Paul begins his focus on sexual behavior of the believer. The Corinthian church was taking the “All things are lawful for me” route to mean anything goes. This is probably why they were so willing to ignore the sin of the man who had his father’s wife. To them nothing was off limits.
Paul starts out small with his instructions regarding sexual behavior, just like he did with lawsuits. “’All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything” (verse 12).
My bible helps tell me that Paul put the quotations on the sayings of the Corinthians. This blanket statement had clauses and qualifiers that this group needed, as well as us today.
God’s law has been fulfilled by Jesus and we are no longer bound by its specific restrictions. But we are STILL supposed to abstain from sin. If that were not the case then why would Jesus need to die for our sin? If sin didn’t matter after the cross, why would Jesus even bother? God still cares about sin and separates Himself from it.
Jesus even gave us a new commandment; “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). Loving one another as Jesus did entailed not sinning against one another too.
Sexual sin is targeted by Paul explicitly now. He doesn’t beat around the bush. He brings it home by reminding his reader about how “two become one” in a sexual relationship. Contrary to what our new generation things, sex is not a casual interaction. Sexual relations involve the heart, mind and body. Even the new “friends with benefits” implies a connection. You can’t separate the pieces of yourself out during sexual relations. One may be able to subjugate parts for a time but there will be internal consequences for doing so.
Paul tells us that sexual sin is the only sin that we commit against ourselves. The damage done is not only to another but to oneself.
I know this is off track but what about cutting, choking, extreme risk taking, or eating disorder behaviors. I want to ask Paul if he considers the self-injurious behaviors sin. To me those are against oneself too. I’m wondering if they would be considered to have a sexual component.
One of the best arguments for not engaging in sins against the self is that we belong to God. We are the living hands and feet of Him. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We are His living witness. How can we demonstrate His love to others when we don’t show that love to ourselves? What kind of witness am I living? If I’m living no different from the world why would anyone see anything desirable about my life?
How can I proclaim God’s love to others if I won’t even let Him show it to me? By sinning against myself I’m destroying what He loves, what Jesus died to purchase. If HE values me that much how is it that I don’t value myself?
Father God forgive me for not valuing what Jesus paid for. Lord Jesus please forgive me for discounting Your work. I’m afraid to be too transparent here but this is my journal and my prayer so I’m going to do it anyway. I believe You want me to be honest here with You Lord, even when it hurts.
I have sexual sins in my past that haunt me. I have brought them to You and asked for Your forgiveness and KNOW that I have received it. I have also brought You my self-injurious behaviors and repented. But Lord I still have trouble loving myself and seeing myself as You see me. Together we have come a LONG way in this area but there is still so much more to do. Please continue Your work in me. Help me to see myself through Your eyes. Thank You Father for Your forgiveness but please repair the damage left behind by my own hand and mind in sin. I want You on the throne in my life, NOT sin!