Faithlife Sermons

Sexual Immorality Freedom or Bondage

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Intro: (cows maybe)

Transition:
Context:
The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament 6:12–20—The Body Is for God, Not for Immorality

Biblical law forbade sex between people who were not married; the penalty for having sex with one person and then marrying another was the same as the penalty for adultery while married—death. Although this penalty was no longer strictly enforced by Paul’s day, it was intended to underline the seriousness of the offense; premarital sexual immorality was adultery against one’s future spouse (Deut 22:13–29).

Many Greek thinkers, however, reasoned that sex without marriage (“fornication”—KJV, NRSV) was fine as long as it did not control a person; the more vulgar Cynics even relieved their sexual passions publicly. For most Greek men under the age of thirty, heterosexual sex was most available with slaves or with prostitutes. Roman law permitted prostitution, and it forbade fornication only if both parties were of aristocratic birth. Paul’s response shows his mastery of his readers’ culture and his ability to communicate biblical truth relevantly.

READ
Sex isn’t as casual as we have made it.
Preaching the Word: 1 Corinthians—The Word of the Cross Chapter 11: Sex (1 Corinthians 6:12–20)

In this passage Paul’s major overarching point challenges us—he says that sex isn’t as casual as people have made it out to be, that everyone must take their bodies and what they do with them seriously. Why?

In verse 15 Paul addresses the issue of prostitution. Prostitution in the ancient world was a much more culturally acceptable sexual practice than it is today. Temple precincts would frequently host dinners, after which prostitutes would be presented and offered to guests. It wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary either for a man to end a hard day’s work with a visit to a brothel. A man’s wife was for bearing heirs, for securing strategic political and social alliances, but not so much for sexual pleasure. Visiting prostitutes was a culturally and socially accepted practice among the people of that day.2 It was so customary that the Corinthian Christians had done everything they could to justify its acceptance. This reflects in many ways our current modern experience. The prevailing sentiment these days is that sex outside of marriage is normal. It’s just something everyone does, and if one does not, it’s because he or she is strange. What’s more, many today have convinced themselves that it’s okay and have done everything they can to explain it away. Our cultural moment isn’t all that different from ancient Corinth, and the passage at hand is surprisingly relevant.

Sex is a good gift BUT its a powerful gift

It’s a beautiful thing! But take notice, it’s a powerful thing too. Sex has the potency not only to please, but also to control.

Consider this story from Lauren Winner: “I want to tell you a story about my friends Charlie and Suzanne. They should have had a picture-perfect wedding night.… But [instead it] was, in Suzanne’s words, ‘a disaster.’ Though Charlie was eager to make the beast with two backs (that’s Shakespeare’s felicitous phrase, not my own), she simply did not want to have sex.… Nor did she want to have sex much during their first three years of marriage, until they started meeting with a counselor.… ‘I knew there would be a learning curve with sex, but I thought that meant learning about mechanics. What I really had to learn was that sex is OK—that it is OK to desire my husband.’ Rather than spending our unmarried years stewarding and disciplining our desires, we have become ashamed of them. We persuade ourselves that the desires themselves are horrible.… We spend years guarding our virginity, but find, upon getting married, that we cannot just flip a switch. Now that sex is licit, sanctioned—even blessed by our community—we are stuck with years of work (and sometimes therapy) to unlearn … anxiety about sex; to learn, instead, that sex is good” (Lauren Winner, Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity [Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2005], p. 95).

With verse 12 Paul begins a pattern that will frequently recur throughout the rest of the letter—quoting a Corinthian slogan, and thereby giving it a limited endorsement, but then at once substantially qualifying it. These Corinthian slogans (here the three sayings of verses 12–13 which the NIV encloses with quotation marks) all share four characteristics: (a) they are short, pithy, and proverbial; (b) they reflect the libertine wing of the church; (c) Paul himself could have conceivably uttered them in some specific context; and (d) apart from that context they were so misleading that abuse was almost inevitable.

