We wish the scripture could be more clear about several things than it does. For example, can women braid their hair, will we be adults in heaven, at what age will we be in heaven, and even where does Cain’s wife come from? Though the Bible leaves room for interpretation in some cases, there are countless other things in which the scripture leaves no room for ambiguity, one of which is fornication. The Bible is clear about where it stands with fornication. So, is fornication a sin?
The Bible is clear that fornication is a sin and that fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Paul teaches that fornication is a grievous sin because all other sins we commit are outside our bodies, but fornication is a sin committed against our bodies. Therefore, God leaves no room for doubt on whether Christians can engage in fornication. We should flee from any kind of sexual immorality.
So, how does the Bible define fornication? What does the Bible say about fornication? What does the Catholic Church say about fornication? What makes fornication a mortal sin? How does God punish fornicators? What are some instances of fornication in the Bible? What are some bible verses about fornication? Continue reading to get the answers to these questions and even more.
How does the Bible define fornication?
In comparison with the King James Version, the Bible uses sexual immorality interchangeably with fornication. That means that according to the Bible, fornication is sexual immorality. Ephesians 5:1-4 reads, “Be ye, therefore, followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness or foolish taking, nor jesting, which are not convenient, but rather giving thanks.”
The term fornication is derived from a Greek word, ‘porneia’ (the source of the English word pornography). The Bible also often links fornication with adultery, basically a married person cheating on his spouse with someone else. The Bible in the book of 1st Corinthians 5:1 says that fornication is a sin that cannot be tolerated even among pagans.
What does the Bible say about fornication?
As mentioned above, the Bible uses the term fornication to refer to sexual immorality or impure sexual activity. Jesus, in the book of Mathew 15:19, mentions fornication as a sin that comes from a person’s heart.
Mark 7:21 also says, “For from within, out of the heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder. Adultery.”
Additionally, the bible notes in the book of 1st Corinthians 6:8 that committing fornication or any other sexual sin is sinning against our bodies. Our bodies are the temple of God, and thus we should carry them will glory and honor, for God says he will destroy whoever defiles his temple.
What does the Catholic Church say about fornication?
The Catholic Church teaches that fornication is “gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality, which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.”
The Catholic Church agrees that sexual gift was given by God and should only be enjoyed within the sacrament of marriage. Those who are not married should either look for one to marry so as not to fall into fornication or control their passions.
What makes fornication a mortal sin?
Fornication is a mortal sin not only because it defiles our bodies which are the temple of God, but it also tampers with God’s sacred covenant, marriage. The Bible says in Genesis 2:24 that man and woman will become one flesh when they marry. God’s intention of sex is to be enjoyed in a union, not outside or before one. With this, the Bible is clear that those who fornicate will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Revelation 21:8 says, “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters, and all liars- their place will be in the fiery lake burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
How does God punish fornicators? Consequences of fornication in the Bible
The Bible is clear that fornicators will not see heaven. In the Old Testament, anyone caught in the act of fornication or any other sexual immorality was stoned. When the Pharisees and scribes brought an adulterous woman before Jesus, they wanted to stone her because the Law of Moses required them to do so (John 8:1-11).
However, in the New Testament, the scripture notes that those who fornicate will experience the wrath of God and not see heaven. The Bible says that committing fornication is sinning against our bodies. Corinthians 3:16 notes, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.”
Additionally, the book of Colossians 3:5-6 says, “Put to death, therefore, the members that are on earth, fornication, uncleanness, passions, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry. It is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of rebellion.”
The Bible also teaches in the book of 1st Corinthians 6:15-16 that anyone who sleeps with a prostitute becomes one with the prostitute as it is written that two will become of flesh. Therefore, whenever you fornicate with someone, you are bonded with that person spiritually.
What are some instances of fornication in the Bible?
The first instance of fornication in the Bible is recorded in the book of Genesis 38:24. “And it cometh to pass about three after, that it is declared to Juda, saying, Tamar, thy daughter-in-law hath committed fornication, and also, lo, she hath conceived by fornication, and Judah saith, bring her out, and she is burnt.”
King David also committed adultery. As mentioned above, the Bible links fornication with adultery, though adultery is having sex outside your marriage. King David committed adultery with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba. They conceived a baby through adultery, but the baby died some days after he was born.
Another instance of fornication is recorded in the book of Deuteronomy 22:21, “Then they shall bring out the damsel unto the entrance of her father’s house, and the men of the city shall stone her with stones that she die; because she hath wrought infamy in Israel, committing fornication in her father’s house; and thou shall put evil away from thy midst.”
Bible verses about fornication
Galatians 5:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impunity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned before, that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven.”
The Bible is clear that those who engage in sexual immorality will not see heaven unless they repent. As Christians, Jesus died for us so we may die in the flesh and be alive in the spirit. Anyone who still operates in the flesh and fulfills the desires of the flesh sins against God.
1st Corinthians 6:8 reads, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin someone commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
Let’s keep in mind that the scripture tells us that our bodies are the temple of God. Therefore, we should not entertain fornication or any other kind of sexual immorality, as committing such a sin is sinning against God’s temple and our bodies.
1st Corinthians 6:13 says, “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for Food. And God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
We should use our bodies as vessels of God to bring glory to him and not gratify the desires of our flesh. God says one cannot encounter a temptation that he cannot overcome. Therefore, we, too, can overcome the sin of fornication.
As a Christian, I have always been passionate about sharing God’s word with young people. This inspired me to pursue a Certificate in Christian Education, an Undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, and a Graduate degree in Theology. My knowledge in school and experience from dealing with the youth made me an expert at discussing Christian-related topics. I feel privileged working as the Coordinator of the Christian Youth Ministry at Christian Faith Guide. You can read more about me on the about us page.