Christian Liberty and Sexual Freedom

The wayward rational of the Corinthians

I say that just to say this. Unless you really know the Lord Jesus Christ, unless you’re a Christian, unless you understand what it is to live for God, this kind of a morality is going to seem a little bit in left field.

But this is what the Bible teaches. You see, the Corinthians had rationalized their sexual activity just like people today do.

…because they lived in the city of Corinth and Corinth was synonymous with sex. In fact, the verb “to corinthinize” meant to have sex with a prostitute, That’s how attached Corinth was to that kind of life..

Paul’s Argument

Now, you have your outline. Look at it and I’ll show you the three things that the sin of sex does to the body. And these are the things that Paul points out. Three clear-pointed principles that show why sex sin must be excluded from the Christian life…even though we are free in grace: it harms, it controls and it perverts the body. Sexual sin harms? controls and perverts the body. That’s Paul three fold argument.

The price of sin

Point number one, it harms, verse 12: “All things are lawful unto me but all things are not expedient.” Stop right there.

Now he says all things are possible within the area of grace but all things are not expedient. That word comes from a Greek word, sumphero which means, “to profit,” p-r-o-f-i-t. All things are allowable but they’re not all profitable.

God will forgive, but, man, the price is high.

Immorality is one of those things that God forgives. If you as a Christian do that, some of you undoubtedly have committed adultery or fornication as Christians, if you have done that, God has forgiven, totally and completely by the blood of Jesus Christ in His grace. But there’s a price to pay. There’s a high price because there’s harm built into that sin.

I want to show you that by taking to Proverbs chapter 5, there is no other sin that a man or a woman commits that has built into it the deep-rooted damage that the sin of sexual immorality has. It has destroyed more people that drugs or booze ever together could have destroyed.

Proverbs 5:3, “For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb and her mouth is smoother than oil.” Oh listen, that stuff is very enticing. Honeycomb, lips and smooth … you know. And the opposite comes in verse 4, “Her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on Sheol.” You see what you see is not what you get.

Ending up in the company of cruel people

You know what happens when a person gets into that problem? They lose their honor, they lose their respect. Instead of being with honored people, they wind up with the cruel people.

Losing your wealth

“Lest strangers be filled with your wealth.” A person could actually come to the place where he loses is fortune. Many a man has destroyed his life over women. Many a man today is saddled with paying so much alimony he can hardly live himself. And all of his money is going out. “Even strangers are filled with your wealth and your labors be in the hands of an alien, or the house of an alien.” People have lost their life and their livelihood to immorality.

God invented sex

Look at verse 18. Now God isn’t against sex. Oh no, He invented it. He’s for it. Verse 18, “Let thy fountain be blessed,” and that’s talking literal about a man’s ability to procreate, “and rejoice with the wife (if thy youth.” Live it up, that’s … that’s God’s design that, sex is a fabulous thing, a beautiful thing. “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe,” speaking of deer like animals. “Let her breasts satisfy thee at all times and be thou ravished always with her love.”

“And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman and embrace the bosom of a foreigner? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord and He ponders all his going.” why would you go off and commit adultery when you know that the Lord is what? Watching. He’s watching.

Brought to a piece of bread

Now you see, what happens when this occurs in verse 26, “For by means of an unchaste woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread.”

Something as elevated and high and lofty as a man, designed in the image of God, is brought down as if he were nothing but a piece of bread.

“And the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?” Do you think you’re going to commit sex sin and get away? You’re wrong. You can’t take fire in your bosom without burning your clothes. That’s pretty clear.

Lured by adultery and prostitutes

Wisdom will keep you from the strange woman, from the foreigner who flatters with her words. Now he gives an illustration. “For at the window of my house, I look through my casement.” He looks through his window frame, Solomon. “And beheld among the simple, ones, I discerned among the youths a young man void of understanding.” Stupid young person, and the world is full of them, just full of them.

I’ll show you why they’re stupid. “Passing through the street near her corner..,” Do you know that this old trade of prostitution hasn’t changed a lot? They’re still on corners; they’ve always been on corners wherever people are.

So here’s this stupid guy going down the street, a young guy, he doesn’t have any sense, doesn’t know wisdom so he thinks this is the way to live. And he comes near her corner and “He went the way to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.” Isn’t it always?

“And behold, there met him a woman with the attire of a harlot.” That’s usually … you can tell them by the way they dress in those days, and even today. “Subtle of heart but secretly loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house, she’s always out stirring up trouble. Now is she outside, now in the streets, and lies in wait at every corner.”

