By Janet Weaver Smith Â©2012 – gardenministries.org
[Outside of this paragraph, the author does not address the subject of pornography in this article but, for the record, the author agrees with Jesus and considers all use of pornography as sexually immoral acts that require God’s cleansing forgiveness and a “turning away from”: Matthew 5:27,28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I [Jesus] tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”]
The Bible, especially in the book, The Song of Songs, describes God’s design for sexual intercourse as the physical, emotional, and spiritual expression of the deep and intimate union of a man and a woman, who have first covenanted to love and cherish each other exclusively and permanently by becoming married. Beyond the joy and ecstasy of the physical, emotional, and spiritual exchange experienced during intercourse, God also designed the effects of this expression to “bear fruit.” Reproduction is a common result from this loving exchange.
The Bible says that God created male and female in His Image. Within the covenant-strong boundaries of marriage, God intends the physical and emotional exchange of passion, desire, and love to be another wonderful way His beloved creation can symbolically experience and express His very nature. A wife and her husband, in physical union and faithful in love, uniquely and symbolically express the deeply intimate love relationship and spiritual union within the Godhead: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 17:22, “…as We [filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father] are One.”
God’s careful design
This is why God is particularly careful to define the contextual boundaries of this most wonderful gift that represents His intimately loving and faithful nature; the gift of sexual union. And this is why any evil that hates God, and seeks to misrepresent and twist all perceptions of God’s goodness, would be especially intent on perverting God’s intended design for marriage, sexual union, and reproduction. In short, Satan hates God’s Love. Satan hates and seeks to defile all aspects of God’s created order and all forms of God’s covenant-strong Love. Satan is a traitor and a betrayer of Godâ€”he is completely unfaithful to a faithful, loving, and unchanging God. And Satan seeks to rob, kill, twist, pervert, and destroy everything attributed to God’s unfathomable beautyâ€”especially the beauty that intimately reveals God’s heartâ€”the beauty of intimate love and faithfulness as it is exemplified in the act of sexual union.
It is this ulterior motive that drives Satan to especially exploit and destroy one of humanity’s most important purposes: to love as God loves, from a committed heart of covenant love and to reproduce after our own kind, both physically and spiritually, in love. Not every human being is called to or desires to marry, and instead, may choose to love God and others through their gift of celibacy, which provides extraordinary insight into intimacy without engaging in sexual intercourse. People don’t need to get married to learn about intimacy with God. But for those who choose to employ the gift of marriage and enjoy the joy of married intimacy through sexual union between a faithful female wife with her faithful male husband, their insights are equally extraordinary.
Ephesians 5:21-23 describes this nurturing, mutually honoring love relationship, and further describes the intimately precious gift of sexual union, between a (male) husband and his (female) wife, as “a great mystery,” a mystery that symbolically represents the intimate union between Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church. To protect the integrity of the symbolic representation and to protect the hearts and lives of all those impacted by this union, God set boundaries around sexual union and defined the requirements of relationship before the benefits of the relationship could be spiritually and lawfully enjoyed. By putting these requirements in place, God also protected and provided for the children born out of a male-husband and his female-wife’s covenant love. Children born of or adopted by a married, loving, faithful, male-husband and female-wife receive a true and holistic view of the mother-father, male-female heart of God. Intimacy starts with a covenant. God invites us to relate to Him in spiritual intimacy and fellowship with others in the Church as our beloved family in Him. This same picture is projected into our natural family. God wants us to birth children out of a relationship of deep, intimate trust in God and in each other, and to live in a committed and covenanted relationship as a strong family–anchored in the wisdom of a family-loving God.
Sexual intercourse is so defining that before public ceremonies or weddings became the norm, just the act of sexual union between the man and woman served as the event that “performed” the marriage covenant and was recognized as such before God and man. Once the couple joined in sexual union, they were married. Genesis 2:22-24 makes it clear “who, what, when, and how” men and women, made in His image, are to enter into the covenant relationship of marriage before enjoying its benefits; sexual union, “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called â€˜woman,â€™ for she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Sexual union is the seal of faithful love within the marriage covenant. When two people join in sexual union, they join and gain strength (or lose strength) from the other person’s spiritual condition. In the Biblically defined relationship of marriage, and if the male-husband and female-wife’s spiritual conditions are strong in Jesus, the emotional and spiritual effects of the sexual union is more likely to feel strengthening for both of them.
Sexual union outside of Biblically defined boundaries is immorality and is likely to open the people involved to unhealthy spiritual activity. Some people experience heightened fear and insecurity, bad dreams, and/or depression after engaging in sexually immoral activity and they didn’t think to connect their immoral activity to the unhealthy spiritual results. Jesus offers forgiveness for sin and cleansing from all unrighteousness for those who come to Him, believe in Him, and receive His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life. I Corinthians 6:16-20, I John 1:9, John 3:16
What does the Bible say about sexual morality and immorality?
