(iii) The Case of Fornication (6:12-20)

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Read through the following passage and then answer the questions....

1 Cor 6:12-20

12All 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.

13Foods 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.

14And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

15Do 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!

16Or 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."

17But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

18Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

19Or 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?

20For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.


(a) The Problem:

What appears to be the problem Paul is addressing here ? Click here for the answer.

What could have caused the Christians to be doing such thing ? Click here for the answer.

What is the main reason Paul gives as to how wrong this problem is ? Click here for the answer.

Read the following updated version of this passage of Scripture and then answer the questions...

The Corinthians believed something like the following....

"Christ has set us free. Paul himself has said that in Christ we have been freed from the Law. Therefore, all things are permitted to us as Christians. Furthermore, since we know that both the stomach and food belong to this age and will pass away, what we eat is a matter of indifference to God. Now since that is true of the stomach and food, it must also be true of the body and sexual relations."

What is their wrong idea of freedom ? Click here for the answer.

(b) The Application:

Later we will be looking at the issue of whether it is right to eat the food offered to idols if we are asked to do so (and what comparable events this can be linked with). Here the main point is that sexual immorality of any sort is not right for the Christian to be involved in as it forms an 'unholy alliance' with the one joined with. We are no to see our bodies as evil (as the Gnostics did) and so abuse it! Our body is the dwelling place (Temple) of God. He will raise us up in our bodies so we need to keep them pure for Him.

We don't just glorify God in our spirits (in our congregational worship etc) but also in our bodies. The Corinthians were separating the two which we must be careful not to do. Indeed, in their attempts to make friends with their pagan neighbours they were going too far and joining in the ungodly practices to the extent of losing their testimony all together. The Temple was to be a house of prayer for all nations. Our bodies, as the Temple of the Holy Spirit, too is to be a house of prayer for the nations, to win them for Christ. Instead the pagans were winning the Corinthian Christians over to their beliefs and practices!

We now jump to Chapter 15 of Corinthians because it touches on an issue that is intimately linked to what we have just been looking at and is hinted at in Chapter 6 Verse 14....Lesson Four : Bodily Resurrection.

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