I spent seven years as a singles pastor.  Can you imagine the issues I had to deal with regarding sex? How far can we go before marriage? What if we are engaged? What happens when we have already crossed that line? Is it okay to try living together if we don’t have sex? As well, I knew the issues of lust and temptation that come from magazines, internet sites, and promiscuous thoughts in general. While I was at seminary, I remember the head of the counseling department saying that by his estimation, half the male students were struggling with internet pornography. Half! If half this body of guys sold out to Jesus, selling everything they own to go to seminary, were this deeply involved in sexual struggles, how much more so the singles at my church?

Related Podcast Episode: Human Sexuality

Is Fornication Really a Sin?

[Tweet “Half the male students at seminary were struggling with internet pornography”]

Many of these are difficult questions. More difficult than one realizes, until pushed for an answer. We are dealing with sexual sin among sexual people. We are bound to attempt to find as many loopholes as possible.

One day I was blindsided by a question that, before then, I had considered a softball. A man walked up to me after my lesson and said that he had some good Christian friends (and by “good Christian friends” I mean he considered these friends to be good Christians), who questioned him about the issue of sex before marriage. They had suggested to him that, contrary to popular thought, the Bible does not anywhere condemn what is known in our language as “fornication.” They said that the word “fornication,” when it is used in the Bible, does not mean sex before marriage, but sexual immorality in general. According to their studies, the sexual immorality condemned in the Scripture does not include fornication.

After some quick research, I discovered that what they said was true . . . at least part of it.

Now, let me be up front here. Before I married Kristie, I did not do to well in the sex before marriage department. I regret it quit a bit. I don’t think I ever actually committed adultery, but for the most part I worked on a “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” basis. I was a Christian at the time and the guilt was bad. However, I took some comfort in thinking that I had not crossed the actual adultery line (at least as far as I knew). Why? Because I knew that the Bible had a lot to say about adultery. You know, it was all that “take them out and stone them” stuff. But, while the guilt was bad, it was not as bad as it could have (or should have) been. After all, who was I hurting? God made me a sexual being. I was not coloring outside of the lines that much. After all, what does he expect? It is quite a killjoy to create sexual desire and then say, “You cannot touch.”

So, back to my question: Is fornication really a sin?

[Tweet “The word for fornication does not necessarily refer to sex before marriage. Do we get a pass then?”]

It is true that in the Bible, the word for fornication does not necessarily refer to sex before marriage. The Greek word translated “fornication” by the King James Bible is pornia (from which we get our word “pornography”). It refers to any unlawful sexual activity. BDAG (the standard and best Greek Lexicon) defines it as “unsanctioned sexual intercourse.” The sanctioning of a sexual activity is defined in the Old Testament by what it is not more often than what it is. In other words, we learn what is lawful with regard to fulfilling our sexual desires by creating boundaries of foreign territory considered sinful. Much of this law is covered in Leviticus 18. Take notice of the boundaries here:

Leviticus 18:6-21, 23

6 “None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness. I am the LORD.

7 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness.

8 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness.

9 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether brought up in the family or in another home.

10 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son’s daughter or of your daughter’s daughter, for their nakedness is your own nakedness.

11 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, brought up in your father’s family, since she is your sister.

12 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s relative.

13 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s relative.

14 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother, that is, you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt.

15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness.

16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness.

17 You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, and you shall not take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to uncover her nakedness; they are relatives; it is depravity.

18 And you shall not take a woman as a rival wife to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while her sister is still alive.

19 You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness while she is in her menstrual uncleanness.

20 And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her.

22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

23 And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion.

That pretty much covers the law with regard to sexual sin, right? After all, to “uncover the nakedness” of someone is a euphemism about sexual relations. However, one thing that is left out here is sex before marriage. It does not say, “You shall not uncover the nakedness of someone who is not your wife.” Yes, there are a lot of parameters, but it looks like we might have found ourselves a loophole toward a sexual revolution in Christianity! Not so fast, singles. While it is true that this particular passage does not speak specifically to the sex before marriage issue, sex before marriage is nonetheless condemned in Scripture as sin.

Fornication and the Old Testament

Let me be honest. From what I can see, the Old Testament does not seem to come down too hard on men having sex outside of the bonds of marriage. It is another story for women. Notice here:

Deut. 22:13-14 “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then hates her 14 and accuses her of misconduct and brings a bad name upon her, saying, ‘I took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her evidence of virginity,'”

This introduces a situation where a man finds out that his wife was not a virgin before they got married. If the charge was found to be true, then the women was to be stoned (Lev. 22:20-21). At the very least, this demonstrates that, for women, the laws against sexual immorality included sex before marriage.

Passages such as Lev. 19:20 further confuse the matter, giving males more liberty.

However, the liberty is not carte blanche for men. Notice here:

Deut. 22:28-29 “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days.”

[Tweet “Sex before marriage for men was not without its consequences in the Old Testament.”]

Here, either through rape or consent (this is debated), we have an unwed woman and a man who sleep together. The woman has lost her virginity to the man. Due to this, the man is forced to pay a “fine” or properly marry the woman to cover her shame and make sure she is provided for. This shows that sex before marriage for men was not without its consequences in the Old Testament.

