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What Does The Bible Say About Sex Outside Of Marriage

Why Does It Matter To God Whether Couples Marry Or Not

Does the Bible Say Sex Outside of Marriage Is Okay?
  • The marriage arrangement comes from God. He instituted it when he brought the first human couple together. He did not intend for a man and a woman to live together without the commitment of marriage.

  • God knows what is best for humans. He designed marriage to be a permanent union between a man and a woman that would benefit and protect all family members. Consider a simple illustration. Just as the instructions that come from the manufacturer show you how to assemble a piece of furniture correctly, Gods instructions tell us how to build successful family relationships. Gods standards always benefit those who follow them.Isaiah 48:17, 18.

    A manufacturers instructions show you how to assemble a piece of furniture. Gods instructions tell us how to build a successful family

  • Sex outside of marriage can have serious consequences. For example, it can result in unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and emotional turmoil. *

  • God gave men and women the ability to procreate by means of sex. God views life as sacred, and the ability to procreate is a precious gift. God wants us to treat that gift with respect by honoring his arrangement for marriage.Hebrews 13:4.

Be Part Of A Church That Will Help You Fight Fornication

Especially in a sexually permissive culture, you need a church that engages sex biblically. While sex is good , sexual sin makes us lawbreakers in need of redemption the church cannot waffle on this. But faithful churches will also provide hope for all sinners. Pauls Corinthian audience was exhausted by sexual sin and weighted down by guilt. He preached Christ as the only one who could cure restless desires . We should not expect to see fornicators, adulterers, and homosexuals converted to Christ if we do not meet them with the grace of the gospel.

More concretely, believers must open their homes to single people, providing a haven of companionship and a respite from long hours alone in which temptation can gain strength. We should prepare to respond with prayerful and sympathetic love to those courageous enough to confess sexual sin. In this way we help bear their burden . Caring friends will also offer to singles the platonic physical affection practiced by Jesus and his disciples . One single friend put it this way: If appropriate intimacy doesnt come from somewhere else like God or friends, it is pretty much a given that singles will be either emotionally suffering or falling into sin. We can learn from many non-western cultures the sacramental art of appropriate physical contact.

Does The Bible Prohibit Sex Before Marriage

In my experience, there is a very broad range of answers to this question. It has generally been assumed by moral conservatives that the answer is self-evidently yes by contrast, it has generally been assumed by moral liberals that the answer is no, since there does not appear to be any specific prohibition in Scripture. The massive changes in our culture around sex and sexuality since the 1960s and the advent of contraception have put us at a very big cultural distance from the world of the Bible, and particularly the Old Testament, so there are significant challenges in the task of translation here.

I was recently pointed to this :

In biblical times, a man was not prohibited from having sexual relations with a woman, as long as it led to marriage. The Bible never explicitly states a woman and man may not have sexual intercourse prior to marriage therefore, no sanction was imposed for premarital sex, but it was considered a violation of custom.

The question immediately raise is: what is the status of such custom? I therefore offer here the piece I wrote for Premier Christianity the other week, in response to the less-publicised half of the motion passed at the Methodist Conference, and add a few reflections.

There is a good Grove booklet exploring this question by Gary Jenkins.

PS to my regular readers, apologies for having two consecutive posts relating to sex. 91% of my posts dontregular service will be resumed in the next post!

Read Also: How To Read The Bible

Additional Scriptures About Sex And Marriage

“Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” ~ 1 Corinthians 7:1-4

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

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

What Is Premarital Sex

What Does the Bible Say About Sex Outside of Marriage? pt 2 of 4 ...

As per the dictionary meaning, premarital sex is when two adults, who are not married to each other, are involved in consensual sex. In many countries, premarital sex is against societal norms and beliefs, but the younger generation is quite okay toexplore the physical relationship before getting married to anyone.

Premarital sex statistics from a recent study show that 75% of Americans below the age of 20 have had premarital sex. The number increases to 95% by age 44. It is quite shocking to see how people are quite okay to establish a relationship with someone even beforegetting married.

