A Time for War: A Battle for Your Body

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Sermon Notes

A Time for War
“The Battle for the Body”
1st Corinthians 6:9-20
A Word of Encouragement
Good morning, it is my hope and my joy to know that the battle for our time has begun in Christ. Though you may have made little steps in the past week to win the battle it is still progress worth celebrating. Some of you began devotions with your family, started praying, listening to messages, reading scripture, cutting back of social media and T.V. time, and began to look for ways to better use your time for the glory of God and sake of man. Even if you have not taken a step physically, if the idea of how to rearrange your time to make the most of it, then a victory has been won on some level. I trust each of us has a way to go to fully reclaim our time, but the battle has begun and that is better than the alternative of being captive by the will of Satan. I pray that you continue in the battle for your God given time. It is valuable, and it is worth fighting for. I also want to give a reminder that you can win your battles with Christ as the High Captain of your life. You can do all things through Christ and you are more than a conquer through Him and also where sin abounds the grace to wage war with sin abounds much the more. Therefore, we are well equipped and without excuse. You can win, so please keep winning your time for the Lord’s glory and man’s sake.
The Next Battle:
As we move on to our next battle let us not forget our to enemies, the “flesh” (Our fallen Ego that seeks to gratify itself at all cost) and Satan (The leader of wickedness). There is something that each person in this room has in common. It is true we differ on about every level of our being. Height, weight, eye color, body shape, hair color and length, and skin tone. But the one thing we all have in common is we have a BODY. I would also speculate we like our bodies. Sure, there are aspects about your body you aren’t crazy about, but overall, we love our bodies, and rightfully so for they are a great gift of God. Here is what we know about our physical bodies from scripture.
Your Body is in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)-
Male or female are both in the image of God. This is why marriage between male and female is correct scripture. The two together proceeded forth from God and when united show a great image of God and the sacred relationship between Jesus and His Church.
Your Body will be transformed or changed (Philippians 3:21, 1st Corinthians 15:51-52)-
The bodies we now have are marred by sin, when we follow Jesus as Savior we are following Him with the promise that our bodies will be transformed to the likeness of His glorious body. Salvation from a sin curse body and a sin cursed world awaits all believers in Jesus.
Your Body is to be sanctified and presented to God as a living sacrifice (1st Thessalonians 5:23 and Romans 12:1)-
Our personal works do not save, but God who saves also works in us to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). This work He does is through His Spirit, which convicts of sin and righteousness (John 16:8). The Spirit of God works 24/7 to convict us of things, which do not glorify God, and encourages toward doing what pleases God. The goal of such work is to make us a living sacrifice, or the highest quality in the fold for the glory of God.
Your Body is a temple (1st Corinthians 6:19)-
Your Body is a temple in the image of God that is being sanctified and awaiting a full-scale transformation. Your body is a place of worship. The Temple that Solomon built in the Old Testament was beautiful on the outside, but all the true splendor was on the inside. This is how it is to be with us. Our bodies are to be attractive (not as the world envisions attraction) on the outside and filled with enhanced worship to God on the inside. The outside attraction of our bodies is to be a physical mirroring of what takes place on the inside. This is what Peter had in mind in 1st Peter 3:3-5. A Temple that is inviting and worship within that is filling.
All these things about our body are amazing and beautiful. We were formed, imaged, redeemed, sanctified, and made a temple by God for a glorious purpose. Our bodies will be changed and we will live in a glorious physical body with Jesus throughout eternity. It is a gold mine of beauty and value to God and us, yet this great value makes it a great target to the enemy. Your body and the worship in it can give God glory and bring others to do so as well, Satan will not allow this without a full out war on your Image bearing self. If Satan lets you go about in the brightness of God’s glory, then many will come to know His enemy (God). Satan must fight within and without to keep your body in his clutches or he will suffer great lost. Satan will seek to kill you if you do not glorify God, and the more so if you do glorify God. Do not think you can sign a peace treaty with him and cut off the hook of his hatred against your body. You walk around as a billboard of his enemy no matter what you do. The air in your lungs means you are a testimony of God. Satan is waging war over your body as we speak. Fleshly desire is the greatest weapon in distracting men from salvation. Anything you do against to harm your body for lustful reasons pleases Satan. The church preaches being clean from addictions and vices because it is a weapon of the enemy. A holy life is preached because your Father is holy. It is time to battle addiction, lust, and the pride that fuels all sin in our body. Satan is not to win the war of your body. Your body is to be held forth as brightness for all to see and glorify God because of it.
