What does the Bible say about MASTURBATION?
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Question: What does the Bible teach about a man or woman who practice masturbation? If it is a sin then is it the THOUGHT or ACTION that is sinful?
Answer: The answer to your Bible question regarding masturbation depends upon what standard we are using. There is one answer the Bible offers if we are referring to the Law received by Moses: "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." (1John 3:4, NKJV throughout) and another answer if we use the Christian standard Jesus Christ and the apostle taught: "All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death." (1John 5:17)
The Bible standard Christians are to follow in regard to masturbation is much higher than the Old Testament law because it is based on the spirit (or intent) of God's commands and not the letter (the narrow, strict interpretation). Each day believers are having God's Law written in their hearts by him changing our nature:
" . . . for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them . . ." (Romans 2:14-15)
In Matthew 5 Jesus reveals that even having wrong thoughts are a sin because it is a matter of the heart or love:
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:27-28)
True love for another, based on the Bible, means not to harm them in any way as the Apostle Paul states:
"Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." (Romans 13:10)
Since we are human (in the flesh), we all sin:
"As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one;" (Romans 3:10)