Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 1 month ago

Glorify God in Your Body

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1 Cor 6:12-20

All right, let's give our attention nowto God's word: First Corinthian, six verse. Twelve, 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.Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for Food and God will destroyboth one and the other. The body is not meant for sexualimmorality before the Lord and the Lord for thebody, and God raise the Lord and will alsoraise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members ofChrist? Shall I then take the members of Christand make the members of a prostitute never, or do you not know that he whois joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her, for as it is written,the two will become one flesh, but he who has joined to the Lordbecomes one spirit with him: Flee sexual immorality. Every other sin aperson commits outside the body sins against his own body. Or do younot know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you whom youhave from God? You are not your own, for you arebought with a price, so glorify God in your body, a man you may be see it well, every ethic. Every moral decisionthat we make has a starting place right. There's an idea of value, somesort of core belief that forms the decisions that follow like a domino in a string of dominoes.You Click the one and then the others follow right as a result of the firstor like the corner stone for a building right, you set the corner stone andthen that determines the direction and size of Levi, not the size, but thedirection and the angles of the of the foundation in the rest of the building. So, let's say you're in a classroom ora doctor's office, and you see a bowl of candy and you decide to take onewithout telling anyone. Well, if you believed, if you had abelief that the bowl of candy was intentionally left for you well, then not telling anyone. Thisjust fine, especially if that bull of candy was intentionally left to share with you, because it's you'renot taking something that doesn't belong to you because it was given toyou. If, however, your teacher has a desk of a little bull of candy in herin her drawer in her desk and you go take a piece of candy out of that,knowing that it belongs to her and not to you right now, you have told oryou've taken something without telling someone and, of course you sin, that'scalled stealing so, though the action might berelatively the same, taking candy without telling where the startingplace begins is in a large way what determines whether it's moral or notboth. What actually is the case and how we think about it is important. Thepoint is that what you believe about the candy and what is actually trueabout the candy matters, and it affects the decisions that you make well Paul deals with sex in a similarway. In this passage, he helps us to...

...think about the starting place for thechoices we make about sex and our body in general. Ultimately, the key is inthe last verse. So if you leave with nothing leave with this glorify God inyour body, that's the starting place. That's where Paul wants us to start to think about. Why it's that and notsomething else. Let's first think about how the Corinthians were making theirdecisions about morality and around sexual issues. They came and were speaking with acertain set of assumptions and Paul deals with those of a few differentways, and particularly at the beginning of this passage, he deals with themthrough a couple proverbs, like you can think of them as Corinthian proverbsright. The first one we read is. I turn my page back here on the firstone we read is in verse, Twelve, it says all things are lawful for me now,there's other ways you could put that you could translate it. Something likeall things are permissible for me or liberty for me and all things or maybejust freedom right. This is what this is. The first proverbthe second one is food, is meant for the stomach and stomach is met for thefood or for food and we'll come to each will take each of those in turn. So,let's first look at the first assumption that the Corinthians havethis starting place for how they thought about a sexual morality.Liberty, in all things freedom. All things are lawful for me when Paul says this he's not speakingabout the law, just in general Paul is against the idea that the law can bringrighteousness the righteousness that it requires, buthe's not against the law as a rule for righteousness. Paul speaksaffirmatively in many places about the importance of honouring both God's lawand the law of Rome as long as it doesn't counter God's law so, forexample, in Roman sinnet een. We hear him saying this for just as you oncepresented your members so think body parts, just as once, as you presentedyour members of your body as slaves to impurity and lawlessness,leading to moral lawlessness. So now present your members, your body, yourbody as slaves, to righteousness leading to sanctification. So this iswhat Paul Thinks Paul doesn't say: A law doesn't matter, you can do whateveryou want. He says you are to be a slave to righteousness. Another way people sometimes take thisphrase is by thinking that Paul's thinking about the ceremonial law orthe judicial law now Paul does say that we in otherplaces that we are under a new covenant and that he, nor any believers boundany longer to the civil and ceremonial laws of Israel. But that's not whathe's talking about here an. Why would we say that? Well, because he saysnothing about that here- There's nothing here in the context to indicateto us that he is making distinctions about one law, one kind of law of theold covenant over another. So if Paul isn't affirming the proverbin other way, in other words, what is he doing? Well he's correcting it.That's what Paul's doing he takes this Corinthian proverb. He says. Basicallyyou all say this. However, that's what he's doing here he'scorrecting this proverb and notice. First, how notice his firstcounterpoint that he offers the first counter point is, but not allthings are helpful liberty and all things or all things are lawful for tome and then he responds, but not all things are helpful. He says the same thing in chapter tenversus in Chapter Ten, verse, Twenty...

