“Liberty, Lawsuits & Sexual Immorality” Holiness: Week 2 (1 Corinthians 6:1-20)
The Heart of Christian liberty is the right to give up your rights for the sake of Christ and His Glory.
- It’s better to be Wronged than to Force your Rightness on Someone the Wrong Way (1 Cor. 6:1-11)
- Flee Sexual Immorality For you Body is not your Own (1 Cor. 6:12-20)
Amen. If you have your Bibles this morning I’m excited to open them again to the book of 1st Corinthians. This week we’re going to be looking at chapter six. 1st Corinthians chapter six as we continue in this series Holiness, as it’s connected to this church in Corinth. Now when we think about the word holiness, most of us know that means to be separate. To be set apart for God and his glory. But usually when we start talking about holiness, we start putting fences and boundaries in place of things we should do or could do or shouldn’t do or can’t do. And that’s not bad. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be boundaries in your life as a Christian as far as holiness is concerned, but don’t make it just about the boundaries.
See holiness is not just drawing a line in the sand, okay this is as far as I can go, then seeing how close we can get to that line and whatever subject you’re dealing with without crossing it. No, holiness is not really a word study or just some academic pursuit, holiness is a lifestyle. Now your lifestyle may mean I don’t cross this boundary, but more important than the boundary is why you put it there. Right? And maybe even how you put it there. And that boundary may change with different parts of your life.
So when we start talking about holiness, this life that we live for God’s glory, we have to have a discussion about Christian liberty. That word liberty means to be free to do. And really when you think about Christian liberty we want to put in more boundaries. Well, Christian liberty is not just black and white. Just like holiness is not as simple as what you can and can’t do. I found some help this week from CH Spurgen. He preached in London a long time ago now but he reminds us that holiness, yes, excludes immorality. But morality does not amount to holiness. For morality may be but cleaning the outside of the cup while the heart may be full of wickedness. So it’s not just about morality, the things we do and shouldn’t do. Because that’s out here. Where holiness and Christian liberty starts is in here. As a matter of the heart. And how you want to control your thoughts and your desires for God’s glory. And then what does it do? Then it flows out, yes, into your lifestyle.
So to better help the Corinthian church understand holiness or the idea of liberty, what they’re free to do and what they’re free to not do, instead of just listing a bunch of boundaries, what Paul does is he dives into their life and what he’s heard and he shows them some ways that they’ve misused their Christian liberty, where they’ve gone too far. If you’ll remember in chapter five the first abuse of liberty, I can do what I want to do, came from this man in the church who was having a sexual relationship with his father’s wife. Probably his step mother. The idea is I can do whatever I want to do. Paul says, no. Worse than that, the church was supporting that idea. Paul says no that has to stop.
So yes, you’re free to make the choices you want to make. But there’s always consequences associated with the choice. You try to teach your children this, right? God has given you this divine prerogative of choice. But it doesn’t mean that you have the authority to choose how he will react to your choice. Or the authority to control how he will respond to it or allow it or not allow it. That’s God’s prerogative. So we start thinking about choice. We start thinking about liberty. Let’s look at how Paul goes from the discussion from last week in chapter five to this in chapter six talking about the misuse of Christian liberty as far as it’s associated with lawsuits and associated with sexual sin. If you want to just run to a verse, go to verse 12. I think verse 12 helps us understand what Paul’s talking about in this chapter. But verse 12 will help you understand what Paul’s talking about as far as Christian liberty is concerned throughout the whole book.
He says in verse 12, “All things are lawful for me but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me but I will not be mastered by anything.” What I want you to walk away with today is the heart of Christian liberty is the right to give up your rights for the sake of Christ and his glory, not just the right to choose to do what you want to do. Let’s start with the first 11 verses here. Paul talks about the first abuse of Christian liberty in the Corinthian church that he wants to talk about today is coming in the form of lawsuits. And what the idea here is is that it’s better to be wronged than to force your rightness on someone the wrong way. This was happening in lawsuits. People were getting wronged in the church. Other church members were doing evil or hateful, or whatever the wrong was, wrong things to other people in the church and those who were wronged were so offended by it they were running to their first option of taking their brother or sister in Christ to court.
