“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. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 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! 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.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”
I Corinthians 6:12-13, 15-17 NKJV
As Christians, we are meant to be a peculiar people, set apart for the use of God for His glory. Because of that, we are not to mix in morally with the world that surrounds us. Our values come from Scripture and not man.
We are living in a time when sexuality has been elevated from being a part of ones life, to being a priority, to the degree that people are seeking to be defined by what they do with their genitals.
There are even those in the professing church who advocate for “sexual liberty”, and seek to redefine the long held parameters held by Scripture, to include all manner of personal expression.
The Bible holds this truth: that we are to be holy, to be pleasing to God, that we are part of the body of Christ.
I read through I Corinthians 6 this morning, where Paul tackles this issue with the church at Corinth. This church had a lot of issues, due to its connection to the world around it. They were worldly, fleshly, and possibly an early version of the “seeker sensitive” church of today.
They justified their worldly ways by citing liberty, that they were free to do as they wished. They had determined that what is done in the body is separate from what is done in the spirit.
Paul uses the body of Christ to clarify for them that there is no separation, that to sin with the body, to indulge in sexual immorality was to join Christ with sin.
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 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? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
I Corinthians 6:18-20 NKJV
Paul’s admonition is all consuming, and includes every aspect of our lives. It includes what we do with our bodies, what we do with our minds, what we do with our eyes. Many Christian men, including me, struggle with looking at things we should not. In the world we live in, we are surrounded by imagery that drags at our attention.
Sin begins in the mind, as we conceive of things that, if left unchecked, can develop into a destructive force that can devour a life, or even a family. I have witnessed the shocking destruction of many a marriage because one of the partners engaged in extramarital affairs.
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”
James 1:12-13, 15 NKJV
Truly blessed is the one who endures temptation, but more blessed still is the one who avoids it all together. I have learned to place parameters around my mind, through trial and error. I avoid people who have demonstrated a propensity to be tempters, as I have learned to recognize and mark them.
As an intercessor, it is crucial that I avoid sin so that my prayers are heard and answered. I honor God, at the sacrifice of self, that I be able to intercede on behalf of others. When I do fail, I run to the cross, confessing my sin.
Brothers and sisters, let us be mindful that we are liable for what we do with our bodies. We are ambassadors of Christ, and must represent Him as holy. In our liberty, there is no condemnation, but we are serving as witness to a culture full of people who are facing condemnation.
Let us not follow the flow of the world with urges us to “do what thou wilt,” but instead be steadfast in living by the word.
Let us further, be satisfied by the good things from God, that bring blessing, and not pain. Seeking that which edifies, and builds.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Colossians 3:2-4 NKJV
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