….’Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face and I have found thee.” Getting a little thick. “I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with embroidered work, with fine linen of Egypt; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come let us take our fill of love until the morning, let us comfort ourselves with love.”

It all sounds great, doesn’t it? Ah, very enticing and alluring. The truth of the matter is in verse 19, “For my husband is not at home.” Let’s get back to brass tacks. “My husband’s not at home, he’s gone on a long journey and he’s taken a bag of money with him.” In other words, he’s going to do business, “And he’ll come home at the day appointed.”

Now this is a stupid kid, remember? “With her much fair speech, she caused him to yield. with the flattering of her lips, she forced him. He goes after her straightway,” now watch, “like a lover who is loved?” No, “Like an ox to the slaughter.” Like a wise man to his fulfillment? No, “Like a fool to the stocks, till an arrow strike through his liver, as a bird hasten to the snare and doesn’t know that it is for his life.” Fool.

Listen, for a Christian, God will forgive but it isn’t going to help you to do this. It will harm. It will destroy. It will tear.

Look at chapter 91 verse 17, this is kind of practical, too. “Stolen waters are sweet, stolen waters are sweet … there’s a ‘Certain adventure in adultery … and bread eaten in secret is pleasant, but he knoweth not that the dead are there and her guests are in the depth of Sheol.” Devastating.

23,000 Dead

First Corinthians 10:8 says that of the Israelites, 23,000 dropped dead in one day for committing adultery…23,000 dead in one day.

Sex sin enslaves

Second thing, sin of adultery not only harms, it controls. Look at 6:12 again. “All things are lawful for me,” in the middle of the verse, “but I will not be brought unto the power of any.” The Greek verb “to be brought unto the power” means to come unto the domination of or the power of something. And it really means to enslave. I will not be enslaved. And there is no more enslaving thing than sexual evil. This thing wants to subject and it does.

…And, you know, you can get into a situation where you’re not in control at all. Whoa, you’re…you’ve lost control. You get to the place where you’re victimized by your drive. Keep it in control, Paul says. Possess your vessel. Control your body that you don’t become a slave.

You can’t say its just biological

A third thing, and this is the major part of the passage. And believe it or not, we’ll run through it quickly. Sin not only harms, enslaves–sex sin–, but it perverts, verse 13. Quickly we’ll look at it. And he gives three distinct purposes and designs for our bodies that are perverted by sexual sin. “Foods for the body,” verse 13, “and the body for foods.” That was their little statement. He says, “Wait a minute, but God shall destroy both it and them.” You can’t say, “Well, look the body’s for food and food’s for the body and sex is for the body and the body’s for sex … just, that’s all there is to it. Just biological.” You can’t say that, because God is going to destroy food and God is going to destroy stomachs, that’s the real word here, stomach. God is going to wipe that out. But the body is not for sexual sin, it’s for the Lord and the Lord is for the body and I’ll prove it to you, because God has both raised up the Lord and will also…what?…raise up us by His power.

…And so he’s saying – Look, food-that is eating, the necessity for eating, the digestive processes of the stomach–that will all cease. God will wipe that all out. But the body, you, the total man incorporated in that flesh, that is going to be glorified and transformed into heaven. So don’t think that the biology of eating is equal to what you do with your body. In terms of its union, there’s a big difference.

Sex transcends the physical

Now he gives three distinct purposes. First of all, he says your body is for the Lord. Verse 13, it is for the Lord. Eating is a natural function but sex is far more than a natural function, people. Sex, listen to his, is a spiritual union. It transcends the biological

…Lewis says in Screwtape Letters, “Every time a man and a woman enter into a sexual relationship, a spiritual bond is established between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured.”

Your stomach was made for food but your body wasn’t made for sex, it was made for God. And within God’s will, sex is included in marriage, outside of that you violate it. And the proof of it is in verse 14, God’s going to raise your body out of the grave. Don’t defile that thing which was designed to spend eternity with Him. You can’t say sex is for the body and the body for sex. The body is for the Lord.

And so I say to you like Paul said to the Ephesians, “Sex sin, let it not once be named among you.”

Father, thank You for our time this morning together in the Word and dealing with a very pertinent subject, one with which all of us struggle. Keep us pure as only You’re able in Jesus name, Amen.

This article originally appeared here at Grace to You as the first part of a series named “Guidelines for Singleness and Marriage”

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