When Is Sex a Sin?
Sex is a sin BEFORE marriage, OUTSIDE of marriage and in ADDITION to one's own marriage.
Have you ever wondered why God said sex outside of marriage is a sin? After all, God created sex. God ordained sex. So, why did He reserve it for those who said, "I do" at the altar?
Since God created sex, ordained sex and made us to enjoy sex, when is sex a sin? Sex is a sin BEFORE marriage and sex is a sin OUTSIDE of marriage. So what's the difference?
Sex before marriage between people is called fornication. Sex outside of marriage is called adultery. Fornication involves those who are unmarried. Adultery involves those who are married.
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:27-28, Jesus teaches that both fornication and adultery are sin. Both can cause harm. Both separate us from a right relationship with God.
Both fornication and adultery are sin.
Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. (I Corinthians 6:18)
Sex Before Marriage
Sex is an immoral sin against God BEFORE marriage. That's called fornication or premarital sex. When you have a physical relationship BEFORE the marriage covenant, you go against our covenant-relational God.
Paul wrote more books than anyone else. He wrote 13 books in the New Testament. Within his 13 books, he records seven lists of sins. The word "fornication" is found in five of those lists and is the first on every one of the five lists. (I Corinthians 5:11, Colossians 3:5)
Paul is known to beat around the bush on many occasions; however, in 1 Corinthians 6:18, he did not beat around the bush. He did not tell us a lot of things and we have to figure out what he is talking about. He left nothing to our imagination. He didn't give us a hard question to ponder or a decision to make on our own. We have nothing to interpret because Paul came right out and said, "Flee fornication." That should be self-explanatory to those with a teachable spirit and for those who want to do the right thing by following God's commandment given to us by his servant, Paul.
When we read "Flee fornication, we should remember Joseph in Genesis 39:12 who fled the scene when Potiphar's wife propositioned him. Joseph fled fornication.
You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. (Galatians 5:19)
Sex Outside of Marriage
Sex is an immoral sin against God OUTSIDE of marriage. That's call adultery. It is extramarital sex. Adultery is willful sexual relations with someone other than with one's own spouse. When you have a physical relationship with someone OTHER THAN the one whom you have made a covenant with, you break your covenant with God and your covenant with your spouse. That's why it is called extramarital. You sin when you break these covenants God has outlined in the Bible. Since God is the one who created sex and ordained it, it does stand to reasons that He is the one to give us laws concerning it.
In the Ten Commandments, God did not beat around the bush. He did not tell us a lot of things and we have to figure out what He is talking about. He left nothing to our imagination. He didn't give us a hard question to ponder or a decision to make on our own. We have nothing to interpret because God came right out and said, "You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14)
Under the Mosaic Law, when a man and woman were caught in the act of adultery, both parties were to be killed. (Deuteronomy 22:22) That's why the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought the woman to Jesus who was caught in adultery. (John 8:3) If that was the case today, there wouldn't be many people left in the world.
God says marriage is honorable, but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)
Outside of marriage
"Thy shalt not commit adultery"
- What the Bible Says About Sex and Intimacy
The Bible is clear in describing what God thinks about sex and intimacy.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.