1 Corinthians Chapter 6: Honor God with Your Body — Flee from Sexual Immorality
Key Verses: (1 Corinthians 6:12–20)
12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say — but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” — but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 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! 16 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.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Corinth, a major trade city, was known for its moral depravity. The temple to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was one of the most prominent fixtures in the city. More than 1,000 prostitutes reportedly worked the streets at night. So even the Corinthian Christians were rationalizing their immoral behavior by claiming that their freedom allowed it. Paul had preached to them earlier that they were freed from Mosaic Law and therefore had the right to do anything. They were using his own words to justify their rationalizations.
But Paul also said very clearly that not everything they might claim freedom to do was beneficial.He implores them to see through this and realize that their bodies are members of Christ and that by uniting with the Lord (instead of with prostitutes), they become one with him in spirit. Sexual immorality is sinning against the body. That meant they were sinning against the temple of the Holy Spirit, which they received from God and who dwelled within each of them.
A Moment to Reflect:
Thank God that today we enjoy a remarkable level of freedom. We have the free will to make our own choices, even if they are sinful and self-destructive. And like the Corinthians, many of us have the uncanny ability to rationalize those behaviors. But the truth, as written in Paul’s letters, continues to ring true today, many centuries later.
Do you believe that the Holy Spirit dwells within you? If so, remind yourself often that sinning against your body is an affront to Christ himself and belies your beliefs. Unite with the Lord, and become one with Him in Spirit!