Sunday, January 8, 2017

The "Body" Sins.

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV).

Hellfire & brimstone have been the topics of choice my many pastors, teachers, prophets, and evangelists over the ages of public ministry. Eradicating sin, as it is preached, is the way to acquire and achieve personal holiness with God. Becoming scared about the consequences has become the more favored tactic for making converts than growing more closely attracted to the person of Jesus Christ and making disciples.

When Paul, who cut no corners when addressing sin and spirituality, spoke to the church at Corinth, he let the truth be known. Corinth was the "Vegas" of the day. If it happened there, many would have preferred to leave it there. There was certainly sin in the church and Paul was unafraid and unapologetically prepared to deal with it directly and immediately. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, he deals with the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. His focus is on the church understanding that they are not their own. They do not, nor have they ever been entrusted with the final say over what they do with their bodies. They were created by God and were created so to honor Him in all and with all. 

This is where the imbalance is preached. It is much easier to preach about the sins of homosexuality (and yes, the Bible DOES call the acts a sin, though the struggle with attraction is not), adultery, drunkenness and the like, and avoid dealing with the sins of laziness, overeating, gluttony, and other evidences of living a life with a lack of self-control. Interestingly enough, there is more physical evidence to the latter list than there are in the former list. Rather than dealing with the struggles in which all can see the evidence, many have chosen to deflect the attention onto that which is secret and unseen. Paul, in this passage, deals with all of the above.

This article is not meant to rewrite the Biblical truth on homosexuality, adultery, or other sins of that nature, but rather to level the playing field on the fact that the Word of Truth deals with ALL sins. If it is a sin, it needs to be dealt with. Proverbs 6:16-19 frames it this way, "There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community." Yes, the Bible speaks definitively on many topics of sexuality and the other sins many have labeled as the "big ones." And yet, Scripture has leveled ALL SINS, except for those who die in an unrepentant state, and has shown that each person created has a struggle and needs a savior. 

What are the areas in your life where you are not honoring God with your body? Is it giving into temptations of same sex attraction? The Bible is clear. Is it not being able to stop yourself when sitting at the dinner table with your third desert? Are you lazy? Do you deal with what "other people" are doing rather than focusing on what you need to do? Before throwing rocks and picking out splinters in the eyes of those around you, take some time before God and deal with you. You don't have to be perfect to preach holiness to others, but at least be authentic, consistent, and believable.


Ken Taylor said...

Thank you pastor Chris! I have been saying this every since I came back to the Lord but what I call the "legalists" prefer to prioritize sins to feel better about themselves. The truth is when someone is fighting one of what they consider to be a big sin with the Lord at their side they are on fire for the Lord. On the other hand I have noticed that those that categorize sin tend to be what I call church attenders and are Luke warm at best.

Chris Gibbs said...

Hi Ken! I understand completely. The fact is, though all sins do not hold the same temporal consequence (murder and hate won't BOTH get you prison), they do all hold the same eternal consequence. You can't get MORE grace for this one and LESS grace for that one. You need the same grace from the same work of the same Jesus. Therefore, I responsibility should also be at the same level for all. I should use the same level of committment to Christ in NOT murdering as I do in NOT hating. I should be JUST AS COMMITTED to NOT endulge in careless with my body by way of eating and laziness as I am with not committing adultery. In all things, I am to live in honor and worship of Jesus.