Unleashing God's Truth, One Verse at a Time

Christian Liberty and Sexual Freedom

1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Code: 1827

First Corinthians chapter 6 beginning at verse 12.  The Lord really enabled me to get this work for Corinthians and Jude this week even though I was gone and so I really believe that this is His message for this time because He so superintended the time and the study that we were able to finish what we felt we should have for you this morning.  I’ve entitled this section Christian Liberty and Sex because that really is what it talks about and you’ll see that as we begin.

We’re continuing in our study in 1 Corinthians to see the problems that plagued the Corinthian church.  One of them was the problem of sexual immorality.  That is the one dealt with in 1 Corinthians 6:12 through 20 and we’ll look at it this morning.  In this passage he presents the Christian’s perspective on morality.  Now let me say at the beginning I remember when I was speaking out at Cal State Northridge one time in Rabbi Kramer’s class.  He asked me to speak on the subject of Christian morality.  He said, “We wanted somebody to come in there and speak on Christian morality and defend it.”  I knew that I was going into the lion’s den because nobody was going to buy a Christian’s moral standard in this world who isn’t a Christian. 

So at the very beginning of the class I said, “Now I want to say something to begin with.  I want to say that I recognize before I start that none of you are going to agree with this.  None of you will accept it and none of you are at all going to feel that this is proper.  You are all going to violently disagree with me.”  You know what that does immediately.  They’re all saying, “Oh yeah?”  You put them on the right defense, you see?  They’re already defending Christianity and they don’t know what it is.  That’s the college students.

So I got all done and I said, “The reason none of you are going to buy this morality is because you don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ and because you don’t know Him you don’t have any motivation for this.”  So immediately a student puts his hand up and says, “How do you know the Lord Jesus Christ?  We might as well start there.”  So we spent about 40 minutes talking about that and the Rabbi kept saying, “We must get back to the subject.”  We never did get back to the subject much but it was kind of a great time. 

I say that just to say this; unless you really know the Lord Jesus Christ, unless you’re a Christian, unless you understand what it is to live for God this kind of morality is going to seem a little bit in left field but this is what the Bible teaches.  You see the Corinthians had rationalized their sexual activity just like people today do.  There are plenty of people who in the name of religion say, “Everything’s taken care of.  We’re free in religion.  Christianity’s made us free so we live it up.” 

There are plenty of other people – don’t you hear this all the time – say, “What’s the big deal about sex?  It’s only biology, right?  We’re only animals.  You don’t get upset when dogs do it.  Why do you get upset when we do it?”  You hear this all the time.  “Man, it’s just a biological thing.  It’s there.  You go, you do it.  You don’t get all uptight about it.  It’s all moral.”

Well the Corinthians had done the same thing and of course they had a problem too because they lived in the city of Corinth and Corinth was synonymous with sex.  In fact the verb to corinthianize meant they had sex with a prostitute.  That’s how attached Corinth was to that kind of life.  So they were saying, “Hey our environment is overwhelming and, man, we figured out theologically it’s all right and philosophically it’s just a biological act and no big deal.  So we’re doing it.”  So here are the Corinthians carrying another one of the cruddy things of their former life into the church.  This is the problem with every single difficulty the Corinthian church had.

In the first four chapters what problem did Paul deal with?  Division in the church.  Do you know why they were divided in the church?  They were divided over human leaders and human philosophy.  Both of those were carryover from their former life.  In chapter five the evil in the church was the evil of failing to discipline sin, a carryover from their former lives when they were tolerant of sin. 

In chapter six, the sin that we saw the last time we studied it was the sin of suing one another.  You remember the Corinthian society loved to have lawsuits and they just carried that over into their Christian lives.  Here they were immoral before they were Christians.  They just carried that over into their Christian experience.  So all of the evils there were just dragged in from their former life.  Paul’s going to hit another one of them.  Here is it.  He’s going to hit the sin of immorality and he’s going to take apart their rationalization. 

