Summary: this sermon focuses on Paul's instructions in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 as it relates to true sexual freedom.

The Church in a Messy World

Flee or Flirt, it’s Your Choice (Part One)

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

June 18, 2017


A couple months ago, Jean and I went to lunch at an outdoor restaurant with Kim, Ben and our 3-year-old grandson Asher and one-year-old granddaughter, Nora. I think they’re both cute kids and so did some high school girls waiting for a table some 20 feet away. The girls took one look at Asher and immediately started to flirt with him…winking their eyes, waving, blowing kisses, etc. I mean it was overboard! And to my shock Asher started flirting back!

I looked at Ben and Kim and said, “You’re in trouble. Pray hard for the boy. You better start walking him through the opening chapters of Proverbs early.”

Right now Asher tells everyone that Jean is his girl, but a day is coming when he’ll trade her in for another.

This morning we’re going to dig into the latter half of 1st Corinthians 6 where we’ll see members of the church flirting with and fulfilling illicit sexual desires. You see there’s good sex and there is bad sex. By this I don’t mean the quality of a sexual experience.

Let me put it another way: There is saintly sex and sinful sex. Even this lacks because some think of saintly sex as prudish sex. If that’s true of you please read the Song of Solomon. God is bullish when it comes to sexual enjoyment in a marriage relationship between a man and a woman.

For this sermon I am going to use the terms good sex and bad sex. By that I mean moral and immoral sexual activity. The Corinthian believers went after bad sex not realizing that it was costing them dearly.

Follow along as I read starting at verse 9. Our focus will be verses 12 thru 20 but it’s helpful to read beginning at verse 9 and end at chapter 7, verse 9 since it’s one unit of thought.

READ 6:9 thru 7:9

Again our attention will be focused on Chapter 6 verses 12 thru 20. These verses have 2017 written all over them! Over the next two weeks we are going to take a look at The Problem, The Purpose and The Plan for our sexuality. It’s well worth our effort to dig deeply into this passage since there is so much confusion and misinformation in this area.


The Problem: 1 Corinthians 6:12-13, 16

Really there was a 4-fold problem their church faced related to sex. Let’s re-read verses 12 and 13 up on the screen.

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other…”

1 Corinthians 6:12-13a

At first glance what we see here may seem a bit confusing. Let me fill you in on what is taking place. Beginning in chapter 7 Paul begins to answer questions they must have sent to him in an earlier letter. I think he had these questions in mind in chapter 6. We don’t have a copy of their questions, but we do have the answers. Their first question must have been in relation to sex and freedom of expression. How far can I go? I am under grace so isn’t everything permissible?

Freedom in Christ was a truth that Paul repeated over and over again.

Flip over to Galatians 5:1. It’s right after 2nd Corinthians.

Verse one says…

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1

Now look at the beginning of verse 13…

“For you were called to freedom, brothers…”


To the church in Rome Paul said…

“…you are not under law but grace.”

Romans 6:14b

In these verses Paul emphasizes that good work’s and the following the law, meaning the laws given through Moses, cannot save. So Grace frees us attempting to find salvation through keeping the rules. Salvation is a gift of God’s grace and it God’s grace that keeps us saved. As stated last week…

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

1 Corinthians 6:11

IL: This past week I heard of someone who said they really needed Christ so they were going to clean up their life so they could get Him. The person they said this to responded something like this: “You don’t need to clean up to come to Christ. He takes you dirty and washes you up.” Tears began to stream down their face because they caught a glimpse of God’s grace.

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