The Bible says that sexual union is only to be exchanged between one man and one woman who are exclusively and permanently covenanted in marriage. This defined boundary ensures an accurate representation in bearing God’s image. It points toward the intimate nature of Jesus. He is our wild and clean, exotic and pure, beautiful and sacred Bridegroom-Husband. Upon preparing His Church to be His pure and spotless Bride through the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus will ultimately fully join and be One with her. And she, the Church, will be given by the Father to Jesus as His beloved wife forever. This spotless and radiant wife of Jesus replaces and receives what Lucifer enjoyed before he fellâ€”the song of the Morningstar (Job 38:7, Revelation 2:28). Satan (formerly called Lucifer) will forever be displaced, replaced, and justly condemned to the eternal lake of fire along with all who agree with his lies and refuse to believe in Jesus as their Savior and Lord and obey God’s commands. Romans 3, Romans 6:23, Revelation 21:6-8
That is why God put boundaries around the act of sexual union. And that is why breaking this boundary is called sin and immorality in the Bible and requires forgiveness and repentance to be set right with God. The Bible says that sexual immorality is engaging in any form of sexual union outside the defined boundaries of a marriage relationship between one man and one woman. Perverting and going outside of God’s boundary lines is sin because it rebels against God’s specifically designed order and His commands, as they are clearly defined in His Word, the Bible.
What happens when we break God’s boundary lines?
Now that we understand the wonderful reasons why God put a boundary around the intimate act of sexual union, it is equally important to understand what happens when we break those boundaries and reject God’s prerequisites for sexual union. Breaking God’s boundaries is considered immoral because it perverts what God intends as “sexually moral,” that is, sexual union between a male-husband and his female-wife.
The following is a list of Bible references about sexual union and sexual immorality
1. From the very beginning, God designed the male husband and his female wife to utilize their perfectly designed bodies to naturally “be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth,” i.e., enjoy sexual union and reproduce after their kind, and fill the earth! Within the context of a one-man-one-woman marriage, God created the act of sexual union to create life, not death. Life is the result of the intimate joining of a man and a woman. God is affirming His nature as the God of Life. His intent is clearly revealed in the design itself. “…So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’â€ Genesis 1:26-28, Genesis 2:18-25, Mark 10:6, Ephesians 5:21-23, Acts 15:29, I Corinthians 10:8
2. In the Bible, God judges and calls all same-sex, i.e., homosexual intercourse as sexual immorality and sin. Instead of believing in God’s commands and turning away from homosexuality, many who practice it project their need for acceptance upon social circles, expecting what is simply a sexual preference to be treated the same way as ethnicity or gender should be. This projection spins a storyline that implies an outcast mentality. The social pressure from this projected storyline demands acceptance and inclusion based on a private matter that has turned public; their sexual preference. Name-calling has become the norm to enforce this demand. People who are “for” heterosexuality and a one-man-one-woman marriage and who are “not for” homosexuality are automatically mass-labeled and judged as “homophobes.”
The following scripture references will direct you to what the Bible says about homosexuality: Romans 1:18-26. Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, I Corinthians 6:9-10, Jude 1:7, I Timothy 1:9-10 says: “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurersâ€”and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.”
3. God judges any sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not married to each other as sexual immorality and sin. Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral.â€ Hebrews 12:16, Leviticus 18:20, I Peter 4:1-3, I Thessalonians 4:3-7, Deuteronomy 22:22, I Corinthians 6:9,10,16-20, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 5:3, Exodus 20:14
4. God judges any sexual intercourse involving animals (bestiality), children, or non-consenting adults as sexual immorality and sin. Leviticus 18:23-30, Leviticus 20:15-16, Deuteronomy 22:25-27, Deuteronomy 27:21, Exodus 22:19, Romans 2:14-15, “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.”
5. God judges any sexual intercourse involving immediate family members as sexual immorality and sin and does not allow immediate family members to marry each other. Incest is more widespread than people may realize. Incest victims and perpetrators may tend to stay trapped in their pain and sin due to heightened levels of shame and secrecy surrounding the subject. Breaking the power of secrecy, shame, and silence and finding a safe place to get help is necessary for families affected by incest. Incest between siblings or parents, aunts, or uncles who affect children in this way deny the truth and are saying, “I will sexually ‘consume’ my own children or sibling to please myself, even when I am hurting them by doing this.” Leviticus 18:6-17, I Corinthians 5, Deuteronomy 22:30
6. The Bible says that those who commit sexual immorality and do not seek forgiveness and repentance will not inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9â€“20, Revelation 21:8, I Corinthians 5, 2 Corinthians 12:21, I Timothy 1:8-11, Colossians 3:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, Galatians 5:19-22, Leviticus 18:24-30, Ephesians 5:3, Revelation 22:14-15.
