經文﹕哥林多前書 6 ﹕ 12-20
主旨﹕因神買贖了我們的身體 , 信徒必須要保持聖潔
11 月 2 日﹐科羅拉多州一位著名牧師的性醜聞事件受到媒體暴光﹐再一次令全美和世界各地的基督教會感到震驚。對於許多基督徒來說﹐這是一個悲痛回憶和感到恥辱的消息﹔同時﹐這事件也成為那些對心懷敵意的人士對基督教及其領袖一個嘲笑的機會。世俗的媒體集中攻擊該牧師的假冒偽善。誠然﹐這是假冒偽善﹔但是﹐事件本身是性道德墮落 , 淫亂。
當這些道德醜聞歷歷在目的時候﹐就好像在讀保羅寫給哥林多教會的書信的註釋與示範。在第一世紀時﹐哥林多因為性道德的腐敗而臭名昭著。在新約裡﹐性道德的敗壞指一切婚姻之外的性行為﹐包括同性之間的性行為 . 在歌林多也流行著廟宇的娼妓 . 哥林多這個名詞至今都是跟性道德墮落聯係在一起。許多哥林多的信徒曾經沉溺于私慾的放縱﹐在信主歸入耶穌名下以後﹐他們一度痛改前非。但是﹐性誘惑的力量是巨大的﹐一些人因為抗拒不住誘惑又再次回到信主前的生活方式。
我們的世界也很像第一世紀的歌林多 . 四周被淫亂的事所包圍 . 差不多每一個電視節目都是充滿了與性有關的內容 . 我們好像被海 啸 從四方八面沖擊過來 . 我們為自己的孩子在這文化中長大而擔心 . 我們也為自己的婚姻擔心 , 不知能否在風暴中站穩 . 很多時在這充滿了淫亂的世界中感到無助 . 在這些時刻我們應回到神的話裡 。保羅在這封信裡闡述的就是性道德墮落﹐特別是有關娼妓的問題。
I 因神買贖了我們的身體 , 信徒需要知道性的罪行能造成極大傷害 (Vs.12a 節 )
在哥林多的基督徒中流傳著一句話﹕“萬事皆可行” 。這可能指的是在主裡的自由。當我們犯罪的時候﹐就有神的恩典和饒恕﹔我們總是可以靠著神的慈愛再次回到他的面前。因此可有完全的自由 . 但是﹐保羅卻說﹕“甚麼事我都可以作，但不是都有益處” 。它們沒有益處﹐相反可能造成對我們的傷害。是的﹐你有性犯罪的自由﹐但是這些行為對於你自己和他人都是有傷害的。
淫亂會導致我們婚姻和家庭的破碎 . 每當有 婚外情時 , 就會摧毀夫妻之間的信任﹐當這信任被破壞時 , 將需要很多年的時間才能修補﹐而且兩人可能不能回到以前那樣的關係。淫亂也傷害我們的身體健康和經濟狀況。看一下世界上艾滋病的不斷蔓延和擴散。在有些國之家整個村落的人都感染了愛滋病﹐不當的性行為會危害事件的當事人﹐但是也將泱及無辜﹐把艾滋病毒傳染給無辜的配偶與孩子。如果你是一個教會的牧師和領袖﹐淫亂也會摧毀你的服事。會傷害甚至摧毀人們對於所有牧師的信任。更不幸的是﹐許多信徒將因此而遠離教會﹐減少了對神的信心。不道德的性行為所引發的惡果不勝枚舉。 < 箴言 > 對此也是有許多描述﹕
( < 箴言 >9 ﹕ 17-18) “偷來的水是甜的，在暗中吃的餅是美味的。人卻不知道她那裡充滿陰魂，她的客人是在陰間的深處。” (< 箴言 >6 ﹕ 26 ﹐ 29 ﹐ 32 ﹐ 33) “因為妓女使人只剩一塊餅，通姦的婦人獵取人寶貴的生命。凡是和別人的妻子通姦的，也是這樣；凡是親近她的，都必不免受罰。和婦人通姦的，實在無知；行這事的，是自我毀滅。他必遭受擊打，被凌辱，他的恥辱永不能塗抹。”淫亂會留下許多傷害的後果。
聖經重復的教導我們不要互相的傷害 . 我們要彼此建立 , 正相鼓勵 , 彼此相愛 . 對那些接近我們的人造成傷害是錯誤的 .
