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Sex before marriage is so commonplace today that most people don’t even consider it a sin.  But, is it truly a sin?  To answer that, we will look into God’s Word to see what He tells us about sex outside of marriage.  In the Ten Commandments that the Lord gave to Moses, adultery was forbidden.  In Exodus 20:14 the Lord said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”  The very meaning of adultery is sex outside of wedlock, or marriage.  Under the Old Testament law, the punishment for having sex with someone who was married was death.  Leviticus 20:10 says, “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”  Today, we live in a day of grace.  Adultery, and adultery with a married person is still a grave sin, but there can be forgiveness when the sin is confessed and abandoned.  1 John 1:9 tells us that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Why is sin outside of marriage such a terrible sin?  Let’s read 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”  Instead of the word ‘adultery’, we now have the word ‘fornication.’  The definition of fornication is ‘sexual sin,’ which would certainly include adultery, as well as other deviant sexual acts.  The Word tells us here that in committing fornication, we sin against our own bodies, and as believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost who dwells inside each believer.  We also learn in 1 Corinthians 6:13 that, “…the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.”  Solomon, a very wise man, wrote in Proverbs 6:30-32, “Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.”

There is a very serious warning to those who commit adultery and fornication, along with other sins in Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Sex outside marriage is a serious thing.  It dishonors the Lord, it is a sin against our own bodies, it takes away the purity that should be kept until sex is shared with the marriage partner.  Ephesians 5:3 says, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.”

What if you have already participated in sex outside of marriage?  Let’s read again the words of 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Along with your partner, confess this sin to the Lord and He will forgive and cleanse you of this wickedness.  Remember, also, the words of the Lord to the woman who was caught in the act of adultery.  He said in John 8:11, “…go, and sin no more.”  (95.1)