Fornication and the New Testament

The issue of sex before marriage becomes much more clear in the New Testament, as it is more explicitly forbidden to both men and women.

(This is not the time to discuss why the Old Testament is not more clear on this issue. It is my assumption that, like with so many other things, God, in the progress of revelation, did not express his full ideal in the Law of Moses, but conceded to some cultural norms like he did with slavery and polygamy.)

The word “fornication,” as I said above, does not necessarily mean sex before marriage. However, I do believe it is implied many times for two primary reasons.

1. Christ’s Condemnation of Lust

Mat 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

[Tweet “If sex before marriage was not forbidden, why does Christ say that lust is?”]

If sex before marriage was not forbidden, why does Christ say that lust is? Implied here is that everything from lust to adultery is forbidden by the sixth commandment. Sex before marriage definitely fits right in between.

2. Paul’s Admonishment to Marry Rather than Burn

1 Cor. 7:8-9 “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to stay single as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

The idea of “burning” here has to do with sexual desire. Here Paul tells all unmarried people that if they cannot control their sexual desires, they need to get married. Why? Because Paul assumes that one cannot fulfill this sexual desire outside of the marital bed. While Paul would love for them to remain single (1 Cor. 7:7), he believes that sex outside of marriage is a destructive sin and cannot be used as a gratifying release of our sexual passions.

While there are other passages that can be used to build the case that sex outside of marriage is indeed sinful, I believe that these are strong enough to bind Christian consciences.

[Tweet “God created sex! How could he be a killjoy?”]

God created sex. God created our sexual desires. Sex is good within the borders of marriage. For those of you who think that God is a killjoy for limiting sex to such a situation, please remember a couple of things:

  1. God created sex! How could he be a killjoy? Think about it. The very act about which you are complaining is an act he created.
  2. God knows better than you do what will satisfy you. It takes an act of faith to believe this, but it is not too big a step to take.
  3. Most married Christian men and women who, like myself, did not have a very successful single life would love to turn back the clocks and do it all over again. And this is not because we are not forgiven . . . we are. It is because we know the intimacy which is lost when you have already given yourself to another.

Our advice to you would be to wait. If it is too late, stop and wait. It is never too late to trust God in this matter. As cliché as it may sound, he really does know best. Fornication is really a sin.

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C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    49 replies to "Is Fornication Really a Sin? Sex and the Single"

    • Phil Hertsberg

      Shelby,

      Before you reply to my comment make sure you are living a Christian life and know the Bible.
      Fornication is a sin. Are you a Pastor or just a sinner trying to justify your actions.
      If you want to live in sin do that but don’t implicate others.
      People like you will burn in hell when Jesus returns

      • John

        You clearly didn’t read the full article did you? I am going to copy and past the very last part of this article for you:

        “God created sex. God created our sexual desires. Sex is good within the borders of marriage. For those of you who think that God is a killjoy for limiting sex to such a situation, please remember a couple of things:

        God created sex! How could he be a killjoy? Think about it. The very act about which you are complaining is an act he created.
        God knows better than you do what will satisfy you. It takes an act of faith to believe this, but it is not too big a step to take.
        Most married Christian men and women who, like myself, did not have a very successful single life would love to turn back the clocks and do it all over again. And this is not because we are not forgiven . . . we are. It is because we know the intimacy which is lost when you have already given yourself to another.
        Our advice to you would be to wait. If it is too late, stop and wait. It is never too late to trust God in this matter. As cliché as it may sound, he really does know best. Fornication is really a sin.”

      • Peter

        Phil, you are not God, only God can judge people’s hearts.

        • Becky

          Feel God gave us the Bible it is our instruction book we must refrain from all sexual morality we must be pure and clean in the sight of God otherwise we are sinning

        • Kil-Joy

          oH no We cant put any limits on Peter !

    • Natasha Asare

      Thank you very much. This piece helped?

    • Joe

      You are really fooling yourself here and trying to go against the word of God Jehovah?

      The bible clearly states that if you have sex without being married, you are committing fornication. It doesn’t matter if you are to be married or not, you are still having sex outside of marriage. The bible doesn’t have to spell out everything to you for you to understand this. It is a sin, simple as that and by trying to find a “loophole” in the bible is hilarious. God is perfect and perfect and has no loopholes. Please don’t fool yourself or try to make yourself or anyone feel better against this word of God. I am human and imperfect and have made mistakes too, we all are, but to pass judgement and say the bible didn’t tell me sue usually is bad judgement and you need to have a real bible study to get in terms with God. I applaud your effort, but understand a sin is a sin. To anyone reading this, don’t let the devil fool you and make you believe otherwise. A true Christian, don’t take my word for it, will come to understand through Gods Holy Spirit what is right and what is wrong.

