Let me begin by saying that having children out of wedlock is not sin…it is the RESULT OF THE SIN of having sex out of wedlock. Let’s consider the words of 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.”

Although sex outside of marriage is so common today, it is condemned in the scriptures in many places.

* 1 Corinthians 6:13, “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.”

* 1 Corinthians 10:8, “Neither let us commit fornication…”

* Ephesians 5:3, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.”

* 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.”

If someone commits fornication, it is highly possible that the woman could get pregnant. It is not that the pregnancy is sinful in itself, it is the act of fornication that is sinful. The pregnancy is a consequence of that sin.

What should the local church do concerning this child born out of wedlock? First, the sinning couple should be approached and encouraged to repent and forsake their sin. Let’s consider the proper actions for the body of believers to take. Matthew 18:15-17, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

In concerned love, one person would go to them, confront them about their sin, and encourage them to repent and stop their sexual sin. If they do realize their sin and repent, then the church should receive them as restored believers. If not, then a few more would go to the sinning couple and encourage them to repent and ‘cease from sin’. If they do realize their sin at this point and repent, then the church should receive them as restored believers. If not, the couple should be brought before the church and again be encouraged to repent and cease from this sinful lifestyle. If they do realize their sin at this point and repent, then the church should receive them as restored believers. If they do not, then they are to be considered as heathen and the same as a publican. In other words, they are to be excommunicated from fellowship until the time comes that they do realize their sin and repent and cease. Even after being excommunicated, restoration should still be the desire of the group.

In 1 Corinthians 5, we have a case of fornication. The Apostle Paul directed the Corinthian church to excommunicate the man involved until he repented. 1 Corinthians 5:4-5, “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, THAT THE SPIRIT MIGHT BE SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus.” Paul also excommunicated two others in 1 Timothy 1:20, “Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, THAT THEY MAY LEARN NOT TO BLASPHEME.” In both of these cases, the intent was to bring about repentance and an abandonment of the sin.

As far as the baby born out of wedlock, they need the influence of loving, caring Christians. If the baby’s parents are still living in sin, that baby will especially need to have the Lord presented to him/her. I’m sure that the Lord will provide the opportunities to minister to that child as he/she grows. Be sensitive to the Lord’s leading so that you might be shown the proper way to interject yourself into this child’s life to be a good influence for Christ to him/her. (340.4)