“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (1Corinthians 6:18) (KJV)
This verse of Scripture, written for instruction to the church and not to the world, is another Scripture where the understanding of it is lacking. To comprehend the meaning of the text, knowledge of Biblical marriage is required and not traditional secular marriage concepts being practiced and promoted presently within Christendom. It is here within this declaration where the Apostle Paul laser’s in on the detrimental and consequential effect the sin of fornication imposes upon an individual’s flesh and bone.
To those who have not read my book “It’s Good For A Man Not To Touch A Woman,” which would be best, I suggest you at least read my previous articles, especially “The Honor Of Biblical Marriage” posted here on CP’s “Today’s Christian Marriage” blog to acquire a basis regarding my thesis “Biblical marriage.” Those articles should, somewhat, facilitate in comprehending this article. The articles go all the way back to the beginning of the blog.
Sexual intimacies are the only actions committed by man with his body that produces an attachment within his created being to another. For the Christian, who I am addressing particularly, these connections before God are either proper (Biblical marriage) or improper (fornication). These connections will either be holy and sacred or they will be abominable and defiling.
Once, at the beginning, a sexually intimate connection is made in a holy way (Biblical marriage), it will exist until either one of the spouses die or one of the spouses condition becomes defiled, exclusively by committing an act of fornication against the other spouse.
If ever an individual’s connection becomes unholy and fornicated, then, the body of the person or person’s, depending upon the situation, engaging in this unholy joining will be defiled and unclean until they die. It’s possible that this could be a person’s very first sexually intimate engagement. This consequence is the crux of Paul’s declaration contained within this text pertaining to one’s flesh, he “sinneth against his own body.”
To perpetrate fornication is to commit sexual debauchery. It is being sexually intimate in a way that God has not designed for the body of a man or woman and is deplorable to Him. Committing it is an act of impiety by rejecting the way of the Lord for your body, which is in violation of His marital law for His people.
When fornication is committed, one makes their body unfit to ever enter into a holy and sacred joining thereafter. The body has become polluted and unclean. One can exemplify the epitome of health, fitness, and beauty physically and, yet, be completely polluted and dead sexually (for Biblical marriage) before the Lord.
Remember, fornication’s reward defined in Scripture, in many places, is death. As Christians striving to acquire the Kingdom of God, we are warned to “flee” from fornication for good cause.
One might at this time be asking the question…”what about forgiveness?” I will address this more thoroughly in part 2 of this message.
As I alluded to in the beginning, fornication is a sin committed primarily by the Christian. I say this based upon the status of the unbeliever. Not that the unbeliever can’t or doesn’t commit this sin, but, rather, the unbeliever is already unclean and condemned. Their main sin is because they have rejected the testimony of God who sent His Son Jesus into this world for salvation. They have not been washed, cleansed, redeemed by His blood, forgiven and made into a new creation. Therefore, they are already polluted and dead in sin. Thus, for a non-believer to commit fornication, his status is not changed at all, nor the status of the body of Christ. Not so with the Christian.
The Christian’s body, however, when born again becomes clean and holy. It is attached (married, but not in the same context of a husband and wife) as a member of the body of Christ. Paul alludes to this in 1Corinthians 6:15 saying, “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ…?” It is owned by Christ and becomes the temple of the Holy Ghost, and is not to be defiled, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him will God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1Corinthians 3:16,17).
Once the body is made holy, it is to stay that way through sanctification (obedience to God’s ways), which is the believer’s responsibility, “Because it is written, be ye holy for I am holy” (1Peter 1:16). One cannot and will not be born again twice.
For the Christian, fornication can be committed outside of or within Biblical marriage. It is a transgression that either causes a Biblical marriage to be defiled and illegitmate and/or keeps an individual from ever having a Biblical marriage. Let me illustrate each situation:
To fornicate one’s self outside of Biblical marriage is for an unmarried person who is Biblically qualified for marriage to be sexually intimate in an inordinate disapproved way. To ascertain what it means to be “Biblically qualified”, please read my article “The Honor of Biblical Marriage.”
