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What is Sexual Immorality in the Bible?
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What is Sexual Immorality in the Bible?

Introduction

Sexual immorality is a topic that has been debated and discussed throughout the history of Christianity. It is a subject that is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago, and it is essential to understand the biblical perspective on this matter.

In this blog post, we will delve into the topic of sexual immorality as it is presented in the Bible, specifically through the New King James Version (NKJV). We will examine key passages, analyze their meaning, and explore the implications for believers seeking to live a life in accordance with God’s will.

As we explore this topic, it is important to remember that the Bible is not merely a set of rules, but a living guidebook for our relationship with God and one another. It is essential to approach this subject with humility and reverence, as well as a heart that seeks to understand the wisdom of God’s teachings.

By examining the biblical perspective on sexual immorality, we can gain a clearer understanding of what it means to live a life that honors God and respects the sanctity of the relationships He has designed.

Before diving into the specific verses and passages that address sexual immorality, it is important to establish a foundational understanding of what the Bible teaches about sex and relationships.

God created sex to be a beautiful and intimate expression of love between a husband and wife within the covenant of marriage. In this context, sex is a God-ordained, sacred act that strengthens the bond between spouses and provides the means for procreation.

With this foundation in mind, we can now explore what constitutes sexual immorality according to the Bible.

Sexual immorality in the bible

Defining Sexual Immorality

The term “sexual immorality” is often translated from the Greek word “porneia” which encompasses a wide range of immoral sexual behaviors. Some specific examples of sexual immorality mentioned in the Bible include:

Adultery

Adultery is defined as sexual relations between a married person and someone who is not their spouse. It is considered a grave sin in the eyes of God, as it breaks the sacred covenant of marriage. The Bible consistently condemns adultery in both the Old and New Testaments:

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  • “You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14, NKJV)
  • “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28, NKJV)

Fornication

Fornication is sexual intercourse between two unmarried individuals. The Bible teaches that sex is reserved for the covenant of marriage, and fornication is considered a violation of God’s design for sexual intimacy:

  • “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18, NKJV)

Homosexual Acts

The Bible also teaches that homosexual acts are contrary to God’s design for sexuality:

  • “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22, NKJV)
  • “For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” (Romans 1:26-27, NKJV)

Incest

Incest is sexual relations between close relatives, and it is strictly forbidden in the Bible:

  • “None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him,to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 18:6, NKJV)

Bestiality

Bestiality is sexual relations with animals, and it is considered an abomination in the Bible:

  • “Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.” (Leviticus 18:23, NKJV)

Consequences of Sexual Immorality

The Bible not only defines various forms of sexual immorality but also warns against the consequences of engaging in such behaviors. These consequences may include spiritual, relational, and emotional repercussions.

Spiritual Consequences

Sexual immorality can lead to a broken relationship with God, as it is a sin against Him and His design for our lives. When we engage in immoral sexual behavior, we are choosing to go against God’s commands:

  • “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NKJV)

Relational Consequences

Sexual immorality can also cause relational strife, as it often involves deception, betrayal, and the breaking of trust. In the case of adultery, it can lead to the breakdown of marriages and families, causing lasting damage to all parties involved:

  • “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away.” (Proverbs 6:32-33, NKJV)

Emotional Consequences

The emotional consequences of sexual immorality may include guilt, shame, and regret. These feelings can lead to a negative self-image and hinder one’s ability to form healthy, intimate relationships in the future:

  • “But every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15, NKJV)

Pursuing Purity and Redemption

In light of the biblical teachings on sexual immorality, it is clear that God calls His followers to pursue purity in their relationships and personal conduct. The Apostle Paul encouraged believers to “flee sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18, NKJV) and to “abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3, NKJV).

By choosing to honor God’s design for sex and relationships, we demonstrate our love for Him and our commitment to walking in obedience to His Word.

For those who have fallen into sexual immorality, there is hope and redemption through Jesus Christ. God’s grace is greater than any sin, and He offers forgiveness and restoration to all who repent and turn to Him:

  • “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NKJV)

As believers, we must be vigilant in guarding our hearts and minds against the temptations of sexual immorality. By seeking God’s wisdom and strength, we can navigate the complexities of our modern world and live a life that honors Him and our relationships with others.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding the biblical perspective on sexual immorality is essential for Christians who desire to live a life that honors God and aligns with His design for human relationships.

Sexual immorality encompasses a wide range of behaviors, including adultery, fornication, homosexual acts, incest, and bestiality. Each of these acts goes against God’s intended purpose for sex and can lead to spiritual, relational, and emotional consequences.

While the Bible is clear about the dangers of sexual immorality, it also offers hope and redemption for those who have fallen into sin.

Through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, we can receive forgiveness and experience transformation in our lives. As we pursue a life of purity and holiness, we demonstrate our love for God and our commitment to following His Word.

As believers, it is our responsibility to guard our hearts and minds from the temptations of sexual immorality. By remaining rooted in God’s Word, seeking His wisdom, and relying on His strength, we can navigate the challenges of our modern world and live a life that glorifies Him.

May we always strive to honor God with our bodies and our relationships, as we continually seek to grow in our understanding of His will and His design for our lives.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.