How Far Is Too Far?

How far is too far sexually? When do we cross the line? The Bible is clear sex before marriage is not God’s desire for us,...

  • 1 Corinthians 6:9 - Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:21 - I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those iwho sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.
  • Ephesians 5:5 - For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (vthat is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
  • Colossians 3:5-6 - Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, nwhich is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3 - For this is the will of God, iyour sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
  • 1 Timothy 1:8-10 - Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
  • Hebrews 13:4 - Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
  • Jude 7 - just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and spursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Is it just the act of intercourse God is says is out-of-bounds for the Christian?

The phrase sexual immorality in the previous verses is a translation of the Greek word porneia. This is where we get our word pornography from. It means expressing ourselves sexuality outside of the context of marriage. That is pre-marital sex, extra-marital sex and everything people view on internet at the Rate X site.

God is concerned with much more than just the sexual act. He is concerned with the purity of our thoughts.

The Ladder of Sexual Involvement


Let me introduce you to the ladder of sexual involvement. This ladder is based upon three words (some of these words are only found in the old King James but they are more accurate english translations of the Greek)

  • Defraud – to cheat, to deprive by deception or fraud
  • Lasciviousness – Acting lewdly or lustfully… provoking anothers sexual desires (You will find it in the King James Version of the Bible in Mark 7:22, 2 Cor. 12:21; Gal 5:19; Eph 4:19; 1 Peter 4:3; Jude 4)
  • Concupiscence – Being controlled by your sexual desires (You will find it in the King James Version of the Bible in Romans 7:8; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:5)

A relationship begins at a state of sexual purity. The more physically involved you become outside of marriage, the more you begin to steal (defraud) from your partner intimacies that have been intended by God to be reserved for each of your marriage partners alone.

The farther up the sexual ladder you climb, the more lasciviously you will use your body. The more your body will be used to provoke your partners sexual desires. The result is they become more attracted to the passion than the person. Their true feeling and emotions for you become increasingly clouded. They are more in love with the feeling of passion than they are the person.

The farther up the ladder you climb, not only are you increasingly using your body to provoke your partners sexual desires but you are also becoming increasingly controlled by your own sexual desires. This is called concupiscence. The higher up the ladder you go the more controlled by your sexual appetite you will become. In a manner that is similar to bringing two magnets closer together, the closer you go to the top of the ladder the stronger the pull of attraction will become.

So where is the answer? How far is too far? How far up the ladder can you climb without inciting the sexual passions of your partner? You are a person, not a sexual object. How far up the ladder can you climb without finding your mind being preoccupied with your partners sexuality both in the heat of the moment and out of the heat of the moment?

Needless to say, none of us can climb too high and maintain our purity.

Paul put it well in his challenge to young Timothy. When he was instructing him on his relationships with women in his congregation…

Treat younger men like brothers, older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity. 1 Timothy 5:2

Simply put, if you wouldn’t do it with your sister, then you shouldn’t be doing it with your partner outside of the marriage covenant.

For those who haven’t quite figured it out, the plain instructions are…
  • Don’t Pull Up
  • Don’t Pull Down
  • Don’t Unbutton
  • Don’t Unzip
  • Keep Your Hands to Yourself

A Biblical Study of Sex Before Marriage in PDF Format