The question was posed on Social Media by a very godly woman’s minister in an effort to start a discussion. Before long, the comments were rolling in.
At first, the question seems like a no-brainer. “No---the Bible says that sex outside of marriage is sin.”
However, for the vast majority of Christian singles, this question isn’t so cut and dry. In February 2014, www.christianpost.com issued these statistics:
Sixty-one percent of self-identified Christian singles who answered a recent ChristianMingle survey said they are willing to have casual sex without being in love.
In a survey of 716 Christians released in January, only 11 percent said they save sex exclusively for marriage. Instead, 60 percent said they would be willing to have sex without any strings attached, while 23 percent said they would have to be "in love."
Five percent said they would wait to get engaged.
This data supports a 2011 Relevant Magazine poll that revealed that 80 percent of "young, unmarried Christians have had sex" and that "two-thirds have been sexually active in the last year." (http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-dating-culture-part-1-majority-of-single-christians-reject-idea-of-waiting-for-marriage-to-have-sex-114422/)
Of course, for most of us, statistics aren’t necessary. All we have to do is look around our churches, our women’s groups, and our youth groups and realize that Christian’s attitudes toward sex outside of marriage have changed to mimic the culture’s views that premarital sex is not only not a sin, but it is natural, normal, and totally acceptable.
That’s what makes this Christian leader’s question not only relevant, but necessary.
You see, as Christians we’ve been skirting around the issue for too long. Too many Christian leaders, Christian parents, and even Christian singles have been turning a blind eye to the topic of sex and the Christian single rather than facing the topic head on and telling people the truth. In an effort to avoid offending Christian singles, we’re lying to them and pretending that sex outside of marriage is no big deal.
The only problem is that according to the Bible, sex outside of marriage isn’t just a big deal; it’s sin. No matter what the world says or how society wants to change the church's views, the Bible remains the same. As a minister, who wants to see Christian single women grow spiritually and reach their full potential in Christ, I believe it’s time that we stopped avoiding the issue and tackled it head on. That’s why this month, we’re going to take a look at exactly what God has to say about Sex & The Christian Single.
(Here’s a hint: The Bible doesn’t agree with society’s fascination with casual sex at all)
Let’s start with I Thessalonians 4:3-8 which reads:
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God Who gives you His Holy Spirit.”
If we go back and look at this verse line by line, we see that there are some pretty powerful statements concerning Sex and the Christian Single.
1. This verse clearly states that it is God wants His children to have a different view of sex than the society’s views on sex.
Look at the way the English Standard Version translates verses 3-5:
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;”
Clearly, it is God’s will that His people be different from the world. After all, that’s what sanctification means, “being set apart for a holy purpose.”
This is what sets the Christian single apart from the non-Christian single: As Christians we accept the fact that we no longer belong to ourselves. We have been bought with the price of Christ’s precious blood. Now every part of our lives belongs to God. Our new purpose in life is to complete the mission God has for us in His kingdom.
1 Corinthians 6:19 puts it this way: “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.”
So what does all this mean?
Basically, when you became a Christian, you agreed that you belonged to God. No part of your life---including your body and your sex life---belongs to you anymore.
It is God’s will that you exhibit that you belong to Him by living a sexually pure life, that you learn self control, and that you abstain from the culture of passion and lust that is so common in the world around us. No matter how “different” or even “freakish” the Bible’s commands about sex may see to our modern day society, if we claim to be followers of God and love Jesus, then we are called to be “different” and live holy lives of sexual purity.
2. This verse clearly states that it is God, not man, Who commands Christians to abstain from sex outside of marriage.
One of the biggest lies becoming commonly accepted among Christian singles today is the idea that “God has nothing to say about my sex life. The rules and restrictions about sex outside of marriage are just man-made rules enforced by legalistic Christians.”
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God Who gives you His Holy Spirit.”
This brings us back to the original question of “If you love Jesus should you be having sex outside of marriage?”
Well, if you say that you love someone, doesn’t it follow that you’d want to show your love by doing the things that please them? I mean, every time I’ve even just had a crush on someone, I’ve wanted to do the things that would make them happy. In John 14:21, Jesus takes that logic a step further when He says, “Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me.”
Perhaps that’s why so many Christian singles who want to be sexually active prefer to believe that the Biblical view of sex is simply a man-made archaic rule. That way they can blame “legalism” and never really face the fact that when they choose to have sex outside of marriage they are damaging their relationship with God in much the same way that someone who commits adultery is damaging their relationship with their spouse. They are choosing to do the wrong thing and sinning against the One (Jesus) into which they have entered a covenant relationship.
Does the choice to have sex outside of marriage reflect on your love for Jesus?
Hmmm…The answer is pretty much the same as asking, “Does the choice to have an affair say anything about the love you have for your spouse?”
Either way, the choice to do the wrong thing will damage the relationship.
Think I’m going too far? Then read 1 Corinthians 6:16-20 which says:
“There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.”
Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.”
There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” (The Message)
The truth is that the choice to have sex outside of marriage will have a negative impact on your relationship with God. Ultimately, the choice to completely ignore God’s Laws and live a promiscuous lifestyle could destroy your relationship with God. This brings us to point #3:
3. Those who choose to have sex outside of marriage will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19-21 explicitly says, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, quarreling, rivalry, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like. About these things I tell you again, as I have also told you in times past, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
What is fornication? The dictionary definition of fornication is “Sexual intercourse between partners who are not married to each other.”
These are the rules of the kingdom that all Christian singles must follow. There are no exceptions. It doesn’t matter what society says is okay. As Christians, if we want to fulfill God’s kingdom purpose in our lives now, and be welcomed into the Kingdom of God when we die, we must follow God’s Laws.
Practically, what does this mean?
Simply put, a single woman who claims to be a Christian and love Jesus should not participate in any type of sexual activity.
God designed sex to be within the confines of a marital commitment. Only when we make a commitment to obey God’s Laws on this issue are we fulfilling our calling as God’s daughters living by the His kingdom rules.
What do you do if you are a sexually active single Christian woman?
You need to change your lifestyle.
This article is not meant to condemn you or discourage you. Rather, it is intended to teach you what God expects from you and encourage you to conform your behavior to His standards.
It is never too late to repent and change your behavior. Today, you can choose to ask God to forgive you for living a sexually immoral life and choose to stop having sex until you are married.
If you are living with a man who is not your husband, than one of you should choose to move out. You may even need to end the relationship if he is not willing to repent and conform to God’s standards for living.
Take whatever steps are necessary to realign your life with God’s Biblical standards. Choose to stop sinning and following the world’s behavioral pattern. Rather, choose to make the life changes necessary to follow God’s will for your life by obeying His Laws regarding Sex and the Christian Single.
At this point, there may be some reading this article who think “Wow, this is too harsh. Are you really saying that choosing to engage of sex outside of marriage could damage a person’s relationship with God and possibly keep them out of Heaven?”
My only reply to this question is that I don’t believe teaching the truth of the Bible is harsh. I believe it is loving. Just like a mother tells her child the truth that playing with fire is dangerous because she loves them and doesn’t want them to be hurt, this article comes from a heart of love that doesn’t want to see Christian single women lose their relationship with God or suffer the consequences that come with choosing to sin sexually.
The straight truth is that choosing to adopt the world’s casual attitude toward promiscuous sex means rejecting God’s kingdom principles.
“If you love Jesus should you be having sex outside of marriage?”
The answer is “No”. If you love Jesus, you will obey His commands---this includes His commands about sex as they are found in the Bible.
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin…We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands. Whoever says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.”
1 John 2:1-6