1 Cor. 6:12-20 True Freedom & Holiness
Intro Are you free ? The word FREE
Speaks of "freedom to go wherever one likes," / "freedom from restraint and obligation" in general, from the Law, /Gal. 4:26 / from sin, John 8:36
Are you holy? hagios sacred separated - physically, pure, morally blameless & consecrated):
Here is something I find interesting - we often times associate Liberty w/ sin and holiness w/ Legalism.
Paul addresses these subjects in the passage before us & gives some insights into - how true freedom is found & how Holiness is experienced.
Corinth was a city given over to the worship of sex.
A) A thousand priestesses from the temple of Aphrodite that stood on the
hill behind the ancient city would come down into the streets at night and
practice their religion - recruiting worshippers
B) Sexual promiscuity, was accepted and highly regarded in that culture,
1) Similar to our culture today - we are a culture that - flaunts / exalts - & practically worships sex & sexuality
C) Linked to so many things - Entertainment - Music / Movies / TV
Advertisements / sports w/ Cheerleaders
1) You can’t get away from it we are a culture that is consumed by sex.
c) Article in the San Diego Union - Daddy’s little girl - Cover baby - inside
now 18 and he is so proud of her posing for playboy.
1) Article was praising this daughter & magnifying how proud the father was.
D) Our Pres. Current scandal - ( he has had many ) Moral Character issue is one that our society - doesn’t seem to care about.
Corinth was a city over run by sexual sin
A) And the sin of sexual immorality had affected the Church - because there were those in Corinth who didn’t want to give up their “ Sexual Freedom”
B) Their feeling was that since they were in Christ - they were free / which meant that they were no longer under the Law. ( No N.T. )
1) MENTALITY - ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL RIGHT?
C) Their argument probably went something like this: "The Law of Moses is what tells us that it is wrong to commit sexual immorality but Paul taught us that when Christ came into our life/ the Law ended its reign. We are no longer under the Law, we are free !!!! Paul you said so yourself
Perhaps they had heard Paul say that - it was certainly a part of His theology!
A) Gal. 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, 13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty;
B) But V.13 of Gal.5 goes on to say only do not use liberty as an opportunity
for the flesh, that is the part they were forgetting.
1) That difference. Is essential in finding the balance between legalism &
liberty And how to walk in holiness / yet freedom!!!!
SO HOW DOES PAUL DEAL W/ THIS ? 1st notice what he doesn’t do
A) He does not come in and say, "Now that you are a Christian we have a new set of rules here for you.
B) You must not do such and such, and such and such." Paul never does that; he never retreats into legalism.
B) The legalist looks at life and he says, "Everything is wrong unless you can prove from a verse of Scripture that it is right."
1) That is the legalist - He starts from that premise - everything is wrong / sin
C) It is a negative approach to life; it clamps a prohibitive hand upon everything that is fun and says it is all either illegal, immoral or fattening.
1) Sees the negative the wrong in everything
D) But New Testament Christianity comes at it differently. It says everything is right:
1) God made the earth and everything in it and everything is right except what the Word of God clearly labels is wrong.
E) That is an entirely different point of view, opening the whole world to exploration and discovery and enjoyment,
1) except for a very limited part that Scripture clearly labels wrong.
So Paul doesn’t come right out & lay a legalistic trip on them - instead he says "Yes, you are right, all things are lawful but all things are not helpful
A) In doing so Paul is making a statement that we need to understand that truth must always be balanced."
B) And in this section he sets forth the balancing of truth.
C) Ever walk on a fence - Framers - incredible - walking on a narrow board - narrow wall
1) And Jesus said that was what the Christian life would be like. He called it "the straight and narrow way,"
D) In The Christian life on that narrow path The goal is just the same as walking a fence - don’t want to fall off - get off the path.
E) The interesting thing about that is you can fall off on either side. It does not make any difference -- either side is equally dangerous,
1) it is the same distance down.
Christians ought to constantly remember that the pathway of liberty is always narrow.
A) It is a wonderful path; it is a freeing & exhilarating walk, but it is not
very wide, and you can easily fall off into one error or the other.
B) C. S. Lewis' great admonition to us that Satan always sends error into the world in pairs which are opposites.
C) His great hope is that you will get so upset about one of these errors that
you will fall off the fence into the other one and then he has got you.
D) Liberty is liberty only, liberty when it is balanced between the 2 extremes.