Paul is basically saying in these first 11 verses, why are you doing that in front of unbelievers, in front of the world when you could be handling your business amongst one another. You’re making the name of God look bad and you’re actually hurting the proclamation of the gospel. Now before we travel too far along into this idea of lawsuits let me pull back a second and say Paul’s not wanting us to do away with the legal system. I’m not saying that our legal system is wrong. In fact, our legal system today is far better than the legal system 2,000 years ago. Our legal system is based off a Christian, moral ethic and that’s good. You may find yourself in need of pursuing a lawsuit, maybe even with a Christian or another Christian organization. But should it be your first choice? Should it be something that you want to do or should it be a choice that you hate to do and maybe feel forced to do? I think maybe that’s the difference today.
Let’s start in with the questions. Look in verse one. Paul says, does anyone of you, when he has a case against his neighbor or his brother or sister in Christ in the church, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints? I love how the new living translation puts it. When one of you has a dispute with one another, a believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers. Now, Paul is not getting into particular situations because he doesn’t want you to apply it to gesture situation. He wants you to apply the concept here of how to resolve conflict in the church to all of your situations. Don’t be so quick. I think the idea is don’t be so quick to make your brother or sister in Christ the enemy.
Don’t be so quick to take them to court to find restitution for your problem. Don’t get so angry. Be careful in how you resolve conflict because how you resolve it matters. See, it doesn’t matter the most that you’ve been wrong. That does matter, Paul said it doesn’t matter at all, but that doesn’t matter the most. How you deal with that conflict, how you react to being wronged, that matters a lot more. You don’t just represent yourself Church. When you surrender to Jesus as your savior, you now bear his name and everything that you do on Sunday, and what do we talk about in the last series beyond Sunday and has the name of God and the name of Jesus attached to it. Be Very careful how you respond, especially when you’re wronged by other people in the church. If we let pride rule the day, if we let anger get the best of us will turn out to be no better than what the Corinthian church was doing 2000 years ago.
So I don’t believe that lawsuits are the real issue here. I believe it’s the heart of the individual that causes them to pursue the lawsuit. It’s the heart of the individual that causes them to pursue the rightness that they want to see done when they’ve been wronged. So, Paul uses a number of different techniques here. Is verse three he asked a question, why are you letting the world judge you when you, in fact will be judging the world and even angels? What’s Paul doing here? He’s using the eschatological future to help you deal with the present. Paul is helping us understand that the future, your inheritance in heaven and what God’s got planned for you in the future matters much more than what’s going on right now. But when you’re wronged, when you’re offended, even by a brother or sister, what matters the most to in that moment is that you’ve been wronged. And the offense that you feel and seeking restitution or clearing your name or whatever it is.
Paul says don’t think about that alone. Think about tomorrow. The things that God has for tomorrow should mean much more to you than the things that you’re going through today. See, the world dictates how you should respond to things today and when you see lawsuits or when you see conflict trying to be resolved, this is what the world is pushing you to think about. Primarily thinking about profit, pride, and the protection of your assets. How many times do you see that as the reason to right the wrong, if not even through a lawsuit, but what’s God worried about today, tomorrow, and for the future? God’s worried about his name. God’s worried about the Gospel and God’s worried about his glory. So when you find yourself in conflict, especially in the church, you find yourself wronged. Don’t be thinking like the world. Don’t just think about profit, the protection of your assets and pride.
Think about God’s name and how you’re making it look by your response to being wronged. Think about the Gospel and how you respond to being wronged. Paul doesn’t say, I’m not even saying you’re not wrong. You may be wrong, but how are you able to proclaim the gospel and your response to being wronged? Are you helping it or you hindering it, but how you’re behaving in pursuing your justification for being right. And think about his glory more so than yourself. If we approach it this way, I believe there will be much more attention given to pursuing the conflict resolution before it gets out of hand. But Paul continues. Look at verse five. I say this to your shame. In other words, how you’re pursuing resolving the conflict through these lawsuits. He says, is it so that there is not one among you who is able to decide between his brethren but rather goes to law with his brother and even before unbelievers.
So 2000, it may be some of the petty stuff that we go to court for as well today. Some of the stuff I see people taking each of the court over today and the pettiness there, I think, well, maybe we need to reevaluate scriptures like this again. But many times when we’re pursuing conflict resolution in the church then and today and we’re doing it in front of unbelievers, we’re actually hindering the proclamation of the Gospel more than we’re helping it. How many times do we kick each other while we’re down, when we’re trying to resolve conflict, instead of helping each other up and define a resolution? Most of the time we just want vengeance. How many times do we take you to each other to court over issues that we could settle if we just took the time to talk and to find a resolution?
