1 Corinthians 6 – Such Were All of Us

Calvary Chapel – Leesville, SC Worship Service – June 7th, 2020

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Prayer

Review/Introduction

For the last several weeks, we have been looking at Paul’s message of “tough love” to the Corinthians concerning some issues within the church that had come to Paul’s attention in Ephesus. He began by writing about divisions within the church, and continued by tackling a report that had reached him of someone in the church who was in an incestuous sexual relationship with his own mother-in-law. In Chapter 5, Paul gave specific directions for dealing with this abomination within the church. He will revisit the topic of sexual immorality once again in more general terms here in Chapter 6, but first he voices his concerns about the Corinthian believers taking their disputes for judgement by the secular court system.

Before we begin our study of 1 Corinthians 6, it is important for us to recall what Paul wrote at the end of 1 Corinthians 5. All of the issues Paul is airing in this letter – sectarianism, sexual immorality, and disputes – were taking place within the Church. The letter was written to the church Paul had planted in ancient Corinth, but the lessons and admonitions apply equally to the Church of Jesus Christ as a whole throughout history even up to the present day.

Airing Church Disputes in Secular Court

1Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?

1 Corinthians 6:1 – NKJV

Paul’s phrasing here may be a bit confusing. The question in verse 1 is a rhetorical one. He’s not asking if the brethren in Corinth would be so bold as to take their internal disputes before the secular authorities in Corinth. He was already aware that they were doing just that. He’s asking them to confirm it.

It’s important to consider what Paul means by the terms “unrighteous” (Greek – ἄδικος adikos) and “saints” (Greek – ἅγιος hagios) here. The first is variously translated “unjust” and “unrighteous” throughout the New Testament. Paul isn’t saying that the secular courts were necessarily unfair – although like today’s secular courts, in many cases they likely were. Paul is using the word here in the same way that Jesus Himself frequently did in His preaching to refer to those who do not know the LORD. A better translation might be “the unjustified.” After all, God’s Word makes it clear that no one is righteous or just of themselves. It is only by God’s grace that our faith in the Gospel of Jesus is credited to us for righteousness, and we are then called justified – made just. By our faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross in our place, we become so-called saints. The Greek word here is also translated as “holy.” Thus, the distinction Paul makes here isn’t regarding anything of ourselves, but simply between those who have been made holy in Christ by faith, and those who haven’t yet. We need to keep this distinction in mind a little later when we talk about verse 9.

NOTE – It’s just as important to determine what Paul isn’t saying here as what he is saying. This admonition doesn’t preclude believers from participating in the secular justice system altogether. No. You’re not going to be able to use this passage as an excuse from jury duty. Furthermore, believers may most certainly find themselves in legal situations that give them no other alternative but to sue (or be sued) in the secular courts. The distinction between the “unrighteous” and the “saints” here is important. This passage doesn’t pertain to legal intercourse between believers and non-believers. It refers strictly to disputes among believers.

2Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

1 Corinthians 6:2 – NKJV

We find multiple references in God’s Word to Jesus being the One who will bring final judgement on the world. Jesus’ own parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25:31-46 alludes to this. Peter also speaks of it (Act 10:34-43, 1 Peter 4:1-6). Paul also wrote to Timothy about it.

1I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

2 Timothy 4:1-2 – NKJV

Jesus also spoke of the saints sitting in judgement – ironically in the midst of rebuking His disciples for arguing over who would be greatest in His kingdom.

29And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Luke 22:29-30 – NKJV

Throughout God’s Word, we find the power to pass judgement associated with reigning as a ruler. The Greek word κρίνω krinō translated as “judge” here in 1 Corinthians 6:2 does mean to pass judgement in matters of law as Paul writes here, but it can also mean to rule or govern with the power to pass such judgements. We know from John’s vision of Heaven that the saints will rule with Jesus.

8Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song, saying: ​“You are worthy to take the scroll, ​​And to open its seals; ​​For You were slain, ​​And have redeemed us to God by Your blood ​​Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10And have made us kings and priests to our God; ​​And we shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 5:8-10 – NKJV

Paul also wrote of this in 2 Timothy.

11This is a faithful saying: ​ ​​For if we died with Him, ​​We shall also live with Him. 12If we endure, ​​We shall also reign with Him. ​​If we deny Him, ​​He also will deny us.

