1 Corinthians 6; 1 Kings 19; Amos 3:3-4:3
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:18-19 NKJV)
Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire were both rife with sexual activity. Perhaps it was part of the worship of some of the pagan gods. Perhaps it was finding “love” when one’s marriage was based on political linking instead of mutual love and attraction. Or perhaps it was because sex was a no-holds barred time for some fun. Enter, the Christian ethos. Based on teachings from Jewish tradition and from Jesus, this weird group practiced abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage. Paul reminded Christians that sexual sins affected others and one’s self. We don’t get to go beyond God’s teaching on sexual relationships because we are no longer in control of our body, we’ve placed ourselves under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Our world is not much different today. Pornography websites pull in money and traffic, especially from Bible belt sites. Attitudes about sexual hookups have made sex more of a casual encounter than an intense act of communication in marriage. People who are chaste until marriage are seen as strange or weird and any attempt to encourage that is met with “Oh, that just isn’t possible.” Let’s face the truth, many, especially young girls, feel pressure to have sex outside of marriage whether they really want to engage in sex or not. Paul’s words are still true in our day: you are not your own. Jesus paid a great price for your salvation and if we’re filled with the Holy Spirit our lives should reflect the holiness of God. We aren’t called to hate people that go against God’s plan in this area. (1 Corinthians 5:9ff) We are called not to affirm those who claim the name of Christ while engaging in sexual sin. Most of all, though, we’re called to live in a way that honors and pleases God: for the Christian that includes abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage.
Lord, help Your people to remain weird. Guide us into holy living in an unholy world. May our lives always reflect Your love and grace to those around us.