You have your outline.  Look at it and I’ll show you the three things the sin of sex does to the body.  These are the things that Paul points out.  Three clear pointed principles that show why sex sin must be excluded from the Christian life even though we are free in grace.  It harms, it controls and it perverts the body.  Sexual sin harms, controls and perverts the body.  That’s Paul’s three-fold argument. 

Point number one, it harms, verse 12.  “All things are lawful unto me but all things are not expedient.”  Stop right there.  Now he says, “All things are possible within the area of grace but all things are not expedient.”  That word comes from a Greek word sumpherō which means to profit, P-R-O-F-I-T.  All things are allowable but they’re not all profitable.  God will forgive but, man, the price is high.  Immorality is one of those things that God forgives.  If you as a Christian do that, some of you undoubtedly have committed adultery or fornication as Christians if you have done that God has forgiven totally and completely by the blood of Jesus Christ in His grace. 

But there’s a price to pay.  There’s a high price because there’s harm built into that sin.  I want to show you that by taking to Proverbs chapter 5.  There is no other sin that a man or a woman commits that has built into it the deep-rooted damage that the sin of sexual immorality has.  It has destroyed more people than drugs or booze ever together ever could have destroyed.  I want to show you Proverbs chapter 5.  This is really interesting and it’s very, very practical.

Proverbs 5 verse 3.  We’ll start here and we’ll stay in Proverbs awhile so join us there if you have your Bible.  Proverbs 5:3, “For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil.”  Oh listen, that stuff is very enticing.  Honeycomb, lips and smooth.  The opposite comes in verse 4.  “Her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.  Her feet go down to death.  Her steps take hold on Sheol.”  You see, what you see is not what you get.

Now he gives a little advice because of this.  “Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of her life, her ways are unstable but thou canst not know that.  Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.”  Now listen, you can’t figure this out.  She’s subtle.  She’s sneaky.  Now listen to me.  “Remove thy way far from her and come not near the door of her house.”  You know, you’re not going to have a problem committing adultery with somebody if you don’t go where they are.  Take a lot of brains to figure that out. 

“Lest thou give thine honor unto others and thy years unto the cruel.”  You know what happens when a person gets into that problem?  They lose their honor.  They lose their respect.  Instead of being with honored people they wind up with the cruel people.  “Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth.”  A person could actually come to the place where he loses his fortune.  Many a man has destroyed his life over women. 

Many a man today is saddled with paying so much alimony he can hardly live himself and all of his money is going out.  “Even strangers are filled with your wealth; and your labors be in the hands of an alien or the house of an alien.”  People have lost their life and their livelihood to immorality.  “And thou mourn at the last when thy flesh and thy body are consumed.”  When you get old and you can’t function anymore physically or sexually and you have absolutely nothing but the pain and the agony and the remorse and then you will say, verse 12, “How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!”  “What a fool that I did what I did.”

Look at verse 18.  Now that isn’t against sex.  Oh no.  He invented it.  He is for it.  Verse 18, “Let thy fountain be blessed - ” and that’s talking literally about a man’s ability to procreate ” - and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”  Live it up.  God’s designed that. 

Sex is a fabulous thing, a beautiful thing.  “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe – “ speaking of deer like animals “ – let her breast satisfy thee at all times and be thou ravished always with her love.”  I mean this is great.  Live it up.  Enjoy.  See?  “Why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman and embrace the bosom of a foreigner?  Well the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his going.”  Why would you go off and commit adultery when you know that the Lord is what?  Watching.  He’s watching.

Well look at chapter six, interesting section verse 24.  Now this is practical.  Listen to this.  Verse 23 we better start.  “For the commandment is a lamp and the law is light and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.”  Now he says God’s law is going to give you the right path and the right light and you’re going to see the truth.  Here it come.  “To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of the foreign woman – “ foreign simply means other than your own. 

Now watch.  “Lust not after her beauty in thine heart neither let her take thee with her eyelids.”  Oh you got to watch those eyes.  Always the sex symbol with the half-opened eyes.  That’s sneaky.  “Let her take thee with her eye.”  See, nothing new folks.  Maybelline hasn’t changed anything.