      • John

        and I will say the same to you…

        You clearly didn’t read the full article did you? I am going to copy and past the very last part of this article for you:

        “God created sex. God created our sexual desires. Sex is good within the borders of marriage. For those of you who think that God is a killjoy for limiting sex to such a situation, please remember a couple of things:

        God created sex! How could he be a killjoy? Think about it. The very act about which you are complaining is an act he created.
        God knows better than you do what will satisfy you. It takes an act of faith to believe this, but it is not too big a step to take.
        Most married Christian men and women who, like myself, did not have a very successful single life would love to turn back the clocks and do it all over again. And this is not because we are not forgiven . . . we are. It is because we know the intimacy which is lost when you have already given yourself to another.
        Our advice to you would be to wait. If it is too late, stop and wait. It is never too late to trust God in this matter. As cliché as it may sound, he really does know best. Fornication is really a sin.”

        • Ot

          The reason you are receiving the negative attention toward your article is because of the long unclear beginning and it is worded 8n such a way that it seems that fornication can be looked at in a way that sex outside of marriage can be somewhat ok. I can see where you are coming from and I can definately can see how others view this article as well. I know you are trying to give enough info to cause the reader to research and determine on their own what is the truth about fornication, but you fell well short due to the fact that it isn’t something that true men and women of God need to debate about. The holy spirit confirms it is as truth within all born again believers. Yes.!!..it is just thst simple..you are just making it complicated like most who want to justify sin in or cause others to question and end up falling into that very sin that is in discussion. Be careful that you don’t trip up the weak Christian who is new in this faith. Use your words wisely

          • Hope

            7 years ago I spent time to meditate on the scriptures because of the concept, I back withe same understanding.
            The long unclear beginning is just as clear to some of us because we under what it’s all about

        • Ot

          The reason you are receiving the negative attention toward your article is because of the long unclear beginning and it is worded 8n such a way that it seems that fornication can be looked at in a way that sex outside of marriage can be somewhat ok. I can see where you are coming from and I can definately can see how others view this article as well. I know you are trying to give enough info to cause the reader to research and determine on their own what is the truth about fornication, but you fell well short due to the fact that it isn’t something that true men and women of God need to debate about. The holy spirit confirms it is as truth within all born again believers. Yes.!!..it is just thst simple..you are just making it complicated like most who want to justify sin in or cause others to question and end up falling into that very sin that is in discussion. Be careful that you don’t trip up the weak Christian who is new in this faith. Use your words wisely .

      • Niyi Odusanya

        I believe most people don’t understand the mind of God on sex. Even in the house of God, whenever your view goes contrary to general view, you will have questions to answer and battle to face. God gives us the Holy Spirit to comfort us. As a child of God when you do a thing and you feel discomfort in your spirit is a sin. Sex outside bonds is a sin not marriage in the eyes of God please. God pronounced marriage in the garden of Eden. Not necessarily mean feasting. Adam and Eve didn’t just start having sex please. Besides when JESUS told the Samaritan woman she has had 5 husbands John 4:18, you should know she still had one with her and JESUS said he wasn’t her husband. Do you want to say they had had sex or not. Brethren sin is sin. Every immorality is a sin. I pray we will not miss heaven in JESUS name. Thanks for the article.

      • john

        Tell us about concubines, God allowed it, King David and Salomon (and others) participated, What say you O wise man?

    • Bongani

      But still this does not prove anything.when paul says to avoid ”burning”,he means avoiding sleeping around for the fun of it.if it is deplorabe like adultery ;why isn’t it punished like adultery ????why are people given a chance to mend their ways ????Exodus 22:16.

      • Nathan Alterton

        Because the Law was for the people of Israel, which was the nation that God established for the express purpose of bringing the Messiah into the world. The people of Christ are no longer under the Old Covenant, and while the moral aspects of that law are still found in the New Covenant, the civil penalties are not.

        Israel was a nation with civil laws that governed it’s citizens’ behavior, laws which came with penalties for transgressing them. The Church is God’s spiritual nation on earth, and as such, the Church was not put in place to punish sin, but to declare the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and leave the fate of sinners in his merciful and just hands.

      • Bob

        Bongani gives us hisinterpration of what Paul meant. I do not see any reason to believe that Bongani is correct in his/her interpratation. “TEXT OUT OF CONTEXT IS PRETEXT.”

    • Matthew McPadden

      Mr. Michael Patton,
      Thank you for your insight on this issue. Unlike the others that have demonstrated the sin of judging your sin because your sin is different then their sin is a mistake. Sin is sin no better no worse period. Yes, I have fornicated greatly in the past while in the service. Quite addicted actually. I am celibate today. I think it is silly to say just because you are fornicating as a Christian and other Christians are not I immediately receive a one way ticket to hell flame. Like I said before. Don’t judge others because their sin is different then yours. This is a mistake. Christ died on the cross for our sins past, present and future if we belive in him. That’s the gift. I’m not saying that we can sin wholesale. But your get where I’m going here. Like I said. I’m celibate now and will not fornicate again until marriage. But I am having a tough time with libido and sex drive restrained. I have a problem now with pornographic material. Namely online kinds. I try to stop, prayer about it and ask for relief from such sinful acts. But it presists. I just don’t know what to do. I only view such things maybe once a day or two. I have grand quilt from these things. I am familiar with the verse about looking a women with lustful intent then it adultery anyways. Doesn’t seem fair. I just try to relieve myself as little as possible then pray about it and ask for help on this.
      Well anyways. Thanks for the article. I DID read it in its entirety. It was very helpful but I would really like your opinions on porn and releasing sexual tension and still be a good and fundamental Christian in good standing with the Lord.
      Matthew McP

