SPIRITUALLY APPROPRIATE

1 Corinthians – Belief and Behavior
 
What would happen if we really had the guts to talk out our disagreements in the most excellent way with hearts full of love, respect and care for each other. Shouldn’t this be the justice we are seeking or are we more intent on the sport of arguing, creating an enemy for life by holding grudges, wanting our own way no matter where the chips fall?
 
Imagine, just for a while, a world where we honor each other as equals, give in to those who offend us with their needs and wants, and bless them. What would it be like for all media to show and tell what brings respect to the Body of Christ? What if they gave us stories where respect for our own physical bodies was encouraged? What if our sexual desires were put into perspective as the gift from God that it is between a man and a women committed to each other as forever husband and wife? Wouldn’t that be revolutionary?
 
It won’t happen in a world gone wild with the sin of self. But when it enters into the church, someone has to lovingly step up and call it for what it is before God’s church (people) crash and burn. Paul is that man. Peterson’s way of translating Paul’s words in The Message that we are reading from is in today’s language and is pretty clear in explaining God’s intent for us.
 
1 Corinthians 6 temple1 Corinthians 6, The Message
 
1-4 And how dare you take each other to court! When you think you have been wronged, does it make any sense to go before a court that knows nothing of God’s ways instead of a family of Christians? The day is coming when the world is going to stand before a jury made up of followers of Jesus. If someday you are going to rule on the world’s fate, wouldn’t it be a good idea to practice on some of these smaller cases? Why, we’re even going to judge angels! So why not these everyday affairs? As these disagreements and wrongs surface, why would you ever entrust them to the judgment of people you don’t trust in any other way?
 
5-6 I say this as bluntly as I can to wake you up to the stupidity of what you’re doing. Is it possible that there isn’t one levelheaded person among you who can make fair decisions when disagreements and disputes come up? I don’t believe it. And here you are taking each other to court before people who don’t even believe in God! How can they render justice if they don’t believe in the God of justice?
 
7-8 These court cases are an ugly blot on your community. Wouldn’t it be far better to just take it, to let yourselves be wronged and forget it? All you’re doing is providing fuel for more wrong, more injustice, bringing more hurt to the people of your own spiritual family.
 
9-11 Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.
 
12 Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.
 
13 You know the old saying, “First you eat to live, and then you live to eat”? Well, it may be true that the body is only a temporary thing, but that’s no excuse for stuffing your body with food, or indulging it with sex. Since the Master honors you with a body, honor him with your body!
 
14-15 God honored the Master’s body by raising it from the grave. He’ll treat yours with the same resurrection power. Until that time, remember that your bodies are created with the same dignity as the Master’s body. You wouldn’t take the Master’s body off to a whorehouse, would you? I should hope not.
 
16-20 There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
 
1 Corinthians 6 boughtThe highlights to pay attention and to assimilate into our thinking…
 
–“…here you are taking each other to court before people who don’t even believe in God! How can they render justice if they don’t believe in the GOD of justice?” That’s stupidity.
–“You have been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit.” LIVE by His Holy Spirit.
–“Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate.”
–“If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.”
–“Since the Master honors you with a body, honor him with your body!”
–“There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin.”
–“Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever–the kind of sex that can never “become one.”
–“In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, made for God-given, God-modeled love for becoming one with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit?”
 
“The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. GOD OWNS THE WHOLE WORKS. So let people see God in and through your body.”
 
Again, counter culture for the church gone wild as society seeped in and took over in Corinth. Counter culture for the world we live in today.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
We repent of holding grudges, keeping arguments alive, not solving issues with each other, dwelling on the past offenses and not moving forward as the Body of Christ. Help us to live the life you intended for us to live and not rely on the sinful world around us to solve our problems. May those seeking see You in us and through us today. Transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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