Is Masturbation considered a sin?

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Masturbation is the act of sexually stimulating oneself. Masturbation is usually the result of lustful thoughts, sexual stimulation, and/or pornographic images.

The Bible doesn’t really mention the word masturbation but there are biblical principles that can be applied to it. Ephesians 5:3 declares, “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity.” The “lust of the flesh” (1 John 2:16) is sin. Masturbation is simply the result of this sin. For this reason masturbation  cannot pass the test of being pure.

Masturbation is almost always the result of lust, unsuitable sexual stimulation, and/or pornography. According to the Scriptures, we cannot separate the body from the mind (Proverbs 4:23; 6:25; 12:25; 14:30; 15:13; 15:30; 17:22). God created us to be living beings who live as our minds direct each part of our body (Genesis 2:7).

Many people struggle with guilty feelings concerning masturbation, when in truth, the things that led to this act need to be repented off. In Matthew 5:27-30, Jesus speaks against having lustful thoughts and then says, “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” The Lord does not call for mutilating the body, but for controlling the thoughts and actions.

Therefore, when we answer the question: is masturbation a sin? We must see it both as a physical and a mental act. For Jesus said in the sermon on the mount “that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mathew 5:28).

The sinful act of adultery, generally seen as a physical encounter, starts in the mind, which then leads to the act. It was already a sin once it was started in the mind; the physical action that follows is an open sinful act. Thus, concerning masturbation, both the physical act and the thoughts involved in the act are sinful (Leviticus 15:14-16).

Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about that:

A-“The fruit of the Spirit is . . . self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). Masturbation is a sign of a lack of self-control.

B-“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). Our bodies have been bought by Christ’s death and therefore we need to honor God by how we treat it.

C-“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If an action cannot glorify God, then we should not do it.

D-“Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Lust is not of God.

E-“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh” (Romans 8:12). Believers owe everything to the Lord, and their loyalty and faithfulness should be fully given to Him.

F-“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:22). Every behavior that leads us to sexual immorality should be stopped.

G-“If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” Every action that defiles the mind and body should be shunned.

Being pure

All who have a real sense of what is involved in being a Christian know that the children of God are under obligation as His followers to bring all their passions, their physical and mental powers into perfect subordination to His will.

Your body belongs to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). He gave it to you, and you really should take care of it as though you are taking care of it for Him by keeping it holy and pure (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4).

The Bible teaches, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If you cannot give God glory for something, you should not do it. If a person is not fully convinced that an activity is pleasing to God, then it is a sin: “Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).

So what do you do if you have sinned? The Bible says Confess to God and purpose to stay pure (1 John 1:9). Once you purpose in your heart to do that which is right, God will supply the strength to overcome (John 14:13).

Then, find a replacement to fulfill that need. A healthy outlet like exercise and sports can prove to build and purify the soul. Keep your daily connection to the Lord through study of His Word and prayer.  And the Lord will be faithful to renew and transform your mind (Romans 12:2).

The Lord gives victory

The Lord promised to give His children the power to overcome the lusts of mind and flesh. For He promised “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Thus, the faithfulness of God is the Christian’s source of security against sin. There is no security in relying on self for victory, but if the Christian wills to be pure and depends on God for strength, he will have the desired victory. However, he should remember that God will not save him if he places himself into temptation (Matthew 7:13, 14, 24, 25; 1 Corinthians 9:25, 27).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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