Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! 1 Corinthians 6:15
“Do you not know” is Paul’s rhetorical way of saying, “You should certainly know…” It is an obvious truth that anyone who has called on Christ should know what he will now state. It shouldn’t take any additional reflection or consideration. He is relaying now a thought based on his previous statement of verse 14 which said, “And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.”
If God will raise us up by His power because of the work of Christ, then we must be “members of Christ.” It should be a self-evident fact to the believer. And because it is, he asks another rhetorical question, “Shall I then take the members of Christ (meaning “my” members because I am united to Christ) and make them members of a harlot?” The question begs a negative response!
Harlotry has no place within Christianity and is used by Paul as an all-encompassing term for any sexual immorality. The Bible allows one type of sex and that is between a man and a woman within the bonds of marriage. Anything else is a perversion of this. A harlot not only engages in sex with many partners, but she does so for pay. And this was commonly connected to religious rites. Because of this, Paul uses harlotry as the premier example of sexual immorality.
By engaging in sex with a harlot, we are uniting that which is sacred and set apart to God with that which is profane and opposed to God! As Ellicott notes, “The double act of taking them away from their glorious union with Christ, and joining them to a base body, is implied in the Greek.” It is a double-slap in the face of that which is upright and acceptable for the Christian.
Life application: Although Paul is speaking of sexual immorality, we should consider every action we take in life in conjunction with our spiritual connection to Christ. David, in the Psalms says, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes…” Isn’t this the right, noble, and honorable path to follow in all things. Let us “fix our eyes on Jesus” and not on that which is base and inglorious.
Heavenly Father, I know that where my eyes rest my thoughts will follow. Be they my physical or my spiritual eyes, when I look at something profane, my thoughts will turn to the profane. When I fix my eyes on Jesus, my thoughts will be directed to Him. Help me to follow the advice of the psalms and “set nothing wicked before my eyes.” Give me the hunger and desire to know You, to seek You, and to focus my eyes upon You. With this, I will be an acceptable jar, ready for Your filling. Amen.