Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Thursday prior to Epiphany 2


1 Corinthians 6:12-20—The human body is to glorify God. People in the Corinthian church were sexually immoral for religious reasons. They accepted the truth that Christ’s death on the cross fulfilled the law for them. Since they were saved by grace alone, they felt free to do what they pleased. Some of them participated in sexual perversion. Paul counters this thinking by giving a theology of the body. These words of Paul give us a divine perspective. We are not free to do as we please. The grace of God is not a license to sin.

In this reading of only eight verses the word “body” is used seven times. The word used here is the Greek term “soma,” not usually the term “sarx” meaning the flesh. The body is the whole person – body, mind, and soul. Body and soul are inseparable. What affects one affects the other. It is immoral to have a dirty body and a pure spirit. They do not harmonize. The problem in the Corinthian church was that the Christians claimed to be spiritual but allowed their bodies to engage in sexual license. Paul’s teaching indicates that one must not use the other for the gratification of the other person. If you are in Christ, you are a part of his body. To give that body for immoral sexual experiences is to pollute it and is thus adultery.

Christians are a bought people. They were purchased by the precious blood of Christ. Thus, Christians are Christ’s property and they are to use their bodies (selves) for God’s purposes of honor and purity. The practical implication is that we are not our own bosses and we cannot do with our bodies what we please. Christians are called to glorify God in their bodies.[1]

Most merciful God, You gave Your eternal Word to become incarnate of the pure Virgin. Grant Your people grace to put away fleshly lusts that they may be ready for Your visitation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.[2]

[1] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima OH
[2] Prayer for the Epiphany Season, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
"Lift High the Cross," copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things


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