Lesson Six – Will Not Be Mastered by Anything

Will Not Be Mastered by Anything


Please review the first half of Part II, Lesson Four, entitled, The Major Thought Movement in I Corinthians.  The first major thought movement of Paul may have been completed with the text for this lesson – I Corinthians 6:12-20.  In the Introduction of Part II, Lesson Four, please find a review of historical and literary analysis.  This analysis has been done under the heading of exegesis.  It is an attempt to understand what was happening where the letter was received and what the writer said to the situation.  In Part III we are doing the work of hermeneutics – what the same scriptures mean for people in our age who desire to be disciples of Jesus Christ.  A summary list of principles for Christians found in the first six chapters of I Corinthians will be presented in Lesson Seven, the final lesson in this Part.


Sexual immorality is on every “sin list” in the Bible such as Galatians 5:19-21 and I Thessalonians 4:3-8.  God had His command, “You shall not commit adultery” chiseled in stone for the Israelites Ex. 20:14; 34:1.  Moses repeatedly taught this command with detailed elaborations for forty years (Lev. 18:1-30; Deut. 5:1-22).  Yet, “While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in immorality with Moabite women who invited them to sacrifice to their gods.” Num. 25:1.  God commanded Moses to kill more than twenty thousand Jews because of this one encounter.  Jesus wanted us to know about God’s attitude about idolatry and sexual immorality so Paul commented:

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.  Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: ‘The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.’  We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did – and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. I Cor. 10:6-8

Where some “sin lists” were developed in the scriptures, it was pointed out that when the sin of fornication and adultery was practiced, lust took control of the participants.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.  Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Rom. 1:26, 27

Some of the members of the Corinthian church had been caught up in this perversion before they were born again.  Outsiders, those people in the “world realm,” may practice perverted acts while seeking to satisfy their God given urge for sexual relationships and call it a “gay” relationship.  However, the principle in our text is; “All other sins a man commits are outside the body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.”  I Cor. 6:18.  To fully comprehend how this sin has different consequences than other sins, we will note some principles Paul included in this block of scripture:

  1. “‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but not everything is beneficial.   ‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but I will not be mastered by anything.”  I Cor. 6:12.
    We understand the phrase “Everything is permissible for me” is a law of life principle of the new covenant (I Cor. 9:21; Rom. 8:1, 2; Gal. 6:2).  Christians are free from sin, death and the Law of Moses to fulfill the requirements of this Law (Rom. 5:12-21; 8:3, 4; Gal. 5:1).  Paul asked the rhetorical question; “Am I not free?”  I Cor. 9:1.  Freedom will be the principle that dominates our study in Part IV.
    Jesus taught the principle for fulfilling the Law of Moses command, “Do not commit adultery”  in Matt. 6:27-30.  In fact, He taught that a man has “already committed adultery” when he “looks at a woman lustfully.”  The principle of the law of life in this case is; it is not beneficial for men to look unless she is their spouse.  Christians’ concern is with being mastered by the lusts of the sin, as well as the sin itself (John 8:34; Rom. 6:16).  Of course, these principles apply to women; albeit, they may not be interested to look at a man in the way a man looks at a woman.  They still can be mastered by their desire for a sexual relationship.  They may entice a man with their immodest dress (I Tim. 2:9, 10).  A young widow may break her vow to remain single after presenting herself to the church as a “widow in need.”  I Tim 5:11.  All people should understand what Paul said about our natural sex need; “It is better to marry than burn with passion.”  I Cor. 7:9.  Sexual passion is, indeed, a strong drive and Satan knows it.  He has many programs working to arouse fallen man’s tendency to lust.  The grace and truth brought to Christians by Jesus Christ has “value in restraining sensual indulgences.”  Other religions “lack any value.”  Col. 2:23.  Paul presented us with the law of life principle; “’Everything is permissible for me’ – but not everything is beneficial.”  I Cor. 6:12. 
  2. The question is, will immoral sexual relationships satisfy mankind’s sex drive without thwarting another drive?  The wisdom of the world says, “Let us try and see.”  God says, I’ll tell you before you experiment with sex outside marriage somebody, if not everybody, will get hurt, including yourself.  Please note that Paul wrote, “two become as one in sexual intercourse.”  I Cor. 6:16.  Then he quoted Jesus in Matthew 19:5.  Jesus had quoted God, His Father, from Genesis 2:24.  Jesus explained how the marriage covenant of oneness is ordained by God.  Marriage is a commitment of one man and one woman’s mind, heart and conscience to develop a family.  Marriage is also a commitment of their bodies to one another.  This will be our next lesson.  See I Corinthian 7:3-5.  Two become one in sexual intercourse whether they are married or not.  Why is this sexual intercourse a sin against our bodies and the same relationship in marriage is not?  Paul, by the Holy Spirit, said sexual intercourse other than in the “marriage bed” is a sin against both parties’ bodies.  We want to know why.  The context for Jesus’ teaching is the four capacities of Christians.  Please review Part II, Lesson One.  He wants us to fully understand how God created us.  We need to listen because “the man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.”  I Cor. 8:2.
  3. “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”  I Cor. 6:13.  The following theology along with the foregoing principles are the context for understanding how sexual immorality is a sin against our own bodies; whereas, other sins are against God and other people.
    a.    “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.”  I Cor. 6:19.  Our body is God’s place for dwelling among His present people on earth.  It took the sacrifice of the blood of Jesus Christ to redeem sinners and create a pure place in our inner-man where God can dwell by His Spirit.  Jesus never sinned against His own body; therefore, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”  II Cor. 5:21.
    b.   “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore, honor God with your body.” I Cor. 6:20.  We become “slaves to righteousness.”  Rom. 6:17; I Cor. 7:22, 23.
    c.    “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ Himself?”  The Corinthians knew this.  Paul wanted them to contemplate this great thought.  How does a Christian sin against his or her body by engaging in intercourse with another person outside of God’s marriage covenant?

