All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Food is for the belly, and the belly for food: but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God has both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His own power. Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid! What? Know you not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? “For two,” says the LORD, “will be one flesh.” But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
[Therefore,] flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. What? Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Amen. (1 Corinthians 6:12-20)
In Christ, the sins that once condemned me to eternity in hell – forever separating me from my Savior – no longer have a hold on me. By the grace of God, those sins have been erased. Though I still sin and stumble, those mistakes no longer define my eternal resting place; I am secured in my Savior’s arms. This security is not an encouragement to satisfy my flesh and sin even more, but it is a humbling reminder that security comes with a price. The price was heavy indeed, as shown through 1 Corinthians 6, but there are some within the “Christian” community that focus only on the first part of that passage, ignoring the admonishment of those who think that their sin has no effect on them or those around them… They preach, “All things are lawful for me…”
Yes, all things are lawful for me, but are they good? Are they God’s perfect will? Does the performance of such things bring me the ultimate blessing that God intends for my heart and life and do they bring glory to my Creator? If I find myself asking these questions, I can almost always be assured that the answer is no. Though I am no longer in bondage to serving the entirety of the law perfectly, I am willingly a bondservant of Christ, being counted righteous by His grace. Now, being His willing servant, I am no longer a slave of sin, so why should I return to the bondage of sin and force that yoke upon myself? I cannot be ignorant of the consequences for my actions here on earth and the destruction they bring to myself and to those around me. And when I am brought under the power of sin, choosing lust and pride above the love of Christ, I pervert the purpose that God intends for me as an eternal being. Within this sinew, bone, and flesh, lies a living spirit that lives on past the inner workings of this God-made machine.
So, though I can do all things, I must ask myself if those things will store up treasure for me in Heaven or more reason for tears that Christ must wipe away. Because here is the truth, though I only live on earth once, the soul within me is eternal. God has raised up Christ and will also raise up me by His power, because I have believed on His name and followed His Way. But I tell you that I am raised already. Of course, this body is not perfect and neither is this spirit, but the promises of Christ are so sure that I have already received everything that I should ever need. This is why Paul said, For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21) For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God; a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from Heaven; if so be that being clothed we will not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (2 Corinthians 5:1-4)
This earth is a momentary place, just as these hands, these feet, and these lungs are momentary, so how will I spend this precious time? Will I “live it up” by giving into the darkest desires of my heart? God forbid! When I committed my life to Christ, more happened within me than just the eternal punishment of my sins being removed; the Holy Spirit came to dwell within me! Within me abides my own spirit and the Spirit of the Holy One Who saved me; one Spirit seeks only the glory of the Father, and one has been redeemed, though is still influenced by flesh. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man, but I see another law in my members; warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched woman that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:21-25) For this short time on earth, I must follow the old law, because lawlessness is death, but I follow the perfected law, where grace is now my righteousness; I do not have to rely upon the works of my own hands. It is true that all things are lawful for me, but not all things are good for me. Oh, how the Lord knows.
Therefore, flee sexual immorality and all the sins that pollute and corrupt the temple of the living God… Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Immorality begins in the heart, and once lust is conceived, it brings forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death (James 1:16). Do not be deceived, what you think and what you do matters in eternity… and it matters even now. So, what is to be done? Glorify God in your body and in your spirit. Why? Because they are God’s.
But what if I have fallen too far? What if I have given into lust so many times that I cannot even count and I suffer the consequences even now? How can I serve God in my body and spirit?
These doubts and fears are unfounded, and let me tell you why:
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being His counselor has taught Him? With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and shewed to Him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance. Behold, He takes up the isles as a very little thing. (Isaiah 40:12-15)
Have you not known? Have you not heard that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might, He increases strength. Even the youths will faint and be weary, and the young men will utterly fall, but they that wait upon the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings as eagles; they will run, and not be weary; and they will walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36)
You are alive for Christ, and Christ lived, breathed, and died for you. Your body is for the Lord and the Lord is for your body. He is a part of you. If you understand what He has done and how you are bought with a price, knowing this within your heart; if you have confessed this truth with your mouth and believed on Christ for salvation; then rest in His salvation, fall upon His mercy, and trust that He has delivered you and He will deliver you. Though you cannot fully understand all that He does and all that He is, you can rest assured in His promises. Repent, and He will take your small step of faith and reward you with the comfort of His presence. Read His Word and know how much you are loved. Know also that you have been called by your Creator to a life with a glorious and eternal purpose. So, choose to follow His way. And though the road may be rough, having the Holy Spirit within you will give you strength to endure and to learn to be content in whatever state you find yourself.
I wrote this for myself as much as anyone else. Daily, I must be reminded of how I have been bought with a price. This knowledge should forever humble me in the sight of my beloved Abba. He didn’t have to pay the price for me, but He was the only One Who could. So, though I will never be perfect on this side of Heaven, I will strive to see God’s kingdom come alive in me and the world around me.
I have not always served God with a perfect heart. I have not held every thought captive. I have not always fled from sexual immorality. I can say that I have often fallen from grace and chosen my own way, but I have a desire in my heart for that “often” to be transformed into “rarely.” I have a desire to be held accountable for my actions and to not be slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord (Romans 12:11). And I want to encourage my brothers and sisters, planting and watering the seed of hope that has been planted in them and in me. Though I have fallen, I have hope that God will take this fallen creature and transform it into a being fit for the heavenlies. My life is not over yet, so there is still time to serve and to be all that God has called me to be. I desire for Christ to abide in me and for my life to reflect His glory. Amen.