During the time of the New Testament, Corinth was a place of high culture and fast living. Whatever one did was no one else’s business. This led to rampant and unfettered sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:12).
To them, food was for the stomach and the stomach was for food. Both were temporary, similar to body and sex. Another idea was that body and spirit were separate and unaffected by each other. This led to some people only focusing on the mind, while others focused only on the body.
Paul disagreed with such beliefs and behavior. He considered our spirit tightly integrated with our body, one significantly influencing the other (1 Corinthians 6:15-20). To him, the body was not meant for sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:13).
Our current culture idolizes sex. In 2009, Atlantic reported that more than 90% of Billboard top 10 songs had messages on sex. Some people are even considered inferior if not actively involved in sex, with being celibate or single as boring, broken, and abnormal.
But our culture also despises and stigmatizes sex. Some consider the media evil for promoting casual and consequence-free sex. Others blame pornography for causing distorted views on sex and leading to women being sexually assaulted.
What should be our attitude towards sex?
For Christians, the key is not sex. The key is our identity. We are valuable to God. God sacrificed Himself to wash away our iniquities and to make us holy. Such wonderful gifts were bought at a very high price (1 Corinthians 6:11, 19, 20; Philippians 1:6). Understanding our value is paramount.
Sex should not be idolized or stigmatized. It is God’s design and therefore good. It is a gift for marriage.
Having said that, being single is wonderful also (1 Corinthians 7). In the 1500 years after Christ, singles sat before the married in church gatherings, illustrating the importance of the singles. Both being married and staying single can be blessed.
The key is our identity in Christ. Having been bought at a hefty price, we aren’t our own anymore. We should live a life to glorify God and honor Him with our bodies. God’s ways and designs far exceed ours. Follow Christ and we will flourish.
Summarized from a sermon by Nicole Unice:
新约时期的哥林多是一个有高度文化而生活节奏快的地方。那里无论一个人做什么都不关别人的事。 这导致不道德的性行为猖獗而没有任何禁忌 （哥林多前书6:12）。
对哥林多人来说，食物是為了肚子，肚子是為了食物，两者都是暂时性的, 相似于身体和性。 另一种想法是身体和心灵是分开的, 两者互不影响，导致一部分的人完全专注于意志或心灵，而另一部分的人则完全专注于肉体。
保罗不同意这样的信念和行为。他认为心灵与肉体紧密结合在一起，彼此互相影响很大 （哥林多前书6：15-20）。对他来说身体不应用于不道德的性行为 （哥林多前书6:13）。
对于基督徒而言, 关键不是性而是自己的身份。我们在上帝眼中是非常宝贵的。上帝牺牲自己来洁净我们的罪孽，使我们成为圣洁。祂付出极其高昂的代价使我们得到如此美好的礼物 （哥林多前书6：11,19,20；腓力比书1：6）。
话虽如此，单身也很棒 （哥林多前书7）。基督之后的1500年里的教堂聚会中，单身人士坐在已婚者前面, 显示着单身人士的重要性。已婚与单身都同样得到祝福。