1. How would you characterize our culture’s view of sex?
2. How would you characterize our culture’s view of immorality?
The Bible provides ample wisdom and counsel about immorality; however, Christians have fallen short in learning and using this knowledge to impact their lives and lives of people around us.
We have become so desensitized by our culture that what used to be completely unthinkable is common place. There are few books in the Bible that does not deal with sexual immorality in some way!
Before Christ, the Corinthian believers may have been entangled in unrighteousness. After their conversion God demanded holiness in all areas of their lives. However, one believer had either continued to sin or returned to it, and the church had not dealt with the sin.
There is hardly a week that passes without a teacher, coach, high visibility political figure, pastor or church staff member being charged with some kind of sexual misconduct. It is destroying our lives and Satan is enjoying every minute of it!
3. To what degree do you think it matters how a person uses his or her body?
4. How would you describe the connection between your body and your spiritual life?
Through Paul, this session provides an understanding of what God expects of Christians regarding sexual morality. Paul challenged the believers in Corinth, and thereby all believers, to embrace God’s standard for holy, righteous living.
5. Is this message needed for the church today? (I think one would be hard pressed to find a book in the New Testament that does not deal with sexual immorality in some way.)
Some people embrace the notion that what they do with their own body is their business. The first-century Christians thought similarly. They came out of lifestyles of physical indulgence and supposed that once they were followers of Jesus, everything bodily was still permitted.
Focused on Christ’s Lordship! Read 1 Cor. 6:12-14
We all have cultural habits or practices that are hard to overcome once we become Christians. Paul possibly quoted something he had said previously or slogans from the broader Corinthian culture. The verses fall within Paul’s larger discussion of Christian liberty and freedom in 1 Cor. 5-11. Either way, the Corinthian believers misapplied the quoted phrase, using them to pursue ungodly actions and selfish ends.
1. Read John 8:36 and Gal. 5:1. What is the Scripture talking about in these verses about being free? (From the bondage of sin.)
Freedom in Christ is never meant as a license to sin. See Heb. 10:26. We cannot presume on God’s grace. If we choose to sin, saying God will forgive and all will be well, we are wrong! There may be confession but there is no repentance in this case!
2. What other areas beyond food and sex might master a Christian’s life if left unchecked or unchallenged? (My mouth.)
3. When we become a Christian do all temptations go away? (Absolutely not. But God doesn’t tempt us, it comes from Satan. See James 1:13-15.)
4. What is the relationship between freedom and responsibility?
5. What might be said to believers who think they are free to do as they please?
Paul stressed that believers can live holy lives by focusing on Christ’s Lordship and not being controlled by temporal things, such as food and sexual appetites.
Joined with Christ! Read 1 Cor. 6:15-17
1. If Paul were saying these words instead of writing them, what inflection do you think he would use?
As we have already hinted at, there were those who believed that the physical body and the spirit were separated and one had nothing to do with the other. That is not the case!
2. What did Corinthian believers misunderstand about the nature of sex? (Just as a husband and wife become one through sex, a believer becomes one with a person through a sexual encounter.)
I recently heard about one single adult asking another single adult, “How do you satisfy your sexual needs?” The reply was, “I give it up to God.”! Nothing satisfies more than our relationship with Christ, which unites us with God!
3. In what way are we part of Christ’s body? (Believers are part of Christ’s body—the church. But we also have the Spirit of God living in us! The two are inseparable. So when we join ourselves with a prostitute God’s Spirit is right there too!)
As members of the church, there is accountability with one another for how we behave!
4. Why might a person bristle at the thought of accountability with another person?
5. How does being held accountable by others help a person use his or her freedom for good?
6. How should being united with Christ impact how a person views what he or she does with his or her body?
Think of it this way. Wherever I go I visualize Jesus being right there with me! Would I go to a prostitute with Jesus right there in the room with me? I think not! The truth is He is right there with us in the Person of the Holy Spirit!
Bought with a Price! Read 1 Cor. 6:18-20
1. How are we told to respond when we face sexual temptation? (RUN! Not walk but run as Joseph did from Potiphar’s wife!)
2. What must the Corinthian believers do to strengthen their ability to flee sexual immorality? (Stay in the Word of God. Stay connected to the body of believers—the church! Hang out with fellow believers. Make wise choices when choosing friends.)
We cannot take chances when faced with sexual immorality. It is powerful, and one cannot reason with it. I’ve known strong Christians who were trapped in this sin. RUN!
3. To whom did Paul say the Corinthian believers belonged? Why? (They were “slaves to Christ”. They had been bought at a high price!)
We too have been bought at a high price and we should seek to honor Christ with how we use our bodies! Hosea and Gomer.
4. How does realizing you were bought for a high price encourage you to honor God with how you use your body?
5. Read 1 Thess. 4:3-8. How does what Paul wrote in this passage compare to what he wrote to the Corinthian believers?
Sexual immorality has a deep spiritual impact on a person’s body, because of the nature of this sinful act. It physically and spiritually corrupts the inside of the body, while other sins corrupt the outside of the body.
Our bodies are sacred vessels that house the Holy Spirit. Therefore, our bodies should be treated with honor and respect!
Summarize and Challenge!
Unless one lives in a vacuum, no one can escape the widespread exposure of immorality in today’s culture.
1. How can Paul’s challenge to the Corinthian believers strengthen our resolve to resist the practice of immorality and live holy before God?
Sexual temptation knows no limits. Some have the opinion that as you age your temptations become less and less. But, as I heard someone say just the other day, “My body may be 80 years old but in my mind I’m still 18!”
2. Are you more focused on Christ or on temporal things?
3. What evidence would you point to in support of your answer?
4. What needs to change and how?
5. Do you think we are responsible to holding each other accountable?
6. How can we hold one another accountable without judging, condoning, or ignoring? (We become desensitized to sin.)
Some Christian groups form accountability partnerships, or pairs of believers who will help each other be mutually accountable for honoring God with their bodies. These would need to be prayed over and be very, very good friends and keep things confidential!
It is difficult in the world we live in, but we should resolve to guard our minds from the influence of immorality. This means filtering what we watch on TV and other media and what we read!
We must aggressively turn away from every temptation!