20 Mar 2022
There were Christians going to prostitutes in Paul's days. And we will not be surprised if there are Christians who may do that in our day. But what does the Bible say about this? Why should we refrain from such sexual sins? Is it because of fear of STDs/HIV/pregnancies? In 1Co 6:12-20, Paul takes us to a gospel-centred approach to sexual immorality. Discover his reasoning that is rooted in God's love and work for us. We will also end off with some practical handles as to how we can resist sexual sins.
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This morning, for those who are new, we are journeying through the book of 1st Corinthians and that's what we're going to do. So, we're looking at 1st Corinthians, chapter 6 and in a ... in a very, I think difficult passage, looking into the subject of sexual immorality.
This week's sermon, not so PG yet, next week will be more PG, parents ... Parental Guidance advice or required. So just to get yourselves ready because this is a subject on sexual sins.
Now, Paul had already dealt with sexual immorality, he started dealing with it back in chapter 5. You will recall that there was a case of grievous sexual immorality amongst the Corinthian church. That there was someone who was guilty of incest, he was having his father's wife. That was an immoral act, immoral lifestyle and Paul pointed it out.
And this morning, we go to see another kind of sexual sin, and it is revolving around someone resorting to prostitutes, to fulfill his sexual desires. So, this is a serious problem as you could appreciate, that the people of God are resorting to such immorality.
So, we are going to look at what it means to "Flee From Sexual Immorality". The usual rhetoric in society, is that you should not be involved in gross immoral behavior because you might get STD - Sexually Transmitted Diseases. You might get HIV or you might get pregnancy. They ... they tell you don't do these things because you may just get all these kinds of consequences.
But Paul's line of reasoning is not about STD or HIV, it's a gospel-centered approach, it's about Jesus, it's about your salvation in Christ. And that's what we have read in verses 12 to 20. That's what we're going to dive into, and let me just say, it's not an easy sermon because it's quite technical. Paul is reasoning and the reasoning he gives or the excuses the Corinthian church is having ... are having are not quite what we are familiar with.
Nevertheless, I hope you put on your thinking cap, points 1 and 2 may not be so easy, point 3 will be a lot more practical and I think applicable for our considerations, alright. So that's just to pace yourself.
 Excuses For Sexual Sins
In verses 12 to 20, I see first of all, Paul wanted to deal with the excuses the Corinthians are spewing or throwing out.
They wanted to justify their sexual sins. That's amazing! That's bewildering! "Can't you just admit that this is wrong?" Well, they didn't! They came up with at least two excuses, why they can be involved with a prostitute.
[A] First Excuse
The first excuse is stated right in the beginning of verse 12, and that's why it's a bit hard for you to read and understand in the first glance, because you got to read over and over again to realize, Paul in this segment actually starts with an excuse that the Corinthians are using to defend themselves.
The Corinthians say, "All things are lawful for me." [1 Cor 6:12] Ah, they're very smart, they understand that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Gospel of grace. That God saves us, not because we are good people, not because we've earned our way to heaven, but God saves people out of His love - His lavish, free, generous love.
And therefore, they take this teaching to an evil extreme and say, "Since we are saved by grace, we can do anything we want! All things are lawful for me, God is not going to send me to hell for that one sin, surely!"
So, this is their argument, "Since I am saved by grace, I am free from the law! I can do whatever I want. You can't say that this is wrong." To which Paul then replies, "But not all things are helpful." [1 Cor 6:12] "Yes, in a sense ... in a sense, you are saved by grace and you're no more under the law's condemnation, but the Christian life is not just about that, isn't it?"
The Christian life calls us to a higher ethos, a higher ethic, and that is not just to think of what is lawful but to think of what is helpful. In other words, Paul is saying, "Christian ethic is not just what's lawful, but it's also about love. Is what you're doing loving? Is the standard of the Christian life just about doing what is right or wrong, or do we also have to consider, what is helpful and beneficial to others?"