II. 因神買贖了我們的身體﹐信徒需要知道性的罪行能控制我們 (Vs.12b 節 )
保羅再次回到那句當時流行在基督徒中的話﹕“萬事皆可行”。誠然﹐我們什麼事都可以做﹐但是卻不應該受這些事的轄制﹐不能被它們所控制。保羅告誡我們﹕性墮落和不當的性行為將會轄制我們 , 使我們上癮。第一次犯罪時﹐我們內心或許會有所掙扎和猶豫﹐但是在此之後﹐就一發不可收拾了。不久之後﹐我們就感到深陷其中﹐無法自拔了。當我們開始瀏覽色情網站的時候﹐往往不知不覺地就受其控制﹐情不自禁地再次去登錄這些網站﹐錢也越花越多。淫亂就像那致命的吸引 , 一旦上釣之後 , 就出不來了 . 淫亂能控制我們 , 致終毀壞了我們的生命 .
聖經也重復告訴我們﹕我們不被任何的罪所轄制。在哥林多前書 9 ﹕ 27 “我要克制自己的身體，叫身體服我，免得我傳了給別人，自己反而落選了。”這裡再次提到“自制” 。 < 箴言 >25 ﹕ 28 也告訴我們失去自制的後果﹕“人若不控制自己的心，就像沒有城牆，毀壞了的城一樣。”人一旦失去了自制力﹐任何人或事都可能輕易進入你的生命﹐利用你﹐掌握你﹐成為你的生命主宰。作為基督的跟隨者﹐我們的生命應該為聖靈所控制。當我們被聖靈控制時﹐我們將結出聖靈的果子﹕愛﹐喜樂﹐平安﹐忍耐﹐仁慈﹐善良﹐忠心﹐溫柔和自制。請注意﹕聖靈的果子包括“自制” 。 (
III. 因神買贖了我們的身體﹐信徒需要知道身體是屬於主 (Vs.13-17 節 )
< 哥林多前書 >6 ﹕ 13-14 “食物是為了肚腹，肚腹是為了食物；但 神卻要把這兩樣都廢掉。身體不是為了淫亂，而是為了主，主也是為了身體。神不但使主復活了，也要用他的能力使我們復活。”哥林多的信徒認為﹕食物是為了肚腹，肚腹是為了食物。因此﹐性是為了身體﹐身體是為了性。由于基督徒對於食物沒有限制﹐那麼同理也不應該對於性行為﹐甚至性犯罪﹐設置任何限制。但是﹐保羅對此說不。食物和肚腹 ( 或者是食慾 ) 都是暫時的。但是﹐身體卻不同﹐它是神所造的﹐因此它屬于神。另外﹐身體不是暫時的﹐而是永恆的。將來有一天當我們被提昇或者復活的時候﹐它也將成為我們在榮耀的天國裡的身體。因此﹐我們的身體是十分重要的。讓我們進注意這里邏輯 :
保羅在 15-17 節中繼續向我們解釋﹕“你們不知道你們的身體就是基督的肢體嗎？這樣，我們可以把基督的肢體當作娼妓的肢體嗎？當然不可以！你們不知道那跟娼妓苟合的，就是與她成為一體了嗎？因為經上說：“二人要成為一體。”但那與主聯合的，就是與他成為一靈了。”
我們的身體不僅屬于神﹐也是基督身體的一部份。你和我都是基督身體的一部份。保羅引用了 < 創世紀 >2 ﹕ 24 的經文﹕“因此人要離開父母，和妻子連合，二人成為一體。”經文告訴我們夫妻之間的性行為會產生一個神奇的屬靈效果﹕兩人在心靈裡成為一體。性行為不僅是一個肉體的行為﹐它會令雙方合為一體。沒有人能夠完全解釋這個神秘。當男女之間發生性行為的時候﹐我們就會將自己的一部分留在對方那裡 , 導致 彼此融為一體。 因這原因 , 性行為是要在婚姻的規範裡
IV 因神買贖了我們的身體﹐信徒需要逃避性的罪行 (Vs.18-20 節 )
我們已經了解性方面的犯罪能傷害和控制﹐也知道這些行為將影響我們與主耶穌的關係。那麼﹐接下來的問題是當我們面對性誘惑的時候﹐該如何面對呢﹖我們是否應該勇敢地去挑戰這個誘惑﹐試圖證明我們能在性的誘惑面前站立地穩嗎﹖不 ! 在性方面犯罪的試探不是要我們去克服的挑戰﹐而是要把它視為一個陷阱。當你遇到陷阱的時候該怎麼辦﹖你是否會故意跳下陷阱為了證明自己有多麼堅強﹖不﹐我們要避開這些陷阱﹐遠離它們 ! 這是聖經教導我們在面對性的誘惑時應該做的事﹕ (vs.18) “你們要逃避淫亂的事”。 聖經在有關“逃避” 性誘惑有許多教導﹕ (< 以弗所書 >5 ﹕ 3) “至於淫亂和任何污穢或貪心的事，在你們中間連提都不可提，才合聖徒的體統。” (< 提摩太前書 >6 ﹕ 11) “但你這屬 神的人啊，應該逃避這些事，要追求公義、敬虔、信心、愛心、忍耐和溫柔。” (< 提摩太後書 >2 ﹕ 22) “你應當逃避年輕人的私慾，要和那些以清潔的心求告主的人，一同追求公義、信心、愛心、和平。”
我們的身體屬于神。神花費重價﹐用獨生子耶穌基督的寶血將我們從罪的束縛中贖買回來。我們是屬于神的 . 一個在健康家庭中長大的孩子 , 有健康的安全與歸屬感 , 是不會輕易行差踏錯 . 當兩人在一個安全又相愛的關係中 , 也不會輕易跟另一人跑 , 導致關係的羞辱 . 因為我們屬於基督 , 是祂有重價將我們買贖過來 , 是祂所愛 , 所以不要犯那些導致祂被羞辱的罪 。
聖靈住在我們的裡面。這是什麼意思呢﹖當聖靈住在我裡面的時候﹐他令我的身體成為神的殿。你能夠想像在聖殿中行淫亂之事嗎﹖不﹐無法想像 ! 同樣道理﹐你能想像在我們的肉體上﹐神的聖殿中﹐犯淫亂之罪嗎﹖
另一個要逃避性犯罪和誘惑的原因是﹕我們的身體是神的聖殿﹐因此要用身體榮耀他。 當淫亂的罪被揭發時 , 第一件事是他什麼 ? 神的名被人嘲笑 . 因為我的身體是神的住處 , 神的殿 , 我要維持他的聖潔 , 我要讓別人從我身上看到上帝的榮光 , 使人說神的好話 。