Three and here he points to the reality that,even if you say, I'm free from all things, good doesn't necessarily resultfrom that. In other words, it's maybe not necessarily helpful. One dictionarydefines the word. The Greek word for helpful here is something that givesbenefit confers an advantage is profitable or useful, in other words,he's asking the Corinthians to just slow down a little bit and examine USexamine their own suppers positions, examine their own experiences. If yousay sexual freedom in every way, ask yourself what are the results of that,and we know that the result of complete freedom and sexual matters are awful. People get histories, as we say on stdsand broken hearts, babies that don't have a mom and a dad to belong toabortion and many other things come as a result of people saying I can dowhatever I want in matters of sex. Let me ask you this: in which area oflife does limitless? Freedom go well for you, you just tell me right a whichone and and then we'll talk. Of course none can you imagine liberty and all thingswhen it comes to driving or liberty in all things when it comesto surgery, pull second counterpoint to liberty,and all things are, all things are lawful for me is really clever andreally true. He says I will not be dominated by anything Paul saying something, something likethis liberty and all things no way, I'm going to keep my freedom. Isn't that interesting liberty and all things no Wayo, not forme. Why? Because I want freedom, I will not be dominated by anything. What Paul is remembering here andbringing to our tension is something that we often bury inmoments of temptation, and it's this when you let your result, your desiresrun. Wild the result is not freedom. When you let your desires run loose.The result is not freedom but domination by those desires. Let an untrained animal in your houseand just go free and see how things go for you. You will spend all your timedevoted to managing the aftermath of that animal when people who try to abstain from sexwho are very practiced in letting it run free when they describe theirexperiences, they talk about going crazy, feeling, overwhelmed andcapacitated controlled by their thoughts, feeling enslaved, feelingaddicted. That's language of enslavement, that's language of controland domination. THAT'S NOT FREEDOM! That's the thing that we often suppressin moments of temptations, a I'm just going to be free. Oh No! You're! Not that's! What Paul reminds us here, and this is true beloved, even if itdoesn't get expressed outwardly. In other words, there can be a kind ofinternal enslavement when it comes to our desires, even when every one else around youthinks you're just doing great. Let me use another animal example. Haveyou ever seen a dog that wanted something really badly? You knew theywanted it, but they controlled their desire and just walked away. We'retalking about a well trained dog right. You you place the piece of cheese ormeat on the counter and they look at it and they just move to the other room right. They kind of sniff the air plopdown on the couch, maybe get a toy...

