Saturday, June 11, 2011

Biblical Sexuality

The purpose of this study is to discover God's view of human sexuality as presented in the Bible. All study will be done based on the belief that the Bible is God's Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit and is therefore completely without error in the original autographs. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. All other truth must be filtered through and judged according to God's written truth in the 66 books of the Bible.

This study will be conducted by searching the whole Bible for any verses/passages relevant to human sexuality and then examining each through the use of an appropriate interpretation method.

The biblical interpretation method chosen to guide our study provides us with the basic guidelines and rules for “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).

This method is most easily understood through the L.I.G.H.T.S. Acronym.
Literal Interpretation
We are to interpret the Word of God just as we interpret other forms of communication — in its most obvious and literal sense. Most often, the biblical authors employed literal statements to communicate their ideas (such as when the apostle Paul said of Jesus, “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth” — Col. 1:16). And where the biblical writers express their ideas in literal statements, the interpreter must take those statements in a literal sense. In this way, the interpreter will grasp the intended meaning of the writer.

Of course, this is not to deny that Scripture employs figures of speech. Indeed, the biblical writers often used figurative language to communicate truth in a graphic way. And, in most cases, the meaning of such language is clear from the context. When Jesus says He is “the door” (John 10:7), for example, it is obvious He is not saying He is composed of wood and hinges. Rather, He is the “way” to salvation.

Illumination by the Holy Spirit
The illumination of Scripture that can only come from the Spirit of God. First Corinthians 2:12 says: “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” Because the author of Scripture — the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). — resides within the child of God (1 Cor. 3:16), he or she is in a position to receive God’s illumination (1 Cor. 2:9-11). And, indeed, the Spirit of truth not only provides insights that permeate the mind, but also provides illumination that can penetrate the heart.

Grammatical Principles
Scripture is to be interpreted in accordance with typical rules of grammar — including syntax and style. For this reason, it is important for the student of Scripture to have a basic understanding of grammatical principles. It is also helpful to have a basic grasp of the Greek and Hebrew languages. If you do not know Greek or Hebrew, however, don’t panic. Today there are a host of eminently usable tools to aid you in gaining insights from the original languages of Scripture. Besides commentaries, there are “interlinear” translations that provide the Hebrew and Greek text of the Bible in parallel with the English text. As well, Strong’s concordance has a number-coding system by which you can look up the Greek or Hebrew word (along with a full definition) behind each word in the English Bible. Moreover, there are dictionaries of Old and New Testament words that are keyed to Strong’s concordance. Tools such as these make it easy for the layperson to obtain insights on the original Hebrew or Greek of the Bible without being fluent in these languages.

Historical Context
The Christian faith is historical and evidential (Luke 1:1-4). The biblical text is best understood when one is familiar with the customs, culture, and historical context of biblical times. Thankfully, there are a host of excellent Bible handbooks and commentaries to aid us in the process of understanding the people and places of the Bible.

Teaching Ministry
The illumination of Scripture ultimately comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit but God has also provided the church with uniquely gifted human teachers (Eph. 4:11). Therefore, as we seek to rightly interpret God’s Word (2 Tim. 2:15), we would do well to consult those whom God has uniquely gifted as teachers in the church (cf. Tit. 2:1-15). Of course, following the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:11), we should always make sure that what human teachers say is in line with Scripture (cf. 1 Thess. 5:21).

Scriptural Harmony
Individual passages of Scripture must always be in harmony with Scripture as a whole. The biblical interpreter must keep in mind that all of Scripture — though communicated through various human instruments — has a single Author (God). And, of course, God does not contradict Himself.

How to Start?
Begin collecting related verses, using the bible search tool on this site, and compiling them by copying/pasting the whole verse into comments on this post. When posting verses, make sure to include only one version in the post with book/chapter/verse. When searching, use all words associated with our study topic to find relevant verses.  After finding the verses, use the words within those verses for more ideas for new words to search. Once we have established that all the relevant verses for our study have been found we will begin using the L.I.G.H.T.S interpretation method to study the verses in depth.

I am confident that God will use this study, along with reflection on His consistent character, to help us understand what He thinks about human sexuality. 

