Glorifying God With Your Body
Second Sunday after the Epiphany Trinity Lutheran Church
18 January 2015 Murdock, NE
+Jesu Juva +
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Well, today a sermon about … your body. Your body! The Lord is very concerned with your body!
In particular, it’s about honoring or glorifying God with your body. Are you nervous? Well, this sermon is not an infomercial about how to have rock hard abs, lose a turkey neck, get a Brazilian butt lift or lose 15 pounds and 3 inches in two weeks. Not that kind of body sermon. Sorry to disappoint. Preacher Kuhlman’s always disappointingly bad. How you put up with it, I’ll never know!
However, when a preacher like Kuhlman talks about the body, the first thing to say is that it’s been gifted to you by the Lord! The Lord cares for your body. Deeply. Your body is precious to Him. After all, He gave you life. He gave you your body and all its parts. He redeemed and holied your body through His Son’s Good Friday blood. Your body the Lord ransomed, “bought with the price” of His Good Friday death. Your body the Lord marked and claimed in Holy Baptism for the resurrection on the Last Day and eternal life with Him. Your body — the whole lot of it — is a member of Christ’s body and a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Your died for, baptized, Holy Spirit-filled body then is a holy space and place – a holy thing not because you’ve done something special BUT BECAUSE YOUR BODY IS THE LORD’S! Your Good Friday-ed, baptized, holied body is to be the instrument by which you worship God. “Offer you bodies as living sacrifices” Paul says in Romans 12:1. Baptized into Christ’s Good Friday death you are holy and royal priests given to handle and properly use holy things. That includes how you handle and use your body that’s been holied by the Lord.
What you do in and with your body matters in this life. It is not a neutral or indifferent thing like eating pizzas or cheeseburgers. Your body is not yours to do with as you please BUT AS THE LORD PLEASES. The Lord would have good use for your body in this life, especially how it is put to use in a sexual relationship.
Now, as a Good Friday-ed and baptized Christian, you WANT to use your body sexually in a God-pleasing way, don’t you? Of course, you do. Every Sunday at the beginning of the service you categorically beg the Lord to “forgive you, renew you, and lead you.” Why? “SO THAT YOU MAY DELIGHT IN GOD’S WILL AND WALK IN GOD’S WAYS TO THE GLORY OF GOD’S HOLY NAME,” (LSB, p. 151).
Those are your words! You categorically said that you want to do God’s will and to walk in His ways. Do any of you want to take that back? Renege? No? Good! God be praised! I’ll continue then with the sermon.
God is very wise. He’s not a kill-joy, party pooper or spoilsport. For your good – your very good creaturely benefits — He intentionally created your body with parts to not only eliminate wastes and toxins from your body after you sit for a while and flush, but He creates life through these same body parts! Isn’t that amazing? The male and female body parts fit together exactly in the way God designed it. I dare not say more because sermons are supposed to be G rated. I think you get the idea!
God purposely designed your body for the opposite sex. That’s precisely then, how your sexuality is to be expressed. Let there be no mistake. Sex is a gift from the Lord. Sex is not to be shunned or eliminated. God created you as a sexual being. You’re hardwired or matrixed that way.
But your sexuality is to be used properly. “Honor God with your bodies,” or “The body is meant … for the Lord.”
How do you honor God with you body with regard to sexuality? One would think that’s a no-brainer but it isn’t anymore. Teen Nick, Degrassi, The Bachelor, How I Met Your Mother, Two and A Half Men, your relatives, friends and your sinful nature would lead you to corinthianly dishonor God with your body. So the Bible has to spell it out. Take you back to the biblical, God-pleasing basics. What is good and God-pleasing.
One of the ways you honor God with your body is that you wait to have a sexual relationship with the opposite sex AFTER you get married. The key word is: AFTER. Only as you live in the estate of holy marriage does God give you His blessing to enjoy His very good gift of the one-flesh union.
