Run!!!   Leave a comment

We live in a sex-obsessed society. If people aren’t thinking about having sex, they’re thinking about how to be attractive enough to attract people who want to have sex with them. Our movies are filled with beautiful, sexy people. Magazine ads sell everything from cars to deodorant based on sexual attraction.

It’s not a new problem. The society in Corinth in the 1st century was also sexually obsessed. Paul’s admonition in the coming passage was not the standard response for the era. In fact, he was quite out of step with the times.

All things are lawful for me — but not everything is beneficial. “All things are lawful for me– but I will not be controlled by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food” — but God will do away with both. The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. Now God indeed raised the Lord and he will raise us by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that anyone who is united with a prostitute is one body with her? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”  But the one united with the Lord is one spirit with him. Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin a person commits is outside of the body” – but the immoral person sins against his own bodyOr do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in youwhom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.  1 Corinthians 6:12-20

The items in quotation marks were popular slogans of Paul’s day, used by the Corinthians to justify their behavior. Paul agrees wit the slogans in part, but corrects them to show how the Corinthians have misused these ideas.

Drawing from my lessons on economics, I’ve learned that short-term pleasure can lead to long-term disaster. This is especially true in the area of sexual immorality. For a few minutes of pleasure, countless men and women will throw their lives away — lose fellowship with God, end up divorced, diseased, or pregnant, and face estrangement from family and friends. There can be psychological and financial losses, damage to your reputation and many other consequences. Most of us assume we’ll be the exception. We won’t get caught. Nobody needs to know. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Rather than tell the Corinthians what bad things might happen, Paul used another approach. He suggested the Corinthians honor God by recognizing their bodies are God’s temple.

Image result for image of fleeing sexual immoralityThere is such a thing as freedom in Christ. I don’t get flung into the fires of hell because I screwed up. Those slogans came from somewhere, most probably from an expression of freedom, but our freedom in Christ is meant for our good and God’s glory. When we step beyond those boundaries, we end up out in a swamp with only a hard way back.

Yes, all things are lawful for the Christian. God’s world is meant to be enjoyed. Everything God created is good, including sex. That’s very, very good! But not everything we can do is good for us. Sex outside of marriage is unprofitable and can lead to being mastered. Christians are to refuse to be mastered by their bodies. Enjoy the world, but don’t press your freedom so far that you do damage to yourself. Immorality breaks marriages and shatters homes. We are free to do it, but sin still has serious consequences. Will what I want to do help my relationship with God or hurt it? Will it damage someone else? Will it affect the church’s testimony?

Freedom does not mean the absence of constraints or moral absolutes. I live in Alaska where I am free to walk out into the woods whenever I wish, but if I do it without bear protection, I stand a good chance of ending up a bear’s dinner. I am constrained by my need of self-protection to carry a gun so that I can enjoy the beauty of nature. God’s moral laws act the same way: they restrain, but they are absolutely necessary to enjoy the exhilaration of real freedom.

Paul argued that sexual immorality is an offense against God the Father (v 13-14), Jesus Christ (v 15-1) and the Holy Spirit (v 18-20).

“Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them.” This sentence isn’t about food, but about sexual immorality. Paul emphasized the subject to show how God values the human body. Both the stomach and the food are temporal. Later, in Chapter 15, we’ll learn that God will raise our bodies from the dead. Our bodies are precious to Him. Why?

This passage sees the return of Paul’s “do you not know” questions. Paul also used the word “members” several times. And this gets to why our bodies are precious to God and why what we do with our bodies matters to Him a great deal.

The moment we believed in Jesus Christ we were grafted into His body. We are now members of Christ. So, just like we wouldn’t want to stick our physical hand in a food processor, God doesn’t want us to misuse parts of His body. It was therefore unthinkable to Paul that Christians would ever be sexually immoral, because what we do to our bodies we also do to God.

Now, I’ve heard it argued that Paul was preaching against prostitution because of the lack of love and commitment. He’d be okay with the sexual relationship between two people who love one another. Yeah, there’s a moral distinction between sleeping with a prostitute and a passionate interlude with a steady date.

Sin remains sin.

Armed robbery is a much more violent form of theft than shoplifting, but that doesn’t mean shoplifting is okay. Corinth had a big prostitute trade, so Paul addressed it, but the Greek word used for “immorality (porneia) deals with all kinds of sexual immorality. And, Paul had just listed some of them a few sentences before.

The word “joins” or “unites” (NIV) is used in each of these verses. The Greek word was used for gluing. An immoral man glues himself to an immoral woman. A believer, on the other hand, should glue himself to the Lord. Why do you think the word “glue” is used of sexual relationships? After all, aren’t many sex acts purely physical, without any real personal involvement? No. Paul says it is impossible to have a physical-only sexual relationship. There is no such thing as casual sex, inconsequential sex, or recreational sex. I’ve met psychologists who will admit that the sexual act is such an intimate act that it involves and affects the whole person. Paul quoted from the Old Testament to prove his point. In Genesis 2:24, God says of the sexual act, “the two will become one flesh or one personality.” We error when we dismiss sex as inconsequential. If you’re a Christian, your body is God’s body. When you have a sexual relationship with someone who is not your spouse, you glue yourself to another instead of God.

The last three verses provide tremendous encouragement about the resources God has given us to live a sexually pure life. It starts with the powerful admonition to “Flee sexual immorality!” It is a present imperative and should be translated, “Keep on fleeing” or “Make it your habit to flee!” The Bible’s advice for avoiding sexual immorality is simple: stay as far away as possible from the persons and places and things likely to get you in trouble. Real men and women run! They don’t stick in and fight.