But many of you today would say pastor Todd, I’m not taking anybody to the court. No, I’m not suing anybody. I’m not suing her brother or sister. Well, you may not be doing that and it’s probably not for the reason you think it is. It’s probably not because you want to make the name of God look great. You’re probably not taking your brother or sister to court because it’s too expensive. You’re too cheap to do that. Yeah, taking someone to court today’s is not cheap. That better not be your first option unless you want to pay a lot of money.
But if you don’t take people to court today, could we still fall into the danger of what Paul’s warning against the Corinthian church? I think we can. What about when we don’t take people to court today, but we take people to the public opinion court of social media, right? And that starting at home a little bit, you’ve done me wrong. So I may not pursue you in the court of law, but I’m going to defame your name all over my Facebook account because that’s how I’m going to seek justice. Facebook is not your justice system and you say, why didn’t mention their name? Did you really need to mention their name after you gave us every juicy detail of the conflict? People know what you’re talking about. What’s the other option I would say rather than taking them the corridor, taking them to the court of public opinion through social media or the Internet. What about talking with each other?
When did that become so unpopular? I see conflict in the church today and people, they clam up and won’t say nothing. You’re dead to me. You’re my enemy. I will see you in court. what, you’re dead to me. I’ll see you on Facebook court. We’ll let the public decide who’s right or wrong. Really. Have you ever thought about what does that make God look like? Does that help you promote his glory? Does that help you in the proclamation of the Gospel?
I think we need to be careful when we’re wronged, how we pursue being right, because sometimes when you’re wronged, you can pursue being right the wrong way. That’s what Paul is saying here. You can actually be wrong even though you’re trying to be right. Look at verse seven actually then it is already a defeat for you because you’ve already missed it. That you have lawsuits with one another. Listen to this advice. You’re going to love this. Why not rather be wrong? What? I can’t be wronged without standing up and finding justice or does it say and he goes, well, what’s wrong with being wronged and why not rather even be defrauded rather than drag God’s name through the mud that you’re associated with. This is convicting. Does you know you can win an argument, you can win a lawsuit and you can win a social media battle and still lose.
Paul says you’ve already been defeated in how you seek vengeance. This is the idea of being wrong though you may be right because being right, church, that’s not all that matters. Did you know that? Being right is not all that matters. It’s how you respond to being wronged. That matters as well. Why not rather be wronged or be defrauded than to go about it the wrong way and bring dishonor to God and misrepresent the Gospel. See, pastor, this is crazy talk maybe, but you knew who else talked like this. Jesus. What about Matthew Chapter five look at verse 39. But I say to you, he’s not even talking about conflicts amongst believers here. This is what he says in verse 39 but I say to you, do not resist an evil person. Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also, what? Look at verse 40 Jesus must be confused. Let’s see if he gets it right here. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat as well, I guess so when they leave they won’t be called. Verse 41 whoever forces you, it didn’t say, whoever asks you to go a mile. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him too.
Please help me understand how we can manipulate these verses to say protect yourself. Guard your pride. Get Yours and seek vengeance. Why do we do that? Not because we’re seeking holiness, not because we’re actually understanding Christian liberty. I’ll tell you why do these things is because we’re prideful and we’re selfish. Pastor, how do that? Because I am you. I know me when I’m wrong and how I feel most of what I want to do when I’m wrong and my response is because my pride is hurt, my humility has not taken over, and every time I’m wrong to think you know what? I have to seek justice. I have to seek recompense right away and I think God’s asking me sometimes, do you really? And if you do, at what cost are you pursuing protecting your pride? Is Paul not saying it’s better to be wrong than to prove that you were right the wrong way.
Is it not better to be wronged than to prove you’re right the wrong way. Now, where does this have application? Probably nowhere in our life, right? Oh yeah. Every part of our life. What about and how you talk to each other when you’re correcting one another?
Did that you can be right and then show yourself wrong and how you talk to somebody. What about and how you find conflict resolution with your spouse? How do you talk to him? How do you talk to her? Oh, you can find yourself wrong real quick. Just ask me. I’ll tell you after. What about and how you discipline your children. Yeah, they have to obey you, but it doesn’t say that you have to mistreat them. What about and how you lead and how you follow. Sometimes it’s better to be wrong than to prove you were right the wrong way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been right and wrong at the same time. Too many. I don’t want to tell you all the stories and sometimes it comes when I’m trying to find some kind of conflict resolution with my wife.
Listen, I think I’m right all the time. I know it was prideful. I’m trying to die to that, but that’s generally I might and sometimes I’m right that I’m right, but here I go approaching that conversation. Oh yeah, we’re going to get this taken care of. I’m right about this issue and here I come with all my rightness in hand and I start shoving it into the argument and I started shoving into her face and then what happens? I’m wrong because how I speak to her.
