"Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." -1 Corinthians 6:18 KJV
"Flee sexual immorality. Every other sin a man can commit is outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body." -1 Corinthians 6:18 BSB
The moment we accepted Jesus Christ and received Him into our life to be Lord, the moment we believed the truth of God's Word (John 1:12), we became one with God. We were joined with the Lord, and we became one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17). In Christ, we are a new creation, and since we have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20), we are to glorify God, bringing Him honor in all we say and do because WE ARE UNITED AS ONE WITH GOD and His Holy Spirit dwells within us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and the BASIC LAW of the TEMPLE is holiness.
"This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house." -Ezekiel 43:12KJV
Back in the Bible times, the physical temple had the outer courts ("Then brought he me into the outward court, and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were upon the pavement," Ezekiel 40:17KJV.), and then inside the temple were two rooms: (1) The Holy Place and (2) The Most Holy Place, which we can see in Hebrews 9:1-5NLT, which says, "That first covenant between God and Israel had regulations for worship and a place of worship here on earth. There were two rooms in that Tabernacle. In the first room were a lampstand, a table, and sacred loaves of bread on the table. This room was called the Holy Place. Then there was a curtain, and behind the curtain was the second room called the Most Holy Place. In that room were a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. Inside the Ark were a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the Ark were the cherubim of divine glory, whose wings stretched out over the Ark’s cover, the place of atonement..."
Our soul belongs to God, and there is nothing that is worth forfeiting your soul to. What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul? Please understand your soul is the seat of emotions, and out of your heart flows all the issues of life, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life,” (Proverbs 14:23KJV). The ESV states it this way, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Guard your heart. Maintain your purity before God, walking uprightly before Him. Ask yourself this: “Is there anything worth losing my soul for?”
Understanding The Phrases “COMMITTETH FORNICATION” and “SINNING SEXUALLY.”
Look again at the phrasing of this verse in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.” The phrase “sins sexually” is transliterated from the Greek word “porneuon” which means (1) to fornicate (the KJV says the phrase “committeth fornication”); (2) to practice idolatry; and (3) then the first part of that word “porne” means to act like a prostitute, indulge in unlawful lust or the practice of.
Committing fornication is simply stated as “sinning sexually.” Sex without the commitment of marriage is not only a sin but it is also cheap, tawdry, and crude. Sex without the commitment of marriage is emotionally exhausting and can make a person feel wiped out. Sexual sin of any kind is sinning sexually against God and your own body. Sinning sexually is completely and undeniably against God’s design for the gift of sex. Within the context of marriage between a husband and wife, sex is pleasurable and enjoyable with the commitment of the blending of true love and marriage with Christ as the Solid Foundation upon which that marriage is built. Within the context of marriage between a husband and wife, sex is fulfilling and doesn’t drain emotionally because of the intimacy shared between the man and the woman who have now become one flesh in the eyes of God, a Christ-centered marriage. In the two becoming one, the consummation is creating a bonding in their commitment to each other, causing the intimacy between husband and wife to deepen and increase.
Here is a truly sobering thought: Since it is clear that the two become one flesh, that means if one is sinning sexually, then anyone he/she is having sex with, he/she is becoming one with every single person he/she gives his/her body to. That is both disturbing and a sin in the eyes of God. It is called fornication, sexual sin, and wickedness. There has to be a noticeable difference between the children of God and those who are unbelievers. When the children of God stray and take on the world’s philosophies and vain imaginations, this angers God. It does not please Him at all. First Thessalonians 4:3-8BSB states, “For it is God’s will that you should be holy: You must abstain from sexual immorality; each of you must know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God; and no one should ever violate or exploit his brother in this regard, because the Lord will avenge all such acts, as we have already told you and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us to impurity, but to holiness. Anyone, then, who rejects this command does not reject man but God, the very One who gives you His Holy Spirit.” If you are committing sexual sin with someone you have no intention of marrying, you are having sex with someone’s else’s future spouse. When you commit acts of cheating and acts of adultery, God is going to avenge all such acts. You will not be able to escape the consequences of your actions.
We are called to be holy. Being made holy is being set apart. We are a holy nation, a peculiar people, and a royal priesthood. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord is working in you to shape and mold you into a man or woman of God. The transformation begins on the inside. Your love and obedience to God is a direct result of an inward transformation that takes place in your heart and mind, from your innermost being.
When you are committing sexual sin, you are giving up full control of your entire body over to the lusts of your flesh and allowing yourself to indulge in what God has called sin (“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous,” Hebrews 13:4ESV). You are giving complete control of your body not just to your lustful thoughts but also to the one you are having sex with. When you are giving complete control of your body to sexual sin to the one you are sinning with, you have made yourself and the one you’re engaging with a god; you are practicing idolatry. As previously stated one of the meanings of the Greek word is “to practice idolatry.”
