable sin. There are many biblical passages, notions, and pieces of spiritual wisdom that attest that adultery is unforgivable.

Divorce And Remarriage

For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh.So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.

Matthew 19:5–6

When God instituted marriage between Adam and Eve, He described marriage as two becoming “one flesh.” As a result, separating two parts of one flesh without killing the other divided part is impossible. Husband and wife are one flesh and cannot be separated. Not only may they not be divided, but they cannot be separated when both of them live.

Many Christians think God does not forgive a specific form of adultery at all times. This kind of adultery is the consequence of divorce and remarriage to another spouse.

They assert that although God allows people to obtain a divorce (Matthew 19), they may not marry again as long as their ex-spouses live. Luke 16:18 adds that everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband also commits adultery.

Jesus emphasized that divorce is permitted on the grounds of “sexual immorality.” They further affirm that marriage lasts as long as both spouses are alive. According to this view, if a person marries again after a divorce, that person is living in a state of continual adultery and essentially cannot be forgiven at that referential point in time.

Remarriage is allowed if you have divorced your spouse for sexual immorality. But the Bible stresses that you should commit yourself to someone who is not bound to another man or another woman. Matthew 5:31–32 reads, “It has been said, Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce. But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Is Adultery A Way To Death?

Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9–10

Sin Leads To Spiritual Death

Adultery has serious spiritual consequences. It can lead to terrible sin and spiritual death. When people commit adultery, they are rejecting the commitment and sanctity of marriage. This goes against the will of God, and it can bring deep spiritual pain, guilt, and shame.

When someone engages in adultery, the Holy Spirit grieves. 1 Corinthians 6:19 reads, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you and whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and adultery defiles the sanctity of the body, which brings disrespect and dishonor to their spouse and to God.

Because of adultery, a human being may be tempted to commit more sins, such as lying or stealing, as a way to fill this spiritual void. It can also lead to feelings of culpability and disgrace, which can lead to depression and despair. Worse, it may lead to more acts of adultery with multiple or more partners.

A wife and husband are in the midst of a heated argument

Why Is Adultery Not The Unforgivable Sin?

On the other hand, many people believe that adultery is forgivable. They allege that those who think otherwise have an erroneous knowledge of God’s grace and the abounding forgiveness of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

There are two types of forgiveness: one that is free and unconditional, and another that bestows deliverance and release from the bondage of sin. God does forgive adulterers. Despite the biblical truth about God’s forgiveness, many passages in the Bible apparently support the notion that adultery is unforgivable.

Many of the patriarchs of Israel had numerous spouses. While people explain this practice as acceptable at that time, we cannot simply disregard God’s essential plan for marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24).

Therefore, even though the past social norm might have allowed a man to have more than one wife, the commands of God did not. When we study the New Testament, where the law against adultery is clearly stressed, there are many incidents of Christians who committed adultery and yet are still considered children of God.

When confronting the rampant sexual immorality that was present in the Corinthian church, Paul did not threaten them with hell and everlasting destruction. Instead, he preached the theological truth that, as believers in Christ who have been raised with Him, we should not behave in such a manner (1 Corinthians 6:12–20).

Examples Of Adultery In The Bible

  • Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob took more than one wife for themselves.
  • Almost all the kings of Israel were specifically commanded to not take multiple wives for themselves but did otherwise (Deuteronomy 17:16–17).
  • King David, a man after God’s own heart, had multiple wives (2 Samuel 11:4; 1 Chronicles 3:1–9).
  • A man sleeps with his father’s wife, and yet Paul clearly identifies him as a brother in Christ who has been led into serious sin (1 Corinthians 5).

The Bible is evidently clear that while adultery is a sin, it is forgivable. Bible characters who committed adultery, like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David, lived in a lifelong state of infidelity but were forgiven and accepted by God. In the New Testament, there were also adulterers in the early church, and they too were forgiven and redeemed.

4 Bible Verses About Adultery

He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.  

— Proverbs 6:32

For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.

— Malachi 2:16 

A married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.  

— Romans 7:2–3

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

— Matthew 5:27-28 

How Does A Person Receive God’s Forgiveness For Adultery?

Adultery is one of the most serious sins that a person can commit. It can lead to trust issues, broken relationships, guilt, and crippling shame. But no matter how far a person has transgressed, God’s grace and mercy are available to offer forgiveness. It is paramount that we become holy and sinless before we can gain eternal life.