Paul might have spoken this in the context of Christian freedom from the law. The slogan of verse 13 (“Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”) could reflect his more specific reference to freedom from the Jewish dietary laws. But apart from these contexts the slogans virtually invite people to sin, as the Corinthians apparently were doing. Hence Paul explains that Christians still must submit to moral principles—not because they obey all 613 commandments of the Mosaic Law but because many things simply are not beneficial and not truly liberating.

Things you claim you are free to do are not actually freeing for you.

“All things are in my power, but I shall not be overpowered by anything.”

1 Corinthians: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Chapter 15: Christian Liberty and Sexual Freedom (6:12–20)

In 6:12–20 Paul shows three of the evils of sexual sin: it is harmful to everyone involved; it gains control over those who indulge in it; and it perverts God’s purpose for the body.

Sexual immorality promises please but puts you in prison
1 Corinthians: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Chapter 15: Christian Liberty and Sexual Freedom (6:12–20)

Freedom in Christ was a truth Paul never tired of emphasizing. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.… For you were called to freedom, brethren” (Gal. 5:1, 13). He continually rejoiced in “the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21). Believers “are not under law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). We are not saved by works or kept saved by works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Eph. 2:8–9; cf. Rom. 3:20). “Now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter” (Rom. 7:6).

God’s grace alone saves and God’s grace alone keeps salvation. Christians are justified, counted righteous and holy in God’s sight (Rom. 4:22–25). “Who,” therefore, “will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies” (Rom. 8:33). A Christian can commit no sin that is not already covered by God’s grace. No sin can forfeit his salvation. No accusation can succeed against the believer. God is the highest court, and He has declared that believers are righteous. There is no higher appeal. That settles the issue.

1 Corinthians: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Chapter 15: Christian Liberty and Sexual Freedom (6:12–20)

The Corinthian church had been taught this truth many times while Paul was among them, but they were using it as a theological excuse for sin.

1 Corinthians: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Chapter 15: Christian Liberty and Sexual Freedom (6:12–20)

“only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh” (Gal. 5:13)

12. Everything is permissible for me occurs twice here and twice more in 10:23. It looks like a catch-phrase the Corinthians used to justify their conduct, possibly one they had derived from Paul’s teaching when he was among them. He would perhaps have said something like this by way of an assertion of Christian freedom over against Jewish legalism and the like. Other religions laid down rules that must be kept if people were to be saved (food laws were especially common).

True in context but taken out of context is used and abused… True nothing you can do to make God love you more or less, nothing do to be saved, (God has done the work), untrue nothing you do matters. True you are free in Christ there is no condemnation Jesus tok our shame but untrue that your freedom in Christ means you are free to do whatever you want. In fact some things people claim they are free to do are the very things that are enslaving them. Free to sin when in actuallity God’s freedom is that you are free to no longer sin. Understand God’s commands are not dont do this or else its dont do this because i know best.

not everything is beneficial. Some things are not expressly forbidden, but their results are such as to rule them out for the believer.

The Bible never says dont do cocaine… there is no verse for that. BUT doing heroine/cocaine is not beneficial. and will become your master

“I have the right to do anything.” A slogan of some Corinthians (thus the quotation marks and the concluding words “you say”). beneficial. Edifying to the church (10:23, 33); the criterion for what is allowed. Christian behavior should benefit others (7:35; 10:33; 12:7).

The New American Commentary: 1 Corinthians 3. The Sanctity of the Body (6:12–20)

The second qualification, “I will not be mastered by anything,” indicates that one’s actions in the name of so-called freedom can have the exact opposite effect of enslavement.

everyone who sins is a slave to sin… SO IN OUR TIME, What is sin?

