Summary: Paul explains how the human body is not designed for desires and urges but to be a member of Christ. The human body is designed to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.
The human body is abused more than any other single thing on earth. Man has developed things that really do nothing but kill the human body. On the other hand, little is spent on saving and nurturing the human body. The passage tonight deals with this problem. It is God’s case against the indulgence of the human body.
In tonight’s passage, Paul explains how the human body is not designed for desires and urges but to be a member of Christ. The human body is designed to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Paul explains how we are to bring the body and the spirit together to glorify God.
READ v. 12. Satisfying the normal, natural urges of the body is the primary purpose of some people. Whatever they desire, they pursue. To some people’s surprise, the Bible agrees with a person’s liberty and freedom to satisfy the natural desires of the body.
That’s why Paul says, “Everything is permissible for me.” God made man and everything in the world and it’s all good. But there are two restrictions that are clearly seen here. The first restriction is that everything is not beneficial. For instance, it’s helpful to eat fish, but unprofitable to eat poison berries. You see, it’s permissible but not beneficial.
The second restriction is that everything is not wise. Paul says it is all permissible by I will not be mastered by anything. No man is to become a slave to anything on this earth. That includes food, drink, drugs, desires, urges, or anything else. Man is to exercise self-control and not become enslaved to the things of the earth.
READ vv 13-14. In Paul’s day what we call sexual immorality was an acceptable practice within society, and the practice was carried over into the church by some of its members. They must have argued with Paul in their previous letter and used the age old arguments that are still used today,
- “I’m just doing my own thing.”
- “I’m just doing what comes naturally.”
- “I’m just following my instincts.”
But look what Scripture says about that argument. The body is not designed for the stomach or for food. The stomach and food are designed for the body. So the body is not to become a slave to the desires of the stomach. The stomach and food have their purpose so they are used for that purpose alone. They are to feed the body, not control the body.
In the same way, the body is not designed for sexual immorality. Sex is part of life and it has its place in carrying on the human race and building the foundation of a family. But again, sex was given for the body; the body was not created for sex. The body is not to be controlled by sex.
Paul goes on to say that the body was designed for the Lord and the Lord for the body. God created the body of man to worship, praise, and serve Him. That is why our bodies exist. God created the body of man for the Lord to dwell in.
The body is destined to be resurrected; it will not lie in the grave forever. Jesus set that example for us.
READ vv. 15-18. The body is designed to be a member of Christ. That means 3 things:
- The believer’s body belongs to Christ. Christ died for the believer. He redeemed the believer. So the believer owes Christ his life and body.
- The believer actually receives the divine nature of God when he is converted. A believer becomes a participant of God’s very own nature.
- All believers form the body of Christ on earth today. We unite around His Spirit, mind, purpose, cause and objective, His life.
The body isn’t designed to be the member of a prostitute nor of any other immoral partner. We are to honor Christ with our bodies. So a good question to ask if we are about to indulge in any behavior that might be detrimental to our body is, “Is what I am about to indulge in honoring to Christ?” An easier way to ask it is, “What would Jesus do?” 99 times out of 100, you will refrain from doing it if you truly care what Jesus would think about it. So the bottom line is saying to flee sexual immorality, for the person of immorality sins against his own body.
READ v. 19. And that’s why Paul is telling them and us all this. The body is designed to be the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit actually indwells the body of the believer. The Holy Spirit is the gift of God. You don’t work for it. It is a gift.
READ v.20. So Paul sums it all up. The body and the spirit are both designed to honor God. Your body, the Temple, has no other purpose for existing except to house God’s presence. The sole function of the body is to be receptive of the Holy Spirit. That, in itself, is not an action. The action part is us taking care of the body so it will be a proper receptacle for the Holy Spirit.