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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
From The Baptist Challenge, November 2015
Question: Does God care if a man and a woman are not legally married yet want to live together?
Answer: To know the mind of God, we must look at the Word of God. Your question is one that needs to be clearly answered in this day when pre-marital sex and living together outside of marriage are being accepted as normal life styles.
Let me show you from the Scriptures that God is against an unmarried couple living together as husband and wife. He is opposed to all acts of sex outside the bounds of marriage, contrary to the standards set-up by a rebellious, Godless society world-wide.
We read in Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers (Gk. “pornos,” fornicators) and adulterers God will judge.” Here it is stated that “Marriage is honourable in all,” without exception, even to ministers (1 Tim. 3:2).
The word “honourable” means “something of real value, of great worth, and in this state the marriage bed is said to be “undefiled,” that is, “without stain, free from condemnation.” While on the other hand, those fornicators and adulterers, who use the bed for sexual purposes outside the marriage state, are guilty of staining the bed with sin and are doomed to face judgment before God.
God was responsible for performing the first marriage when He brought Adam and Eve together as husband and wife (Gen. 2:21-24), and their offspring followed this marriage pattern.
There is nothing shameful in itself about sex. God made us the way we are. He created sex. He made our bodies with their natural mating instincts and desires. It is not wrong for a man to be attracted to a woman, or vice versa. But all of these urges must be controlled and curbed until the marriage state takes place.
Paul writes: “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2). If you will notice, he didn’t say to avoid fornication for the man to “get a woman,” but get a “wife,” for marriage would lawfully meet his needs in this area.
He goes on to say that if a man or woman “cannot contain (restrain their passions by remaining single), let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn [with passion]” (1 Cor 7:9). Sex within the marriage relationship is right and normal. Sex outside this relationship is wrong and contrary to the will of God.
Marriage is used as a figure of New Testament churches in their union with Christ (Eph. 5:23, 29, 31-32; 1 Cor. 11:3; Rom. 7:4). Christ performed His first recorded miracle at a wedding in Cana (John. 2:1-10). God places His approval on scriptural marriages for it is written, “what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder” (Matt. 19:4-6). We are exhorted to “flee fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18), and “avoid fornication” (1 Cor. 7:2).
Fornication is a sin that can be washed away by the blood of Christ, just like any other sin (1 Cor. 6:9-11). The scriptural answer to fornication is marriage (1 Cor. 7:2, 9), but to the Christian (only in the Lord) [to another Christian]” (1 Cor. 7:19; 2 Cor. 6:14).