1Co 6:18-20 “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
What simple instruction Paul has for us here. We should away from fornication, which Strong’s defines as “harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively idolatry.” While we certainly should not act on our lust, it is not just our physical action that is restricted here; we are also compelled by Christ to control our desires. He has told us that to look upon a woman in lust is to be guilty of adultery already (Mat 5:27-28).
In addition to the carnal act of fornication, there is a figurative aspect that relates to our faithfulness to Jesus Christ. We should be just as determined to keep Him first in our lives as we are to remain faithful to the legal requirement not to commit fornication. If we know it is wrong to take part in any type of illicit sexual activity, how much more should we know to be faithful to Him who has called us into His holy kingdom?
Paul is not saying that fornication is a worse sin than lying or stealing or being covetous. He is pointing out that these things have as their object of hurt some other entity and are focused outward. While all other sins are committed in our bodies as being the origin of the sin, our bodies are not necessarily involved in other transgressions as they are in fornication. Where lying, stealing, and other sins are perpetrated against another, fornication is a sin we commit against ourselves on a very personal level.
Now, stop and consider Paul’s counsel in verse 15: “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?” Fornication, whether the literal act of the figurative act of idolatry, is a sin against Christ our Lord. When we place any entity or enticement before God we are guilty of changing “the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things (Rom 1:23).”
Brothers and sisters, the Holy Ghost is in us. The inspired word of God says this is true. Our body (both as individuals and as members of Christ) is the temple of the Holy Ghost and God has made it so. We are not our own to do with ourselves as we please. We have been purchased with something of immeasurable value; the blood of Jesus Christ (1Pe 1:18-19). Knowing this, there is something required of us.
We have a blessed responsibility to glorify God. This instruction means that we are to esteem Him in our lives. Our walk and our talk should magnify Him before everyone we meet. We are not to just glorify Him in the one spirit by which we are joined unto Him (1Co 6:17). We are to also glorify Him in our body which is bought with a price and are members of Christ.
May God cause us to glorify Him in word and deed, in body and spirit, and to flee fornication in all its forms that we might worship Him in spirit and in truth!