We then can wrestle and pray about how we can follow what He reveals to us.  It is not going to be easy but I look forward to taking this journey with you.


*Biblical Interpretation method chosen was created by Hank Hanegraff


  1. Search word "sex" (searching all translations available in embedded word search)

    Genesis 19:5 NIV They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."

    Judges 19:22 NIV
    While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him."

    Proverbs 5:16 NLT
    Why spill the water of your springs in public, having sex with just anyone?

    Romans 1:26 NLT
    That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.

  2. All quotes are from (New International Version)

    Genesis 19:5
    5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."

    Jude 1:7
    7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

    Leviticus 18:22
    22 " 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

    Leviticus 20:13
    13 " 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

    Romans 1:24-28
    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10
    9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

  3. word search "sexual" (pg 1)

    Exodus 19:15 NIV
    Then he said to the people, "Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations."

    Exodus 22:19 NIV
    "Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal must be put to death.

    Leviticus 18:1 NIV
    [Unlawful Sexual Relations] The LORD said to Moses,

    Leviticus 18:6 NIV
    " 'No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD.

    Leviticus 18:7 NIV
    " 'Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.

    Leviticus 18:8 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with your father's wife; that would dishonor your father.

    Leviticus 18:9 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.

    Leviticus 18:10 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter; that would dishonor you.

    Leviticus 18:11 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father's wife, born to your father; she is your sister.

    Leviticus 18:12 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with your father's sister; she is your father's close relative.

  4. word search sexual (pg 3b)

    Numbers 25:1 NIV
    [Moab Seduces Israel] While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women,

    Deuteronomy 27:21 NIV
    "Cursed is the man who has sexual relations with any animal." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

    Matthew 15:19 NIV
    For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

    Mark 7:21 NIV
    For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,

    Acts 15:20 NIV
    Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

    Acts 15:29 NIV
    You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

  5. word search "sexual" (pg 4)

    Acts 21:25 NIV
    As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality."

    Romans 1:24 NIV
    Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

    Romans 13:13 NIV
    Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

    1 Corinthians 5:1 NIV
    [Expel the Immoral Brother!] It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife.

    1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV
    [Sexual Immorality] "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything.

    1 Corinthians 6:13 NIV
    "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

    1 Corinthians 6:18 NIV
    Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

    1 Corinthians 10:8 NIV
    We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did--and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.

    2 Corinthians 12:21 NIV
    I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.

    Galatians 5:19 NIV
    The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;

  6. word search "sexual" (pg 2)

    Leviticus 18:13 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with your mother's sister, because she is your mother's close relative.

    Leviticus 18:14 NIV
    " 'Do not dishonor your father's brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.

    Leviticus 18:15 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's wife; do not have relations with her.

    Leviticus 18:16 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with your brother's wife; that would dishonor your brother.

    Leviticus 18:17 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.

    Leviticus 18:18 NIV
    " 'Do not take your wife's sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.

    Leviticus 18:19 NIV
    " 'Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.

    Leviticus 18:20 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor's wife and defile yourself with her.

    Leviticus 18:23 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

    Leviticus 20:15 NIV
    " 'If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he must be put to death, and you must kill the animal.

  7. word search "sexual" (pg 3)

    Leviticus 20:16 NIV
    " 'If a woman approaches an animal to have sexual relations with it, kill both the woman and the animal. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

    Leviticus 20:17 NIV
    " 'If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a disgrace. They must be cut off before the eyes of their people. He has dishonored his sister and will be held responsible.

    Leviticus 20:18 NIV
    " 'If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period and has sexual relations with her, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them must be cut off from their people.

    Leviticus 20:19 NIV
    " 'Do not have sexual relations with the sister of either your mother or your father, for that would dishonor a close relative; both of you would be held responsible.

  8. So when do we move to the next part? What should we be actively doing at this juncture?

  9. I think that there are quite a few verses stil left to find on the subject. Try using the following words/phrases for searching: marriage, one flesh, immorality, immoral, adultery, lust. Use any word that may be remotely associated with sexuality. We should be able to start the study part of it within the next week or so if people find all the verses to all of our our satisfaction.