...whatever then imagine the other dogthat we've all seen that sits there and just lets its desire. Go Free Right,uncontrolled extreme, in every way it sits there at the kitchen, counter,whining and whining and crying and shaking and upset, and wishing it couldhave that thing. Let me ask you which dog is more free, the one that can't move the one that isattached to this thing. I cannot have the one that's body is physicallyshaking because of this desire or the one that's hanging out in thecouch or playing or getting pet or whatever, which dog is more free. Well sometimes, when we see anattractive person, we think here's an opportunity. I can let my desire gothree, but I'm going to keep it in check right so that nobody will knowthat I'm actually lusting. I can't have them, which is frustrating,but I can let the Gazie go free as long as it doesn't show up on the outside, but is that helpful to use Paul'scorrective? Of course not we end up just like the dog frustrated,distracted, white knuckling it through an illicit desire that has you in itsgrip when you could be doing something else, having a good time glorifying Godwith your body, my friends when we tell ourselves thatwe can do whatever we want. It's not helpful. It's not helpful to us. It's nothelpful to others. It's not real freedom. In fact, it's exactly the kindof freedom that the devil wants. You to have a freedom that ultimately enslavesyou and tears apart your heart and tears apart your relationship withother people and tears apart your relationship with God and all his goodthings. So when someone tells you or yourtelling yourself, all things are lawful for me, or I can do whatever I want, orno one's the boss of me or liberty in all things, see it for what it is. It's a trap, it's a snare. This kind of so so called freedom isnot helpful. It'll dominate you, it'll grab, youit'll hold you. So that's the first proverb hall bringsup and the counterpoints and corrections and ways he helps us tounderstand. What actually is true, let's consider the second. Now the foodis meant for the stomach and the stomach is meant for the food or forfood. I don't know why. I keep inserting the word the other on one level. This proverb is obviouslytrue. Isn't it in a way that we wouldn't say for the first proverb,breakfast borides and my stomach aree a match made in heaven right these twothings go together, they're always men to get together. They always will betogether. However, asking Paul is asking us tothink about this a little more carefully. Yes, God design food in thestomach to go together and that's good as fourteen. Let's emphasize this justa little bit more x, fourteen seventeen even tells us that God's witnesses tothe whole world about his goodness in what we eat so at fourteen seventeen.Yet he did not leave himself without a witness, for he did good by giving youreins from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food andgladness. So our eating food is one of the waysthat God witnesses to the whole world, about his goodness. Isn't thatwonderful? I love that ECCLESIASTES, nine seven says: go eat your bread withjoy drink your wine with a merry heart,...

...for God, has already approved of whatyou do, and Jesus taught us to pray. Give usthis day our daily bread right. This is God's design right when we think aboutthis proverb. We thumbs up right the food as men for stomach the stomach ismeant for food. So what's the problem? What's theproblem that Paul sees here? I'll put it this way the Cranze, the Corinthianswere not using the proverb to remember God's beautiful design, his approval,his goodness. They were using up this proverb as a way to excuse bad behaviorregarding sex and as we'll see in future chapters, also food, but connected with what he says hereand the idea of liberty. You could prepare a phrase, the presuppositionsthat the Corinthians were using something like this. All things are lawful for me and thishunger for sex is natural. So obviously I'm going to get what I want. Let me ask you: Does that soundfamiliar at all to you? Does that sound like a merely ancient thing that justthe Corinthians had to deal with? Of course not at all. This is the kindof reasoning that people make all the time today. I can do what I want andit's natural right, but again it's a trap. We've talkedabout the first part, but what about this? Second: What's the correct of thepoll makes well, he starts by saying, and God willdestroy both one and the other. In other words, five God did design thefood for stomach and stomach for food, but that doesn't make the food and thestomach some kind of new deity. God is still in control over both hemade both and just as food decays and dies underhis command. So too does the human body. God is the one in control. Here God isthe designer not the food, not the stomach, not our desires, but people do make their desires theirGod. Don't they Philippians three nineteen says thattheir end is destruction, and then it gives a reason, their godis in their belly and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthlythings. Notice doesn't say necessarily sinfulthings, although perhaps he could mean that, but it could be even true of justearthly stuff, good stuff food wine, things that God has made for us toenjoy. But if we set our minds on them, if we focus them on them, if theybecome our gods, if our desires become our God, then our end is destruction. Of course, Christians are not destinedfor destruction, destruction and that's because they'renot ruled by their desires, but they're ruled by Jesus their Lord. When therest of the world says it's natural. You were born this way. Christianssubmit themselves not to their desires but to the designer the one who made them the one who madetheir bodies listen again to Romans chapter six.This is versus fifteen through eighteen now. Do you not know that if you presentyourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whomyou obey either of sin, which leads to death or of obedience which leads torighteousness, but thanks be to God that you who wereonce slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to whichyou were committed and having been set. Free From Sim have become slaves ofrighteous ness, so when some one tells...

