To the best of my knowledge every New Testament list of sins mentions sexual sins in some way. The three most common words are porneia, akatharsia, and moicheia. They’re usually translated as fornication, sexual impurity, and adultery. God created sexuality. It’s an important part of His creation. He created us in two sexes. He started us in a marriage pair. He designed sexuality to not only be a function of procreation but of pleasure, enjoyment, and unity. But just like all aspects of God’s creation the Devil, this world, and our own flesh seek to destroy God’s perfect picture of sexuality and distort it beyond recognition. God’s warning for avoiding sexual sins is out of love and concern. It’s not that God doesn’t want us to have “fun” or has any other ulterior motive. He always wants what’s best for us.
1) Hurts Marriage Stability
A long, stable, loving marriage is indescribably valuable. Few other things bring such peace and happiness. It’s obvious how a spouse committing adultery on the other can utterly destroy a marriage. But breaking God’s plan before marriage can introduce some subtle cracks as well. I in no way want to paint a picture that those who have engaged in sexual activity are somehow ruined or broken beyond repair. Christ is the great restorer. I simply want to describe the ideal and share perhaps why Scripture is so talkative on this particular sin. We weren’t designed to have sex apart from our feelings and emotions, and being separated from someone we’re intimate with can begin to chip away at our very identity. Jealousies, insecurities, and heartache can subtly begin to breakdown even future relationships. Marriages must be built on complete trust and past actions can certainly weigh on that trust. But as all godly individuals in Scripture clearly proclaim that we sin against God and God only. If you aren’t willing to follow God’s plan for marriage before you are married, why do you think you will after you are married? It’s ultimately a breakdown between you and God.
2) Breaks Down Personal Testimony and Relationships
However, there is a human element here (obviously.) How does one share the Gospel with someone you have sinned with? How do you talk about the dangers of sin when you willingly break one so clearly stated? How do you minister to someone you are sleeping with at church? Who stays at the church after the messy breakup? How do you even invite someone to church and talk about how Christianity is different when you live identical lifestyles?
3) Like All Sin It Continually Demands More From Us
The problem that we can all see is that sexual sins (like all sin) demands more from us. We want more and darker things. We become dissatisfied with initial sins and we want more. The pleasures of sin only last for a season. God offers us something drastically different. There is a deepening relationship to go along with the intimacy. The alternative leaves us unsatisfied and hurt. 1 Corinthians even tells us that all other sins we commit outside the body but sexual sins are committed against our own body. I tend to think that means there is a lasting and even spiritual effect that sexual sins can cause. They are invasive and all-consuming.
4) It Quickly Becomes an Idol That Replaces God
This is why sexual sins can actually become an idol in our life. Our desire for sex can replace our desire for God. It becomes what we search and yearn for. Even long-term relationships can become an idol in which we never want to leave. We feel like we could never end them, even if we knew God wanted us to. Marriage is God’s plan for sexuality, and to know it and ignore it puts our immoral desires above God. That’s an idol. Idolatry is identified with unbelievers. Its consequences are severe, and extremely challenging to overcome. God wants us to deepen our relationship with Him. That’s what brings blessings and the fruits of the Spirit described in Scripture. Everything else brings pain, decay, and death. God brings life, and life abundantly.
Again, this is no indictment on past actions. Jesus’ forgiveness is total and complete, but true repentance is turning from the direction you are heading and the decisions you are making towards a new path that seeks to be Christ honoring in all our actions. This journey of presenting yourself a living sacrifice to God is a difficult one, but like all things that are challenging, it is worth it in the end.