“I can’t help myself.” Yes, you can. When you are truly a child of God, the Holy Spirit residing in you gives you all the power you need to walk in purity and holiness before God. When you are truly a child of God, you will allow the Holy Spirit to instruct you into all truth, and out of your love for Jesus, you will obey the commandments set out in the Word of God. In Romans 8:12, we are told we are under no obligation to do what our sinful nature urges us to do. You have God and all of the weapons He has supplied you with to combat every thought that goes against God and His Word. You have God and all of the weapons He has supplied you with to resist temptation and flee from any kind of sin that would try to take you down. Those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit are not controlled by their flesh, “You, however, are controlled not by the flesh, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you,” (Romans 8:9-11 BSB). The Holy Spirit is your Helper, and when you are tempted, God provides a way of escape so that you are able to stand against the temptation. “So the one who thinks he is standing firm should be careful not to fall. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it, (1 Corinthians 10:12-13BSB). Please never think you are so strong that you will stay in temptation’s path if it comes your way. To think you are so strong that you cannot fall into sexual sin is foolish thinking, and if you believe you cannot fall into sexual sin, then you have been deceived and taken in. The Apostle Paul made it very clear in his warning to believers, “SO THE ONE WHO THINKS HE IS STANDING FIRM SHOULD BE CAREFUL NOT TO FALL.” This is a warning. EVERY SINGLE PERSON is capable of falling into sexual sin, and if believe you are not capable of falling into any kind of sexual sin, then that is pride. When temptation for sexual sin crosses your path, the only victory to overcome falling into sexual sin is to “Flee sexual immorality.” You need to run from it.
LIVING SACRIFICES. Since our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, since God says be holy for He is holy, it is necessary to remember in all we say and do that we are worshipping God. According to Romans 12:1KJV, the Apostle Paul had this to say, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Therefore, not only is your body the temple of the Holy Spirit but you are also a living sacrifice unto God that is to never be defiled. Inside of you is the presence of the Lord which is the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. In John 14:17ESV, it states, “Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” The Holy Spirit cannot tolerate defilement of the temple. God is NEVER pleased when we defile the temple of the Holy Spirit (YOUR BODY) because you are dishonoring God and sinning against Him by idolizing yourself and surrendering control of your heart and soul to another, partaking in sexual sin. You are sinning against your body by giving up your self-respect and letting other people who you are committing sexual sin with control you. You are sinning against your own body by allowing another to defile you, not knowing if the other person has some disease or health issue that will affect you later on. There is no victory when you are constantly falling into sexual sin.
Let me put it another way: A Man and a Woman get married and they consummate the marriage. The consummation is the two becoming one flesh. They are now joined together. That consummation is the ultimate and complete expression of the commitment of love between a husband and a wife. They are now united as one; the two became one flesh. The married couple shares a mutual love, respect, and honor to each other. With Christ, you were spiritually joined together, one in spirit with Him, you have become one with Him and have experienced is everlasting love and unwavering commitment to you as a child of the Most High God. As a result of your love for Christ, you obey His commands, spend time in the Scriptures learning of God’s laws and commands, communing and communicating with God, and walk in wholehearted devotion to Christ. You are joined as one with the Spirit of the Living God who has taken up residence within you. Let’s look at these verses found in 1 Corinthians 6:15-17NLT, “Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, ‘The two are united into one.’ But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.” If you are controlled and consumed by lust, then you are controlled and consumed by sexual sin. Those thoughts need to be brought under control. Do not allow yourself to be consumed and controlled with lust. If you allow yourself to be controlled by unbridled passion, you will find yourself in spiritual quicksand. When you give yourself over to the control of sexual sin (just in case anyone is wondering, this also includes the sexual sin of masturbation which begins with uncontrolled lustful thoughts), you are bringing dishonor and defilement to the temple of the Holy Spirit because you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, bought with the price of the blood of Jesus shed for you. Verses 18-20 continues on to say “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
WHO CAN CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD? In Psalm 24:3NLT, David asked two questions: “Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?” And this is the answer is given to us in verses 4-6, “Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.”
Did you know that not a hint of sexual immorality or impurity is to be found amongst those who are true children of God? In Ephesians 5:1-5BSB, it states, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God. But among you, as is proper among the saints, there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or crude joking, which are out of character, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Note the words, “there must not be even a hint.” There should be nothing at all that we demonstrate that shows impurity amongst us. We are to be fragrant living sacrifices to the Lord, bringing Him glory and honor in what we do and say. We are to be imitators of God, to be perfect as He is perfect, to be holy as He is holy. We are to be faithful to God, loving Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Our allegiance is first and foremost always to God. He is faithful, and we are to “be imitators of God.” Therefore, we honor God with our bodies.
You cannot claim to be a child of God and be chasing the lusts of the flesh at the same time. You are either a child of the devil or a child of God. You are either of the world or you are of God. Which are you? You cannot have it both ways. Either you are walking in purity before God or you’re not. There is no neutral ground. Every other sin committed is outside the body, but sinning sexually is sinning against your own body and sinning against God. It was King David, after Nathan the prophet confronted him, repented before God and confessed his sin of adultery. This is what King David said, “Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just,” (Psalm 51:4NLT). God did forgive King David, and he was called a man after God’s own heart. However, King David still reaped a whirlwind of consequences from his act of adultery with Bathsheba. God does not allow sin to go unpunished. Will God forgive you of sexual sin if you repent? Yes, God will forgive you when you come before Him in sincere and genuine repentance with a humble heart.
PRAYER: PSALM 51 (A Psalm of King David) “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you. You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.”
Linda A. Knowles
Executive Director at Thread of Hope, Inc.
(Stay tuned for information about the new book "Finding Your Beloved" written by Dr. Nick Young, Rev. Dr. Teresa Citro, and Linda A. Knowles)