WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 7, 2021
TOPIC: THE BODY IS NOT FOR SEXUAL IMMORALITY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13b New King James Version).
The ancient city of Corinth was destroyed by the Romans in B.C. 146. They killed the men and enslaved the women and children. But in 44 B.C, Julius Caesar ordered the rebuilding of the city. He restored it as the capital city of the Roman province of Achaia and repopulated it with freedmen from Rome. Under the Romans, Corinth became the seat of government for Southern Greece or Achaia.
The Corinth mentioned in the New Testament was the rebuilt city, and those who eventually made up the church came from this city known for its wealth and immorality. Therefore, the Corinthian church had issues with worldly behavior in the congregation such as schism, immorality, and lawsuit against brethren.
Describing the rebuilt city of Corinth, Nelson Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary says, “The city soon became a melting pot for the approximately 500,000 people who lived there at the time of Paul’s arrival. Merchants and sailors, anxious to work the docks, migrated to Corinth. Professional gamblers and athletes, betting on the Isthmian games, took up residence. Slaves, sometimes freed but with no place to go, roamed the streets day and night. And prostitutes (both male and female) were abundant. People from Rome, the rest of Greece, Egypt, Asia Minor-indeed, all of the Mediterranean world-relished the lack of standards and freedom of thought that prevailed in the city.”
Paul first visited the city about A.D. 51 or 52 where he lodged and worked with Aquila and Priscilla, a couple who were tentmakers like him (Acts 18:1-3). Corinth had a large mixed population of Romans, Greeks, and Jews. The city of Corinth in the Bible was rife with sexual immorality. Located there was a pagan temple, the Temple of Aphrodite (or Venus), where the goddess was worshipped. The temple was said to have employed about 1,000 women prostitutes, sacred prostitutes, on whose account the city was crowded with people and the city grew rich.
Unfortunately, the spirit of sexual immorality in the city entered the Corinthian church. Paul said of that church, “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles — that a man has his father’s wife!” (1 Corinthians 5:1 New King James Version). The Greek word translated as sexual immorality in 1 Corinthians 5:1 is porneia. It refers to illicit sexual intercourse, including adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pedophilia, lesbianism, bestiality, and incest. Metaphorically, it can also refer to spiritual adultery or idolatry.
1 Corinthians 6:12-20 talks of some people in the Corinthian church justifying sexual immorality, comparing their appetite for sex with an appetite for food. They said all things were lawful for them but Paul said not all things were helpful. They also said all things were lawful for them but Paul said he would not be enslaved by anything. They went as far as saying that if food was for the stomach and the stomach for food, then sex was for the body and the body for sex. These appear to be their slogans or common sayings but Paul dismissed their assertions
1 Corinthians 6:12 puts it this way: “‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be enslaved by anything” (Revised Standard Version). The New Living Translation renders it thus: “You may say, ‘I am allowed to do anything.’ But I reply, ‘Not everything is good for you.’ And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ I must not become a slave to anything.” A Christian is not permitted to do everything. There are boundaries for him. He must not be a slave to anything but be controlled by the Holy Spirit.
Although the Corinthians said, “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” Paul declared that God would do away with both of them. He will put an end to both. Paul continued, “Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power” (1 Corinthians 6:13b New King James Version). The body, including your body, is not for sexual immorality; it belongs to Jesus. It isn’t only your soul and spirit that are important to God; your body is also. Take note that this scripture says the body is for the Lord and the Lord for the body
In verse 18, Paul said no other sin clearly affects the body as sexual immorality. It is a sin against one’s body. “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (New King James Version). Sexual sin is not outside the body but against the body. And the Holy Spirit dwells in your body.
You don’t belong to yourself but to God, who bought you with a high price therefore, you must honour God with your body. If you’re born again, you have no right to do whatever you like with your body. You must do what God wants. He owns your body. “Or 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? For 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 New King James Version).
If you’re a Christian, your body is part of Christ and you can’t afford to tear it from Him and get it involved in sexual immorality. “Do 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! Or 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.’ But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:15-17 New King James Version).
God is not against sex but against sexual immorality. Any sexual activity that is not between husband and wife is sexual immorality. Marital sex is the only God-approved sex. Paul said, “Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:1-5 New King James Version).
Also, the writer of the book of Hebrews said, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4 New King James Version). The world may practise illicit sex but Christians must not. If they were indulging in sexual immorality before they were saved, there must be a changed behaviour after they have come to Christ.
The church must not condone sexual immorality. Children and youths must stop awakening love until the time is right – until they’re ready (Songs of Solomon 8:4). Acts 15:20 says those who have given their lives to Jesus should abstain from sexual immorality among other things. Repent!
Sexual immorality has serious consequences but the most important is that the sexually immoral will not enter the Kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 highlights the sins that will disqualify one from entering the Kingdom of God. Sexual immorality tops the list. We see the same thing in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. It says, “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites …will inherit the kingdom of God” (New King James Version).
The Bible also says in Revelation 21:8, that the sexually immoral, among others, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Jude 7 reminds us of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with sexual immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. They were destroyed by fire. They are a warning of the eternal fire that will punish all those who are evil.
The body (your body) is not for sexual immorality. “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts” (Romans 6:12 New King James Version). Glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of every sin I have committed, especially the sin of sexual immorality. Father, my body is not for sexual immorality but for You. I will glorify God in my body and in my spirit because they belong to Him. Sin shall no longer reign in my mortal body, that I should obey it in its lusts in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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