Paul understandably reacts to this monstrous mismatch with a strong present tense command (suggesting ongoing action) to “flee” porneia. This is the broadest term for sexual sin in the Greek language, embracing any form of intercourse between two individuals who are not united in heterosexual marriage (v. 18a). At first glance, however, his next reason for this command seems patently false (v. 18b). Surely gluttony and drunkenness, self-mutilation, and suicide also sin against one’s own body. The solution to this problem lies with the term “body” (soma), which can often carry the connotation of an individual in bodily, interpersonal communion. As Brendan Byrne explains:

The immoral person perverts precisely that faculty within himself that is meant to be the instrument of the most intimate bodily communication between persons. He sins against his unique power of bodily communication and in this sense sins in a particular way ‘against his own body.’ All other sins are in this respect by comparison ‘outside’ the body—with ‘body’ having in this verse the strong sexual overtones that appear to cling to it throughout the passage as a whole. No other sin engages one’s power of bodily personal communication in precisely so intimate a way.

Free people need people less and can serve people more

Most often when a person sleeps with someone without making a lasting commitment to him or her, its almost never the case that the person is not looking to help him or her but is simply looking to personal interest. They just want to get what’s theirs, whether physically or emotionally, and they’re not really free. Free people serve, free people help others, because free people need people less, and so they can love people more.

“The sex drive is so intense that it becomes a temptation to manipulate and even exploit the other person. To the extent that the functional is predominant in our sex lives, we treat the other person as a means and thus dehumanize him. When this happens, sexual intercourse is immoral … because it distorts and destroys a personal relationship” (Lewis Smedes, Sex for Christians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), p. 104). “When one has sex with a prostitute [or outside of marriage], what God intended to be a means of sharing one’s life with another is dehumanized into a momentary coupling for the sole purpose of sexual release” (Garland, 1 Corinthians, p. 237).

“A woman [these] days cannot ‘opt’ to be [what she wants to be], she is put on Prozac, she has her new persona assigned to her and then [is] celebrated as the hallmark of true liberation. Ours is supposed to be a time of great freedom. Yet [we] have just ended up letting others dictate our choices.”

Upon first reading, this might sound more like oppression than freedom. But a modest woman, as Shalit goes on, “may be conveying to the world by her bashfulness, I have my own compass, thank you. I have my own sense of what is good and what is right, and it’s not always what everyone else says.” She’s free.

Profitable (sumpherō) means “to be to advantage.” In the sense that believers are free and no longer under the penalty of the law in any way, all things are lawful for them. But the price for doing some things is terribly high, terribly unprofitable. Sin never brings profit; it always brings loss.

The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament 6:12–20—The Body Is for God, Not for Immorality

“Food for the stomach and the stomach for food” was a typical Greek way of arguing by analogy that the body was for sex and sex for the body (cf. also the general use of the “stomach” metaphor in comment on Phil 3:19).

The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament 6:12–20—The Body Is for God, Not for Immorality

Here Paul argues from Genesis 2:24. Jewish interpreters normally applied this text to marriage, but because in Jewish law intercourse sealed a marriage union or betrayed it, Paul’s argument from Genesis 2:24 would make sense to Jewish readers or to Gentiles conversant with the Old Testament.

You do you is killing us

6:12. The words, Everything is permissible for me, had apparently become a slogan to cloak the immorality of some in Corinth. The statement was true but it required qualification. Paul qualified liberty with the principle of love applied to both neighbor and self (cf. Mark 12:31). Liberty which was not beneficial but detrimental to someone else was not loving (1 Cor. 8:1; 10:23) and was to be avoided. So too, liberty which became slavery (I will not be mastered by anything) was not love but hatred of self.

Freedom which is detrimental is not beneficial and therefore not loving … liberty that becomes slavery is not helpful

6:13–14. Food for the stomach and the stomach for food was another slogan by which some Corinthians sought to justify their immorality. They reasoned that “food” was both pleasurable and necessary. When their stomachs signaled hunger, food was taken to satisfy them. So too, they argued, sex was pleasurable and necessary. When their bodies signaled sexual desire, they needed to be satisfied. But Paul drew a sharp line between the stomach and the body. The body (sōma) in this context (cf. 2 Cor. 12:3) meant more than the physical frame; it referred to the whole person, composed of flesh (the material) and spirit (the immaterial; cf. 2 Cor. 2:13 with 7:5). The “body,” therefore, was not perishable but eternal (1 Cor. 6:14), and it was not meant for sexual immorality (porneia) but for union with the Lord (vv. 15–17), which is reciprocal (cf. Eph. 1:23). The eternality of the body, the future destiny of the individual, was made certain by Christ’s resurrection (1 Cor. 6:14; cf. 15:20).

