Sexual Immorality - 1 Cor 6:12-20
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Run, bolt, flee from any sexual immorality! Remember that you're united with Christ.
Published January 25th, 2019
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Main point summary
Main point summary
Run from sexual immorality since (1) you're united with Christ, (2) God cares for our body and (3) it is a sin against your own body.
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
c “All things are lawful for me,”
[Some have said] "I can do all things,"
but not all things are helpful.
nevertheless not all things are beneficial.
“All things are lawful for me,”
And "I can do all things,"
but I will not be dominated by anything.
nevertheless I won't be controlled by anything.
d “Food is meant for the stomach
And [it has also been said] "Food is [designed] for the stomach
and the stomach for food”—
and the stomach [desires] food" -
and God will destroy both one e and the other.
and God will destroy both.
The body is not meant for sexual immorality,
Though [don't then think "the body is for sexual immorality and sexual immorality for the body" for] the body is not designed for sexual immorality,
but f for the Lord,
but for the use of the Lord,
and g the Lord for the body.
and the Lord [cares] for the body.
And h God raised the Lord
Because (1) God resurrected the Lord
and i will also raise us up
and furthermore will also resurrect us
j by his power.
by His power.
Do you not know that k your bodies are members of Christ?
And (2) your bodies are part of Christ's body.
Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?
Therefore will I then make parts of Christ's body part of a prostitutes body?
Answer: Never!
Or do you not know that he who is joined 1 to a prostitute becomes one body with her?
Because (3) he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her.
For, as it is written, l “The two will become one flesh.”
Since scripture says "The two will become one flesh."
But he who is joined to the Lord
On the other hand, the person joined to the Lord
m becomes one spirit with him.
as a result becomes one spirit with Him.
n Flee from sexual immorality.
Therefore flee sexual immorality.
Every other sin 1 a person commits is outside the body,
Since [Some have also said] "Every sin a person commits is outside the body,"
but the sexually immoral person o sins against his own body.
on the contrary the sexually immoral person sins against their own body.
Or p do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?
Because (1) you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, given to you by God.
q You are not your own,
Furthermore (2) you don't own yourself,
r for you were bought with a price.
since you were purchased with a price [of Christ crucified].
s So glorify God in your body.
Therefore glorify God in your body.
Your bodies are part of Christ so NEVER make them part of a prostitue.
Lying with a prostitute unites you together to one flesh, on the other hand those who join to Jesus become one spirit with him.
God raised the Lord and will raise us. As our bodies are members of Christ NEVER make them members of a prostitute since you’ll become one flesh while he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
The NET translation points out that this is a challenging part to translate as it's not clear whether this is part of Paul's teaching or a saying of the Corinthians. Though they have chosen to translate it as a slogan since: Requires inserting the word "other" to translate it otherwise Not clear why sexual immorality is the only sin that is committed in the body. So I have decided that such a justification for this alternative translation is well founded. Nevertheless, as I don't have an understanding of Greek I am under the translators.
Flee sexual immorality!
Sexual immorality sins against your own body, since (1) the Holy Spirit resides in you and (2) you belong to Christ, therefore glorify God in your body.
Introduction In 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Paul makes an emphatic cry to run from sexual immorality! This problem seems to have infested the Corinth Church as is readily apparent from reading chapter 5, and is so dire that the actions of some in the church would not have even been put up with by the surrounding society (5:1)! Though this issue (of sexual immorality) is not reserved to the Corinthians, but also plagues many of our churches. Additionally, we are awash in a society that (especially among the younger generation) views sex merely biologically and as an act that can be done outside the boundaries of marriage. The degradation of the human body to an object for sexual gratification is also seen through the increasingly common use of pornography. Suffice to say, that this issue is one that needs to be addressed head on through the powerful word of God. Argument The crux of this passage is that we're to "Flee from sexual immorality." Paul provides the purpose of the body as to glorify God (6:13), and four reasons to support his plea to flee sexual immorality; Corrects understanding of twisted statements God cares about our bodies. Our bodies are united with Christ; We cannot be joined to both prostitutes and Christ. Sexual immorality is a sin against our own body; Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. We are not our own, but belong to Christ. Finally Paul provides an exhortation to glorify God in our body! Purpose of the Body (6:13): We're told that the body is not intended for sexual immorality, rather it is for Lord and the Lord for the body. That is; Our body is for the Lord - what does Paul mean by this? He means that our bodies are not our own (6:19), they're a temple of the Holy Spirit (6:19) and are a member of Christ's body (6:15, 12:27). Therefore, we should glorify God in our bodies (6:20)! The Lord for the body - by this I take it that Paul most certainly does not mean that the purpose of the Lord is our bodies! Rather that the Lord is an advocate for the body, in that he cares for it as seen by that he makes the body a temple of the Holy Spirit (6:19). The Grounds Love and Freedom ( 6:12 ) - Paul qualifies the Corinthians false understanding of his teaching that Christian freedom brings from the law of Moses ( Romans 6:14-15 ; Galatians 5:1 ). Firstly, this freedom is not to be used to do whatever one might please, but rather actions that are helpful (ESV), profitable (NASB) or beneficial (NET) to others i.e. to love others and build them up ( 10:23 ). So ask "will this be helpful to others and build them up?". Secondly, this freedom won't play out in us being dominated or enslaved to anything, so that we should ask of ourselves "Is this hobby or job or sport dominating me?". Thus in relation to sexual immorality it fails both these tests since people become slaves to gratification and the act is neither loving to self (actually harmful) nor loving to people, rather it objectifies people. God's Plan for the Body (6:14) - We know that God cares about our bodies since we see that in this verse God resurrected the Lord and will also resurrect us! He doesn't leave us to become ethereal spirits but resurrects us (body included). Hence, we can’t justify sexual immorality by thinking it doesn't matter what we do with our body "since God will destroy it anyway" (I believe this to be the train of thought of i n 6:13). Union with Christ (6:15) - Our bodies are part of Christ's body! Therefore (as addressed) we mustn't make parts of this body (which is united with Christ) also part of a prostitute (or any other illicit partner). Because (6:16-17) doing so unites your body and theirs to become one flesh, on the other hand those who join to the Lord become one spirit with Him. Since this is an alternative relationship it indicates that you can not be both. Either you're one flesh with an illicit sexual partner OR you're one spirit with the Lord. Sins Against Their Own Body (6:18-20) - Additionally, the sexually immoral sins agains their own body (6:18). How? Firstly, because your body is a member of Christ (6:15) and is a temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us (6:19)! So we read; 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. ( 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV ). So we mustn't defile God's temple by our sexual immorality, since we're holy, and their is a warning for those who destroy God's temple, namely God will destroy him (6:19-20). Secondly, we're not our own but belong to God and have been redeemed by his blood (Hebrews 9:12). Application So because of all this we’re called to flee (not walk away, not just abstain from it, but to run!) sexual immorality. It is very dangerous. Hence, don't go near something that will lead to sexual immorality. If an overt film, crude song, bikini beaches compromise your faithfulness, run from them. So glorify God in your bodies as it is their purpose. Sex is not merely biological action that has no significance, for by it we can be united to an illicit sexual partner that seriously compromises our union with Christ. Hence it's not to be done outside marriage. Our bodies aren't to be degraded, for God cares about them and are to be used to glorify God.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.