      • Ot

        It is very strange to me when we talk about judging some one of their sin…I see no judgement here…we are to confess our sins to one another that we may be healed…the very word of God judges once it goes forth from the mouth of a Christian…judgment is in God’s word..it is not in the person who is speaking God’s word…we aRe to teach, rebuke and reprove one another in love, in the God who is love via The Word Of God…we need to really read amd get a clear understanding of what judging is…I respect for your honestly and who u came forth about your sinful struggle…port is absolutely dangerous…many men suffer from it and need deliverance…I don’t watch porn, but I have a desire to watch and enjoy it which makes me just as guilty of the sin…persevering prAyer is key…don’t stop making your request be known unto God…praise him for the victory even when it seems hopless…never be convinced that your are not being heard…pray immediately after your sinful act and even before you sin…sounds crazy, but U must understand that it is not you but the indwelling sin within u that is driving u and u must fight it with prayer…when u are ashame…pray…dissapointed in yourself…pray…think God has turn his back on you and give up on you…pray…if u want to stay hooked on porn…all you have to do is stop praying…if you want to stop watching porn…prove it…and just pray…I don’t care if you find yourself in that sinful act 3 times a day…don’t stop praying…God will hear and he will save…that’s why we call him our Savior! !!

        • Lakeisha Morris

          Sir, I Have Been In This Struggle That You Are In. A Sexual Spirit Is One Of The Hardest Spirits To Conquer. It Can Be Done With Serious Praying I Mean Crying And Praying And Giving Your Body Mind And Soul Over To Father GOD In The Name Of Jesus But You Must Be Serious And You Will Conquer Those Evil Spirits. They Will Attach To Someone Else.
          Believe This.. Donald.

    • Juice

      Sex before marriage is not a sin People, just a very important life making decision.
      First of the definition of sin as defined is: “an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law” us bible believers know that our divine law was handed down to Moses from YHWH! within those laws which you can find in: exodus, leviticus, numbers and deuteronomy, there is not found a law given by YHWH against this act. You cant “transgress” against a law that doesnt exist. Not everything that you do is a sin according to it’s definition. There are some choices and decisions that leads you to sin. From the beginning of the bible(Genesis) sin is introduced when Adam and Eve went against God’s word and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They went against God’s command. You are only sinning when you are going against God’s command. Do you not agree?

      • Bob

        Juice, I agree that sin is any offense against God or the will of God. The blogs seem irrationally trying to include fornication in the Old Testament as an act displeasing to God … But those self appointed scriptural experts fail to cite any explicit context in the Old testament that specifically addresses fornication as a sin when 2 consenting unmarried people of the opposite sex have have sex. It simply is not there. You twist words and assign meanings where God did not speak. Clearly, God would have told us and He did not. So, seeing the favor of God disposed upon Solomon and David suggests that a married man can have concubines but women cannot have the reverse benefits.
        You are substituting your opinions for God’s words and revelations. You are making up stuff to support your biases.

    • spear

      This is great….I enjoyed reading it and it’s really a great lesson, thanks a lot for the wise words, I have fornicated before but never again..

    • Chris the Christian

      Interesting debate.
      I think this has clearly demonstrated that the church uses the term “fornication” in a technically incorrect way.

      Read Christian books, Go to a seminar, or youth group discussion or listen to any preacher and they all refer to sex outside marriage as a sin called “fornication”

      Ask an evangelical christian what fornication is, and 99% will say any sex outside of marriage.

      Why do you think the church has continued to propagate a wrong translation of the F word?

      Could it be because the bible doesn’t NAME sex outside marriage as a sin??
      In other words the church had to borrow a word and give it a different meaning or should I say stretch it’s meaning.

      I notice a number of folks believe its a Christians automatic ticket to hell!!

      My question in that is this..
      If giving into that particular temptation means you lose your salvation. i.e you are no longer under the blood and clothed in Christ’s robes of righteousness by Gods grace..

      Then .. Do you not think God would state so in a very clear way. Like include it in the 10 commandments or have it clearly written in the New Testament.. Not just possibly implied by Paul’s advice to marry not burn.

      I believe the vitals are clearly stated in God’s word. Other topics such as masturbation are not stated in black or white terms.

      We often read between the lines to see what might be being inferred when scripture is non specific on a topic.

      If it were all in black and white and not open to different interpretations we would not be having discussions like this one.

      And on a final note…
      Lets remember Adam and Eve were not married.

      So were they Fornicating in Eden!!??