We talked two weeks ago about the ripple effect of sin (PROFESSOR who would be effected… not just self)

The union of two people involves more than physical contact. It is also a union of personalities which, however transient, alters both of them (6:16). Paul quoted Genesis 2:24 (The two will become one flesh) not to affirm that a man and a prostitute are married but to indicate the gravity of the sin (cf. Eph. 5:31–32).

A Christian’s union with Christ likewise affects both him and the Savior, and one cannot act without affecting the other.

6:12 All things are lawful … not helpful. That may have been a Corinthian slogan. It was true that no matter what sins a believer commits, God forgives (Eph. 1:7), but not everything they did was profitable or beneficial. The price of abusing freedom and grace was very high. Sin always produces loss. power. Sin has power. The word means “mastered” (cf. Rom. 6:14), and no sin is more enslaving than sexual sin. While it can never be the unbroken pattern of a true believer’s life, it can be the recurring habit that saps joy, peace, usefulness and brings divine chastening and even church discipline (cf. 5:1ff). See notes on 1 Thess. 4:3–5.

There is a sense in which sexual sin destroys a person like no other, because it is so intimate and entangling, corrupting on the deepest human level. But Paul is probably alluding to venereal disease, prevalent and devastating in his day and today. No sin has greater potential to destroy the body, something a believer should avoid because of the reality given in vv. 19, 20.

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Five: Be Wise about … Church Discipline (1 Corinthians 5–6)

Their second argument was, “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats” (1 Cor. 6:13). They treated sex as an appetite to be satisfied and not as a gift to be cherished and used carefully. Sensuality is to sex what gluttony is to eating; both are sinful and both bring disastrous consequences.

Because sex reflects the most intimate of interpersonal relations among humans, it should be reserved for the most permanent of interpersonal commitments. God established the principle of lifelong monogamy as a creation ordinance, transcending all cultures and periods of human history (v. 16). The quotation from Genesis must be read in context as affirming the intimacy and commitment that sexual intercourse should imply. It does not offer any justification for claiming that sex by itself constitutes a marriage.

The Corinthians had not thought through the implications of their sexual laxity. Anyone who unites with a prostitute by that act becomes one with her. ‘Casual sex’ is anything but casual. It is an act of sacrilege. Temples like our bodies are not meant for profanations like this.

It can be casual, without all of the baggage coming along with it, some say. Can it really? Paul says in verse 16 that in sex “the two … become one flesh.” What Paul is getting at here is the fact that there’s an inevitable uniting effect that happens when you have sex. Lewis Smedes, a Christian ethicist and theologian, put it really well when he wrote, “There is more to sex than meets the eye—or excites the genitals. There is no such thing as casual sex, no matter how casual people are about it.” “No one can take sex out at night and put it away until he wants to play with it again, nobody can go to bed with someone and leave his soul parked outside.”22

Afterward, the two people seldom feel the same way toward each other again. They may love each other as never before; they may resent each other; they may only feel comfortable with each other. But after intercourse, the relationship is not what it was before. [And that’s because] what we do with sex shapes what we are; what we do with our bodies, we do with ourselves. Sexual intercourse is a personal life-uniting act [and so] the demand for continence is not a killjoy rule plastered on the abundant life by antisexual saints. It is respect for reality as we know it.

One’s body and what he or she does with it matters eternally because it won’t be destroyed—God will raise it, just as he raised Jesus! In fact, one’s body is so important that God would even go so far as to make it his home and on top of that call it his own. Verse 19 says our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and in verse 15 that it’s a member of Christ! What Paul is saying is absolutely revolutionary! Absolutely radical! Our bodies are the place where God has chosen to live and the very thing he has chosen to make a part of himself! He’s bound himself so tightly to us, even our bodies, because he wants to be with us—for us to be his and for him to be ours—forever!

