In today’s culture, no area of freedom seems quite as important as that of our physical bodies. People argue for abortion rights, the legalization of marijuana and other drugs, various changing views of sexuality, and even euthanasia. They reason that if this is my body, I should be able to do whatever I want with it.
The Corinthian culture in Paul’s day seemed to have a similar view. Their slogan was “I have the right to do anything” (1 Cor. 6:12). Like us, they misinterpreted Paul’s teaching that the Law no longer binds those who are in Christ. The apostle clarified that the freedom of the Christian does not mean we can do anything we want. In fact, even some things that might be allowable can become a source of bondage.
The Corinthian’s view of freedom was also shaped by a philosophical view that considered the physical body spiritually unimportant. This view valued the spirit, but the body was not considered essential. Consequently, some lived by the slogan, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food” (v. 13). The apostle corrected this false view by noting that God has authority over the body and the soul. What we do with our bodies matters. The body was meant for the Lord (v. 13). God purchased us through Christ’s blood. Therefore, our bodies are God’s property.
Paul’s application is especially relevant today. We are told to flee sexual immorality. Why? Because our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, sexual immorality is a sin against God. It is also a sin against ourselves, because Christ’s work redeems both our body and soul. We’ve been bought with a price. We are not free to do whatever we please with our bodies. Every part of us belongs to God.
>> How will you honor God with your body today? Ask God to show you any way you are failing to acknowledge that your body belongs to Him. What might He be asking you to do or change?
You created our bodies, as well as our minds and souls. Lord, convict us of any way we might be sinning against You with our bodies. What must we give up—or take up—to honor You better?