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You have to break free from that slavery. This is where fasting can help.

It is not only our spirit, but our physical body also is a "member of Christ" 1 Cor. So we must never use it for any immoral purpose. It must be for the Lord's exclusive use - our eyes, our tongue and every part of our body. Here is a wonderful promise of God for the body - that I have claimed for myself for many years now: "The body is for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body" 1 Cor. If you say, "Lord, my body is totally Yours, from head to foot - my eyes, my tongue, my everything," and mean it, then the Lord will be totally for your body.

He will keep your body fit to serve Him as long as He wants you to serve Him. He will even preserve it from sickness. Even young people may faint, but those who give their bodies to the Lord Him will fly like eagles in the sky. Our body is also the temple of the Holy Spirit 1 Cor. If you won't smoke or drink or commit adultery inside a church building, then you must not do any of those things in your body either - because the real temple of God is not any church building, but your body.

Therefore glorify God in your body" verse These nine verses 1 Cor. Therefore, you cannot compare it to any kind of relationship between the stomach and food. And, as Paul brings out, God has a purpose for the body: He is going to raise it up. He raised up the body of the Lord; he will raise us up also. Sexuality that penetrates our whole being will not be expressed on the physical level in the resurrected body, but it will have its expression on the soulish and the spiritual levels.

God has a purpose for it in the life to come. That is why we are given physical sex. It is designed to teach us what we are like, who we are, what our role is. Our male organs are external in order to emphasize to us, in that marvelous visual aid that God is always employing, that the male role is one of external leadership designed to take the initiative, and yet to do so with tenderness and gentleness. Any physical sex within marriage that is conducted without that double role of initiation with tenderness becomes destructive and creates difficulties within the marriage.

Female organs are internal, hidden to correspond to the role of women of being inwardly sensitive far deeper emotionally than men, more subjective, contributing deeper insights than man ever does, having a greater sense of compassion, being responsive, and responding to that which precedes and leads. All this is designed to teach us truth about our relationship with one another, and with God himself. That is why, throughout the Scriptures, God appears in relationship to the Christians as the lover, the aggressor, the male.

They, we, are the bride, the responders, the followers, and that role is consistent all through the Scriptures, Old and New Testament alike. Paul is thus underscoring here in these brief words the tremendous mystery of sex, what it is designed to instruct us in and how it is the very secret of life itself. To misuse it is to miss all the beauty of it.

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Its beauty is destroyed and defiled when it is indulged for self-satisfaction only, or without the full commitment that marriage represents. He is going to take up, in detail, the mutual sex roles of husband and wife, and we are going to look at them with the same frankness that the Scripture does. But now, at this point, Paul in his wonderful, practical way moves on to attack the problem of prostitution that was present there in Corinth. This, again, is the glory of the Scriptures. They are never merely academic. They never present a principle without bringing it tight down to where the rubber meets the road, and applying it to life itself.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two shall become one[flesh]. In this passage Paul describes fornication as a horrible sin which involves taking a body, which is the personal property of Jesus himself, and using it in a relationship with a godless woman and actually paying her to allow this to be done to her. Paul says that is equivalent to making Christ himself commit prostitution -- involving the Lord of Glory in a dissolute and a reprehensible act.

That is what every act of prostitution and every act of fornication is. Sexual intercourse always effects a complete union of the two persons involved, and thus is quite different from eating or drinking something. Becoming one flesh with a harlot means becoming one body with her, i. This is the thing that raises Paul's expression of horror here: "Never! Who would want to do a thing like that? Notice that Paul goes clear back to Genesis here. He takes that governing word spoken to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, "The two shall become one flesh" which applied to marriage Genesis , and he applies that here to a passing liaison with a common street prostitute.

What he says is that something goes on in the act of sex that creates a union far deeper than the merely passing pleasure of the moment. It is part of that whole mystery that God designed, and set forth at the beginning in the Garden of Eden.

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Thus it has tremendous impact upon those who give themselves to this. This is a profound insight that we need to take very seriously these days. The Apostle Paul is telling us here that something happens when you indulge in sexual relationships that is far deeper than your feelings will ever recognize. I have had men who live sexually promiscuous lives tell me that they never enter into even the most casual and passing liaison in this way but when they meet the girl afterward there is a change; there is a deep sense of having shared a mystery together.

They cannot help but feel there has been an intimacy that can never be forgotten that has stamped them to some degree.

Body of Christ

This is what the apostle is saying here is true, so we are dealing with very deep and powerful forces. But now, in contrast, the Christian's relationship with his Lord is one of spiritual identity. These are probably among the most revolutionary words ever written in the Word of God or anywhere in the whole world of books. Paul says,. The Lord is a Spirit, and we are human spirits, and when regeneration occurs there is a fusing of identity.

Think about that for a minute.

"Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord" Lutheran Service Book LSB #637

What a fantastic statement that is. That represents the dignity of humanity above anything in the animal world -- that we have an ability, a capacity within us to fuse with the very nature of God so that there is no distinction left between us and him as to identity. We are one spirit and from there on that becomes our true "you," our true identity. This is what forms the basis for the New Covenant in the Word of God -- the availability of the life of God to the believer so that he faces every situation and every circumstance with a new power and a new ability to resist, a new ability to understand and to see things he never saw before.

This explains the whole change that occurs in Christians when they become converted, regenerated, born again by the Spirit of God. There is a fantastic inward change that takes place that means our spirits have fused with his Spirit and from then on you can hardly tell the two apart -- we are one spirit with him.

Now all that serves to highlight the terrible effects of fornication and, as here at Corinth, prostitution. That is Paul's apostolic advice as to how to handle the arousal of sexual desire when it is not able to be expressed within the proper terms of marriage. Get away from it; take to your heels.

If you are reading a magazine and you turn across something smutty, drop it, discard it, get rid of it. If you are watching television and it turns toward this and you find yourself dealing with these things, change the channel or go read a good book or something else. Do not try to fight with it; do not try to overcome it; do not try to suppress it.

Get away. That is all. These are subtle, powerful forces, and the widespread destruction we see in lives around us is ample testimony to the subtlety with which they can come at us.


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Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Now many people have struggled with that verse because it seems to suggest that fornication, sexual promiscuity or sexual indulgence outside of marriage is unique in its effect upon us as a sin. It is not like other sins, and yet we know that other sins affect our bodies.


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Drunkenness, for instance, will destroy the human body. You only have to take a walk down through skid row somewhere to see the awful effects of drunkenness upon the human body. And there are other sins that affect the body. Drug abuse can destroy the mind, twist the features and turn the individual into a twitching, nervous wreck. Why didn't Paul mention that? Drug abuse was known in his day.

Even gluttony can destroy the body.

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Too much food continually indulged in distorts and warps and changes the whole beauty of the human body and makes it into an ugly caricature of what God designed. I can say that because I have lost 10 lbs. Even too much hard work will destroy the body. So what does Paul mean when he says other sins are "outside the body" but fornication is a sin against the body? Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?

You are not your own; you were bought with a price. That is why fornication is different from other sins. Here again Paul is reflecting on what we have just commented on that human nature is different than animal nature. It has a unique capacity: it is this marvelous capacity to hold God, to be intimately related to the greatness and the majesty and the glory of God, to have God in you. That is the temple -- God dwelling in something transforms it into a temple. To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.

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