In this passage Paul tells us the sheer weight of sexual sin. Like the passage says our bodies are not meant for sexual immorality, but we are meant for the Lord. Everything that we are and have from the hairs on our head to breath in our lungs has been given to us by the Lord. We are not our own. We have no right to do whatever we want because we do not even deserve those hairs on our head or that breath in our lungs. Sexual sins are different than other sins because they involve the body in a away that other sins do not. And when our bodies are a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit this is something to be taken very seriously. The greek word for "sexual immorality" used in verse 13 is "πορνεία/porneia” and can be translated to mean fornication and also idolatry. When you look at this passage the idea of idolatry can be going hand in hand with sexual sin when we look at the body as something that is not our own. When we commit sexual sins, wether we know it or not, we are placing our own desires above the Lord and putting them on a pedestal at which we give our bodies to.
I would be willing to go out on a limb and say that this is one of the biggest things within Christianity that makes people think that God is just a big guy up in the sky giving humans rules so they can’t have fun. Fortunately this is not true at all. God doesn’t just tell us to not have sex outside of marriage because he doesn’t want us to have fun, but because he designed sex himself and he knows the weight that it carries. The bible describes sex in Genesis as “becoming one flesh.” It is the strongest connection that you can have with another human being. People can say day in and day out that sex can be purely physical, but this just isn’t the case because God didn’t intend it to be this way. He intended it to be shared with your spouse as an expression of passion and selfless love for them. When this is shared with multiple other people that aren’t your spouse it leads to deep emotional damage. It leads to having deep emotional connections with people that you may never see again, or people that you shouldn’t be with. It leads to shame and questioning one’s worth and so much more. The Lord is so aware of this and it pains him so deeply to see his children like that. That is why he doesn’t want us to sin sexually because he knows that our fragile and flawed human hearts are at stake - the same fragile and flawed human hearts that he could use for so much more if we would just be more aware of the fact that we are not our own.
Paul tells us in verse 18 to flee from sexual immorality. He doesn’t say "kind of try to avoid sexual immorality" or “see how far you can go with your boyfriend or girlfriend before you actually commit sexual immorality.” Paul uses the word “flee” which holds so much urgency. What if every Christian today took that seriously and literally ran away from situations where they felt like they might commit sexual immorality? People would definitely think that we were crazy, but less people would be committing sexual sins. In our day to day lives we need to go about it with the same urgency and weight in mind. This doesn’t necessary mean running away from your boyfriend every time you think he looks cute, but it could mean keeping the door open to his room when you go over to his house or never bringing your laptop into your bedroom. We need to constantly position ourselves to avoid sexual immorality. And within our hearts we need to put ourselves in a place of complete humility in front of the Lord and consciously place him above any desire of the flesh that we may have. Because giving yourself to the Lord fully is what ultimately brings eternal satisfaction.
Author | Madeline Current