Summary: Fornication is not just a sin against another person, it is also a sin against ourselves.
INTRO: To most people, the word “fornication” means very little. They never hear the word used unless spoken by a preacher, or they stumble across it in the Bible. Therefore, preaching about fornication sometimes does little good because people think we are talking about some other kind of deviant sexual perversity.
Fornication is defined as “unlawful or illicit sexual intercourse” (Webster). It pertains to sexual relations outside of marriage—all of them! We can change the name but it is still the same thing (“making love... going all the way...sleeping together...having an affair... or pre-marital sex”). No matter what society thinks, sex outside marriage is still sinful (Hebrews 13:4).
Sexual sins are running out of control. Illegitimacy is in the hundreds of thousands. Venereal disease is epidemic. Extra-marital affairs are common. Living together arrangements are flourishing.
I. THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FORNICATION
A) Fornication In All Of Its Forms Is Sin. “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites... will inherit the kingdom of heaven.” (1 Corinthians 6:9). According to our earlier definition, four of the five sins mentioned here are actually “fornication”. We must flee fornication in all of its forms (1 Corinthians 6:18; Colossians 3:3-6).
B) Fornication Is A Deceptive Sin. It hides many of its consequences. It offers pleasure without responsibility, and gratification without commitment. Young people are persuaded to “prove their love” by “making love”. Fornication promises that no one will know. Don’t be deceived by its lies and “be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). God will know (Hebrews 4:12).
C) Fornication Is A Destructive Sin. It is the only sin mentioned in the Bible which is a sin against our own bodies (1 Corinthians 6:18). It destroys purity, honor, and reputation (Proverbs 22:1). It destroys our homes by allowing the defrauded mate to divorce us (Matthew 19:9). It destroys the body and mind (Psalm 38:5-8; 51:3). It destroys our souls (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Revelation 21:8).
II. WHY IS THERE SO MUCH FORNICATION?
A) Society’s Influences. When you consider our society—the things which entertain us, the things we read about, and the loose and relaxed attitudes toward sex, it is a wonder than anyone can resist the temptation! We see it in ads, television, movies, music, pornography, clothing styles, and dancing; we talk about it at work, among friends, and on talk shows. All of these things arouse sexual interest and desire.
B) The Sexual Revolution. It promised us freedom, but has actually made us its slaves “For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through licentiousness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.” (2 Peter 2:18-19). God’s word commands us to “flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:22).
C) Misguided Religious Teaching. Some religious instruction about sex is repressive, treating sex like a bad thing. Sex is a good thing (Genesis 1:31), an honorable thing (Hebrews 13:4), and a physically fulfilling thing (1 Corinthians 7:1-5) when it is kept in the context of marriage. When a married couple’s sex life is intimate, loving, and fulfilling, there is little temptation to find more outside of marriage (Proverbs 5:15-20). Read the Song of Solomon—it is a very sensual book.
III. HOW CAN WE FLEE FORNICATION?
A) Literally Flee. If necessary, you may have to literally flee the presence of someone who entices you, like Joseph who ran away leaving his robe behind (Genesis 39:11-12).
B) Don’t Create Unnecessary Temptations For Yourself. Avoid lascivious activities (Galatians 5:19) which stir up passions and avoid lustful places must be avoided—like night clubs, dancing, drinking parties, movies, and adult only entertainment. When we fill our minds with such illicitly sensual things we weaken our resistance (Matthew 5:27-30).
C) Fill Our Hearts With Good Things. Be selective about what you put into your mind (Philippians 4:8). If you have to turn your head the other way when an attractive woman walks by, turn it the other way (Matthew 5:28). Don’t fantasize about the women you work with (2 Corinthians 10:5).
CONCLUSION: Fornication is not just a sin against another person, it is also a sin against ourselves (1 Corinthians 6:18). It is self-destructive and we must flee it at all costs. Let the world think what it thinks, and try to justify itself in its sins, but we need to obey God’s commands!!