I’ll allow you to continue to
endure enjoy the genealogy from 1 Chronicles….
The other reading from 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 brings a helpful distinction into much of what Paul writes about in his letters – legalism vs liberalism in our faith and attitude to Christ and his grace. Paul here addresses what seems to be slogans of the Corinthian church – “I have the right to do anything!” or in the ESV translation “All things are lawful for me!”. These catch cries are potentially leading some people down a path of abuse of the freedom Jesus had given and making a mockery of the grace his death bought.
There is a sense in the church of Corinth that since God’s grace is sufficient to cover their sins, they need not be concerned about sin. Paul has addressed this attitude in other letters like to the Roman church “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2)
The example he uses to emphasise his point in this case is sexual immorality and how we conduct ourselves with our body. He reinforces the fact that our bodies are members of Christ and therefore holy. It then makes sense that it would be wrong to use our bodies for unholy purposes. He also quotes Jesus’ remarks about marriage from Matthew “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 6:19) – (or let no man put asunder as I seem to recall my vows saying…. I had to look up “asunder” before our wedding day).
As we move into the final passages of this reading Paul commands “flee from sexual immorality”. Paul is telling Christian men to run the other when prostitutes approach – to remove yourself from places where temptations can flourish. As our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit it is a reminder of the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit that we have received. A treasure that God entrusts to each of us. And finally we have a reminder of the price paid for our lives – that we are not our own and the appropriate response to that is to honour God with our bodies.
As we approach Easter this year it is always a humbling reminder of the price Jesus paid for us. The cost of the cross and the debt that has been settled. Perhaps we need to reflect on our behaviour and the way we have used our body. Or perhaps we have swung too far into living with a liberal view that we have the right to do anything and we need not worry about our sin. Either way I pray that this Easter we see afresh the wonderful redemptive story of the cross and the resurrection.