Fornication means unlawful sexual intercourse (Bible Study Guide 2011, Bible.com 2011). Sexual intercourse is physical sexual contact of the genitals of at least one of the involved. Unlawful means outside a valid marriage. Hence, premarital sex, adultery, homosexuality and bestiality are forms of fornication. Fornication is so grave a sin that fornicators are barred from inheriting the kingdom of God [1. Cor. 6:9-11]. It is so serious that it is the only lawful ground for divorce and remarriage [Matt. 5:32; 19:9] (Bible Study Guide, Bible.com). Otherwise, marriage is an indissoluble union between a man and a woman.
The Holy Bible is firm and clear about its stand against fornication. It says that fornication emanates from the heart and defiles the person, as in Matt. 15:19-20 (Bible Study Guide 2011, Bible.com 2011). It is the work of the flesh [Gal. 5:19]. St. Paul exhorts Christians to avoid it [1 Cor. 6:18. 7:2, 10:8; 2 Cor. 12:21; 1 Thess. 4:3]. He says that Christians who are fornicators should be expelled and not named among saints [Eph 5:3, 1 Cor. 5:1. 9, 11]. He warns Christians who commit fornication that they defile themselves and fall short of God’s grace. They are selling their birthright [Heb. 12:15-16]. They incur the wrath of the Almighty [Col. 3:5-6] (Bible Study Guide, Bible.com).
Conflict with Contemporary Cultural Worldview
In almost-ancient past, it was believed and assumed universally that fornication was wrong (Young 2011). Sexual abstinence before and outside marriage was the accepted norm. Today, the world sees that human libido or sexual instinct cannot be tamed. Contemporary focus is how to protect fornicators from the undesirable consequences of fornication rather than avoiding it. The single partner from the opposite sex is no longer the norm. One partner is not considered sufficient for his or her libido needs. This notion has become the accepted “truth” about human nature. This turnaround of life view moved former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes to describe contemporary times as going through a moral crisis. In these times, it has become socially unacceptable and politically incorrect or “unreal” to keep husband-and-wife relationship sacred and to call homosexuality an abomination. This moral crisis is rooted in fornication or sexual immorality (Young).
Fornication can be committed by a man with a woman, between two men or two women or a person with an animal (Young 2011). Pornography comes under the definition of “illicit sexual intercourse” between two persons who are not married to each other. Married people can commit fornication as unmarried people can. The Bible condemns fornication in anyone: man, woman, child, saint or sinner. St. Paul the apostle exhorted Christians a number of times about this matter. He enjoined the Christians at Thessalonica to abstain from it [1 Thess 4:3], warned the churches of Galatia that the works of the flesh can cost them the kingdom of God [Gal 5:10-21] and described to Romans the consequences of indulgence in sinful sexual pleasures [Romans 1:24, 26-29a]. He taught that when God gives people up to their lusts, people dishonor their own bodies and change their natural use of one another. They “burn in their lusts,” in that which is “unseemly.” For this, fornicators receive the just reward of a “reprobate mind,” which does not retain God but does things “that are not convenient” and being filled with “unrighteousness, fornicationâ€¦ wickedness.” These passages stare people on the face that fornication is severely offensive to the Almighty God. St. Paul states the plan of God for the woman is “to marry, bear children, guide the house, (and) give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully [1 Timothy 5:14].” It clearly and strictly confines sexual relationship only in marriage. This plan also blesses marriage as honorable and subjects adulterers to judgment (Young).
Contemporary society rejects any abstinence-based plan to address current-day sexual immorality or fornication (Young 2011). It now condones sexual activity, especially among adolescents. Any opposition to sexual permissiveness and homosexuality is reviled as narrow-mindedness. Celebrities engage in it scandalously and share their act with an adoring public (Young).
Theoretical Solution to the Problem of Fornication
It begins in the form of a temptation. The person who sincerely wants to overcome fornication and its consequences has practical options to take (Walking Wounded 2000). He can avoid the place, person or occasion at all costs or as far as possible. He should stand in the truth about sexual activity and what God teaches about it. He needs to consult the Scripture about it. If he chooses to know the truth [John 8:32], he shall be set free from the temptation. Knowing God’s law creates saving fear, which is the beginning of knowledge [Proverbs 1:7]. The person receives spiritual freedom and true joy, an unmatched experience that brings happiness (Walking Wounded).
Everyone who sincerely wants to overcome sexual temptation must stop believing the lie that the libido cannot be tamed (Young 2011). He should consider the lie a slap on the face of all those holy people who lived in holiness and control of their sexual impulses in the past. He should first realize that the libido and sexual temptation can be overcome. He must take firm resolve in living a life that is different from that of a fornicator. He must be willing and ready to make the extreme sacrifice of refusing to sin. Refusing and overcoming the temptation to fornicate is just the same as refusing and overcoming any other sin. He should keep the word of God in his heart and ask Him to set the spirit of his mind right (Young).
Application to Personal Circumstances and Experience
Taking off from the advice given, the person who sincerely wants to avoid or overcome fornication, which is prevalent in our times, should consider a few things. The truth is not something, which society forms for its convenience or pleasure. The repentant person should be willing to sacrifice the loss of social acceptance in changing his ways. In my experience, a person who realizes a wrong lifestyle and corrects it does not have to lose everything or everyone of value. It will pain only for a time to realize he has actually been valuing the wrong things and persons, but the reward is well worth the pain. His happiness never actually depended on these things and people. His liberty is far more important. Fornication momentarily satisfies but imprisons and disables the person afterwards. When he realizes this and really resolves to quit it, there is a way. The way is narrow and painful but the only true option there is.
God sees a person’s desire to live by His laws. Nothing melts His heart more than a repentant sinner but who cannot overcome without His grace. In His own time, He sends the Holy Spirit to renew the spirit of the mind of the repentant sinner. The Holy Spirit draws him to Jesus Christ Who replaces the fallen nature of the person with His own. With a renewed nature in Christ, the person assumes a new perspective in everything. He sees things in a new light and feels separated not only from a former trodden, sinful life of fornication but also from sin itself. He is now a new creature to whom the ways of the world are nothing but vanity and unreality. This experience is precisely the plan of God for every person by sending Jesus Christ as the Redeemer. I took that plan. #
Bible.com. What does the Bible Say about Fornication?, 2011. Retrieved on November
22, 2011 from http://www.bible.com/bibloanswers_result.php?id=256
Bible Study Guide. Fornication, 2011. Retrieved on November 23, 2011 from http://www.biblestudyguide.org/index.htm
Walking Wounded. Christians Resisting Sexual Temptation, 2000. Retrieved on November 22, 2011 from http://www.walking-wounded.net/htm/christians_and_sexual_temptation.html
Young, Douglas R. Fornication. Christian Library, 2011. Retrieved on November 22,
2011 from http://www.christianlibrary.org/authors/Douglas_R_Young/misc/fornication.htm
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