Jan 4, 2013
I’ve heard too many people talk as if the Bible is not clear on this question. So let’s ask — where does the Bible clearly teach that premarital sex is wrong?
It’s true that the Bible does not use the phrase “premarital sex.” But what what the Bible does talk about is sexual immorality —
Flee from sexual immorality. I Cor 6:9
We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of [Israel] did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 1 Cor 10:8
But sexual immorality … must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Eph 5:3
So when the Bible says sexual immorality is wrong — what exactly is it talking about?
What Is Sexual Immorality?
“Sexual immorality” is the English translation of the Greek word porneia. So what did porneia mean during New Testament times?
I looked this word up in Greek dictionaries, and they all said porneia meant “fornication.” And dictionary.com says fornication means “voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other.” So porneia — sexual immorality — includes sex before marriage.
Friberg’s Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament agrees, saying that porneia meant “every kind of extramarital, unlawful, or unnatural sexual intercourse [including] fornication, sexual immorality, prostitution.” Extramarital means outside of marriage, which includes sex before marriage.
So porneia — sexual immorality — means sex before or outside of marriage.
So here’s how Paul’s readers would have heard 1Corinthians 6:9 —
Flee from any sex before or outside of marriage.
And 1 Corinthians 10:8 —
We must not indulge in sex before or outside of marriage as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.
And Ephesians 5:3 —
But sex before or outside of marriage … must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Eph 5:3
So God’s Word is clear. The God who created us, and who created the joys of sex, commands that we not have sex before marriage.
We don’t have to know the reasons. When we see Jesus’ love for us displayed on the Cross, we can be certain that Jesus loves us perfectly, passionately, completely. So, when we hear Him say — don’t have sex before marriage — we can trust that this command is part of His love for us.
But still, it can help to know why. So does Jesus ever explain why? I think He does — in Matthew 19:6 where Jesus is talking about marriage —
So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.
“One flesh” includes sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is a wonderful gift from God. Its intimacy and pleasure and vulnerability deeply bond a man and woman. This bonding brings great joy when nurtured and protected by love and commitment — but it brings great pain if it is broken.
So to bless and protect us, God commands that this profound closeness occur only between people who are committed to each other in marriage.
Someone once used the illustration of flypaper. Once two pieces of flypaper stick to each other, it’s impossible to separate the pieces without ripping them up. In the same way, once two people are joined through sexual intercourse, it’s impossible to separate the relationship without ripping them up.
But again — the main reason is that the Jesus who died for us on the Cross looks at us with burning love in His eyes and says —
Trust me — do not have sex before marriage.
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And here are some related posts you might find helpful —
- How God Helps You Overcome Sin
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- What Verses Help You Fight Temptation
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(Picture is from everystockphoto by magnetas.)