Premarital sex can be attributed to liberal thinking and new-age media, which portrays this as perfectly fine. However, most people forget that premarital sex exposes people to a lot of diseases and future complications.

Bible has laid down specific rules when it comes to establishing a physical relationship before marriage. Lets have a look at these verses and analyze them accordingly.

Also Try: Quiz- Do You Really Need Pre-Marriage Counseling?

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Dr Bill Arnold Responds:

For the Old Testament side of things, its interesting that the only text your student interlocutor mentions is the Book of the Covenant stipulation that a man who seduces a virgin should pay her bride-price and make her his wife . What the student fails to observe is that the premise of this legal stipulation is that the man has, in fact, gotten the process reversed. He should have negotiated the bride-price, then married her, then had intercourse. The point of the law, as with many other laws in the Book of the Covenant, is that he has willfully done something wrong and must now make amends. The text the student is citing in your discussion actually supports your position, and not his.

Also, although perhaps not directly related to the question of premarital sex, the single most neglected datum from the OT related to marriage is Gen. 2:24-25. I never thought in my wildest dreams that this text would become controversial in our day, but it elevates the idea of heterogeneous marriage between one male and one female, regardless of how we conceptualize a state-defined and sanctioned certificate of marriage. The biblical concept is clear enough.

When And Why Is Sex Before Marriage A Sin

Is premarital sex a sin? Short answer, yes . But Ill ask you thisdo you actually understand the reason why the Bible asks us to save sex for marriage? I can tell you this muchits not to shame us if we have a past were not so proud of, its not to interject itself in an unhelpful way in our daily lives, its not to make us miserable, and its not a test to see how much we actually love God. It is, in fact, for us, not against or opposed to us.

Sex with anyone other than your spouse will always be sinful. This is because the Catholic Church is very clear that the only context in which sex isn’t sinful, is when it takes place within a marriage.

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This Film On Sexuality Isn’t Controversial It’s Biblical


The new short film The Beautiful Story about sex within heterosexual marriage has been labelled anti-gay by some Christians. On behalf of the Church of Englands Evangelical Council Ian Paul explains why theres nothing shocking about a message that has been celebrated by Christians for two millennia

So Is Sex Before Marriage Really Wrong

Where is Sex Before Marriage CLEARLY a sin in the Bible?

The early chapters of the Bible were based on rules and commandments of the Jewish traditions. Sex before marriage was clearly condemned in Judaism, and the same goes for Christianity. This was the culture Jesus was raised in. These commandments and rules gave the blueprint for marriage. The words sex outside of marriage are never mentioned, however, it is implied that it is against Gods design.

In fact, Adam wasnt joined to Eve until God gave her away in the first marriage union of time. The same tradition goes for Noah, Shem, Abram, and Jacob. Everyone waits until they are united in marriage to have sexual relations. Thats because the other aspect of sex is to procreate.

Thats right, God meant for us to fully enjoy sex, . Perhaps the best book of the Bible about the joys of sex is the Song of Songs as it reminds us sex is strictly for marriage. However, there is one example of the condemnation of sex before marriage of a soon-to-be wife who had sex outside of marriage in Deuteronomy 22:13-19.

It was such a precious manner that the husband had the right to divorce her if she was found not to be a virgin. Also, because of how this law couldve been misconstrued, laws were put in place to protect the woman as well. She had the right to prove her virginity had been taken in the marriage bed.

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What Does The Bible Say About Sex Outside Of The Marriage

God created man and woman just as He ordained marriage. He also made men and women sexual creatures, therefore He created sex. In Genesis 1:28, God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. Procreation is one of the reasons that God created sex. This is the way that humans replenish those who die with old age. But God also created sex for a husband and a wife to enjoy. He is not against pleasure and the proof positive is that those who are married are to give to each other their own bodies for the fulfillment of the others pleasures .

Thoughts On Does The Bible Prohibit Sex Before Marriage

  • Colin Hamer

    I think for this blog to make any sense we need to be clear that we are defining marriage as the registration of the relationship with the statea modern phenomenon.

