Introduction ©

In this day and time, we are faced with sexually-related issues that have plagued many for thousands of years.  These issues have stirred more controversy as questions go unanswered and resultant problems arise.  In addressing these issues, we want you to understand that this is primarily a biblical exposition.  We are attempting to raise the moral consciousness of our society in relation to sexual ethics.  Through biblical exposition and instruction, we will crumble the very foundation upon which today's society has built its sexual practices.  We believe that we can replace this foundation with a GODly one based upon truths and principles revealed within the written word of GOD.  The purpose of this book is to provide wisdom regarding sexual ethics.  It is not intended to replace marriage counselors or to necessarily provide solutions for problems that inherently face all relationships.

II Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Ps 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

Prov 20:18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

There are many GOD-loving individuals - young, old, male, female, single, married, divorced and widowed - who have questions about sexuality and are seeking honest, accurate answers to such topics as fornication and adultery.

We may think such questions:

Of what does a marriage consist?
Are fornication and adultery really wrong?
Do I have a true or genuine understanding of what fornication and adultery are?
Is masturbation an evil or harmful behavior?
How do the Scriptures apply to my life regarding fornication and adultery?
Is it natural to feel and live as a homosexual?
Are there really consequences if I commit fornication or adultery?
Is there genuine profit in avoiding fornication and adultery?
What can I express to my children about fornication, adultery, and even masturbation, so that they live their lives acceptably and responsibly?

All these and many other questions we have tried to answer through diligent search, careful study and scrutiny of the Scriptures.   The Bible, the inspired and divine written record of GOD's word, is the only accurate, reliable source which can provide specific answers to those questions regarding sexual ethics.

II Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

II Peter 1:20,21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Bible also testifies that the Scriptures are "truth" (John 17:17) because our Creator GOD is a GOD of truth (Isa 65:16), and HE is right (Ps 33:4).  Our LORD and GOD testifies that HIS word is "pure" (Ps 12:6, Prov 30:5), "perfect" (Ps 18:30) and "very sure" (Ps 93:5).  Because of the greatness of our GOD and HIS word, we know that we can trust in HIM and HIS word just as King David (Ps 56:4).  We see the only thing GOD magnified above HIS name was HIS word (Ps 138:2).  The word of GOD is an enduring word (Isa 40:8, I Peter 1:23) and has withstood the test of time through the centuries.  To see some additional qualities and characteristics of GOD and HIS word, we read:

Ps 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.   (8) The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.  (9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgements of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  (10) More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  (11) Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Concerning the proposed research, we asked the question, "Do the Scriptures provide us guidance and instruction about GOD's plan for sexual relationships?"  We will explore the Scriptures as we endeavor to answer this question and set forth the results of our examination.

The word (and related words) for "fornication" occurs 178 times throughout the Scriptures and for "adultery," 62 times and spans the Bible from Genesis 34:31 through Revelation 22:15.  There are many instances and situations within the Scriptures concerning sexual ethics (who, what, why, where, when and how).   Often, valuable lessons for our learning are available. GOD tells us that HIS word "accomplishes" and "prospers" (Isa 55:10,11) by its purpose and design (II Tim 3:16,17).

There are some fundamental keys to research that must be understood in order to explore the subject of sexual ethics before one can benefit from the application of pertinent scriptures.  Because of the scope of this topic, it would have been natural to oversimplify the solutions.  It is vital that we methodically examine the details and carefully weigh the fullness of the Scriptures.  The admonition of scripture reveals:

Prov 29:20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

It is needful to reveal the principles, as listed below, that governs the composition of this work:

