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Is Sex Before Marriage a Sin?

What does the Bible say about sex before marriage? Is it considered adultery and fornication? Is being sexually active before marriage really a sin in today’s world?


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Hai: Premarital sex is so common today. Should that still be a stigma to society?

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Brother Bob Pellien: Thank you so much Hai, for your question.

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Brother Bob Pellien

Minister of the Gospel

Brother Bob: You’re really right and statistics back you up. What do they show concerning premarital sex? You can see here a couple of facts or statistics about that:

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By 2010s, 73% of people had 2 or more sexual partners before marriage.


Brother Bob: By year 2010s and therein, there was 73% of people [were] reporting that they had had 2 or more sexual partners prior to marriage.

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By 2012, 58% of Americans felt premarital sex wasn’t wrong at all.


Brother Bob: By 2012 58% of Americans felt that premarital sex is not wrong at all.

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By the age of 44 – 99% of respondents in a survey had had sex, 95% had done so before marriage.


Brother Bob: Those surveyed up to the age of 44, imagine this statistic, 99% of respondents in that survey that had had sex, 95% had done so before marriage. 95%. Well, as these numbers clearly show us, and as you stated, Hai, it is truly a common thing. But then you included in your question that, well, since it is so common, should it still be a stigma or be perceived as something shameful in society? Maybe Hai, as you have posed your question, as many others believe, it should be more tolerated. It should not be viewed as something that is bad or evil or wrong. Well, what are the things that we have to understand about premarital sex? 

What is Premarital Sex?

Brother Bob: Firstly, premarital sex is engaging in sexual acts without the sanction of holy matrimony. We have to understand that sex is a privilege that God granted to married people only. It’s not a right which every individual has. So this prerogative then was given by God. Let’s go back to the first couple Adam and Eve and let’s take a look. What was the instruction that God gave to the first couple, the first man and woman. Genesis 1:26, let’s say verse 27 rather and 28, it reads this way:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

[Genesis 1:27-28 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: We should note here, dear friends, that God blessed the first man and first woman He created before—we should note the sequence, the chronological order there—He blessed them before He instructed them to go be fruitful and multiply. 

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God blessed the first man and woman before He instructed them to multiply.

Brother Bob: First came the blessing. Sex then is something that is rightfully reserved for couples [that are] bound by that blessing of God, holy matrimony, or marriage.

What the Bible says about fornication and adultery

Brother Bob: Adultery and fornication then are two forms of sexual misconduct which are both reprehensible and detestable before God. Adultery refers to voluntary sexual intercourse by a married person with anyone other than that one’s own spouse. Those who commit adultery will surely be judged by God. In fact, we can read that here in Hebrews 13:4 wherein the Bible says this:

Marriage is to be honored by all, and husbands and wives must be faithful to each other. God will judge those who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

[Hebrews 13:4 Today’s English Version]

Brother Bob: Fornication on the other hand, dear friends, is sexual relations by mutual agreement between two unmarried persons. Nevertheless, all adultery, all fornication is forbidden by God. 

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All adultery and fornication is forbidden by God.

Is premarital sex a sin?

Brother Bob: So what then do the Apostles teach to us about premarital sex? What are specific instructions? Apostle Paul, for example, gives important advice to all young people regarding these issues. Let’s take a look at what he had to say about sexual immorality and fleeing from it and the temptations of it. 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 18 and 19 reads this way:

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

[1 Corinthians 6:18-19 New International Version]

Brother Bob: Dear friends, the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Thus the body is meant for the Lord and not for sexual immorality.

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The body is meant for the Lord and not for sexual immorality.

Brother Bob: If we continue in that chapter, Apostle Paul went on giving this advice in verse 13:

…The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

[1 Corinthians 6:13 New International Version]

Brother Bob: So this is clearly God’s guidance to young people. What then, dear friends, if a person will refuse to leave or stand their ground strong and simply surrender to sexual immorality and the immoral ways which are truly the norms of the world around us nowadays? Suppose one will say “Ah, never mind that, oh that’s just outdated, that’s old-fashioned.” You know the Bible gives us this in verses 9 and 10. Should we be one who would just take it lightly and easily surrender to all the whims of the flesh, 9 and 10? Same chapter, 1 Corinthians 6:

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

[1 Corinthians 6:9-10 New International Version]

Brother Bob: Dear friends, it would place one’s eternal life in jeopardy. 

Can society decide if premarital sex is immoral?

Brother Bob: The thing that Hai noted when he posed his question was that some will probably consider that these things are– that these laws of God and these commandments, they’re all outdated. Maybe someone would say “Well, you know since it’s done by the majority.” Let’s emphasize that word, majority, and the statistics that we read earlier really attested to that, the majority would consider it just a normal thing and go along with the tide of the times we’re in, the majority of young people will say, “Doesn’t that make it no longer shameful? Doesn’t the sheer numbers prove that it must be OK then?” Let’s take a look at God’s response to that.

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Who decides what’s right and wrong?

Brother Bob: Can the majority decide what is right and wrong or does God decide? Exodus 23, let’s take a look:

Do not follow the majority when the do wrong or when they give testimony that perverts justice.

Exodus 23:2 Good News Translation

Brother Bob: Dear friends, we cannot then agree to– we cannot find acceptable what the majority is doing if what the majority is doing opposes God’s will for us. For members of the Church Of Christ, we choose God even if we will stand alone in the midst of a majority that is doing what is wrong, and the current state of morality in the world nowadays is surely wrong compared to the truths of God. So in conclusion, let’s also consider what the Lord God said to us through the Apostle John in 1 John chapter 2, dear friends, dear young members of the Church, dear fellow men watching us in this program, together let’s listen to the Lord how he inspired the following writing of Apostle John. 1 John chapter 2, beginning in verse 14, we’ll continue through 17:

I write to you, my children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who has existed from the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you are strong; the words of God lives in you, and you have defeated the Evil One. Do not love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you do not love the Father. Everything that belongs to the world- what the sinful self desires, what people see and want, and everything in this world that people are so proud of- none of this comes from the Father; it all comes from the world. The world and everything in it that people desire is passing away; but those who do the will of God live forever.

[1 John 2:14-17 Good News Translation]

Brother Bob: May that be you, receiving the eternal life that God promises to those that choose Him rather than the ways of the majority in the world around us. Thank you Mr. Hai for your question and as we have read, we have read how strong young people are and how you can stand strong and how everyone has been warned against sinful self desires. So at the end of the day we hope that everyone finds the strength to fight the many temptations that surround us and be among those who do the will of God come what may and thus earn a chance to live forever. Why? Because that’s in the Bible. 

Thanks for joining us today, and when you are ready to learn even more about the fundamental teachings that are found here inside the Church Of Christ, please visit 

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Brother Bob: There you’ll find various series of programming. They’re all dedicated to answering your spiritual questions.

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Is Sex Before Marriage a Sin?