1Co 6:15-17 “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”
There is a great truth that we often overlook when we talk about “joining” the church. The scripture says that God adds to the church: presenting ourselves for water baptism is an outward acknowledgement of what God has already done in our lives. Our bodies then are not just members of the church, but members of Christ. We are joined together with Him (and He with us); we the body and He the head.
Our walk and our talk should reflect that we are members of His body. Our actions should honor and glorify Him. When our actions do not honor and glorify Him, faithful ministers (such as Paul) should rebuke us with love and sincerity so that we correct our walk. According to Paul’s position, to fail to do so is the same as giving consent to the ungodly walk. It is the equivalent of making a brother or sister who is walking in error a member of a harlot.
The Greek word rendered as harlot carries the figurative meaning of being an idolater. We are engaged in idolatry when we set anything or anyone above our love and dedication to God who has made us members of His Christ. Paul’s use of the phrase “God forbid” is not just a wish or an adage. God forbids that we should see a brother or sister in error and not love them enough to labor with them to correct that error, even to the extent that we would not eat with them (1Co 5:11).
It is not okay when we cease to follow the leadership of the Spirt and the instruction of God’s word. We cannot walk in His service only when we have nothing else to do. God does not wink at such and attitude. This is why Paul is making such a bold point about being joined in any type of idolatry (whether it is a job, a person, a lifestyle, etc.); if we love anything more than God we are idolaters. We are joined unto as certainly as joining with a harlot makes us members of that body.
There is another simple truth here; our flesh is going to fail. Whatever we are joined to in the flesh is going to fall and decay. Being members of Christ is not only about the flesh but about the spirit. When we are joined unto the Lord, we are of one breath with Him. We are disposed to love Him in this body and to be assured that we shall continue to love Him when this body fails. To be a member of Christ is deeper, stronger, and surer than anything we can hold to in this world.
May we cleave to our Lord Christ and rejoice in being members of His glorious body!