Q: This (sex or ‘messing around’ outside of marriage) is love, how can you or God call it evil?

A: Love is more than just doing what feels right, but what actually is right.  We can’t trust our heart or bodies for accurate feelings.   Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”  So, we can’t trust our feelings based on our heart because it can trick us.  Our bodies are still fallen, even though they are bought by God, so we also can’t trust our body for feelings (I Cor. 6:20).  We need to trust what God tells us in his Word.  God tells us that love is selfless (I Cor. 13), but sex outside of marriage is set on pleasing self, not the partner.   It is what the Bible calls lust, not love (I John 2:16).  This is the truth, not what Sheryl Crow sings, “If it makes you happy; it can't be that bad.”  Cheryl Crow’s song starts to become the motive for our actions when we listen to the world and our flesh too much.

 

Q: How can you call this desire that God gave me bad?

A: The desire to have sex is not bad, that is how God made you.  God wants us to have sex and make babies!  But God wants this to be done inside of marriage and it is good (Gen. 1:31).  The desire to have sex now, outside of marriage, that is the wrong desire.  Life is not about instant gratification, we have to wait for sex, just like we have to wait for the eternal joy of heaven until we die.

 

Q: What does the ‘one flesh’ principle mean in Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:1-12, and I Corinthians 6:12-20?

A: When the Bible says ‘one flesh,’ it has in mind more than just the uniting of flesh at sex.  God has designed sex to be intimate and it involves both your body and spirit.  The ‘one flesh’ principle involves more than just flesh, it also includes your spirit because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:16-20). 

 

Q: What about I Cor. 6:16 which says they are united as one flesh?  Does this mean the Bible is saying it’s okay to have sex and not be married as long as you stay with this one person?

A: The first rule in reading and interpreting Scripture is to read the context.  I Corinthians 6:15 says you are to never ‘unite’ (have sex) with somebody you are not married to.  I Corinthians 6:18 says this is sexual immorality, it says to flee from it, it says this is sin. 

 

Q: Then why does it say they are ‘one flesh,’ I thought that Gen. 2:24 implies that ‘one flesh’ means you are married?  How can you be ‘one flesh’ and not be married?

A: Every time somebody has sex it doesn’t mean they become married to that person when they have sex for the first time.  This is called fornication, which is sex outside of marriage.  There is more to the making of marriage than just sex.  Marriage involves a commitment, public recognition before both God and man, a name change, and the wonderful possibility of children. 

 

Q: How far is too far?

A: This is the wrong question.  The right question is ‘What would give honor to God in this relationship?”  Regarding our media exposure, its not asking “How much can I take?”, but rather “How much can I try to avoid?”  Song of Songs 8:4 charges us “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”  Keep sexually charged situations for marriage.  Some have been so radical as to save french kissing for marriage or at least engagement.

 

Q: Isn’t being committed to this person just as good as being married?

A: God doesn’t think so, that’s why He invented marriage.  Marriage means commitment for better or for worse, till death do us part.  Relationships that claim total commitment outside of marriage have no signs or actions of commitment—their kids won’t even have the same last name of at least one of them.  Even the courts recognize this when they have no paper work or financial repercussions if you decide to break-up (legally called alimony).  Couples who are in these ‘committed’ relationships without marriage are probably going to end up alone (do you know any couples who have been together for 40 years without getting married?).  Statistically, couples who live together before they get married are 46% more likely to end up divorced.  This is why God says in Genesis 2:24 that you leave your mother and father and get married to the person you love.  Just because you’re committed to each other doesn’t mean you can have sex.

 

Q: Sex before I get married isn’t bad or wrong because I know and plan on marrying this person (this could easily be felt by somebody who is engaged to be married).

A: Are you ready to have kids with this person?  Sex is for pleasure and procreation.  When you take the procreation out of the equation, its like eating a very satisfying meal and then spitting it out without swallowing the food.  Our society has attempted to sell the lie that sex can be had without the possibility of kids. 

 

Q: This isn’t like I’m just having sex with my boyfriend / girlfriend, this is the person I am going to marry one day, so it’s not that bad cause I’m only going to have sex with one person my whole life.

A: It is a dangerous slope to be on when you start to compare sin to sin: to say this sin isn’t as bad as that sin; to say something to try to justify a sin.  The standard for all actions needs to be God and what He says in His word (Rom. 3:23).  Again, Song of Songs 8:4 charges us “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”  God’s timing is right, not my timing.  God’s timing is marriage and this is what makes a honeymoon sweet.

 

Q: I have messed up, what does this mean? 

A: Life is sweet because God is sweet and gracious.  We all sin and we all need grace—every day.  The gospel is for those who sin, not just the lost non-Christians.  If you have already surrendered your life to Jesus to save you and to be your Lord, then pray what Jesus says to pray in the Lord Prayer: “Father, forgive me my sins” (Matt. 6:12; Luke 11:4).  At the foot of the cross, the ground is level, meaning we are all sinners.  Don’t let other people judge you, only worry about God who judges us.  But the good news is that Jesus has taken your judgment for all your sins. All sins are equally forgiven!  Confess your sin, repent, and God will forgive you (I John 1:9).  Read John 8:1-11 and Psalm 51, which is what King David wrote after he committed adultery with Bathsheba.  Commit afresh to stay pure!  Get with a Christian friend and review how you are doing in your fight against lust.

 

Related Scriptures:

John 8:41 "You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to Him, "We were not born of fornication;

                   we have one Father: God."

Matthew 15:19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false                                witness, slanders.”
       *Lesson: The assumption here is that fornication is wrong, it is sin, all sin is shameful.

 

Hebrews 13:4  “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled                                     [pure]; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

        *Lesson: Marriage and the act of marriage (sex) are expected to go together—exclusively.                                          You should practice abstinence until marriage.  Sex between a husband and his wife is the                        only form of sexual relations of which God approves.

 

Romans 13:13 “Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual                                 promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.”

Ephesians 5:3 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of                                   impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.”

        *Lesson: We don’t need to see how close we can get to sin without getting burned.  We need to                                 make sure that we are running away from sin and towards God.

 

I Thessalonians 4:3  “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you should avoid sexual

                                    immorality…”

         *Lesson: When we pray the Lord’s Prayer and say ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,’                                this means not looking for or giving in to sexual sins.

 

Matthew 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed                                         adultery with her in his heart.” 

          *Lesson: It’s more than just not committing sexual sins, its not wanting to commit a sexual sin.                                God looks at both the inside and the outside.  Jesus says that even a lustful look is                                      wrong.  He is concerned with more than just actions, he is concerned with your desires.

 

 

Some Definitions:

STD – Sexual Transmitted Disease.  If one generation would commit to sex for marriage only, then all the STD’s would be eliminated!

 

Fornication - voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other.

 

Porneia – (This is the Greek word for fornication or sexual immorality) various kinds of unsanctioned sexual intercourse, unlawful sexual intercourse, prostitution, unchastity, fornication, sexual immorality.

 

Pornography – the previous word in graphic, pictured, visualized form for entertaining ‘value.’ obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, especially those having little or no artistic merit. Sexually explicit media of any kind.