What Does the Bible Say About Sex Before Marriage?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 13, 2017 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

If you’re a teenager or young adult who is a follower of Jesus, my guess is that this question has crossed your mind at least once: what does the Bible really say about having sex before marriage? Hopefully this blog post will help answer that question for you.

We at Worldview Warriors wrote on this topic previous, during 2014 when we answered many tough questions. You can check out my post on “What is Fornication?” here. As I wrote in that post, sexual sin is inside one’s own body, rather than an external sin, so in that situation we are not honoring God with our bodies. You can find more on this in 1 Corinthians 6:13-20. When we are followers of Jesus, we are united with Him and the Spirit, so sexual sin is defiling the temple of the Holy Spirit.

The apostle Paul gives some additional advice regarding sex in 1 Corinthians 7:2 and 7:8-9. He encourages unmarried men and women to refrain from having sex. But being a man himself he realizes this may be difficult, so if you’re not able to control yourself, then just get married! That may seem crass to us in the 21st century, but if you’re willing to unite yourself with another human being in that intimate way (Genesis 2:24), then you should be willing to spend the rest of your life with them.

So according to the Bible, having sex with anyone other than your spouse is considered to be sexual immorality. What does the Bible say about sexual immorality? A lot! Check out these passages:

“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.” (Acts 15:19-20)

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.” (1 Corinthians 5:1)

“We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.” (1 Corinthians 10:8)

“I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.” (2 Corinthians 12:21)

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)

“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.” (Ephesians 5:3)

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

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)

“In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 7)

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

If those aren’t enough for you I could probably find a few more, but those should make it clear: sexual immorality is sin in God’s eyes. There is no situation in which it is considered right.

From a practical viewpoint, think about the benefits of not having sex outside of marriage: fewer sexually transmitted diseases, significantly less abortions and unwanted pregnancies, and more children growing up in households where both parents are present. Abstinence not only honors God, but it’s practical as well.

Anyone who is a follower of Jesus should desire to honor God with our whole lives - including all our actions and what we do with our bodies. The Bible is pretty clear that this is God’s position, so it should be our position as well when we are following Him.

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