The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”
I Corinthians 6:18
+ Sexual Immorality +
Fornication is a word that we will use in this article to cover all sexual sins (pre-marital sex, adultery, sodomy, incest, etc.). It is the unlawful intercourse between married and unmarried. The two most common words in Scripture to describe sexual sins are fornication and adultery. These two words are different in meaning, but for the sake of our study, we will lump them together. Our English word pornography is derived from the Greek word porneia that is translated fornication. In the list of sins that exclude individuals from the Kingdom of God in I Corinthians 6:9-11, five are sexual immorality. This is why we are commanded to flee fornication. We are commanded to take flight and escape from it as Joseph did in the Old Testament. All other sins we are told to stand against and resist but we are to flee fornication. The city of Corinth was known for and given over to fornication, and it is evident from the book of II Corinthians by the apostle that the church had suffered from the problem of sexual immorality (I Corinthians 5:1, 9-11; 6:9-20; 7:1-2; 10:6-8; II Corinthians 12:21).
“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
Please consider the following facts: Fornication keeps people from the kingdom of God (Ephesians 5:3-5; Colossians 3:5-6; Hebrews 13:4; Proverbs 24: 8; Revelation 22:15; Jude 7). Fornication is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21). Fornication is one of the restrictions given to the Gentile churches in Acts 15:29. Fornication is condemned in the Old Testament (Leviticus 21:9, Exodus 22:16) and was punishable by death (Luke 20:10). Fornication was used symbolically in forsaking God, that is, spiritual unfaithfulness and idolatry (Jeremiah 2:20; Ezekiel 16:16; Hosea 1:2, 2:1-5, Revelation 17:4). Fornication destroys the institution of the home (Hebrews 13:4) and undermines the church and society. Fornication is listed with all the other sins of nations (Romans 1:24-29) and proceeds from the corrupt human heart of man (Matthew 15:19).
Fornication Is a Sin Against Oneself
In I Corinthians 6:18, fornication is described as a sin against one’s own body, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” Sexual sins are some of the darkest sins of the human family, and are judged with the strongest judgment (Jude 7). This sin destroys a person physically, spiritually, and emotionally. In verses 15-16, it unites the fornicator to devils and the individual becomes the soul-mate to the other person. In verse 18, fornication is considered a sin against the body. This sin rises from within a person and has a peculiar effect on the body. It deadens the spirit of man and has a lasting moral stain on the body. It defines the temple of God (verses 19-20). It weakens the individual and is like a cancer that eats away from the inside. Once indulged, it is difficult to overcome and can produce disease and shortness of life.
Please keep in mind, that something happens in relation to sexual sins like no other sin. It opens up the spirit of fornication and unites us to evil or lustful spirits that fill our hearts with lust (the spirit of sexual sins cannot be separated from devils). It reduces one to an empty shell and enslaves them. There is no such thing as casual sex and ultimately it damns a soul to hell.
Fornication Is a Sin Against Others
Fornication is a sin against all that we are associated with (family, neighbor, church, community, and nation). When we sin, we do not sin alone, for it affects others (Romans 14:7). In Matthew 22:39, we are told, “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Sexual immorality destroys our neighbor and is definitely not loving them. In Genesis 2:18, the first institution was the family (one man and one woman). This institution is the foundation of society and Satan knows this very well. Sexual sins have broken up many homes which ultimately affects the church and nation in a negative way.
There is much warning in Scripture against this sin ( Proverbs 2:11-19; 5:3-8; 15-23; 6:25; 7:5-27; 9:13-18). One reason sodomy is an abomination is because it is a sin against the family. From the very beginning there has been an attack on the family and everyone suffers when God’s principles are violated.
Fornication Is a Sin Against God
When David committed the sin of adultery with Bathsheba, he said in Psalms 51:4, “Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.” The entire chapter describes his sin against God and the forgiveness of God. In Genesis 39:7-9, when Joseph was tempted with immorality he said, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God.” According to Deuteronomy 5:9, sexual sins violate God’s commandments, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” Marriage is a type of Christ and His church in its purity. When the marriage covenant is broken it is a strike against the very heart of God as our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. It is a blow against God’s goodness, mercy and forgiveness. It grieves God, for He, by necessity must punish the sinner (Revelation 21:8; 22:15; Jude 7).
We are commanded in I Thessalonians 4:3-7 to abstain from fornication, for this is the will of God. We are to flee youthful lust (II Timothy 2:22) and keep ourselves pure. Job made a covenant with his eyes (Job 31:1) and in Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus gave warning about looking upon a woman to lust after her. God commands every believer to mortify the flesh (Colossians 3:5) and to think on virtuous things (Philippians 4:8). These things are only possible by hiding God’s Word in our hearts that we might not sin against God. Amen.
Matthew 15:19 - For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
Acts 15:29 - That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
Romans 1:29 - Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers…
I Corinthians 5:1 - It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
I Corinthians 6:9 - 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 10:8 - Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
Galatians 5:19 - Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness…
Ephesians 5:3 - But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.
Colossians 3:5 - Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry…
I Thessalonians 4:3 - For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication…
Hebrews 12:16 - Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Jude 7 - Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Revelation 9:21 - Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523