What Does Sexual Immorality Mean In The Bible

Sexual Immorality in the Context of Bible Teaching

One of the key issues raised by the Bible is that of sexual immorality, or what is considered to be inappropriate sexual behavior. The Bible makes references to many different types of sexual immorality and commands that these should be avoided. The Bible is clear that any form of sexual behavior outside of the pure marriage relationship between one man and one women is considered to be sinful. From the Christian perspective it is clear that any kind of sexual immorality, whether it be adultery, fornication, incest, prostitution, or any other form of activity which is not within the framework of a covenant between two people who are married is seen as being wrong.
At the core of the Biblical teaching on sexual immorality is the concept that sexual activity is intended for the purpose of procreation and that it should only be performed within marriage for the mutual pleasure and encouragement of both parties. The Bible describes this “oneness” that is formed between a husband and wife in marriage as being “a one flesh type of unity”. This concept of “one flesh” is powerful in that it represents the idea that a husband and wife should become like one person in love and in the physical aspects of their relationship. Therefore, any form of sexual activity outside of marriage is in direct contradiction to the purity and love of the relationship that was designed by God.

Reasons Why Adultery Is Forbidden

One of the most obvious forms of sexual immorality discussed in the Bible is adultery. Adultery is seen as being a particularly serious form of immorality as it breaks an important covenant between a husband and wife. Adultery is the act of a married person having an extramarital sexual affair and it is strictly forbidden in the Bible. This is because adultery involves the betrayal of the commitment of marriage to another person and it is seen as being morally wrong for a married couple to be unfaithful to the covenant of marriage.
Not only this, but adultery is also seen to disrupt the “oneness” that is formed between husband and wife in marriage and can cause untold hurt and damage to the relationship. It can break marriages apart and lead to guilt and pain for those involved. Moreover, it can also cause hurt to any children that may be born from the adulterous relationship and it is seen as going against the natural order of how relationships and families should be structured.

Incest and Prostitution

Another form of immorality which is mentioned in the Bible is incest. Incest is the sexual activity involving close relatives such as a father and daughter or brother and sister. Incestuous activity is strictly forbidden in the Bible as it is seen as being morally wrong to engage in sexual activities with those that are very closely related.
The Bible also speaks out against prostitution. Prostitution involves the exchange of money or goods in exchange for sexual favors and is seen as being a particularly shameful and sinful act as it involves the exploitation of other people and the buying and selling of human beings. The Bible very clearly forbids prostitution, as it is seen as being a form of abuse and a source of evil.


In conclusion, it is clear that the Bible has very definite views on what constitutes sexual immorality. From the Christian perspective any form of sexual activity outside of the pure marriage relationship between one man and one women is seen as being sinful. Many of the other forms of sexual immorality such as adultery, fornication, incest,and prostitution are also strongly condemned in the Bible and are seen as being detrimental to individuals and society as a whole.

Biblical Standards for Becoming Intimately Involved

Christianity promotes a respect for the sanctity of marriage and of human relationships in general. Consequently, the Scriptures deal clearly and directly with the subject of proper standards for becoming intimately involved with the opposite sex.
In the Old Testament, the law of Moses set down the basic framework for life in a moral and ethical sense. Within this framework, it was prescribed that sex outside of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage is forbidden. “You shall not commit adultery” was one of the Ten Commandments given to Moses.
The New Testament also emphasizes the importance of avoiding sexual immorality and calls the Christian to focus on proper relationships. In the book of First Corinthians, the Apostle Paul gives a stern warning to “flee from sexual immorality”, noting that those involved in such things will suffer the wrath of God if they do not turn aside from such activities.

Marriage and Sexual Activity

The Bible’s teaching on sexual immorality extends beyond simply avoiding improper behavior, however. It is also clear that the Bible commands marriages to be permanent and lasting and that sex is to be confined to the marriage relationship. In the book of Genesis, it is noted that Adam and Eve are “one flesh” and that they are bound to each other by God. This same standard is extended to all marriages today, indicating that divorce is not allowed, except in cases of extreme marital unfaithfulness.
In addition to addressing marriage, the Bible also speaks to the importance of proper sexual conduct within the marriage. The Bible encourages spouses, for example, to be sexually faithful to one another and to avoid behavior that would bring shame or harm to their marriage. It is also clear from the Scriptures that married couples are to practice self-control in their sexual activities and not to drift into improper behavior.

Restitution for Sexual Sin

Although the Bible calls for strict standards regarding sexual behavior, it does not condemn or reject those who have strayed from those standards. Rather, it offers guidance and forgiveness through confession and the willingness to repent and turn away from one’s sin. In the book of Luke, Jesus instructs the Jewish people on the importance of returning to God after sinning and making restitution with one’s accuser.
The Bible also provides hope for those who have been the victim of sexual immorality. In the book of Jeremiah, the Lord promises to bring relief and restoration to those who have been hurt by sexual sin. He calls on His people to “arise and shine” in the midst of their spiritual darkness and cultivate the beauty of holiness in their lives.

Forgiveness and Change

The Bible recognizes that sexual immorality is a reality in the world and urges believers to flee from it and focus on being faithful to God and His word. However, it also extends the offer of grace and forgiveness for those who have strayed from God’s standards and encourages individuals to repent and pursue holiness. The Bible reminds us that with God’s help we can turn away from sin, find hope in Him, and be changed.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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