God cares about our sex life because God cares about us. God wants what’s best for us, and God wants us to live in victory. It is helpful to think of sex as a fire in a fireplace. As long as the fire stays in the fireplace, the heat emanating from the fireplace is able to warm up the home. But the moment the fire is removed from the fireplace and is placed anywhere else, it threatens to burn down the entire home. God gave sex as a gift so that we can give expression to the desires he has given to us within the context of marriage. This is why the Bible warns us of the dangers of taking sexual intimacy outside of the fireplace of marriage (compare Gen. 1:28 and Ex. 20:14).
Licensed psychologist and professor Dr. James Coffield once said, “We live in a society where sex is everything and sex is nothing.” Considering the fact that parents today are being asked to vaccinate their children as early as 11 years old against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, Coffield’s assessment awakens us to an even greater problem that has reached epidemic proportions. From the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s to the #MeToo movement of the 2010s, we live in a world where we are bombarded with sexual messages filled with warning labels and clickbait at every turn. The old marketing adage is “sex sells,” and by the looks of it, our society is consuming sexuality at a rate that threatens to push everyone past the point of sexual bankruptcy. So how are believers to live a holy and blameless life unto God in a hook-up culture that promotes having sex with anyone, anywhere?
The first thing God wants us to do is to run: 1 Corinthians 6:18 demands that we “flee from sexual immorality.” The word “flee” in the original language conveys the idea of a country under siege. The image here is that of an invading army approaching the city gates of a weaker opponent unable to defend itself. This foreign power of sexual immorality will enslave and devour anyone who does not heed the warning of Scripture to run. Your only hope for survival is to retreat!
In other words, the apostle Paul was teaching these believers in Corinth that they were completely powerless in their own strength to stand up to the avalanche of sexual temptations flooding their city. In the first century, Corinth was one of the most sexually immoral cities in the world. This port city had developed such a promiscuous reputation in the Roman Empire that whenever someone said “to Corinth,” it meant to be sexually immoral.
God’s call in 1 Corinthians to retreat is really a call for believers to reposition themselves. In the face of the temptations that plague this world, God calls God’s people to reposition themselves. After commanding the Corinthian Christians to run for their lives, Paul shows them to where they can run in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. He says, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price.” Paul was pointing them to higher ground by reminding them that Jesus laid down his life to set them free from the power of this sin.
Believers have been purchased, and our bodies now belong to Jesus Christ. This is why he teaches us that the only way we can take our stand against sexual immorality is by retreating and repositioning ourselves behind the cross of Jesus Christ.