I assume that you are asking about sexual relations before marriage. Today’s moral values are changing rapidly. In 1 Corinthians 5, there was a situation where a man was having relations with his father’s wife…his stepmother. The Apostle Paul declared that sin was “fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles.” The Gentiles, in this case, were synonymous with the unsaved. Paul said that sin was so bad that even the unsaved would not do something like that. In our present age, almost all types of sinful behaviors are accepted and even celebrated. It’s no wonder that today’s Christians are asking questions like yours. Society cannot give us a sense of what is right and what is wrong.

For the believer, our standards are based on what God has told us in His Word. He states in Malachi 3:6, “For I am the LORD, I change not.” God doesn’t change. His Word doesn’t change. Right and wrong doesn’t change. The Lord is perfect, so His instructions will never be altered. You cannot improve on perfection. We read in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

So…what does the Word of God say about sexual relations before marriage? Here are a few verses:

  • 1 Corinthians 7:2, “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” The apostle Paul describes any activity outside of marriage as “fornication.” That means when we read of fornication, it includes sex before marriage.
  • Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (NASB) A defiled marriage bed would be one in which fornication and/or adultery had been involved.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.” As we noted above, ‘fornication’ includes any sex outside of marriage.

Sex is not sinful. Sex is a beautiful and pleasing creation of God and given to men and women as a gift. However, the Word is clear that sex is meant to be confined to the marriage relationship. What if you are not married, but have already had sex with your partner? What can you do if you have already committed this sin? Repent of your sin and stop doing it! 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Along with repentance and confession, we need to abandon our sinful lifestyle. As the Lord was dismissing the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11, he told the repentant lady, “go, and sin no more.” (288.6)