Paul wrote in this letter to the Believers at Corinth – a huge trading city, entertaining all sorts of pagan religions and rites – talking about living in obedience to Christ.
Shifting from living as the pagan culture around them was difficult for some of the Church at Corinth and Paul addresses that in his letters. Here he is talking about what they did with their bodies. In their culture, prostitution wasn’t a big deal. They even had prostitutes who served as part of the rites at some of the temples.
Paul is battling the thinking that promiscuous behavior is okay.
He doesn’t use a morality ploy. The people don’t see this as immoral. Instead he reminds them of whose they are.
He wrote, “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’ — but not everything is good for you. And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ I must not become a slave to anything.”
We absolutely do have freedom in Christ. But just like it’s not right to yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater, using our bodies for sexual immorality isn’t either.
Paul talks about how when we join our bodies sexually, we bond our souls. We become one body with that person. It’s not a physical thing — we can physically walk away and there’s no problem, unless pregnancy or disease develop.
Paul was talking about the spiritual and emotional aspect. Oh, I know, in today’s culture, it’s no big deal for a man or a woman to have multiple partners. It’s even expected! There are even television shows that promote that behavior. There’s no big emotional tie to two bodies coming together for pleasure! Get real, Faye!
Yeah, I’m sorry. If God, through Paul, said there is a spiritual and emotional tie that is a part of the act of sex, then whether you agree with that thought or not, there is a spiritual and emotional tie to the act of sex.
Paul says we should RUN from sexual sin. He said it’s the only sin that so clearly affects the body, and the reason is that sexual immorality is a sin against our own bodies.
Paul goes to to say — and I’m totally paraphrasing here — “Besides, don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit of Almighty God? When you accepted salvation, He was given to you by God Himself. Since you got saved, you don’t belong to you anymore. God paid a HUGE price for you, so honor God with your body.”
Just like everything else in our lives, this involves a choice. If the Word says that sexual promiscuity dishonors us and God, then we should make the choice to not do that. The same with any other sin: gossip, gluttony, theft, murder, slander, etc.
If we call ourselves followers of Jesus, we should obey His commands. All of them. We don’t get to pick and choose which ones. Our choice is between us and God. Will we choose what pleases us or what pleases God?
Maturity is when that choice is the same: what pleases God pleases us.
The best news is, if we’ve made the choices that aren’t God-honoring, we can receive God’s forgiveness for them. All we have to do is agree with God that what we did was sin (confess), turn from that path to following Jesus (repent), and know that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Mind you, though, that means leaving that way behind and not picking it up again. Continuing in the sin doesn’t please God and it cheapens His grace.
Choose Him. Choose Life. Choose Joy. Choose Peace.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
(c) 2019 Faye Stoeffler Bryant