So, that's one rebuttal Paul gives. He goes on to give a second rebuttal, "All things are lawful for me, that's what you say, but I will not be dominated by anything." [1 Cor 6:12] So his second reasoning is — what or who dominates you?
Now, this becomes a dominant thinking, if you read on verse 12, all the way to 20 and how he talks about how we belong to God and we are the Lord's. So his ... his logic here is this, "You should ask yourself, who do you belong to? Who would you be dominated by?"
So all things are lawful for me and he asks them about this excuse, "What about love? And what about the Lord? Who should you serve?" Excuse number 1. It's not an excuse we throw around today, I suppose, but that was the excuse they threw around then.
[B] Second Excuse
Excuse number two — "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food." [1 Cor 6:13]
Now, you might say, "What is this slogan, this statement all about?" Well, I think you could grasp that the Corinthians are saying, "You know, my stomach is made for food, and food is meant for my stomach." And their jump of logic, therefore is, "This is my body, my body is meant for sex, and sex is meant for body. So if my stomach can eat food, then my body can be used for sex. So what's wrong with going to prostitution to fulfill my sexual needs?"
That is the line of thinking — if my stomach is for food then my body is for sex. So that must be the excuse they are throwing out.
To which Paul then replies, "And God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but the ... but for the Lord and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power." [1 Cor 6:13-14]
Now, there is a kind of parallel you need to see, and the parallel is best seen if you color-code it in a sense, so let me show it to you, "food ...", aah it's not so clear, the first line "food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for the food", is parallel with "the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord and the Lord for the body."
So again, like I said, the Corinthians are saying, "My stomach is for food, food is for my stomach, so my body is also for sex." To which Paul says, "No, not quite! Not at all! Your logic doesn't hold, your jump doesn't stand. Stomach is for food, food is for stomach, but the body is not for sexual immorality, the body is for the Lord."
In other words, "This body is not to be used to fulfill your pleasures, your sinful pleasures, but your body is for serving the Lord." And when he talks about, "The Lord for the body," I think, he's saying that, "This body is meant for the inhabitation of God, God wants to dwell in you," which is what he talks about in verse 19.
So he debunks, he refuses to acknowledge that just because your stomach is for food, your body must be for sinful sexual unions. Not at all! It is meant for the Lord, it's meant to serve God, and it's meant to be the inhabitation of God.
Another reason why this parallel that the Corinthians are supposing does not work is "God will destroy the stomach and the food". Now, this is very interesting, does it mean that in the future you have no stomach? What do you think? You know in the resurrection, will you have a stomach or no stomach?
Actually, I do not know for sure er, maybe in the resurrection I can get my doctor friend, a gastroenterologist and put a scope into it, into the mouth and see whether got stomach or not, then I will know. But for now I'm not so sure, but I don't think this is saying, that in the resurrection body you cannot eat. I don't think that is so, because I think it is likely that the resurrection body is capable of eating.
I mean, Jesus ate, right, after He was resurrected? And we hear about the tree of life and how it bears fruit in Revelation 22, and the supposition must be that we are able to eat, although we do not need to eat, I think that would be the point.
So Paul is saying, "God will destroy both one and the other." [1 Cor 6:14] in a sense that you will not require, you'll not be required to eat in the new heaven, new earth with a new body. But, "As for your body here it will be raised up in power just as the Lord was raised by God Himself."'
So the logic here is, "Food is meant for the stomach and stomach for food." "Hah, we can sin because that's what my body is for, if my stomach is for food, then my body is for sex." To which Paul then says, "No, absolutely not correct, correlation there! Your body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, to serve Him and to be dwelling place. And number two, "Your body will be raised in power, it's not exactly the same thing."
Are you lost? Are you able to follow? Well, if you ... if you have a hard time, then I say, you can check back the sermon, YouTube, look at the verses again and then try to refresh your memory.
But I'll just say it again, "All things are lawful for me" is excuse number one. "Since I'm saved by grace, I can do whatever I want. I'm free from the law." Paul says, "That's not the right way to think as a Christian, you should think about love, and you should think about who you belong to, who should you serve."
