Sexual immorality in the Bible refers to engaging in sexual activity outside of the sacred boundaries of marriage and has spiritual repercussions of giving in to temptation. In human history, since it carries a personal stigma, many people avoid discussing sexual sin.
Sexual immorality was derived from the Greek word porneia, a term used in the Bible to allude to specific sexual acts God forbids. It encompasses bestiality, homosexuality, adultery, prostitution, and sexual encounters between unmarried people. It is used metaphorically in the Book of Revelation to refer to “Babylon the Great,” a religious prostitute who slept with the powerful for money and power.
- 1 What Is Sexual Immorality?
- 2 What Does The Bible Say About Sexual Immorality?
- 3 What Are The Biblical Teachings Of Sexual Immorality?
- 4 What Are The Warning Signs Of Sexual Immorality?
- 5 How Can We Avoid Sexual Immorality?
- 6 Conclusion
What Is Sexual Immorality?
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually sins against their own body. 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; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.— 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Any sexual intercourse that takes place outside of marriage is considered sexually immoral, according to God and the Bible. This term, which can also be rendered as “whoredom” and “idolatry,” refers to giving up sexual purity and is usually applied to premarital sex. Paul’s letters in the New Testament frequently address the issue of fornication and its consequences for the early Christian community.
The importance of the body is not just a result of God’s design but also because our behavior in connection to our bodies has a hardwired impact on our emotions and relationships. The importance of the body is substantially increased in a believer since it is united to Jesus Christ and becomes God’s abode.
Sexual immorality with non-Christians bonds us to that person against God’s purpose for us in Christ and to the disadvantage of other relationships, which we might want to protect. It also ties Christ to one who is in disobedience to Him and desecrates God’s holy abode. Because of these factors, sexual immorality’s effects on us, our spouses, the church, and Christ are grave.
What Does The Bible Say About Sexual Immorality?
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
Humans are sexual creatures. We are, of course, much more than that, but we are not less. Our sexuality is a fundamental aspect of who and what we are, a valuable gift from God intended to unite husband and wife and advance the human race.
Like everything else, our sexuality is a gift given to us in trust. We must faithfully manage it, utilize it as God directs, and refrain from using it in ways he forbids. God specifies that sex is only permitted in monogamous marriages and only in that setting (1 Corinthians 7:1–5). Just as it is wrong to have sex outside of a biblically defined marriage relationship, it is also wrong to abstain from having sex while you are married.
God tells us that He loves it when people utilize their sexuality as He instructs them to, but He must necessarily despise it when they misuse it. He detests cross-dressing, homosexuality, and bestiality (Deuteronomy 22:5).
He detests offerings made with money obtained through prostitution, in this case, ritualized prostitution in temples (Deuteronomy 23:18). This can be applied to the present by noting that, even when donated to a worthy cause, money obtained or spent illegally dishonors God.
God detests divorce as much as the breaking of marriage ties (Malachi 2:14–16). Malachi 2 is a problematic verse whose interpretation is in question. Still, we can be certain of one thing: what was ambiguous in the Old Testament, when divorce was permitted, is unmistakably clear in the New Testament, where divorce is prohibited except in cases of adultery.
As in Deuteronomy 24:4, it seems the emphasis is on a husband marrying to receive a wife’s dowry, divorcing her, then marrying her a second time to receive a second dowry. God especially detests divorce when the aim is the exploitation of another person. In conclusion, God despises sexual sin, hates any desecration of the gift of sexuality, and despises any desecration of marriage, the only appropriate setting for sexuality.
Why God Does Not Like Sexual Immorality
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. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 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.— Ephesians 5:3-5
Why does God detest immoral sexual behavior? Because sexual sin is, in a way, more terrible than other types of rebellion. Every other sin a person commits is committed outside of the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body (1 Corinthians 6:18).
His holy wedding present to human beings is sexuality. Any use outside of those restrictions is an abuse of God’s gift. Abuse is when someone or something is used for a purpose for which it was not intended. This is what the Bible calls sin. God expects His children to honor marriage and keep the marriage bed pure, as stated in Hebrews 13:4: “For God will judge the sexually immoral and the adulterous.” Sexual immorality is evil and must be avoided.
God’s Retribution For Sexually Immoral People
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed should be kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.— Hebrews 13:4
God’s stance on sexual immorality is unambiguous. Romans 1’s first chapter is primarily devoted to demonstrating that sexual sinners who continue to sink farther and more into their sin will face God’s wrath. “Despite knowing God’s righteous decree, they not only engage in it but also support those who engage in it” (Romans 1:32). Paul even goes so far as to argue that growing sexual sin is a type of judgment in and of itself.
What Are The Biblical Teachings Of Sexual Immorality?
