The Bible on Fornicators: What Does the Holy Book Say?

Leave a comment / / Updated on: 12th November 2023

Does the Holy Book denounce sexual immorality?
Does the Holy Book denounce sexual immorality? / Tero Vesalainen via iStock

Sexual immorality has been a contentious issue since the beginning of time, and religious texts have always had a significant influence on people’s attitudes and behaviors.

One text that offers much insight into the subject is the Bible.

But when it comes to sexual ethics, what does the Bible have to say about lustful sinners?

In this article, we will delve into the various perspectives presented in the Bible on sexual immorality and examine the consequences of fornication as well as the strategies for maintaining sexual purity according to biblical principles.

Defining Fornication in Biblical Context

Fornication | We-Vibe Toys via Unsplash

Before we explore the Bible’s view on fornication, let’s first define the term.

Fornication is the act of engaging in sexual intercourse outside of marriage, whether it is premarital, extramarital, or same-sex.

The Bible considers fornication to be a serious sin and warns against it repeatedly in both the Old and New Testaments.

For instance, in the Old Testament, fornication is mentioned as one of the most severe sins, in some cases, punishable by death.

In the book of Leviticus, fornication is condemned as a defilement of the land, and those who commit this sin are warned that the land will vomit them out.

In the book of Proverbs, the consequences of fornication are described as leading to poverty, disease, and disgrace.

The New Testament | TokenPhoto via iStock

Furthermore, in the New Testament, fornication is listed as one of the works of the flesh that are contrary to the Spirit of God, and those who engage in it will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).

Paul writes to the church in Corinth about the seriousness of fornication.

He tells them that fornication is a sin against one’s own body, and those who engage in it are warned that they are joining their body to a harlot and are defiling themselves (1 Corinthians 6:15-18).

It is essential to note that fornication is not the only form of sexual immorality that the Bible condemns.

The Bible also condemns adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, and other forms of sexual sin.

However, fornication is a common form of sexual immorality that has plagued societies throughout history and remains a prevalent issue in contemporary times.

In the next section, we will explore the Bible’s view on fornication in more detail and examine the consequences of engaging in this sin.

The Bible’s View on Fornication

What does the Bible say about it? | Filipp Romanovski via Unsplash

Now that we have defined fornication in a biblical context, let’s explore what the Bible says about this sin.

Any avid reader of the Bible knows that God requires his people to be sexually pure and that engaging in fornication goes against His design for human sexuality.

But what specific verses in the Bible address fornication, and what do they tell us about this sin?

One well-known passage on fornication is found in 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.

It says, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

This passage highlights the severity of fornication as a sin against one’s own body and the importance of fleeing from sexual immorality.

It also reminds us that our bodies are not our own but are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we are called to honor God with our bodies.

The body as a temple of spirit
The body as a temple of spirit | pepmiba via iStock

Another verse that addresses fornication is found in Hebrews 13:4, which states, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

This verse warns against sexual sin and stresses the significance of sexual chastity in the context of marriage.

It serves as a reminder that God will judge those who practice sexual immorality and that we should make an effort to honor God by practicing sexual chastity.

Fleeing Fornication

Beautiful couple | Ryan Jacobson via Unsplash

The Bible emphasizes God’s commitment to our sexual purity, as we are called to glorify God in our bodies since we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20).

Through Christ’s sacrifice, we have been cleansed, and it is crucial to flee from sexual immorality.

Therefore, we need to have a plan for the next time we encounter temptation or have a conversation with a friend, child, or spouse who needs our guidance.

Here are three things you can do to flee lust.

Be Filled with Christ

Shepherd Jesus Christ taking care of the lamb and a flock of sheep on the meadow with a brightly rising sunrise landscape | artplus via iStock

Proverbs 9:17 speaks of the allure of stolen water and the pleasure of bread eaten in secret, tempting the hungry man who passes by the seductive woman’s house.

But little does he know that death lies ahead.

The solution? Fill yourself with Jesus Christ, who declares, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). 

Only God can satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts that sexual pleasure can never fulfill.

So, how do we fill ourselves with Christ? 

Firstly, we must truly believe that He is the bread of life.

Jesus offering the bread of life
Jesus offering the bread of life | AIPortraiture via iStock

Secondly, we need to immerse ourselves in His Word, for it is through His teachings that we can know Him intimately.

Lastly, we need to surround ourselves with His people, those who can encourage us in our walk with Christ.

Just like how we remove air from a glass by filling it with something else, we can resist the temptation of stolen water by focusing on the One who offers “water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

Let us choose to seek Christ and satisfy our thirst with His living water.

Recognize the Lies and Eliminate Them

Truth vs Lies | jax10289 via iStock

Why do we fall into sexual sin? It’s because of lies. Lies that promise satisfaction but deliver only destruction. 

Sexual immorality can be alluring, but it’s like a trap that can destroy us.

Just like a person trying to avoid getting caught in a trap, we need to lock out the lies that give sexual sin power.

As the wise King Solomon once said, “Keep your way far from her” (Proverbs 5:8).

To flee from sexual sin, we need to recognize the lies that give it power.

Saying NO to temptation
Saying NO to temptation | utah778 via iStock

Solomon said, “Keep your way far from her” (Proverbs 5:8).

It starts with recognizing when and where you’re hearing seductive speech.

It might be in the movies, TV shows, social media, music, or even conversations with certain friends.

Maybe you need to get rid of your smartphone, limit your time on the internet, or end a toxic relationship.

Whatever it takes, it’s worth it to see God.

Embrace the Light of Confession

The light of confessing | Tinnakorn Jorruang via iStock

When we give in to sexual temptation, it’s natural to want to hide our sin and keep it in the dark.

But we’re not perfect, and we still sin.

Confessing our sins brings them into the light where we can see things as they really are: the holiness of God, the ugliness of our sin, and the beauty of God’s grace.

John puts it this way: God is light, and if we claim to have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we’re lying to ourselves.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

So, if you find yourself caught up in sexual sin, the best thing to do is to come clean and confess it.

Jesus’ blood covers all sin, no matter how big or small, and confession is the first step to finding freedom from the shame and guilt that come with sexual immorality.

Don’t be afraid to bring your sin into the light, for that’s where true healing and restoration can happen.

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