1 Corinthians 6:12-20
“Everything is permissible for me”- but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”- but I will not be mastered by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”- but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
This is a very simple and yet difficult and uncomfortable passage in the bible. Paul starts off by speaking of our freedom in Christ, that everything is permissible for us, but not beneficial and that we don't want to be mastered by anything. The first thing that comes to mind when I read this are addictions. Maybe because of my own alcohol and drug abuse and because most of my friends at Celebrate Recovery have struggled with addictions of various kinds and of course that is pretty much the only way we can be “mastered” by something. By being addicted to it, we are mastered by it. I have been addicted to many things other than alcohol and drugs. I've been addicted to various internet sites and food. I'm sure there are a wealth of other addictions out there. We want to remove anything from our lives that pulls us away from God, whether it be a relationship or a substance.
I find it interesting that in a passage where Paul is about to talk about sexual immorality yet again that he throws in a statement about the stomach and food. Do you think maybe Paul knew how obsessed our own culture would become with food and what is healthy or too fattening or too sugary or whatever? And that many would feel they were fat and starve themselves and other would gorge themselves? Well, I don't know if Paul did, but I can assure you, God did! And it breaks his heart to see us hurting ourselves with something that was meant only to sustain us, so that we can serve him while on this earth in these temporary bodies. Which he does emphasize how temporary food and our stomach's are with the statement “but God will destroy them both.” If you struggle with food issues please do get help. There are many counselors who deal with this and recovery programs. Again, ask your pastor. He can probably assist you in finding the appropriate help for you.
Now, Paul gets into what he will talk about for the rest of the chapter: sexual immorality. (Are you struck by the similarities between their issues and the issues or our culture yet? I am!) “Our bodies are not meant for sexual immorality.” That statement alone is a whole message in itself to us and to our culture. We have twisted and perverted what our sexuality is supposed to be about for far too long, and even if we deny it, it is clearly destroying people. I have seen this firsthand in my own life. Sexual sin gets on you like no other sin there is in my opinion. And Paul does kind of get at this when he says that “All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” Also earlier when he says, “Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, 'The two will become one flesh.'” Like I said, I've experienced this. The emotional anguish I had in my life as a result of my sexual promiscuity has caused me more grief, I'm sure, than all the other sins I've committed put together. And I didn't even experience any of the other consequences that many have to also experience in addition to the anguish of realizing that you gave yourself away to someone who really didn't value you or your relationship enough to stick around! I never got any STD's nor did I have a child out of any of that, only by the grace of God, but if you don't think I suffered, think again! I have had to live with those decisions all of my life. Most of the time now I don't feel the torment of that, but it took years of counseling and recovery and time crying out to God and pouring through His Word to convince myself that I am who He says I am and not who I believed myself to be for all those years. It's very hard to explain, but trust me when I tell you I had to work hard to break the ties I had to every single person I participated in sexual activities with before I could even begin to be emotionally healthy and truly enjoy my relationship with my husband the way it was meant to be experienced! If you haven't experienced this, I am begging you, don't do it! If you're married do not go outside of your marriage for sex and if you're single do not participate in any kind of sexual activity! You do not want to have to go through what I went through! If you've done this one right, I envy you. I would give anything to have a completely pure mind that doesn't have all the perverted things in it that I have. If you have already done this, though, God can and wants to set you free! It is worth the work it takes! It is worth the pain of working through that stuff to be able to live free in Christ! It won't feel like it for a while, but just trust me, please. It's worth it! And, particularly if you have been sexually abused as I was, please get help. There is no shame in seeking professional Christian Counseling.
Lastly, in every decision you make involving your body, such as drugs or alcohol or sex or food, remember that your body is the “temple of the Holy Spirit.” Treat it with respect and honor Him with it!
“Dear Jesus, please keep me from addiction. Show me as soon as I begin to become addicted to anything other than You and set me free from that addiction. Keep me from sexual sin and even purify my mind, Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.”
Due to a lack of time (I am trying to write a book in one month for crying out loud!) I'm every now and again going to keep posting segments of my book. Granted this is a long segment. In the final draft I'll probably have to split it up or something. I don't know, that's why it's a rough draft. I'll figure it out later.