Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God. You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6
Questions husbands sometimes ask: What's for supper? Where's the
TV remote? Do these ___ go together?? The first two questions are
basic. The last might need some explanation. It's like when getting
dressed, and I put on that tie and shirt -- but then around the corner
comes the fashion expert. She takes one look and says,
serious? Are you really going to wear that tie with that shirt and those
slacks? To this I respond,
Ah . . . so they don't go together? That
what you're saying??
Long ago in the church of Corinth people were doing things that just didn't go together, not wardrobe' things - spiritual things. Now the issues in Corinth were a range of bad behavior including prostitution and incest. God wanted them to know that some things just don't go together for Christians and so in 1st Corinthians 6 the Apostle addresses the issue of sexual immorality. The Word of God is crystal clear. God's gift of sex is to be enjoyed only within marriage; only between husband and wife. Therefore when people choose to use sex outside of marriage they disobey and dishonor God.
God's gift of human sexuality and its 6th commandment safe guard
are broadly abused in our time. No matter what anyone says, no
matter what attitude prevails our culture these do not go together
within the life our Holy God wants to give. Prostitution and incest
back in Corinth: The concerns of our time form an expanding list
including broken relationships, broken marriages, depression,
disease, fatherless children, abortion, pornography, devaluing of life,
declining spirituality among people young and old, and more. Today
some blame much of this on the so called 'sexual revolution' of the
60's. We know better.
In the beginning God's creational design and
gift of marriage for one man and woman was
very good. But when
they fell into sin immediately these came under attack. And so one way or another all families deal
with problems related to the abuse of God's good gift and the commandment that protects it.
Question is: How are we dealing?
- Are we praying for mercy and repentance?
- Are we seeking God's wisdom to know when to 'speak up' and when to 'be silent'?
- Or are we allowing ourselves to be silenced for the sake of 'not causing trouble'?
You have heard it said that you shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that anyone
who looks on a woman to lust has already committed adultery in his heart. It's very human and
all too easy to excuse this or that sin, to think that it's not as bad as another. While the consequences
of some sin are exceedingly greater than others . . . consider the cost. This cost of adultery, the price
and burden of all sin was borne by our Savior on the cross. Sin made us slaves of the devil and
deserving eternal death. But Christ has paid the price on our behalf; forgave all our sins and won
eternal life as he suffered, died, and rose from the dead.
You were bought with a price. It needs
to be said, sins against the sixth commandment, like every other are forgivable. But when people
willingly engage in breaking God's command, what they need to hear is this: You shall not commit
adultery. And then in loving concern ask them:
- How are you lifting up God's Word and the cross of Christ in and by your life' choices?
- And how will your 'choice' promote the gospel within family, our church, even within the world?
The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And
God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. The church's proper evangelical work
is to proclaim the reconciliation of the sinner to God in the death of Jesus Christ 2 Cor. 5:18 -19.
Therefore honor God with your body. Using your body to honor God. Now that goes together!
Last September in the newsletter I took up our constitutions preamble sub-points. This month I will
address the third point: WITNESS TO ALL PEOPLE,
But you will receive power when the Holy
Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the end of the earth. Acts 1.8
Several years back Rev. Matthew Harrison illustrated how the church lives and works together with
three phrases; the first of which was WITNESS. As the people of God, brothers and sisters in Christ,
in all we do Christ is at the center, sustaining us, keeping us focused on our mission. This will never
change. Our Lord in Acts 1 had gathered his disciples one last time. Jesus charged them and all his
people to bear brave witness to what they had seen, heard, and touched.
Bearing witness (Luther
said) is nothing but God's Word spoken by angels or men, and it calls for faith.
Bearing brave witness happens in many different ways. One day a preschool teacher was teaching
the children about heaven. For those of us who grew up in the church, heaven is a basic truth; heaven
is where Jesus is and where He has prepared for us. But try to imagine hearing about heaven for
the first time. What would that be like? After hearing about heaven one of the preschoolers
Teacher! I'm gonna go home and tell my mom all about heaven!
Each and every day in our preschool and classrooms, each and every week in worship, Sunday school,
catechism, and bible study the Gospel of Christ is 'witnessed'. We do this by simply retelling the
Word of God. Along with prayers, songs, and conversation we bear witness to the greatest story ever
told. Our Lord Jesus once spoke of
laying up your treasures in heaven. The word treasure in
Greek is 'thesaurus. A thesaurus is a treasure of words. And there it is, the real treasure we have to
offer is Christ the Word made flesh, our priceless treasure.
This year at Zion our board of evangelism is taking up a program called, Every One His Witness. Every One His Witness is designed to help Lutheran Christians witness. By teaching and training we will put sound doctrine into practical action for sharing Christ in our everyday lives. The Gospel of Christ is our greatest treasure.
This year at Zion let's lift up the Gospel of Christ. Let's witness!
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