Saturday, June 25, 2011

1 Cor 6:12-7:13 class notes

 It falls to me to have the dubious honor of leading the class on the topic of sexuality. Considering that our society is in open rebellion to God by delaying marriage past college I’m very excited. Hurray.
Paul will now resume his discussion on sexual matters that he has put on pause since chapter 5. The argument for abstinence outside of marriage for the Christian is on four parts
1.       Sexual sin enslaves men into bondage
2.       It is against our union with Christ
3.       It defiles our bodies
4.       It is dishonoring to God

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.
·         The Corinthians were quoting at him that in Christ all things are lawful, and he turns around and insists that while it may be true we can do something not all things are good and ought to be done.  Some things are downright bad and will certainly enslave you.  There is nothing wrong with smoking, except that it will enslave you.
13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
·         They quote at Paul again ‘food for the stomach and stomach for food’  Our appetites and sinful desires are like food which pass through us and don’t defile us.  Paul insists that this is valid only for things which are not eternal. 
·         The second point is that this only holds up for the created order.  The body was not made for prostitution or fornication, but for the Lord because He wants to display His glory in it. It ought to have a holy purpose.

14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.
·         This is the proof of the last statement, since it’s His body He will come back for us and raise us up a new body

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!
·         Is Christ in the habit of male prostitution? It’s reprehensible. Therefore since we are Christ’s body we should be pure like Him.
·         Romans 6:3 commands us not to use our bodies as instruments for unrighteousness.

16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.”
·         This quote taken from Genesis 2:24. In sex there is an equation where the two become one flesh.  Jesus should never be one flesh with a cult hooker.  It’s inconceivable. 
·         Sex combines the bodily delights of two people. In marriage this establishes their bond, in adultery it making and breaking it.

17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
·         The Gnostics taught that the body was disconnected to the soul. Paul here teaches that the soul is connected through the body.
·         Jesus prays in John 17:21 that they may be one as we are one.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
·         Some sins are spiritual only: Pride, laziness, greed. But this particular sin is the only one where the sin 100% involves the base animal desires of the flesh.
·         You are inside your body, but you are not your body. One day you will be torn from your body in death.  This particular sin is against that body which you inhabit. It’s 100% against you yourself. You are wrecking yourself.

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
·         You are not in command. God is over your life. Therefore you need to honor God who directs you. He bought you to live in your heart, you belong to Him.

7:1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman."
·         It’s likely they wanted an affirmation from Paul on this- it’s good for us to be abstinate.  Paul agrees but with a caveat.
·         The Corinthians had the idea that a celibate person had more time to be with God, was more holy.  Therefore even married people should not have sex.
·         It does not mean sex is bad that abstinence is good. We might say both eating and fasting are good together in their proper time.

2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
·         This however assumes that people are basically good and in control. That’s not the case.
      One man, one woman, in your heart, for life. This is good and sex inside this boundary is affirmed by God.
·         Our culture, and in this I mean especially young men, flee from marriage as if the whole institution was evil. This is remarkably wrong.

3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.
·         This is to you women (I’ve just hit a low point in my Bible teaching career by telling college women this) you must have sex with your husband as often as he wants it.  He has a right to your body. When you get married your headaches and whining and pushing him away, and multiple excuses, and general dislike of sex – that’s a sin. A big one if I do say so myself.   

4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
·         It’s his body, not yours.  As far as I can see you owe him a nice upkeep on it while you’re at it.
      When it goes the other way men, she gets the same rights.

5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
·         Paul offers a concession, if you desire to abstain from sex as a married couple, set aside a limited period of time, with a goal in mind.  You should not give it up just to give it up.
      Sexual abstinence can occasionally accomplish some good, but then again it’s more likely just to ruin your marriage.
·         Deprive is the word for defraud from earlier. If you withhold you are cheating your spouse.
·         Satan’s plan is to encourage sex outside of marriage and minimize sex inside of marriage.  If you are pushing your husband around, and telling him what he can’t do, and minimizing his feelings, you are severely sinning.  I suppose it works the other way around, but I can’t ever imagine a case where it would be true.

6  Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
·         What Paul is about to say is not a previously stated rule taken from other scriptures. But oddly enough, this is going to count as new scripture. He’s going to lay out a rule, and an exception with an explanation

8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.
9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
·         Remain single, unless you can’t. If your heart longs for children and a husband and a noisy family that’s okay.
·         Bing single and happy is even better than married and happy, which is better than single and lustful.
·         At the time of writing Paul was single and since he was likely married before he could evaluate each fairly and come to a conclusion about it.
·         The Catholic church has ignored this warning and as a result only people not interested in marriage among whom are disproportionately child molesters are applying for the priesthood.

10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.
·         God hates divorce. You can leave the other person’s presence, but you are still bonded to them.  If you divorce except for two reasons you are in violation of God’s law and pleasure.
·         The rigidity of divorce in God’s eyes is shocking. If you don’t like it be more careful who you marry.
·         Adultery is one, the other Paul is going to elaborate on: a non Christian leaving.
·         I’d venture to say that most of the divorces I have seen are just because the other person got bored, or were more excited about a person other than their spouse. This is flatly unacceptable to a Christian.

12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.
·         In Corinth they were having problems divorcing their non-believing spouses. This is not what God wanted from them.

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