Words of Faith 5-26-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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1 Corinthians 6
 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!  Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."  But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
Humans have always had a variety of ways to justify indulging the sinful nature. Some argued in the first century that the human body was just flesh and not "of the spirit" anyway. Some of these entered into sexual immorality arguing that this really showed their "freedom from the flesh". Paul had a very different truth to share. Our bodies are not our own.
As believers, we no longer belong to ourselves. We are members of Christ Himself. Paul will explore this later in reference to ministry and gifts, but the same truth applies very much to the sorts of things we might indulge in. We are not our own. We are bought with a price (6:20, 7:23).
We are joined with Christ. Therefore, a person who joins themselves with a prostitute joins the Body of Christ to the prostitute. The image was so grievous that it caused Paul to recoil. Never!
Why was the image so grievous? It was not that the prostitute is somehow more sinful or dirty than other sinners. It was not that she or he was somehow "below" the ranks of believers. (There were both male and female prostitutes in Corinth.) It was because the "oldest profession" has always been the ugliest of exploitations. In the ancient world, most prostitutes were slaves. Many were abandoned children who were raised for the purpose of prostitution.
By nature, prostitution is the absolute opposite of the Gospel of freedom. Prostitution always objectifies and degrades people rather than redeeming them. Prostitution devalues all involved and causes them to be filled with self-loathing. Christ never... ever, treated people in this way. The image of a person bringing Christ into a bed of such exploitation is hideous, grievous and repugnant.
The pain here was in knowing the Jesus died for the prostitute and weeps for him or her to hear the Gospel. The repugnance of this was in knowing that Jesus died to set Christian believers free from the slavery of sin, but they were not walking in that freedom.
Jesus desires to set people free from the bondage of body buying and selling. The grief of this was in knowing that some in Corinth who had heard Paul preach somehow were so self-absorbed and self-deluded that they missed the power of the Gospel to give this woman New Life and to walk in New Life themselves.
Paul argues from Genesis 2:23 that there is a union in the sexual act that forever changes a person. Though they are not married, they are, in some sense, joined to that person. This does not mean that there is no forgiveness for sexual sin. Scripture promises that in Christ we are a New Creation (2 Cor. 5:17). But the joining of one's body to a prostitute is not without consequence.
Paul says that the answer to this blight is to be joined with the Lord and be one with Him in spirit. The deep needs of our lives and longing we search to fill are completely met in our union with Christ. Our union with Christ is not sexual in nature but it fills the deepest hunger and thirst that we often try to fill in fleshly ways like immoral or exploitative sex.
Jesus said to the woman at the well, who had had five husbands and was living with another not her husband, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water... whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:10, 14).
The water that wells up to eternal life is the answer.
Lord, fill me with Your living water. Fill the deepest needs in my life as I am joined with You. Help me always to see the redemption that is needed in those around me. Help me to see the hope and possibility of New Life that You offer to those who have been hurt and exploited. In Jesus' Name.