我也注意到在我們中間有些人﹐或是出於個人的驕傲﹐或是出於有意的反叛﹐也曾經在性的問題上跌倒和犯罪。我希望你們明白﹐神的臂膀永遠向你們張開。是的﹐你們的行為使他傷心﹐因為你們是他的兒女。但是﹐他依然期望你們回到他面前﹐告訴他你有多麼懊悔。 < 約翰一書 >1 ﹕ 9 說“我們若承認自己的罪， 神是信實的、公義的，必定赦免我們的罪，潔淨我們脫離一切不義。 ”
Text: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Title: Fatal Attraction
Theme: Since God has purchased our bodies, we are to keep it holy.
On 11/2, churches around the country and the world were once again rocked by the sex scandal of a well-known pastor in Colorado . It was an event that brought painful memories and great shame to many Christians. It was a great opportunity for the critics to mock the Christian church and its leaders. The secular media focused on the hypocrisy of the event. Certainly this is about hypocrisy, yet what is equally important at stake is the sexual immorality involved.
As we read the news report on this and other immoral conducts, it would appear as if we are reading illustrations and commentaries on Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church. In that first century, Corinth was known for its sexual immorality. In the NT, the term sexual immorality includes sexual activities outside marriage, including homosexual behaviors At Corinth, there was the rampant practice of temple prostitution. The name Corinth , even to this day, is associated with sexual immorality. Many of the Corinthian believers used to indulge in such activities. Having come to Christ, they put such aside, cut off such behavior. However, the pull, the temptation to revert to those sexual sins was strong. Some of them may have actually gone back to that life-style.
Our world is very much like that 1 st century Corinth . We, too, are surrounded by sexual immorality. It is hard to watch TV programs full of explicit or subtle sexual gestures. It’s like a tidal wave hitting us on all sides. We are concerned about our children growing up in such a culture. We may even worry about our own marriages, wondering how long we can stay together. At times we feel so helpless in a society so saturated with sex. In such moments, it is wise for us to turn to God's word.
In the passage we read, Paul addressed the issue of sexual immorality among the believers, and specifically he dealt with the problem of prostitution.
