Higher than the Animals
Higher than the Animals
Words of Faith 5-25-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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1 Corinthians 6
 "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.
Some in the Corinthian church were defending immoral lifestyles based on a few slogans. The first argument that Paul attacked was the "freedom argument" (6:12). "I am free in Christ to do anything I want." Paul clarified that freedom only extends to the point that we hurt other people and ourselves and that liberty that hurts others is not love. Liberty that becomes slavery is not love, but rather self-hatred.
Another slogan that was popular among some Corinthian Christians said: "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food". On the surface, it does not sound much different from the popular advertisement "You gotta eat!" But the Corinthians were not thinking about drive-through hamburgers. Some of them were probably thinking about drive-though sex and had used this slogan to try and justify their immorality.
Corinth was a city known for its immorality even by ancient standards. In the ancient world, the phrase "Corinthian girl" meant a woman of loose morals or a prostitute. The word "Corinthian" became an adjective meaning of loose morals and depraved behavior. The reputation came partly from the city's Temple to Aphrodite which was staffed with 1000 shrine prostitutes. The temptations were everywhere.
Some in the church had reasoned that just as "food" was pleasurable and necessary, so sexual gratification was just a natural thing, and, after all, both food and stomach would one day be destroyed anyway. Sex and food were both just earthly need that should be satisfied.
Some in the church at Corinth were simply blending into the "Corinthian culture". You can see why Paul had to address the flaws in these arguments. He did so by drawing a sharp line between the stomach and the body.
Paul denied that what affects the body is unimportant. Paul denied the argument of a parallel between eating and digesting food as a natural process and practicing sexual immorality as a natural process. Of course, he was not denying that sex in marriage is natural and wholesome, but the undisciplined and unscriptural use of the body in sexual practices is clearly an offense to the very nature of our relationship with God.
This second argument defending immorality had to do with "needs". "Food for the stomach and stomach for food." "God made me this way. I have needs. I gotta get my needs met." Sound familiar? This argument lowers human interaction to the level of animals... much like monkeys that greet each other by copulating.
As humans, we are created as moral creatures and as spiritual beings. We are created for a relationship with God in Christ. We cannot separate these things from who we are created to be.
Paul was clear, the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. The body in this context meant more than the physical frame. It referred to the whole person, composed of flesh, which is material, and spirit, which is immaterial.
The "body," therefore, is not perishable but eternal, "By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also." The Body is not meant for sexual immorality (porneia) but for union with the Lord.
The eternal nature of the body and the future destiny of the individual, was made certain by Christ's bodily resurrection, "Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (15:20).
What do we make of this today? These same truths speak with clarity to the "Corinthian culture" that we live in today. We live in a culture that teaches sex is simply a biological need and a social form of greeting one another. The media portrays sex as ritual of greeting that is normal on a first or second date.
The Bible teaches that we are eternal creatures and our bodies are not made for sexual immorality. We cannot compartmentalize our "selves" from our bodies. The decisions we make with the gift of sexuality affect us in profound ways that are eternal.
The Bible teaches that sexuality is a wonderful gift through which God gives testimony of Himself and His wonder. The one-flesh union that God blesses in the covenant of marriage is a picture of the triune image of God and a revelation of the mystery that is Christ and His church.
Sex is a wonderful gift from God to married men and women for the purpose of communication, recreation, and procreation. It is only in this context of marriage that these wonderful blessings are found. We are not created for immorality, but for the Lord.
Father God, help us as the church to rediscover the wonder of Your gift of sexuality within the covenant of marriage. Help us to honor marriage and testimony that it is to the mystery of God. Help the church to share the wonder of this gift with a world that hungers for something it can never know without knowing God. In Jesus' Name.