Each Day in the Word, Monday, July 24, 2023

1 Corinthians 5:9—6:20 NKJV

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.

12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

6 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!

Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

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 harlot? Certainly not! 16 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.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 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? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

The devil, world, and our flesh want us to believe that our bodies are our own so that we use them for our own purpose and pleasure. The pro-abortion slogan, “My body, my choice” is the sinful flesh’s slogan for all forms of self-indulgence, especially sexual self-indulgence.

St. Paul teaches otherwise. “Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” God hasn’t given us our bodies to use for our personal pleasure and gratification. The body is for the Lord and His service. Sexual immorality of any kind is especially dangerous because “he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” This sin is insidious because it turns the sinner more and more upon himself so that he worships his desires  and in unable to love and serve others. It is ultimately a form of self-idolatry.

The body is for the Lord, not only because the Lord made our bodies but because He has made the bodies of believers temples of the Holy Spirit by faith. The Holy Spirit dwells in all who believe to sustain their faith and to bear His fruit in them, especially the fruits of love toward others and self-control of the mind and body. The Holy Spirit dwells in believers to guide them into good works and defend them from every temptation that assails them from the world, the devil, and the wicked impulses of the sinful flesh.

With this in mind, flee sexual immorality as something dreadfully harmful. Pursue chastity in thought, word, and deed as something profitable and useful. Use your body to serve others in selfless love and thereby glorify God with your body and spirit since you were bought with the price of Christ’s precious blood. The Christian’s slogan isn’t “My body, my choice,” but “My body for God’s service.”

Let us pray: Grant us Your Holy Spirit, O Lord, that we may glorify you with our bodies and be chaste in our thoughts, our words, and our behaviors. Amen.

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