For the past several days I’ve been posting excerpts from my sermon on sex, based on 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. In this text we see there are two cultural myths about sex: 1) I can do whatever I want with my body; and 2) Sex is just an appetite. There are also two biblical messages to counter those myths: 1) Your body is not your own. God bought it and moved in; and 2) Sex is the donation of your full humanity to another.
But, so what? What am I supposed to do about it? In this final post you’ll find some thoughts on how to apply this passage to your life.
So what does all this mean? Well, let’s go back to the last sentence of our passage: Therefore honor God with your bodies.
This is the answer to all of your questions about sex: Does it honor God? Are you honoring God with your body?
When you have sex before marriage, you are disregarding God’s design for sex. You are not honoring him with your body. Does oral sex honor God? The answer is no, in case you were curious. Does masturbation honor God? No. Does any kind of sexual touching honor God? No. You are not your own. You were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
But being a Christian is about so much more than not having sex before marriage. We talked about how sex is the donation of your full humanity to another. Well, there is a spiritual corollary to sex, something that is not a physical consummation with another human being, but a spiritual consummation with God. That act is worship.
Listen to Paul again. But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. We unite ourselves with Jesus in worship, and when we do, we not only give our full humanity to him, but we also give him our full hope for the future, hope for eternal life, for resurrection, and for heaven.
Uniting yourself with Jesus in spirit means giving him everything you are now and everything you hope to become in the future. It means not just giving your full humanity, but becoming fully human. Jesus was the only one of us whoever got this humanity thing right. He’s the only one who never screwed up. He’s the only one who never sinned. He is fully human. And guess what, despite what the DaVinci Code or the Gnostic Gospels would like to tell you, he never had sex.
You don’t have to have sex to be fully human. You don’t have to ever have sex to live a happy and fulfilled life. If that’s what you choose, you won’t be treated well, because our culture will not understand you. Even if that’s what you choose for a time, to not have sex until you get married—and I urge you to make that choice because it’s the only sexual choice you can make right now that you will never regret—but if you choose to not have sex until you get married you won’t be treated well. You know this. Our culture doesn’t understand that choice. Your abstinence will make others feel guilty and afraid. But I urge you to honor God with your bodies; and rather than becoming one flesh with someone else right now, become one spirit with Jesus.