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality and 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
Paul addresses the Corinthian church’s sexual activity in the book of Corinthians. The situation was so severe that a man was having illicit sexual intercourse with his stepmother. Paul starts to address their behavior because he is so upset by it.
Paul is encouraging us to cherish and care for our bodies. Many individuals in Paul’s day believed they would be free to dispose of their bodies and stay in spirit permanently after death. As a result, they would do whatever they pleased to their bodies.
To understand this, we must comprehend how sin contaminates the body and the constraints it imposes. Paul informs us that death is the consequence of sin in Romans 6:26. Many believe he was discussing spiritual death.
Paul is talking about bodily death as well, though. In other words, sin always results in death in all its manifestations (physical, spiritual, and even corporate). Jesus also teaches that anyone who sins is a slave to sin (temptation).
In Romans 7, Paul paints a picture of a Christian continually fighting against temptation and the desire to do right. The good news is that Jesus’ death on the cross atoned for your sins. He accomplished salvation and eternal life for us.
Three days later, He was revived in a new body with the paired organs. At His second coming, all the righteous will be raised in the same manner, without sin or imperfection. His body was the first to be glorified. Death does not exist when sin is not present.
We will spend eternity with the same bodies but without sin and restrictions. These bodies will receive praise. In other words, despite its exaltation, Jesus is encouraging us to appreciate our bodies because they are the only ones we will ever have and will be with us forever. Our bodies are unique because the Holy Spirit resides within them and will be ours forever.
On the other hand, as the story involving Lot in Sodom demonstrates, homosexual behavior was a significant aspect of Canaanite culture during the patriarchal era. The prevalence of sexual perversion there led to the city’s name becoming associated with homosexuality. God’s punishment was demolishing the city and its morally bankrupt residents.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Sexual Immorality?
Our God-given sexuality is distorted by sexual immorality. Any sexual behavior that violates God’s word on sexuality qualifies as such. The term “sexual immorality” is broad and can refer to various behaviors. Several warning indicators may suggest someone is participating in sexual misconduct, even though it might be challenging to describe.
We break God’s rules and invite His wrath into our lives when we commit sexually immoral sins. By leaving ourselves vulnerable to bodily illness, spiritual gloom, and emotional suffering, we also harm ourselves. God’s plan for sexuality in a lifetime marriage between one man and one woman does not include sexual impurity.
Excessive interest in sexual or sex-related activity outside of marriage, unusual or extreme weird obsession with sex or sexual matters, frequent use of sexually explicit language, engaging in sexual contact with someone other than one’s partner, watching pornography, or committing adultery are all signs of sexual immorality.
The most harmful sexual immorality, which can occur in men and women who develop unhealthy emotional relationships with people other than their spouse, goes beyond physical acts or behaviors.
How Can We Avoid Sexual Immorality?
Sexual sin is incompatible with the way God designed people. This lesson is found in Proverbs 5 of the Bible, where the wise man warns a young married man against the adulteress. Even though you are not young, married, or a man, you can still benefit from the advice in this essay. Although adultery with a woman is not the only sexual immorality, it does have a similar pattern to the others.
1. Escape Temptation
To flee sexual sin is to take every precaution to avoid it. For some of us, that will entail setting limits on the websites we visit, forgoing certain TV shows, being more cautious about the social situations we put ourselves in, ending relationships (even with people who mean the world to us), or switching jobs.
2. Think About The Future
Sexual sin has repercussions. Although we may refer to these as “flings” or “one-night stands,” the truth is that such crimes are not readily curbed. “Do not approach her door, lest you offer your glory to others and your years to the cruel, lest outsiders take their fill of your power and your labors go to his dwelling” (Proverbs 5:8–10).
3. Recall That God Is Watching
God sees all we do, say, and think. God is always watching you. The Bible says, “A man’s ways are before the Lord, and he considers all his steps” (Proverbs 5:21). This is a warning. We might be able to trick other people, but we can never deceive God. God sees every word we enter into our search engines.
God is aware of our transgressions. But He also observes all attempts to live a holy and virtuous life. He is mindful of our struggles and knows when we are at our worst. No one seems to comprehend the type of effort you go through or the suffering you experience when resisting temptation. However, Jesus does. He approaches us as we approach him. Our efforts on His behalf are never in vain. He fights for and alongside us as we struggle for purity.
Look up texts in the Bible that discuss your identity in Christ and say them out loud. This is how Jesus overcame temptation: He confronted the devil with the Bible and His truths. Run to follow Jesus in obedience.
Being obedient entails doing the good you were made for, not merely abstaining from sin. Running towards obedience in this situation might include putting all your effort into loving your wife. If you are single, look for other activities that will benefit people’s lives.