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A Biblical Catechism on Sex and Marriage: Sexual Sins: Sexual Immorality

[This post continues a series of posts entitled 'A Biblical Catechism on Sex and Marriage'.  The intention is to provide basic material for further instruction by a trusted teacher of God's Word in a church that is committed to Biblical authority.  The Church’s mission is to invite people to live under God’s righteous rule.]

Question 3. What sexual sins are mentioned in the Bible?


Answer: Any sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is sin.

Comment 1: The following sexual sins can be found in the Bible:

     [Previous post: Adultery.  This is the second topic under Question 3, Comment 1.]

Sexual Immorality

The early Church warned against ‘sexual immorality.’  This general term, as well as other general terms like ‘impurity,’ ‘sensuality,’ ‘debauchery,’ and so forth, covered every kind of sexual union outside of marriage between a man and a woman.  Sexual sins had already been identified in the Old Testament, and Christians relied on the Old Testament to explain what ‘sexual immorality’ was.  General terms for sexual immorality, therefore, often intentionally include specific sexual sins.

Acts 21:25  But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality."  [The content of the letter is also recorded in Acts 15:20, 29.  This shows that Christian sexual ethics re-affirmed Old Testament sexual ethics.]

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral … will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:13, 18 the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body…. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

Galatians 5:19-20  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality … orgies …. [Note: What the ESV translates as ‘sensuality’ the NRSV translates as ‘licentiousness’ and the NIV translates as ‘debauchery.’  Sinful, sexual indulgence is captured in English by all three words.]

Ephesians 5:3  But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.

Ephesians 5:5  For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous ( that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Colossians 3:5-6  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

1 Thessalonians 4:3  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality….

Hebrews 13:4  Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

Revelation 2:14  But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality.

Revelation 2:20-21  But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.  21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.

Revelation 14:8  Another angel, a second, followed, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality."

Revelation 21:8  But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

Revelation 9:20-21 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,  21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

              Revelation 22:15  Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and                everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

[to be continued....]