Now you see what happens when this occurs in verse 26, “For by means of an unchaste woman a man is brought to a piece of bread.”  Something as elevated and high and lofty as a man designed in the image of God is brought down as if he were nothing but a piece of bread.  “And the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.  Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?”  You think you’re going to commit sex sin and get away?  You’re wrong.  You can’t take fire in your bosom without burning your clothes.  That’s pretty clear. 

“Can one go on hot coals and his feet not be burned,” verse 28.  Verse 29, “So he that goeth into his neighbor’s wife whosoever touches her shall not be innocent.”  Verse 32, “Whoso commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding.”  It is stupid to commit adultery.  Why?  Because “- he that doeth it destroyeth his own – “ what “ – soul.” 

God may forgive it but that doesn’t make it right and that doesn’t make it smart.  Chapter 7 verse 5.  This is interesting.  “Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; call understanding thy kinswoman that they may keep thee from the strange woman – “ wisdom will keep you from the strange woman “ – from the foreigner who flatters with her words.”  It gives you an illustration.  “From the window of my house I look through my casement – “ he looks through his window frame, Solomon “ – and beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding.”  A stupid young person.  The world is full of them, just full of them.  I’ll show you why they’re stupid. 

“Passing through the street near her corner.”  Do you know that this whole trade of prostitute hasn’t changed a lot?  They’re still on corners.  They’ve always been on corners wherever people are.  So here’s this stupid guy going down the street, a young guy.  He doesn’t have any sense, has no wisdom so he thinks this is the way to live. 

He comes near her corner “ - and he went the way to her house.  In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.”  Isn’t it always?  “And behold there met him a woman with the attire of a harlot.”  That’s usually – you can tell them by the way they dress in those days and even today.  “Subtle of heart but secretly loud and stubborn.  Her feet abide not at her house “ - she’s always out stirring up trouble - “ now is she outside, now in the streets and lies in wait at every corner.” 

Verse 13, “She caught him and kissed him.”  That’s what known as a direct approach.  “And with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me.  This day have I paid my vows.”  My religion is all taken care of.  Got that out of the way.  “Therefore came I forth to meet thee diligently to seek thy face and I have found thee.”  Getting a little thick. 

“I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with embroidered works, with fine linen of Egypt.  I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.  Come let us take our fill of love until the morning.  Let us comfort ourselves with love.”  It all sounds great, doesn’t it?  Very enticing and alluring. 

The truth of the matter is in verse 19, “For my husband is not at home.”  Let’s get back to brass tax.  Her husband is not at home.  He’s gone on a long journey and he’s taking a bag of money with him.  In other words, he’s going to do business and he will come home at the day appointed. 

Well this is a stupid kid, remember?  “With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.  He goes after her straightway – “ now watch; like a lover to his love?  No, “Like and ox to the slaughter.”  Like a wise man to his fulfillment?  No, “Like a fool to the stocks.  Till an arrow strike through his liver; a bird hastens to the snare and doesn’t know that it is for his life.”  Fool.

Listen, for a Christian God will forgive but it isn’t going to help you to do this.  It will harm.  It will destroy.  It will tear.  Look at chapter 9 verse 17.  This is kind of practical, too.  “Stolen waters are sweet – “ there is a certain adventure in adultery “ – and bread eaten in secret is pleasant but he knoweth not that the dead are there and her guests are in the depth of Sheol.”  Devastating.

First Corinthians 10:8 says that of the Israelites 23,000 dropped dead in one day for committing adultery; 23,000 dead in one day.  I think of David and I love David and God forgave David and God loved David and David’s going to occupy a special place in Heaven because God forgave his sin.  But poor David committed adultery.  He went up on his roof, looked over, saw Bathsheba on a lower roof taking a sunbath and flipped out and said, “That’s for me,” and went through the process and committed adultery.  Then we wrote Psalm 51.  You don’t need to look it up but do you remember it? 

A man was absolutely devastated to the roots of his being.  He paid for that sin every waking day for the rest of his life.  He never forgot it.  It destroyed him and his family.  When you read Psalm 51 and you find that David was alone, he was totally lonely because that sin in particular has a way of making you lonely.  It immediately isolates you because you’re afraid somebody might find out.  You feel alone in your evil. 