      • Ot

        Not everything is going to be spelled out completely in black and white…we all need a savior…we only know in part…all of us fall short to the glory of God…most of us know within our hearts that sex outside of marriage is wrong regardless of what label we want to put on it…funny how we like to complicate the simple in order to justify our actions…this is quite typical of the human sinful nature that is as natural as breathing…there is a reason why we are given the holy spirit to help us to decern what is good and what is evil…if u look at morality today you will find that it was considers immorality 10 years ago…why…because we want to be a sexaul immoral people… nakedness and shame is worthy enjoyment…it is almost normal to be crude and sexaully explicit in everyday talk…it is evident in subtle ways that many are blind in seeimg in the developed habits of children…all of God’s people know right from wrong because he wrote the truth on the tablets of our hearts…feel free to debate on because I know that some enjoy a good argument but believe this as u justify this sin there are other sins that are gaining steam behind the scenes that will overtake, because to deNY one is to give strength to many more amd the wages will be paid with death

      • Bob

        Exceptional Chris the Christian! Concise and pithy! You have said all that needs to be said. It is refreshing to read a dispassionate discourse based on logic instead of wishes that something may be different from the Old Testament’s words. Weigh tu Gough!

    • Larry

      Fornication is sin John said take the book and eat it all sex before marriage is sin don’t overlook the word of God and make it another effect

      • Hope

        Prove it with all the sexual sins you see in the Bible…. so I can benefit
        Don’t Just give us your opinion
        Prove it with facts from the bible

    • Saint

      This has been a very good read. What if God’s heart is as soon as a man/husband(same word in greek or hebrew) takes a women/wife and lyes with her (marrys her/the 2 become 1 flesh). That man has chosen to begin a process of marrige with her and infact she will now be wth him all his days. This is taking into condideration all that was written in the article aswell as own research/journey with God.
      What if fornication in the bible is only when you have slept with more then 1 wife/women. Or slept with some1 but dont tell the next person that you sleep with that you have. What if Jesus was saying if you lust after another mans wife/woman Its adultary, well that fits the meaning and definition of adultry. What if paul in 1 corith 7 was saying if you cant keep away/touch and stay single to avoid abeing immoral or impure(having more then 1 sexual partner) rather marry/touch and choose 1 women and only her. What if in context of the whole bible its only a sin to chose one wife/women and the all of a sudden want another 1, coveting, etc.

      Non the less God is the only person who we where made for in truth, marriage is a blessing and not the critical ingredient of eternal life but Jesus is. We are completed with Christ not marriage per say.

      But i aggree with this article but have a few more ideas which i think we dont take into consideration interms of what scripture actually says and into which culture scripture was originally written to, how they did things, etc.

      God bless all.

    • Jackie

      Hell0

      I don’t understand your statement here:
      Before I married Kristie, I did not do to well in the sex before marriage department. I regret it quit a bit. I don’t think I ever actually committed adultery,

      noun: adultery; plural noun: adulteries
      voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse.

      If your not married, you cannot commit adultery; therefore your sentence doesn’t make sense,

      What you were actually involved in before marriage that you consider “adultery” I do not know.

      I do know that before I commited my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, I commited many sins, fornication among them; but once saved, it would grieve me to do such things, and I stopped until I got married.

      I feel like I’m the one who Jesus spoke about that sinned much, and was forgiven much. And once forgiven so much how can I hurt my Lord by grieving his spirit that lives within me. How can I willingly shame my Lord?

      Jackie
      Wife of twenty-four years
      Mother of three awesome young people
      Committed my life to Jesus in 1990
      Community college graduate

      P.s. You spelled quit instead of quite in the quote above
      Quit = stop
      Quite = truly or considerably

    • Jackie

      Hell0

      I don’t understand your statement here:
      “Before I married Kristie, I did not do to well in the sex before marriage department. I regret it quit a bit. I don’t think I ever actually committed adultery”

      noun: adultery; plural noun: adulteries
      voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse.

      If your not married, you cannot commit adultery; therefore your sentence doesn’t make sense,

      What you were actually involved in before marriage that you consider “adultery” I do not know.

      I do know that before I commited my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, I commited many sins, fornication among them . But once saved, it would grieve me to be a fornicator or date someone who thought it was ok do such things and I stopped until I got married.

      I feel like I’m the one who Jesus spoke about that sinned much, and was forgiven much. And once forgiven so much how can I hurt my Lord by grieving his spirit that lives within me. How can I willingly shame my Lord?

      Jackie
      Wife of twenty-four years
      Mother of three awesome young people
      Committed my life to Jesus in 1990
      Community college graduate

      P.s. You spelled quit instead of quite in the quote above
      Quit = stop
      Quite = truly or considerably

      • Finn

        Jackie,
        In your post, you said:

        “If your not married, you cannot commit adultery; therefore your sentence doesn’t make sense,
        What you were actually involved in before marriage that you consider “adultery” I do not know.”

        I think that what Mr. Patton is referring to, is to commit adultery by having sexual relations with someone else who is married. To put it another way, imagine we have three people: Jim, Sally, and Tom. Sally and Tom are married to each other, but Jim is single. If Jim and Sally have sexual relations, then Sally would indeed be committing adultery. But isn’t it fair to say that Jim is committing adultery as well, in spite of being single himself, by having sex with a married woman?