When I emotionally hurt her, when I bring things into the argument, just so I can win. Can we take it a step further? Hope that it never happens in your life, but it doesn’t matter how right you are. If you physically hurt somebody or you emotionally hurt them just to be right. You know what you are? Wrong every single time. How would we resolve conflict matters church, you might have the right to take your brother or sister in Christ to court.
You might be right in the eyes of the world to drag their name through the mud on Facebook. But should you? That’s the question. Should you? And if you do, how does that make him look? It’s no wonder. We see when people see how we treat each other online or in court that they say, I don’t want any part of that is the wonder and unbeliever. We’ll see how we treat each other and kick each other when we’re down and watch each other solve conflict saying, I don’t want to go to that church. I’m not meaning this church. I don’t see that a lot here, but any church.
Then we go to verses nine and 11 it’s like this doesn’t fit. Paul goes into this list of people who are not entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Let’s read that list together. Who’s not entering the Kingdom of Heaven Way. He lists them out here for us. Fornicators, adulterers, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, the covetous, junkers, revilers, swindlers, and probably a lot of other words you could use. He said they will not inherit the Kingdom of God, but then in verse 11 he says this, some of these things used to describe you but not in the more. That’s the point. The point is not for you to rip this list out of the context of scripture and ask yourself, has anybody ever committed a sin in this list? I guess so. They’re not going to heaven. Really. That means you’re not going to heaven because this list, it’s representing all inclusive sin.
This list is not saying, Oh, have you committed one of these sins yourselves? And that means you’re not going to heaven. No. Paul puts this list in the context of this chapter to say, this used to be you church. These words used to describe you, they used to represent you holy through and through, but not anymore. Why would Paul do that.
So that he could say, now you’ve been sanctified. Look at the words here. Now you’ve been sanctified, justified, and washed. I love these words as they describe your salvation, sanctified means to be made holy as the whole context of this series. The word justified means that you’re no longer guilty, but not because of your morality or your innocence, but because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ that has been imputed to you. You’ve been declared righteousness by him through his sacrifice in the resurrection. The word washed means what it means. It means to be cleanse. Here’s the reality. Every one of you have been a part of this list.
Every man who’s ever lived has the dark stain of sin upon their heart, but Christ came, shed his blood in our place on the cross, rose from the dead so that the stain of sin could be removed from your heart. Paul is saying, have you been washed in the blood? I love that song. That’s my … Have you been washed in the blood? If not, repent and believe today and let his blood sacrifice cleanse you. But if you’re sitting here like most of you are like, Hey man, I’ve been washed in the blood. I sing that song with passion. Yeah. Then start acting like it. If you’ve been washed in the blood of the lamb, stop living like you still carry the stain of sin on your heart and how you have conflict with each other. You sees how I got you now.
You’ve been cleansed, you’ve been sanctified, you’ve been justified, live like it in every part of your life to include even when you’ve been wronged. When you’re wrong and you’re gonna be wronged, it’s going to happen. That doesn’t mean that you have the right to do anything you want just because you’ve been wronged.
How you pursue rightness matters. This is the first abuse that Paul’s talking about in this chapter of Christian liberty. Maybe you find some connection to it. I know I do, but there’s another one. Look at verses 12-20. Not only were they misusing their Christian liberty and how they had conflict in the church, but they were also misusing their Christian liberty. I can do what I want and their sexual relationships, and here’s the call. Flee from sexual immorality for your body is not your own.
We’ve got to go back to verse 12 again. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can pursue conflict by suing your brother or sister doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can have sexual relationships outside the covenant of marriage, it doesn’t mean that you should. This is what’s going on here. Chapter 5:1 Paul uses the word immorality to represent sexual immorality. Here again, Paul says that your body is not to be connected to the same word immorality. It means sexual immorality is the Greek word, Porneia. Why? He says, because you’re a part of the body of Christ.
Now, sometimes we use that term so much. We use it so loosely. We forget what Paul’s saying here. When you usually hear the term body of Christ, what do you think of? You think of the church and you would be right. We are the body of Christ and Paul will continue that discussion when he gets the spiritual gifts inside the body there are many parts and you all have your own gifts, but he’s using the term body of Christ here to help you understand that you are intimately. This is important. Don’t miss this. You were intimately connected to him. At the moment of your salvation you are intimately connected literally to Jesus Christ. So what does that mean? What you do with your body? Hold on. This is good. What you do with your body you’re doing it with his.
