What Does The Bible Say About Sexual Purity?


The North American culture is obsessed with sex.

If you watch popular television shows, listen to popular music or scroll through your social media sites, it’ll only take you a few minutes, if that long to find sexual references. These sexual references are often lewd and degrading.

As Christians, following God’s principles for sex and not the world’s opinion should be our desire. So what does the Bible say about sexual purity and why does God lay out those commands? Let’s look at these questions and why they matter to you.

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What is Sexual Purity?

In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 N.I.V, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” This is one of my favorite scriptures about purity. Sexual purity can be defined as the way in which we honor God with our bodies. It shouldn’t be about, “How far should I go with my boyfriend/girlfriend?” (You’ve probably heard that one before) but rather, “How much do I want to honor God with my body?” that’s sexual purity.

Purity In The Bible: What Does The Bible Say About Sexual Purity?

God’s Design for Physical Intimacy

In the creation story in Genesis 2, not only do we discover how man and woman were made, but we also discover a gift that God gave the very first couple:

“The man [Adam] said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Gen. 2:23-24, NIV).

Contrary to some beliefs, sexual intimacy is not merely for procreation. It is a gift and a beautiful expression of love between a man and a woman. In Song of Solomon, we are reminded that we should not: “stir up or awaken love until the proper time” (Song of Solomon 2:7; 3:5; 8:4, CSB).

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Several times in the book Song of Solomon, the writer challenges us to wait until the right time to stir up our sexual affections.  Since Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, I would like to believe that he knew what he was talking about. Maybe after multiple marriages and concubines (extra women he slept with but didn’t marry), he understood one important truth:

Sexual intercourse in its proper context, within a marriage, is a beautiful magical experience that deepens over time. When we take sexual intimacy out of its intended boundaries, we often find ourselves in a big mess with unintended consequences.

What is Sexual Immorality?

Sexual immorality is mentioned several times in the New Testament. Two such occurrences can be found in Hebrews and Colossians. In both of these instances, sexual immorality refers to sexual activity outside of marriage.

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Col. 3:5, NIV).

The writer of Hebrews said, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Heb. 13:4, NIV).

Purity In The Bible: What Does the Bible Say About Purity Before Marriage?

You might be thinking, “Okay, I get that Scripture says to keep sex within marriage but if God made me a sexual being, then why can’t I just enjoy it whenever I like?” The simple answer is this: because God wired us as multidimensional beings.

Remember that “one flesh” thing in Genesis? It’s not just talking about your body.

Yes, sexual intercourse is an expression of attraction and intimacy—but it’s much more than a physical act. It’s an all-encompassing intimacy that includes body, mind and emotions. All of you.

When you give yourself away to multiple people over and over again in sex outside of marriage, it not only cheapens an intimate expression reserved for one person (your spouse), but it also carries emotional consequences. Yes, remaining abstinent before marriage saves you from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, but those are just the physical dangers. Sexual immorality affects the whole of you—mind, body and emotions—despite what the movies portray. It’s never casual and it’s never a harmless act. Your heart is precious and it can be wounded easily. That’s why God wants you to save sex for marriage. He wants to protect you from the consequences that come from sexual immorality.

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Bible Verses About Purity

If you are looking to dive more into the topic of purity, I have listed several purity verses below for further study. The following scriptures on purity have all been taken from the King James Version.

“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

Purity Bible Verses

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2

For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:”  1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

 “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:28

Bible Verses About Sexual Purity

Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14

 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.” 1 Corinthians  6:13

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians  6:9-10

 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:13

How To Live A Life Of  Purity

As christian young women, we often hear that we should not have sex outside of marriage, but how does one live a life of purity? Here are a few ideas on how to live a life of purity.

Watch Your Media Intake

We live in a hyper-sexualized culture. You can’t even watch a hamburger commercial without seeing references to sex. If you watch or read or listen to things that glorify illicit sex, the more you’ll be allowing immorality into your life.

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Watch What You Say

The more you and your significant other talk about sexual matters, the more likely you are to act on them. Yes, you need to talk about physical intimacy as you move closer to marriage, but there’s a way to have that conversation without it becoming a temptation for both of you.

Guard Your Free Time

When you’re dating, get a game plan for your time together. Without a game-plan, you can find yourself in some tempting situations if you’re just hanging out at your apartment which can lead to doing things such as sleeping together before marriage.

Know Your Boundaries

What kind of physical affection can you express without being tempted to abandon your principles and standards? For some people, a goodnight kiss can become a danger zone. If that’s the case, don’t engage in such activities. Remember, sexual purity is about honoring God with your body (and your mind and heart). How to stay pure with your boyfriend? Know your boundaries!

Trust Your Gut

Let’s say you’re having a great time on a date, then something changes and you feel uncomfortable. It may have been something you said or they said, or a movie you watched, or just get a vibe. That little nudge is the Holy Spirit warning you to slow down, take a step back, and evaluate. You’ll avoid a lot of heartache if you do. Trust your gut to help you maintain purity in relationships.

Physical Relationship Before Marriage

God gave you a beautiful and sacred gift of sexual intimacy, and it will bring you great pleasure and unity within the context of a loving marriage. Anything else is just a cheap substitute. God wants nothing but the best for you. Staying pure for God is becoming increasingly difficult in this day and age but my hope is that you walk away with new insights on what does the Bible say about sexual purity.

Bible Verses About Purity

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Written By, Andrea Smith at Faith Christian Jewelry. Faith Christian Jewelry is a family owned business that sells Christian Jewelry. They sell purity rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings all reflecting christian values. Their product catalog includes items for both women and men. Visit their website to learn more about their Faith Jewelry products.

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