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Sexual Immorality July 20, 2011

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.

Summary: Paul begins by noting that although he has great freedom as a believer – in reference to the Jewish law – he will not exercise his freedom in a way that 1) injures himself or others and/or 2) causes him to be enslaved to anything besides God Himself. As an example of this freedom, Paul notes that the stomach and food are designed for each other – yet this is a temporary arrangement; also, the body and Christ are designed for each other. Sexual immorality, though, destroys the connection between the body and Christ; this should not be taken lightly, since just as Christ has been raised from the dead, our bodies will be raised from the dead – showing that the (intimate) connection between the body and Christ is meant to be permanent. The Corinthians need to remember that they belong to Christ and are in close union with Him; given this awesome reality, it should be clear that sexual immorality severs this union by introducing “sinful life” into the body of the believer in question. All believers have this close union with Christ since they have the Holy Spirit – who has been initially given to Christ. In light of this, Paul commands the Corinthians to avoid sexual immorality at all costs, as it is in opposition to the body’s eternal destiny and the purpose for which it has been created. Moreover, since the Holy Spirit dwells in each believer’s body, the body cannot be profaned without divine repercussions. Paul concludes by noting that Christ has purchased the Corinthians with His blood; given this awesome fact, they need to use their bodies as instruments of worship and service to God.

Thoughts: This passage illustrates the important point that as believers, the manner in which we use our bodies has eternal consequences. Hodge offers some useful insights in his commentary on verse 13:

The body is designed to be a part of Christ and is the place where his Spirit lives. And Christ regards it as such, redeeming it with his blood, uniting it to himself as a part of his mystical body, making it an instrument of righteousness for holiness.

If we stop and think about this reality, it is disturbingly easy for us to remember at least some of the instances when we acted in ways that belied it. Clearly Christ Himself was aware of this reality during His time on earth, as He neither committed sexual sins, got drunk with wine nor physically/verbally attacked others. We need to continually remind ourselves of this truth and be circumspect as to how we use our bodies. If we strive to emulate the earthly life of Christ, we will inevitably use our bodies with eternity in mind (e.g. offering encouraging words to downtrodden strangers, giving college students rides to/from church, and cooking/serving meals at homeless shelters).

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