Every Christian Can reinforce the battle for their body by reacting to the following truths;
Truth #1
Actions with Your Body is Revealing (1st Corinthians 6:9-11)
The Words- The words in the text describe the perpetual lifestyle that proves a person is not a follower of Jesus. We will take a quick glance and move on to better news for the believer.
The Greek word in verse 8 “you do wrong” is the same word used to translated “unrighteousness” in verse 9. The force of the sentence is “you do wrong things and expect to inherit the kingdom of God, this will not happen”. Those doing wrong are not bearing fruit of repentance that comes from salvation.
Fornicators- Single persons who give themselves sexually to another or engage in unbiblical sexual gratification.
Idolaters- Those who esteem anyone or thing higher than God.
Adulterers- Those who break their marriage vows and have sexual relations with another besides the person they are committed.
Abusers of themselves- same sex sexual activity.
Thieves- Those who take things without proper permission or by violence.
Covetous- Those who love money.
Drunkards- Those who drink excessively.
Revilers- Those who rant with their tongue.
Extortioners- Those who take from another what is rightfully theirs.
The scripture is plain. Living such a life style as Paul has mentioned in the body simply proves the individual is an outcast from the kingdom of God.
Good News for the Follower of Jesus (V:11)- Paul plainly states people who use their bodies to commit wrong practices are not heaven bound, but doesn’t stop there. He goes on and reminds believers that they are not that! They are washed and redeemed. Their body, because of salvation and the work of the Holy Spirit, is against such behavior. When a follower of Jesus knows they are heading in a direction, or has committed any of the offences afore mention they repent passionately and move forward in the forgiveness and mercy of God. God has justified us (declared us innocent legally) and is sanctifying us (teaching us how to be innocent and holy lives). Society can build new houses for old men, but God can put new men in old houses! No one but Jesus can make a man new. Verse 11 declares that Jesus can take those who are not fir for the Kingdom of God save them and place a new man in a vile condemned body!
When we react to the fact we are saved and sanctified by God then our bodies will not be given to vices of Satan. One of the great ways to react to salvation is to pray we enter not into temptation but are delivered from evil.
Truth # 2
Our Body is for the Lord and the Lord is for our Body (12-14)
Because we are in Christ we are free to enjoy the good gifts of God. Paul mentions two natural desires (Sex and Eating) that can be fulfilled in Christ, yet these things can become bondage if we forget that the main purpose of these things are to glorify God.
Lawful but not Profitable (12)- Sex and food was available to Paul because of his liberty in Christ. This sounds way to attractive and pleasurable to be consider Christian right? Actually, these are things Christians can enjoy and are, in my opinion, the foundations of physical pleasure. Paul talked about sex and food in another place in 1st Timothy 4:1-5 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”
Paul knew that false teachers were going to arise and attack freedom to marry and freedom to eat. These false teachers were seeking to make Christianity a major drag and call it holy! These things are still heresies today. Sex is sold as a cheap thrill and food is unhealthy and unappreciated. Satan is hard at work to plant an ungrateful heart in the church toward the good things God gives to the body!
It is established then that sex and food are good gifts given to people, but neither of these things come without warning. It is very possible to let these good things become a “law” that binds the followers of Jesus. Over eating or eating unhealthily can bind us. Thanksgiving can be affected even when we eat good. The gift becomes the prize and not a tool to glorify God. Feeling like marriage is a must can also be bondage, and sex in marriage can become a practice that loses Christ as its center. It becomes something to do and not a treasure to enjoy. Food and sex have a place, but that place is not the Master’s seat! Anything that keeps the body from being an instrument of glory to God is a thing that needs to be brought under control of the Spirit of God.
