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; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
Read: 1 Corinthians 6
Consider: 1 Corinthians 6 splits into two sections dealing with disputes amongst believers and also sexual immorality. Paul is surprised that in the Corinthian church believers were taking each other to court over disputes that could easily have been settled by the sound wisdom and counsel of fellow believers. Paul’s concern is not that disputes arise, but how they were being dealt with. He sees that those taking disputes before unbelievers for settlement are adversely affecting Christ’s reputation. Unbelievers would be thinking ‘Is this how those who call themselves Christians should be acting? If they cannot agree amongst themselves, then what is attractive about their faith?’
I like what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:7 – Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? How different things would be even today if Christians were to take this to heart. The late 20th and early 21st centuries have been characterised by people wanting to defend their rights and to seek legal redress for any perceived wrong. This should not be the case in the church.
Read with me what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. If you meet anyone who thinks that the church is full of goody-goodies, just share these verses with them. The Corinthians church was full of those whose lives were once dominated by sin and were in need of salvation, but who now are washed, sanctified and justified in Christ. The same is true today. I have a former work colleague who told me that they couldn’t go to church because they weren’t good enough. They were wrong, because the church is full of those who are conscious of their sinfulness and also their forgivenness.
Having told his readers that they have ben washed, sanctified and justified Paul comes back to the topic of sexual immorality. This is not because he broached the subject in the previous chapter (chapter 5), but because there were some in Corinth who saw their new freedom in Christ as giving them license to sin in this way (6:12-13). We’ll see in the next post (looking at chapter 7) that Paul sees that marriage between a man and a woman is the proper place for sexual relationships.
Paul’s final words in chapter 6 are important; read them again and meditate on them, asking God to reveal to you how he wants you to honour him with your body: 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; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Pray: Father, may our lives reflect the fact that we have been washed, sanctified and justified in Christ. Help us to use our bodies in a way that shows that we are temples of the Holy Spirit and belong to Christ. Amen