Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: What does God say about sex before marriage? What about sex outside of marriage?

God and the Marriage Bed

(1 Cor. 7:1-9)


A. When you look at our society today, we have seen many marriages that have ended in divorce. When you consider the statistics concerning sexuality and teens, you see that most people have some type of sexual activity before they marry. The term “virgin” is not something of honor, but something to be ridiculed.

B. Society today has downplayed marriage and sexual purity so much that the church is reaping the effects of our society and, in some cases, taking a sociological view of sexuality and marriage instead of listening to God.

C. What I would like to share with you tonight is God’s view of purity – both before marriage and after marriage. The Bible has much to say about sexual activity. We can read of stories where due to sexual activity marriages were broken, people were put to death, or fellowship with the church was broken. We can also read of stories where sexual activity was blessed by God in a marriage and where a husband and wife drew much closer because of the intimacy between them. I encourage you to study the Bible and to teach it in your home. That teaching should be between the husband and wife, as well as the parents and children. Encourage your home to be a place where God leads and not the teaching of society. (1 Pet. 2:11-12)

I. Sex Before Marriage

A. Recently I was in a discussion that asked the question, “What’s the difference between fornication and adultery?” As far as I could find in study of the words used in both the Hebrew and Greek languages, there is little difference. The most technical sense seems to be that fornication is where at least one of the two people have a sexual union is not marry or betrothed, while adultery seems to be centered more around the union of two people who are married have relations outside of their own marriage. Adultery is most commonly used in reference to a married woman having sexual relationships with someone other than her husband. The Greek language uses a more all inclusive word “porneia” which simply means “illicit sexual intercourse or activity” and is not limited to married or unmarried people. It is the most commonly used word in the NT for sexuality.

B. When it comes to sexual activity there is nothing in the Bible that even hints that God allows this union to take place outside of the bonds of marriage. For two people to lie together in a sexual way and not be married is considered by God as a sin.

C. In our society today this view is considered “puritanistic” and outdated. As a society we often promote sexual activity as a means of exploring who you are. Television and movies use people who are considered popular or role models in relationships that involve sexual activity outside of the bonds of marriage.

D. What does the Bible say? Let me share some verses with you.

1. In Acts 15, the apostles talk about how to encourage the Gentile Christians. In part of that letter they tell them to “abstain from sexual immorality.”

2. 1 Cor. 6:9-20, 7:1-2

3. 1 Thes. 4:3-6

4. Deut. 22:20-22

E. In the old law, sex before marriage and outside of marriage was punishable by death. To teach anything to our children that could even allow them to think we feel it is okay to enter into a sexual union before or outside of marriage is horrible.

F. I believe in sex education. Not the teaching of contraceptives to kids in grade school, but the education that comes from God about purity, holiness, and virginity. Those topics I must teach my children so that when their hormones and peer pressure pushes them to act in sinful ways, they will know exactly how God feels about such action.

G. Even the studies done without God’s view say that premarital sex affects a person’s self-worth. It increases the chance of suicide and increases the chance of adultery after marriage. Society looks at the statistics and concludes that sex before marriage is not healthy or beneficial. God simply calls it a sin.

II. Sex Within Marriage

A. Heb. 13:4. Marriage is a covenant. When God speaks of the mystery concerning Christ and the church, his example is the relationship between a husband and wife. When God talks about two becoming one, there is, at least to some degree, a sexual connotation. Remember our passage from 1 Cor. 6?

B. The Jewish nation was given a set of laws. The short version is known as the 10 Commandments. Commandment #7 simply states, “You shall not commit adultery.” If the sexual act is part of uniting, an adulterous act is part of breaking of the marriage.

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