When making an attempt to discern the absolutes of God for Christians concerning marriage and its violation, searching His Word is the primary component for success. It is there that authority will speak instructing all Christians what is the truth of His ways. One such Scripture that accomplishes this is Hebrews 13:4 "Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (KJV).
There are three distinct Biblical classifications of sexual intimacy, one of which every Christian man and woman fall under before God. These classifications are unmarried, married, and fornicator. Let me describe biblically the essence of each one:
Unmarried - There are five categories of Christian people who satisfy this distinction:
1) A virgin (One who's sexual identity has never been discovered by another).
2) A newly converted (born again) single Christian no matter what their sexual past has been.
3) A divorced person who has put away their spouse for fornication committed against them.
4) A newly converted Christian who's unsaved spouse is not content to dwell with them as a result of that conversion and, therefore,departs.
5) A widow or widower who's spouse has died within a Biblically qualified marriage.
These are all unmarried and free to be married, in the Lord.
Married - This involves one who has been sexually intimate with another of the opposite sex; each having been a member of the first classification (Unmarried). These are they who were qualified to make a legitimate marriage (sexual intimacy) before God with another, whom God has joined as "one flesh."
Fornicator - This individual has violated the proper created design of their sexuality, before God, by being sexually intimate with someone from the "Married" classification (adultery), or in another abominable engagement, i.e., homosexuality, bestiality, incest, or polygamy. Another term that describes these inordinate sexual activities is "whoremonger." These sexual violators are also Biblically described as idolaters.
Note: With all due respect, anyone who depends upon the dictionary definition of the word fornication will invariably misconstrue its connection to Biblical marriage, which has been the case completely. One must understand Biblical marriage before one will understand fornication. After all, it is how the Lord defines it and not man. Because the deeds of which fornication depicts are so damnable and inflicting, there is no room for error. The church is in error.
In order to understand the full truth of the Apostle Paul's instruction, within the Scripture text, one must clearly comprehend each distinct classification.
If one applies the secular traditional marriage concept to the word "marriage" in the verse, they will be highly susceptible to deception regarding the true distinct meaning of that word and import of the verse.
The reason for this is because the arguments, definitions, and documents used to defend the traditional marriage perception (see previous article) do not convey these distinctions noted above.
However, God our Father, witnessed throughout Scripture, does make these distinctions, revealing the contradistinction between His marriage and that of our traditionally secular one, which the church practices and supports.
It is imperative, therefore, for all Christians to understand how God defines and identifies the unmarried, married, and fornicator, if they want to appropriately comprehend certain Scripture, as well as avoid committing and living in an abominable sinful state.
Since Paul clearly references marriage at the beginning of the verse, the unmarried classification is not applicable here. Therefore, we are left with just the third classification, which is represented vividly in his full declaration.
Understanding Paul's heavenly perceived meaning when he says "marriage" in the first part of the statement gives greater relevance and meaning to the words "whoremonger and adulterer" used in the second part.
Everything Paul declares in this verse establishes identity according to one's sexual engagements and activity to another. Sexually intimate distinctions and identifications are being made between those who's sexual engagements are approved of God (married) as opposed to those who's are sinful (whoremongers and adulterers).
What he is declaring in the first part of the verse is that a heterosexual couple has been united by the Lord as one flesh (marriage). It is called "marriage," because the condition of their personal sexual life (classification #1) qualified them to be sexually intimate with each other making their physical connection holy and right before God. This connection makes a marriage and any and all desired sexually intimate activities between them are approved of God and absolutely honorable. The sexual intimacies they engage in, mutually agreed upon exclusively within that union, are acceptable to Him and cause their bed (wherever they lie together) to be undefiled (unpolluted, sinless).
That union (marriage) is honorable, because God sanctions it, which gives Him honor and glory within His creation of man. It pleases Him. They are within the design for man and woman, which He intended from the beginning. "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female... And they twain shall be one flesh...What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Mark 10:6-9).
Now, in the second part of the verse, he declares that with the sexually intimate affairs (in whatever way they may be conducted) of the third classification of men and women ("whoremongers and adulterers) nothing is honorable. These are they that violate true "Biblical marriage" proclaimed in part one of the verse. Their sexual intimacies are conducted outside of His created design, therefore, every sexual intimacy they engage in is defiled, and God will "judge" accordingly. They will not escape God's judgment.
He as Lord and God sees all and knows everything we do; in every place we do it. If it is done in opposition to the way He has specifically created and commanded, it dishonors Him and He is displeased.
It is God that marries a man and woman when they are sexually intimate and based upon whether they are sexually qualified, as in classification number one, it is an honorable position to be in.
He also will be the one that will condemn those who's sexual intimacy places them in classification number three, having violated His design for their bodies. It is a dishonorable state to be in.
This is why I have declared before, "when two Christians engage in sexual intimacy, they are, before God, either married or committing fornication."
"Take heed therefore how ye hear..." (Luke 8:18).
Attention: Recommended initial article reading order for a Biblical marriage foundation:
The Honor of Biblical Marriage
Fornication: Sinning Against Your Body – Part 1&2
BIBLICAL MARRIAGE? Dear Lord I Messed Up!
Premarital Cohabitation: A Christian Mythology
Biblical Marriage and the Erroneous Marriage Covenant
Putting Biblical Marriage Asunder
BIBLICAL MARRIAGE: A Sacred Law
Divorce: It’s All About Being Married