Summary: 1 of 6. The apostle Paul warned the church at Corinth of the inherent danger of sexual immorality. God must be allowed to control our bodies. But Why? When you/we are Joined to the Lord...
JOINED To The LORD-I—1Corinthians 6:12-20
When I was a kid, I used to play in Mr. Trexler’s cow & horse pasture, which was about a football field’s distance away from our house.
I would open up the strands of barbed wire & slip thru & explore the pasture.
In my explorations I noticed some unusual trees. They would have the remnants of old rusty barbed-wire sticking out of both sides of the tree—like somebody threaded them thru the middle of the tree!...very odd looking.
They got that way because many years ago, when the original barbed-wire fence was strung onto the tree when it was much younger. The wire cut into the tree & the tree continued to grow. Eventually the tree grew completely around the barbed-wire, sealing the wire inside!, & overwhelming the barbed-wire’s original purpose. The wire now belonged to the tree!
That’s what God does with us. Jesus totally surrounds our rusty, pointy, dangerous self. He covers us with His blood. He changes our purpose & intentions. He softens our very being by taking our place. His life becomes our life. We become immersed in Him. We are Joined To The Lord & belong to Him.
1Sam. 15:22-23—“So Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings & sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity & idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.””
*The apostle Paul warned the church at Corinth of the inherent danger of sexual immorality.
‘Inherent’= “existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute”
God must be allowed to control our bodies, so...
God’s people must be joined to the Lord.
Why must God be allowed to control our bodies?...& Why must God’s people be joined to the Lord?
4 distinctions emerge from allowing God to control our bodies or from our being joined to the Lord.
1—When you/we are Joined to the Lord...
His MASTERY Emerges(:12)
:12—“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
Paul had chastised the Corinthian church for high-mindedly accepting & supporting rank sexual sin in their church(5:1-13).
He had momentarily rebuked the church for their inability to dispel such wanton sexual sin from their midst(6:1-11).
He now(6:12-20) plainly highlights the inherent danger of sexual immorality in general by comparing/juxtaposing it with one’s marital commitment to Christ.
Everything is “lawful” or permissible for Paul. But how can that be?
Given that God’s people are all washed, sanctified & justified by the Spirit of our God(5:11), Paul cannot possibly mean that even those things that offend & oppose God are “lawful” or acceptable for him to commit. He also cannot mean that He is better than another simply because he is an apostle. Paul too operates within the bounds of James’ perfect law of liberty(Js. 1:25, 2:12).
Paul is not bound by law. He is free in Christ Jesus. But he is free only in Christ Jesus! Thus he can say, “All things are lawful for me.”
It is true that every sin is forgiven in Christ Jesus, but that does NOT give a person license to sin against God.
Rom. 5:18-6:2—“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
Paul ‘appears’ to borrow a common adage from Corinthian secular society. But he re-interprets it for them thru the sieve of Christian truth. Paul is possibly taking an adage from the Corinthian’s repertoire of errant sayings created to protect, encompass, & encourage their ‘heretical’ belief.
This adage is no doubt similar to our modern-day ‘All things in moderation.’ “When we willingly associate with sin, we will soon come to tolerate it & then to practice it.”—MNTC
However, not all things “lawful” are profitable(“helpful”—sumferw--‘carry with’) for Paul in particular or for any other Christian in particular.
cf.-1Cor. 10:23-24—“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.”(Php. 2:3-4).