Besides instructing the Corinthian believers that such behaviors are against God's standard, a violation of the 7 th commandment, Paul went to great lengths to explain why this is wrong. There is a lesson we all need to learn, especially those of us parents and church leaders. Instead of just telling out children and fellow believers that such behaviors are unacceptable to God, we also need to take time to explain the reasons behind. From this passage we’ll learn the truth that Since God has purchased our bodies with a price, we are to let people see God in us, we are to keep our bodies holy.
I Since God has purchased our bodies, we are to know that sexual sins bring great harm.
There is a well known slogan among the Corinthian Christians: “I can do all things.” This is probably about Christian freedom in Christ. The logic is this: When we sin, there is always grace and forgiveness. We can always come back to Christ because of his love. Therefore there is total freedom. However, Paul says, “Yes, we can do all things, but not all things are helpful.” They are not beneficial, on the contrary they are harmful. Yes, you have the freedom to commit sexual sins, but it is harmful to yourself and others.
Sexual immorality can harm and destroy our marriages and families. Whenever there is an affair, it will break the trust between husbands and wives. Once the trust is broken, it will take many years to rebuild, and the relationship may never be the same again. It can harm and destroy our health and finances. Just look at the rampant spread of AIDS around the world. In some countries, an entire village is being infected with HIV. Yes, it harms the persons who engage in such sexual activities, but also brings AIDs to the innocent spouses and children. If you are a leader, a pastor of the church, sexual immorality will destroy your ministry. It will harm and sometimes destroy people’s trust of all pastors. And sadly, it can also cause many to leave the church and weaken their faith in God. The list can go on and on. Sexual immorality causes great harm. The Proverbs have plenty to say on this:
Proverbs 9:17-18, “ 17 “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” 18 But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.” 6:26,29, 32,33, “ 26 for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,… 29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished. 32 He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. 33 Wounds and dishonor will he get, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.” Sexual immorality has some very severe harmful consequences.
The scripture consistently teaches us that we are not to harm each other. We are to build up one another, to encourage one another and to love one another. It is wrong to inflict harm and hurts on those close to us.
II Since God has purchased our bodies, we are to know that sexual sins are addictive.
Paul returns to their slogan, “I can do all things…” It is true, we can do all things, but we are not to be enslaved, not to be controlled by them. Paul is saying, sexual sins, sexual immorality is controlling and addictive. The first time when we commit sexual sins, there may have been a struggle, but from then on, it was down hill. And before long, we found ourselves trapped in it and cannot get out. When we start to go into those porno sites, we become controlled by them. Just keep going back and spending more and more money on it. Sexual immorality is like that Fatal Attraction. Once you’re hooked, its hard to get out of it. It has that power to control and eventually destroy us.
Again, the Bible consistently teaches us not to be controlled by any form of sins. In 1 Corinthians 9:27, “ 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” This is self control. Proverbs tell us what it is like without self control: 25:28, “ 28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” When there is no self control, anyone, anything can come into your life to take advantage and control you. You see , as followers of Christ, our lives are to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. When we are controlled by the Holy Spirit, we will manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control .
Don't be controlled by sexual sins, instead, be controlled by the Holy Spirit.
III Since God has purchased our bodies, we are to know that our bodies belong to Him.
Verses 13-14, “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.” The Corinthian believers argued that food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for the food. Therefore sex is for the body, and the body for sex. Since there is no restraint on eating, therefore there should not be any restraint on sexual activities, including the sexual sins. However, Paul instructed them saying, no; food and the stomach(or our appetite) are temporal. But the body is different. It is created by God and therefore, it belong to him. Besides, it is not temporal, it is eternal. There will come a day when we will be changed or resurrected, this body will be transformed into a glorious and heavenly body. Therefore, this body is very important. Let’s follow this logic closely.
Paul further explains to us in 15-17, “ 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.”
This body not only belongs to God, but to Christ's body. You and I are a part of Christ's body. Then Paul quoted Genesis 2:24, “ 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” The scripture tells us that sexual intercourse between husband and wife leads to a mysterious spiritual union, oneness. Sex is not just a physical act, it leads to oneness and union. This is a mystery that no one can fully explain. When there is sexual intercourse between a man and a woman, we left a part of ourselves in the other person that somehow binds us together. For this reason, sex is meant to occur within the boundaries of marriage.