1) These people in Corinth were saying, "The Law is an extreme; it
makes a rigid demand on my life that I and nobody else can live up to
E) And that is true -- the Law is an extreme. But when I use my liberty as an opportunity for the flesh that is license & that is an extreme too."
F) The moment your liberty begins to hurt you or to hurt someone else, you have fallen off into license, fallen off on the other side.
So Paul reveals the balance 12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
Now Paul does something so important here in dealing w/ these issues
something - that we need to incorporate in dealing w/ our kids
A)In sharing the things that God clearly says are wrong
B) Paul doesn’t just say - look this is wrong & I am telling you not to do it - but he tells them why it is wrong. Fathers Heart
C) 12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things don’t build you up - some in fact will pull you down.
D) Sin is not bad because it is forbidden / No it is forbidden - because it is
bad . It is forbidden because it will hurt you / it will ruin you
1)Math. Of sin are always the same - add - sorrow/ subtract - Joy /
Multiply your problems / Divide your heart
Sexual Immorality is wrong & is to be forbidden because it hurts you
Wiersbe Insights There may be excitement and enjoyment in sexual experience outside of marriage, but there is not enrichment. Sex outside of marriage is like a man robbing a bank: he gets something, but it is not his and he will one day pay for it. Sex within marriage can be like a person putting money into a bank: there is safety, security, and he will collect dividends.
Someone else once said that : Sex outside of marriage is like giving away a part of you that you will never get back. !!!!
SO SEXUAL IMMORRALITY HURTS YOU - TEARS DOWN INSTEAD OF BUILDING UP
ALSO ENSLAVES YOU
All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
A) Sexual sin is one of those sins that really puts people in bondage to it - The
more it is indulged, the more it controls the indulger.
B) I have spoken w/ many men over the yrs. who started off in a little pornography when they were teens - grew more & more -
1) until trapped in some marital infidelity
b) Or men who have fallen sexually because they gave into some - fantasy - thoughts in mind- secretary or neighbor
1) Paul says 2 Cor. 10:5, bring every thought into captivity to the
obedience of Christ,
C) Paul wrote the Thessalonians, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thess. 4:3—5).
D) Every believer is to rightly possess, rightly control, his own body / in contrast to the unbeliever who is control by his lustful passions
E) Paul himself testifies that he had to “buffet [his] body and make it [his] slave, lest possibly, after [he had] preached to others, [he himself] should be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27).
Buffet means literally, “to give a black eye, or to beat the face black and blue.”
To keep his body from enslaving him, he had to enslave his body.
But Sexual sin not only harms and controls but also perverts.
A) It especially perverts God’s plan and purpose for the bodies of His people.
B) A Christian’s body is for the Lord; it is a member of Christ; and it is the
temple of the Holy Spirit. NOTE (6:13,14
Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food; but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.)
C) Now Paul refers to another argument those in the Corinthian culture used to Justify their sexual urges
D) They said sex was like any other bodily appetite - It has cravings & needs to be satisfied.
1) Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods,
E) So when I get hungry I go to the fridge. & eat .
Like the stomach was made for food the body was made for sex / so when I feel the need I should be able to indulge & satisfy that need no quest. Asked
A) We hear this same argument today Sex organs were made for sex, therefore, it is natural and right to satisfy them,
B) The publisher of a big pornographic magazine was quoted as saying this exact same thing
“Sex is a function of the body, a drive which man shares with animals, like eating, drinking and sleeping. It’s a physical demand that must be satisfied. If you don’t satisfy it, you will have all sorts of neuroses and repressive psychoses. Sex is here to stay; let’s forget the prudery that makes us hide from it. Throw away those inhibitions, find a girl who’s like-minded and let yourself go.”
PAUL’S RESPONSE TO THAT TYPE OF THINKING IS PROFOUND
A) Yes it is true that Food and the stomach were created by God for each other. But Their relationship is purely biological
B) “but it is also true that that relationship is also temporal.” One day, when their purpose has been fulfilled, God will do away with both of them.
1) See That biological process has no place in the eternal state.
C) which seems to indicate something about our new bodies in heaven .
1) We are not going to need to eat - totally and completely satisfied - but we are going to be able to enjoy eating & not get FAT !!!!
D) Eat what ever as much as when ever as much as we want - just enjoy - / but the digestive process of these bodies won’t be in the new ones .
1) That biological process has no place in the eternal state.
But Paul also points out that the body is different. & that God has a purpose for the body beyond this present life.
A) So Paul says "The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body." Notice the parallel there.
