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Monday, April 03 2017

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

INTRODUCTION:

Last week, we continued in our study of the letter of Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:1-11. Paul’s wise counsels (through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) on how Christians should handle disagreements were carefully considered. He counsels that believers should rather accept wrong instead of going before unbelievers to be judged. We will continue this evening with the rest of the chapter by studying how believers should honour the Lord Jesus Christ with their bodies and the impact of sexual sins on our body and our spirit.

  1. Short-term pleasure leads to long-term disaster

Nowhere is this truer than in the area of sexual immorality. For a few minutes of pleasure, countless men and women will throw their lives away. Just think for a moment about the potential consequences of sexual sin: loss of fellowship with God, divorce, disease, pregnancy, guilt, estrangement from family and friends, psychological and financial loss, damage to one’s reputation, and countless others.

“Adultery is a brainless act, soul-destroying, self-destructive; Expect a bloody nose, a black eye, and a reputation ruined for good.” [Prov.6:32 MSG]

Indeed, there is no sin in this life with such brutal consequences. This reality ought to keep us from sexual sin. Yet, if we are honest, most people assume that they will be the exception to these consequences. Honestly, they believe that these things will never happen to them. So they go on their own merry way, sinning. Therefore, the apostle Paul uses another approach in helping us overcome sexual immorality. He uses a positive affirmation: “Your body is God’s body.” Take a moment to meditate on this. As far as God is concerned, when we engage in sexual sin with our body, we are actually doing so with God’s Body.

  1. Refuse to be mastered by your body (vs 12)

Paul shares a principle that governs the remaining passage of this chapter in verse 12. He argues that he and the Corinthians have certain freedom in Christ, but these are to be used for our good and God’s glory. Paul writes, “ Everything is permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything [and brought under its power, allowing it to control me]”. The key word here is “Control”.

  1. In this verse, Paul seems to be adapting and qualifying (“but”) a saying for his own purposes. Twice Paul writes, “All things are lawful for me.” There is a sense in which this is true. God’s world is to be enjoyed. Everything created by God is good, including sex.
  2. Yet, sex outside of marriage is not profitable and can lead to being mastered. Paul wants the Corinthian Christians to feel free to enjoy God’s world. But he does not want them to press their freedom so far that they do damage to themselves. Immorality breaks marriages, shatters homes, brings agonies of guilt, and damages usefulness beyond repair.
  3. We are free, but sin still has serious consequences. We must constantly ask ourselves questions about what is expedient. Will what I am planning help my health? My emotional state? My spiritual sensitivity? My understanding of God and His Word? Will it damage someone else? Will it damage another person’s conscience? Will it affect the church’s testimony?
  4. Freedom does not mean the absence of constraints or moral absolutes. Suppose a skydiver at 10,000 feet announces to the rest of the group, “I’m not using a parachute this time. I want freedom!” The fact is that a skydiver is constrained by a greater law—the law of gravity. But when the skydiver chooses the “constraint” of the parachute, he is free to enjoy the exhilaration. God’s moral laws act the same way: they restrain, but they are absolutely necessary to enjoy the exhilaration of real freedom.
  1. Sin against God the Father (verse 13-14)

 This passage is not about food; it is about sexual immorality. Nevertheless, Paul contrasts the two to emphasize how God values the human body. Here, he simply insists that food and the stomach are temporal, but the physical body is eternal. Paul states that our bodies are designed for the Lord. We can no longer talk about “my body.” Your body is God’s body. And God will one day raise your earthly body. This means what we do in our bodies in this life matters greatly to God.

  1. Sin against The Lord Jesus Christ (verse 15-17)

Paul affirms very clearly in this verse of scriptures that we (our body) are members of Christ (See 2 Cor.16:15,16a).

“And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?  And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.”[2 Cor.16:15,16a]

However, a verse that I believe is worth meditating on for this teaching is;

“Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”

  • 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. The sexual act is such an intimate act that it involves and affects the whole person. And he quotes the Old Testament to prove his point.
  • In Gen 2:24, God says of the sexual act, “the two will become one flesh or one personality.” We dare not dismiss sex as inconsequential. 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.
  • When are two married couple spiritually joined? At the altar?

  1. Remedy for Sexual Temptation (verse 18)

“Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.” This verse offers the first command of our passage: “Flee 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 stand in and fight. Some other wisdoms for guiding against sexual temptations are;

  • Watch televisions and movies selectively. The eye is one of the “main gates” to the hearts and must be guided. (Job 31:1). When you go to a theater, make sure you’ve read the reviews on the movie you are going to see. When you go out of town on business trips, it is wise to watch TV blocking out the adult movies in the hotel room.
  • Monitor your Internet use. Internet pornography is the most insidious sin of our day. Every man, woman, and child is vulnerable to Internet pornography. We must always be on guard! Wise parents do not allow their children to have their own computer in their room. It is also appropriate to have your computer in a visible part of your house.
  • Find an accountability partner. It is nearly impossible to stay pure without having an accountability partner. Every Christian needs a godly person of the same sex to ask the hard questions. One such question is, “Are you feeling attracted to anyone at work, church, or anywhere else?” The goal must be to answer this question honestly. It is better to feel a twinge of embarrassment than to find yourself in an emotional or physical affair.

CONCLUSION (verse 19-20)

There are three important points in these last two verses. First, we are a temple of God. In 1 Cor 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; rather, it refers to the Holy of Holies, the most sacred place for the people of God in the Old Testament. Paul is saying that God Himself is resident within us. Your body is His mailing address and P.O. Box. He dwells in YOU! You would probably never consider committing an act of sexual immorality in a church sanctuary, right? But the fact is, as disgusting as that would be, it would be no worse for a Christian than committing the same sin anywhere else. A church building is never called a Holy of Holies, but the believer’s body is. What a difference it would make if we lived with this realization. If the body is a house for the Holy Spirit it should only be used for the very best purposes. We should not allow anything or anyone to spoil it or misuse it. We should keep it in good condition.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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