“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
In 1 Corinthians 5-6, the apostle Paul tackles an issue that most Christians have been avoiding for a long, long time. He tackles the issue of sexual immorality in terms of both refraining from sin and holding accountable those who do sin.
We live in a hyper-sexualized culture. What used to be considered “soft porn” earns a PG-13 rating and is routinely used to sell everything from perfume to hamburgers. Premarital sex has been the norm, not the exception, for several decades. The social media explosion has led to both a rise in marital infidelity and the practice of “sexting”. The statistics for internet pornography use among men, women, youth, children and pastors are staggering. According to a recent Barna Group study, 90% of our youth and young adults see nothing wrong with it.
Add to all of this the latest internet offering of cyberdildonics – virtual reality sexual encounters – and you quickly realize this is not what a nation under God looks like. This is Babylon!
Finally, include the secular approval of homosexuality and transgenderism, where there are caring Christians, including some people I love very much, on both sides of the debate.
Paul provided three biblical instructions to the Christians in Corinth that we must fully embrace in this hour.
First, don’t judge or disassociate from unbelievers who engage in sexual immorality. (1 Corinthians 5:9-10) We live in a broken world. The lost will always act lost and always be vulnerable to the schemes of Satan. (Ephesians 6:11-12) You are here to model and witness God’s unconditional love, goodness and morality to them just like Jesus did when He associated with prostitutes and tax collectors. (Matthew 9:10-13, 11:19)
Second, avoid sexual sin at all cost! (1 Corinthians 6:18; Matthew 5:27-30) It is a work of the flesh opposed to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit within you. (Galatians 5:17, 19; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5) It obstructs your ability as heirs of God to receive Kingdom inheritance – blessings, power and authority – while you are here on earth. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Most important, sexual immorality defiles the temple of the Holy Spirit that you became when you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. (1 Corinthians 6:15-20) You must understand! The God who loves you lives within you while you commit these acts. Sexual sin destroys your intimacy with God and, through that, your witness to others.
What is sexual sin? It is anything that defies and defiles God’s plan for marital intimacy between a male husband and female wife. (Mark 10:6-9; Hebrews 13:4)
Too many Christians have forgotten that God alone has the right and ability to tell us what is sexually good and bad for us as individuals and as society. He created us. He loves us. He is all-wise, all-knowing, all-good and absolutely trustworthy, so “His house, His rules” is the only right way to go.
The Bible speaks forth God’s will on these issues, not Dr. Phil and not the U.S. Supreme Court. Adultery is sexual sin. For a married person, pornography is adultery in your heart. (Matthew 5:28) Premarital sex, or “fornication”, is sexual sin, and for an unmarried person, pornography and sexting are fornication in your heart. (Colossians 3:5) Homosexual and transgender sexual practices are sexual sin even though the root causes that make people have those desires were often not their fault. (1 Corinthians 6:9; Romans 1:26-28; Leviticus 18:22; Matthew 19:12; Genesis 1:27-28, 2:18-24)
The third instruction from Paul on sexual immorality concerns accountability within the Christian community. Paul tells us we are to judge the actions of each other and be willingly submitted to one another. (1 Corinthians 5:12; Ephesians 5:21) If a fellow Christian is committing sexual sin without repentance, we are to remove them from our midst and not even eat with them. (1 Corinthians 5:2, 11, 13)
Paul gives two reasons why we should take this radical action. First, we must protect the health, harmony and witness of the community. A little bad leaven can contaminate the whole loaf. (1 Corinthians 5:6-8; Joshua 7; Revelation 2:20-23) Second, our rejection of ungodly behavior and removal of spiritual protection can be a wake-up call that leads the sinner to repentance. (1 Corinthians 5:5)
Note: this drastic response does not at all apply to Christians who are struggling with sexual sin but seeking help. Sexual addiction and sexual confusion are powerful bondages and God wants to use us to set those captive brothers and sisters free. (Luke 4:18; James 5:19-20)
On the other hand, woe to those so-called Christian teachers who in the name of “love” encourage others to continue in what God has declared to be sexual sin. They would be better off tied to a millstone and thrown in the sea. (Mark 9:42; James 3:1)
Please read the scriptures I have cited. If we want a sexually moral nation, we must first have a sexually moral Church.
God bless you, and God bless our community.