1 Corinthians 6:18-20
New Living Translation (NLT)
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I am fully aware that this may be a touchy subject for some people. It seems that any discussion of sex automatically brings up things like shacking up with a lover, or shacking up with a gay lover. I really want everyone to be able to read this chapter without getting their defenses up, but I have no intention of side-stepping anything. I hope I speak boldly about the Biblical view of sexual sin, while still having compassion on those who are trapped in it.
Do you know whom is being addressed by these passages? Believers are. Specifically, the believers who lived in Corinth during the time of Paul's ministry to the Gentiles. It's important to understand that. Although what is defined as sexual sin applies whether you believe or not, those who do not believed are condemned already. (John 3:18) Their sexual misconduct isn't going to change a darn thing when they stand before God on judgment day. Hell is hell. So Christians, quit trying to tell your unbelieving friends that their sex life is sinful. The state of their soul is far more important.
Believers, on the other hand, will not suffer the fires of hell. We will be granted eternal life, even if only by the skin of our teeth. Our faith in Christ has spared us from the fate of the unbeliever, but it doesn't mean God's always pleased with our actions. And His discipline is about as fun as getting whipped with a tender green branch from a sapling tree. (I'm sure anyone under the age of 40 is scratching their head and saying huh? right now.)
Nobody wants to get in trouble. It's a whole lot better for a friend to steer another away from trouble than to stand by while he secures a noose around his own neck, right? So if you know of another believer whose sex life isn't up to God's standard, you should point it out. It might be exactly the reality check that they need to bring them back on track with God so they don't get punished. If they refuse to straighten up and keep their promise, then God tells us to stop hanging out with them. If they are going to claim to love God but live as a witness for Sin instead, then they don't even deserve to keep coming to church. It's the exact opposite of what our response to an unbeliever should be.
When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” 1 Cor 5:9-13, emphasis mine.
So what is sexual sin, why is it singled out so much in the Bible? Let's explore that! Then we can move on to the good stuff; You know, when God blesses your sex life.
Sexual sin is the same in the Old Testament as it is in the New. I'm not going to delve into the entire Levitical list of who is off limits and who isn't, but I'll stick to the basics. And the most basic of all is this: Sex is a gift given to a husband and wife. Any sex outside of the covenant of marriage between a man and his wife is a perversion and abuse of the gift God gave us. That means, if you're a Christian, you'd better keep your pants on unless you are in private with your husband or wife!
It means no sex with someone of the same gender. It means no casual sex, and no bought-and-paid-for sex. It means no sex on the first date (or second, or tenth, or hundredth.) it means no sex even with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, until you have taken that final step and gotten hitched, and no sex with someone else after you have gotten hitched. (And while I'm at it, entertaining thoughts of sex with other people is the same as having done it in real life, so don't even go there.)
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.1 Cor 6:9-11 emphasis mine
But why? Because God created your body as an instrument of worship. Because when you accepted Christ as your personal savior, You agreed to let your body be a place holy enough for the Holy Spirit to live. And for that reason, your body should be used for one purpose; To honor God. Even when you're having sex. Sounds weird, huh? That's because we've been brainwashed by society into thinking that God doesn't approve of sex. That's one of the biggest lies out there. God is absolutely not anit-sex.
I know the question that looms in the back of people's minds. It used to loom in mine, too. How do I know if we'll be sexually compatible if we wait til we're married? That's where faith comes in. If you are a Christian, then you are supposed to trust Him. You are supposed to believe that God wants only His best for you. Now, if sex is such a precious gift from God to married couples, why would He bring you a mate that isn't going to satisfy you in bed?
Sex as God intended it is far superior to any sex you could ever have outside His will. Apart from God, sex is only a shadow of what it could be. And those shadows can haunt us forever. When we abuse the gift God has given us, it scars us in ways that effect us later, even after we do finally go about it the right way. It forever damages our ability to experience sexual perfection.
Honestly, if everyone would trust God with their love life, married couples would experience the most mind-blowing sex ever! Really!
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame. Genesis 2:24-25.
God doesn't want sex within marriage to be boring, either. Like I pointed out above, He wants it to blow your mind! In 1 Corinthians 7, God tells us through Paul that the husband and wife are equals in bed. A husband is expected to fulfill his wife's needs, and the wife is to return the favor. His body belongs to her, and her body belongs to him. Since his body is hers, she should want to ensure that his body is as satiated as hers is, and vice versa. Scripture really doesn't limit sexual activity between a husband and wife, as long as it does not defile the marriage bed and dishonor God. In other words, as long as your mutual sexual pleasure (and it should always be mutual) includes nobody, real or imagined, besides the two of you.
Have you ever read the Songs of Solomon? That is a Biblical work of erotica that gives a pretty good glimpse into the marriage bed as God intended it. It describes the joy of exploring one another intimately, through the senses of sight, touch, taste, you name it. Indoors, outdoors, visual, physical and oral, as long as the couple has total privacy and mutual pleasure, no act exclusively between them is forbidden.
If you're a Christian and are not yet married, trust Him with that! He won't let you down, I promise! If you're a Christian and you're violating God's purpose for sex, I urge you to stop what you're doing right now, repent, and move on. Even if that means moving on from the person you're being self-indulgent with. God has something better in store for you.
If you're not a believer, it's not too late to change your mind. God can heal you of your past and make you a brand new person in Christ, and give you the best He has to offer, in everything.