Sex Outside of Marriage - What Scripture Says

This devotion explains what Scripture says about Sex outside of Marriage and it even explores the meaning of the Greek words used in Scripture. Good, solid Biblical advice.

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."

This devotion explains what Scripture says about Sex outside of Marriage and it even explores the meaning of the Greek words used in Scripture. Good, solid Biblical advice.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. 

This devotion explains what Scripture says about Sex outside of Marriage and it even explores the meaning of the Greek words used in Scripture. Good, solid Biblical advice.
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.  

"Even 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.

I also encourage you to check out the Wisdom for Life Devotional. It contains 100 one-minute devotions to challenge, encourage, instruct, and inspire your love for God's Word: Wisdom for Life. Read the story behind Wisdom for Life HERE. And find out about the two free Bible studies with purchase HERE. You can read the first 4 devotions in the book by clicking "look inside" on Lifeway or Amazon.
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Bible Love Notes

This devotion explains what Scripture says about Sex outside of Marriage and it even explores the meaning of the Greek words used in Scripture. Good, solid Biblical advice.


  1. This is why I am so lost! All my life I have been in sexual immorality. My (step) father introduced me to the feelings and then I was raped to lose my virginity by a complete stranger. Then my real dad wanted a physical relationship as I was older and met him. Almost every man in my life hurt me that way or another and that is just a very short backstory. Now I am 30, never have I not believed in God and Jesus. I have two awesome kids who have hearts for God and I am married to my abusive ex husband and we haven't even seen or heard from the other in 8 1/2 years. I have a wonderful boyfriend and he takes amazing care of us and we want to get married, which requires a divorce first. Of course we live together and, yes we sleep in the same bed. How I came so far in this I have no clue. Now he believes in Jesus and God and prays about everything. In my own heart I know what we do is wrong, but I don't know how to change it. I don't feel like I will go to heaven, but I never once denied God. I have been through an incredible amount of pain, the worst of all was when my first daughter passed away, God drew me near and I clung, just to fall away again. I don't have a single clue how to make any of this right and it gives me anxiety daily.

    1. Dear Ash,
      I am so sorry for the way you have been abused. It breaks my heart to hear how many men have abused you.

      I am also sorry about your anxiety, but I think it is important that you obey the promptings of your heart - you know that your situation isn't right in God's eyes.

      It may be incredibly hard, but I would encourage you to make your living conditions pleasing to the Lord. That is the only solution to your anxiety.

      I don't have an answer for how exactly to do that, but I believe God can give you a way.

      I will put you on my prayer list this week, and pray that God gives you wisdom.

      I also encourage you to find a Bible-believing church where you can find encouragement in your faith, and get a Bible and start reading. John is a good book to start with. As you read, ask God to make Himself real to you. He alone can bring you healing from your past abuse.

      God bless you!

  2. Dear Ash,
    I have been right where you are and I do mean right where you are. There is hope,healing,forgiveness,restoration,deliverance, and freedom but it is only found in Christ. Please private message me or look me up on FB. I would be more than happy to walk with you through this but I must warn you; painful?...absolutely! Worth it?...ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Thank you for this Gail. I have copied the bible references in case they are needed. I'm so astonished at Christians I've met who see no problem with homosexuality (which is a sin same as a heterosexual couple having sex outside marriage). I know of 3 people in my circle of friends who are caught in this sin. I'm also worried because the bible says we should lovingly tell people we know are deliberately sinning but that seems like judging to me. I had a backlash from one person (who I didn't know was gay) when I replied to a comment on facebook which has kind of put me off talking to others.

    1. Hi Welshlady,
      I'm glad these are helpful.
      Yes, Homosexuality is also a serious sin. I address it in some other devotions. If you go to the "Subject Archive" on the top bar and scroll through the list of subjects, you'll find "Sex" and it contains a number of 1-minute devotions to include some on homosexuality.

      Obviously, there are unloving ways to talk about these subjects that come across the wrong way, and we should try to be gracious. But God calls us to judge these sins. Timing and motives are extremely important. I pray God gives you wisdom and boldness. I pray that for myself as well.