Sex Outside of Marriage - What Scripture Says

What Scripture Says About Sex Outside of Marriage
The Greek word porneia is the root word translated "immoral”(1) in the passages below. It means “a selling off (surrendering) of sexual purity; promiscuity of any (every) type.” Our English word pornography is derived from this root.  

1. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:"Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 

What Scripture Says About Sex Outside of Marriage
Christians have the power (Philippians 4:13) and the motivation (Romans 12:1) to overcome these sins because "God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives" (1 Thessalonians 4:7). Knowing Christ always leads to godliness (Titus 1:1; John 14:23).

2. 1 Corinthians 6:15: Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 

Sexual sins violate us in a serious way, involving our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit, in immorality.

3. 1 Corinthians 6:18: Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 

Sexual sins are not the same as other sins.
See Are All Sins The Same?

4. 1 Corinthians 7:9: But if [single people] cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

The Greek word for passion in this passage is not an evil or lustful passion. It is a good passion - the kind God meant for men and women in love. But this verse clearly outlines the appropriate place for those good passions – in marriage.

What Scripture Says About Sex Outside of Marriage
5. Ephesians 5:3-5: But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Check out the greater context Ephesians 5:1-17  

Not a hint – this means we should not approve any aspect of immorality in our speech or actions.

6. Colossians 3:5:Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  

“Put to death” – that’s strong language.

7. Hebrews 12:16: See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.  

This is a fitting explanation for sexual promiscuity. It is forfeiting an honorable, pure relationship in marriage by giving in to a lustful relationship outside of marriage. It's a lack of self-control.

8. Hebrews 13:4: Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 

The Bible confines sexual intimacy to marriage.

(1) Some translations use the word fornication which means sexual intercourse between people not married to each other. 

To read more about God's View of human sexuality, click the image to the right.

It will take you to an archive of 1-minute devotions, addressing different aspects of what Scripture teaches about sexual behavior.

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