Refusal of Bondage- On the one hand we see a life that is not Christian and the other we see the Christian liberty that can yield bondage. Satan is not a quitter. He does not see Christian liberty and think, “there is no way I can use that”. No, Satan sees every thing good as a weapon that can be turned on believers. Paul decides nothing will master him. Good gifts are to bring us closer to God and others. Good gifts are not for self-gratification alone. Paul refuses to be in bondage to anything but Christ! Have good gifts become bondage to your body? What has you enslaved at this moment? Is it food, exercise, sex, work, or some other good gift gone bad? Pray with me that the good gifts granted to us by God will give us enjoyment, growth in our relationship to God and others, and place thanksgiving in our hearts to God! We can take this reminder with us “there are many good gifts God has given us to enjoy, but remember our bodies are for the Lord and not a slave to good gifts”.
Proof of God’s Love (14)- God loves us! We are weak, tempted, and tainted by sin at every turn, but God continually shows us love and favor through Jesus Christ. We are troubled on every side in our flesh, we seem to lose most battles, and beg for forgiveness for our short comings. There are habits and sins we want to kick and we try with all our might and then fall back, but we keep fighting because the Spirit of Christ is in us and we hope to push the enemy back until the day we are granted a new body. The new body will match the new man that has fought sin here on this earth. The resurrection of Jesus means total victory will soon be ours to enjoy without a fight! The Lord came to redeem and resurrect our bodies because He loves us!
Application: Since the Lord’s body is for you, will you be for the Lord?
Truth # 3
Remember you are a sexual creature and your sexuality is for the Lord (15-18)
“Sex” is taboo in church. If you talk about it too much you are sinful, and if you do not talk about it then you are out of touch with reality. But if we speak where scripture speaks then we are right about the matter and so we will speak where scripture speaks and say what scripture says. Paul leaves food behind and reminds the Corinthian believers that their bodies are one with Christ. Our bodies are to be married to the will of God. When we experience our sexuality in the context God has given us then will our sexuality be full and God glorified
Our body is meant for One (16-17)- Our lost nature (The fallen ego) yearns to give our body to whatever, whoever, and whenever it desires. The human sex drive is powerful, so it is married to the will of Christ so the great desire can be enjoyed completely in marriage. Since man transgressed against God our sexual desires are all over the place. Paul list the sexually immoral as unredeemed and not allowed into God’s Kingdom. Man cannot on his own will his way to a holy sex life, and so Jesus offers salvation which cleanses from sexual immorality and places in the believer the will to do right and wage war on that which is wrong. Remember your sexuality is reserved for what the Lord has commanded.
A very strong desire- Today Grandparents, parents, and children struggle with sexuality. It has been deemed normal for sexuality to be explored and abused but not commit. There are very strong desires in each person in this room that need to be crucified and raised with Christ. What can be done with our strong sexual desire?
Remember it is a gift from God
Do not “kill” it but marry it to Christ
Enjoy your sexuality in the bond of marriage
Live committed and not loose (18)
Application: Are you aware of your sexual desire? Has it over come you? Will you commit your sexuality to Christ?
Truth # 4
Your Body is Not Your Own (19-20)
When Jesus suffered He did so to obtain rights to your body. His prize was the glory of God and YOU! It doesn’t even sound like the two things should be joined in the same sentenced, but they are because it is true. Jesus redeemed your body from the power of sin to destroy it. Left to ourselves we would ruin many times over the wonderful gift of our body which is God’s image. Jesus now owns me and for that I am happy. I was not a very good master, sin was a bad master, and Satan is a murderer! Jesus being owner of me is a JOY! When I invite you to be saved make no mistake I am inviting you to turn over the rights of your life to God. I am pleading with you to be saved from self, sin, and Satan and to the Savior Jesus Christ! Now when you buy something you buy it with a purpose. You buy it for joy or work and the same is true of God. He has purchased us to worship Him and for His pleasure.
The Temple- We are God’s temple. A place of beauty and coordinated worship. The Holy Spirit shines in us and radiates into a dark world to make God known.
The Task- Our task is to make God known. We use our influence to make God stand out as God. The god of this world is blinding people to the One true God and we are to make God stand out in a positive way. How do we glorify God with our bodies? Look no further than the gospel accounts of Jesus. What did He do? Pray, serve others, teach about God, sing, be obedient, and suffer on behalf of God, give, and much more. We sum this up at Bethany with “Love God, Love Others, and Serve Both”.
Application: Are you making God known with your body? Is what you doing with your body influencing others to know God and love Him? People needed to be saved; does your body teach that?