The Porneia Passages

“Porneia” (the root of our word “pornography”) originally referred to prostitution but became an umbrella term for sexual immorality in general. As such, it includes within its coverage all aspects of sexual immorality. Given that God’s word teaches that homosexual acts are immoral, in the context of the Bible, “porneia” clearly includes homosexual acts. Passages that use this word are therefore referring (indirectly but still actually) to homosexual acts – and there are many such passages. Some of the more pertinent are listed here. The translation of “porneia” is underlined. Acts 15:20, 29; 21-25 – When the Council of Jerusalem identified what requirements did apply to Gentile Christians, that short list included abstaining from sexual immorality. 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and [immorality] of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2  And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? Paul is horrified at the thought that a church might be proud of sexual immorality in its midst. Instead, the members should have been distressed (“gone into mourning”) and should have removed the offenders from their fellowship. There is a great deal more in this chapter including Paul’s handing of the immoral person over to Satan. Note here that the desire is redemption. He is handed over to Satan for the “destruction of the sinful nature” and “so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord”. Paul also teaches the need for a church to get rid of sin in its midst since “a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough” (5:6). A church that allows sin will find that sin multiplies. A church is to act decisively. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 9  I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people 10  not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11  But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 1 Corinthians 6:12-17 12  “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.  13  You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  14  By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.  15  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!  16  Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”  17  But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. People may say they are free to do what they like but, for Christians, the body is not meant for sexual immorality. On the contrary, it is for the Lord. As part of the body of Christ, it is unthinkable that Christians (and therefore, the body of Christ Himself) might be united with a prostitute (or in any other form of sexual immorality). 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 18  Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.  19  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  20  you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies. Some will say that no sins are worse than others. This passage says that sexual immorality is different in that sexual sins are sins against our own bodies. Further, there is a theological incompatibility between our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit and those same bodies engaging in sexual immorality. We are not independent and autonomous, able to determine what we will and will not do. We do not belong to ourselves. We have been bought by God at a great price (the crucifixion of His Son). We are therefore to honour God with our bodies, not simply indulge our own sinfulness. 2 Corinthians 12:21 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 5:19-21 19  The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  20  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  21  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Note also v.24 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Ephesians 5:3-7 3  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  4  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  5  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  7  Therefore do not be partners with them. Colossians 3:5-8 5  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  6  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.  7   You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  8  But now you must also rid yourselves  of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 3  It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality 4  that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable,  5  not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;  6  and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.  7  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  8  Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. Revelation 2:20-23 20  Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.  21  I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.  22  So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.  23  I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Revelation 9:20-21 20  The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21  Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. Revelation 14:8 A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” Revelation 19:1-2 After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2  for true and just are his judgements. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” The biblical material is consistent, overwhelming and unmistakable. God does not mince His words. Sexual immorality (including homosexual acts) is incompatible with the claim to be a Christian. Sexual immorality is uniformly condemned and God continues to warn that the sexually immoral will not enter the Kingdom of God but will be subject to God’s wrath. It seems incredible that Christians can still claim that homosexual immorality should be accepted in the church. And we still haven’t even dealt with Jesus’ references to homosexuality. Related pages
© 2017 Peter Cheyne
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love
Main sections Main sections

The Porneia Passages

“Porneia” (the root of our word “pornography”) originally referred to prostitution but became an umbrella term for sexual immorality in general. As such, it includes within its coverage all aspects of sexual immorality. Given that God’s word teaches that homosexual acts are immoral, in the context of the Bible, “porneia” clearly includes homosexual acts. Passages that use this word are therefore referring (indirectly but still actually) to homosexual acts – and there are many such passages. Some of the more pertinent are listed here. The translation of “porneia” is underlined. Acts 15:20, 29; 21-25 – When the Council of Jerusalem identified what requirements did apply to Gentile Christians, that short list included abstaining from sexual immorality. 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and [immorality] of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2  And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? Paul is horrified at the thought that a church might be proud of sexual immorality in its midst. Instead, the members should have been distressed (“gone into mourning”) and should have removed the offenders from their fellowship. There is a great deal more in this chapter including Paul’s handing of the immoral person over to Satan. Note here that the desire is redemption. He is handed over to Satan for the “destruction of the sinful nature” and “so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord”. Paul also teaches the need for a church to get rid of sin in its midst since “a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough” (5:6). A church that allows sin will find that sin multiplies. A church is to act decisively. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 9  I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people 10  not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11  But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 1 Corinthians 6:12-17 12  “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.  13  You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  14  By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.  15  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!  16  Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”  17  But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. People may say they are free to do what they like but, for Christians, the body is not meant for sexual immorality. On the contrary, it is for the Lord. As part of the body of Christ, it is unthinkable that Christians (and therefore, the body of Christ Himself) might be united with a prostitute (or in any other form of sexual immorality). 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 18  Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.  19  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  20  you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies. Some will say that no sins are worse than others. This passage says that sexual immorality is different in that sexual sins are sins against our own bodies. Further, there is a theological incompatibility between our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit and those same bodies engaging in sexual immorality. We are not independent and autonomous, able to determine what we will and will not do. We do not belong to ourselves. We have been bought by God at a great price (the crucifixion of His Son). We are therefore to honour God with our bodies, not simply indulge our own sinfulness. 2 Corinthians 12:21 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 5:19-21 19  The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  20  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  21  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Note also v.24 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus
have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Ephesians 5:3-7 3  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed,  because these are improper for God’s holy people.  4  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  5  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  6  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath  comes on those who are disobedient.  7   Therefore do not be partners with them. Colossians 3:5-8 5  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  6  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.  7   You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  8  But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander,  and filthy language from your lips. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 3  It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality 4  that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable,  5  not in passionate lust  like the pagans, who do not know God;  6  and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish  all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.  7  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  8  Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. Revelation 2:20-23 20  Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.  21  I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.  22  So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery  with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.  23  I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Revelation 9:20-21 20  The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21  Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. Revelation 14:8 A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” Revelation 19:1-2 After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2  for true and just are his judgements. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” The biblical material is consistent, overwhelming and unmistakable. God does not mince His words. Sexual immorality (including homosexual acts) is incompatible with the claim to be a Christian. Sexual immorality is uniformly condemned and God continues to warn that the sexually immoral will not enter the Kingdom of God but will be subject to God’s wrath. It seems incredible that Christians can still claim that homosexual immorality should be accepted in the church. And we still haven’t even dealt with Jesus’ references to homosexuality. Related pages
© Peter Cheyne 2017.
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love
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