All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
(1 Corinthians 6:12-20)
Paul in this passage makes it clear that God views sex seriously. The Message, Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase states it this way:
There is more to sex than mere skin to skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.”……We must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever – the kind of sex can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, “for “becoming one” with another.
(1 Corinthians 6:16-18)
God created our bodies for wonderful and fulfilling relationships, not for immorality. When anyone indulges in illicit sex, they violate God’s wonderful gift. That is reason enough for us to keep our bodies pure before the Lord.
Paul goes on to say that when we commit sexual sins, we are really sin against our own bodies. A serious matter surely for us to pause to ponder. Paul says that we are really the “temple of the Holy Spirit.” In other words, God has chosen to make His Holy Presence dwell within our physical bodies. To join our bodies in a sexual act with a prostitute is violating the Holy Presence of God.
We are not our own. We have been bought with a price, the very life of the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us upon the Cross. As we continue to observe Lent we would do well to be constantly reminded of this.
God gave us marital intimacy and sexual communion as a gift. How do we honor and glorify Him with this gift? Use it in the way it was intended to be used.
(1) Do you agree that sexuality lies at the root of many of our most damaging social and personal problems? If so, why? If not, why not?
(2) When you learn that sexuality is such a foundational and primary part of the Christian story on what humanity is, how does it make you feel?
Our Lord, help us to truly appreciate sexuality as a precious gift. Help us to always honor and glorify You in our bodies, that our worship before You will be truly pleasing and acceptable. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.