@Wasseem-D To start this discussion we are talking about an act that is done alone outside of mutual-gratification between a husband and wife.
I wrote the following after a student was wondering if masturbation was a sin. He said, “I still have a lot of temptations to self-gratification. I have never read in the bible that specifically mentions masturbation is a sin. It's something I pray God will open my eyes to and I will be set free from that as well.”
That is a great question concerning masturbation. Let’s look at how we define this and then look at the Bible for help.
You call it “self-gratification” which is a good term to describe this behavior. What does the Word say?
"Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh." (Romans 13:14 NIV)
"So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16 NIV)
I think we could agree that masturbation would fall under the category of “gratifying the desires of the flesh.”
Turn to Galatians 5:16 and let’s read further on. We see there is a battle in verse 17 going on between our flesh and the Holy Spirit. Notice the “list” of the acts of the flesh. Would masturbation fall into any of these categories? Let’s look at the first four words in verses 19 and 20.
The acts of the flesh are obvious:
sexual immorality, πορνεία porneía
1 illicit sexual intercourse
i. adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
ii. sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
iii. sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,12
2 metaph. the worship of idols
i. of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols
The Greek word is where we get the word for pornography. I think in a broad sense of the word, πορνεία porneía, I would place masturbation in this category because of the sexual implications.
impurity ἀκαθαρσία akatharsía
3 in a moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, profligate living
i. of impure motives
I think is a broad sense of the word, ἀκαθαρσία akatharsía, I would place masturbation in this category as well, because of the idea of impurity of lustful living.
and debauchery; ἀσέλγεια asélgeia
1 unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence
I think in a broad sense of the word, ἀσέλγεια asélgeia, I would place masturbation in this category as well, because of the idea of unbridled lust.
(20) idolatry εἰδωλολατρεία eidōlolatreía
1 the worship of false gods, idolatry
i. of the formal sacrificial feats held in honour of false gods
ii. of avarice, as a worship of Mammon
2 in the plural, the vices springing from idolatry and peculiar to it
I think in a broad sense of the word, εἰδωλολατρεία eidōlolatreía, I would place masturbation in this category as well, because of the idea of false worship.
In any form of worship there is always some liturgy. For instance, at church, there is a liturgy of worship. There is a form of sameness in how the worship is conducted week after week. Opening prayer, 2 hymns, Welcome, 2 hymns, prayer request, hymn, offering, sermon, closing hymn. Every church service has some sort of liturgy. So, it is with idolatry of sin. There is a liturgy, usually certain times of the day, certain preparations, certain place. It becomes almost a religious experience and the focus is on that sin.
But I think the strongest argument is using the term you used: “self-gratification,” as describing masturbation.
Again God says, "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16 NIV). The wanting to only do the “act of release” is coming from the flesh. When you “give in” to that urge of the flesh, you are gratifying the flesh.
Consider these verses:
"Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires." (Romans 6:12 NIV)
"Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. (14) Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh." (Romans 13:13-14 NIV)
"All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath." (Ephesians 2:3 NIV)
"Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul." (1 Peter 2:11 NIV)
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. (16) For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world." (1 John 2:15-16 NIV)
Does this behavior honor the Lord?
Does this behavior glorify God?
"For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV)
"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV)