November 25, 2012 | By Derick Parfan | Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:9-20
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Fighting Sin with the Story of God
Nang maging tagasunod tayo ni Jesus, nagbago na ang direksyon ng buhay natin. Pero, hindi ibig sabihin na hindi na tayo nagkakasala. May mga bagay na nagagawa pa rin tayo na tulad ng mga tao sa mundo natin ngayon. Christian men still struggle with pornography and lustful eyes. Christian women still struggle with emotional dependency or relational idolatry. Christians still struggle with materialism, laziness, neglect of their children, selfishness, and hurtful use of words. Hangga’t nandito tayo sa mundo, we struggle and we will continue to struggle with sin.
Merong ilang mga common attitudes tayong mga Cristiano tungkol sa kasalanan.
- “Tao lang naman, nagkakamali din.” Ano ba talaga ang ibig sabihin ng pagiging tao? Ano ba ang kasalanan? Isang pagkakamali lang ba ito?
- “Wala naman akong nasasaktan.” Totoo nga bang wala kang nasasaktang ibang tao?
- “Hindi ko talaga kaya, mahina lang ako.” Mahina ka ba talaga at lagi na lang bigo?
- “Ganito na ang nakasanayan ko, mahirap nang baguhin.”
- “Ganito rin naman ang ginagawa ng maraming tao sa paligid ko. Acceptable naman sa kanila ‘to.” Kung ganoon mga kabarkada mo, dapat ba ganoon ka din?
Ang kalagayan natin ngayon ay hawig din ng mga Cristianong taga-Corinto sa panahon ni Pablo. Galing sila sa kultura ng mga sumasamba sa mga dios-diosan at kalakip nito ang mga sexual immoralities. Pero dahil sa pangangaral ng salita ng Dios, naitayo ni Pablo ang iglesia dito at nahango ang mga tao doon sa kanilang kasalanan. Pero nang sa pagmimisyon ni Pablo nakarating na siya sa Ephesus, may nakarating sa kanya na balita na ang iglesia dito sa Corinto ay bumabalik sa dati nilang pamumuhay. Kaya isinulat ni Pablo ang 1 Corinthians para ipaalala sa kanila ang mga dapat nilang alalahanin. At dapat din natin itong alalahanin ngayon.
Sa mahabang biyahe natin sa Story of God, nakita natin ang plano ang Dios sa paglikha sa tao. Nang magrebelde ang tao sa kanya, nakita natin kung paanong gumawa ang Dios para ibalik ang tao sa kanya. Ang ipinangakong pagliligtas sa Lumang Tipan ay nagkaroon ng katuparan sa pagdating ni Jesus – nang siya ay ipako sa krus, mamatay at muling mabuhay para sa ating mga kasalanan. Umakyat siya sa langit, bumaba ang Espiritu, at nabuo ang Iglesia. At nakita natin last week na, the Holy Spirit sets the church on fire. May misyong ibinigay ang Dios sa iglesia at kung matupad na ito, muling babalik ang Panginoon Jesus. At isa sa gaas na ginagamit niya ay ang “purity of the Church.” Pero alam natin nasa proseso tayo. There is still sin and suffering in this world and in the church.
Darating ang araw na wala nang kasalanan, wala nang kahirapan. Pero hanggang meron pa, makikipaglaban tayo diyan. We will struggle. Sin and suffering. How do we deal with that now that we already belong in the kingdom of God? We will address these issues in the next five weeks by looking at the letters of Paul and Peter. Ngayon, tungkol sa kasalanan ano ang ni Pablo dito sa 1 Corinthians 6? Naniniwala akong ang sinasabi niya dito ay may kinalaman sa Story of God. We fight sin with the Story of God! Kung alam natin at naaalala natin kung ano ang Kuwentong ito at ano ang kinalaman nito sa buhay natin ngayon, malalaman natin kung paano labanan ang natitirang kasalanan pa sa atin. Sabi niya, “Do you not know…?” apat na beses iyan (vv. 9, 15, 16, 19). Sinasabi niya na alam na nila iyon, kailangan lang nilang laging aalalahanin at huwag kakalimutan. Anu-ano iyong dapat nilang malaman at dapat din nating malaman sa pakikipaglaban natin sa kasalanan?
Knowing the Past in the Story of God
The first relates in knowing the past in the Story of God. Lalabanan natin ang kasalanang natitira sa atin sa pamamagitan ng pag-alala sa nangyari nang gawa ng Dios, hindi ng mga ginawa natin. Ang problema kasi sa atin, oo nga’t Cristiano na tayo, pero bumabalik tayo sa dating paraan ng ating pamumuhay. Ganoon din ang mga taga-Corinto, kaya pinaalala niya sa kanila ang dati nilang pamumuhay. “Masasama…ganyan nga ang ilan sa inyo noon” (6:9-11). Noon iyon, dapat hindi na ngayon. The Corinthian church was composed of formerly unrighteous people. Those who worship sex, money, and other gods. But these were their past identities. These belong to the past, they need not define their present. Yes, they turned their backs to their unrighteous life when they chose to follow Christ. But there were points in their life that they chose to go back to their old ways. They need to remember why they chose to follow Christ and inherit the kingdom in the first place, instead of remaining in their unrighteousness.
Do you not know? is Paul’s way of exhorting them to remember that the reason they left their former kingdom of sin and immorality is so that they may inherit the kingdom of God – the kingdom of righteousness, and life and peace. We must no longer be defined by our past. Our past deeds should not dictate or direct or influence our present. We must live the present not by our past, but by the past and finished work of God.
“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” This is now their three-fold identity: washed, sanctified, justified. In relation to the pollution of sin, they were washed. They were cleansed when they were regenerated and were given new life by the Spirit. This is part of God’s new covenant promise: “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you” (Ezekiel 36:25). In relation to the power of sin, they were also sanctified, meaning they were set apart as holy. Sin no longer has any hold on them. God has separated them for a new life, for a holy life. In relation to the penalty of sin, we are justified. Counted righteous, although still doing unrighteous deeds. Not because of anything we have done, but because of Jesus and his work on the cross.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. What he purchased on the cross becomes ours by the Spirit of our God, when it is applied by the Spirit the moment we put our faith in him. That’s who we are now. Our identity is now anchored in the past deeds of God, not our past deeds. We live and fight the remaining presence of sin in our life by remembering and responding according to who we are now in Christ. We are “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1:2). So live like we really are saints. So, in our present fight against sin, let it be an overflow of what Christ has done for us in the past, not an extension of our former way of life.
Knowing the Future in the Story of God
The second relates in knowing the future in the Story of God. Lalabanan natin ang kasalanang natitira sa atin sa pamamagitan ng pag-alala sa ipinangakong gagawin ng Dios, hindi sa gusto nating mangyari. Dalawang beses binanggit ni Pablo ang common belief nitong mga taga-Corinto sa verse 12, “All things are lawful for me.” Paul was arguing against the common belief in their culture that people are free do to anything they want, anything that can make them happy. It is the law of personal preference. We do things that we think will make us happy, or satisfy what we want. But do we really get it? Paul said no. Not all things are helpful. Hindi nakakabuti. Sexual sins and any other sins are not helpful. They are harmful. They won’t bring any profits, they will bring only pain. Only sex within the context of a marriage commitment is helpful for the individual and for his or her spouse. Outside of that, it is harmful. For you and for your partner. Especially if that partner is a brother or sister in Christ.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. (1 Thess. 4:3-6)
It is not only harmful, it is also addictive. Kaya sabi ni Pablo, hindi ako paaalipin dito. Once you tasted the short-term and deceitful pleasures that sin promises, you will get hooked to it. You will be its slave. So think about this. Think about how many times (all the time!) sin fails to give you the satisfaction your heart longs for. The satisfaction and pleasure only God can give.
