Is Masturbation A Sin Accord To The Bible?


Humans are very sexual beings and that’s why in our world today, there’s a lot of curiosity surrounding sex and more than enough knowledge about it. We see it pasted blatantly everywhere we turn; media, on billboards, on the internet, basically everywhere.  It literally takes less than a few clicks to draw up a bunch of information about it. Amongst believers too, sex seems to be a hot topic that most of us just want to shy away from and act ignorant of, even though we have questions as regarding its intricacies.

For one, there’s always the question of ‘Is masturbation a sin in the bible?’ Masturbation is simply the act of touching or rubbing your sexual organs to give yourself sexual pleasure. In an increasingly self-governed world, believers tend to get confused because some health experts swear that it’s healthy and it doesn’t lead to harm or any form of repercussion. But make no mistakes, because in God’s eyes it is sinful, and here’s why.

Is Masturbation In The Bible?

The word masturbation in itself is not mentioned in the Bible. The closest it comes to mentioning it is in context. Take a look.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified; that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God.” 

Masturbation is born of lust and a clear lack of self-control. That doesn’t paint a holy and honorable picture, does it? Lust is sinful in God’s eyes. If we can’t control ourselves and act on the smallest trace of feeling or impulse, how are we much better than animals who act with primal instinct?

Even though masturbation isn’t mentioned in clear terms in the Bible, the fact remains that the thoughts that lead up to it are sinful and that alone should be enough to tag the act itself sinful too.

Is Masturbation A Sin?

Masturbation is a sin, have no doubt about it. However, the Million-dollar question is ‘why is it a sin?’ Amongst others, here are a few reasons why:

  • Masturbation is a result of lack of self-control. This trait is something we are constantly warned against within the pages of the Bible. From Galatians 5:22-23, we see that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. If we aren’t letting the Spirit bear this fruit in us because of masturbation, then it is disobedience to God.
  • Masturbation is self-gratification. Those who masturbate act on their fleshly desire without giving a thought to how anyone else including God would feel about it. It is the crux of selfishness and pride to put ourselves and our desires before even God and His love for us. Romans 8:5 makes it clear that those who live according to the flesh cannot live by the spirit.
  • It defiles God’s temple- our bodies. Masturbation requires quite a bit of imagination or gazing at people lustfully in the forms of pornography or other erotica for stimulation. It goes without being said that we defile God’s temple by looking upon these things, and then aggressively acting upon them.
  • It goes against God’s blueprint for marriage. Some people claim that it’s okay within the boundaries of marriage. But that is so wrong. Masturbation builds self-dependency for sexual pleasure over time because it is addictive. A partner thinks, “if I can do it myself, why do I need a spouse?”. Instead of the intimacy and harmony that sex builds between a couple, masturbation leads each of them to deem themselves self-sufficient, consciously or not.  That is not God’s original blueprint for the marriage covenant.
  • Masturbation isn’t part of sexual purity. The act of staying away from sex is not considered abstinence if you masturbate alongside. It’s like eating half of the fruit and swearing you haven’t tasted it simply because you didn’t eat the whole fruit. Anything that defiles you is impure.

The feelings of guilt that accompany it are a testimony to the fact that it is sinful. Romans 9:1  points to the fact that our conscience bears witness in the Holy Spirit. If it’s not a sin, why do you feel terrible when you do it?

How To Practice Self-control As A Christian

Can Christians masturbate? Definitely not. It’s not a sign that our lives are in complete surrender to God and His will for our bodies. If you already do however, there’s no need to condemn yourself and feel unfit for God’s grace. 

You can and will be victorious, and you will live above it. God has chosen you. He’s not going to give up on you now.

Here’s some biblical tips on how you can overcome this sin and cultivate self-control.

  • Repent. God will always welcome you with open arms. He’s even more eager than you are that you will take this step and He loves you regardless.
  • Admit your weakness and seek God’s help in prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit for help always, especially when you are faced with temptation. Be in communication with every step of the way.
  • Read and meditate on Scripture, especially on God’s love, lust, and self-control.  It gives you a weapon to fight those tempting thoughts with. The very Word of God is what counteracts anything that is in opposition to God’s will for you.
  • Get accountability. Open up to a trusted believer, preferably of the same sex. Someone you can talk to when those desires come, who will help you stand strong and keep you accountable.
  • Guard your heart with all ferociousness. This is so important. Censor what you look at. You can start by blocking internet pornography, erotic pages, and even people who post stimulating images. Stay away from romantic movies with hints of erotic scenes, to avoid being triggered.
  • Flee from temptation. Change your activities or even the environment if it’s a contributing factor. Deliberately avoid people, places, or situations that would stimulate those desires.
  • If you do succumb to temptation, immediately seek forgiveness and keep pushing back. Never listen to the devil’s lies that you will never be able to get out of it. You are strengthened by the Most High and you have already overcome the world. Nothing can separate you from His love.

Bible Verses about Self Control

“A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.”

“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace”

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

Final Thoughts

So is masturbation a sin in the Bible? It is. It is sexual immorality and 1 Cor 6:18 tells us to flee from it because all other sins are outside our bodies but it is a sin against our own body.

God made sex holy, but the devil in this fallen world has tried to pervert and pollute it’s original expression. We have to stand strong for our Lord by refusing to taint the sanctity of sex with pervasions like masturbation. May God give us grace.