May 2021 Memory Verse

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.
– 1 Corinthians 6:19

You are not your own. Some in the church at Corinth disregarded this fact and were acting, particularly sexually, the exact opposite. The word abhorrent might have come to mind as Paul, the author of Corinthians, thought about how to address their conduct as believers. Corinth was a major center of commerce and cultural exchange in what is now modern-day Greece, a perfect incubator for what many have labeled the “Sin City” of the Roman Empire. In its shadow, our supposed oasis in Nevada stands as an amateur. So well-known for its drunkenness, debauchery, and deluge of sexual immorality, the Empire bestowed upon Corinth its own descriptor: corinthianize. The term was embraced by Corinth’s inhabitants almost as a badge of honor, much like many unabashedly embrace “what happens in Vegas…” today. How did Paul address this literal den of iniquity?

Paul did not, in his own power; he let the Holy Spirit do the talking (convicting) through his inspired pen. The first six chapters of 1 Corinthians, written about A.D. 57, are Paul’s resounding reproof to the disturbing information received about the church he founded. He addresses a cascading pile of sins besetting the church including major divisions with regard to the church’s role and ministry (manifest in open disunity), ongoing lawsuits amongst the brethren, culminating with Paul’s indignation of the embrace and influence of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, and the utter destruction this misguided worship inflicted.

Paul’s was a simple reminder revolving around the Trinity (6:12-20). He counters the distorted Christian thinking of the day, rejecting their false view of freedom to do whatever they wished, and their right to satisfy their appetites in the way they desired. Paul reminds them that God created their bodies, and only He, in the end, will resurrect their bodies. Second, Paul reminds them that their bodies are members of Christ himself; that Christ lives in them, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). Finally, he firmly states that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit who resides within them. Interestingly, with this foundation, he transitions his letter from reproof to instruction beginning with his treatise on marriage.

Paul focuses a great deal on sexual immorality for one reason—it is the seeming pleasure which, without fail, destroys relationships by always inflicting maximum collateral damage. When we believe we are invulnerable, we are most vulnerable. When we believe we are our own, we forget we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). Let us remember this price when we, perhaps even unwittingly, satisfy our own appetites with wandering eyes, unhealthy overindulgence, or overdependence on regulating our bodies through other means. We are not our own. Honor God with your body.

by Elder Chuck Wolfe