International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday July 6, 2014
Purpose: To realize that how we treat our bodies, in which God’s Spirit dwells, is important
Bible Lesson: Background: 1 Corinthians 6:12-7:9
1 Corinthians 6:12-20 (CEB)
(12) I have the freedom to do anything, but not everything is helpful. I have the freedom to do anything, but I won’t be controlled by anything. (13) Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, and yet God will do away with both. The body isn’t for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. (14) God has raised the Lord and will raise us through his power. (15) Don’t you know that your bodies are parts of Christ? So then, should I take parts of Christ and make them a part of someone who is sleeping around? No way! (16) Don’t you know that anyone who is joined to someone who is sleeping around is one body with that person? The scripture says, the two will become one flesh. (17) The one who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. (18) Avoid sexual immorality! Every sin that a person can do is committed outside the body, except those who engage in sexual immorality commit sin against their own bodies. (19) Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? (20) You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body.
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
While I love the premise of this lesson that sex outside of marriage is wrong and a sin, I find that being an obese man in my seventies, is equally wrong and a sin. I somewhat understand the freedom we all have in Christ. But, I must confess I do not fully understand all parts of our human existence. Are we a body, soul and spirit all contained within this temple we call our body? Does everyone have a spirit dwelling in them? Does our body houses our soul, or does our body exist inside of our soul?
As you study this passage Paul wrote, there are few things you need to understand. During the writing of this letter there was no known way of providing quotation marks, so we must make assumptions about Paul’s words. Since the seemingly quotes are not from the scriptures, we can only assume they were local maxims or slogans. Sort of a Farmer’s Almanac quote. “I have the freedom to do anything,” is one of these local slogans or maxims. If the church at Corinth adopted this attitude or if churches today adopt this attitude it is easy to see how chaos could erupt.
The next maxim is equally wrong, “food is for the stomach and the stomach for food and God will destroy both.” The belief among the Greco-Roman culture was there were two competing forces, the spiritual and the material. In their belief only the spiritual mattered. This led to the belief that they could do whatever they wanted with their bodies. The bodies existed as a kind of disposable container for the immortal soul.
Paul reasoned a little differently, our bodies are more than just a stomach or any other organ. Our bodies house us, our entire being, including God’s spirit. Many would go a step further and say that our body and spirit our housed within our soul. It is our soul that makes us who we are.
Paul speaks of a resurrection, yet it is a transformed body, spiritual body, or glorified body, not the body we see when we look into a mirror or what others see. God created us with bodies for dwelling on earth, but they might become very cumbersome in eternity.
A recent study, resulting from an online survey of a company specializing in promiscuous clients, found that Christians of any denomination were over three times more likely to commit adultery than atheists. Amazingly, the reason given was because the, so called Christians, knew they could ask for forgiveness. This is exactly what Paul was facing when writing to the church at Corinth.
Our bodies are one of the ways we have of honoring God. Glorifying God is our duty and reasonable response, for all that has been done for us. Christ has paid a great price and we need to respond by living lives that glorify Him, and the Holy Spirit that lives within us.