        Just my thoughts.

        May the Peace of God through Jesus Christ be with you,
        Finn

    • Michael

      Brothers and Sisters. All God is looking for between a man and a woman regarding sexual life is ‘FAITHFULNESS’ I type in capitals. The very day you talked to that woman and proposed marriage, God heard you and became interested in your conversations. Why? Because he himself instituted marriage in the book of Genesis when he created Adam and Eve. The very day you had sexual intercourse, it became a bound and a covenant between the the two of you. That is why God said what he has joined together, no one should put asunder. Good. I want readers to read Matthew 1 : 18 – 20. I always ask my self two questions in the passage. Question 1 How can someone who is engaged or betrothed to someone before marriage, be considered as a wife before the eyes of God?. Question 2 How I can divorce someone I am not legally married to and not my wife? But we are only engaged (planning to marry), or How can I divorce someone I am planning to marry in simple English? All I am trying to bring out is this, For the part of Joseph he not have any sexual activity with Mary his fiancee, before the birth of Jesus Christ, but God said to Joseph “Don’t be afraid be afraid to take Mary your wife” in verse 20 NOTE To all readers: God did not say ” Don’t be afraid to take Mary AS YOUR WIFE but your wife. People are so much upset as to Sex before marriage is a SIN right? Let me tell you, the very day you had sex with that woman, (whether you are legally married or not as required by the state law or customary law) she became your wife instantly before the eyes of God and not man. To man he calls it fornication but to God he says, She is your wife or he is your husband. So remain faithful to that one man or woman you went in for. If you flirt around with other ladies or other men, you are committing FORNICATION. GOD HATES PROMISCUOUS SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS, Go and pay your pride price and stay with the woman for life, until death puts you apart.

      • Pius

        I agree with you that God meant sex for a faithful union between a man and a woman . Just Maintain the relationship you have entered and sealed with sex . That is what he meant by the two bodies have become one . And that was confirmed by apostle Paul in 1 cor 6 : 15-17 . No wonder Jesus told the Jews that the only condition to divorce your spouse is the issue is about Fornication , according to Jesus he said from the beginning it was not so . Matt 19 : 8-9

    • Wayne

      When JESUS was asked about divorce he went right back to Adam & Eve as the answer and there was not a marriage certificate , they were married after they became one HAD SEX. The Messiah proved this as fact with the woman at the well when he told her she had 5 husbands.

      A marriage certificate is something given by the state , in GODs eyes marriage is having sex. If people are living together and only have sex with each other this is marriage in GODs eyes not sin.

    • Hope

      If the son of God shall make you free… you will be free indeed…..
      There are facts and there are opinions
      God’s word have us the facts
      If you don’t know the word of God for yourself, you will have your own opinion about it and other people’s opinion about it.
      God didn’t say read my words. He said study to show yourself approved. He said Meditate.
      If Jesus has made you free, and Fornication is a sin…. it means you are free from it…. But show me the very Bible quotation that says, fornication is sex before marriage. ..
      Everything we discussed about it is as a result of study and meditation….

      There are things you will understand personally when you study…..
      Stop condemning others and show us from the Bible the truth considering all the sexual sins spoken of…

    • Hope

      Know that Marriage is not a ceremony. It’s a union. And a convenant sealed by sex
      If you had sex with a virgin without a ceremony, the fact is, you have already got into the convenant of marriage.
      And God says You must pay her dowry..bride price

    • anon

      Dear Michael Patton. The passage in Deut 22 which you refer to, likely was about adultery. If you notice, the punishment is basically the same, stoning at the door of her father’s house for this woman who likely committed betrothed adultery in Deut 22:21, and stoning at the city gate, the punishment for the adulterer and adulteress in Deut 22:23-24. That the woman’s crime in Deut 22:20-21 is betrothed adultery is a Jewish interpretation. Rashi wrote concerning Deut 22:20 — But if this matter was true: [as corroborated] by witnesses, and there was warning, [proving] that she had committed adultery after her betrothal. — [Keth. 44b] http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9986#showrashi=true

      In Deut 22:21, a verb is used (which is translated ‘play the whore’ in the KJV), not a noun, and the verbal forms of the Hebrew noun Zonah can mean different things. The crime is likely betrothed adultery in her father’s house (she hath wrought folly in Israel), at least according to a Jewish interpretation. If you notice, the punishment is the same as the woman and man who are discovered committing adultery with each other later on in Deut 22, except the stoning is at the city gates. Why both parties in the act of adultery are not mentioned as being stoned in Deut 22:23-24 is likely that the male wasn’t discovered committing adultery with her, so his identity is unknown or there is not proof of his part in that act of adultery.

      Deut 22:13-21 Discovery of young (young, damsel, naarah, without h for some reason in entire Deut 22) woman’s (a young woman who is supposed to be a virgin and whose father was given the virgin bride price, 50 shekels, cf: Deut 22:29;Ex 22:16-17) betrothed adultery (a Jewish interpretation), hid until after marriage, discovered during (1st?) intercourse after marriage. If true, punishment is to stone her to death in front of her father’s house. If false, punishment is to chastise the false accuser (Deut 22:18), and fine him 100 shekels (Deut 22:19, twice the virgin bride price).

