In our text this morning, the Apostle Paul has written to the church in Ephesus. As we take a look at what he wrote, we see that God created us to be a temple of His Holy Spirit, and to glorify Him by what we do and don’t do with our body.
Paul knew that members of the Church were using his own words in an attempt to justify their sexual immorality. They had distorted the meaning of the verse, “All things are lawful for me.” They reasoned that since Jesus had redeemed and forgiven them, they were pretty much free to do whatever they wanted.
Now we could say, “That’s the world we live in, full of excuses and perversions!” But Paul wasn’t writing to pagans and unbelievers – he was writing to members of the Ephesian church. Christians – believers who were being influenced by those who still lived in darkness. They used the same misguided reasoning that we use sometimes. As we enter into sinful behavior we reason that, “God will forgive me anyway, so what’s the harm? And, of course, there’s this excuse: “It’s not my fault, this is the way God made me.”
We really need to listen to Paul, and pay close attention to what he’s trying to tell us!
God created us in His own image, then He united us with Christ in our baptism. United with Christ’s death, He crucified our sinful nature. United with His resurrection, He gave us a new life. Because of that, Paul reminds us that, “You are not your own – you were bought with a price.” The price for you was high – God’s own blood shed by His Son, Jesus Christ.
God washed you in His own blood, and your soul became the place where God’s Holy Spirit is pleased to dwell. And His Spirit makes it possible for you to make good, God-pleasing decisions. You can remain faithful, you can glorify God with both your body and your spirit.
When the world says, “Go ahead, if it feels good, do it,” remember these words of Paul: “Your body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for your body.” When the world tells you, “You have a right to do what you want with your own body,” remember Paul’s words, “Your body is not your own, you were bought with a price.” When the world says, “Go ahead and do it, just be safe,” listen to the wisdom that God has given you, “You are united with Me. I live in you, and you live in Me. I willhelp you. You can glorify Me with your body.”
God grant us all the will and the strength to do this, in Jesus name, Amen!