The conclusion is simple.  Although a Christian’s body is under the sentence of death, it has been made holy by the blood of Jesus (I Cor. 7:34; II Cor. 7:1; Rom. 8:10).  It is his or her tool for righteousness (I Pet. 2:24).  It is not for sexual immorality.  Christians do not sin against our bodies because we must use our bodies to communicate all that is in our “minds and thoughts” through our bodies (I Cor. 1:10; Jas. 2:12, 13).  If indeed, by the grace of God, our inner self has been purified by our faith in the blood of Jesus, we need a pure body through which to “speak and act.”  Jas. 2:12.  Christians’ bodies have also been cleansed by the blood of Jesus in our new births.  Our bodies are the “temple of the Holy Spirit.”

When a Christian marries a Christian of the opposite sex, their sexual activity satisfies a strong need within each of them.  It may also satisfy both of their needs to achieve.  Their sexual act may bear fruit for another child in God’s kingdom (Deut. 28:4, 11, 12).

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?  What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?  What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?  For we are the temple of the living God.  As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, I will be their God and they will be My people.”   II Cor. 6:14-16

Questions for Discussion

  1. The chart in Part III, Lesson Four, has been offered for consideration concerning the mental environment of mature people outside of Jesus Christ’s body, the church.  After considering the presence of the beings and forces, do you believe the culture of the people who inhabit the world realm will improve or degenerate in the future years of their lives?
  2. What are the dynamics within a person that motivates people to engage with the elements in our habitat?
  3. In this lesson we will consider the natural urge of maturing people to seek satisfaction for their sexual needs.  On a scale of zero to ten, how well do you think people who inhabit the world realm have scored in their choices of ways to attain lasting satisfaction for this strong innate need?
  4. Throughout Bible history how much attention has been given to the consequence of mankind choosing the wrong program for satisfying his or her “God given” sexual need?
  5. The Western world has chosen the word “gay” to identify people who seek same gender people with which to attain satisfaction for their sexual urges.  What was the word Paul used in Romans 1:26, 27 to describe this type orientation?
  6. Some of the members of the Corinthian church had previously tried many different ways to achieve sexual satisfaction.  How did they attain freedom from the penalties of their failed programs?
  7. How does Paul help us understand his declaration; “He who sins sexually sins against his body?”
  8. If, indeed, “everything is permissible for me,” what is the one word Paul added to this declaration as a guide line for choosing a successful program for satisfying my innate urges?
  9. How do quotes from God’s marriage covenant help us under-stand that sexual immorality is a sin against the participants own body?
  10. From scriptures like I Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:18, 21, we understand that sexual immorality became a practice in peoples’ lives because they did not know God, or if they once did, they failed to glorify Him.  Why might this be expected to happen?
  11. List some activities for which a Christian’s body has been created to achieve.
  12. Sexual intercourse between consenting partners would be a sin against both their bodies under a certain circumstance; however, when the same thing happens between the same couple in a different circumstance, it will be blessed.  What can we say by divine wisdom that constitutes the difference?
  13. How does the content in a, b and c under item 3 help to clarify Paul’s declaration; “He who sins sexually sins against his own body?
  14. Could we conclude that Paul included the marriage of a man and woman, when he said “Do not be yoked together with an unbeliever?”

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