if sex consummates a marriage, aren’t there lots of people who don’t know they are married to the person they slept with and have mutilple wives/husbands? Is a wdding ceremony necessary?
Sex does not create a marriage. The Bible uses three terms for sex, all of which are defined in Hebrews 13:4:
4Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
We are to obey the laws of the land (Romans 13), and in order to be recognized as a husband and wife, most states require a marriage license & ceremony. Those that recognize common-law marriages, I think, require a couple to live together for quite a while before they are considered married. That’s several years of living in fornication, which is condemned in many places throughout the Bible.
Fornication does not become marriage. Fornication is a sin and continues to be a sin as long as two people practice it. However, if they get married, then the bed is “undefiled.”
By Michael Molloy