One’s body and what he or she does with it matters eternally because it won’t be destroyed—God will raise it, just as he raised Jesus! In fact, one’s body is so important that God would even go so far as to make it his home and on top of that call it his own. Verse 19 says our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and in verse 15 that it’s a member of Christ! What Paul is saying is absolutely revolutionary! Absolutely radical! Our bodies are the place where God has chosen to live and the very thing he has chosen to make a part of himself! He’s bound himself so tightly to us, even our bodies, because he wants to be with us—for us to be his and for him to be ours—forever!

It can be casual, without all of the baggage coming along with it, some say. Can it really? Paul says in verse 16 that in sex “the two … become one flesh.” What Paul is getting at here is the fact that there’s an inevitable uniting effect that happens when you have sex. Lewis Smedes, a Christian ethicist and theologian, put it really well when he wrote, “There is more to sex than meets the eye—or excites the genitals. There is no such thing as casual sex, no matter how casual people are about it.” “No one can take sex out at night and put it away until he wants to play with it again, nobody can go to bed with someone and leave his soul parked outside.”22

He’s not saying there’s nothing else that involves your physical body, because it’s obvious that a slew of other things do. He’s saying there’s nothing else that involves us—all of us, including our bodies, everything we are—quite like sex does. With sex, we’re all in; with sex, we give ourselves—all of ourselves—away. And that’s the second reason why one’s body and what one does with it matters—because our body matters, or maybe more importantly, because we do.

“The context and rhetorical tone suggest that Paul wants to draw out the distinctive character of sexual sin compared to every other sin a person could possibly commit. That these other sins are ‘outside the body’ implies that they are not sins ‘against the body,’ not that the body is not involved in committing them. Sexual sin, by contrast, is labeled a direct assault on the body … [and is] destructive against one’s self.… Commentators, however, have long asked how drunkenness, gluttony, suicide, and self-mutilation do not qualify also as sins against the body. But Paul is not referring to what might physically injure the body.… To take one example, drunkenness does not have the capacity to make a person one flesh with alcohol. This one-flesh union is true only of the sex act. Because intercourse with a prostitute [or outside of marriage] is ‘uniquely body joining, it is uniquely body defiling’ (Fisk)” (Garland, 1 Corinthians, pp. 237, 238).

Preaching the Word: 1 Corinthians—The Word of the Cross Because We Were Bought by Someone Who Gave All to Have Us

In verse 13 when Paul writes, “Food is meant for the stomach,” he is quoting a prevailing thought of the day, which went something like this: just as food is intended for the stomach, and in turn the stomach for food, so sex is intended for the body, and in turn the body for sex. Sex, in other words, is natural. It’s what human bodies were made for; and because that’s true, sexual desires shouldn’t be frustrated but should be fulfilled.

Preaching the Word: 1 Corinthians—The Word of the Cross Because We Were Bought by Someone Who Gave All to Have Us

that the body is meant not for sex, but “for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” But what does that mean? It sounds like something someone’s mom would say to her child before he or she went off to college. What is your body and ultimately sex for? Yes, pleasure. Yes, to love and to serve the one to whom you’ve committed yourself forever. And yes, to conceive children. But ultimately, beyond and beneath all of that one’s body and what one does with it is intended to be a reflection of one’s commitment. Yes, to the one you love, but maybe even more deeply to the one who gave all to commit himself to you forever.

ABOVE IS AWESOME. WE SHOUDL TAKE CARE OF OUR BODIES

Profitable (sumpherō) means “to be to advantage.” In the sense that believers are free and no longer under the penalty of the law in any way, all things are lawful for them. But the price for doing some things is terribly high, terribly unprofitable. Sin never brings profit; it always brings loss.

The dangers and harm of sexual sin are nowhere presented more vividly and forcefully than in Proverbs. “The lips of an adulteress drip honey, and smoother than oil is her speech” (Prov. 5:3).

