Principles and Guidelines
1 Cor. 6: 12
In this life, decisions have to be made. Making wise decision is an indication not only of wisdom but
also of maturity. The Corinthians due to their immaturity are making wrong decisions. Sexual
immorality has been a part of the people’s life in Corinth. Sexual sins for them have become not only
lawful but also moral. Everybody is doing it so it’s legal and not sinful. Their spirituality is twisted in
that it is mixed with immorality instead of holiness. Paul have taught them about Christian liberty
and its benefits but others are using and abusing it to practice impurity. Paul have given us here
principles and guidelines to follow in making the right decision as we live our lives.
Illustration 1: Senate Prayer
Lord Jesus, thou who art the way, the truth, and the life; hear us as we pray for the truth that shall
make all free. Teach us that liberty is not only to be loved but also to be lived. Liberty is too precious
a thing to be buried in books. It costs too much to be hoarded. Help us see that our liberty is not the
right to do as we please, but the opportunity to please to do what is right.
Peter Marshall, Before the U.S. Senate
I. Is it lawful? (1 Cor. 6:12a)
A. What does the Word of God say? When God speaks on a subject or matter, it is
settled. (2 Tim. 3:16). All things allowed by God are lawful. There are so many things
that the Word of God is very clear.
Question: What does Paul mean then when he says “All things are lawful unto me”?
Answer: Paul does not mean that anything that a Christian wants to do is lawful.
Though the believer has great liberty, this does not mean that he can live as he
pleases; he is not to allow himself to be brought under the power of anything other
than His Master Jesus Christ.
The New Testament have set limits about our liberty. Written here are just some of
the things we should not do.
1. We are not to commit fornication (1 Cor. 6:16-18; 1 Thess. 4:3-6), or to be
involved in any sort of uncleanness (1 Thess. 4:7)
2. We are not allowed to fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness
3. We are not allowed to be drunk with wine (Eph. 5:18)
4. We should not allow any corrupt communication to proceed out of our
mouths (Eph. 4:29),
5. We should not allow any filthiness of the flesh or spirit (2 Cor. 7:1), or to be
involved in anything that has even the appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22).
6. We should not love the evil things that are in the world (1 John 2:15-17), or
to befriend the world (James 4:4), or to dress immodestly (1 Tim. 2:9).
7. We should avoid sins listed in Gal. 5:19-21 such as lustfulness, witchcraft,
hatred, variance, emulations, strife, seditions, heresies, revelling. And many
others which I cannot put it here for lack of space and time.
II. Is it Expedient?
A. Expedient in Greek means “to bring together,” “be good”, “be profitable.”
1. Do these things bring me closer to Jesus? Every decision or activity either brings
us closer or away from Jesus Christ. (Phil. 3:13-15).
2. As Christians, we have set free by the blood of Christ, free from the wages of sin,
(past, present, future), free from the condemnation of the law, free from the
ceremonies of the Mosaic covenant, but not free to sin and not free to do
anything which is not expedient or edifying. We are not licensed to commit sin.
3. We can do everything as we please but if it will not help us grow spiritually (Eph.
4:13) and if it will a cause to believers to be stumbled, then it is wrong. (Mk.
4. As Christians, we have been freed from our bondage to sin so that we may now
serve God in righteousness (Rom. 7:1-6). We are therefore to put away the old
sinful practices that once enslaved us and to live a life of righteousness, through
the power of God which is in us.
5. It’s a sad thing to see that as civilization progressed the people’s character goes
downward as shown in the illustration below.
Illustration 2: Family and Civilization
In Charles Swindoll’s new book, The Quest for Character (Multnomah), “sociologist and historian
Carle Zimmerman, in his 1947 book Family and Civilization, recorded his keen observations as he
compared the disintegration of various cultures with the parallel decline of family life in those
cultures. Eight specific patterns of domestic behavior typified the downward spiral of each culture
Zimmerman studied: Marriage loses its sacredness…is frequently broken by divorce; traditional
meaning of the marriage ceremony is lost; feminist movements abound; there is increased public
disrespect for parents and authority in general; an acceleration of juvenile delinquency, promiscuity
and rebellion occurs; there is refusal of people with traditional marriages to accept family
responsibilities; a growing desire for, and acceptance of, adultery is evident; there is increasing
interest in, and spread of, sexual perversions and sex-related crimes.”
Confident Living, November 1987, p. 34.
III. Enslavement to sin broken (1 Cor. 12b)
A. “I will not be brought under the power of any” means sin has power but as believers
in Christ we can overcome and avoid committing sins.
B. The term “brought under the power” is now commonly referred to as “addiction”.
C. The principle here is to stay away and avoid any involvement with drugs, alcohols or
intoxicating drinks, smoking, gambling, and any other things that may become
D. The context of this passage is, Paul’s warning to us not to be controlled by or
“addicted” of any sort of sin especially pertaining to sexual sins.
E. The believers at Corinth have repented from their sins and have been saved. The
problem now is, some had returned back into their old lifestyles and Paul is warning
them to not allow this to happen.
F. Sin has power. Drugs, alcohol, smoking and gambling are “addictive” and can
become habitual that it can rob the believer of his joy, peace, usefulness, etc. It can
cause divine chastening, even church discipline. However, no sin is more enslaving
than sexual sin. Sexual sin controls, so the believer must never allow sexual sin to
control his life but must in the Lord’s strength resist and avoid it.
G. As a general rule, having been freed from our bondage to sin, we must not return to
our former lifestyle. Any practices which enable the flesh to gain mastery over us
must be avoided.
Illustration 3: Parable of the Chain
Mr. Spurgeon once made a parable. He said, “There was once a tyrant who summoned one of his
subjects into his presence, and ordered him to make a chain. The poor blacksmith—that was his
occupation—had to go to work and forge the chain. When it was done, he brought it into the
presence of the tyrant, and was ordered to take it away and make it twice the length. He brought it
again to the tyrant, and again he was ordered to double it. Back he came when he had obeyed the
order, and the tyrant looked at it, and then commanded the servants to bind the man hand and foot
with the chain he had made and cast him into prison. “That is what the devil does with men,” Mr.
Spurgeon said. “He makes them forge their own chain, and then binds them hand and foot with it,
and casts them into outer darkness.” My friends, that is just what drunkards, gamblers,
blasphemers—that is just what every sinner is doing. But thank God, we can tell them of a deliverer.
The Son of God has power to break every one of their fetters if they will only come to Him.
Moody’s Anecdotes, pp. 48-49
Illustration 4: Studies and Surveys
1. A study at a Midwestern school showed that 80% of the women who had intercourse hoped to
marry their partner. Only 12% of the men had the same expectation – Robert J. Collins in the Chicago
Tribune, quoted in HIS, February, 1976
2. Sex is not the most important part of a love relationship. A Syracuse University survey asked
married couples to rank the 10 most important things in a marriage relationship. Caring, a sense of
humor and communication came in first, second and third. Sex came in ninth, just ahead of sharing
household duties. Dr. Thomas Lickona
We have liberty in Christ but it does not mean that we can do as we please. We are not
licensed to commit sin and we should not be “brought under the power” or “addicted”
to sin especially sexual sin. Christ has freed us from the power of sin. Will you come to
Him now and be “free” from the power of sin also?