Excuse number two is - Food is meant for the stomach and stomach is for food, so I can do whatever I want with my body to fulfill my sexual desires. To which Paul then says, "No! Your body is not meant for sexual sinful pleasures but to serve God and your body will be resurrected in great power, that's not the same thing as your stomach. Alright guys, don't continue your excuses for sexual sin."
So it's a very different rhetoric, very different line of reasoning.
 Explanation of Sexual Sin
And let me move on to secondly, the explanation of sexual sin.
What's so wrong about sexual sin? What's so damaging about immorality, going to a prostitute? Well, as I began, there are people who say, "Don't go to prostitutes because you may just catch all kinds of diseases and unwanted pregnancies and all these social mess," but Paul does not talk about anything like that.
Now, in those days, you will be familiar that as I've mentioned before, Corinth was a pagan city where they had a major religion, where people worship the goddess Aphrodites. And in the temple of Aphrodites, there are a thousand, it is said, a thousand temple prostitutes who sell themselves to service the worshipers. It's a twisted, perverse religion and society, and somehow it has crept into the church.
Now, Paul now explains why it is so damaging, so damning to be involved in sexual immorality. And in summary, it's not an easy text, that's why I just want to lay it out in front of you, upfront, so that it's easy for you to grasp further.
His line of reasoning is very different from how we would argue today. His line of reasoning is — sexual immorality is taking your body that belongs to God, and joining it to another, in this case, a prostitute in sinful sexual union.
That's not a reasoning most of us will come up with, actually, but that's what Paul says. And that's where we need to be informed and be renewed in our minds, to realize ownership, lordship of God is the primary consideration here.
So again, sexual immorality, the problem with it is that you're taking your body, the body that belongs to God and ... and you're taking this body that belongs to God and joining it with a harlot, with a prostitute in a sinful sexual union.
Now, this flows from what we have looked at just now in verse 13, "The body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord and the Lord for the body." But this becomes a dominant theme, because in the next three verses, I'll show you, Paul gives rhetorical questions that emphasize this same point.
Now, you remember what the rhetorical question, right? It's a language device, that is, that when someone asked a question, not so much to get your answer, but to just create an impact, to prove a point, and that's what he did.
Three times he asked, "Do you not know ...?" [1 Cor 6:15] "le mg zai meh [Hokkien language], how come you don't know?" Not that, he's asking, "Do you actually know?" He ... he ... he ... he's saying, "I know you know, but I asked you in this way, so that you will think about it, so that you get my point."
"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? [1 Cor 6:15] "Don't you know? Don't you know sexual immorality is taking something that belongs to Christ and joining it with another in sinful sexual union." So that's the first rhetorical question in verse 15.
Then, the second rhetorical question is in verse 16, "Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? There's no such thing as casual sex! No such thing as just for pleasure! There is a real union in God's eyes when you sleep with another. Don't you know that?"
And then he says in verse 19, a third rhetorical question, "Or do you not know that your body does not belong to you, it's a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God." [1 Cor 6:19]
Now, I think when you look at these three questions, you can frame that whole passage more correctly, isn't it?
The point is very simple — do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Don't you know that your body are parts of the body of Christ, are members, body parts, mystical body of Christ. You are really a part of Christ, your body belongs to Him. Don't you know that?
In fact, he ... he makes it more explicit in verse 17, "But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him." "There is a union of yourself and your body with the Lord. Don't you know that?
And don't you know that when you join to a prostitute, you become one body with her, sexual union is oneness with her?" And Paul quotes from Genesis 2:24, "The two shall become one flesh." There's something real and intimate in sexual union.
And then he says, point three, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, the Spirit dwells in you." So what is this all culminating to? I think it all begins, it comes back to what I shared with you. Sexual immorality, the problem with it, the grievousness of it, is that you take your body that belongs to God, and you join it to another in sinful sexual union.
So there's this exasperation, there's this amazement, "Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!" [1 Cor 6:15] God forbids.