The point is that sexual allurement is extremely enticing and powerful. It seems nice, enjoyable, and good. It promises nothing but pleasure and satisfaction. But what it ends up giving “is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it” (vv. 4–6). The first characteristic of sexual sin is deceit. It never delivers what it promises.

The “stolen water” of sexual relations outside of marriage “is sweet; and bread eaten in secret is pleasant”; but “the dead are there” (Prov. 9:17–18). Sexual sin is a “no win” situation. It is never profitable and always harmful.

God looks on sexual immorality with extreme seriousness. Because of this sin in Israel, “twenty-three thousand fell in one day” (1 Cor. 10:8). David was a man after God’s own heart and was greatly used of the Lord in leading Israel and even in writing Scripture. But David was not exempted from the consequences of his sin. He committed adultery with Bathsheba and she became pregnant. He then arranged for her husband to be killed in battle and took her as his own wife. “But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Sam. 11:27). Through His prophet Nathan, God told David that because of his sin, “the sword shall never depart from your house, … I will raise up evil against you from your own household,” and “the child also that is born to you shall surely die” (12:10–11, 14). David paid for those sins almost every day of his life. Several of his sons were rebellious, jealous, and vengeful, and his family life was for the most part a tragic shambles.

FLEE
The New American Commentary: 1 Corinthians 3. The Sanctity of the Body (6:12–20)

In 6:18 Paul interjects the command, “Flee from sexual immorality.” The command is paralleled in 10:14, “Flee from idolatry.” Most commentators draw attention to the present tense of the imperative, which would carry the sense of habitually fleeing from this sin. It is also probable that the sin to be fled is much broader than the mention of prostitution in the immediate context. There is no other response possible in light of the gravity of the sin and the propensity of humans to entrap themselves in it. Robertson and Plummer comment that the lack of grammatical connection to the previous statement marks the urgency of the situation.175

The union of two people involves more than physical contact. It is also a union of personalities which, however transient, alters both of them (6:16). Paul quoted Genesis 2:24 (The two will become one flesh) not to affirm that a man and a prostitute are married but to indicate the gravity of the sin (cf. Eph. 5:31–32).

A Christian’s union with Christ likewise affects both him and the Savior, and one cannot act without affecting the other.

your bodies are temples. The physical body of each individual believer is a place where God is present (see note on 3:16). The place where the Holy Spirit is at home must not be a place that is joined to prostitutes. You are not your own. Believers do not belong to themselves and must not decide on their own—independent of the Lord and the Holy Spirit—how they should live.

CT article on the man who robbed the bank
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Five: Be Wise about … Church Discipline (1 Corinthians 5–6)

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.

The strong command to keep on fleeing porneia (v. 18) may need to be reenacted literally, as with Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife (Gen. 39:12). But it may also require refusing intimate friendships with people to whom one is improperly attracted, refraining in dating relationships from bodily contact that prematurely arouses too strong a sexual desire, or avoiding places that make pornography available in print or on television and film. It applies also at the mental level, whenever we dwell on that which is not true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).

The Corinthians had not thought through the implications of their sexual laxity. Anyone who unites with a prostitute by that act becomes one with her. ‘Casual sex’ is anything but casual. It is an act of sacrilege. Temples like our bodies are not meant for profanations like this.

When repeatedly enticed by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph refused not only “to lie beside her” but even to “be with her” (Gen. 39:10). When she tried to force him into adultery and grabbed his coat, “he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside” (v. 12). It was not the time for argument or explanation but for flight. When we unavoidably get caught in such a situation, the only sensible thing to do is to get away from it as quickly as we can. Passion is not rational or sensible, and sexually dangerous situations should be avoided or fled, not debated.

When we are in danger of such immorality, we should not argue or debate or explain, and we certainly should not try to rationalize. We are not to consider it a spiritual challenge to be met but a spiritual trap to be escaped. We should get away as fast as we can.

Because sexual intimacy is the deepest uniting of two persons, its misuse corrupts on the deepest human level. That is not a psychological analysis but a divinely revealed fact. Sexual immorality is far more destructive than alcohol, far more destructive than drugs, far more destructive than crime.

