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Discerning Culture

Gospel Focused Exhortations to Sexual Purity

From my last Sunday’s sermon on 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 Paul argues for their sexual purity in a surprising way. His gospel oriented approach starts with indicatives (indicators of what God has done) and then moves to imperatives (commands of what we are to do).

1. Articulating and Deconstructing the Lies. (vv. 12-13)
a. “All things are lawful” – Said by Corinthians to justify their sin. Often said by Christians as they are being tempted to sin. “God will forgive me.”
b. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food.” – Also said by Corinthians to justify their sin. The underlying philosophy of the world today. In other words, sex is an appetite just like food. Sex is to be satisfied just like when I am thirsty or hungry. This is just a normal biological appetite.

2. God’s View of the Body – Part 1. (vv. 13-17)
a. It is made for the Lord. – Paul start with the ownership and design issue. We are made for the Lord Jesus.
b. Our body will be raised just like our Lord’s. Jesus did not just save my soul, he also will save my body. Revelation 21:8 Behold I am making all things new!
c. My body is a part of Christ. Somehow my body is already a part of Christ’s body. It is not just my soul that is united with Christ, but also my body!?!
d. My soul is united with Christ. See also John 17:20-23.

3. God’s View of the Body – Part 2. (vv. 19-20)
a. Your body is a vessel of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit actually takes up residence in your body. We walk around as the presence of Christ on earth.
b. You are not your own. You were bought at a price. The issue of ownership runs throughout this passage. Who owns you? If I really understand salvation, I understand that I am owned by another.

4. God’s View of Sexuality. (v. 16, v. 18)
a. Sex is more than an appetite. It is the joining together of two people and two souls.
b. Sexual sin harms in a way other sins don’t. Not your physical body although that is included, but it harms your whole self. Why? See 4a.

5. Primary Applications – Therefore
a. Shall I take what is joined to Christ and join it to a prostitute? (Or sin in any way this way?) Never. It is unthinkable!
b. Flee sexual immorality – Like Joseph, don’t stand and fight but make a strategic, active retreat.
c. Honor God with your body. Positively, as a blood bought vessel of the Holy Spirit who is joined with Christ in body and spirit, honor God with your body. Take care of it. Don’t join it in a dishonorable way. All of you is to honor God, not just your soul but your body as well.

It seems to me that as we seek to fight sin ourselves and as we seek to persuade our young people to stand against a tidal wave of impurity, what God has already done for us is a great help in the fight for sexual purity. May we live out of the gospel accomplishments.

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