7. Under the authority of Jesus, the Apostle Paul instructs us to “possess our vessel in sanctification and honor.” This tells us that it is actually possible NOT to engage in sex outside of God’s defined boundaries of relationship. God would not have told us through the Apostle Paul’s writings and authorized by Jesus “to possess our vessel,” if it were not possible to walk out sexual purity. We can claim this verse when we are standing (or struggling to stand) in the truth of God’s command: 1 Thessalonians 4:2-9, â€œFor you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is Godâ€™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.â€
Why is sexual union outside of a one-man-one-woman marriage considered immorality and sin?
Because having sex outside the context of a one-man-one-woman marriage is a perversion of God’s designed order. To pervert means to alter (something) from its original course, its meaning, or its natural state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended. As we read previously, in Genesis 1:26-28 we are shown what God intended when He created them “male and female.” Mark 10:6 echoes God’s intent.
Furthermore, the Bible warns us not to pervert God’s commands; that calling “good” what God calls evil provokes God’s judgment. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20. Sexual immorality begins in our thought life. And so does sexual purity. The mind, will, and emotions of our “thought life” house the starting point within which we either continually choose to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and maintain sexual purity out of our devotion to Jesus and His Word. Or, we divert our “thought life” by focusing on our own physical and emotional desiresâ€”aside from Jesus and His Word. This diversion makes us vulnerable to temptation to indulge sexually immoral behaviors. Jesus pinpoints the “thought life” as a starting point when He said in Matthew 5:27-28, “You have heard that it was said, â€˜You shall not commit adultery.â€™ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
There’s always hope! Jesus offers forgiveness and freedom from sin to all who receive Him
“But thanks be unto God who always causes us to triumph!” 2 Corinthians 2:14. When we get a fuller understanding of what God requires for sexual purity and learn that we have crossed His lines and need to “back up,” God has graciously provided all who believe in Jesus, a way back to feeling sexual pure again. Through His forgiveness, cleansing, and freedom from the sin and dark power of sexual immorality, Jesus can and will fully restore us to the truth of who we are to Him and in Him. I John 1:9 says, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Romans 8:1,2 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
We may have some emotional and physical consequences that linger as the residual negative effects of breaking God’s law(s) are cleansed away, however, our hope in Jesus Christ gives us a sure anchor that holds our soul in peace because we know that He has the power and the desire to completely restore our heart and soulâ€”and even our bodyâ€”to a point where we can literally feel sexually pure again. The Holy Spirit in us, through faith in Jesus, is faithful to lead us into right choices and acts of repentance that completely restore us to Himâ€”spirit, soul, and body.
Here is the short list describing what the Bible calls “sexual immorality”
(Bible references to support this list are found in the previous list in this article):
1. Homosexual (i.e., same-sex) sexual union seeks to redefine and pervert God’s fixed and created order of a man and a woman becoming one flesh upon becoming covenanted in marriage. This attempt to “redefine” God’s divinely created order is an act of rebellion that the Bible calls perversion. All sexual perversion is sexual immorality.
2. Sexual union with anyone else outside the bounds of a male-husband and his female-wife marriage also rebels against God’s design and commanded order and is thus, a perversion. This attempt to “redefine” God’s divinely created order is an act of rebellion that the Bible calls sexual immorality.
3. Sexual intercourse with an animal dishonors both the animal and the human. This attempt to “redefine” God’s divinely created order is perversion and an act of rebellion that the Bible calls sexual immorality.
4. Sexual intercourse with an immediate family member defies God’s order and perverts His command for marriage: “leave mother and father.” This attempt to “redefine” God’s divinely created order alters and distorts the original intent of the relationship and is an act of rebellion that the Bible calls sexual immorality.
“What Does the Bible say about Why, When, and with Whom a Person may have SEX?”
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN FOR THE FOLLOWING SIX REASONS:
1. To describe what the Bible teaches us about the Creator God, Giver of all Life, and His beautifully designed intention for male and female humans to represent Him on earth. How sexual coupling between a female-wife with her male-husband bears witness to the coming eternal union of Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom King with His Wife, the Bride, the Church, forever displacing and replacing its former occupant, Lucifer, the morningstar. How this intimate act was created to directly reflect God’s image and order, and thus, has boundaries to protect its resulting Life, i.e. the children born from the act of love.
2. To better understand why Satan hates the act of sexual union between a believing Christian married female-wife and her male-husband and seeks to pervert the incredible beauty and integrity of the one-man-one-woman marriage relationship that symbolizes Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church.
