“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 (ESV)
N.T. Wright helpfully guides us to grasp the heart of today’s passage:
This whole passage is about learning to use the human body in the right way, for the right purpose. Paul says several remarkable things about the body in this passage, making it clear that the question of sexual immorality is one of the most serious issues the Corinthians faced. …
He does so in terms of God’s intention for the body, and here we see him starting to develop a line of thought which will continue, one way or another, right through to the long exposition of the resurrection of the body in chapter 15. What is the body meant for?
For the Lord! he answers triumphantly. This is a surprise. Somehow Paul envisages the Christian’s relationship with the Lord Jesus not simply as a ‘spirited’ one, but also a physical one: not of course in the sexual sense, but in the sense that Jesus wants to know us and work through us as fully physical human beings, both here and hereafter. After all (verse 14) God raised Jesus the Lord, and will raise us too; so what you do with your body matters.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 101
Q. 101. What do we pray for in the first petition?
A. In the first petition, which is, Hallowed be thy name, we pray that God would enable us and others to glorify him in all that whereby he maketh himself known; and that he would dispose all things to his own glory.