Let me offer examples of this sinful violation outside of Biblical marriage for the born again Christian who, before committing any of these, is Biblically qualified to marry in the Lord:
1. Being sexually intimate with someone else who is married or while married – adultery.
2. Being sexually intimate with the same gender – homosexuality.
3. Being sexually intimate with an animal – bestiality.
4. Being sexually intimate with an immediate member of the family – incest.
5. Being sexually intimate with someone who has engaged in any of the four examples just listed. Because they have been defiled, joining yourself to them causes you to defile and pollute yourself as well. Thus, both will be committing fornication.
Every one of these instances will cause an individual who is Biblically qualified to marry to be unqualified and incapable of ever having a Biblical marriage.
If the person qualified is unaware of the other’s fornicated defilement, because the fornicator defrauds the other by not disclosing their uncleanness, the qualified will not be held accountable. The person doing the defrauding will bear that iniquity, “That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. “For God hath not called us to uncleanness, but unto holiness” (1Thessalonians 4:6&7).
Moreover, every person wishing to enter into a Biblical marriage with someone should give due diligence to the Biblical marital status of the one they wish to marry. A right connection makes for a pure and blessed marriage. In my book “It’s Good For A Man Not To Touch A Woman,” I explain what one needs to do to help accommodate this action.
Let me now give examples of fornication committed within Biblical marriage:
1. All the examples described for outside of Biblical marriage and including polygamy.
Note: It is imperative for the spouse who is the victim of the other’s fornication to not be sexually intimate with them thereafter, once their spouse’s fornicated action is known. They must “put them away” in order that they do not become defiled as well. If they are sexually intimate with their spouse after knowing of their violation, the victim will no longer be innocent. They now will knowingly be committing fornication, which will destroy their opportunity in the future of entering into a Biblical marriage with someone else. The fornicating spouse must be “put away” for the innocent spouse to stay pure and holy.
This is the unfortunate situation happening today to many holy spouses who are being pressured, all in the name of compassion and Christ-like forgiveness, to take their marital violating spouses back and not put them away. It is an unfortunate fallacy by those who advocate such absurdity. They have no understanding of Biblical marriage and the effects from its violations upon the body. They make the holy spouse feel ruthless and unforgiving toward their violating spouse for not taking them back. By promoting this, they propagate fornication and uncleanness on the innocent spouse. Yes, they need to forgive, but that doesn’t involve fornicating their own self to do it. An innocent spouse must "flee fornication" brought home by their violating spouse as much as anyone should.
Fornication is the defiling of a Biblical marriage and brings with it severe consequences and judgment. To commit it within Biblical marriage is to defile and alter what God hath joined together. Rest assured, once God joins two people together in marriage He will never be the one to undo that joining. Death is the only means by which it is done. The innocent spouse, however, is forced to remove their self from the one who has now defiled that holy legitimate union making it illegitimate.
The defiled state that a man places himself into is the condition he will always be in, in the flesh, while alive on this earth. He has polluted his body making it unclean and, therefore, unfit for a holy, sacred joining – Biblical marriage. God cannot join that person to anyone in holiness. Every joining under that condition will be defiled and fornicating. If the person continues to be sexually intimate despite their uncleanness, he will be living a fornicated lifestyle. No one will enter the kingdom of God by doing so. (1Corinthians 6:9)
This sin is a sin that condemns the body like no other sin. It robs one’s own body from fulfilling God’s purpose for their body as a member of Christ, as well as receiving the sexual requirements that God designed for the body to be satisfied exclusively in being “married by God.”
When born again in Christ, the body is redeemed and made holy. It is not your body, but Christ’s and it must stay holy. God’s created way making them “male and female” and “they twain shall be one flesh” is holy and perfect in its design. He is completely aware of every unnatural, unholy, and imperfect physical connection made, especially among those connected to His body. The reason for this is because, He is defiled by it, “…Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body…shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them members of an harlot? God forbid…What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (1Corinthians 6:13-17). “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband” (1Corinthians 7:2).
When born again, the body’s status is made for one joining with the opposite sex. It was implied in Matthew 19:5 when Jesus said, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”
The way things ought to be with God’s people is that a man should stay with his parents until he is able and ready to take a wife. Then, he is to Biblically marry and for that cause leave his parents to make a life with his new wife. This is the Biblical way prescribed. It is the cause or reason for a man to leave father and mother. This is the power of family structure for support, wealth, education, and strength.