What does Paul say here? He created you to be in sexual sin in the proper context. Look at verse 15 do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute. You understand what he’s saying here?
It’s getting kind of mature, so you may have had a conversation with your children that are here today on the way home. That’s okay. What does it say in here? Do I put Jesus and sexually connect him in the flesh to prostitute? No. The idea should be offensive to you. Therefore, you’re doing that when you make your body, which is a part of his and you connected to a prostitute. The prostitute idea here is what Paul’s talking about to them in first Corinthian seven but you do know the idea goes far beyond prostitution and to all types of sexual immorality and they get deep today.
Sexual relationships, God created you to be in, but only in the proper context of covenant marriage. The marriage between a man and a woman for a lifetime, for God’s glory is it proclaims the Gospel for the procreation and the production of children and things like that. Any sexual relationship outside of the covenant of marriage is misrepresenting and misusing the body of Christ. So pastor, how are you connected to marriage? Well just look at verse 16 do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her or him for he says who says God says the two shall become one flesh. Have you ever heard that before? Where have you heard that before? What about when Paul mentions in Ephesians five is connected to what marriage, but what about when Jesus mentions it in connection to marriage or what about when you’ve heard it in Genesis chapter 2:24 when God created the institution of marriage, he’s talking about prostitution is abuse of your Christian liberty as far as sexual relationships goes, but so as any other sexual relationship, so not only as prostitution wrong, but so is premarital sex.
That’s outside of the marriage covenant. Adultery, viewing pornography, homosexuality. We could go on and on and all the numbers of different sexual sins that we participate in today when we have sex church, listen to me. When we have sex outside of the marriage covenant, we are marring the beauty of sex as God created it.
If you’ve been looking for a passage of scripture that says that premarital sex is wrong, you’ve arrived. Some people act like that’s not even in the scriptures. If you’re looking for a passage of scripture to defend sexuality being in the proper context of the marriage covenant, let’s go to chapter six and then next week and chapter seven and I want to kind of give you a heads up. Today we’re getting into some sexual conversation, moms and dads. If your kids here today, you can talk with them. It’s not going to get to raw today, but next week we’re going to dive into it pretty serious. So if you want your children to stay in this that’s cool. Or if you want them to be here and hear it from me, rather than hear it from school, that’s okay too. Just be ready to talk to them about it when you leave.
Let me talk to you those who have made a mistake, those of you have fallen into sexual sin because right about now, the guilt is probably starting to, or it should be starting to weigh on you pretty heavy. If you’re feeling guilt because you’re participating in some kind of sexual sin, I’m not gonna apologize for that. You should feel guilt and what that should do is cause you to want to change for the glory of God as revealed in Christ and his sacrifice for you. But don’t you dare let that guilt take you to a certain level of telling you you’re no good.
You’re unclean. You can never be made pure again. You’ve committed such wrong that God cannot forgive you. That’s way too far. Your purity primarily doesn’t have anything to do with your body, but it has everything to do with Christ.
You’re not pure because of what you do and what you don’t do. The reality is all of us are on pure. Those of us who fall into the sexual sin, and those of us who’ve told a lie, those of us who’ve committed any sin, makes all of us impure. All of us had the stain of sin on her heart before Christ, but in Christ that’s the point of the Gospel in Christ all of us can be cleansed. All of us can be made new. All of us can be born again. All of us can be pure before the eyes of God. That’s what matters.
So let guilt take you to the proper place of removing sexual sin. Don’t let guilt take you to the negative place of you misunderstanding your identity in God through Christ. Does that make sense? All right, let’s move on because I want to dive a little deeper. Pastor. Why is it that all sexual relationships outside of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman for a lifetime is wrong? Get ready. This isn’t going to blow your mind, but it’s just truth because that’s the way God created it to be.
Did you hear me? That’s the way God created it to be. He is God you are not. Can it be more complicated than that? Oh yeah. There have been books written about sexual sin and how it’s wrong in the eyes of God for a number of different reasons, but it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that. That all sexual sin outside the marriage covenant is wrong because God only created sexual relationships that happen inside the marriage covenant. He’s the boss. He’s the authority. He’s the master. He gets to choose. And he’s the one that allowed you to fill his grace to have salvation in his son.
So what we should do in response to his sovereign mercy, his glorious grace, is to live our lives the way that he intended us to live him, live him and in sexual relationships. That’s only inside of the context of the marriage covenant. But here’s where Christian liberty gets you [inaudible 00:32:53]. This is my body.