So that's the explanation of sexual sin. What's so wrong about it? STDs? HIVs? Pregnancies? Those are terrible consequences, especially if you're not planning for pregnancy and so on and so forth.
It may be devastating to life, shame may come into your life and so on and so forth, but the grievousness of it, to Paul is that you are taking that which belongs to God and joining it sinfully with another, how could you do that!
It's a Gospel-centered approach, it's a God-centered thinking. It's bringing us back to what God did for us in Jesus Christ, and how heartbreaking it must be for God's people to take this body and join it to a harlot. That's his point!
 Escape From Sexual Sins
Now, finally, I share with you, the escape from sexual sin.
Paul says, "Flee from sexual immorality." [1 Cor 6:18] So all that said, this is that one thing he tells you to do, "Don't do it, flee." Now, the word, 'flee' means to run, to escape, to seek refuge by flight. So, escape from sexual immorality.
Now, he does not say, "Run from sex." The Bible doesn't say, "Run from sex." Sex in the Bible, within the right confines, in the proper context, in the marriage is a proper beautiful gift from God. So, it's nothing dirty about sex in marriage, but sexual immorality, sex outside the confines of marriage is to be abhorred and to escape from.
So that's what Paul says and he says, "Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body." [1 Cor 6:18] Now, the only way I think you can understand this verse, is if you have already understood the context, which we explained earlier.
This sexual sin is particularly grievous, in that you sinned against your body, because you take your body that belongs to Christ, and joins us with another. That's the sense in which you sin against your own body. I don't think this is about STDs or HIVs, in that sense.
So Paul now says, "You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." [1 Cor 6:20] It's a Gospel-centered approach. "Think about who you belong to, who bought you with His blood. And if you really know and love the Lord, how could you take this body that belongs to Christ and join it with another? Never! God forbids. So, flee from sexual immorality."
Now, I've ended the exposition of verses 12 to 20, but I thought I would have to add on a bit, just to help those who may not have the patience to read the rest of the Bible as to how you should flee from sexual immorality. So this part is a little bit extra, you can't really quite find it in this text, but I think it is important that we still consider the practical applications and how to.
When we think about the word, 'flee' or when you think about the phrase, 'flee from sexual immorality', the one image that comes to your mind, the one story that pops up must be how Joseph fled from Potiphar's wife. We dealt with this story some months ago in Genesis 39, and this was a remarkable story because it was a particularly I'm sure difficult temptation for Joseph.
He must have felt flattered that such an attractive powerful woman would want him, and she took the initiative, he didn't! And he must have felt like a very lonely man, cut off from family, living all alone in Egypt, that temptation must have been strong. And he could have easily given himself lots of excuses, just to indulge in sexual sin that very day.
He could have said to himself, "I'm all alone! I deserve this! No one would know! She made me do it anyway!" You could think about the 1001 things he could have reasoned himself to justify his acts. "I've needs," he might shout out, but Joseph didn't excuse himself, Joseph did not indulge for a moment. The Bible tells us, "He as soon as she wanted to grab him, he ran from her and he left his garments behind."
He did something that was very decisive, he really fled. And reminds me of what Jesus said, "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away. And if your right arm causes you to sin, chop it off and throw it away" And there is such a decisiveness to how Joseph dealt with this temptation.
The question now is — how do you and I deal with sexual sins? I've shared this before, I'll repeat it again.
Number one, we use the word, 'flee' for my first point and, and the 'flee' here is not just to run away from sexual sin but to run away also from sexual temptation.
The book of Proverbs 5:8 says, "Keep your way far from her and do not go near the door of her house." So, this is an immoral woman that is referred to in Proverbs 5, and the principle is don't go near her house. Very common sense, but very wise. You want to stay away from sin, don't go near temptation and say, "I'm going to resist the temptation." You're asking for trouble, isn't it?
You want to stay away from sin, you avoid that house, you avoid that door, you don't walk near that path, you don't go along this Geylang Road. I mean, sometimes I have to buy frog porridge but apart from that, I stay away from Geylang Road. You ... you ... you avoid, you don't go near temptation, and that makes sense.
