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Question

 

Gramps,

I have a troubling Biblical question no one seems to be able to answer. It is blunt and personal, but I am desperately seeking an answer.  According to 1 Cor. 6:16, is premarital sex non existent? Is sex marriage?  To spare details, I have sinned in the past and have since met the lady I wish to marry. Have I given this up unless I wish to be in adultery? Thank you.

Ben

 

Answer

 

Dear Ben,

From what little I understand of your situation, I don’t believe that 1 Corinthians 6:16 applies in the way you think it does.

The focus of this section of scripture, is that Paul is trying to encourage the Saints at Corinth to shun evil behaviors–not out of a legalistic desire to remain “pure” and thereby earn their own salvation, as the Pharisees would; but out of love for Christ and a sincere desire to serve Him to the end.  To strengthen his point, Paul likens the relationship between Christ and the members of His Church to the marital relationship of man and wife (a common comparison throughout the Bible).  A church member is supposed to become one with Christ, just as marriage was believed to represent the husband’s and wife’s becoming one with each other.  Just as a married woman would not want to sell herself into prostitution because it would sully her relationship with her husband, so a church member should not want indulge in the sorts of behavior mentioned earlier in the chapter (especially verses 9-10)–again, because such activities would sully the church member’s relationship with Christ.  That’s the general principle Paul is talking about.

Or, to put it a slightly different way:  we become one with what we love and engage in. We are commanded to be one with God. If we, instead, engage in sin, we become one with sin instead. A man is what he loves and what he does.  This interpretation is bolstered by the verses immediately before and after verse 16:

15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

Now, as to your specific situation:  I am not aware of any Gospel principle that prevents a person guilty of sexual indiscretion from marrying in the future, provided that certain conditions of repentance are met.  Your bishop would be the best person to give you further, specific advice in this regard.

 

Gramps

 

 

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