Summary: Paul’s teaching on sexual immorality (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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Reading: 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 12-20:


• One day a little girl asked her dad a question;

• “Dad, where did I come from?”

• An embarrassed Dad nervously replied; “Good question, when you were little a stork flew over our house and left you in a basket on our doorstep, one day we opened up the door and there you were!”

• Then she asked her mum a similar question;

• “Mum, where did you come from?”

• Mum replied; “Good question, well, one day a stork flew over your Grandma’s house and left me in a basket on the doorstep!”

• Still not convinced the little girl asked her Grandma the same question;

• “Grandma, where did you come from?”

• Grandma replied; “Good question, one day a stork flew over your great Grandma’s house and left me on the doorstep”.

• The little girl wrote in her school homework book;

• “There has not been a natural birth in our family for three generations!”

At times we may get embarrassed talking about sex:

• But the Bible isn’t!

• It speaks very straight indeed about the good use and the misuse of the gift of sex.

• In Corinth nobody got embarrassed talking about sex.

• It was in your face!

• The city was sex mad;

• ill: Similar today to say visiting Bangkok or certain parts of Amsterdam or Soho.


• As you looked over the city skyline your eyes would gaze upon;

• The temple to Aphrodite.

• And every evening the 1,000 priests and priestesses (male and female prostitutes);

• Would come down from the temple into the streets to ply their trade.

• Sex with prostitutes was part of their pagan religion;

• And therefore it was assumed to be the norm.

When the message of Christianity started to spread in the city of Corinth:

• It cut across the grain;

• With its different morals and its distinctive view of sex.

• New converts to Jesus Christ were facing tough choices;

• Their traditions and culture said one thing regarding sex.

• But their Bible (O.T. only) and their Pastor – the Apostle Paul taught something else.

The Corinthian Christians may have misunderstood Paul’s teaching,

• If not they certainly misapplied it;

• The Corinthian Church seemed to have divided themselves into two groups.

• First:

• There were some Christians who were outright permissive.

• In their views regarding sex.

• These Christians who were indistinguishable in their sexual morals;

• From the pagans round about them.

• They took the attitude; ‘Do whatever you want – God forgives us in Christ’.

• Second:

• There were other Christians who were outright revolted by all this sexual licence;

• In fact they became abstinent;

• Taking on the attitude that sex was bad – best to be avoided;

• And Paul deals with that particular attitude in chapter 7.


• In this section of this letter (vs 12-20), Paul deals with that first attitude:

• That ‘grace’ allows us to live how we like and practice whatever we like.

• In most modern translations of the Bible (i.e. N.I.V.);

• Three phrases in this passage are enclosed in quotations marks.

• Verse 12a: “I have the right to do anything,”

• Verse 12b: “I have the right to do anything”,

• Verse 13a: “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food.”

• This is the editors’ way of showing us,

• That it appears the apostle Paul was quoting and then answering statements;

• That had been made to him, probably by the Corinthian Christians.


• That Paul quotes these phrases back to them:

• But he also adds his commentary and explanation as to what they mean.

• “I have the right to do anything -but not everything is beneficial.”

• “I have the right to do anything -but I will not be mastered by anything.”

• “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.”

• Paul then gives these Corinthian Christians some further instruction;

• Notice that the key word in Paul’s argument is ’body’.


• Body means a lot more in the New Testament than animal tissue.

• If you are an adult of average weight, here is what you accomplish in 24 hours:

• Your heart beats 103689 times

• Your blood travels 168,000,000 miles

• You breathe 23040 times

• You inhale 438 cubic feet of air

• You eat 3. 25 pounds of food

• You drink 2. 9 quarts of liquids

• You lose 7/8 pounds of waste

• You speak 4800 words, including some unnecessary ones

• You move 750 muscles

• Your nails grow . 000046 inch

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