We live in a very sexually saturated world, isn't it? Everywhere you see there are suggestive images, stories, music that calls out to you. The temptress is calling men today, even church-going men to come and satisfy himself with the harlot.
By the way, the harlot today does not need to be in Geylang or anywhere else, but it can be in your own home, right when you press the button on your computer, and click the right clicks. The Bible says, "The wise thing to do is stay away from temptation."
Now, it can mean very dramatic, drastic things, like filters and setting your computer in a place where everybody can see what you are doing, or may be even throwing out things that may lead you to temptation. It may involve interactions with members of the opposite gender, maybe in even today's context, interactions with people of the same gender.
You may have to avoid some people, not because of anything but because you know yourself. Maybe it's an office colleague, maybe it's your secretary, maybe it's a business partner, maybe it's someone else you're seeing for work, but you know how you could be tempted to sin and the wise thing — stay away.
You say, "It's so drastic," but Jesus did say, "Take away your eye and arm, right?" In other words, at all costs, decisively. Flee from not just sin, but flee from the temptation even to sin.
The second thing I would like to remind you is to fight.
Now, it is a battle! Sexual sin is a battle. I don't think there's anyone here, especially you, all of us men, that does not learn that ... that does not need to learn to fight because much as you try to avoid temptation, it is inevitable that you will face some. And that's where you must not give up, and by the grace of God we fight.
You say, "How do you fight? How do you fight sexual temptation?" I think a lot of us would fight based on sheer grit. "Oh, I'm a Christian, I should not sin against God, and so I'll fight this." I think there is a place for determination and choice in life, but I think determination and choice alone is powerless against sin.
The Bible says in Galatians 5:16, "Walk by the Spirit and you shall not fulfilled the lust of the flesh." Now, take away the Holy Spirit, and think only about you versus temptation and you will fail all the time. Because there's no power in your determination or willpower, the power belongs to God, and the promise here is, "Walk by the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."
To be walking by the Spirit means we are, in a nutshell, trusting and obeying the Holy Spirit in our lives. We obey His Word, we obey His will, that we are to live, we are to possess our vessels in sanctification. We're not to dishonor this body in sin, that's His will, but we depend upon the Holy Spirit to fight that ... that temptation and that sexual sin
You say, "How do we ... how do we depend on the Holy Spirit?" I think the practical outworking of a life of dependence is when you cry out to God in prayer. I think Jesus taught us that, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." [Matt 6:13]
And the saints of old, I think I've mentioned this again, several times in church because I think it's really important. The saints of old talk about the mortification of sin, by prayer. Wah, what a big word — mortification, so many syllables!
Well, the word, 'modification' means to put to death, to put to death sin. You go to the mortuary, that's where the dead bodies are, that's what mort, M O R T or mortify or modification would mean, put to death — sin. By what? By prayer.
And it is not just a casual, "Lord, help me against sexual sin," and you look at the pornography and you say, "I'm fighting it."
No! The real fight is when the temptation comes, you keep praying until the desire goes away. So you're saying, "I can't do this, but Lord help me to." And you keep looking to God, keep looking to the Spirit's empowerment to fight. It's not easy, because the desires are strong, but that's where you go to.
I hope Gospelighters, we don't look at sexual sin as something we wage war against in our own strength. That is the most critical failure, I think, but it is going to God in prayer, looking to His Spirit within us to fight it.
Number three, I think it's not only important to flee temptation, fight sin, by the Spirit's help in prayer, but also to fortify yourself in His Word.
You know how it is in battle, you go and fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, after that, you need to go back and eat lah. Because if you don't eat, the next day, when you have to fight, you have no strength to do so, isn't it?
And I think spiritually it is true, I think we need to be fortifying ourselves in God's Word.
And there is no successful Christian living without the Bread of Life, without God's Word. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." And if you are not going to the Scriptures, you will not be able to resist temptation, consistently in your life.
