1 Corinthians 6:12-20 - Not Your Own, Part 1
Your body is not your own, but has been bought with a price. This is good news!
Read / Listen
Read 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 109
(We'll finish out QA 108 tomorrow)
Q. Does God,
in this commandment,
forbid only such scandalous
sins as adultery?
A. We are temples of the Holy Spirit,
body and soul,
and God wants both to be
kept clean and holy.
That is why he forbids
whether it be actions, looks,
talk, thoughts, or desires.
We understand that a thing's purpose determines how it gets used. A fine flower vase with lots intricate details can certainly hold water, but it's not meant to be used like an ordinary bucket. In other words, just because something can be used a certain way, it doesn't mean that it ought to be used in that way.
Such is the case with your body.
The tired old argument that people ought to be able to do as they please with their bodies is nothing new; Paul begins this passage with sayings from Romans culture that make the same claim we hear so often today, that the only people who have a right to determine what I do physically are Me, Myself and I.
Paul then drops a stunning claim - a claim that people know is true but which often gets suppressed down deep so as not to ruin the party: your body is not your own. You did not make your body; you did not breathe life into it; and you are not the one who has determined your body's ultimate purpose, and therefore you don't have the right to define its acceptable uses.
Paul's makes his point obvious: "The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord (v13)." Therefore, your body is not to be used sexually outside of God's prescribed norms, which we'll review tomorrow. Paul adds emphasis to his point. Not only must you not do sexually immoral things, but you must flee from all forms of sexual immorality.
The primary purpose of your body determines how it must be used, the purpose which rises above all of your own ideas, opinions and beliefs, is that your body "is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God."
Our focus reading the Bible this year has been the comfort and peace possible by knowing that "you are not your own, but belong to your faithful Savior, Jesus Christ." These words have brought immense solace and reassurance to countless Christians for hundreds of years now. If you don't have this memorized already, you should.
But this claim is not just true on Sundays, or when you really need to be reminded in a difficult time that God is in control, rather this fundamental fact is always in effect and is completely comprehensive in its nature: you are not your own but belong to Christ body and soul, in life and in death. In other words, your body belongs to Christ in all ways and in all times.
This famous opening line of the Heidelberg Catechism is not just a cheesy, sentimental statement to hang on your wall. It helps define and clarify your purpose in life. You belong to Christ in every way possible. And since purpose determines usage, it gives you a solid rationale for living according to a Biblically faithful sexual ethic.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who knew you before creation and chose you to be His own, knit your body together in your mother's womb, and who has set you apart to be a temple for His Holy Spirit;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God for the fortitude to live according to His sexual design for your body in a world that constantly tries to tear you away from it;
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 1 Peter 3