Are Sexual Sins Worse Than Others?

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Gary Curtis

Check out Gary Curtis’ related article, “Avoiding Sexual Sins and Scandals,” at this link.

Some contend that God sees all sins as the same and that one sin is not more difficult for God to forgive than another. While they may think that sounds reasonable and righteous, it ignores the admonitions of revealed Scripture and how sexual impurity damages us personally, weakens our witness and can be destructive to the family of God.

Pastor Jack Hayford, respected author, songwriter and church leader, once wrote, “I believe that sex sins are worse in that they are more damaging personally and socially than all other sins.” Hayford also observed that sexual sins may be the entry points of many other sinful actions, thoughts and lifestyles. “I don’t believe that any other sin can be said to devastate believers so thoroughly as sexual sin,” he said.

Sexual intercourse is more than a biological experience or experiment. It is more than just another physical act, like drinking water or sneezing. It involves the communion of life itself and is to be shared only under the covering of a covenant of commitment (Eph. 5:30-31).

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If a believer, who is “washed … sanctified … justified” and filled with the Spirit of Christ  (1 Cor. 6:11), would be so crass as to commit sexual immorality casually in what some have termed “recreational sex,” he or she would literally be contaminating the body of Christ by involving Him in immorality. It is an unthinkable proposition and one of the primary reasons that, for believers, sexual sins are worse than others (1 Cor. 6:12-17).

“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:18-20, NLT).

It is due to the constant temptation to sexual immorality that Paul advises, “each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2b). The writer to the scattered Messianic Hebrews warned: “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely, judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery” (Heb. 13:4).

The sexually immoral can be understood as sexually active unmarried people, and adulterers are sexually unfaithful married people. Promiscuous premarital or extramarital activity could become an appetite or “felt need” that normal marriage doesn’t break. Review Paul’s admonition above: “Run from sexual sin!”

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God doesn’t forbid fornication (the broad biblical term for sexual immorality) because He is against our enjoying the pleasures of life. Rather, He doesn’t want people to be abused, cheated on or taken advantage of. He doesn’t want the most intimate human relationships to be entered dishonestly without full and responsible commitment. 

Sexual activity between unmarried partners is:

Biblically wrong because it violates the clear commandment of God.

Morally wrong because it can result in broken and twisted lives—for generations—as well as unwanted pregnancies and dreaded venereal diseases

Spiritually wrong because it provides a “place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27b, NKJV) to control our lives, limit our influence and destroy our testimony before our church, our families and any children.

In the face of the many moral failures in society and even in our churches and Christian institutions, true believers will want to glorify God by following His pathways of purity: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then, you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Rom. 12:2, NLT).

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Gary Curtis served for 27 years as part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, California. Since retirement in 2016, he has continued to blog at Gary and his wife live in Southern California and have two married daughters and five grandchildren.

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