2 Timothy 2:11-12 – NKJV

Jesus’ half-brother – Jude – mentions a prophecy of Enoch concerning this judgement.

14Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Jude 14-15 – NKJV

NOTE – Jude’s original source for the prophecy of Enoch that he mentions here remains unclear. The Bible contains no words from Enoch. Jude may have learned this from an oral Jewish tradition, or may have simply been inspired by God’s Spirit to write it.

Before we move on, notice that Paul chides the Corinthians for considering themselves “unworthy to judge the smallest matters.” Evidently, the disputes over which the Corinthians had been going to court were petty ones in Paul’s estimation. Recall the message from 1 Corinthians 3 concerning divisions within the church. There are biblically valid reasons for a fellowship of believers to divide (as we have recently seen with the United Methodist Church). However they are rare, and believers must prayerfully search their own motivations to ensure that they are biblical, not personal. Furthermore, churches should only split and individual members should only walk away when the issues being contended are important – that is essentials of the faith. Finally, if there is any doubt at all, we should prefer unity over division.

The same applies to issues of church justice. Not only should believers not take their disputes to the secular authorities, we should not raise unimportant disputes for consideration by the church’s internal justice mechanisms either. It is far better for us to simply agree to disagree on unimportant issues. Petty disputes are most often rooted in pride which God abhors. We must continually be on guard that our pride doesn’t rule over us. With all that said though, we must not let even petty issues simply fester unaired and unanswered. Doing so can distract us from intimacy and worship in our relationship with the LORD. That’s why Jesus taught that if we have an unresolved issue with one of our brethren we should get the issue resolved before making our offerings (Matthew 5:23-24). Obviously, we no longer offer animal sacrifices at the altar in the temple, but the same principle applies to partaking together in a worship service and especially to partaking together in the LORD’s supper.

3Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

1 Corinthians 6:3 – NKJV

In all honesty, I must admit I had a hard time parsing this passage. The main point that Paul is making here is quite clear, but some of the details of the passage are vexing – particularly this statement that we will judge angels. As a general practice, I try to avoid consulting extra-biblical sources when preparing Bible lessons. I much prefer to allow God’s Spirit to guide me in studying His Word which I believe to be its own best expositor. The famous motto of the Protestant reformation was after all Sola Scriptura – scripture alone. But in this case I found myself completely stumped, so I sought out one of my “go to” Bible teachers – Dr. J. Vernon McGee. I was a little disappointed, but at the same time encouraged to learn that Dr. McGee had confided on his radio program – Through the Bible – years ago that he also didn’t understand the meaning of 1 Corinthians 6:3.

I had read many times, of course, King David’s well-known Psalm concerning mankind’s relation to angels and the Hebrews writer’s application of this psalm to Immanuel עִמָּנוּאֵל – God with us in the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth (Hebrews 2:5-9)

3When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, ​​The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4What is man that You are mindful of him, ​​And the son of man that You visit him? 5For You have made him a little lower than the angels [אֱלֹהִים ‘elohiym], ​​And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

Psalm 8:3-5 – NKJV

How can we who were created lower than the angels somehow be in a position to judge them? It seemed that either we would need to be somehow elevated above them, or they would need to be brought down below us. Upon looking a little more closely at Psalm 8, though, I made a surprising discovery. The Hebrew word we find in many English Bibles translated as “the angels” in Psalm 8:5 is the same word found in Genesis 1:1 translated as God – אֱלֹהִים ‘elohiym – the Hebrew plural noun found in Genesis 1:1 referring to the triune God! In fact, checking some of the other English translations I found some of them – notably the Holman Christian Standard Bible – do indeed translate the word in Psalm 8:5 as “God.” This word appears over 2,000 times in the Old Testament, and was translated in the KJV as “angels” only once – here in Psalm 8:5. Of course, I have no trouble understanding that mankind (even the “man” Jesus of Nazareth) is a little lower than God. Perhaps God considers people to be superior to the angels. If so, it’s small wonder that satan hates us so much.

But if we are to judge angels, what angels are we to judge and why? We find a clue from Jesus’ half-brother – Jude.

And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

Jude 1:6 – NKJV

These are the angels who had taken wives from among human women, whose unnatural offspring were destroyed in Noah’s flood (Genesis 6). It seems clear that these angels continued to leave “their proper domain,” as Jude puts it even after the flood giving rise to giants like Goliath. These are likely the same angels who took Lucifer’s side in rebellion against God and were cast out of Heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15, Revelation 12:7-12). As Jude tells us, they have been bound in chains for the final judgement.

