In last week’s lesson, we took a look at the foundation of Christ and then we focused on building on top of that foundation by ministering the gospel to all nations of people.  We also briefly touched on the idea that we are the temple of God and in us dwells the Holy Spirit.  Through the inner dwelling of the Spirit we, the genuine believer, are guided on our journey.  Our lesson this week is going to essentially focus on how we go about governing ourselves as a member of Christ.  This week’s lesson is being taught from 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.

All Things Aren’t Good For You

Our lesson opens up with the thought, “all things are lawful for me” (v.12).  Now, let us not get the idea that Paul is speaking about all things being lawful to us under Christ.  You see, there are many believers that believe they can do anything because we live under grace – mercy and forgiveness through Christ.

What you put in your body

We live in a world where we are governed by laws that have been established both federally and by the state.  We believe that we live freely, but as I said a few weeks ago, our freedom is governed by those laws.  So, for example, we have the freedom of speech and we have the right to bear arms.  When we reach a certain age we can get a driver’s license in order to be able to freely drive.  Then again, when we reach a certain age, we can drink alcoholic beverages and be able to do so freely.

So, yes, it is lawful for us to do several things, however, just because it is lawful to be able to do certain things does not mean that it is good to do those things.  For example, when we reach the age of drinking, we should not go out and drink around the clock.  Why?  Because one who drinks in such a manner is certainly endangering themselves into becoming an alcoholic, which in turn also put those around them in great danger as well.

Paul even brings up the idea of freely eating whatever it is we want to eat (v.13).  It is true, you and I can eat whatever it is we want to eat when we get old enough for mom and dad to stop fixing our plates, right?  However, just because we can eat whatever it is we want to eat, that doesn’t make it good for us to eat whatever we want to eat.  We have to watch our sodium intake because we don’t want to end up having high blood pressure and other heart conditions.  Becoming or being a glutton is simply not good for our health.

So, Paul opens up our lesson by essentially focusing on what we do with our bodies.  Briefly, and I mean very briefly, Paul touches on our physical health here.  Physically, we should take great care of our bodies because the Lord is going to physically use this vessel of our for His plan and His purpose.  When we eat poorly or don’t take care of ourselves physically, it can certainly become hard for us to do things physically, even when it comes to ministering the gospel.

Sexual immorality

With this thought in mind, we will see that Paul also begins to touch on the spiritual side of our health by touching on sexual immorality.  Paul states, “Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (v.13).

Now, in our society, what scripture considers to be sexual immorality is glorified and is actually encouraged quite a bit.  Where I am one to shy away from the topic of dictating and telling people what they can and cannot do in their bedrooms, Paul was very bold.  Some people consider Paul to be homophobic and misogynistic, but he was sharing what can be found in scripture.  

Scripture, specifically in the book of Leviticus (Lev. 18) speaks of sexual immorality a great deal.  Why?  Of sexual immorality, the Lord spoke of it as being something that defiled (corrupted) oneself.  From the book of Leviticus:  “Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you” (Lev. 18:24).

We will see Paul write, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?  Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot (v.15)?”  You see, the Corinthians (Greeks) had no problem with diving into their sexual immoralities; they even built temples and idols to love and sex goddesses.  So, Paul spoke on the subject of sex from a spiritual perspective.

Even in our society, we don’t think of sex from a spiritual perspective. So, Paul brings up a harlot to speak from a spiritual perspective – not to speak down on a harlot.  Paul, we will see, writes, “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” (v.16).  Again, we don’t view sex from this perspective as we only consider sex to be physical intercourse and passion.

However, Paul speaks on sex in a manner that goes back to how the Lord viewed man and woman coming together going back to the day that He made man and woman.  In the book of Genesis, after the Lord made woman, scripture states, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).  

So, when two spirits come together in union, whether that is marriage or sex, it is viewed spiritually as two spirits coming together as one.  The harlot, through sex, has come together with many spirits and if a believer was to join a harlot, he or she is making that connection with the harlot and all those other spirits as well.  Again, we don’t think of sex from such a perspective but sex, while certainly physical, is also very spiritual as well and we should take this perspective into serious consideration as a child of God.

Why the warning against sexual immorality

So, why did Paul bring this up to the Corinthians, and therefore, us as well?  Well, the reason why Paul brings this up is shown to us in the next verse where Paul states, “he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (v.17).  Let us remember, we are in fellowship (a personal relationship) with the Lord.  God does not and will not dwell in wickedness.

