God created us “male and female” (Genesis 1:27) for the obvious purpose of procreation, as with the rest of the animal kingdom. However, unlike the rest of the animal world, God created us “in His image” and His intentions for our sexual nature and energy go far beyond human reproduction. The energy derived from our sexuality can be expressed in many creative ways, as in the arts, inventing, research, teaching, sports, business and countless other constructive pursuits.
Concerning actual sexual relations, the Bible teaches clear moral parameters for sexual gratification. Within the committed marriage relationship, God intends sexual relations to be enjoyable, unifying, and fulfilling (Genesis 2:22-24; Matthew 19:3-6). Outside marriage, abstinence is the only option. Sexuality is a powerful gift. Like all things powerful, sex can be very damaging when used in ways not intended. Fire, for example, is a great blessing in a furnace or fire-pit – providing light and warmth. But it is very damaging when it gets out of the furnace or fire-pit and burns down the house or the forest. Sexual gratification outside God’s parameters is damaging in several ways:
- Physical damage: Consider the danger and damage of AIDS and other STDS, and pregnancies for which one is not prepared.
- Psychological damage: Guilt, loss of self respect, feeling used. In spite of so much sexual degeneracy in our culture, I believe most people realize that sexual behavior outside marriage is morally wrong. Some try to repress their guilt or hide it behind angry and rebellious tirades. But repressed guilt is still guilt, and angry rebellion just proves the point.
- Spiritual damage: This is the most serious damage, often with eternal consequences. God loves each one of us and desires our fulfillment and happiness. However, He does not take lightly our sins against Him — whether our sin involves the greedy misuse of natural resources, racial prejudice, or sexual immorality. Like it or not, we are all morally accountable to God, and His judgment is real. If that were not the case, we could never sing “Amazing Grace”, because without moral accountability, the grace and forgiveness offered through Christ has no meaning.
- Sexual immorality is incompatible with God’s will for lives. Here are some biblical references that illustrate that point:
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure,… drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
— Galatians 5:19-21 NLT
“You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God…Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him.”
— Ephesians 5:5-6 NLT
“Those who indulge in sexual sin.. none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God.” I
— Corinthians 6:9-10 NLT
Finally, God is merciful to those who come to Him in humility and repentance. When we accept His offer of forgiveness through faith in Christ, the burden of guilt is taken from us, and we are given a clean slate, a new beginning. In my college days, I personally blew it morally in this area. How thankful I am that God loves us, even in our rebellious state. What a joyous experience it was to receive His forgiveness and be made new. It can happen to you, too.