      Deut 22:23-24 Discovery of both a (young?) woman’s betrothed adultery and her lover (in the act?), possibly in a potential rape situation, when she didn’t cry out. Result is to stone both of them to death at the city gate.

    • MiserableOldFart

      The laws of Moses were about civil life. The admonitions against sex were about diseases and the responsibility for care of children. The idea that everyone should marry and procreate, and that all sex needs to be for procreation is a remnant of the past. At the same time, sexual promiscuity is still a pathway for disease. Sensible protections against unwanted children and disease, in addition to a least some modicum of restraint make sense today. Sorry, but I refuse to believe all sex outside of marriage is a sin. I do believe that some of St. Paul’s writings show evidence of a disturbed man. I do not worship Satan, claim to be a prophet or want to run anyone else’s life. But I do believe there is reason to use human intelligence and rationality in combination with the teachings of the Bible. The most virulently pseudo-Christian people in this country (USA) today, are committing atrocities on a daily basis and pointing at the sins of others. Forgive me, God, but my personal belief is that sexual congress outside of marriage is no more sinful than an occasional fancy dinner. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to fight against fascism as a real evil in our time.

      • john

        Paul did say it was better for a man not to marry – who here agrees with Him?? men / women ? I personally like the King David and King Solomon approach to sex (lots of girlfriends) to keep a man happy! How could we go wrong, Solomon was one of the wisest men to walk the earth…was he not? His dad David was no wimp either.

    • Isaac

      I love this . God bless you for your sweet massage.

    • yahson77

      Sex outside of marriage actually IS PERMITTED. All of you so-called Christians here are adding your own words to God’s word, and you have forsaken the Law which is the GREATEST SIN, but thats a whole ‘nother issue.

      This is EXACTLY why we MUST KEEP THE LAW! So we may first and foremost be in accordance with Gods intentions, and for proper understanding of his word. When Jesus says not look at a woman with lust, and if we do we have committed Adultery in our hearts, we must look to the law that describes Adultery in the Law of Moses as thats what he’s referring to. Leviticus 20:10 “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death” Notice it never states anything about the marital status of the man. The correct way to understand Jesus’ comments in Matthew 5:27-28 is ANY man (single or married) who looks upon another man’s WIFE with lust has committed adultery in his heart. Not simply looking upon any woman. What kind of God do you Christians worship??? No wonder marriage and birth-rates are down amongst you people. How exactly is a man going to even choose a wife if he can’t admire her beauty? That can easily slip into a lustful thought. By this reasoning ALL MEN are CONSTANTLY guilty of this Sin. Is he committing a sin now by just looking at a single unmarried woman whom he may want to court and possibly marry??? This is a ridiculous interpretation . And Paul’s word while unclear certainly do not constitute an explicit ban on pre-marital sex. I admonish Christians, be CAREFUL reading Paul’s writings! Please consider 2 Peter 3:16. It can make a difference in your very salvation. Also, might I remind all of you, that Paul is not Yeshua (Jesus) AND NOT THE MOST HIGH GOD YAHUWAH.

      I know its going to make many of you Christians angry because you’ve been taught for so long that sex is EVIL and God hates it, but I’m here to tell you that God, the true God YAHUWAH isn’t that hung-up on sex. He makes his guidelines clear in the Law (yes those rules you Christians are absolutely loathe to follow) and surprisingly (at least to you) sex before marriage is NOT PROHIBITED. . .and neither is Polygny. But thats another article. . .

      I shall leave you with these two scriptures “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 and “Do not add to what I have commanded you and do not take away” – Deuteronomy 4:2

    • Gary

      Just yesterday I saw a video of a woman who said by living together with her boyfriend, she was living in sin. They already had a child together, but that just brought me to search for this article.

      In the Old Testament, I believe the sexual immortality sins are clear as “incest, beastiality, adultery, rape, and men laying with men as with a woman.” One major point is lesbians were not wicked, or forbidden by God. Paul seems to forbid them in Romans 1, but it might just be women using dildos that he noticed, or something (Ezekiel 16:17). Either that or Paul is adding to the law. Another thing I noticed that’s only in the New Testament is “orgies”.

      So, there was a law given to Israel, “Do not have temple prostitutes,” and another, “The Levite priests’ daughters cannot become prostitutes.” But for everyone else in Israel, some women would survive as prostitutes. I highly doubt the held God’s wrath in their palms and I also doubt they married every man they had sex with.

      Apart from those two laws, I do not remember any laws against prostitution as a way to survive. So sex before marriage in the Old Testament would not be forbidden, otherwise every girl on the streets or in a brothel trying to earn money by selling herself for some time and anyone who submits to her is condemned to hellfire, I guess. But I think God is more considerate and merciful to his people.

