#527 (1/2/22) THE BODY IS FOR THE LORD
Appetites can be good or bad. An alcoholic has a bad appetite for alcohol. However, drinking alcohol is not always bad! An appetite for sex is natural and is often good. However, this appetite can be corrupted and harmful. The Corinthians seem to be saying that their appetite for sexual immorality was like an appetite for food - it was a God-given desire that should be fulfilled.
‘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. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.’ (1 Corinthians 6:13-14)
Paul corrects them. Our appetite for sexual immorality does not mean that this is what our bodies are made for. Having a sexual inclination or orientation doesn’t mean that it should be expressed. Rather, the body is meant for ‘the Lord’. Our body is meant to serve Him and honour His holy presence.
Our primary purpose is not as sexual beings. Sex is one of our culture’s idols. The body is made for God and God for the body. Our greatest identity is to be a temple of the Holy Spirit and to walk with God.
OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE
I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s important that you engage with the Bible yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of this text.
'...The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.’ (1 Corinthians 6:13-14)
I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).
1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?
2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?
3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?
4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Have you ever done something that you didn't want to do and yet found it to be rewarding?
3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group
On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians. This church has been infected by false teachers who are teaching that sexual sin is okay. Love for God and others requires that we pursue godly sexual relationships.
i) THE CORINTHIAN ATTITUDE
“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.' (1 Corinthians 6:12-13)
Some were teaching that they are free to do whatever they liked sexually. Paul is correcting their attitude to sexual freedom. Freedom is using our body as the Lord intended.
ii) MEMBERS OF CHRIST
'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.' (1 Corinthians 6:14-17)
Paul reminds them that their bodies are important to God. God will raise them and renew them. They are also united to Jesus by the Spirit and so it is anathema to unite our bodies with the Lord and with a prostitute or anyone else in sexual sin.
iii) FLEE SEXUAL IMMORALITY
'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 honour God with your bodies.' (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)