B) They were saying, "'Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food.' They are obviously designed to be together, and that is right."
C) And God has designed the human body but the counterpart to the human body is not sexual expression; it is the possession of the Lord himself
1) that is what your bodies were made for.
D) That is what separates us from the animal Kingdom - Humanity is made to be indwelt by God."
E) That is the most exciting, the most remarkable, the most revolutionary teaching in the Word of God: We were made to be indwelt by God himself!
OUR BODIES ARE THE TEMPLES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT !!!!!!!!
A) God has a purpose for your body and engaging in sexual immorality is not a part of it.
B) So Sexual immorality not only hurts you / and enslaves you - putting you in bondage to your own lust .
1) It also perverts God’s plan for your body !!!!
C) Sexuality, according to the Scriptures, pervades our whole BEING It touches us not only in terms of, the physical,
1) but in terms of the soul, the psyche, and our social relationships with
D) Sexual Immorality perverts God’s plan for our bodies in being His temple / His possession.
SO PAUL CONTINUES
15 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? Certainly not!
16 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."
17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
A) Now Paul is telling us some things about sexual immorality that is devastating - shocking
B) Sexual relations involve a union; the man and woman become one flesh.
In his Screwtape Letters C. S. Lewis says that each time a man and a woman enter into a sexual relationship a spiritual bond is established between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured.
Dr. J. A. Schep, in the book The Nature of the Resurrection Body says,
Sexual intercourse always effects a complete union of the two persons involved, and thus is quite different from eating or drinking something. Becoming one flesh with a harlot means becoming one body with her, i.e., being united with her in every respect, in her shameful sinning as well.
Really the idea is that every person that she has slept w/ so have you - there is a oneness there and you are linking Christ to all that as well.
B) This is the thing that raises Paul's expression of horror here: Certainly not! Who would want to do a thing like that?"
C) That is why God takes sexual sin seriously because it corrupts and shatters
C) All sex outside of marriage is sin, but when it is committed by believers it is especially reprehensible, because it profanes Jesus Christ,
1) with whom the believer is one
SO PAUL SAYS IN V. 18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body
A) I want to notice the last part of this v. first
B) Now many people have struggled with this verse because it seems to suggest that fornication, sexual promiscuity or sexual indulgence outside of marriage is unique in its effect upon us as a sin.
IS THAT TRUE ?
C) Why does Paul make this distinction -WHY DOES HE SAY Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body . What is he saying?
1) Listen close :
D) Yes it is true that there are other sins that affect the body .Drunkenness, for instance, will destroy the human body.
1) Go down to skid row see examples of the awful effects of drunkenness can have upon the human body.
E) And there are other sins that affect the body. Drug abuse can destroy the mind, twist the features
1) and turn the individual into a twitching, nervous wreck.
WHY DOES PAUL SINGLE OUT THIS SIN IN THIS WAY?
A) Well, the answer is given in Verse 19: 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
A) God dwelling in you transforms your body into his temple Your body is the temple of the H.S. RADICAL THING
D) This is why fornication is different from other sins. Because fornication defiles that temple.
E) It offers the temple to another. It brings the body of that person who is the temple into a wrong union
1) therefore, it is basically the sin of idolatry.
Now only idolatry, the worship of another god, the substitution of a rival god, defiles the temple.
A) I am letting another god into my temple and it becomes defiled
a) That person or that act of sex becomes my god - self exaltation!!!!!
B) But God recognizes the oneness in the marriage relationship & so the that sexual relationship doesn’t defile the temple
1) But actually blesses it because - you are using your bodies in a way that God has ordained & designed . Stamp of approval.
C) He blesses that oneness - w/ each other & Him !
SO PAUL SAYS FLEE SEXUAL IMMORALITY
A) Joseph - flee
B) 2Tim. 2:22 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
C) Get off the computer / pick up your bible
D) Turn off the movie & come to Church.
Flee immorality" -- that is the advice everywhere in the Bible. Do not try to fight with it; do not try to overcome it; do not try to suppress it. Get away.
Paul says YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN.
A) Oh how we need to remember that - you are not your own.
You belong to the Lord
B) Been bought w/ a price
THEREFORE - GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODIES
Glorify = To magnify / to honor / to exalt /
A) W/ my mouth in praise / what I say / how I talk /
B) W/ my hands / w/ my actions / w/ my sex life
C) Honor God w/ your body !!!!!!
D) Our bodies are a vessel - working - do it unto the Lord !!!!!