This is shown to be the case throughout scripture.  In the garden, when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the Lord kicked them out of the garden.  In the book of Ezekiel, when Judah was lost in its wickedness, God’s glory left the temple (Ezek. 10:18).  The Holy Spirit will not abide in wickedness, and so this is what Paul was warning about.  Sexual immorality can defile (corrupt) our fellowship with the Lord.

When it comes to sexual immorality, Paul tells us to flee from it (v.18).  Like other temptations, it can be difficult for us to do such but we should certainly strive to flee from sexual immorality.  Why?  Paul says that this sin is a sin against our own body.  Then, Paul reminds us that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Flee Sexual Immorality

Again, some believe their bodies to be their own, and I suppose those who are without the Spirit could say this but that does not mean it is a good thing.  As a child of God, we are the home to the Holy Spirit and we should be doing our very best to keep our home in good order.  So, I would encourage all of us to be prayerful and even vigilant when it comes to sexual immorality – do your very best to flee from this temptation.

In scripture, we saw Joseph, the son of Israel, do this when his master’s wife cast “longing eyes” on him; she desired for Joseph to lie with her.  This was actually something that she did for quite some time; it got to the point that when they were left alone in the master’s house, Joseph had to literally flee from her (Gen. 39:7-20).  The wife eventually lied to her master, stating that Joseph was making advances on her and the master had him thrown in prison.  Yet, in all of this, we see that the Lord was satisfied with Joseph and all that Joseph did in life, the Lord made it prosper (Gen. 39:19-23).

On the other hand, there is David who gave into his sexual desires and committed adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11:1-5).  The results of David’s sexual immorality was very grave.  First, Bathsheba ended up bearing a child.  This led to David’s next grave act when he put her husband, Uriah, on the front lines of battle so that he would die in battle (2 Sam. 11:6-17).

David, because of his sexual immorality, began to add on to his acts of sin with more wickedness, and truly, this was very wicked and very grave.  I want you to understand that David was taking wicked actions to try and cover up his sins.  It got so bad that the Lord sent Nathan, the prophet, to get on David about what he was doing.  In the end, David did repent of this wickedness but the end results of his immorality should be known (2 Sam. 12:1-13).

Repent of your sexuality immorality

Because of his immorality, the Lord raised up adversity against David and his own house.  David would lose his wives before his eyes and it would be public.  Lastly, the son that Bathsheba bore, would die.  David ended up losing the joy of his salvation as mentioned in Psalm 51.  God worked on David because David had defiled his relationship with the Lord.  I would even suggest that David beat himself up over the actions that he had taken.

 It should be pointed out that though David suffered because of his sexual immorality, he did not lose his salvation.  David was actually still very blessed as he ended up having Solomon, the next king of Israel, through Bathsheba.  Though there was adversity through the rest of his reign, Judah was not conquered or destroyed under his reign.

So, while we are busy fleeing from sexual immorality and its temptation.  I believe that we should also be very prayerful in seeking the Lord’s mercy during those moments when we are tempted or may even give into that temptation.  We should fight sexual immorality with everything that we have and that certainly includes prayer.

Does this mean that prayer gives us the freedom to continue in sexual immorality?  Absolutely not.  However, I believe we would make our sexual immorality far worse if we never took it to the Lord.  David tried to cover up the sin of his sexual immorality and the last thing we should do is try to hide it and cover it up from the Lord.  You better believe that God is fully aware of it!  The one sin that we know the Lord will not forgive is blasphemy of the Spirit.  

Sexual immorality, I believe, certainly can be forgiven.  However, I also believe that there are consequences to sexual immorality.  As we see with David and Bathsheba, there can be unwanted pregnancies that nowadays can end up with fetuses being aborted – a loss of life.  We also know that there are sexual diseases and several affects, that I also believe, is the result of sexual immorality.

So, the genuine believer should take great care when it comes to sex.  Sex is both physical and mental; it  is a unique union that the Lord has given to us and we should treat it as such.  Also, we have seen that sexual immorality, can also defile our relationship with the Lord.  So, again, we should live our lives in a manner where we are treating ourselves as a temple of the Lord – living holy and righteous.


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