The Body is Not For Fornication 1 Cor. 6:13-20 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Fornication was prohibited for Gentiles in Acts 15:20 – yet the Corinthians had been committing fornication and Paul had to give them spiritual reasons why they could not do that anymore – obviously, their attitude was that the belly was for meat and the body was for fornication – so Paul dealt thoroughly with the sin of fornication in this passage – otherwise he would have just said flee fornication or what he said in 1 Cor 10:8.
A key word in this discourse is the word Body – the body is distinguished from the flesh – the body is the dwelling place of the man’s spirit and soul [our incarnation] – so when the body is dead, the spirit and the soul depart – the body is also the dwelling place of the Holy Ghost and the Lord after we get saved – the flesh, on the other hand, is the natural material of which the body is made [in eternity we will still have our bodies but they will be made of spiritual material; our flesh currently is alive by virtue of the blood that’s in it (Gen 9:4)] – flesh is also, as in Rom 7, human nature in its bodily manifestation – thus we have the lust of the flesh [not the lust of the body] – some references on the body: in the Old Testament you frequently find references to a dead body or the fruit of the body – in the New Testament we find references like Rom 6:12 let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body – Rom 8:23 the redemption of our body – Rom 12:5 so we being many are one body in Christ – there’s something different going on in the New Testament.
1 Cor 6:13 meats for the belly and the belly for meats – that’s what each was made for – God will destroy the meats and the belly [at death our natural bodies are sown in corruption] – in the same way that meats for the belly and the belly for meats, the body is for Jesus and Jesus for the body – 1 Cor 6:14 as he raised up Jesus so he will raise up the body [1 Cor 15:42-55] – at the resurrection we are raised a spiritual body in incorruption] – so the Lord destroys the meats and the belly but he doesn’t destroy the body; rather, he will raise it an incorruptible spiritual body – it is sown a natural body and it is raised a spiritual body – therefore, the body is for Jesus and will be raised up – hence, the body is not for fornication in the same casual way that meat is for the belly.
1 Cor 6:15 Paul first shows us that our bodies are the members of Christ [Rom 12:4-5, 1 Cor 12:12-27] – then Paul asks, “Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of an harlot?” He could do that by condoning, allowing or even advising fornication – in fornication the members of Christ become the members of a harlot – they two become one body – 1 Cor 6:16 he that is joined to a harlot is one BODY so that the body in which his spirit and soul dwells and which has become a member of Christ now includes this harlot – Christ doesn’t want to dwell in THAT body made up of the saved man and the harlot – and that harlot for sure doesn’t dwell in Christ – Note: in marriage, Jesus dwells in the body of the married couple Heb 13:4 because each dwells in him – while Christians are not to marry unsaved people [2 Cor 6:14-18] in the case where one spouse gets saved and the other doesn’t the Lord sanctifies the marriage [1 Cor 7:13-14] so that the saved person doesn’t leave the unsaved spouse just because he is not a member of Christ.
1 Cor 6:17 he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit – so we are joined to Christ in our bodies and in our spirits – we have a spiritual union with Christ.
1 Cor 6:18 Now Paul gives the exhortation “flee fornication” – in other words, he didn’t just say, “Do not fornicate,” he said, “Flee fornication.”
1 Cor 6:18 Paul explains that every sin that a man doeth is without the body [without means “not derived from or connected with: external to”; the phrase means, “does not pertain to the body”] – there are four reasons that sin in the saved man does not pertain to his body:
- First, when we get saved, our bodies are “buried with him” in spiritual baptism [Rom 6:3-4] – thus, the “body is dead because of sin” (Rom 8:10; Rom 6:6) –therefore, Paul said about sin in his life, “it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me” Rom 7:17 [that sin dwells in his flesh, v.18] – remember that the body and the flesh are two different things – the body is where our spirit and soul dwell and where Christ and the Holy Spirit dwell – the flesh is the natural material of which the body is currently made
- Second, spiritual circumcision [Col 2:11-13] puts the body of the sins of the flesh off and separates it from the spirit and soul
- Third, our baptism with Christ raises us with Christ in a quickened body [Rom 8:10-11; Col 2:12-13] – this is not our glorified body [Phil 3:21; Rom 8:23] – this is our new man [Eph 4:22-24, Col 3:9-11] – it is still a mortal body [Rom 6:12] waiting on its immortality [1 Cor 15:53]
- Fourth, the quickened body of a saved person is now a member of Christ [1 Cor 6:15] and Christ doesn’t sin – thus, every sin is without the body
1 Cor 6:18 goes on to say, “But he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body” – here the word “against” means “with respect to: relating to: TOWARD” – fornication is the only sin that affects the BODY of a saved person – many of the sins affect the FLESH [alcohol, drugs, gluttony, suicide] but only one sin affects the BODY – fornication takes a body that has been quickened and joined to Christ and joins it to a harlot. God forbid.
1 Cor 6:19 your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you – you are not your own – 1 Cor 6:20 you are bought with a price [God owns your body and spirit now – the spirit is born again and the body is quickened] – therefore glorify God in your body AND in your spirit [v.17] which are God’s (he didn’t say glorify God “in your flesh”) – you cannot glorify God in your flesh [Rom 8:7-8].
Conclusion: fornication is a sin that ran rampant through the Corinthian church and it is a sin that is running rampant through the church today – hopefully, this explanation that Paul gave is enough to convince you to “Flee fornication.”