Sin Against the Body – Epiphany 2B
The first of 2 weeks on sexual issues in the Bible.
I hate when the idea “your Body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19) is used to deal with smoking, gluttony, or other sins in the body. Paul is not talking about any of those. I think a more relevant Scripture to those types of issues is a few verses earlier in verse 12: “I will not be enslaved by anything”. But Paul, who was familiar with what we could term addictive sins (food, alcohol, psychoactive drugs), says that sexual sin is the only sin against the body.
Why are sexual sins the only sins against the body? Because God created humanity to live as a couple – the two become one flesh. God created humanity in His image: male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27). God created us relationally: as God is three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God desires that part of His image in us is that we are relational. Food doesn’t change that, smoking doesn’t either. Sexual sin breaks a foundational purpose of our bodies – to be united with another in love and commitment.
There are other ways that we are created in God’s image: creativity, reproductive, dominion, etc. but Paul here is dealing with the issue of the break in the husband-wife bond, two becoming one. Since Paul sees this sin as the only sin against the body, he deems sex to be important. Sexuality is something that we in the church need to understand and develop in healthy ways.
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