But getting back to Paul’s main point in writing this…

4If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? 5I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?

1 Corinthians 6:4-5 – NKJV

The “least esteemed by the church” to whom Paul refers here are those who don’t know the LORD Jesus. Certainly, we are directed to obey earthly authorities, knowing that God has appointed them to their positions for His glorification in accordance with His unfathomable purposes. Furthermore, we are directed by Jesus to love and pray for all people – including non-believers. But that doesn’t imply that we respect their choice to reject the Gospel. On the contrary, we pity them that they have succumbed to the lies of the evil one and been blinded to the Truth. We pray for them that God will restore their spiritual sight. Nor do we submit ourselves to their judgement except as they themselves ordain. The Church must establish its own internal mechanisms for dispensing justice within the Body. We find the model for such a system in Moses’ appointment of judges within the nation of Israel (Exodus 18, Deuteronomy 1), and practical step-by-step instructions for carrying out Church discipline given by Jesus Himself in Matthew 18:15-20. Of course, it goes without saying, the members of the Church must also agree to accept the Church’s internal judgements.

6But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!

1 Corinthians 6:6 – NKJV

In God’s Word we find plenty of support for Paul’s contention that the Church should handle disputes among her members internally, but we might well ask the question – Why is Paul so adamant and passionate in writing about it? The answer is that such contentions in the presence of non-believers damage our Gospel witness. Jesus tells us that outsiders will know us by our love.

34A new commandment I give to you [His disciples in the upper room], that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35 – NKJV

Of course, this commandment was given directly to His disciples in the upper room on the night He was betrayed, but it applies equally to us who have believed in Him through their words. The point is that if outsiders will know that we are Christians by the love we show toward one another, what will they think of us – and more importantly what will they think about the Truth of Jesus’ Gospel – when they see us squabbling among ourselves? They will think to themselves, “These folks are supposed to be new creations in Christ, but I don’t see any difference between them and everyone else.” The credibility of our Gospel witness is so vital – Paul tells us – that if would be far better for us to suffer harm in a dispute with another believer than for us to risk damaging our witness.

BTW – Jesus commands us in John 13:34 to love one another “…as I have loved you…” He gives us a succinct description of exactly what that love should look like.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 15:13 – NKJV

Jesus loved us so much that He gave His own life for us. He commands us to so love our brothers and sisters in Christ that we are willing to risk and offer our own lives for them. Jesus’ Gospel is easy to believe and accept, but living it out is a little harder. It requires our utmost devotion to Him, and to our fellow Christians.

Sin Against Fellow Believers

Having made his point about airing our disagreements before unbelievers, Paul goes on in verse 7 to call into question the disagreements themselves.

7Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?

1 Corinthians 6:7 – NKJV

People are extremely inflexible when it comes to standing up for our own rights and privileges – sometimes to the extent that we completely disregard the harm we cause ourselves and others by doing so. Pedestrians have the legal right of way over motor traffic in practically every jurisdiction around the world. But if we see a heavy tractor-trailer rolling quickly downhill toward us, it might behoove us to just wait a few seconds before we step out into the crosswalk and claim our rights as pedestrians. This is why Jesus taught so strongly against blindly standing up for our rights, even when the person we are disputing against is absolutely in the wrong.

38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

Matthew 5:38-41 – NKJV

Our pride when we believe we have been wronged blinds us to the harm we do ourselves in pursuit of “our rights.” One of my blood relatives got into some kind of disagreement with one of her doctors, and refused to continue taking her glaucoma medicine. Predictably, she went blind. Her stubborn pride literally blinded her. Ironically, no one in the family seems to recollect exactly what the dispute was about – just its consequences to the “plaintiff.”

Furthermore while we are almost always acutely aware of the wrong done to us by others, we are often completely oblivious to the wrongs we do to them, as Paul points out here in verse 8. Paul is particularly outraged that we do this to our brothers and sisters within the body of Christ.

8No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!

1 Corinthians 6:8 – NKJV

This naturally brings to mind Jesus’ own teaching about it.