David was sick, physically ill, sick literally and he was guilty and his conscious was creating havoc and he poured out Psalm 51 in agony.  God forgave him.  Yes, he expresses it at the end of 51.  God forgave him.  That didn’t change what it did to him.  He paid a high price.

Second thing.  The sin of adultery not only harms.  It controls.  Look at 6:12 again.  “All things are lawful for me –“ in the middle of the verse “- but I will not be brought under the power of any.”  A Greek verb to be wrought under the power means to come under the domination of or the power of something.  It really means to enslaved.  I will not be enslaved and there is no more enslaving thing than sexual evil.  This thing wants to subject and it does.

There is in sexual activity a certain progression that enslaves.  I can look back just in the first time I ever had any kind of relationship with a girl at all and I remember I wanted to hold her hand.  I thought it’s time for me to make some advances and after all it as my third year in college.  No, not really.  But anyway there was this girl I liked and I remember as a kid – I’ve never forgotten this but I wanted to hold this girl’s hand.  It took me about an hour to get enough nerve and I finally grabbed her hand and I’m sure I about broke her knuckles.  I was just like – you know. 

I held her hand for awhile and, man, whoa, whoa.  Things were whoa, whoa, you know.  Lightening was in my head and everything.  So after awhile you know it got to be kind of sweaty hands and it wasn’t a whole lot of thing.  So I thought, “There’s got to be more to life than this.”  There was a progression. 

You desire to touch and you put your arm – I’ll never forget the first time I kissed a girl.  Just bells and the whole thing.  You think back to that first experience.  Then all of a sudden you realize you’re in a trap, man, and you’re caught on this deal and where are you going to go?  You just get further and further on to say, “This is how the sexual thing works.”  It becomes an enslaving thing.  Even people who go all the way all the time are always looking for the full gratification which they never find.  But they become slaves to this thing. 

Here are the Corinthian Christians in the name of liberty losing their freedom and becoming slaves.  In the name of Christian freedom they have become slaves to their own desires.  Paul says in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, “This is the will of God concerning you that you be sanctified, even your sanctification that you stay away from sexual sin.”  The next verse says that, “Every one of you know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.”  The word vessel means body.  Every one of you know how to posses his body. 

Some say that word vessel refers to wife but I studied it again this week and I’m convinced more than ever it refers to the body.  That you know how to possess your body.  If you’re going to stay away from sex sin 1 Thessalonians 4:3 says then verse 4 says you have to control your body.  You have to get control of your flesh. 

In Romans 8:13 Paul put it this way.  He said kill the flesh; mortify the flesh; master the flesh, gain control.  You can get in a situation where you’re not in control at all.  You’ve lost control.  You get to the place where you’re victimized by your drive.  Keep it in control Paul says.  Possess your vessel.  Control your body so you don’t become a slave.

Paul put it very interestingly.  1 Corinthians 9:27, very vivid.  He was talking about boxing here.  He says, “I fight not like one who beats that air.”  You say, “Who are you fighting?”  He says, “I’m fighting my body.”  Are you ever going to face that?  Do you ever fight your body?  Whoa body, hold it right there.  Something starts tempting your body you fight your body.  Then in verse 27, “I keep under my body.” 

That verb to keep under it could have probably been translated worse than is translated there.  I don’t know why they’ve translate – the word is a very interesting Greek word, very picturesque.  It’s the word for you Greek students, hupōpiazō.  It means to give a black eye to.  He says, “I am fighting.” 

You say, “What are you fighting Paul?”  “My body and I just gave it a black eye.  I got a straight shot in there and knocked it out.  I have to beat my body into subjection.”  “Why?”  “Because even as a preacher I could become a,” what?  Castaway.  There are a lot of castaways, aren’t there, around?  A lot of people who once named the name of Christ, some who even once preached and because they didn’t give their body a black eye and their lust ran away with them and they sinned they have become castaways, set apart from usefulness to God. 

