1 Corinthians 6:12-20 - Sexual Immorality

1. Apparently the Corinthian congregation boasted to Paul that as Christian believers they had a right to do anything they pleased. What’s wrong with saying that?

A: Paul repeats the statement (for himself) but observes that such freedom of action may not benefit the Christian. By saying, “I will not be mastered by anything,” Paul is effectively saying that one may become enslaved by those actions in which he freely indulges. How about drinking too much alcohol? You’re free to do it; there’s no law against it; many people in our society do it; but it can master you and be harmful to you.

2. In Verse 13, some Corinthians claimed that the physical acts of eating and digesting food have no bearing on one’s inner spiritual life, therefore the physical act of promiscuous sexual activity also does not affect one’s spiritual life. What’s wrong with this reasoning? (Romans 12:1, Hebrews 13:4)

A: Your body is a living temple to the Lord (Romans 12:1 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.) So first of all, the basic premise of the Corinthians is wrong, i.e., abusing your body by eating anything you wish is wrong. But even more, Paul declares the dignity of the human body. He says your body is meant for the Lord and the Lord for the body (the Holy Spirit lives in you). What you do with your body is important, particularly with respect to sex, which the Lord has ordained in wedlock for the good of all mankind (Hebrews 13:4 - Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.)

3. In verse 14, Paul illustrates God’s high regard for the body (He raised Christ from the dead and will raise us also). How does that support his point of remaining sexually pure? (1 Corinthians 15:51-53, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

A: A body destined for resurrection and immortality should not be used for immorality.

1 Corinthians 15:51-53 - Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 - For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

4. In verse 15, Paul says that your body is a member of Christ himself. Explain that. (1 Corinthians 12:27)

A: He is saying that it is not merely the spirit that is a member of Christ’s body, but the whole person, consisting of spirit and body. This fact gives dignity to the human body. When Paul says, “Christ himself,” he is probably referring to the church of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:27 - Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.)

5. In verse 16, Paul says that when two people are united sexually with one another, they will become one flesh. What does that mean and where does it come from? (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5)

A: Becoming one flesh simply means being married. Genesis 2:24 - For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Matthew 19:5 - 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'

6. Paul says in verse 16 that there is even a higher union than the marriage bond. What is it?

A: The believer’s spiritual union with Christ, which is the perfect model for the kind of unity that should mark the marriage relationship.

7. With 1,000 temple prostitutes at the Temple of Aphrodite (the Greek goddess of love and sex), prostitution was approved and commonplace in Corinth. As a Christian, how would you respond to your friends at work when they say, “hey, let’s go worship at the temple tonight and get some?”

8. Resisting sexual temptation is not easy. Where can we turn to for help? (Romans 8:9)

A: A Christian should realize (and take joy in the fact) that by the Sprit’s presence and power, he can be helped against such sins as sexual immorality. Romans 8:9 - You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

9. As you get older, what will go first—your appetite for food, for sex, for books, or other interests?

10. In what area do you struggle most with the “permissible” versus the “beneficial?” How can you begin a “temple maintenance program” (vs 19-20) to help you?

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