So, study the Bible, know of God's grace1 And in Gospel Light, we often say, "Drink in the Gospel". What do you mean? Well, in the Bible, read of God's faithfulness, power and love to save. Refresh yourself in the Gospel, that your hearts will be filled up with joy, and thankfulness. Then, because there's a wellspring in you, you will be able to live out the Gospel, live out a life of obedience because of His love.
So, be fortified, and number four, I want to test if any one of you remember, I'm sure a vast majority would have forgotten, so I know I can repeat this. So we have, flee, fight, fortify, number four? Wah, so smart, how come you know ah!
Yeah, number four is fellowship. I thought I would say, "Failed," but okay, you all didn't fail, fellowship, alright. And I think it's important for community. We are not meant to fight sin alone. And I think it's so important that in your Christian life, there are people you can talk to and talk with. And not just talk about politics or Ukraine or COVID, but to talk about your spiritual life and your battle in sin.
You know one thing that is missing in many churches, and I think one thing that's missing in many Christian ministries is that, the sum total of Christianity is doing a little bit of daily bread in the morning and listening to your pastor on Sunday morning. I think that's helpful, but not enough.
Because who are the people who will ask you questions about your inner life, about your thought life, about your sex life? Who are the people who will nudge you and to provoke you, so that you will not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin? Who are the brethren in your life who would shine light upon your life, so that you do not hide in darkness?
Oh, it reminds me of that story, I've spoken and told before. Years ago in ... when the church was worshiping in other venues, We ... we the staff, we regularly hang around at 360 Dunearn Road, that's our first church premise building. And you know, 360 Dunearn Road is right beside Adam Road food center, all the nice; delicious food, and that's also where all the nice big rats gather.
So one day in 360 Dunearn Road, as we were doing our stuff, someone went to the kitchen to ... to get water, we see a huge rat scutter across the floor, uh the ground. And he was hiding there in a dark corner, the rat loves to be in the dark corner, That's where it can grow, that's where it can live, that's where it can be comfortable.
All of us, heroes in the church staff tried to get the rat out, we stood on chairs, we take a pole, very far away. We were all scared and then we get a hose to spray it before it will come out, but the rat refuses to come out because it loves the dark.
You know that's the rat in your life — sin, it refuses to come out, he likes to hide in the dark, to grow and to fester. But you got to get it out, you got to shine the light, you need one another to ask tough questions.
So, who are the men in your life who will help you do so? Now, this is not a good to have you know, this is a need to have. And I'm sure you must be thinking to yourself, "What's wrong, I go to church, I listen to the sermon, I read my Bible? What's wrong with a little sin here and there?"
The problem is that it grows, the rat grows and after a while, the rat brings a wife and you many, many, many, many babies and 360 Dunearn Road will be overrun with rats. Your life will be overrun, if you don't shine the light and force it out.
Now, I think that is a critical failure, even in church leadership. People assume that because you're a pastor, you're a deacon, you're an elder, you are so immune to sin, you are so invulnerable because you're so holy, because you know the Bible so well.
And story after story of moral failures in pastors are a staple diet I read about nowadays. Do you realize that? If you're connected to church scene, nowadays social media, you can read about this pastor fall, this pastor fall. I mean, just recently, a pastor of a huge church network is found guilty of maybe inappropriate behavior.
Now, it's not clear what it is, but he's taken to task, stepped down from ministry, and I don't think it's just him, just the tip of the iceberg. Why? Because pastors, elders, leaders, we say to ourselves, "We don't need accountability." Well, I don't think that's what the Bible says.
Finally, hah this one, I guess number five, see which one of you can remember? So you have, ah, I know the cheaters bugs will look behind now. Well, we have — flee, fight, fortify, fellowship. Last one? I'm glad no one shouted the answer because you will expose yourself as cheater bug.
Well, the answer is not so clear I guess but — fulfill. And in this case, not fulfill your own needs, but to fulfill your spouse's needs, because that's what Paul will lead us to next week. That's why I say, a bit PG related. Next Sunday, this is for you, for your consideration. We're not, we're just going to touch on it, very briefly, but we'll go more in depth next Sunday.
