What the Bible Says about Sex, Porn, and Masturbation

What does the Bible say about sex, porn, and masturbation?

  1. God commanded us to procreate
  2. Sex outside of marriage is a sin
  3. Porn is destructive
  4. Masturbation can be sinful

As a follower of Christ, you may have wondered what the Bible says about sex, porn, and masturbation. Is it okay to do these or are these considered sins? Many people have found it difficult to answer questions about such topics because they are deemed taboo.

But, God gives us clear guidance through His Word. There are passages in the Bible that talk about every life aspect including sex, porn, and masturbation. You can use the verses below to study in context what God has designed for human sexuality.

God Commanded Us To Procreate

You don’t have to read very far through the Bible to learn that the procreation mandate was given to Adam and Eve within the narrative of the original creation. Genesis 1:27-28 read, “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground”.

Alongside the prohibition against eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, humanity was blessed with God’s presence and told to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth and to gently subdue and cultivate the earth. That is to say, the first way in which marriage leads to the service of God is through the procreation, and then the godly nurture, of children.

Children are a blessing from God. However, not every married couple is given this kind of blessing. Oftentimes, it is a cause of desolation when they are not able to have children. But a marriage is still a marriage, and can honor God deeply even without offsprings. We are to esteem the procreation of children as a costly and sacrificial blessing.

Sex Outside Of Marriage Is A Sin

Sex Outside Of Marriage Is A Sin

God gives instructions on how to best experience the gift of intimacy. Sex is God’s design and plan for us. However, He wants us to wait and save consummation for marriage. While it is true that the words “premarital sex” are not exactly written in the Bible, the Word does talk about sexual immorality prevalently.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 reads, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God”. So when the Bible says sexual immorality is wrong, what does it mean exactly?

The Greek root word, porniea, appears many times in the New Testament. This term is translated as “fornication, premarital sex, and other acts of sexual impurity”. The same term highlights the commandment against adultery in Hebrews 20:14. In the same way, the Bible warns about adultery in the verse Hebrew 13:4, which reads “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral”.

The Bible is clear on what sex should be: sacred and in the confines of marriage alone. Within a marriage, spouses are meant to be faithful to each other and to God.

Porn Is Destructive

What does the Bible say about porn? The word “pornography” is not exactly written in the Bible but its root word “porneia” is in the New Testament. One can say that the term “porneia” is the word for any type of sexual perversion. Ephesians 5:3 reads, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people”.

Reflect on the verses 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 as well which reads “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 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”.

Over and over, the Bible makes it clear to avoid sexual immorality. Simply put, sexual immorality refers to sexual acts. This is why porn is destructive. The images from pornography stay in people’s minds and corrupts it. It trains us to see others as objects to be used rather than as people to be loved.

Unfortunately, pornography drags a person into ungodly desires, diverting from how God designed sex sacredly. Lusting after other people is also offensive to the Lord according to Matthew 5:28. It leads us to see people as less than what they are. Instead of seeing them as human beings made in the image of God, full of dignity, value and purpose, lust trains us to dehumanize them. At some point, it can also result in a double life where the person addicted to porn has a dark secret that brings feelings of shame and guilt.

Masturbation Can Be Sinful

Masturbation Can Be Sinful

The Bible does not directly forbid masturbation or deliberate self-stimulation. However, the Bible does denounce all forms of sexual impurity and lustful thoughts that involve adulterous relationships.

Sex was designed by God to be pleasurable within the confines of marriage. The problem with masturbation, however, is that it is an act of self-gratification unless done with a spouse. According to 1 John 2:16, having lustful thoughts is also a sin that does not come from the Father. Unfortunately, this can often happen during masturbation. A person can think lustful thoughts about someone who is not her or his spouse.

Key Takeaway

Many are still wondering about what the Bible says about sex, porn, and masturbation. Sex is designed by God. It is a precious gift that binds a woman and man to become one flesh. However, sexual immorality is considered a grave sin.

If you commit acts of sexual immorality, keep in mind that there is no sin too great that cannot be forgiven by God. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross atoned for every sin. There is never an inopportune time to repent and ask for forgiveness.

Want to learn more about God’s design for your life? Listen to the SAVED Radio podcast by clicking here!