Summary: Christians are not to be sexually immoral.
Title: Does a Body Good
Text: I Corinthians 6:12-20
Truth: Christians are not to be sexually immoral.
Life?: Why are we not to be sexually immoral?
Good Hope, Alabama is a small town with small town values. In Cullman County you can’t legally buy beer. Daystar Church, which had grown dramatically under pastor Jerry Lawson, ran up against the sensibilities of a this conservative north Alabama community by focusing a month-long series on sex. To advertise this series the church put on a blue billboard along highway 69 a drawing of a bride and groom with the web address “GreatSexGodsWay.com.” Let me repeat that slowly!
City Hall had a few complaints about the church’s sexy signs from a handful of people. Pastor Lawson said that people were missing the point. He wanted parents to talk to their children about sex before they learned too much immorality from TV or playground buddies. He said the sermons were more than a marketing technique for the church. The church needed to be out front on the topic of sex because even kids’ TV shows depict illicit relationships and homosexuality.
One of the ironies of the controversial series, which coincided with Valentine’s Day, was that the sermons were as straight-laced as they get. The series taught that God intends sex to be enjoyed solely within a heterosexual marriage, and that anything else—adultery, pornography, homosexuality, even ‘sexual arousal’ outside of marriage—is sin.
The church at Corinth could have benefited from a series of messages on God’s teaching about Christian sexual behavior. Earlier Paul addressed the church’s toleration of a man sleeping with his father’s wife. In this passage Paul deals with men in the church who justify visiting prostitutes. In chapter seven he deals with the proper sexual behavior of marital partners and singles.
Personally, Pastor Lawson’s approach is too bold for me, but I am in agreement with his opinion about the need for this subject to be taught to the church. Ted Roberts of Pure Desire Ministries says when he preaches in churches and conferences on the subject of sexual addiction that it is a given that 60-90% of the men will acknowledge they are losing the battle. Citing a Psychology Today study, Roberts said that two out of three men between the ages of 18 and 34 look at pornography at least once a month. What concerns Roberts the most is that 12- to 17-year-olds are the biggest consumers of pornography in the U.S. According to Roberts, 40 % of women on the Internet are involved in cyber sex behavior. He said, “The church is behind the times in thinking this is a guy’s problem. It’s destroying our children. It’s eating women alive now. And men are barely breathing.” All of that is to say this is a core issue that the enemy is using to attack our Christian churches. Our churches will not experience revival when sexual addicts lead them. We must have solid, biblical teaching on this subject. Christians are not to be sexually immoral.
What are the reasons given for not being sexually immoral?
I. WRONG BELIEFS (1 COR. 6:12-17)
Paul quotes their excuse for bad behavior. First, the Corinthian Christian men say, “Everything is permissible for me.” Paul confronts their theology, what they believe, instead of attacking their immoral behavior. Their wrong sexual behavior was a reflection of their wrong doctrinal beliefs.
Paul is known as the apostle of Christian liberty. He saw early and clearly in his Christian life that we don’t have to obey the Mosaic Law in order to be saved. This is the theme of his epistle to the Galatians. He preached this freedom everywhere he went. Unfortunately, he was often misinterpreted. Some understood him to mean there were no restraints in Christian living. Here Paul gives them guidelines in the exercise of their freedom.
Christian freedom is limited by those things that are beneficial, helpful, or good for others or us. Christian conduct is not based on whether we have the right to do something, but whether our conduct is helpful to others or to me.
What would it be like in this nation if there were no sex before marriage and no sex outside of marriage? The abortion industry would be reduced by a minimum of 75%. We’d go from one million abortions to a quarter of a million. That’s still too many but it would dramatically impact society. The AIDS disease would eventually fade away. No more illegitimate children. Last year, more babies were born out of wedlock than to married couples. These children and their mothers are almost certain to live in poverty. Divorce would drop because there would be no adulterous affairs. Crime would plummet. We’d be healthier emotionally and psychologically. If there were no sex before marriage our nation would be almost unrecognizably better than it is today. Christian conduct is not based on whether we have the right to do something, but whether our conduct is helpful to others or to me.