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Let me lay out what I view to be applicable biblical principles and passages on this topic.
I'll start by putting my position right on the line: I believe the Bible to teach that all sexual activity outside of marriage is sin, and all romantically oriented physical activity is sexual activity. As the questions above indicate, however, many single Christians have questions about whether premarital physical activity at some level beyond kissing is OK.
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Brothers and Sisters in Christ So marriage is a unique relationship, and the good gift of sex is not only allowed but commanded within that relationship.
Still, the overwhelming majority of believers will only share that relationship with one person in their entire lives.
In Song of Songs, God has given us a holy and beautiful picture of a marital sexual relationship, and everyone seems to be having an excellent time.
Even there, however, God is clear that sex is uniquely for marriage: The orthodox interpretation of the book suggests both that an actual sexual relationship is part of what the narrative relays and a context at the time of the sexual part of the relationship of marriage.
The argument becomes clearer when we look at some of what the Bible has to say about 1 sex, 2 our relationships with other believers and 3 sexual immorality itself.
The game changes when two people are romantically involved or "semi-involved" a fascinating phrase I recently heard.
Before you start throwing things at your computer, let's go to Scripture.
How can you say definitively that other things are wrong? Shouldn't our physical relationship "progress" as other aspects of our relationship deepen? I understand most physical stuff is wrong, but what about just kissing?
With respect to pre-marital, romantically oriented kissing, we're clearly talking about an area about which reasonable believers can and do disagree.