I asked the question a couple of weeks ago.
Why…in God’s economy…is sexual intimacy reserved exclusively for a man and a woman who are married to each other?
Have you ever really thought about it? Have you ever considered the logic behind god’s plan? Have you ever tried to explain it to someone?
Figured I would tackle the sex-is-only-for-married-people issue over a few Tuesdays. Good for me. Maybe good for you, too.
Here’s an insight into the issue from the apostle Paul:
The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body…Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 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 6:13, 15, 18-20 NIV
There’s a pretty powerful word that appears twice in this passage. Both times it is translated sexual immorality. In the original language of the New Testament, the root word is “porneia”…where we get our word, pornography.
In the first century, it was the word used to describe every kind of sexual relationship outside of marriage…adultery, pre-marital sex, sex with animals, sexual excess and indulgence, homosexuality, prostitution, incest, perversions and any unnatural sex. Wow.
Older versions of the Bible translated the word as fornication. Now that’s an ugly word.
I realize that sex between un-married, consenting individuals (who may or may not have a deep love and commitment to each other) is not necessarily ugly. In fact, it may even be wonderfully sensual and fulfilling…physcial ecstasy…and offering no apparent harm to either party. Love might even be present.
But here’s the deal: the Bible still calls it sin.
Paul says that when we participate in sexual relationships or experiences outside of marriage (by definition), we are hurting ourselves. It is a sin against our own bodies. Something is violated. Sacred ground is being invaded. Our bodies are where the Holy Spirit resides. And his home is where holiness exists. Or, at least, it should.
As followers of Christ, we are not our own. We’ve been bought. We belong to Christ.
So what makes sex outside of marriage sinful? Why is it so wrong?
Next week, friends.