Sin is a slaving thing and particularly this sin of lust becomes a driving, compelling, dominating passion and men are taken captive.  All sin has a progressive element.  You read in Psalm 1:1, for example, that blessed is the man that walketh not in the council of the ungodly or standeth in the way of sinners or sitteth in the sea of scornful and you see the progression of sin.  First he’s walking, then he’s standing, finally he’s what?  He’s sitting.  That’s the progression of sin.  You play around the edges, you get involved and, plunk, you’re stuck.

James 1 talks about lust conceiving and bringing forth sin and then sin conceives and bring forth death.  There’s this continuum.  In 2 Timothy 3:13 it talks about evil men growing worse and worse and worse.  Paul says, “Yes, all things are lawful but you do that and they’ll enslave you.”  You’ll become a slave.  I have never seen anything so enslaving in the lives of individuals as that particular area of sin.

A third thing and this is the major part of the passage and believe it or not we’ll run through it quickly.  Sin not only harms, enslaves sex sin but it perverts.  Verse 13.  Quickly we’ll look at it.  And he gives three distinct purposes and designs for our bodies that are perverted by sexual sin.  “Foods for the body – “ verse 13 “ – and the body for foods – “ that was their little statement.  He says, “Wait a minute.  But God shall destroy both it and them.” 

You can’t say, “Well look, the body’s for food and food’s for the body and sex is for the body and the body’s for sex.  That’s all there is to it.  It’s just biologic.”  You can’t say that because God is going to destroy food and God is going to destroy stomachs.  That’s the real word here, stomach.  God is going to wipe that out.  But the body is not for sexual sin.  It’s for the Lord and the Lord is for the body and I’ll prove it to you.  Because God has both raised up the Lord and will also what?  Raise up us by His power. 

You know why your body is different?  Because your body someday is going to be what?  Raised up.  Your body isn’t just a temporal commodity.  There’s coming a time in this world where we’re going to be raised, the rapture.  We’re just going to go.  From the grave the bodies are going to be brought out of the grave.  You say what if there’s nothing left?  That’s not problem for God.  He just makes them all come together again.  We’re going to be in Heaven in bodies, literal bodies. 

So he’s saying, “Look, that is eating, the necessity for eating, the digestive processes of the stomach that will all cease.  God will wipe that all out.  But the body, you, the total man incorporated in that flesh that is going to be glorified and transformed into heaven.  So don’t think that the biology of eating is equal to what you do with your body in terms of its union.  There’s a big difference.”  He gives three distinct purposes.

First of all he says your body is for the Lord.  Verse 13, “It is for the Lord.”  Eating is a natural function but sex is far more than a natural function people.  Sex, listen to this, is a spiritual union.  It transcends the biological. 

C.S. Lewis says in Screwtape Letters every time a man and a woman enter into a sexual relationship a spiritual bond is established between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured.  God says, “I’m going to destroy stomachs and I’m going to destroy foods but bodies know – the Bible never says God’s going to destroy eternally the body.  That body is going to be glorified.  The body of a Christian is going to spend its eternity with Jesus Christ in a glorified state. 

Our bodies are not just biological commodities.  They have biological aspects and biological functions but they are far beyond that.  Between food and the stomach there is a horizontal line.  Between my body, my person and the Lord there is a vertical relationship and it must not be defiled because God wants me presented to Jesus Christ a chaste virgin, right, spiritually.  For a Christian to commit sex sin breaks and destroys the vertical relationship.  The two are incompatible.  Paul says, “You can’t use that argument.  It doesn’t make it.”

Your stomach was made for food but your body wasn’t made for sex.  It was made for God and within God’s Will sex is included in marriage.  Outside of that you violate it.  The proof of it is in verse 14.  God’s going to raise your body out of the grave.  Don’t defile that thing which was designed to spend eternity with him.  You can’t say sex is for the body and the body for sex.  The body is for the Lord.

Second thing.  He says not only is your body for the Lord but it is one with Christ.  Look at verses 15 to 18.  “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?”  Melē, the normal word for the member of a physical body.  “Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?  Mē genoito, may it never happen.