What is the proper, unique task or vocation of holy marriage? Think about it? It’s a no brainer! And yet it is the shocker of all shockers! The proper and unique task/vocation in holy marriage is: SEXUAL INTERCOURSE! Sex is for married people – not single people! I repeat. The proper, unique task of holy marriage is intercourse! In holy marriage God Himself authorizes or vests husbands and wives to have a sexual relationship with each other.
Consequently, you honor God with your body by avoiding anything that degrades, diminishes, pollutes or ruins holy marriage. Sex is to be experienced and enjoyed — but only within the confines of holy marriage and only between a husband and a wife. Period. It is communion. The one-flesh union. But it is a closed communion! No one else is allowed to enter the one-flesh union that is enjoyed with holy marriage.
Sex – any sex – from cyber to sexting –from fantasy to in the flesh and that includes sex with prostitutes (the male or female variety), call girls, strippers (the male or female variety), or anyone else – violates, corinthianizes, adulterates, desecrates and defiles holy marriage.
The Christian, therefore, does not want to indulge in sexual immorality that adulterates holy marriage and the gift of the one flesh union between a husband and a wife. Do you remember Joseph? Potiphar’s TV Land Cougar Town wife wanted to bed him down. Daily and with all her Egyptian feminine charm she begged him: “Come to bed with me.” What did Joseph do? Incredibly, he refused! He avoided her like the plague. No one-night stand! No illicit affair! Because it would be a sin against the Lord (Genesis 39) and against Potiphar. Like Joseph, then, the Christian will run away from sexual immorality of any kind.
Christians will want to use their sexuality properly before they are married and after they are married in order to give the sound witness to their children to God’s-very-good-for-their-benefit-will in holy marriage and the family. As parents live faithfully to one another two things take place. First, they make chastity attractive and desirable for their children. Second, as parents are genuinely faithful and loyal to each other in marriage, that’s when they are most committed to their children. And the kids know it. And they learn from it. They realize that faithfulness with regard to sexuality is helpful and beneficial to the family and society. They also understand that promiscuity destroys the family and society and that it is not God-pleasing.
Here’s another reason for the Christian’s fleeing any kind of sexual immorality and this may be a surprise to you, but the text clearly says that, “every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body!” Sexual sin is not neutral. Not indifferent. When you sin sexually, you sin against the very body the Lord created, died for, redeemed and holied! Again, sexual sin desecrates your body before the Lord! It spoils, pollutes and ruins your body that is a member of Christ and a residence of the Holy Spirit.
For such sin and every sin there is the need for repentance. To turn from your sin and die to it daily in order to arise and live before God by clinging to His divine mercy and forgiveness for Jesus’ sake. I’m here to tell you that you are forgiven. For all your sin. It all belongs to Jesus. He wrapped Himself in and with all your sin on the cross. So it’s no longer on you. It’s on Him. He took your bad. He gives you His good, His holiness, to wear in His Word of forgiveness.
The good fruit, the new obedience or the “so that” of His incredible and magnificent forgiveness is that you live a holy life according to His Word. And that Word today is this: “glorify or honor God with you body – your redeemed and marked for resurrection and eternal life body.”
That means two things. First, if you’re not married, you deny yourself. You do battle against the desires and temptations to have sex when you’re not married. You’ll wait. For the honeymoon! That’s truly loving the neighbor. Second, in holy marriage you will make love to your spouse only. No one else. You won’t even look at anyone else. You will be faithful with the use of your body within the estate of holy marriage. The way the Lord gave it from the beginning with Adam and Eve.
The Lord’s wisdom for you is expressed in the Small Catechism’s explanation of the Sixth Commandment. It is precisely what you want to do as a Christian. It’s very wise. “You will fear and love God so that you will lead a sexually pure and decent life in what you say and do, and husband and wife love and honor each other.” This is nothing else than the way Samuel put it in the Old Testament lesson: “Speak, Lord, your servant listens.”
In the Name of Jesus.