Meron pa silang isang kasabihan, “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food” (v. 13). The Corinthians thought that since God will destroy this body, so indulging in sexual immorality is only physical and won’t affect our spirituality or our eternity. But that is false. God created the body not for any other purpose but to give him glory. God owns the body. Verse 13, “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” We use it in a way that will glorify its Creator, not in any way that can only satisfy our sinful pleasures. That body does not belong to you. You don’t just give it to your boyfriend. It belongs to your husband or future husband. God has good designs for it.
Hindi ang gusto nating mangyari o gawin ang mahalaga dito kundi ang ipinangako ng Dios. Verse 14, “And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.” God won’t fail to bring about the future resurrection of our body. Our body is important. What we do with our bodies matter for eternity. As God raised Jesus’ body from the dead, so he will raise our bodies from the grave. That day, when Jesus comes, we will all have glorified, blameless bodies. And we will be reunited with the Lord and the Creator of our bodies. While waiting for that time, let us use our body for his glory, not for sexual immorality. “As you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:7-8). How will he do it? By his power! And we already knew what that infinite power can do. That power that no sin can ever accomplish for our life’s satisfaction. Kaya naman ang buhay natin ngayon ay dapat na nananabik sa muling pagbabalik ni Jesus at hindi sa pagbalik natin sa dating paraan ng ating pamumuhay para makuha ulit ang mga gusto natin.
Knowing the Present in the Story of God
The third relates in knowing the present in the Story of God. Lalabanan natin ang kasalanang natitira sa atin sa pamamagitan ng pag-alala sa magandang ginagawa ngayon ng Dios, hindi sa masasamang gawa natin ngayon. We are now united with Christ. Paul wants to remind believers of present realities. In light of these present realities, they must live accordingly. Sexual sins – in this case he uses the case of prostitution as a case in point – compromise the glorious position we are now in. First, we are now united with Christ. “Your bodies are members of Christ…members of Christ…he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him” (vv. 15-17). We are all that Christ is for us. “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1:30). We are in Christ. Christ is in us. This is a union we cannot truly comprehend. But the reality is, we now belong to him. “You are not your own,” Paul says, “for you were bought with a price” (6:19-20). The price God paid for us so that we may no longer belong to sin but to him as our new master is the very blood of his Son Jesus. Like in marriage, everything the husband owns, the wife also owns when they got married.
Because of this reality, Paul said that sex with a prostitute or someone other than your spouse is not just a physical act with physical implications (like getting STDs). It is also a spiritual act with spiritual ramifications. Sex is a reflection of the desire of God for an intimate relationship with us. God created marriage and sexual intimacy only in marriage to reflect that reality. The two shall become one flesh – that’s God’s intent in creating marriage. When we pay for the services of a prostitute, we treat the payment of Christ’s blood for us as cheap. When we offer our body for a price to be used by others, we give to others what rightfully belongs to our spouse (or future spouse) alone. It is like saying that we can be united with Christ and indulge in sexual pleasures outside of marriage at the same time. That’s why Paul disagrees very strongly, “Never!” (Gk. me genoito). Our body belongs only to Jesus (and our spouse as a reflection of that intimacy of our union with him) and to no one else.
We are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (v. 19). Here’s another present reality that we need to remember to help us in our battle with sin, particularly in this passage the sin of sexual immorality. Our body is God’s temple. The temple is where God’s glory dwells. The temple only contains holy or consecrated things. So, in the same way, every use of our body must be fully consecrated to God alone. It must not be used for any other purpose. That is why he is called the Holy Spirit. To indulge our eyes, our bodies, and our minds with lust and other sensual pleasures apart from the marriage bed is to fight against the Holy Spirit. Our body is a temple. It is a place of worship. Our hands are for worship, not for masturbation. Our eyes are for gazing at God’s glory, not at nude women. Our strength is for the service of God, not to serve our own lusts or the lusts of others. We are God’s temple. The very presence of God is here within us. Think about that the next time you are tempted to have sex with your boyfriend. Your body is God’s. No man apart from your husband has any right to own that and use for his own purpose. Every part of our body must be tattooed with this: “Reserved only for God and his purposes.”