"But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband." [1 Cor 7:1] Again, sex is not a dirty, filthy, bad thing, in the right context is a beautiful gift of God. It is one of the reasons, I'm not saying that, it should be the main or only reason, but it is one of the reasons for marriage, that's God's design.
"The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights and likewise the wife to her husband." [1 Cor 7:2] So you realize God is saying, "Use your body ..." You ... you ... you ... you get the logic here? "Your body belongs to God, so don't join it sinfully with a prostitute. Instead, this body that belongs to God should be used to fulfill your spouse."
"He should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband." This is ... this is what he's saying.
I won't want to say too much, but I just read the verses to you, "Do not deprive one another, do not do that, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer." [1 Cor 7:3]
That's the only exception! "But then come together again so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self control." [1 Cor 7:4] Now, you could tell that there is a lot going on, we will not be able to deal with it here, but I think this serves as a little teaser, primer for you to consider next week.
This is not new, because in the book of Proverbs 5:18-20, in the Old Testament, Paul, er not Paul, huh, Solomon also says, "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love ..." Because why? "... Why should you be intoxicated my son with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulterous?"
You see the logic? It is the spouse's responsibility to guard your spouse from sexual immorality. Now, it is not the 100% cure, for sure, even if that may be a fulfilling life, sinful desires still may be possible.
But this is one important step to the five things, I think I see in Scripture, to flee temptation, to fight sin by prayer depending on the Holy Spirit, to fortify yourself in Scripture that you may not sin against the Lord, to fellowship one with another and not just to eat and drink but to shine that light upon the dark corners of our life in accountability. And number five to fulfill one another's sexual needs, as well.
That's a lot! But again, remember the weight of all that we're talking about? Paul says, "Do not be deceived, neither the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers and so on will inherit the Kingdom of God."
In other words, Paul is saying, now he's not saying that, "When you slip into one sin, you will never get into heaven." Because all of us will be falling into some sin here and there." But Paul here in this text is talking about the continuous practice. "If this is your continuous habits and lifestyle, then you're just deceiving yourself if you think you're a Christian, because your life doesn't demonstrate it."
"So do not be deceived, if this is your persistent pattern of life. "But, huh, "Such were some of you."' "You have changed, you used to go to the temple of Aphrodites, but you have changed, you are washed, you are cleansed, you are sanctified by God, by His Spirit, by His Son." "I'm persuaded of better things of you."
And so, I want to remind you today that this is the marvelous work of the Gospel in our lives. You are not called to clean up your life before you come to Jesus, because you can't. But you come to Jesus and He will clean up your life. He will wash you, He will cleanse you.
And I say to you today, we all in this room, if you are a Christian today, if you are a believer, I say to you, all of us have been guilty of one or many or all of the sins here. But praise be to God, such were some of us. And may His saving grace melt your heart this morning, to say Lord, "I am bought with a price, with the precious blood of the Lamb, help me to glorify You with my life and with my body."
And if you're here and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, I want to turn your eyes, I want to encourage you this morning, to realize that the message of the Bible is not get to God by yourself, but humble yourself before God, let Him wash you, let Him cleanse you, let Him save you, let Him change you. Jesus paid it all and all to Him we owe.
Let's bow for a word of prayer together.
Father, we thank You this morning, so much is spoken, and we pray that You will help each one of us to think, to consider prayerfully what we have learned. So easy to forget the Gospel, so easy to be enthralled by the lures and lusts of this world, keep our hearts still, onward towards the heavenly pathway.
We pray today that friends and loved ones will see the beauty of the message of the Bible, that Jesus came for sinners, adulterers, homosexuals, idolaters, greedy people. He gave His life to save us from our sins, so I pray You will grant to people today, a heart that is willing to humble themselves, repent and look to Jesus to be saved.
I pray Your Church, Your people this morning, would have a renewed perspective about our lives, our bodies and about sexual sin. May we be a church that flee from sexual immorality, that we might glorify You in a sex-crazed world. Bless Your people, we thank You in Jesus' Name, Amen.
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