1 Corinthians 6:18-19 “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
When we sin sexually, we ourselves are the victims! Here we could mention all the sad statistics about how much more likely your marriage is to fail if you are sexually active before marriage. Here we could list all the scary statistics about how many people are catching deadly, sexually transmitted diseases. Here we could mention that even if there were no earthly consequences, Paul warns just a few verses above that neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders will inherit the kingdom of God.
We need look no farther than this: When our Lord created man, he lovingly gave us these bodies with all their talents and abilities. He gave us our sexuality as a good gift, a pure and beautiful thing. But when we step outside of God’s instructions for their use, then we are taking these good gifts and twisting them beyond recognition. What should be pure, even holy, becomes overshadowed with shame, guilt, and fear. And who suffers all these things? We do!
In order to help us understand the importance of honoring God with our bodies, Paul asks us to remember “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
You are the Holy Spirit’s temple. Do you see the warning involved? Do you see how it helps us understand what a perverse thing sexual immorality is? If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then Jesus lives in you by his Holy Spirit. Your body is the Spirit’s temple. That means that you are never alone. Whatever you do, Jesus is your constant companion–not just beside you, but actually living within you. There is not a single thing we do of which Jesus is not an intimate part. If we sin sexually, Christ himself must suffer through the disgrace, because his Spirit lives in us. What a sacrilegious thing to do to our only God and Savior!
But you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that is also a wonderful encouragement. Our God will not live just anywhere. He wants his house to be holy and clean. When he came to us, that is not how he found us. So he set out to make us look that way himself. He swept together all our sins, packaged them up, and carried them to the cross. He got rid of them by dying for them in our place. We may continue to track through his temple with our sins, but he continues to scrub us clean in his blood. His forgiveness continues to cleanse us. Now that he has done his housecleaning, he makes our own hearts his home. We have become the temples of the Holy Spirit by faith.
If we are the Holy Spirit’s temples, the place where God dwells, that also means he comes to every temptation we face. We don’t face it alone. His power and purity give us arms and weapons to fight those sins we must fight. They provide legs and feet to flee sexual immorality, so that we can honor God with our bodies.