This is my privacy. This is what I look at it, that’s none of your business. I can do with my body what I want. It may not be my business, but you’re wrong. Your body’s not your own. That’s where Paul goes next. I love what he says here and starting in verse 18 as he leads into this idea that our bodies are not owned by us alone. Look at verse 18 here’s the command that he gives us as the god of the universe who created sexual relationships to occur inside of the covenant marriage alone. He says, when you are tempted by sexual morality, it’s not complicate flee. That’s the command here. Flee from sexual immorality,
The word flee is in the context of a military being on a battlefield and their unit or their army is about to be overrun by the enemy. This is in the context of them sounding the alarm and sounding the retreat. What do you do in the retreat you run? Now, if you’re an American military member, you don’t like sounding the retreat, but sometimes it happens. You’re about to be overrun and for the safety of the lives at hand. Your officer might say, “retreat,” and what do you do when you retreat? You turn around and whether you like it or not, you run and you run until you get to safety.
You don’t stop up here when the retreat sounds, I’m like what? Let’s just have a conversation with the enemy. Let’s create a plan. No, you don’t have time for that. You’ll be an overrun. You flee, you run away, and then once you get to safety, then you create the plan to prevent it from happening again in the future. When you’re falling or about to fall into sexual sin, here’s the command for you. Flee, runaway like Joseph did in Genesis chapter 39. I love this example.
You remember Joseph in Genesis 39 had Potiphar’s wife and literally hot pursuit of him. She wanted to engage in a sexual relationship as a nice way to put it with Joseph, and he says, I ain’t having none of it. I’m not doing this to my master. No way for the glory of God. No Way. So he kept her at bay, but one day Joseph found himself without Potiphar in the home. The Potiphar’s wife was there and she trapped him in the room. I can almost see you’re like this, right? It’s just like, I’m going to get you now. Literally, the Bible tells us that she reached out to grab him, basically say, hey, we’re doing this right now, and what did he do? He fled. She got a hold of his coat and I don’t know how you did some kind of magic trick. Got Out of it and he takes off running, literally runs away and all this she’s left with was as an empty coat in her hand. That’s how you approach sexual immorality.
Get out of there. If you’re attempted to adultery run, don’t stay and think about it. Don’t talk about it. Rebuke a dream of it. Surely don’t try to minister to the one that you’re tempted with, run away where into the loving arms of your spouse because that’s where God’s will is in God’s will that’s where safety is found.
Did you see? But if you’re running outside of God’s will into the arms of another, it’s a sexual sin. I can’t promise you safety. Just ask Jonah. Jonah was running away from God’s will into his own disobedience sin. What did God do? Because he loved Jonah. He pursued him. Then the storm came. Then the ship was ripped apart. Then Jonah was thrown into the sea and there Jonah drown. I don’t know what God’s going to do as a believer to get your attention, but don’t think that your sexual sin just because you’re hiding it from others will remain unchecked.
Pastor, my body’s my own. No, it’s not. It belongs to God. What does it mean that it belongs to God? Literally, you’re a member of Christ’s body, but then Paul gives you two compelling reasons that your body’s not your own. Number one is in verse 19 do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own. The moment you surrender to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your body is no longer just a flesh sack of sin. Your body then becomes the house of God’s spirit, as Paul calls it here, the temple of the Holy Spirit and as the temple of the Holy Spirit, God lives inside of you to keep you from things like sexual sin and should not be used to participate in sexual sin. You are not your own he says. But not only is your body the temple of the holy spirit as he moves on here, you are not your own, literally because your body has been bought with a price.
This is one of the most humbling verses in all the scripture. To me it kills all of the pride and arrogance associated with selfish views of Christian liberty. When I surrender to Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I’m confessing that the blood of Jesus paid for me and my sin. The price was high. His blood he gave it. I couldn’t pay it and to think that if he sacrificed his body for me, I would throw my body into sexual sin that should horrify us. Glorify God with your body is the call because it’s not yours to do with what you want. It’s his, use it to honor him, not to shame him. That’s a true view of Christian liberty, to be willing to lay down your rights, to lay down your desires, to bring God glory. Why? Because that’s what Jesus did for you.
You realize he’ll never ask you to go places he hadn’t already been. He’ll never ask you to travel further than he’s already gone. He’ll never ask you to give what he has not already given and more. Therefore, honor God with your relationships. Honor God and holy living with your body because Jesus honored God with the sacrifice of his. If you need motivation to flee sexual immorality, let Jesus be your guide.
April 23, 2020
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