1 Corinthians 6:13b
“The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”
1 Corinthians 6:18
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.”
The idea of controlling our sexual nature is often ridiculed in our current world culture. Throughout the New Testament, however, Paul reminds us of the importance of purity. Every day we have choices in life that reflect who our true master is, and how we handle those choices affects both our physical and spiritual well-beings.
In 1 Corinthians 6:13b, Paul reminds us that our bodies were made for the Lord. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 in your Bible. Paul’s point is we should learn to control our “own body in a way that is holy and honorable” (1 Thessalonians 4:4). God didn’t create us to be controlled by our stomachs, or our passions, or our lusts. We don’t belong to those things. We belong to God.
The consequences of sexual sin are severe. Paul pointed out that unlike other sins, sexual sin damages the heart and the body. Need proof? Look no further than the explosive rise of STDs in our country. Look at the shattered hearts and lives that lie in the wake of sexual sin. No other sin takes the same toll on our bodies.
Maybe that’s why Paul exhorts us to run away from sexual sin. Few people are strong enough to stand and fight in the face of sexual temptation. Instead, we must learn to flee – to leave sexual temptation behind us. After all, our bodies were made for something more.
List the places or activities that you commonly go that seem to fan into flame misdirected sexual desires for you? (I’m very visual so beaches can be tough, but soap operas don’t affect me in the least!)
Now while you’re in your “right mind” spiritually and not affected by the deceiving hormones your body naturally produces while in that setting, pray about and write down a strategy for each of these settings that would keep sexual temptation from ever getting between you and your relationship with God (“flee” is a good answer, but in some instances not the right one – so ask God for some “wisdom from above” on this one!).
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.