#14 Honor God with Your Body

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(A Series on I Corinthians)

Westgate Chapel 6/28/98 a.m.            I Corinthians 6:9-20

PROPOSITION:  True followers of Jesus are not their own, and honor God with their bodies, because they are bound for the kingdom of God, because they are united with Christ, and because they are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

I. introduction

-     THE message from I Corinthians 6:9-20 is this: Honor God With Your Body!

-     THE Corinthians believers lived in the most immoral city in the known world.

-     IT was, as you know a Greek city.

-     AND the Greeks had a rather convenient way of separating body from spirit.

-     THE Hebrews looked at man as a whole entity....yes with body, soul and spirit...but as a whole.

-     THE Greeks separated spirit and body and looked down on the value of the body with two results.

1.   They would subject the body to inhumane rigors, to treat it with contempt.

2.   They would live without any restraint, satisfying any physical pleasure they desired.

-     IT was this second option that had crept into the church in Corinth.

-     THE prevailing culture had finally made an appearance in the church of Jesus.

-     THE problem is that we are not of this world. We are citizens of a heavenly city, who builder and architect is God....and where righteousness reigns.

-     WE are also, not a conveniently parceled out creation of God, where what we do in and with our bodies does not have any consequence.

-     WE are a body, soul and spirit....a whole entity.

-     AND what we do in and with our bodies has everything to do with our today AND our eternity.

-     THE passage of I Corinthians 6 that we will be studying today says, “Honor God With Your Body.”

-     BUT just in case you may think I will be overstating the case, I would like to start the message today with a small survey of New Testament Scriptures on the body.

*     “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thessalonians 5:23..pg. 1171)


*     “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.” (Romans 6:13...pg.1117)


*     “No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (I Corinthians 9:27...pg.1134)

*     “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:10...pg.1144)


*     “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1...pg. 1145)


*     “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Philippians 1:20...pg. 1159)


*     “...that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,(5) not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; (6) and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. (7) For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (I Thessalonians 4:4-7...pg. 1170)


*     “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3:6..pg.1197)


*     “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship. (2) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2...pg.1123)

-     WHY?

-     WHY do we need to be concerned about honoring God in and with our bodies?

-     WELL, these verses that I just read from Romans indicate that it is the only way to know God’s perfect will.

-     BUT our passage in I Corinthians 6 gives us three profound reasons.

-     VERSE 20 says,

      “Therefore, honor God with your body.”

-     AND you know that a “therefore” is there to connect the verse with what has immediately preceded the verse.

-     SO, let’s go now to I Corinthians 6 and discover the three reasons we are to honor God with our bodies.


ii. bound for the kingdom of God

-     I WILL give you the first reason before we even read verses 9-11.

-     WE honor God with our bodies BECAUSE we are bound for the kingdom of God.

-     TURN with me to I Corinthians 6:9...page 1131.

      “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders (10) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (I Corinthians 6:9-11)

-     THE bad news is that if we continue to give our bodies to sin, the only thing that lies ahead for us is the sure judgment of God.

-     YOU and I can’t serve the Lord with our lips, professing to be believers and live any way we please in our bodies...and expect God to look the other way.

-     IN Revelation 22:12, Jesus tells John about the final arrival of the kingdom of God,

      “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. (13) I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (14) Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. (15) Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” (Revelation 22:12-15)

-     THAT is the bad news....but Paul has good news concerning the Corinthians.

-     HE says in verse 11, “That is what some of you were.....”

-     BUT...you have been,

*     Washed...in the blood of Jesus.

*     Sanctified....Set apart for God’s possession.

*     Justified....Declared innocent of all charges.

-     THERE is the contrast and sharp division!

*     The kingdom of God, where those who have been washed, sanctified, and justified....and who keep their body under Christ’s rule, WILL reign with Christ for all eternity.

*     The eternal wrath of God in a literal hell prepared for Satan and his angels, where those who practice these sins in the body WILL face the eternal wrath of God.

-     IT is time to declare yourself.

-     WHAT is your destination?

-     I DETERMINE to honor God with my body because I am bound for His kingdom.



iii. united with christ

-     HERE is the second reason found in verses 12-17.

-     WE honor God with our bodies BECAUSE we are united with Christ. We are members of Christ!

-     VERSE 12,

      “‘Everything is permissible for me’-- but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’-- but I will not be mastered by anything.”

-     THERE is a freedom for believers in Christ.

-     WE are not bound by long lists of rules and restrictions.

-     AND is appears that the believers in Corinth were quoting, “Everything is permissible for me,” a little too freely.

-     SO, Paul adds two exceptions for them, to that saying.

1.   Not everything is beneficial, or expedient, even if it is lawful.

•     My freedom may not do me any good.

•     My freedom may not do my neighbor any good.

•     This calls for discretion, for discernment.

2.   Paul refuses to be mastered by anything.

•     When someone justifies their actions by saying, “I am free to do as I please,”.....that is another way of them saying, “I am a slave to this thing.”

-     ON to verse 13,

      “‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food’-- but God will destroy them both.

-     TRANSLATION? Food and stomach are passing away.

-     THE body,  on the other hand, will live eternally....with eternal consequences for what we do in the body.

-     LET’S move on,

      The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. (14) By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.

-     BECAUSE we live in resurrection power, we are not subject to the desires of the flesh.

-     VERSE 15,

      “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! (16) 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.’ (17) But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” (I Corinthians 6:12-17)

-     WE honor God with our bodies because we are united with Christ.



iv. the temple of the holy spirit

-     HERE is the third reason in verses 18-20.

-     WE honor God with our bodies BECAUSE we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

-     GOD’S Holy Spirit has taken up residence in your life AND body, believer!

-     VERSE 18,

      “Flee from sexual immorality.

-     THIS sin is insidious and powerful.

-     PSYCHOLOGISTS agree that this is the one addiction that is the hardest to break.

-     SO, Paul offers sage advice in the presence of sexual sin....RUN!!!!!!!!!

-     DON’T mess with the magazines, TV, movies, the internet.

-     YOU cannot play around the edges of this sin without getting burnt....and burning a lot of other people with you.

-     LET’S move on with verse 18,

      “All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

-     SOME commentators that I read danced around this verse...saying that Paul was exaggerating to make a point.

-     I BELIEVE that in a very real way, sexual intimacy between a husband and wife actually builds them up....spiritually and physically.

-     I MENTIONED in the sermon on sexuality from I Corinthians 5, that a non-believing physician, Dr. Anchell, believes that in every act of physical intimacy the man and woman give something of themselves to their partners that they can never get back.

-     SO then, in each act of intimacy between a husband and wife there is an investment, a giving away of yourself, spiritually and physically.

-     WELL, in the context of the covenant  of marriage...that giving is kept in perpetual trust. In other words it is not ever lost.

-     BUT when intimacy is with a prostitute, or indiscriminate sexual partners....you are giving yourself away in a way that is NOT kept in trust.

-     YOU are being diminished spiritually, physically EVERY time....until Satan drops you off bankrupt at the end of your life, destined for the same fire as he.

-     TRUST me....you are sinning against yourself.

-     VERSE 19....and here is the “BECAUSE” of sexual purity,

      “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; (20) you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (I Corinthians 6:18-20)

v. conclusion

-     THREE pressing reasons to honor God with your body.

1.   Because you are bound for the kingdom of God....you have been washed, sanctified, justified.

2.   Because you are united with Christ...your body is a member of Christ.

3.   Because you are the temple of the Holy Spirit....God lives in you.

-     LET us honor God with our bodies.....realizing that this body WILL be resurrected glorified, incorruptible....so let’s keep this one holy.

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