He says, “Look, you are one with Christ.  You are the members of Christ.  When you were saved you were joined to Christ.  Every one of us is a member of His body.  Isn’t that right?”  Ephesians 1:22 and 23, 1 Corinthians chapter 12, Romans chapter 12 verse 5.  We’re all made one with Christ in His body and if we are committing acts of sin we are joining Christ to that prostitute.  God forbid.  Sex sin is sickening.  It is unthinkable that I would use Jesus Christ in a sex relationship.

Can you imagine if Christ was in earth going to him and saying, “Lord, I am going over here to commit adultery.  Would you please come and partake with me?”  He’d say MacArther that’s blasphemous.”  You better believe it but it’s no more blasphemous than a Christian committing adultery because he’s dragging Christ into it.  Right?  You’re a member of Christ.

Sex is a union of two becoming one.  Thus in a Christian’s immorality there’s most gross profaning of making Christ one with that sin.  Sex is not just biological.  No.  It is spiritual.  It is two becoming one.  That’s the way God designed it.  It unites two people.  That’s why the Old Testament when there are two single people if a man lies with a woman then he marries her.  Why?  Because they’ve consummated a spiritual union. 

That’s why the Bible says that when adultery is committed that’s grounds for divorce.  Why?  Because they have consummated a union outside the marriage.  Two becoming one is not just biological as the integrating of two people in the deepest parts of their being and that’s why C.S. Lewis says what you have is an eternal spiritual bond either to be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured.  The Corinthians or any Christian who commits an act of sexual sin drags Jesus Christ into it.

But look what he says in verse 16.  “What?  Know you not that he who was joined to a prostitute is one body?”  Yes, that’s right.  “For two shall be one flesh.”  When you unite with a prostitute you become one flesh with that prostitute in the deepest sense of communion of your beings.  The sex act is not just biological.  It is the uniting of two persons in the deepest most intimate sense.  When you do that with a prostitute you’ve drawn a union with that prostitute.  When you do it with somebody outside your marriage you’ve drawn a union with that person and if you’re joined to Jesus Christ you’ve dragged him right into it.

Verse 17, he that is joined to the Lord is what?  One spirit.  You’re one with Him.  How could you ever drag Him into that, to be one with Him?  The result he says in verse 18, “Flee sexual sin.”  Get out of there.  You know the smartest way to handle sexual sin?  Just get out of there.  I said you can’t have a problem if you’re not around.  Joseph was a smart guy.  He got in there and Potiphar’s wife started laying it on him.  “Oh Joseph, you big hunk of man.”  Joseph just realized only one way out of this.  He took off like a shot.  She grabbed his coat and that’s all she got.  He was gone.

Say, “No, I’m going to face it and gain the victory.”  That’s ridiculous.  Get out of there.  “Well I must know how the world lives.  Got to be aware of these things and show my strength.”  Just get out of there.  In 2 Timothy 2:22 it says, “Flee youthful lust.”  Get out of there.  Don’t sit there and take it in.  Get out. 

If you’re looking at something that isn’t good get out of there.  If you’re reading something that isn’t good junk it.  If you’re in a situation that’s going in the direction of compromising, “Sorry,” go.  You say, “Well they won’t understand.”  Well who cares whether they understand.  Just get out of there.  Some simple solutions, aren’t there?  Everything isn’t complicated. 

Verse 18, further.  “Every sin that a man does is outside the body but he that commits fornication or sex sins sins against his own body.”  Now that’s very difficult to understand what Paul meant because he doesn’t really elucidate on it.  But what I think he means is this, that while sexual immorality is not necessarily the worst sin it is the most unique in its consequences.  It has a way of internally destroying a man and a woman that no other sin has. 

Why?  Because of all sins it is the one sin that is the spiritual union of two persons.  You can commit other sins and those other sins may be superficial.  They may affect you at some level but the sin of a sexual intimacy with somebody else is the deepest uniting of two persons therefore it has the unique kind of sin that destroys a man at the very roots of his being.