...you to just relax and be free you'regoing to remind yourself of the standard of teaching to which you arecommitted, that not all things are helpful that so called freedom is often sin andactually slavery, and that when someone says it's natural, you can do whateveryou want. Whatever you desire remind yourself that your body and its desireswere made by God and you submit to him and not to your body now. I know we've done a lot already,but shall we give up on this train of thought when we already know what thedevil will say? Next, how will we defend ourselves when hesays? Well, if God gave you the body andthese desires, then why does he not let you have the freedom that you want? IsGod really good and there it is right there. It isthe old liar, the liar from the beginning kind of one hit wonder, but the lie is tricky. Nevertheless,isn't it he twists the truth just like he did with Adam and Eve when he spoketo eve and he wanted her to apply what was forbidden to what was allowed in asimilar way. The Corinthians were taking this proverb about food, that'sgenerally true and trying to apply it to sex, as though it was the same thing. The stomach is meant for food and it'sa desire. Therefore, the body is meant for sex and it's a desire so eat whatyou want and sleep with whomever you want, but where did God say that the body wasmeant for sex with whomever you want? He didn't say that in fact he tells usthat is meant in the context of a relationship, amarriage between a man and a woman, Paul Corrects it here and he says I'llread it. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord andwhat counts a sexual immorality any time we feed our sexual desiresoutside the bounds of marriage or, to put it another way, God designed these desires to be acted upon in a baby, making bondenforcing communion between a man and a woman that are committed to life todeath to his part, that's what those desires are intended for and when they're used for that, it'sgreat and when they're not it's called sexual immorality, go back to food. To think to thinkabout this for a moment you might desire to eat right, you might have adesire to eat, but that doesn't mean you should sit down in front of a moviewith a pound of rants of meat. You might desire intimacy, but thatdoesn't mean you should sleep with some one who's, not your spouse. If you desire marital intimacy and it'sa strong desire, you should get married. That's whatPaul says in Chapter Seven, verse, Thirty, seven! If his passions arestrong and it has to be, let him do as he wishes. Let him marry. It is no sin. No, of course this is not always easy and sometimeswe whine and we say, but I'm not married- that's hard. It takes time orit's impossible. Well, that may be true or maybe not that's something to thinkabout with good counsellors and friends, but it doesn't really change anythingthat it's difficult just because it's difficult doesn'tmean that the command has changed.

So, for example, let's say the onlything you have in your sell house is rance of meat. It doesn't mean you eat,rants of meat means you go to the grocery store and somebody says well Igot to get up. I got to go to the store, an I don't have enough money and I gotto work that money and you know well, don't eat Raso meet. It doesn't meanthat it's difficult. You still have to do what you have to do. Yes, it'll take time, but it's worth itnow. Of course I know, and I speak with great sensitivity here.Great getting married is way harder than going to the grocery store right.Five minutes five years. You know you know it. You know what I'm talkingabout, but keep this in mind. Acting on one sexual desire is alsomuch more consequential than acting on one's desire for food. There's a reason it's harder and a reason that Paul says what hesays in verse. Eighteen sex is in a different category. He says in verse,Eighteen flee from sexual immorality, every other sin a person commits isoutside of the body but sexually more important, but the sexually immoralperson sends against his own body. Yes, it's more difficult to get married,but it should be that way shouldn't it in a sense like you, we're taking thissuper powerful thing right, sex and we're applying it in a pen in a verypowerful way. It should be within the bounds of commitment and and trust,think about what Paul says here about the nature of this desire. He says in verse. Fifteen. Do you not know that your bodies aremembers of Christ? Okay? So what is he saying there he's saying that in in inso that, in a spiritual way, he'll say by the Holy Spirit. Our physical bodiesare members of Christ's body. Now that's a great mystery right, that's anamazing thing, and that could only be accomplished by God, divine God who himself was able to takeon human flesh, another great mystery right, so our bodies are united to hisbody in such a way that we can be described as the body of Christ. Whereare members of that body? Okay going on, he says, shall I then take the membersof Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Should the Lord's body be united withthe body of a prostitute h right, like that's repulsive, when wethink about the holiness of the Lord, the goodness of the Lord, is hisperfect, hurt his perfection in every way to be united in such an intimateway with in this kind of sexual immorality. Theanswer is, of course, what Paul says right before verse. Sixteen, never like.Let's just stop talking about that and read on, he says in for sixteen, or do you notknow that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her well, why is that? Why is it that aperson I'm not married to, I can become almost like one flesh orone body, I'm united to that person? Why is that intimacy that close when it was when maybe somebody elsesaid this was just a financial transaction or pleasure thing, orsomething like that but like? Why is it touching it such a deep and intimatespiritual place with someone that is...