It is like going to a lamp post in the freezing winter. Try to place your lips on the metal post and what will happen? Your lip will get stuck to the post. Now, pull your lips away. What will happen? A part of your lip skin will remain on the post and it is painful, right? This is what happens when there is sexual intimacy between two persons. When this sexual intercourse is outside the marriage, it will harm and damage the relationship. When it is within marriage, it will enhance the relationship.
Now, the scripture teaches us that when we come to faith in Christ, we are united with him, we are one in him. When we commit sexual sins, sexual immorality, we become one with the other person. this does not make sense, right? How can I be one with Christ, and be one with the other person in a sexual immoral situation? Whenever we commit sexual sins, we are putting Christ in a very awkward situation.
IV Since God has purchased our bodies, we are to run away from sexual immorality.
We have seen how sexual sins can harm and control. We have seen how sexual sins can affect our relationship with Christ. Now what? What do we do when we face sexual temptation? Do we try to stand up against it and face its challenge, to see that I can stand tall without falling? No, sexual sins are not challenges you are to overcome. Instead we are to see sexual sins as a trap. What do you do when you stand before a trap? Do you deliberately walk into it to show how strong you are? No, we avoid the trap; we run away from it. This is what the scripture tells us to do when we face sexual temptations: Flee. Vs.18, “ 18 Flee from sexual immorality.” The scripture is full of instructions on fleeing. Eph 5:3, “ 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” 1 Tim 6:11, “ 11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things.” 2 Tim 2:22, “ 22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace….”
When we see the word flee, we remember the story of Joseph in the OT. Joseph was a very faithful servant in Pharaoh’s officer’s house. The master’s wife had been trying to tempt and seduce Joseph but was repeatedly rejected by him. One day, the wife tried to grab Joseph’s hand to make him sleep with her. What did Joseph do? He ran away. When faced with sexual temptations, flee, run away. Don’t go near that section of the bookstore that displays adult magazines. Don’t go near the website with those sexual and seductive contents. Put a block on your web browser. Don’t even entertain the thought: just this one time.
Paul further provides us with some familiar and additional motivation for running away from sexual immorality. 18-20, “ 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Our body belongs to Christ. He had purchased us with the blood of his son, Jesus Christ. We belong to him. A child that grows up in a healthy family, with the healthy sense of security and sense of belonging will be much less prone to go astray. When individuals feel safe and loved in a relationship, they will not fall for another person, bringing shame to the present relationship. Because we belong to Christ; therefore don’t do anything that will bring shame and disgrace to the master.
The Holy Spirit dwells within us. what does that mean? When the spirit dwell in me, it makes my body God's sanctuary. Can you imagine committing a sexual sin in this sanctuary? NO, it is unimaginable. The same is true. Can you imagine committing sexual sins with your body, God's sanctuary?
Then finally, the reason we are to run away from sexual immorality is that since my body is God's dwelling place, I am to use my body to glorify God. What is the first thing that happens when sexual immorality is exposed? God's name is being ridiculed. Because my body is God's dwelling place; it is God's sanctuary; I am to keep it holy; I am to let others see God in me; that they will say good things about Him.
When a prominent church leader falls into sexual immorality, it triggers different responses. To some, it brings back many painful memories from a different time and place. To others there is the response of anger, disillusionment and a sense of being let down and betrayed. It may also enforce some individual’s conviction that we can trust no one, including the pastors.
I too, have my mixed emotions on hearing the news. But I am always reminded whenever I point 1 finger at you, I have 3 fingers pointing at myself. The Bible consistently teaches us that we each need to be responsible for our own behaviors before God. It is easy to see others’ sins. But will it even happen to me? How can I safely guard myself that this will not happen to me?
In today’s passage, the scripture reminds us that sexual sins harm and control. We belong to Christ and are members of his body, meaning we are a part of him. Not only this, the Holy Spirit also dwells within us. With dwelling within us, our body is his sanctuary, how can we commit those sexual sins? Its unimaginable. You see, because he dwells within us, our behavior, especially in the area of sexual morality, is to reflect his presence, his holiness.
Having said that, I also recognize that there may be some among us who have committed sexual sins, perhaps out of ignorance or deliberate rebellion. I want you to know that our God opens his arms to you. Yes, it hurts him, especially if you are a child of his. Yet at the same time, he is waiting for you to return to him, telling him how sorry you are. And you know what? 1 John 1:9, “ 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”http://archive.hcchome.org/
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