Is having sex before marriage a sin?

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Sex a Gift From God

The Lord created sex as an expression of love, intimacy, sharing, unity and procreation between spouses. 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).

The unity of the husband and wife exists in a unity of bodies, a community of interests, and a reciprocity of affections. The Lord commanded the first couple, “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). So, Sex is God’s gift of love to a married couple.

Adultery and Fornication

Before we look at sex in the scriptures, we need to understand the modern meanings for the words fornication and adultery. Fornication is defined as the voluntary sexual intercourse between persons not married to each other, which would include adultery. And adultery is defined as the voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the lawful spouse.

Sex before marriage is fornication. Therefore, it is a sin. The Bible gives many references to support that (Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1;6:13, 18;10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5;1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7).

The Seventh Commandment

The seventh commandment states, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). This prohibition for sex covers not just adultery and fornication but impurity of every act, word, and thought (Matthew 5:27, 28). This is, our third duty toward our “neighbor.” To respect and honor the bond upon which the family is built, should be precious to the Christian as life itself (Hebrews 13:4).

Marriage makes the husband and wife one body. To be unfaithful to this holy union or to lead another to do so is to desecrate that which is holy and to commit a sin. The seventh commandment applies with same force to both the husband and the wife. All that oppose the purity of heart, in speech and behavior, oppose the command of God in the Decalogue, and to holiness which the gospel requires (Matthew 5:27, 28; Acts 15:29; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3).

In our day, when standards of sexual behavior are lowered, when purity is so generally considered as being outmoded and divorces are so common, this command deserves the most careful attention of every follower of God. John writes, “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).

Living Above Sin

The Christian can, without a doubt, live a victorious life by the power of the Holy Spirit. He may make mistakes (1 John 2:1), but his normal life presents a picture of spiritual growth (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). The will of God can be fulfilled only in his complete submission to God.

Christ died to make our holiness possible (Ephesians 5:25–27), but such a result is not obtained in a moment. While justification is accomplished instantly when the repentant sinner accepts God’s forgiveness, sanctification, is a continuous work of grace (Romans 12:1, 2).

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul admonishes the believers, “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men . . . will inherit the kingdom of God”; “it is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

God ordained that sex should remain within the marriage bond for the happiness and well being of the family. Abstinence before marriage saves lives, protects babies and gives sexual relations the proper beauty, respect and value.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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