You are not your own; you were bought at a price. You are not a free independent agent who is above God’s law, and God cares profoundly about what you do with your body. As a way to plant this in your soul, start your day with this summary, remember it, speak about it, and list a few ways that it could change your day: “This is the good life. It can only be found in Jesus. It is not found in splitting my allegiances between Jesus and an unconsecrated relationship (to use tabernacle language).
In our culture, sexual relationships are where Scripture seems most contrary to the majority opinion, and the majority opinion affects us more than we realize.
Cohabitation is an example. In my own lifetime, it has gone from shameful, to frowned upon, to “better than the alternatives,” to accepted, to a necessary phase of every relationship that is to be celebrated. Marriage, after all, did not seem to help many of our parents stay together.
As a way to revisit the subject, consider the apostle Paul’s thick and fresh pastoral arguments in chapter six of his first letter to the Corinthians. His purpose is important. He wants to show the connection between Scripture’s words about sexuality and “Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2). I have included the passage below, but since it presents some lesser-used reasoning, I will also paraphrase it, which I have found to be a useful practice with difficult passages. Paul, I hope, would approve.
Here is the original.
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 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 prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Cor 6:12–20)
Here is a paraphrase.
Notice how we can find a belief, somewhere in our souls, that we are independent agents, free to make our own decisions. This belief can be aroused when we hear that we “are not under law but under grace” (Rom 6:14). But be careful.