Online Bible Commentary
Flee Sexual Immorality
1 Corinthians 6:15 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 harlot? Certainly not! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh." 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (NKJV)
In this passage the Apostle Paul concludes two chapters where he frequently addresses sexual immorality. In chapter seven he moves on to the subject of marriage.
Previously Paul has written to the first century believers in the church at Corinth, Greece that our bodies are not for sexual immorality but are for the Lord (v. 13b). Now he tells us why we should not be involved in sexual immorality and how we can avoid sexual immorality.
The bodies of Christians belong to the Lord, not to themselves. We are “members of Christ” (v. 15a). Every Christian is a member of the body of Christ.
Since we are members of Christ we should not join our body with the body of a “harlot” (v. 15b), a prostitute (Gen. 38:15-16). This is because “he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her” (v. 16a).
Sexual relations with someone results in a joining of flesh, of bodies (v. 16b). The joining of flesh is only sanctioned by God within the confines of marriage between a man and a woman (Ge. 2:24).
Paul then states that “he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (v. 17). Believers are indwelled by the Holy Spirit upon becoming a Christian.
Our bodies are temples of God, because they house the Spirit of God (v. 19a). Our bodies are not our own, they belong to God (v. 19b). They “were bought at a price”, the blood of Christ shed on the cross (v. 20a).
Therefore, it is a sin against God to use our bodies for sexual immorality. This is what makes sexual sin unique to other sin (v. 18b).
Paul has now stated why we should not be involved in sexual immorality. Next, he states how we should avoid sexual immorality.
God’s solution to the temptation of sexual immorality is “to flee” (v. 18a). He has given us the ultimate example of this in how Joseph handled the sexual immorality proposed by Potiphar’s wife: “So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside” (Genesis 39:10-12).
Joseph fled sexual immorality at all costs; possibly the cost of losing all of his earthly comforts and, perhaps, his very life, by drawing the ire of Potiphar. Potiphar was a powerful man, an Egyptian officer of the Pharaoh and chief of the executioners.
Joseph could have quietly laid with Potiphar’s wife and possibly no one would have known, other than God. But instead he obeyed God and took the chance of Potiphar’s wife accusing him of attempted rape, which she did.
However, God eventually rewarded Joseph’s obedience. After spending two years in prison, Joseph became known to the Pharaoh because God enabled Joseph to interpret the Pharaoh’s dreams. This earned Joseph favor to the Pharaoh who made Joseph Governor of Egypt and second in power in Egypt, only to the Pharaoh.
More importantly, God used Joseph, and his power in Egypt, to bring his father Jacob (Israel) and his family to Egypt to save them from the famine. Joseph’s obedience to God ultimately earned him a place in God’s Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11:22).
In summary, Paul closes this chapter with the words “glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (v. 20b). God commands that we not be involved in sexual immorality. His solution is simply to flee. We can all do that. It is a matter of the will. A matter of glorifying God.