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Is sex outside marriage considered a sin?

Sex in Marriage

The Lord created sex as an expression of love, intimacy, unity and procreation between married couples. Jesus said, “At the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).

God commanded Adam and Eve to, “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:22). So, Sex is God’s gift of love and procreation to a married couple. The marriage institution was designed by a wise Creator to be a great blessing to mankind, and when the plan of the Creator is carried out in family life, great benefits of happiness, fellowship and fulfillment are reaped.

The Bible teaches that “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4). The concept that is taught by some that the intimacies of married life are not honorable and belittle the nobility of character is an invention of the devil and goes against the Creator’s plan for man. However, sex should be pure and not be used as an way for gratifying the base lusts. Only when marriage is corrupted to serve evil purposes does it lose the quality of being “honorable.”

Sex Outside Marriage

The Bible tells us that sex outside marriage is a sin, it is breaking of the seventh commandment that says, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). This prohibition for sex covers not only adultery but fornication and impurity of every act, word, and thought (Matthew 5:27, 28). This, our third duty toward our “neighbor,” is to respect and honor the bond upon which the family is built, that of the marriage relationship, which to the Christian should be as precious as life itself.

Victory Over Sin

If a person has committed sex outside of the holy union, he has to ask for God’s forgiveness and then forsake his sin. The Lord promises, “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). The Lord is ready to forgive the repentant sinner, though He cannot forgive these sins in the sense of overlooking them. Confessed sins are borne by the Lamb of God (John 1:29).

The gracious love of God accepts the repentant sinner, the confessed sin is taken away from him, and the sinner stands before the Lord covered with the perfect life of Christ (Colossians 3:3, 9, 10). “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). Christ came to condemn sin, not sinners (John 3:17; Romans 8:3).

The good news is that the Lord not only forgives the sinner but also cleanses him from all unrighteousness. When confessing his great sin David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalms 51:10). God requires moral perfection of His children (Matthew 5:48) and has made provision that every sin may be successfully resisted and overcome.

Victory over sin becomes a reality to all those who in faith dedicate themselves to lives of loving obedience. There may be weakness in the believer’s character, but when it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus supplies all the grace and strength necessary to overcome. So, the Christian may declare, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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