Faithlife Sermons

Called to Purity

Corinthians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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TS: Paul often emphasized a theme of liberty in Christ. What a message of good news. We are free from a system of apeasing a hostile God through sacrifice and ritual.
Some people in Corinth had misconstrued Paul’s message about Christian liberty. They concluded that because they were free in Christ they could express their sexuality in any form. Sound anything like today? Paul writes to them trying to help them get a grip on sexuality. He describes sexuality on a different plane.

I. The Assessment

Let’s assess this situation.

A. The Philosophy of the City:

In that day the church was seduced by the spirit of the age. To many in that culture the body meant nothing. Only the soul and spirit mattered. What was done in the body was of little significance.
The “Ascetics” (legalists) sought to suppress biological drives.
The “Antinomians” (liberals) freed themselves from all moral restraints, believed the body was evil and it could never be good and in the end would perish anyway, therefore one could do with it as one pleased. It seems many had come into the church and were having a difficult time overcoming their former practices.

B. The Practice of the Corinthians:

Corinth was a sexually saturated society. Sexual misconduct was rampant. It was the way of life for many. It was a lifestyle some were having difficulty overcoming. Many were trying to justify their practices with the concept of Christian freedom.
AP: Our society is similar in behavior but for other reasons.
So many have bought the lie today that this life is all there is.
They live only for the here and now
They seek to gratify and “normalize” every desire of the flesh.
The rationale is, “Why not grab all the pleasure we can now, that is our purpose in being here right?”
Christians and modern churches can be just as susceptible.

II. The Arguments (6:12-13)

1 Corinthians 6:12–13 ESV
“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. “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.
We are good at finding a way to rationalize our behavior. We are experts at “reframing” our mistakes and making them seem right. The Corinthians were doing that very exercise to justify sin.

A. The Corinthians Arguments:

The First Argument-
They took the good news of God’s grace and made it into a license to sin.
“Permissible” = lawful.
All things were lawful under grace.
Liberty in Christ is a reality!
Being under grace, they were free to do as they pleased. That’s argument number one.
The second argument –
“Food for the stomach…” The thought here is that God gave natural desires and, therefore, it was natural to satisfy those desires whenever and however one pleased.
Conclusion = “Sex for the body and the body for sex.”
Any appetite of the flesh and wild desire was deemed “natural” and thus good.
Liberation from the rigid religiosity of the Old Testament and Pharisees had turned into a license to sin.

B. Paul’s Answers:

Paul gives two strong rebuttals which correct our view
The first is, “It may be permissible but is it beneficial?”
The point isn’t “what can I do?” but rather should be “What is the most good?”
“Expedient” = worthwhile, helpful.
We should be governed by both the impact upon us and the effect upon other people.
Some things need to be avoided because they do not benefit (build up) others.
Some are to be avoided because they don’t benefit us and our mission of serving God.
Romans 6:1–2 ESV
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
The second is simply this.
The body is meant for the Lord.
We are not meant to be enslaved to our flesh and its desires.
Our purpose is to glorify God
Selfish and often gluttonous fulfillment of our appetites do NOT!
We are more than just animals who live by instinct and appetite.
We are spiritual and our chief purpose in life is to glorify God by the stewardship of all He has given us, our bodies included.

III. The Affirmations (v.14-17)

1 Corinthians 6:14–17 ESV
And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 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! 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.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Paul gives the Christian view regarding the body. One is not to play fast and loose with it because it is for God’s use.

A. The Relationship of the Body and Christ (v.14-15):

God always works through a human body.
Jesus had a body.
The Holy Spirits indwells the body.
The church is His body.
Each of us is part of this body.
The body is not to be used for immoral purposes.

B. The Results of Immorality (v.16-17):

Will we take that through which God’s will is to be done and yield it in the sinful purpose of Satan?
When things are created, their creator has a purpose for them
artist make art to inspire
Automakers make cars to transport people
The inventor of the computer made it to run programs.
Yes, you can use things in different and often unintended ways, but often that cheapens and even destroys them.
Don’t believe me, start swatting flies with your computer.
When we live a life of sin, we misuse our body and impair its ability to glorify and serve the Lord
His spirit can enable us to control the body.
Romans 7:21–25 ESV
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Consequences follow immorality.
They follow ALL sin.

IV. The Appeal (v.18-20).

1 Corinthians 6:18–20 ESV
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 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, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

A. The Revelation (v.18):

The only sin in the Bible we are told to “run” from is the sin of immorality.
Why? We’re not strong enough to resist it when put in a tempting situation.
“Flee” = a present tense imperative (command).
Command to get way from it
“Immorality” = fornication, pornography.
Contrast David/Bathsheba and Joseph/Potiphar’s wife.

B. The Reminder (v.19-20):

The body of the believer is the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit.
We have no right to injure God’s property.
We no longer belong to ourselves but to God.


Glorify God in your body
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