Our bodies were not made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. . . . God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. - 1 Corinthians 6:13, 20
Freedom of speech does not allow you to shout “Fire!” in a crowded cinema. Freedom of religion does not grant you the right to make human sacrifices. Freedom of movement is limited, too: Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. In other words, freedom has limits. So an intoxicating statement, like “I am allowed to do anything,” is simply not true. Even if it were true, such freedom would have to be handled with extreme care. Sometimes freedom can mean freedom to do harm, and as Paul said, “Not everything is good for you” (1 Cor. 6:12). Not to mention whether it is good for others!
Moreover, the exercise of a freedom can dominate you. Ironically, you then become freedom’s slave. Take the matter of sexual liberation, for instance. It is not uncommon for sexual freedom to become sexual addiction. This situation removes a man far from Paul’s dictum, “I must not become a slave to anything” (6:12).
Even apart from the possibility of freedom leading to bondage, the limits of sexual freedom need to be clearly understood. It may be argued that, in the same way that when the body is hungry for food it is right to eat whatever is available, so when the body’s sexual appetites are stirred, it is right to have sex. In fact, that was one Corinthian argument. But it contained a fatal flaw. For while it may be right to say “Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food,” it is not correct to infer that our bodies were made for sex. On the contrary, the body was “made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies” (6:13).
Food and stomach will pass away, but not our bodies. “God will raise our bodies from the dead by his marvelous power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead” (6:14). Bodies are made for the Lord—and for eternity. In fact, Paul tells the Corinthians, “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God” (6:19). As a result, it is possible to say, “Your bodies are actually parts of Christ” (6:15).
The Corinthian Christians who had freely engaged in sexual promiscuity prior to their conversions—sometimes in the name of religion—were being required to rethink their sexual morality. In summary, they needed to recognize that “sexual immorality is a sin against your own body,” and they were told, “Honor God with your body” (6:18, 20). In practical terms that meant, “Run away from sexual sin”— for Christians, it is off limits.
For Further Study: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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