Have you ever wondered do my actions really matter? Does what I do with my body really matter in the long run? Doesn't grace cover my carelessness? Aren't I free? Therefore I can what I want because Christ has set me free! This is what Paul addressed to the Corinthian church and still addressing today...
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
19 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, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
In the Greek language, there are two words for temple, and Paul once again employs the greek word "naos (NAH-OUS)" representing the inner sanctuary where God's presence, His Shekinah (indwelling, abiding) glory, dwells.
The Holy Spirit now resides in us (like in the inner sanctuary or Holy of Holies in the OT), not just with us (turn to John 14:16–17), and our bodies serve as His temple, we must recognize that, given Jesus' sacrifice with His precious blood on Calvary's cross, we rightfully belong to God (see 1 Pet. 1:14–19 below). The only logical conclusion is that we must honor God with our bodies.
HOLINESS ALWAYS MATTERS
What is Holiness?
It is to separate or set apart. Something that is singled out and consecrated (sacred) for pure & clean use.
1 Peter 1:14-19 (ESV)
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
God says as He is separate and set apart (meaning there is no one like Him) we are to live the same way! We do not go as the world goes - we go as He (God) directs according to His word.
HOLINESS ALWAYS MATTERS TO GOD. THEREFORE HOW WE LIVE ALWAYS MATTERS. THE VESSEL GOD LIVES IN SHOULD BE TREATED HOLY BECAUSE HE IS HOLY.
1 COR. 5 (FOR CONTEXT)
Sexual Immorality Ignored (v1-13)
The Sinner Needs To Be Dealt With (v1-5)
1 Corinthians 5:1–2 (ESV)
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.
Get Rid Of The Old Yeast (v6–8)
1 Corinthians 5:6–7 (ESV)
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
Judge And Expel Sinning Christians (v9–13)
1 Corinthians 5:11–13 (ESV)
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
Then we pick up in Chapter 6...
1 Corinthians 6:1–20 (ESV)
When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!
Corinthian Christians, like us today, had disputes, but going to pagan courts tarnished their Christian image. Paul urged them to resolve conflicts internally with wise believers. Believers will have a role in governing the world, so these minor disputes should be manageable. Paul even mentioned that they would "judge angels," highlighting their capability to handle everyday matters.
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. 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.
Paul warns that persisting in wicked behavior keeps one from inheriting God's kingdom. Believers must avoid a sinful lifestyle, as returning to it deceives them. Paul lists specific sins, making it clear that these actions disqualify one from God's future kingdom.
12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.
Some Corinthians believed they could do as they pleased because they were free from the Law. Paul disagreed, emphasizing not everything is beneficial, and even legitimate things can enslave. He refused to be dominated by anything, putting God's authority first. Their argument that the body was made for physical satisfaction, including sex, didn't justify any form of immorality.
15 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 prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
THE VALUE OF THE VESSEL IS DETERMINED BY THE SUBSTANCE IT HOLDS.
Paul emphasizes that as believers, we are united with Christ in body and spirit. Therefore, engaging in sexual immorality contradicts this union. He contrasts our spiritual oneness with the Lord with the pagan practice of religious prostitution to highlight the incompatibility between the two.
"It is true that the Bible speaks of body, soul, and spirit. But the Bible recognizes that in our present existence we act as a unit. We cannot say, “My body did it.” We can only say, “I did it.” When we are born from above, we are not only in fellowship with Christ, we, as individuals—and in our individual bodies—are also united with Him, part of His Body, the Church. So we cannot say, “I am united with Christ, but my body is not.” If we are united with Him, our body is also united with Him. If we ask the question, “Shall I take the members of Christ (my body) and unite them with a prostitute?” the only possible answer for the person who is truly united in fellowship with Christ is an emphatic “Never!” (The Gk. can mean “Don’t ever let it happen.”) Sexual union with a prostitute cannot be a matter of indifference, for whenever a man and a woman are joined together sexually they become one in body, as Moses said of the first man and woman"
- Stanley M. Horton Commentary
18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 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, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Paul commands us to flee from sexual immorality, citing Joseph's example. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we must honor God with our actions.
ALL OUR DEEDS SHOULD BRING HONOR TO GOD, AND WE SHOULD AVOID ANYTHING THAT STIMULATES IMMORAL THOUGHTS.
The Holy Spirit's gifts and fruit should manifest in our lives. We should strive to be holy and glorify God through our bodies in worship, service, and sacrifice.