1. All scripture quoted is from the King James (Authorized) Version unless otherwise noted: e.g.,  New English Bible (NEB);  New International Version (NIV); New American Standard Bible (NASB);  Revised Standard Version (RSV);  Revised Version (RV).
2. All direct quotations of considerable length from other written works and scripture passages will be set out in block form.
3. Authors' notes or direct quotations from another author's work within scripture references are placed within brackets.
4. References to God and Jesus Christ with respective pronouns are, for God, in all capitals (i.e., GOD, HE, LORD); for Jesus Christ, in initial capitals (i.e., Lord, He, Him), with respect to our work only.
5. References to "law" are with respect to Biblical law unless otherwise noted.  References to "man" are with respect to people unless otherwise differentiated (i.e., with the indefinite articles "a", "an" or with the definite article "the").
6. All transliterated Hebrew and Greek words are italicized unless part of another author's quote, and then are cited accordingly.
7. All transliterated Hebrew and Greek words are without accent or vowel markings (e.g., "o" instead of "ö").
8. Definitions of abbreviations may be found in the abbreviations listing.
9. When the capitals "H" & "S" in Holy Spirit are used, it is in reference to GOD as the Giver who is Holy (Josh 24:19) and Spirit (John 4:24).  When the lower case is used, "h" & "s" as in holy spirit, it is with reference to the gift of holy spirit as given to the Christian believer by the Giver who is GOD (Acts 2:38; Rom 8:14-16; I Cor 2:11,12; I John 3:24).
10. An upper case "C" in the word Chapter refers to a chapter within our work, while a lower case "c" refers to a scriptural chapter.

We are living in an age referred to scripturally as "the dispensation of the grace of God [concerning the Mystery of the One Body of Christ]" (Eph 3:2).  Refer to Appendix A, Dispensation/Administration, for further clarification.   We heartily encourage you to review each Appendix, as the information contained therein will greatly enhance the understanding and appreciation of this work. The importance of understanding dispensational truth must not be overlooked or taken lightly.   It is true that interpretation of a passage or section of scripture must be realized with respect to whom it is addressed.  It is equally true that application of a passage or section of scripture, with its principles, can be applied when it does not contradict that which is already addressed to us (see Appendix B, Keys to Biblical Interpretation).  It is also necessary to remember that although the Bible is an Eastern book written centuries ago, within a culture different from ours, it contains many applications for us TODAY, especially with respect to fornication and adultery (see Rom 15:4, cp. II Tim 3:16).  It will become evident that GOD has not left us without instruction or wisdom concerning our sexual conduct as human beings and Christians.

GOD's Word is the dawn of light over a misty horizon of speculation and confusion regarding sexual ethics.  As you read the following biblical exposition, allow HIS wonderful Word to judge (John 12:48) and reprove (Prov 9:9, 10:17, 13:18), when necessary, and to bolster (Ps 119:28, 116) and encourage (Ps 119:49-52).  GOD's heart, in this age of grace, is that an individual is loved and cherished even when he errs in his behavior and sins (Rom 8:31-39).  However, that same individual should learn from his mistakes and endeavor to correct the improper behavior in order to live his life as GOD intended (Prov 28:13; Col 3:1-11; Eph 4:17-32).  The first and great rule that GOD, through Christ, provided is:

Matt 22:37-39 ... Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  (38) This is the first and great commandment.  (39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Life requires that we make decisions.  Because GOD, our FATHER, granted each of us freedom of choice, we can choose for ourselves what actions are proper in each situation.  HE has provided the wisdom to guide us in our decisions so that we take the proper actions to keep our lives on the course He intended for us.  We suffer the consequences of our incorrect actions or reap the benefits of the correct ones.  Even when the consequences are negative, the love of GOD for each of us as "HIS dear children" should remain uppermost in our heart and mind.  This will enable us to learn from the experience and gain a fuller understanding of life and how to live it to the best of our ability for HIM.

Heb 12:8-13 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.  (9) Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respect them for it.  How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!  (10) Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for your good, that we may share in his holiness.  (11) No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  (12) Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. (13) "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.  (NIV)

Let us therefore leave behind the burdens of our past and let us diligently move forward into that which HE has so graciously set before us.

Phil 3:13-15 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but, this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  (15) Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

I Cor 10:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?  So run, that ye may obtain.

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