Year B – Epiphany 2 – 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 6:13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 6:14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 6:16 Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” 6:17 But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 6:18 Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 6:20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

Summary – In this passage the Apostle Paul argues that since the Holy Spirit is in us, our bodies are temples of the Spirit. Since we are temples of the Spirit, we should not be immoral or be dominated by anything. Rather the Spirit of God should control us, rather than evil desires. So even though, “All things are lawful for me,” we must remember that we are “members of Christ.” That requires us to be morally upright and self-controlled. Paul clearly teaches  the resurrection of our bodies in this passage, saying our bodies are for the Lord, and “the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.”

Insight – In two ways Paul makes clear that our redemption includes our bodies. He says that our bodies will be raised, so there is an eternal promise that our physical body will be glorified and he says that our bodies now are temples of God the Spirit. So what we do in or with our bodies matters to God. We can dishonor God by immoral activity with our body.  Instead of Spirit-led self-control we can forget that we are the Lord’s temple in body and soul and be led by sinful desires. Instead we are to “glorify God” in our bodies since we were bought with the price of Jesus death for us.

Child Catechism – Since you are bought with Jesus’s blood, how should you use your body? I should use my body to glorify God.

Discussion – What are some actions that you do regularly with body that do glorify God? Are there some ways that you are not being controlled by God’s Spirit in the use of your body?

Prayer – O Lord God our Father, We thank you that you live in us and call us your temple, promising our future resurrection. We ask that you would give us the grace to be led by Your Spirit rather than our own sinful desires so that we may show restraint against evil and glorify you in our bodies. In Christ we pray, Amen.