Summary: Sexual sin: 1) Is harmful to everyone involved (1 Corinthians 6:12a); 2) It gains control over those who indulge in it (1 Corinthians 6:12b); and 3) It perverts God’s purpose for the body (1 Corinthians 6:13-20).
This past week has given the world a preview of the demise of the entertainment industry. Charlie Sheen and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, as one commentator said, stood on its coffin and hammered in nails, one in Detroit (where Mr. Sheen was booed off the stage) and the other at Rutgers University (where the Jersey Shore actor was paid $32,000 for a speech about partying and tanning). Charlie Sheen, showed that behaving badly in the company of porn stars can draw an audience, who paid hundreds of dollars to hear his rants. As for "Snooki", the questions were asked as why is a university giving $32,000 to a fake-tanned, large-breasted entertainer to talk about partying? For the faculty of Rutgers to let this person to speak from the same dais as scholars is an affront to every person in the auditorium, especially to the students in attendance that worked hard and long to receive their degrees.
At one time entertainment was directed to people of all ages. But now, as the public has become more exposed to sex and pornography, the industry has lowered its standards. Gratefully, Mr. Sheen will soon run out of venom and fade away. As to the faculty of Rutgers, the stupidness of their decision to bring in Snooki as a guest speaker will surely cost them thousands of dollars in donors’ money from the parents of the students that are still enrolled. (Arthur Rubinoff, Toronto. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/04/05/tocays-letters-hammering-nails-into-the-coffin-of-the-entertainment-industry)
Like many people today, the Corinthian Christians rationalized their sinful thinking and habits. They were clever at coming up with seemingly good reasons for doing wrong things. They also lived in a society that was notoriously immoral, a society that, in the temple prostitution and other ways, actually glorified promiscuous sex. To have sexual relations with a prostitute was so common in Corinth that the practice came to be called “Corinthianizing.” Many believers had formerly been involved in such immorality, and it was hard for them to break with the old ways and easy to fall back into them. Just as it was hard for them to give up their love of human wisdom, their worldliness, their pride, their divisive spirit, and their love for suing, it was also hard for them to give up their sexual immorality.
In 1 Corinthians 6:12–20 Paul shows three of the evils of sexual sin: 1) It is harmful to everyone involved (1 Corinthians 6:12a); 2) It gains control over those who indulge in it (1 Corinthians 6:12b); and 3) It perverts God’s purpose for the body (1 Corinthians 6:13-20).
Since "The Body is the Lord’s" we must avoid sexual sin for:
1) Sexual Sin Harms (1 Corinthians 6:12a)
1 Corinthians 6:12a "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. ("All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything). (ESV)
In dealing with the illicit behavior of the Corinthians, Paul confronts the theology on which that behavior is predicated. Instead of living as forgiven, holy, and righteous believers, they indulged in sexual and social sins.
Instead of submitting to the rule of Jesus Christ, they condoned sin in the name of the freedom granted them in Christ. Instead of serving the Lord and their neighbor in genuine Christian love (Matt. 22:37–40), they served themselves (Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953-2001). Vol. 18: New Testament commentary : Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. New Testament Commentary (193). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.).
The statement, "All things are lawful" has quotation marks in the text because it was a popular saying of the day. It may have had its source in Gnosticism or in a misunderstanding of something that Paul had said or written. Gnosticism was a Greek philosophy that espoused the idea of a “dualism” between the body and the soul. The soul was recognized as good and of God, but the body was considered bad and not of God. In fact, the body was viewed as the jail that imprisoned the spirit. This notion affected behavior in two diverse ways. Some people decided the body needed to be punished, so they denied it practically all of its appetites. This was called asceticism and was behind many of the monastic movements. But the more popular reaction (Hedonism) was not to neglect the body but to indulge its every appetite with the feeling that what one did with one’s body had nothing to do with the soul or with one’s religion (Chafin, K. L., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1985). Vol. 30: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 30 : 1, 2 Corinthians. The Preacher’s Commentary series (80–81). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.).
Using Paul’s previous language, the "All Things" here could refer to the adiaphora (the nonessentials: food, drink, days, circumcision, etc.), not with Christian ethics. These, which were Paul’s own words on a former occasion (to the Corinthians, compare 1Cor. 10:23, and Gal. 5:23), were made a pretext for excusing the eating of meats offered to idols, and so of what was generally connected with idolatry (Ac 15:29) (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (1 Co 6:12). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.).