Is masturbation a sin?

Is masturbation a sin?

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Is masturbation a sin?

This is a tricky question!!  The Bible does not specifically mention masturbation, so there is no specific command that forbids it.  Because of that fact some Christians teach that masturbation is not a sin.

However, sin is more than breaking commands - it is an expression of our broken relationship with God and failing to live our lives with reference to him.  Sex, as God intended it, is to be enjoyed between a husband and wife (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). It is hard to see how masturbation fits in with this.  In Matthew 5:27-30 Jesus commands us not to look lustfully at a woman who is not our wife (and by implication a man who is not our husband). In fact in this context, he talks about your right hand causing you to sin which many take to refer to masturbation.  So, because of these verses some Christians teach that masturbation, in fact, is a sin.

So, this is a debated question!  Personally, I tend to come down on the side of it being a sin.  However, it is no worse than any other sin - like pride, envy. The bodily nature tends to make people feel that it is worse - but all sin is the same and can be forgiven by Jesus blood for those who confess their sins and ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:8-9).

Even though there is some debate as I mentioned, the Bible is very clear that we must always act with faith and that ‘whatever does not proceed from faith is sin’ (Rom 14:23).  That means that if we doubt whether it is OK or not to masturbate, we must not do it - and if we do, we must confess our sin and ask for forgiveness.

Hope that helps.

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