“Everything is permissible for me –- but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me –- but I will not be mastered by anything. The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” (1 Corinthians 1:12-13)
You heard it! The infallible word of God says it.
Most people would consider ‘the body’ theirs and assume they can do whatever they choose with it. While on the surface this may sound logical, unfortunately nothing is further from the truth. It is a fallacy to think we are masters and mistresses of our own bodies when we had no say in creating ourselves. We therefore cannot justifiably subject our bodies to our will or use it anyhow.
The Scriptures teach us categorically that the body does not only belong to the Lord but that it is His dwelling place also. We ought to be cautious how we treat it and to what use we put it. “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; you were bought with a price. Therefore honour God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-19)
I can sense a war waging in your spirit as you weigh this teaching in your mind. It may surprise you but if you were ignorant of this up until now, take this as a clarion call to redress wrong beliefs and begin to honour God with your body. Cease to exercise what you thought was a God-given right. You are not your own.
No one ever expressed a wish to come into this world. No one has either played a key role in shaping his/her body with a view to coming to dwell on this earth. We did not come here of our own volition. We did not determine our body functions and how they fit neatly in our relations with the environment. We cannot usurp such a privilege given to us by subjecting our bodies to our personal whims and fancies --- piercing every part of it, removing its pigmentation, tattooing, ‘transgendering’ and by altering our looks by means of plastic surgery. The hand of the evil one must be behind this; for everything the Lord made at the creation, He declared good; for human beings ‘very good.’ “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)
Who made us believe we can do whatever we choose with our bodies but the devil who has come ‘to steal, kill and destroy’ the handiwork of God? How easily we have given credence to his lies. How unfortunate that we have toyed with our bodies through lack of knowledge. Worst still, some of us do feel good about ourselves. Do not heed the devil’s suggestions with which he constantly bombards you. He has no noble intentions than to make you miss heaven.
For long, whilst growing up, I had believed in this lie that my body was mine and it could be used anyhow. Such behaviour had totally severed my relationship with my Maker putting me at head-on collision with His word. I thank God for lifting me from the miry clay and the dirt and making me His own. By His grace and His mercy, I have been restored.
We all need to look over our shoulders and endeavour to make a comeback and be reconciled with God. It is time that we come to terms with the reality of God’s word and conform. We are being called to order. Let us make our bodies the temple -- the dwelling place of the Most High.
The apostle Paul is admonishing all to “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18) Driven by lust, we fall prey to the multiple snares the devil has mined our path with. The easiest, yet the most dangerous medium, is immorality—rampant in our generation. What haven’t we done all in the name of seeking fleeting pleasures? Nothing is too hard for God to accomplish. Our bodies must not be made the gateway to all forms of immorality.
The apostle Paul vehemently pleaded with the Christians of Corinth who were entrenched in these practices, urging them to desist and refrain from them. In the heart of Corinth, a cosmopolitan city in the first century, all kinds of ills were being perpetrated. “Therefore I urge you, brothers, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing unto God–-this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1-2).
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
You may for one reason or the other think you are too far gone. Jesus alone can help you in this battle. He says; “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for one to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:29) Every effort on your part to disentangle yourself may prove useless. Only Jesus can transform a sinner completely. If it were not for His mercy where would I have been?
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; ..... For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, 7)Submit to the word of God and leave it all to Jesus. He alone can deliver us by His word.