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There is a popular saying today…if it feels good then do it? This is a mark of the hedonistic age that we live in where pleasure is king, especially in the western world. One can easily observe this common philosophy of our age in the ads that we see, the programming on television, the life style of celebrities, and so on and so forth.
Things have not so much changed in this arena as compared to the first century when Paul wrote to the Corinthians.
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. (1 Corinthians 6)
In the church at Corinth the cultural views of the day had seeped into the church. Consistent with their pleasure seeking philosophy they believed that just as the body needed food, it also needed sex. Further they lived out this idea to a fault where they would eat food dedicated to idols and some would sleep with prostitutes.
Paul challenges them like he challenges us today; if it feels good does not mean one should automatically do it. After-all, as Christians we belong to God.
He calls us the temple of God in 1 Corinthians 6:19. His tone is seemingly one of surprise – “do you not know that your body is the temple of God?” Paul wonders how they could succumb easily to such perversion. Were they not fully aware of the preciousness of the gift that they as Christians carried within them? It is interesting to note that he just doesn’t call them temples, as some secular folks would call their bodies in reference to eating well and keeping fit.
He goes further to say that our bodies are the temple of God. God’s Holy Spirit lives within us.
Once one is aware of this unthinkable truth, honour is the fitting attitude as scripture indicates. You were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20). As we honour God we elevate him above our own opinions, we consider him in every situation despite who is around. A person who honours God walks with a heavy awareness of God with them, and this sense of the presence of God will keep them free from sexual immorality.
Along with this sense of honour must come a deep humility. It is amazing to me that that the Corinthian church so commended for their abundance in spiritual gifts would be so carnal. In chapters 12 and 14 we see much evidence of their gifts. But yet they had such profound moral failures. How could this be? I believe the answer lies in the pride that was sowed deeply in to their hearts. We know the Corinthian church was prideful because several times they are cautioned not to boast, they are accused of trying to out do the other, and also of playing favourites, these all being signs of pride. This pride was such a problem that it caused serious fracture in the church, and was even disrupting services (1 Corinthians 14). The Corinthians thus took their spirituality for granted and assumed it led to morality. Scripture teaches me that pride leads to failure. And that is exactly what happened with the Corinthians. They fell flat on their faces and had to be admonished in chapters 5-7 of 1 Corinthians on purity. The missing ingredient in the Corinthian church was humility, for humility and godly spiritually will lead to purity every single time. A humble person will seek to get help when struggling with sin, but a proud person stays in the shadows.
Thus in conclusion, how is a young person or any other person dealing with impurity or excessiveness overcome this sin? The key is honouring God because of your awareness of your holy status in God, and humbly leaning on him and his people for help and accountability in walking in purity.
– Pastor Olu Jegede