… the world through the eyes of the rambler.
The average christian knows that pre-marital sex is wrong and that the bible absolutely forbids adultery in a marriage relationship. The grey areas for many is the question of kissing, smooching, masturbation and other physical acts that do not traditionally fall within the definition of sexual intercourse.
The bible is the manual for christian living, thus for the purpose of this discussion, I will make references to biblical passages.
Let’s start from the beginning: What is the origin of sex?
Sex originated with the first man and the first woman. In Genesis 1:27-28, the scriptures infer that God Himself designed the act as a means of human procreation. The first recorded sexual act in the bible is found in Genesis 4:1:
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” – KJV.
The Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Corinthians further emphasized the rightness of sex in a marriage relationship by instructing in 1 Cor 7:3-5:
“3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.”
Sex is good, as long as it is kept within the marriage relationship. The writer of Hebrews warns:
“4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
Thus, we see that God is not at all opposed to sex when it is engaged in by a married couple. Rather, as the scripture says, God has given us all things richly to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).
Further discussion in 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 and Ephesians 5:21-33, reveals that in the sight of God, sex is more than just a physical act. The union of a man and woman in the flesh, is a physical representation of the unity and spiritual union between Christ and the Church. As Christian is required to leave the world and cleave to Christ, likewise, a woman and a man joined together by marriage, are expected to leave their parents and cleave to each other.
“15 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! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Cor 6:15-20.
The scripture says that whoever sins sexually sins against his own body, because the sexual act signifies more than mere coupling, but a spiritual union. The spiritual bond that arises as a result of sexual intercourse is such that should only exist between a husband and his wife.
Now that a proper premise has been established, let’s move on to the ‘grey’ areas. What exactly is sexual intercourse?
The Oxford dictionary of English, defines sexual intercourse (noun) as:
“Sexual contact between individuals involving penetration, especially the insertion of a man’s erect penis into a woman’s vagina, typically culminating in orgasm and the ejaculation of semen.”
From the above secular definition, we can perhaps understand why many single christians are somewhat confused as to where to draw the line when it comes to the physical expression of love in their relationships.
Acts such as kissing, smooching, masturbation, oral sex.. etc, do not necessarily involve penetration and ejaculation (though oral sex and masturbation might produce ejaculation). Yet, they are practices that fit into the definition of the word ‘sexual’.
The same Oxford dictionary refers to sex as an act involving sexual activity, which includes – but is not limited to – sexual intercourse. The word ‘sexual’ itself is defined as:
“…relating to the instincts, physiological processes, and activities connected with physical attraction or intimate physical contact between individuals…”
Meaning that – kissing, masturbation, and the rest, can indeed be classified as ‘sexual acts’. Masturbation falls into this category, because it involves physiological processes that serve to create the arousal of the sexual organs.
Let’s go back to the scriptures. The bible warns against sexual immorality, which includes – but not limited to – sexual intercourse. In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ takes it a step further in His teaching recorded in Matthew 5:27-28. He taught that a man who looks at a woman lustfully, has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
“27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Mt 5:27-28. (See also Job 31:1).
If merely lusting after someone to whom one is not married makes one guilty of sexual sin, how much more wrong is it – to go from looking and lusting from afar – to actual physical contact: kissing, smooching, and so on?
There are many variants of the sexual act existing in the world today, which the bible expressly condemns. Some of these include: Homosexuality, Incest, Bestiality, Pornography etc. These are often referred to in the scriptures as ‘perversions’ and ‘uncleanness’.
Several scriptures such as Leviticus 18:6, which condemns incest, Romans 1:24,26,27 which condemns homosexuality, and Matthew 15:11-20 which touches on pornography, prove that the biblical definition of what constitutes sin and sexual immorality, is wider than today’s narrow world view – limiting fornication, adultery and sexual immorality to only sexual intercourse.
Finally, God has called us to be holy and without blemish. To shine as lights in the midst of the darkness. The biblical standard forbids any performance of a sexual act outside of the marriage relationship, inferring in scriptures such as Matthew 5:27-28 – that anything that serves to arouse our sexual impulses, while we are still single or unmarried, is outside of the Divine will.
This is my submission. Your questions and comments are welcome. Thanks!
I am @tee_hidee on twitter.
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