Summary: All Christians should refrain from any activity with their body that does not honor it as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
John 8:31-32 (NIV)
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The messages in this series on Real Life Christianity have been a bit heavy. Paul deals with some pretty tough subjects that hit pretty close to home for a lot of us. I was thinking about maybe doing a “lighter” message this week – but then during our Thursday AM prayer time one of the people there brought up the verse I just read. “You will know the truth – and the truth will set you free.” They reminded me that unless I speak the truth – even though it may be a hard truth – people like you will be in bondage. And if I want to follow my calling as God as given it to me, I MUST tell the truth from God’s word.
So before I actually begin today’s message, which I’m pretty sure is going to make a lot of us feel uncomfortable at some point, I’d like for us all to pray for the fulfillment of John 8:32 in our lives – that we would know the truth, but more than that, the truth would set us free! Let’s pray….
Error in Corinth: God has saved me by grace and has freed me from the Jewish law. Because salvation is free Christians are free to do whatever they want with their bodies. After all, salvation is a “spiritual” thing, and our bodies are only “temporary”. They believed that as long as they loved the Lord with their spirits – it really didn’t matter what they did with their bodies.
This kind of living was especially “convenient” for the Corinthian men who had converted to Christianity from the pagan religions of Corinth. Many of these pagan religions considered it an act of “worship” to have sexual relations with a shrine prostitute, and so the city was filled with opportunities for sexual immorality that was acceptable to the culture. But evidently many of them did not consider this a problem, since sexual immorality only involved their bodies and not their spirit or soul.
This kind of thinking crops up all over the place in 21st century America. Thousands of people in America claim to be “Christians” and yet their lives are no different than the people around them who are not Christians. They have been “saved” or so they think – but their behavior has never changed. They still follow any desire their physical body has, with little thought of how this type of living is actually in opposition to the type of life Christians are called to live.
Paul addresses this in 1 Cor. 6:9-20, leading them to the conclusion that in everything they do they are to HONOR GOD WITH THEIR BODIES.
1 Corinthians 6:9-20 (NLT)
9Don’t you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, 10thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers--none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. 11There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.