1“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:1-5 – NKJV

Aside – Those with a little Biblical training who are practicing sin often trot out Matthew 7:1 in response to Christians who call them out about their sin, saying something like, “Hey. You can’t judge me. Didn’t Jesus Himself say ‘Judge not’?” Sadly, many Christians are no better versed in God’s Word than the unrepentant sinners. When we examine the entire context of this teaching, we see clearly that Jesus doesn’t teach that we should not judge sin, but that we should not do so hypocritically – being born sinners ourselves.

Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector is most apropos here.

9Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14 – NKJV

Such Were All of Us

9Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals [μαλακός malakos], nor sodomites [ἀρσενοκοίτης arsenokoitēs], 10nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – NKJV

At first glance, it may seem that Paul made a rather abrupt change of subject beginning with verse 9. But closer examination reveals that 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 are tightly woven with verse 1 where Paul drew the distinction between the “unrighteous” and the “saints.” In fact, the Greek word translated as “unrighteous” here in verse 9 is the same word – ἄδικος adikos – Paul used in verse 1 which might better be translated “unjustified” – that is those who don’t know the LORD. After all, there are none of us who are righteous of ourselves as King David pointed out in Psalm 53:2-3.

2God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, ​​To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3​​Every one of them has turned aside; ​​They have together become corrupt; ​​There is none who does good, ​​No, not one.

Psalm 53:2-3 – NKJV

The only righteousness any of us can have is Jesus’ righteousness credited to us through faith in His Gospel. That is the point Paul is making here. Every one of us is a wretched sinner by nature and by choice, doomed to die except for the redemption we find in the blood of Jesus. It is a real pity that so much emphasis has been placed on verse 9 in the last half century or so, because it distracts us from this central point of the passage. I don’t want to dwell on that controversy, but we must delve into it a little just so we understand it and are thus able to give an answer to those who challenge God’s Word given here.

Since the late 1960s a movement has spread to challenge the idea that God is opposed to homosexuality. This leaven of heresy has been so fully diffused throughout the Church that today we find ostensibly Christian fellowships with homosexual clergy, worship leaders, and children’s/youth ministry leaders. Homosexual “marriage” is being tolerated, and homosexual “marriage” ceremonies are being conducted by ostensibly Christian pastors. Fewer and fewer Christian leaders are willing to take a stand against this flood. Most are in fear of being called “homophobic.” Those who promote this homosexual radicalization compare resistance to it with racism throughout Church history. But there are two big differences.

  • Resistance to homosexual practice is opposed to a sinful behavior, not to the individuals themselves as children of God as is the case with racism.
  • God’s Word makes no mention of race per se except in one instance – Jeremiah 13:23, which merely states that the color of a person’s skin is a simple, unchangeable fact – whereas the Bible clearly defines homosexual practice as sin – c.f. Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Timothy 1:10, Jude 1:7, and of course 1 Corinthians 6:9.

Some of those who attempt to rationalize homosexual behavior that God clearly deems sinful in His Word have rightly claimed that the word “homosexual” was not even present in English usage until the late nineteenth century. Therefore, they say its use in modern English translations’ – e.g. NKJV, NLT, NASB, and NET – rendering of 1 Corinthians 6:9 is a “homophobic” mistranslation of the original Greek. In order to prepare ourselves to give an answer to this incorrect contention, we need to take a closer look at two specific Greek words in 1 Corinthians 6:9

  • μαλακός malakos – translated as “homosexuals” in the NKJV – appears four times in three verses in the New Testament. It is translated as “soft” in the other verses. The KJV translates it here in 1 Corinthians 6:9 as “effeminate.” It was used to euphemistically refer to pubescent boys kept by older men as sexual partners, and to refer to male prostitutes.
  • ἀρσενοκοίτης arsenokoitēs – translated as “sodomites” in the NKJV – appears twice in the New Testament. It is translated as “sodomites” by the NKJV in both instances. The KJV translates it with the clumsy phrase “abusers of themselves with mankind.” It is a compound word composed from the Greek words for male and bed. It means – one who lies with a male as with a female, a sodomite.

So it would seem that the “mainstream” modern English language translations have correctly and fairly translated these two Greek words without any “homophobic” agenda. Furthermore, it is crystal clear that 1 Corinthians 6:9 calls those who practice homosexuality “unrighteous.” So with that distraction put to bed, let’s continue to delve into the main point of this passage as a whole. Notice that homosexual practice and other sexual sins aren’t set apart in this listing. God makes no distinction between what people might consider particularly egregious sins like murder and sins most people might consider harmless and “victimless” like fornication. Our God is perfectly holy, and cannot abide the presence of any sin at all. Furthermore we know that there is no one without sin.