...unknown or even despised? Well, he answers as it is written. The two will becomeone flesh, that's how God designed it you go by you, go to the hardware storeand you buy a really powerful, really sharp saw that saw is going to be ableto cut through wood really fast. That's what it's designed for sex brings two people together in suchan intimate way that they become as one flash that you can speak about it aslike one body. So the Lord has placed around that rules to protect that right. You don't whenyou're operating a power tool, you make sure it's plugged into the properextension cord that you don't have the thing looped around right in front ofyour saw right. You get at everything in place, you look carefully and thenyou go and you're super happy that it was so easy. But if you let the electrical cord, youknow sort to sit there in front of your saw or it's plugged into the wrongthing or half plugged in or your blades doll. You can lose a finger. You can lose an arm. Something can goreally really wrong. It's similar with sex. It's a powerful thing. It's meantto be powerful. It's designed for this, and so when we just say whatevertragedy happens, tragedy happens and not only sinding against our ownbody, but as Paul continues and just keeps impressing and impressing thispoint on US verse. Nineteen now or do you not know that your body is a templeof the Holy Spirit within you whom you have g from God? You see how it keeps impressing thispoint that your body is something special. This union, in the soul thatyou have is something special. It's kind of in a different category thaneating food is wonderful, as that is your body is a temple of the HolySpirit. For those of you who have been listening to the evening sermonsthrough Zekel, you remember how Zeke was placed in a vision outside thetemple, and God gave him in this tour. He got to go inside the temple and, ashe went in, he saw abomination after abomination, horror after work as theIsraelites had erected false gods in the temple of the Lord. They had brought into the temple of themost holy God who had set his name and his presence and his his people in thisplace, and they had brought in all of these abominations. That's why the profits talk aboutHorringford Gods. They use this language to describe their idolatry when a similar way. We could use it todescribe our adultery or our sexual immorality in general, when we take our bodies which areunited to the son of God, the second person, the Trinity, which are templesfor the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity and land, and bring itand bring ourselves into union. That is illicit well, as Paul says, may it never beit's a tragedy and there are consequences. Paul's conclusions, then, are verystraightforward and memorable flee sexual immorality, glorify God with your body, take yourbody and don't present it to members...