2. FORGIVENESS and FREEDOM
Jesus gives us motivation and power for freedom

Two additional gospel truths appear in Paul’s rebuke concerning prostitution. First, gratitude for the redeeming death of Christ provides a powerful motive for physical devotion to God. “You were bought with a price,” Paul says, “So glorify God in your body” (v. 20). Second, union with Christ gives us a new spiritual power for all of life.

He can make ALL THINGS new… He can renew you sexually too!

bought at a price. The reason that believers do not belong to themselves (v. 19b). This image of a “cash payment purchase” refers to Jesus’ death on the cross. It refers to redeeming a slave through a cash payment (7:23) that Christ paid (Gal 3:13; 4:5) with his blood (1 Pet 1:18–19; Rev 5:9). Therefore. The logical and necessary conclusion is that believers should honor God with their entire existence, including their bodies.

As one who is washed, sanctified, and justified eternally by God’s grace, the believer is set free (cf. Rom. 8:21, 33; Gal. 5:1, 13).

The Corinthians had done with that freedom just what Paul had warned the Galatians not to do: “Do not use your liberty as an opportunity for the flesh” (Gal. 5:13). So in this section, Paul exposed the error in the Corinthian Christians’ rationalization that they were free to sin, because it was covered by God’s grace.

How do we live free?
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 10: Romans through Galatians 2. Christian Morality in Sexual Matters (6:12–20)

First, he should consider that his body, including his whole personality, is the temple—the sacred dwelling place—of God, the Holy Spirit (cf. the Shekinah glory in the tabernacle, Exod 40:34). Second, the Christian has received the Spirit from God to help him against sin. Third, the Christian has no right to pervert and misuse his body, for he is not his own master but has been purchased by God for a price (v. 20)

“The great fact of the Christian faith is, not that it makes a man free to sin, but that it makes a man free not to sin.”

QUOTE ABOVE BY WILLIAM BARCLAY

Furthermore, “the man who has to express his freedom is actually in bondage to the need to show he is a free man. The genuinely free man has nothing to prove.”

Anne (prostitute from I am second story)

First he shows that what the Christian does with the body is determined by what God has done for him (12–14). Then he goes on to apply this to the specific evil of sexual sin (15–20).

Do you not know …? Earlier he had referred to the church as a whole as God’s temple (3:16), but here body is singular, so that each believer is a temple in which God dwells. The word is naos, which means the sacred shrine, the sanctuary, the place where deity dwells, not hieron, which includes the entire precincts.

And the price paid for sinners was no pious fiction, but the very real price of the death of the Saviour. The result is to bring us into a sphere where we are free (cf. ‘Everything is permissible for me’, v. 12). But we are God’s slaves. He has bought us to be his own. We belong to him.

The obligation now rests on us to honour God (cf. Rom. 12:1). This is the positive where ‘flee fornication’ is the negative.

HOSEA 3&4
Preaching the Word: 1 Corinthians—The Word of the Cross Because We Were Bought by Someone Who Gave All to Have Us

The story, as you may know, sort of comes to a head when the woman finds herself on a bidding block, destitute and dejected and with no other options to dig herself out of the debt she has incurred. So she stands there on that block, naked under the scrutinizing gaze of her bidders, awaiting the verdict that would decide her fate forever. But as the auction begins, something strange happens. She hears faintly, yet unmistakably, a voice in her ears. “Five shekels.” It’s one she knows all too well. “Ten shekels.” But why would he do this? “Fifteen shekels.” “Sold.” She’s been bought by the man she had spurned, the man whose heart she had broken time and again. As she’s trying to make sense of what had just happened, it suddenly dawns on her, and her heart sinks because she knows there’s only one reason why he’d do this. He’d have his revenge. So she lifts her head, bracing herself to get what’s coming to her, but what comes next is perhaps the biggest surprise of all because she’s greeted not by indignation, but by a kind smile and a warm embrace that seems to say, “I love you more than you’ll ever know. Let’s go home.”

v.20 You are not your own… you were bought not to be a slave but to be FREE!
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