11And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified [made holy], but you were justified [made righteous/just] in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:11 – NKJV

Paul says here in verse 11, “such were some of you,” but if the truth be told, we must surely realize that such were all of us. Having recognized the depth of God’s utter disgust at sin, and knowing that no one is sinless, we might despair and wonder if anyone at all can be saved – much less our wretched selves. But Paul also gives us here the wonderful declaration that Jesus – by His infinite mercy, grace, and love has washed us clean of our unrighteousness in the blood of His sacrifice on the cross. He has done what we could not. He has set us apart and made us holy. He has given us who are totally unrighteous by birth and by practice His own righteousness – credited to us by our faith in His Gospel.

8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

1 John 1:8-10 – NKJV

Bodily Sin Against God’s Spirit Within Us

As we have seen, God makes no distinction between so-called deadly sins and those sins most people would consider minor and victimless like covetousness or dishonoring our parents. God’s Word makes it clear that apart from our redemption by Jesus’ blood, there is only one punishment given for sin – death. Nevertheless, Paul goes on in this passage to make a distinction between sins outside our own bodies like thievery, and sexual sins against our own flesh and God’s Spirit dwelling within us.

12All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

1 Corinthians 6:12-14 – NKJV

As Paul says here, we have been set free in Christ from the restrictions of the Mosaic Law. Yet even though we have freedom by God’s grace to partake in fleshly pleasures including some of those (e.g. eating pork) forbidden to the ancient Israelites, there is a danger that we will take these freely available indulgences and make them into idols – supplanting even God as the center of our devotion. Paul will have a great deal more to say about this beginning in 1 Corinthians 7 when he takes up the Corinthians’ question about eating meat offered to idols.

15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 16Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”[Genesis 2:24] 17But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

1 Corinthians 6:15-18 – NKJV

Paul makes a clear distinction here between sexual sins and other sins. The only context in which God condones sexual relations among people is that of marriage between one man and one woman. Most churches make some affirmation of this Biblical Truth in their own statements of faith. A growing number of churches have further clarified these declarations by adding the word “biological” – that is to say, God only sanctions sexual relations between one biological man and one biological woman within the confines of marriage undertaken as a lifelong covenant between the two before God and the Church. Only a few short years ago, it was tacitly understood that God Himself selects a person’s gender at the moment of conception. Gender is not fluid, nor is it within the province of any person to determine. That power belongs to God alone. Yet the lie that gender is a matter of perception and personal preference rather than an immutable biological fact has become so prevalent in modern society that churches have found it necessary to explicitly state what was once implicitly understood.

Why has God been so strict in the confines He has placed on sexual enjoyment? He clearly created us as sexual creatures with strong sexual drives and passions. Why has He placed such strong and narrow restrictions on their fulfillment? There’s a very simple answer to that question. He has done it because He loves us – His children – and desires what is best for us even and especially when we ourselves don’t know what is best for us. First of all, God knew that sexual relations within the context of a lifelong bond of love held fast by His Spirit are much more fulfilling physically than so-called “casual” sex between people who don’t really care for each other except physically. But just as importantly, God understands that even the most “casual” of intimate relations involves a personal emotional and spiritual bond between the partners that can cause deep and lasting damage to us if it is severed. That is the point that Paul is making here in 1 Corinthians 6:16.

Our pastor in California used an illustration that is quite apropos. He likened sexual relations to the gluing together of two wooden planks. Any woodworker can confirm that once two boards are firmly glued together, it is virtually impossible to separate them without severely damaging them both. They will splinter and crack, making it very difficult to firmly bond them to other boards, or even back together with each other.

19Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – NKJV

Paul finishes this thought with a stern reminder of what Christians have “signed up for” on the day we were born again in God’s Spirit. On that day, we invited God’s Spirit to come and dwell within us, and committed ourselves wholly to Him – heart, mind, soul, spirit, and body until He returns to claim us as His perfectly holy bride, or calls us to come and be with Him. We are betrothed to Jesus as His future bride by our own choice. We have promised to be His and His alone throughout all eternity. We must surely remain true to our vows of betrothal to Him, because He has paid the dowry for us with His own Blood!

Invitation

Prayer

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