So, we talk about the “Me generation,” which is just a way of saying in popular language what has happened philosophically. Man has become the center of all things. Perhaps to go further than that, man is all things. Or to go even further, I am all things. I am responsible to no one else. The great expressions of this secular spirit are the self-improvement movements and the human potential movements of our time.
That is why we need the Deliverer. That is why we need Jesus Christ the Redeemer to break the fetters of our sin. Any Christian ought to know that. If you have come to Jesus Christ as Savior, you know that you are a sinner. Not only do you know you need the forgiveness of sins, you need deliverance from your sin. Paul says, “Then how can one who has known Jesus Christ as the Redeemer, the Deliverer from sin, enter lightly once again into sin’s clutches?” That is the point I am making. This is the opposite of another characteristic of this secular age: the belief that man is self-sufficient and perfectible.
Then Paul begins to relate this, not just in what we would call pragmatic terms – is it helpful or harmful? – but he relates our actions to God who is the ultimate point of reference. Paul says, “The body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord.” This is the direct antithesis of the first characteristic of this age, which says that we live in a closed universe, one without God. We do not live in a closed universe. God is in the universe. It is God’s universe and we are responsible to him.
I am impressed with the way that Paul, in this passage, brings in the full Trinity. He talks about God first of all. Then he mentions the Lord Jesus Christ. Toward the end, in verse 13, he talks about the Holy Spirit, saying, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God?” The question Paul is asking is the question that the Church must ask itself in every generation. Those who are members of it must, in the deepest and most soul-searching way, ask themselves: What spirit is in our midst? Are we of this world? The spirit of this passing age, this secular spirit says, “There is no God. Therefore, I am a law unto myself.” Or, are we of the Spirit of Jesus Christ? He came to reveal the true God, and he says we are not a law unto ourselves, and that happiness and fulfillment are to be found in obeying what the true God says.
If you are of that latter spirit, then you have to do what Paul says as he concludes the chapter. First of all, you have to flee sexual immorality. You don’t have a choice. If you are of the world, well, be immoral. That is what the world does, and that leads to hell. But if you are of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, you must flee sexual immorality.
Then secondly, on the positive side, you must honor God with your body because that body is given to you from God. It is yours, but it is also his. You must honor him by what you do with it.
Are we worried about our country? Are we worried about the moral slide? I think we are. But before we talk about the moral slide in the secular world, we’d better come to terms with the moral slide in so-called Christianity and in our own lives.
What is the most biblical reason to refrain from sexual immorality?
How does Paul say that we should deal with temptation to sexual sin?