Summary: This is the ninth of a series of sermons based on scriptures where a rhetorical question beginning with the phrase "Do you not know. . ." is asked. This sermon deals with the rhetorical question asked in 1 Corinthians 6:12-18. "Do you not know that your
Series: Do You Not Know?
Sermon: Your Bodies Are Members of Christ
Text: 1 Corinthians 6:12-18.
I hope that it does not seem that I am obsessed with sin or immorality. I hope that it does not seem that I am, like Santa Claus, “making a list and checking it twice, going to find out who’s naughty or nice.” I don’t want to give the impression that I am through struggling with sin, and therefore have the right to rub you nose in your sin. I want you to know that I am sinner, just like you are. I want you to know that my sins have been forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ, and that’s the only way anyone’s sins can ever be forgiven.
But I have noticed, as you may have also, that Paul has an awful lot to say about sin and about immorality. And when I say “immoral”, the Greek word translated “immoral” forms the root of such words as “pornographic”, and “fornication” so that we know precisely what type of immorality to which we are referring. As Paul had a lot to say about immorality, I would be negligent in my responsibilities, if I did not declare to you the whole counsel of God.
Rationalization to Sin #1—“All things are lawful.” (6:12).
Our culture tends to equate legality with morality. We have laws about certain things that are considered immoral. Murder is morally wrong; we have laws against murder. Stealing is wrong; we have laws against stealing. You’ve probably heard someone say, “You can’t legislate morality.” The truth is morality is legislated on a fairly regular basis.
The truth is that we just don’t consistently do so. There are many things that are legal, but still immoral. Covetousness, greed, many forms of sexual immorality; all are morally wrong, but there are no laws that punish those that do such things.
“But what about the Law of God?” someone might ask. Good point. Doesn’t God have laws about such things? Indeed he does. “But wait a minute,” someone might respond, “I thought that the Law was nailed to the cross. Doesn’t Colossians 2:14 say, ‘This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.’”
Indeed it does say that. But what is set aside, the moral law of God? No! The condemnation of the Law is set aside. It is the curse of the Law from which Christ redeemed us (Galatians 3:13), but the Law still stands.
What I find interesting here is that Paul does not refute the claim, even though I believe that a good case could be made that the claim is false. Instead, he answers those who would rationalize sin, “So what? So what if it is legal? What difference does that make?”
Counter—but not all things are helpful.
Even if immorality were lawful, ask yourself, “Is it helpful?” An odd question, isn’t it? But it is a good one, none the less. What do we hope to accomplish by being immoral? What good can come of it?
Why do people continue to involve themselves in immorality when it is not helpful? Fear—They fear losing the one they are involved with more than they fear God. Love—They love the one they are involved with more than they love God.
In either case, they are placing someone above God and that is idolatry. The truth is that nothing good comes from it. It is a deception. It is a lie.
Counter—but nothing shall enslave me.
Anything that has the power to enslave us ought to be avoided. Numerous times the scriptures warn us of becoming entangled in sin. Certain sins have a power to enslave that defies description. Addictive behavior has no place in the life of a Christian. Jesus died so that we could be free from the power of sin to enslave us. Now, if you’re saying to yourself, “I can quit anytime I want to.” I say good, do so. And if you can’t, we’re here to help you in whatever way we can.
Rationalization #2—“Food is made for the stomach and the stomach for food.” (6:13).
I suppose we might word this, “Hey it’s natural. Our bodies were made for this.
Counter—God will destroy both.
God is your creator and he is the one who determines what’s natural and what is appropriate. You know, Eve thought that fruit was good for eating too, but she was wrong. God is not only your creator; he is your judge as well.
Counter—the body is not made for sexual immorality.
God reserved sexual activity to the marriage relationship. Sexual immorality cheapens, degrades what God has made beautiful. This past winter, when it would snow, the snow looked beautiful as it clung to the tree branches. But that same snow, as it fell into the street became soiled and ugly. We cannot rationalize immorality by taking something that God created as special and good and taking out of the context for which God created it and expect it to retain its beauty and goodness outside that context. It just doesn’t work that way.