Keeping Sexually Moral in Today’s “Me First” Society
"Everything is permissible for me," but not everything is helpful. "Everything is permissible for me," but I will not be brought under the control of anything. "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food," but God will do away with both of them. The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Don't you know that your bodies are a part of Christ's body? So should I take a part of Christ's body and make it part of a prostitute? Absolutely not! Don't you know that anyone joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For Scripture says, The two will become one flesh. But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Run from sexual immorality! "Every sin a person can commit is outside the body." On the contrary, the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body. Don't you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.
- 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 (HCSB)
In this passage, Paul addresses the Corinthian believers on the matter of Christian freedom and the sanctity of the body. The Corinthians lived in a society where moral boundaries were often blurred, leading to a misunderstanding of Christian liberty. Paul’s statement, “Everything is permissible for me,” likely quotes a common belief among the Corinthians, which he immediately counters by emphasizing that not everything is beneficial or constructive.
Paul zeroes in on sexual immorality, a rampant issue in Corinth. He reminds the believers that their bodies are not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord. This is a profound declaration of purpose and identity which was both counter-culture then and now. The believer’s body is integrally linked to Christ, making any form of sexual immorality not just a personal sin but a desecration of what is now part of Christ’s body.
The analogy of the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit underscores the sanctity of the believer’s physical body. It’s not merely a vessel for earthly experiences but a sacred space where the Spirit of God dwells. Therefore, actions carried out in and with the body have spiritual implications. Paul concludes with a stirring reminder: Christians were bought with a price, the sacrificial death of Christ, and are therefore called to glorify God in their bodies.
Daily Life Application:
- Exercise Christian Freedom Responsibly: Understand that while many things are permissible, they may not be beneficial or edifying. Exercise discernment in personal freedoms.
- Honor the Body as God’s Temple: Treat your body with respect and honor, recognizing it as a vessel for the Holy Spirit, and refrain from actions that desecrate its sanctity.
- Live for God’s Glory: Remember the sacrificial price paid for your redemption and live in a way that glorifies God in every aspect of your life, including your physical body.
Questions to Ponder:
- How do I discern between what is permissible and what is beneficial in my Christian walk?
- In what ways can I show greater respect and honor for my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit?
- What practical steps can I take to ensure that my lifestyle and choices glorify God?
- Romans 12:1-2 – A call to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.
- Galatians 5:13-26 – Discusses using our freedom in Christ to serve one another in love, not as an opportunity for the flesh.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 – Instructions on how to live in a way that is pleasing to God, specifically regarding abstaining from sexual immorality.
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Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.