In 6:18, Paul put sexual sin in a category all its own. All the sins in the world are put in one column and sexual sin is put in another. All sins are outside the body except sexual infidelity, which alone is a sin against one’s own body. There is no gradation of sin. Sin is just sin, but sexual sin is unique in its character. Like a malignant cancer to the body, immorality internally destroys the soul like no other sin. This is why we must flee from it. If we allow ourselves to succumb to immorality, we will be guilty of destroying our own body and the bodies of other partners, but more — we damage the temple of God.

Paul finished the passage with the crux of his argument. “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?”

In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, the local church is called the “temple.” Here, the same Greek word (naos) is used of the individual Christian. The term used in both passages for “temple” is not the word for a pagan temple, or even for the Jewish temple structure and grounds. It refers to the Holy of Holies, the most sacred place for the people of God in the Old Testament. Paul was saying that God Himself is resident within us. Your body is His mailing address. He dwells in YOU!

The New Testament never calls a church building a Holy of Holies, but it designates the believer’s body as such. Does that change your perspective on the subject, Christian? Few of us would consider committing an act of sexual immorality in a church chapel, but some of us frequently commit sexual immorality with God’s temple.

The good news is that we have the Holy Spirit. He lives inside of us, ready to help us in our battle against sin. One of the words for Holy Spirit in the New Testament is parakaleo, which means “counselor” or “helper.” We have been given a divine resource in the battle against the flesh which includes sexual sin. We don’t have to be in bondage, because we have the power of the Spirit of God within us to supernaturally help us resist temptation. It is possible to live a life of sexual purity, especially as we rely on the Holy Spirit Who gives us strength to abstain from our fleshly lusts.

Finally, we have been bought with a price. We know longer belong to ourselves. In a sense we never did. Paul’s image does not picture a slave being sold to a god and then set free, but being transferred by sale from one owner to another. Formerly, we were slaves of sin, now we are slaves to God (Romans 6:16-23; 7:6).Your body belongs to God, Christian. So we have no right to pervert or misuse our bodies sexually, because they don’t belong to us to do with what we will. We’re not the masters of our bodies. Verse 20 teaches that we have been purchased by God at the cost of the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for us. That blood has cleansed us from sin. In light of this great purchase price, Paul commanded us to glorify God through sexual purity, out of gratitude for what Jesus did. This means to show God off, to make Him look good.

We have the privilege of living lives that honor God physically, emotionally, and relationally. Being sexually pure affects our relationships with each other, but ultimately it’s about our relationship with God. He is the only one to whom we owe adoration and ultimate obedience. This is an amazing reality—God can be glorified in the choices we make in expressing our sexuality. The Lord is honored when we resist sexual temptation. God is glorified when we express our sexuality through the marriage relationship.

Yeah, we live in a sexually saturated society in the 21st century. It’s not unlike 1st century Corinth. Paul didn’t lower the bar for them and God has not lowered the bar for us.

So what if you’ve already blown it? I’m not surprised. We live in a sexually saturated society. A message like this can make you feel guilty that you’ve already violated God’s word, which is no doubt why people try to reject teaching like this. The Bible is filled with people who made mistakes and wandered in the wilderness for a while before coming back to God. Confess your sin and God is willing and able to forgive it. You must confess to God because sin against God is so much greater than the sin against anyone else that the other victims pale into insignificance. The question of confession to others besides God is a difficult one. From a 12-Step perspective, it’s always good to confess your wrongs and offer to make amends. Just remember, there is temptation in that direction, so you might want to make your apology in writing.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Choose this day who you will follow and get on with it. Sexual sin is cumulative in its damaging effects, kind of like carbon monoxide. It stays in a person’s system for a long time, with the result that a non-lethal dose can sometimes kill because of the accumulation of poison in the system. A second act of immorality is not a freebee—it compounds the sin of the first one, spreads the cancer a little further, and eats away at a little more of one’s personality and spirit. The only way to deal with such sin is to end it immediately, radically, permanently, and in complete dependence upon God. Covenant with God that you will never let it happen again. Ask Him to give you strength. Become accountable to someone.

In recent years there has been a movement among Christian young adults called “secondary virginity.” It’s been a way to encourage those who have already sinned sexually at a young age to establish a new marker and commit to abstinence from now until marriage. Some in the liberal press have made fun of this effort, but I applaud the young people who have committed to starting over.

A word to those of us who have no fallen, but know those who have. Be willing to forgive them. Remember, God has forgiven you too, of other things. Was the sin in the life of your spouse, child, close friend any worse than the sin you have committed? God forgave YOU. Forgiveness is not just a feeling; it is a decision to do what God does for you every day!

Yeah, we know it’s not easy. We’ve been there ourselves.

Advertisements

What's Your Opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

S.R. Mallery's AND HISTORY FOR ALL

Everything Historical And Much More...

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Blog with a view - on books, music, humour and health

The Lil' Mermaid

Dream. Believe. Achieve

susanne matthews

Living the Dream

MomzillaNC

A blog about issues, life in general, and being a mom, and sharing my poetry.

Felix Alexander Writer

Storyteller Philosopher Poet

YOURS IN STORYTELLING...

Steve Vernon - Nova Scotia writer, storyteller and master of the booga-booga

Dreaming In Blushh

You Are In A Beauty Contest Every Day Of Your Life💕 Beautiful.Colorful.You

Breaking the rules

with a smile

Aurora

Where the world begins

Twisted Thoughts

Pardon my Random Thoughts

Missing Happy

My Journey Through Depression

lonelyboy1977

Your Future Favourite Fantasy & Science Fiction Author

Commonplace Fun Facts

a collection of trivia, fun facts, humor, and interesting notions.

Lincoln Life Blog

FOR GREAT CONTENT WITH PASSION

Bittersweet Sensations

Where the aftertaste of your feelings last

Writing With A Side Of Life

Living life and following my passions with humor to get through the day!

%d bloggers like this: