1 Cor 6:11-20 Bound by Love …not by the Law
12 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are beneficial. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food," and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, "The two shall be one flesh." 17 But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Growing up – 8 around DR table Bound by love, not by the law.
Church, sit beside mom, when – not if, Bound by love, not by the law. PRAY
Bound by love, not by the law.All things are lawful, but not all things are beneficial. Paul repeats and - theme in Paul’s ltr to Corinthians. All things are lawful, but not all things are beneficial.
letters Paul writes Xians in Corinth. It is part of conversation, and we only hear 1/2 of the conversation.
S. part of Greece very nearly island. connected to mainland by narrow strip of land - 4 miles across - Corinthian Gulf to W. & Saronic Gulf to E. . on narrow strip is city of Corinth.
Corinth became great trading center of ancient world.
All N-S Traffic came through Corinth; shipping ports on both gulfs. City of prosperity – & debauchery. Acropolis –hill focal pt of city - temple to Aphrodite –goddess of love –1000 priestesses served “sacred prostitutes.”
Background of city Paul arrives, staying w/ Aquila & Priscilla & spreading news of Jesus –messiah. History: decadence & debauchery.
Few weeks ago, I met w/ person struggling w/ a number of issues. Last few years they’ve been leading double life –model of respectability as relate to family. Away from family –additive & destructive behaviors. Trying to live 2 lives – and this person told me – “I feel torn in half.”
Common experience - church-goers –act 1 way in church, & another way rest of week. Most Christians experience on regular basis. We live double lives –life of person led by HS, reflection of Jesus, molded in image of God.
& then, anger, or destructive behaviors seep out when not looking. Thought, words, behaviors we justify to ourselves “aren’t that bad, “aren’t against the law” – and they “aren’t really hurting anybody.” And after all, God will forgive me for whatever I do that is wrong.
That is way of thinking Paul is addressing in letter to Xians at Corinth. “All things are lawful” In other words, since as Christians, not bound to keep OT law, because we live under law of grace & love. Because never be “good enough” to earn relationship w/ God, we must rely on forgiveness of our sin through our relationship w/ Jesus. And since we are forgiven, we can do all things & anything –Jesus has forgiven us.
Paul says – wait – all things may be lawful – but not all things are expedient- not everything is beneficial. The Greek word is sympherô it means to be profitable, bring together for the common good.
ie – there are thoughts, words & actions that may be okay to think, say and do – but are they helpful to building up the community of God?
We are bound by God’s love, not by God’s Law.
But this is the covenant that I will make w/ the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law w/in them, & I will write it on their hearts; & I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jer 31:33
This is the covenant that I will make w/ them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, & I will write them on their minds," Heb 10:16
God has taken the handed Jewish people - the Torah & written on hearts & minds. HeartLaw, if you will. & if we allow it, to control our thought, words & actions.
How? Paul says bodies temples of living God –places of worship & sacrifice.
With each thought word & action, we can change the questions: Instead of asking: Is this against the law, or Who does this really hurt? We ask: Does this build up “Does this build up my body, as the Temple of God, and does it build up others as the community of God? If it doesn’t, bring it as sacrifice to be burned on altar.
Just like family, sit around same table. affects lives of others at the table. We’re connected to each other, & to God. This am, perhaps feeling hand being squeezed. something you’ve thought, said or done not expedient, or beneficial – it didn’t build up body of Christ. Let Holy Spirit squeeze you hand, & heart. Ask for forgiveness – & receive it. Ask the Holy Spirit to bind your thoughts words and actions bound by love, not by the law.