Question and Answer

Sex before Marriage


So if you had sex before you got married, can you get married in an orthodox church? Since adultery is sin and you have committed it, is there a chance to get married like anyone else?


The basic answer to your question is “Yes, under certain conditions.” Let me explain more thoroughly.

Sex outside of marriage is sin, according to the Bible. Exodus 20:14 says, “You shall not commit adultery.” Other passages make the same point.

Because sin is the breaking of God’s commandments, it brings guilt upon the sinner. Every sin deserves God’s wrath and curse. Sin also brings corruption, and leaves the sinner “stained.” Sin leaves us feeling “dirty.”

Because of the guilt and corruption brought on by sin, every sinner deserves to be sent to hell. Man needs forgiveness and cleansing from his sin.

God himself provides forgiveness and cleansing for sinners through Jesus Christ, the Savior of sinners.

Being the Son of God, he came to earth and took on our humanity. Throughout his life, Jesus was the “God-man”—fully and truly God, and fully and truly man. Although he was tempted in all things as we are, yet he was without any sin of his own. Jesus lived a perfect life and never sinned—not even once.

Jesus then died upon the cross as a perfect sacrifice and a substitute for lost sinners. His death paid the penalty men owed, and satisfied God’s justice. Man’s guilt is taken away because of Jesus’ death on the cross. Moreover, his blood shed upon the cross cleanses man from every stain of every sin.

Jesus not only died for sinners, but he rose again for their justification. Because Jesus rose again from the dead, we are no longer in our sins, but are forgiven. We have good hopes of eternal life through the perfect work of Jesus.

If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, embracing him as your Savior and Lord, and putting your confidence in him alone, you will be forgiven and saved. Your sins will be paid for, and your guilt taken away. You will be set free by the Son of God—Jesus Christ our Lord!

Those who repent of their sins and believe in the Lord Jesus are welcomed into the church. Forgiven sinners can be church members, can get married, can enjoy all the blessings and benefits of church membership, and can experience God’s grace, which is rich and free.

I hope that answers your question.

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

Return to Formatted Page