You know it is far more destructive than alcohol.  It is far more destructive than drugs.  It is far more destructive than crime.  It is the deepest, penetrating sin that a man can commit because it unites him to another person in the vileness of that sin.

I’ll never forget seeing a girl who came to me at 16 years old and said she wanted to kill herself.  She didn’t want to live another day.  She hadn’t looked in a mirror in months because she couldn’t stand her own face.  I said, “Why?”  She said, “Because I’m so rotten from so many acts of sexual sin.  She was destroyed.  She looked like she was 40 years old.  Just destroyed.  I’ll never forget the joy that was mine in leading her to Jesus Christ and the first thing she said to me was, “For the first time in years I feel clean.”  That’s grace.  Thank God.

All sin blackens.  All sin devastates but this sin destroys a person at the roots of his being.  It harms him.  It devastates him.  It enslaves him and it just diametrically opposes everything God intended for the body of a Christian.  It’s for the Lord and it’s one with Christ. 

Third, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, verse 19.  “What?  Know ye not – “ that’s the sixth time that he’s used that formula in this chapter.  Common knowledge.  Isn’t it common knowledge to you that your body is the shrine or the sanctuary who is in you “ – whom you have of God.”  You didn’t induce the Holy Spirit.  You didn’t earn the Holy Spirit.  He was given as a gift. 

“You aren’t even your own.”  You’re his temple.  You say, “How come I’m His?”  Because verse 20 says He bought you with a price.  What was the price?  First Peter 1:18 and 19, “For you are not redeemed with gold and silver, precious stones – “ none of those things but you were redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ as of a lamb without spot, without blemish.  What was the price He paid?  His blood.

Listen, He bought you.  You’re the shrine of the Holy Spirit.  You’re the temple of the Living God.  He says in 2 Corinthians in 6:16, you’re the temple of the Living God.  God dwells in you.  How can you drag the Holy Spirit in this?  I don’t think there’s anybody in this building who would come into this auditorium – you think of this as a place where we worship God. 

I don’t think there’s anybody here who would come in here and commit an act of sexual sin right here in this building.  You’d say, “You’ve got to be kidding.”  Well let me tell you something folks.  That isn’t the seriousness of sex.  That’s not a big thing.  When you commit an act of sex sin and nobody’s around and nobody knows you have defiled the temple of God. 

This is not the temple of God.  This is nothing.  You are the temple of God, the Living God dwells in you.  You are the sacred shrine.  Don’t you know that?  How could you desecrate, how could you mutilate, how could you defile the temple of the Spirit of God?  That’s who you are.  Sacred shrine of the Holy Spirit.

Man, some Christians have defiled the shrine and it’s pretty bad.  I was thinking of Ralph Kyper’s story about the guy that went to the cathedral and he wanted to worship at a certain shrine and there was a sign hanging around the idol’s neck.  It says, “Do not worship here.  This shrine is out of order.”  Been an awful lot of Christians that should have that sign around their neck, “Do not worship here; this shrine is out of order.” 

Listen, are you defiling the temple of the Holy Spirit?  Are you dragging your union with Christ, are you dragging Jesus Christ into a sinful situation?  Are you making him one with a prostitute?  You say, “Well what’s a prostitute?”  Anybody who prostitutes the right meaning and use of sex.  Are you using your body for biological expression?  Forget it.  Your body is for the Lord. 

You see, it’s just incongruous.  What is the result of all of this?  Verse 20 he says this, “Therefore glorify God in your –“ what “ – body.”  The rest of the verse doesn’t appear in the best manuscripts.  “Glorify God in your body.”  That’s it. 

What should you do with your body?  Glorify God with it.  Praise God with it.  Make it a shrine where somebody can worship.  How could you defile yourself?  God will forgive you. 

That’s right.  He will forgive you.  He always does but it will harm you.  You’ll pay a tremendous price and it’ll control you and it’ll pervert the design God has for you.  So I say to you what Paul said to the Ephesians, “Sex sin, let it not once be named among you.”

Father, thank you for our time this morning together in the Word and dealing with a very pertinent subject one with which all of us struggle.  Keep us pure as only You’re able.  In Jesus name, amen.




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