First, we must recognize, admit, and confess that we have committed the terrible sin of adultery. It’s important to be honest with ourselves and with God about the wrongs that were done.

Once we recognize and confess our sins, the process of seeking and receiving God’s forgiveness begins. Jesus forgives, and His abundant mercy blots out our sins.


The next step to God’s forgiveness is repentance. It involves a sincere change of heart and a commitment to go forward in the future without repeating the same sin or mistake. It’s important to make a conscious effort to turn away from temptation and sin.

Finally, prayer is an important part of the confession and repentance process of receiving God’s forgiveness. The Bible tells us that God hears and answers our prayers when we are sincere and earnest in our requests. Pray for forgiveness, pray for strength to turn away from sin, and pray for guidance in the future. Prayer is a powerful way to draw closer to God and receive the healing and peace that only He can give.

5 Bible Verses About God’s Forgiveness For Adultery

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude…Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

— 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.

— Hebrews 8:12 

Let it be known to you, therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.

— Acts 13:38 

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  

— Colossians 3:13

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear.

— Isaiah 59:1 
A man in deep contemplation, kneeling on a rocky cliff at sunset


Adultery is one of the most grievous and damaging sins we can commit. It can destroy relationships, cause tremendous guilt and shame, and lead to a loss of faith in our Lord. But God’s love is abounding. Like any other sin, it is important to remember that He is always ready to forgive when we seek Him in prayer, humility, and repentance.

God forgives adultery under certain conditions. There is only one unforgivable sin, and that is hardening our hearts against the gospel and rejecting Jesus as our Savior. Let us remember that we were made in the image of God to reflect His love, not to destroy our relationship with Him and other people.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is God’s Punishment For Adultery?

God’s punishment for adultery, according to Christian teachings, is often seen as severe, reflecting the gravity of the sin. However, forgiveness through repentance is a central theme.

Is Adultery A Sin Against God?

Adultery is indeed considered a sin against God in Christian doctrine, as it violates the sanctity of marriage, which is a covenant seen as blessed by God.

What Sin Is Unforgivable?

The unforgivable sin in Christian theology is typically referred to as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which is fundamentally a persistent and unrepentant heart against God.

How Do You Repent From Adultery?

To repent from adultery, one must sincerely seek forgiveness, demonstrate true remorse, and commit to turning away from such actions, often involving confession and prayer.

8 thoughts on “Does God Forgive Adultery: How To Receive Forgiveness From Him?”

  1. My wife of 18 years is committing adultery with my own cousin and is divorcing me to be with him. We have 2 children. I pleaded with her not to give her body to another man siting the Scriptures strict rules against breaking her covenant and committing adultery. I pleaded with her to go to counseling or therapy together to work on the marriage and not divorce. I pleaded with her to honor her commitment as i was doing to her. She and my cousin did it anyway. It seems so unfair that she and him can commit adultery and destroy our marriage and hurt and confuse my children knowing that they can simply ask for forgiveness from the Lord afterwards and its all washed away. How can the mercy and grace of God be given to those who do not have a fear of God or respect for consequences of their sinful conduct?

  2. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for forgiving my sin of adultery. I will never do it again. Though this was a painful process to go thru, I feel closer to God than in my entire life. I feel so grateful to be a chosen Christian. Thank you Lord for allowing my husband to forgive me too.

  3. Committing adultery … being divorced can I Mary a woman that I’m in love with and not go to hell for it ? Thoughts please !!!

  4. The article is really great. I will make a confusion here that your single instance of adultery should help you. I became sexually active at age 5 yes 5 molested there my childhood and continued into my adult life. I have had many sexual partners while married multiple times. I am on my 4th marriage. I do believe in God and believe Christ died for my sins. However I feel I am so far gone and I have done so much that there is no possible way God forgives me. I have sinned sinned and sinned in this area asked for forgiveness multiple times. I am drowning I can not move past it. I have sex and I am not really even in the mood I just do it to do it. It is like I have no control over my actions I feel like I get in a daze and off I go to go find sex. I do not even want it. I truly with all my heart just want to be a good man I really really do. I do not understand what’s wrong with me. I try and try to over come. I put a picture of Jesus on my windshield I put one on my office door. I feel I need to be delivered. I honestly want it to stop. I do not want this. I am in need of Gods grace mercy and forgiveness and what I know is I do not deserve any of it. I want it. I want to live my life healthy and happy as a good man. How can I over come this how can I move past this how can I find Gods’ love and forgiveness. I actually love Jesus I do so why do I keep doing this.


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