...for sin, but to God sex is God's giftfood as God's gift, and these are great within their parameters, but the bodyas he says he is not meant for this. So when the world tells you you're freeand it's natural, we say no, that's not freedom and my body is forthe Lord. He rules over me, not my desires. Now, as we bring this to a conclusion.We've heard much of the law thus far and that's very good that we've hadit's important that we think about the decisions behind the decisions. It'simportant we think about where we're starting for our morality. The worldtells us these lies, you're, free and everything. It's natural do what youwant, but where do those come from? What do they lead to? We have to askourselves these things, but it's also important that, as weconclude, we remember the Gospel, the good news about where our hopecomes from, where our strength comes from, where forgiveness comes from,because all of us at this moment ere going a wretched person that I am manor woman, these desires in me, and I keep givingmyself over to them. And it's struggling it's hard and it's this, andit's that I want to finish by reminding you of what God has done and what Godis doing. We think about where our sanctificationcomes from. Where does it come from? It comes from that Holy Spirit, theHoly Spirit who dwells within us. That's an amazing and I'll put it inthis sort of silly way but resource. But if you're looking for help look toGod who is dwelling inside of your body, that's an amazing thing. If you'relooking to fight the temptations of the flesh, which is a different thing insome ways than the body, it describes that sinful nature inside of us that our body sometimes falls into whenwe're fighting that. Let us also remember that we fight in the spiritand that, God is on your side- God didn't accidentally come into your liferight. You didn't sort of grab him down or pull him out of a book. He came intoyour life to help you to sanctify you to forgive your sins and to remind you,day after day after day, you are my son, and you are my daughter and I've gotyou and I love you. Our purpose in this life is not for the things of thisworld. Our purpose in this life is not to grasp and hold fast to our desires.Our purpose in this life is to live for him to glorify and enjoy him, and thatis also his purpose for us, and Paul reminds us of that here. Inmany ways, one of my favorite ways is when he says your body was meant forthe Lord, and the Lord was meant for the body. You see that in verse, thirteen thebody is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord for thebody think about that. The Lord Jesus, fully God and fully man who came intothis world and in massive ways, limited his freedom in quotes there...

...freedom to do all that is good and and well let me let me juststep back for a second. He limited his he limited himself by taking on a humanbody right now. He was somebody who got tired. Now he was somebody who facedtemptations just like you do now. He was somebody who could die and did dieon a cross. The son of God came for your bodies when you think about how he came andhow he died and all that he emptied himself of the glory which he set asideand that he did that for you, for your souls too, not denying that, but forthe moment for your bodies, the emphasis there, which means that you get to hopebecause of what Jesus did for you on the Cross in a resurrection from thedead that the struggle and the pain and the the way you desire things that are disorderly and inordinance and all the rest. You can look forward to this day because ofwhat Christ is done, but he's going to set everything right and that one dayyour body will not be at war with itself and your soul will not be at war withitself, but everything will be at peace. Everything will be at rest when we think about what the Lord didfor our bodies and what he is doing from them. Now we can breathe a sigh of relief. We can know who is on our side. We canfight against the devil. We can fight against the temptations of the flesh.We can fix our minds on the things that have been committed to us, knowing whathe has done for us and knowing that he's done it for us in love when we think about the indwellingspirit, the redemption of our bodies, that, as he says, was bought with aprice, the price of his own body. When we think about our union withChrist, our union with the father are union with thespirit, keep these things in mind, and I'mfinishing this with this Nell. When your body and your soul is tempted andtried, remember the command glorify God with your body and remember the commander, who cameinto this world to live and to die for you to draw you into himself into hisown body to have an intimacy with you that is mysterious and wonderful anddeeply connected filled with joy and compassion andfriendship that isn't wavering and back and forth. That's the one who gives youthis command! That's the one who loves you and that's the one who even nowdwells in you and empowers you to stand strong and he's the one, our God whowill also raise you from the dead. As Paul says, the body is not meant forsexual immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body, and God raisethe Lord and will also raise us up by his power if you're not used to thinking inmoments of sexual temptation about the resurrection. Maybe this is a good time to start. That's what Paul points us to amongmany other things, praise be to God that God has designed us and this worldin such a perfect way. May We repent of our sins where we havefallen short and where we have brought all kinds of trouble on ourself? May We repent even of our original sinin us, which is inherited from Adam and...

Eve, and there fall into Sam and may we look to Christ every day,every moment not just internally and emotionally, but even with our physicalbodies, giving our hands and our feet and every part of us every preciouspart of us, every wonderful part of us over to the Lord and glorify him as he is glorifying us in Christ. That's pretty all.

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