Good News For Youth (GNFY) published under the oversight of the Alkire Rd Church of Christ elders and posted by permission of the editor.
The New Testament makes it very clear that purity is a vital part of living the Christian life. Paul told Timothy: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (I Timothy 4:12). In I Timothy 5:2 he wrote: "The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity." Keep in mind that purity is commanded in every area of life (speech, dress, entertainment, etc.). In I Timothy 5:22, Paul told Timothy, "Keep thyself pure." In the Sermon On the Mount, Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8)
Like it or not, we are sexual beings. Genesis 1:27 tells us: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male & female created he them."
So God created humanity male and female. As such, God intended for men and women to reproduce (in the marriage relationship Genesis 1:28). So yes, God is the author or the designer of the feelings, the passions, the desires that arise between men and women. I say this because some people have the idea that sex is dirty or bad, something that "good people" don't do or talk about -- this is not only absurd; it is wrong!
God intended for sex (as well as the things that lead up to sex) to be pleasurable, to be enjoyable, as well as the means of procreating (bringing children into the world).
But again I emphasize that these pleasures are to be reserved for marriage -- they are to be enjoyed by husbands and wives (specifically between a man and his own wife, not someone else's (Hebrews 13:4).
Before going any further we need to define some terms. (We're not going to bother going into the Greek and the Hebrew to define these terms; we are going to use basic English).
Fornication: The word fornication is a very general word that covers all kinds of sexual misbehavior.
It includes unlawful sexual intercourse of all types -- between married people, between single people, involving young and old; it includes oral sex as well as sexual perversions such as homosexuality and bestiality.
The Bible clearly condemns fornication as being sinful and as barring those from heaven who practice such. Notice the following passages: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind" (I Corinthians 6:9). Speaking of the wicked, Paul writes, "Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers...Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" (Romans 1:29,32). To the Corinthians he wrote, "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat" (I Corinthians 5:9-11). (Notice that fornicators are classed with extortioners and idolaters!). Under the law of Moses, fornication was punishable by death.
Adultery: Adultery is a more specific term referring to sexual activity between married people (not talking about a husband and his own wife, but rather a man with someone else's wife or a wife with someone else's husband).
Again, adultery is forbidden and condemned in both the old and the New Testaments. Notice two passages, one from the Old Testament and one from the New: "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer & the adulteress shall surely be put to death" (Leviticus 20:10). To the Galatians, Paul wrote: "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" (Galatians 5:19-21).
One of the ten commandments (#7) was, "thou shalt not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14).
God's Word is our guide -- our rule book. We will be judged by it (specifically the New Testament -- John 12:48). God's word (as we have already seen) makes all sexual activity outside of marriage sinful. Those who practice such and do not repent will be lost!
-- Mark Bass, April 2001 --