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Read Introduction to Hebrews


4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.


Pagan marriages often practiced immorality. Christian marriage faced a major problem with the dominant culture’s lack of standards in marriage.

4 Marriage is honorable among all,

Marriage is “honorable” because it is a divine institution. It is the basic building block for society. The word “honorable” means to hold with great esteem. Physical love among married people is “honorable.” It is something that must be held in great respect. It is intimate companionship (Ge 2:18). Any form of sex outside of husband and wife is dishonorable in God’s eyes.

and the bed undefiled [pure];

There is nothing wrong with a husband and wife having sex. Within that context, it is “undefiled” or pure. Sex is a beautiful thing between husband and wife. There is a warning here not to break the marriage vow by adultery because it is a set-apart relationship.

but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

God takes notice of the two sins of “fornicators” and “adulterers.” Sexual sin is a sin against self (1 Co 6:18). Judgment will take place at the Judgment Seat of Christ, which is for the rewards of believers only.


Loyalty is fundamental to marriage.


The family is the basic structure of society. Today we face the breakdown of the family. Christians have no basis for biblical ethics without the Bible. Sexual standards of the Bible are foundational to the family unit.

Marriage is the basis for the home, society, and government. That is why it is “honorable.” This divine institution rests on union, a union that comes from the Lord. Christian marriage has a dynamic whereby spouses’ roles meet the need of the other gender. There is no solitude in this but reciprocity.

The world today considers sexual activity outside marriage acceptable. This is not a biblical norm but a standard established outside the Word of God. Biblical sex is more than a physical function; it is both a connection of souls and a bodily function. A person who does not function within this realm of biblical standards ends in a vacuous relationship. Besides, side effects such as venereal disease, unexpected pregnancies, and rape, among other problems, arise in their lives. Immoral Christians will face the divine discipline presented in chapter 12 (Eph 5:3).