FORNICATION— the Bible’s “F” word.
FORNICATION– the Bible’s “F” word. Have you ever heard of it? If you grew up in church like I did, you not only heard of it but you also read it in the Bible. More recent translations have replaced that term with “sexual immorality.” Do you have a better idea to what the word might refer? Let’s start by seeing what the New Testament says concerning this term:
1. Flee from sexual immorality. (I Corinthians 6:18)
2. You should avoid sexual immorality. (I Thessalonians 4:3)
3. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality. (Colossians 3:5)
4. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality. (Ephesians 5:3)
5. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality. (Galatians 5:19)
Would you agree that these verses give the impression that whatever “sexual immorality” means, that it is not good for us and that we should avoid it?
As we continue our Sex ED study, keep in mind our point of view for this series: “Great and Godly sex starts between the ears long before it starts between the legs.”
So let’s establish the meaning of fornication and sexual immorality. The two words are translated from the same Greek word “Porneia (Por-Ni’-ah); meaning illicit sex including adultery, incest, premarital sex, or any extramarital sexual arousal.” This meaning would suggest that any sexual activity or arousal outside the covenant of marriage would be considered sexual immorality, something for us to stay away from. And Yes! This is were we get our English word “pornography.”
Let’s be clear, these Scriptures are not suggesting sex is bad; in fact, God created sex. The first sexual intercourse is recorded in Genesis 2:24, and in the next verse the phrase “no shame” is used. Sex expressed in the way God created it is not shameful; however, sex outside God’s intention is shameful.
You may ask, “how do you know God does not want us involved in sexual immorality?” Well, first, there are five Bible verses already written in this article that provide that reasoning, but in case more is required, let’s expand I Thessalonians 4:3, which reads, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality.” That should settle the issue of God’s will, but just as people are people regardless of the time and place they live, we always try to work around the language. Do you recall the first time we did that? It was in the Garden of Eden when the serpent said to Eve, “Did God really say…”
Kind of sounds similar to when a former United States President said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Really? He is not alone in his logic. We all have been there for one thing or another.
But praise God the Bible has another big “F” word for us: FORGIVENESS!