King's Business - 1917-10



thereby, apparently, receiving the sanction of religion. “As idolatry lost its supersti­ tious hold upon the people, the shrines more and more drew their vast revenues from the sanction given to immorality behind the screen of religious festival. At those of Diana at Ephesus, Adonis at Baalbek,^ and Serapis (Asires—Apis) at Alexandria, there were men and women attached to the shrine called Kaddism — devoted ones to whom vice was a religious vocation and sin because an act of honor to the god. The early Christian church declared such places, to be unfit to continue on the face of the earth, and did not leave one stone upon another.” (George M. Mackie), The Gnostic theory of the evil of matter also led to similar immoral prac­ tices. It is also very probable that Paul’s doctrine of Christian liberty was so miscon­ strued as to give license for questionable moral liberties. It is evident also from the context that gluttony and self-indulgence, without due regard to the religious scruples of the brethren, were being practiced in the assembly. The Corinthians seemed to have overlooked the fact that a lawful thing may become unlawful if abused or allowed to interfere with the Christian life. More people are slain by the wrong use of what is lawful than by the use of what is unlawful. More people die from over­ eating than from poison. The two sins here referred to are abuses in connection with the eating of meat sac­ rificed to idols (vi. 13, 14), and fornica­ tion (vi. 15-18). The sin of fornication— ‘That sin of sins, which surrenders the body to another and degrades it as no other sin can' do; that sin which debauches the body when it ought to be purest, and sinks lowest that which should be highest—is a sin not only against the body in which the soul dwells, but in which the Holy Ghost dwells. We become like that with which we associ­ ate. Association is assimilation.” Diet was a matter without the body; but fornication was a matter of the body itself. Physiology has often been used to sanc­ tion vice, but let Christianity lift her voice

and maintain that only within the bonds of matrimony is legitimate sexual desire to be expressed. From such abuses of liberty in Christ the believer has been delivered (vi. 10, 11). The liberty of the believer is Christian liberty, a liberty in order to holiness and purity of both soul and body. To think otherwise is to fail utterly to understand the freedom of Christ. Both abuses above mentioned are incongruous to the Christian because of his intimate relation to Christ: “He that is joined to the Lord is one body.” Do we appreciate 'the religion of the body? Bought at so great a price, inhab­ ited by so divine a guest, set apart by so noble a purpose—do we put the proper emphasis upon it? “The body is Christ’s: in His incarnation He assumed it; in His life He honored it; in His death He redeemed it.” It would be dreadful to take the body of the Lord and put it to immoral purposes (vi. 15-17). It is incongruous because the body of the Christian belongs to Christ by the right of redemptive pur­ chase. It is incongruous because the Chris­ tian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (Cf. iii. 16, 17, where the Church collec­ tively is the temple of the Holy Ghost, whereas here (vi. 19) the individual believer is such a temple). The truth here empha­ sized is not so much that the body of the believer is dedicated to the service of the Holy Spirit as that the Holy Spirit actually dwells within him; he is not only the tem­ ple but the very shrine of the Holy Spirit. The believer is a walking temple of the Holy Ghost. This is an argument for a clean body. It is incongruous, finally, for a body with such a destiny as that of a glorious resur­ rection. It is not enough to glorify God in the soul. We must glorify Him in the body also. The body, with all its appetites and passions, must be kept under (cf. ix. 26, 27). Meats and the stomach go together, for one was made for the other; but the body and sensuality do not go together. Meats and the stomach both will some day be destroyed, but the body will be raised

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