Freedom and Limits
Loving Jesus, Lover of my soul, teach me how to live—day by day.
Read 1 Corinthians 6:12–20
12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow important are rules and regulations, let alone the Old Testament Law, in living a Christian life?
Paul certainly believed that the Old Testament Law (Torah) had been fulfilled in Christ. If you read Romans or Galatians he is quite clear on that. A person who believes in Christ and becomes part of the body of Christ is free from all those rules and regulations. So, does that mean we are free to do whatever appeals to us without any concern for the consequences? Clearly some people in Corinth thought so, and most Bibles put what may well be their expressed views in quotation marks (parts of verse 12). Paul is quoting them.
What was Paul’s answer to this pressing and very real question? It seems to focus around the significance and nature of our bodies, indeed our very selves, as the people of God (13–16). For that reason sexual immorality is not simply a matter of obeying rules. We (souls and bodies) belong to God. More than that, we are “united… with him in spirit” (17). If we belong to the Lord, united to him and indwelt by his Holy Spirit, we are not free to live as if we do not!
Paul mentions the indwelling Holy Spirit who sanctifies us (19). Think of ways in which this teaching might be applied in your own life.
God, show me what holiness truly means; not just laws and rules, but Your transformed, glorious holiness.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.