God put his essential rules for living into the Ten Commandments. If it’s in the top ten, he’s serious about it. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” means sex with anyone not your spouse is forbidden (Exodus 20:14).
God is clear in his Word from Genesis to Revelations that he created sex for pleasure and procreation between one man and one woman within a marriage. Sex is a beautiful, powerful gift given by God.
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame (Genesis 2: 24 – 25).”
What is sex?
Many people are confused about what constitutes sex and believe intimate sexual acts are entertainment. Sex means performing or receiving acts that involve the genitals of a man or woman for some form of sexual gratification. If you are receiving someone’s sexual body parts into any part of your body outside of marriage, you are misusing your body and sex as intended by God.
God knows that used improperly or prematurely sex causes a lot of suffering and harm. If you believe that sex is something you can do with whoever, however, or whenever you feel like, you are dishonoring God and yourself.
God created sex for 3 purposes
God created and gave humans sex for three purposes intended to work together:
1. Unite a man and woman in a bond of intimacy called marriage designed to create family with or without children
2. Give a man and woman pleasure
3. Enable the perpetuation of humans.
Sex outside of marriage is a sin against God’s will and law because sex outside of that context is a misuse of God’s purpose and design. Ignoring God’s design for sex will erode your ability to love and integrity.
Honoring the fact that God has created sex for marriage between one man and one woman will not go unnoticed by God. Ignoring his rules will lead to unintended consequences every time. You can pick your actions but not your consequences (Genesis 39: 11 – 18).
God is specific about how and when sex is okay
Deuteronomy 22:13 – 30 and Leviticus 20: 1 – 22 contain information passed from Moses to the Israelites after they’d been taken out of slavery and spent forty years in the desert preparing for the Promised Land. What sounds harsh to our ears today is God making it clear to his people how serious he is about sin, especially sexual sin.
God says the following to expound on his rule that sex is for marriage:
• Sex before marriage diminishes the special relationship he designed for husbands and wives
• Rape (forced sex) is wrong
• Women should be protected and honored
• Men should not leave a wife for frivolous reasons or vice versa
• No one should have sex with the same gender, animals, children, another person’s spouse, or close relatives by blood or marriage
God gives special attention to women in rules about sex
God’s rules emphasize the protection of women. Prior to very recent times women could not make their way in the world without the help and protection of a husband or male family members. In many ways, that’s true today. No man, woman, or child thrives without the help of others. He also makes it clear that women should not take advantage of their protected position by seducing a man or claiming rape falsely.
Your body is not your own
You were uniquely created, “knitted together in the womb,” and known personally by God (Psalm 139).
He cares about the physical and spiritual aspects of every person. Your body is intended to be united with Christ. That is why your body is called a temple. The Holy Spirit lives inside of your body. You do not own your body. It is loaned to you for the purpose of honoring God. If you use your body sexually in ways not intended by God’s design, it is a sin against God and dangerous to your health. (1 Thessalonians 4:1 – 8, 1 Corinthians 7: 3 – 11, 6:13, 19 – 20)
You have the freedom to do many things, but if you chose to do things that God has forbidden, you will have trouble, often much later and in ways you cannot imagine now. Be careful and responsible with your desires (Matthew 5: 27 – 28).
God cares about your pleasure and well-being
God created sex for pleasure in his timing and circumstances. He cares and will satisfy your needs if you wait.
Your attitude toward sex reflects your relationship with and attitude toward God. When you go your own way, it hurts God. His rules are designed to protect you and to cultivate family and civil society.
Decide now what kind of character and faith a person that you will love should have. Most of the time you spend with a spouse is not sexual but focused on day-to-day life and problem-solving in the home. Give yourself time to get to know someone before committing to them. You may initially see only physical appearance or attraction to the idea of that person (Judges 16).
Don’t say, “Everyone does it. God loves me, no matter what.”
Defying God’s commands does not lead to a loss of his love. His commands are there because he loves you. But God does not provide you a pass on rules he created for everyone. If you love God, you will not willfully disobey what he’s said don’t do and explained at great length why it is harmful.
If you rationalize doing what you want with statements like “God loves me no matter what” or “everyone does it,” you love yourself more than you love God, and that is pride. No sin does more damage to individuals, families, and society than pride.
What does natural or “born this way” mean?
Desires for love and acceptance are part of every person’s natural inclination. You may find yourself thinking about sexual matters with a member of the same sex or opposite sex at a young age. It is not wrong or sinful to have thoughts. If you allow your thoughts to become obsessions, they will become actions. Wrong things can happen, and you will find yourself going in directions and practicing activities and attitudes that limit your opportunities (Romans 1: 26 – 27).
Jesus has the last word about sexual immorality
In Revelations 2, Jesus talks about Christians tolerating Jezebel and her promotion of sexual immorality. Jezebel represents the prevailing culture which promotes all forms of sexual immorality and ridicules those who attempt to honor God’s rules about sex.
Jesus says, “I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds” (Revelations 2:23).
Primary Verses Revealing What God Says About Sex
Genesis 2, 34: 27 – 29, 39:9
Leviticus 20: 10 – 21
Deuteronomy 22: 5, 13 – 30, 23:17
Proverbs 2: 16 – 17, 5:3, 18 – 20, 6: 25 – 35, 7: 25 -27
Song of Songs 4
Matthew 5: 27 – 28
Mark 10: 5 – 9
Romans 1: 26 – 27
1 Corinthians 7: 3 – 11, 6:13, 19 – 20
1 Thessalonians 4:1 – 8