      In the New Testament, and it’s always Paul, he says, “Do I unite the body of Christ with a prostitute, never!” or something like that. Now I do believe every man and woman who unite in sex become one body before the judgement of God, but that’s because “the two shall become one flesh,” and the lack of “if you love your husband/wife more than me you are not worthy of me” said by Jesus.

    • Some guy

      Sex before marriage is fine, you must love and care for this partner however. If you had sex with a woman who is with another man and they are considered ‘married’ in the eyes of God then that is fornication as known from its direct meaning as adultery (fornication is adultery). There is nothing wrong with lust, it is only if you lust for a woman that YOU KNOW is married then it is a sin, this is because lust is a natural desire and a man will look for a mate and the same for a woman. A man can not know every woman that is married, therefore the sin is the act of acting against the love and what is considered as the ‘marriage’ of a man and a woman. The amount of sexual partners is confusing as we don’t know if you should have one or more. This is also confusing as Paul says that if no longer with a partner e.g. a divorced man, that you can have other partners to stop the desire. However it is also said that two become one, but this can only occur if the two fully love each other… So what do you do when a person may love someone and has formed the act of marriage through sexual action, but the other only did the action out of sexual desire and no love. Should they be bound together for ever in the eyes of God because of the action. This brings us to the importance of LOVE between the two, you can not have marriage without love and the action of sex. So therefore a person could be allowed or (as I believe) should be allowed to find another partner who is single and with whomever they can love and have sexual relations if another relationship has not worked out because of the circumstances I previously explained. The idea of virginity in the Bible was emphasised because it was a sign of purity and was a major factor of realtionships during the time period. The church also has taken things out of context and added to the rules and teachings of the Bible to suit them (and some may argue to keep control of people). The thing we need to remember is the love that we share, that is what Jesus taught us, the most important thing… Love. Not to hate, or hurt, or argue, but to love. At the end of the day God won’t ask us all the things we did right and wrong… But if we loved. So don’t worry about sex before marriage, just think about whether you love.

    • Shawn

      Good article, I really enjoyed reading it. Some of the comments are questionable but to each his own.

      OP, I think you’re right, Paul clearly states that the unmarried who “burn with lust” should marry. He does not provide any alternatives so let’s not read into what the scriptures say. Does that mean it’s inherently sinful for two unmarried/never married people to have sex, no I do not think it does. As you spelled out, the Law does not forbid it except for certain situations. HOWEVER that doesn’t mean it’s not sin either and IMO we should strive to obey what we do know to be true, which is to marry if we cannot abstain. It may not be an issue of absolute sin, but it certainly is an issue of wisdom. Don’t believe me? Just talk to anyone who’s paying child support!

    • Jacobkutty Uthup

      “Flee Fornication” 1 Corinthians 6:18. It is a command from the Lord. How you flee from it your choice. This command like all other command it is not for God’s benefit. God is instructing us what to do. You suffer the consequences.

    • Lakeisha Morris

      Sir, I Have Been In This Struggle That You Are In. A Sexual Spirit Is One Of The Hardest Spirits To Conquer. It Can Be Done With Serious Praying I Mean Crying And Praying And Giving Your Body Mind And Soul Over To Father GOD In The Name Of Jesus But You Must Be Serious And You Will Conquer Those Evil Spirits. They Will Attach To Someone Else.
      Believe This.. Donald.

    • bill

      It says that even looking at a woman with lust is akin to adultery.

      For most men, being aroused by an attractive woman is unavoidable.

      It’s as natural as breathing.

      Are we all just doomed to fail then?

      It just doesn’t make sense.

      The 10 commandments make perfect sense to me though.

      Actually committing adultery is a shameful act.

      “Fornication” isn’t listed in the commandments in the King James, so it must be of a lesser importance.

      Am I right to assume that the 10 commandments are basically our most importance set of rules?

      The majority of marriages don’t work out nowadays.

      So, the question is…

      Are you better to stay unmarried, and be intimate only with women you’re in a committed relationship with?

      Or, are you better off getting married and risking the chance of divorce and never being allowed to be sexual with another women again?

      Even post-divorce, it’s still considered adultery in the eyes of god, is it not?

    • Rosalia

      “If you burn with passion you should marry”. to whom is Paul referring to, man only or both man and woman.
      What must a woman do when she burns with passion since she must be found to be married. It is not a normality for woman to approach a man and tell him she loves him and “please I want to marry you”( silently saying I am burning with passion) of which is a secrete for men during those moments.
      Even when you try to be a nice caring sister in Christ to care for a particular brother of interest as a silent indication burning and wishing him to say ” 3little words” , instead he is not interested or shies he away.
      What must women do when they burn with passion?

    • Timothy Slamet

      I’v read everyones comments. We talk about the Holy Spirit,but yet we differ. Have you ever ask why. Jesus made it clear to us. When the church comes forth, its throws rocks.When Jesus come to the women at the well He toughes her soul. This is address not the hypocrites out there but those that are struggling to find an answer. He who is without sin let him throw the first… Open your eyes and see Jesus in others and take out the tree from yor obsess view.T Thanks for the article. I’ve forgiveness of sin. It’s the love of Jesus that will change LIVES..

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