Flee Sexual Immorality
12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 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 prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 6:12–20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Boundaries
An important note: Boundaries are a huge and detrimental issue for people today and can devastate the lives of you and your loved ones. If you think there might be a problem in your life, please talk with someone: a pastor, medical professional, or counselor. There is no shame in asking for help.
The common saying of the day was, “All things are lawful for me.” Today we say that as, “I have the right to ______”. The problem for us today is that we have fought for centuries to obtain certain rights to be used for good, but then sometimes turn them around and use those same rights for evil purposes. The freedom of speech, for example, can be used to inspire, inform, and call people together for common mission to make a difference in our community. Some have taken that same power to inspire fear, misinform, and to call people together under missions of hate.
The lines that divide virtuous freedom and criminal license are boundaries. Paul has already written to the Corinthians about sexual boundaries. Here he expands upon this by relating our marriages and the boundaries that keep them sacred to the spiritual marriage we have with Christ. So while he is still speaking about sexual practices here, it is a metaphor to the spiritual adultery we commit when we worship things other than God with our lives.
The reference to prostitutes here mean the same thing as hiring a prostitute today, except that in Corinth they were often found in pagan temples. These were not just places of worship, they were places of business. Understand, back in the first century, they had not yet invented restaurants for business owners to wine and dine their clients. They used the pagan temples to wine and dine, and offer escort services as well.
Paul comes across very strongly that you cannot be joined with Christ and then go hang out in those places too. You must choose one or the other. Jesus is not located in a particular building that you visit once or twice a week like the pagan gods of Rome. He moves into you and you become His temple… we become His temple together.
Christians of the first century suffered peer pressure to do things that brought dishonor to Jesus, living inside them, every bit as much as we face today or more. They lost customers when they would not go with them to the clubs. They lost friends who suddenly accused them of being judgmental. And many of them lost family members who refused to associate with someone who was so stuck on one set of beliefs that they would not even try out the other ones. Many of them lost their lives because they took a stand and it is their witness that caused the church to flourish while these pagan practices proved to be worthless. As a church, we strive to help make those boundaries clear, teaching all of our family and modeling those healthy relationships. We rejoice in our freedom, but we use it for the good of one another, not to seek our own pleasure or reward. We do that because that is what Jesus did for us.
Reflection: What places have you taken Jesus that have brought him honor? What places have you taken Jesus that have dishonored Him?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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