This blog entry covers 1 Corinthians 5-9. I briefly mentioned the gross sin of the son sleeping with his step mother and how the church was boasting about it, without correcting the immorality. The allowance of such a sin in the midst of the church is no different from the church today allowing couples living together [members] going unchecked. It is amazing to me how that members will be all up in arms about “other people’s” sins, but when that same sin occurs in their own families, it is accepted because they don’t “want to lose their child.” Wrong is wrong, unchecked sin is cause for the discipline of God upon the church and the person [Joshua 6-7].
In chapter 6, Paul clarifies that we cannot go to court with other believers. Matthew 18 is the biblical method for solving internal problems with each other. When we go to the courts of the world to settle our disputes, the name of Jesus is ridiculed. There are a couple of things that I have found that believers should not do with each other – don’t lend money to each other, don’t sell things to each other and don’t go into business with each other. I have heard of so many situations where what started out as a good venture, turned bad when the two parties started fighting – usually over one or the other getting more/doing less than the other.
Paul begins to describe various bodily sins that should not be found among believers.[6:9-11] Bodily sins have an adverse affect on the person as well as the church. No one sins unto himself. When we commit bodily sins, we sin against ourselves and seek our own pleasure at the expense of immorality. Our bodies are not our own. God created us with a specific design, not for self-pleasure, but pleasure for others [in the right context]. Paul brings the temple practice of prostitutes to mind when he talks about joining ones body to a prostitute. There is no relationship with a prostitute, other than self-gratification for a price. The Corinthians had come out of that environment, why would they think they could re-engage it without repercussions? Key verse – 6:19 – our body belongs to the Lord. To live with a sensual mandate is to live for ones on pleasure. Today we find that homosexuals are trying to relate marriage to love and self-satisfaction. Marriage is not about self, but about the other person. Also for procreation, I know that sounds dumb, but Adam and Eve were to reproduce and fill the land. Same-sex relationships do not reproduce. I think it is absurd that same-sex couples are allowed to adopt children and raise them in such an unnatural environment. Man and woman reproduce together; couples that cannot reproduce on their own should not have the benefit of someone else’s ability. Artificial insemination/surrogates for the purpose of having a child without heterosexual marriage should not be allowed. However, this world has defended and given rights to the absurd desires of changing what God made good, into gross immorality.
There are duties for men and women, the body of the man is for the woman and the woman’s body for the man. The bible is clear that husband and wife relationship is the only proper relationship for the expression of sex. Paul also realizes that if a man or woman doesn’t marry, that problems of passion will develop. A person should marry rather than burn for passion. Paul continues to reveal the bodily sins that are committed, this should resonate with the Corinthian Church and the immorality they have been delivered from. If one is single they should live as single, if one is married, they should serve the Lord as if they were single. I have found in my own life that there becomes a strain between serving the Lord and marriage. After one is married, often the attention of the wife takes the precedent in the man’s life.
In regard to liberty; believers have liberty in Christ. However, Paul makes sure that the liberty is not used as a stumbling block to a younger believer. I have had people tell me it was okay for them to drink or whatever, and if a brother or sister had a problem with it, then they would just have to get over it. This speaks of the arrogance of self-gratification again. Even though we have liberty, as Jesus said, if anyone causes one of my little ones to stumble, it would be better for them to have a mill stone around their neck and thrown into the deep-sea. Our ability to have freedom is not found in our right to do, but also in our desire not to do, for the sake of another. Chapter 9, Paul speaks of self-control and how that he became all things to all men, that he might win some. The greater good is for the Gospel to be lived and preached. This carnal church was all about itself, rather than being a witness to others. Yes there are still churches today who want to do things their way, regardless of who it might offend. Therein lies the problem, churches do not exist for themselves, but for the work of the Lord.