3. To take a stand in love for God and His design and say to those who say they are Christians and believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior but reject or dilute the truth of the 66 books of the Bible and willfully and without repentance engage in sexual union through the means of practicing homosexuality, non-marital sex, sex with another person who is not their spouse, bestiality, or incest. This article intends to say to those so engaged, who’s conscience no longer condemns them and who are not struggling to get free of such behavior, that the Bible clearly warns that such people will not enter the kingdom of heaven and are in fact, in danger of eternal separation from God. I Corinthians 6:9, Revelation 21:27, Revelation 9:21, Revelation 21:8, Romans 1:18-32
4. To provide information on the reliability of the Bible’s authority to address such practices and to provide the Biblical references for the reader to search the scriptures and be informed.
5. To call all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord to remember their First Loveâ€”Jesus, to obey all of His commands in the Bible and turn away from sexual immorality with the understanding that Jesus is able to heal the wounds we have incurred against our bodies through sexual immorality. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
6. To know what the Bible says in this matter and to correctly handle the Word of truth from Love and not from contentious quarreling. II Timothy 2:14-19 says, “Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. Nevertheless, Godâ€™s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: â€œThe Lord knows those who are his,â€ and, â€œEveryone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.â€
By Janet Weaver Smith Â©2012 – gardenministries.org. Janet and her husband George gladly serve and enjoy their House Church family located in Minneapolis, MN U.S.A.
ADDENDUM BIBLE STUDY
THE BIBLE IS A RELIABLE SOURCE FOR DETERMINING MORAL STANDARDS
The article entitled, “What Does the Bible say about Why, When, and with Whom a Person may have SEX?”
Written by Janet Weaver Smith Â©2012 – gardenministries.org, references the Holy Bible as a reliable source for determining moral standards and defining sexual immorality.
The Bible says that the gift of sexual union is exclusively for a (male) husband and his (female) wife to enjoy. But why should anyone believe and follow what the Bible says?
Why is the Bible reliable source for the Word of God?
If you are not authentically convinced that 1.) God exists and 2.) evidence of His existence includes His Word, the Bible, and 3.) all of the 66 books of the Holy Bible are the inerrant and inspired Word of God, then just pick your starting point from the list of questions provided below. If you answer “No” to any of the first 3 questions listed below then this is where your search will either begin or end. (Note: starting with #4 below, informational teaching is provided to help you in your search. Also note: this article assumes its readers are in search of either a “Yes” or a “No” to the first 3 questions, therefore “maybe” is not included as an answer.)
1. Does God exist? Yes or No
2. If “Yes,” has God provided evidence of His existence? Yes or No
3. If “Yes,” does evidence of God’s existence include His Wordâ€”the Holy Scriptures of the 66 books of the Bible? Yes or No
4. If “Yes,” Do you know why the 66 books of the Bible are accepted as Holy Scripture and are considered God’s Word? Yes or No
a. If “No,” consider watching the 3-part video from British theologian and Bible teacher Brian Edwards, entitled, “Why 66? Parts 1-4” found on answersingenesis.org.
b. If “No,” consider reading this article: The Bible: The Holy Canon of Scripture found on Bible.org.
i. An excerpt from “6b” of this article, “The Bible: The Holy Canon of Scripture”: “The books of the Bible were canonical [i.e., sacred] the moment they were written. It was not necessary to wait until various councils could examine the books to determine if they were acceptable or not. Their canonicity was inherent within them, since they came from God. People and councils only recognized and acknowledged what is true because of the intrinsic inspiration of the books as they were written. No Bible book became canonical by action of some church council.”
ii. A second excerpt from “6b.”
“The following summarizes [one of] the tests used to discern which books were canonical.
(1) Authentication on the Divine sideâ€”Inspiration. Did the book give internal evidence of inspiration, of being God breathed? Was it of proper spiritual character? Did it edify the church? Was it doctrinally accurate? … The book should bear evidence of high moral and spiritual values that would reflect a work of the Holy Spirit.â€
c. If “No” to question #4, consider: The Bible itself claims to be the living and inspired Word of our Creator, God. The Bible credits God as its Author who used writers to compose what He spoke to them. 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2 Peter 1:20-21, â€œno prophecy of Scripture is a matter of oneâ€™s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.â€
5. Why do we need God and His Word, the Bible, to define our identity and to standardize morality?
a. Read Parts 1 and 2 of the article entitled, “Why Do We Need God and His Word, the Bible, to Define our Identity and to Standardize Morality?” found on gardenministries.org.
6. Can I take the 66 Books of the Bible literally or are they more figurative and symbolic in nature?
a. Read the article entitled, “The Bible is the Inerrant Word of God â€“ We Can Take the Bible Literally” found on gardenministries.org.