    In ancient Israel marriage was a matter between the families involvedno priest, elder, or temple involvement. This is not my area of expertise, but it seems that this concept carried through to the early church until the Middle Agesit was not finally brought into church until the Council of Trent as I understand it. Subsequently, many countries brought it into the statebut not until 19th century in the UK.

    As regards, In biblical times, a man was not prohibited from having sexual relations with a woman, as long as it led to marriage I am not convinced by this. The mohar was dependent on virginity on a first marriageand was a big deal, as Deuteronomy 22 indicates. It was the fathers responsibility to ensure her virginity until marriagewithout that her subsequent marital prospects were considerably diminished.

  • Maybe that explains why adultery is seen as the major category rather than one sexual sin among many.

  • Colin Hamer

    Hi Paul,

    You say in the link that marriage is a Legal/Social bond = The public ceremony that was officiated by community elders/certified licensed officials.

    Where in the Bible does it say that?

  • Steven Robinson
  • John 4.3942 rather strongly suggests reconciliation doesnt it?

  • 50-60 years is of course common but depends on lifespans, so we could say lifelong.

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    So Does The Bible Really Say Its Wrong

    Before you book a hotel room and call up your girlfriend with the good news, please keep reading! Yes, the Bible does say that all forms of sex outside of marriage are wrong. Heres how.

    The early chapters of Genesis give a basic blueprint for marriage, and even though it never says Thou shall not have sex before marriage, it certainly suggests that sex outside of marriage flows against Gods design. Gods command to be fruitful and multiply is joyfully heeded by Adam and Eve after they are joined in marriage . The same goes for their descendants. Noah, Shem, Abram and others all have sex and therefore have children within the confines of a marriage covenant.

    When they turn to other women, such as Abrahams sexual relations with Hagar , the act was not considered an affair. Hagar was more like a modern day surrogate mother who bears a child in the place of an infertile wife. Nevertheless, these acts dont appear to be sanctioned by God, even though they were widely accepted in Israels culture.

    Throughout the Old Testament, its assumed that God designed sex for marriage. Deuteronomy condemns a soon to be wife who has had sex before marriage , and the love poetry contained in the Song of Songs delights in the joys of sex but reserves it for a husband and wife. Extra-marital sex is never looked upon with divine approval in the Old Testament, no matter how bright the love-flame burns.

    Sexual Intimacy Outside Marriage Violates Gods Purpose For Sex And Marriage

    Top 7 Bible Verses About Sex

    After God created Eve from Adams rib, we read, And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed .

    Jesus verified the accuracy of this account in the New Testament: The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder . Notice Jesus use of the phrase for this cause. What cause? The cause that God made them male and female so that they could cleave to one another and become one fleshin other words, sexual intimacy.

    But if sex outside of marriage is okay, what would be the purpose of marriage? Clearly, God never intended a couple to share sexual intimacy without being joined together by Him in marriage.

    Also Check: What Does The Bible Say About Family

    Dr Lawson Stone Responds:

    The students claim that in the Old Testament it appears that, rather than sex being confined to marriage, it leads to marriage involves a number of errors, misinterpretations, and blind spots resulting from not hearing the OT in its own setting and voice. The fact in the OT is that a marriage was seen as naturally being real when sexual intercourse took place because sexual intercourse is the actual physical and emotional uniting of the man and woman. This is the origin of the tradition in the Roman Catholic church that a wedding not followed by sexual intercourse, i.e. not consummated, is incomplete and may be annulled. But this proposition is not reversible, that one can have sex and consider oneself married! The union created by sexual intercourse is real, and happens regardless of ones legal state or even feelings of intimacy. This is why St. Paul warns that sex even with a prostitute still fuses the john to the prostitute as one flesh, and for a believer, implicates the Holy Spirit in an unholy union. The Bible sees sexual union as the vital core of marriage, but this in no way implies that no concern existed for making sure such a union was lawful, sanctioned and blessed by God.

    Used by permission.

    Dr. Jerry Walls, Ph.D., Notre Dame. Author, speaker, and professor of Philosophy.

    Dr. Ben Witherington III, Ph.D., University of Durham in England. Author, speaker, and professor of New Testament and Biblical Studies.


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