What Does The Bible Teach About Fornication?

Fornication is probably one of the most prevalent sins in our society today. Society sees sex outside of marriage as normal and expected. It is taught in our public schools, it is exalted in our media, it is openly talked about in the workplace, and sometimes it is even condoned in churches.

I am going to list several Bible verses that expressly states God’s condemnation of fornication. I am not going to give any commentary on most of the verses, because they are pretty plain and do not need much commentary.

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3 “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;”

1 Corinthians 6:13b “…Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.”

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Ephesians 5:3-10 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”

Galatians 5:19-25 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Exodus 22:16 “And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.”

Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

Many pastors teach that 1 Corinthians 7:36 teaches that sexual relations before marriage is not sin, if the couple get married. This is not what this verse teaches. This verse does not even have anything to do with sexual relations at all. This verse is referring back to the Old Testament laws concerning betrothal. A betrothal was more legally binding than an engagement. A couple had to go to court to become betrothed and a couple had to go to court to break a betrothal.

I Corinthians 7:36 says “But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.”

The phrase “his virgin” shows that this man is betrothed, but not yet married.

In addition the Apostle Paul had just given a long explanation in the proceeding verses of how people are able to serve the Lord better if they do not get married. Paul is just clarifying in verse 36 that if a man is already betrothed to a woman (who is an adult) and he thinks that he would be doing her wrong to not marry her because of the law in the Old Testament (Exodus 21:8), yet he is also concerned now that it would be sin for him to marry her, because he cannot serve God as fully; Paul is just clarifying that it is not a sin for the man to marry.

Exodus 21:7-8 says “And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.”

The Old Testament law teaches that if a man buys and betroths a woman to himself and then does not marry her then he has wronged her. Therefore, in 1 Corinthians 7:36 Paul was just saying that it is not a sin for a man not to wrong his betrothed virgin, by marrying her.

In our culture today this verse is pretty much obsolete because men do not buy their wives.

For pastors to teach that the Apostle Paul was saying that it is not a sin for a couple to have sexual relations before marriage, if they are going to get married anyway is wrong and dangerous, because it opens the door for a woman to be lied to by a man, and have sexual relations with him, and then the man decide not to marry her.

I have studied this out and I cannot find any Bible verses that say sexual relations outside of marriage is not sin.

Please share this information with others.

Thank you.

Matthew 28:20 “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen”

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