Bible Verses on Sexual Immorality

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament have a lot to say about sex. As Christians, we used to follow what the Bible says about sex. Today? Not so much.

Is it because we're ignorant of what God deems important? Well, let's take care of that. Here's what is recorded in the New Testament.

New Testament Bible Verses on Sexual Immorality


Porneia and porneuo are Greek words that the New American Standard Bible (NASB) translates as unchastity, immorality, and fornication, and the ESV and NKJV translate as sexual immorality. From the Greek word porneia, we get the English word pornography.

Porneia is defined as illicit sexual intercourse: adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.; sexual intercourse with close relatives; Leviticus 18 (see below); sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mark 10:11, 12 (See the Blue Letter Bible.)

Porneuo is defined as to prostitute one's body to the lust of another; to give one's self to unlawful sexual intercourse; to commit fornication (See the Blue Letter Bible.)

[Jesus is speaking...] "But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matthew 5:32 ESV)

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. (Matthew 15:19 ESV)

[Jesus is speaking...] "And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:9 ESV)

[Jesus is speaking...] "For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery"... (Mark 7:21 ESV)

[Jesus is speaking...] "You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” (John 8:41 ESV)

but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. (Acts 15:20 ESV)

that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. (Acts 15:29 ESV)

But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality.” (Acts 21:25 ESV)

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. (1 Corinthians 5:1 ESV)

“Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (1 Corinthians 6:13 ESV)

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18 ESV)

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2 ESV)

I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced. (2 Corinthians 12:21 ESV)

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality... (Galatians 5:19 ESV)

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. (Ephesians 5:3 ESV)

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5 ESV)

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality... (1 Thessalonians 4:3 ESV)

I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. (Revelation 2:21 ESV)

nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (Revelation 9:21 ESV)

Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.” (Revelation 14:8 ESV)

with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” (Revelation 17:2 ESV)

The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. (Revelation 17:4 ESV)

For all nations have drunk
the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.” (Revelation 18:3 ESV)

for his judgments are true and just;
for he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
and has avenged on her the blood of his servants. (Revelation 19:2 ESV)

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Old Testament Bible Verses on Sexual Immorality

He shall take a wife in her virginity. (Leviticus 21:13)

None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness (Leviticus 18:6). [Just in case you need a more detailed list...] You shall not uncover the nakedness of:

  • your father (Leviticus 18:7)
  • your mother (Leviticus 18:7)
  • your father's wife (Leviticus 18:8)
  • your sister, either father's daughter or your mother's daughter (Leviticus 18:9)
  • your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter (Leviticus 18:10)
  • your father's wife's daughter (Leviticus 18:11)
  • your father's sister (Leviticus 18:12)
  • your mother's sister (Leviticus 18:13)
  • your father's brother (Leviticus 18:14)
  • your father's brother's wife (Leviticus 18:14)
  • your daughter-in-law (Leviticus 18:15)
  • your brother's wife (Leviticus 18:16)
  • a woman and her daughter (Leviticus 18:17)
  • a woman and her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter (Leviticus 18:17)
  • your wife's sister unless you're married to her after your wife's death (Leviticus 18:18)

You shall not have intercourse with:

  • your neighbor's wife (Leviticus 18:20)
  • a male as one lies with a female (Leviticus 18:22)
  • any animal (Leviticus 18:23)