First, I'd like to say a few words about sex. The Lord created sex for married couples, and I am talking about husband and wife. Fornication and adultery are sins against your own body, as well as the other person's body.
The apostle Paul wrote: "Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body...Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." (1Co 6:13,18-20)
Paul explicitly said that immorality is a sin against your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are to flee immorality (1Co 6:18). The Scriptural standard is still complete sexual purity.
The churches in Pergamum and Thyatira tolerated sexually immoral people in their midst, and the Lord had this against them (2:14, 20). For we are to avoid unholy associations with so-called brothers, who are sexually immoral (1Co 5:9-11), because there must be no immoral or godless person among those who are the disciples of Christ (Heb 12:16). No unholy person has any inheritance in God’s kingdom (Eph 5:5). The Lord revealed to the apostle John that unholy people will inherit the lake of fire, not the kingdom of Christ (Rev 21:8), and those outside the holy city are the unholy people (Rev 22:15).
However, immoral sins against your body are not limited to sexual acts committed physically between two people. Any impure or lustful thoughts or acts you commit by yourself or with anyone else are also immoral sins, according to Scripture.
Moreover, in addition to your physical acts of sexual immorality, and the thoughts and intentions of the heart, you also need to be sure that you keep your body pure and holy in terms of the attire and adornment you wear, as I explained in Garments of Godliness. Likewise, on another blog in my article, Faith Works!, I explained this in more detail, but I would like to share an excerpt from it here.
"Paul stated when he wrote in Galatians 5: '"Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.' (Gal 5:19-21)"
"To those who say that what a woman wears externally does not matter, and that jewelry, makeup, and other artificial adornments are not a problem for Christians to put on their bodies, this is what the Lord says. He says the 'property of Jezebel' that the daughter's of God are wearing just like the world are not pure. They are not of God. Jezebel 'painted her eyes and adorned her head' to make herself sexually attractive, in order to deceive and seduce men, probably in the hope that Jehu would not kill her (1 King 9:30b). That is impurity. It is also sensuality, since it lends itself to exciting sexual desires. And can also be idolatry, since they love those things of the world that they wear, just as the men likewise love them. They do not want to part with them. And it also causes men to idolize women, as if they were goddesses, because of the way they are artificially adorned with worldly things. It also leads to lust and envy, as well as carousing, and 'things like these.' Paul clearly forewarned us that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God; they will miss heaven."
"To those who insist that the property of Jezebel is not impure, sensual, or idolatrous, I say that you are badly mistaken. Don't you know where all those worldly things originally came from? Do the research as far back as you can go, and see for yourself. Those things were introduced into the world by satan through his angels."
The apostle Paul wrote:
"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." (1 Thes 5:23-24)
"What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.' Therefore, 'Come out from them and be separate,' says the Lord. 'Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.' And, 'I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty.' Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2Co 6:16-18; 7:1, NIV).
"...The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit..." (1Co 7:34b)
"And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." (Rom 6:13)
"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." (Rom 12:1)
"Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience." (Col 3:5-6)
"I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God." (1 Tim 2:9-10; cf., 1 Pet 3:1-6)
Putting it All Together
Paul explicitly taught that we must keep our bodies holy and pure, and so did Peter. These days it is popular to eat things that are considered "pure and natural". There's nothing wrong with that. But we must not neglect the more important matters in the sight of God, and that includes keeping our bodies holy, pure, and natural, the way God created them.
The Lord created sex for married couples, which means fornication and adultery are sins against your own body. The Lord will cast anyone committing these sins into hell, if they do not repent. It doesn't matter how many souls you have evangelized or how gifted you are spiritually. It doesn't matter how much money you have given to charity or any other things you have done. You cannot earn your way into heaven by your gifts or your good works.
The Lord created us in His image, and it is sin to change the image of God, by making ourselves look unnatural or putting artificial things on our bodies. That includes jewelry, makeup, hair attachments, unnatural hairdos, tanning cream, bleaching cream, tatoos, body piercings, dying the hair, perming or relaxing the hair, gold teeth, fake fingernails, fake eyelashes, expensive clothes, or anything that is immodest, impure, immoral, worldly, or unholy.
Without holiness, no man shall see God's face (Heb 12:14).
It's not legalism to obey God's Word. If this is an area where you know you have not been walking in obedience to God, then please repent and amend your ways. Change your life, so that you don't perish in hell. The Lord Jesus still loves you! But His standard for heaven is high, and He is not changing it for anybody.
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. The "Pure Water" image is courtesy of Wayne Consultants & Mfg. Inc. The image of the hands under pure flowing water is courtesy of the BHR Group, copyright © 2011 BHR Group, a trading name of VirtualPiE Ltd.
Author's note: Also see Garments of Godliness and Faith Works!, as well as my other articles called, Obedience by the Spirit and Baptized with the Spirit. You may also like Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Is Practical Righteousness a Lost Truth?, Called to be Blameless, Keeping Sundays Holy, Restored Truth, The Highest Form of Slavery, and Is Tithing Required? You can access the Seeking the Lord Main Directory or my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.