Responding to the Indwelling Spirit
This is one glorious present reality for ever believer: The Holy Spirit indwells every Christian. Kung totoo iyan, ano ngayon ang dapat nating gawin? “Flee sexual immorality,” sabi ng Dios sa pamamagitan ni Pablo. Not surrender. Not entertain. Not hide. Not lessen. Flee. Run away. Kung meron tatakbuhan natin palayo ang kasalanan, meron tayo dapat lalapitan.
Run to the cross (not away from it) by clinging to it. Sabihin mo, “I need the help of Jesus.” Ito ang ibig sabihin ng “preaching the gospel to yourself everyday.” Hindi mo kinakalimutan kung bakit siya namatay sa krus, kung ano ang ginawa niya para sa iyo, kung paano niya dinala ang kasalanan natin. Remember what happened in your baptism. Napako at namatay na tayong kasama ni Cristo, para sa isang bagong buhay. Sa tuwing nakagawa ka ng kasalanan o nahaharap sa tukso, sa krus ka kumapit. Alalahanin mo ang sakit na dinala ni Jesus para maging malaya ka na sa pagkaalipin sa kasalanan. Pinatawad ka na. Bayad na lahat ng utang mo sa Dios.
Run to the church (not away from it) and confess your sins to trusted brothers (if you are a man) or sisters (if you are a woman). Sabihin mo sa kanila, “I need your help.” Pinakita ito sa akin ng Dios sa experience ko sa Living Waters. I have issues. I also struggle with sexual sins, with pride, with self-righteousness. Meron kaming small group doon na puwede kong sabihin ang mga kasalanang nagawa ko. Natutunan ko na di ko kailangang pagtakpan ang kasalanan. Kailangang ipahayag sa mga kapatid kay Cristo na tatanggapin ako at mamahalin ako sa kung sino ako kay Cristo. Nito lang nakaraan, may nagconfess sa akin about sexual immorality. Inamin niyang kailangan niya ng tulong. Meron naman nagconfess tungkol sa kabigatan sa puso, lack of passion or motivation sa ministry. Inamin niyang kailangan niya ng tulong. Not all of you should confess to me. But we confess our sins to each other (James 5:16) at tulungan natin ang bawat isa. Kung itatago natin ang kasalanan natin, hindi masosolusyunan iyan.
Run to the Spirit (not away from him) and be cleansed. Sabihin mo, “I need the help of the Spirit.” We’ll talk more about this in the next two weeks. Pero ngayon dapat alalahanin natin na ang tulong na kailangan natin ay nasa atin na. Hindi malayo.
That’s how we run away from sexual immorality. Not all of us have sexual issues. Hindi naman iyon talaga ang pinaka-isyu. Kaya sabi ni Pablo sa 10:14, “Flee idolatry.” Ito talaga ang isyu. Sa Corinto, hindi puwedeng paghiwalayin ang sexual immorality sa idolatry. Ganoon din sa atin. Ang isyu ng sexual immorality at lahat ng uri ng kasalanan ay ang worship of idols. Nagiging dios mo ang boyfriend mo o ang images sa Internet o ang pera o ang pagiging sikat o ang power. Lalayuan mo ang mga bagay na ito para makalapit ka sa Dios. Para matupad mo ang nais ng Dios sa buhay mo. Sabi ni Pablo, “Glorify God in your body” (6:20). We are God’s temple. We are created to worship God and to enjoy his presence. So, whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (10:31). We are created to love God and to let that love overflow in our love for others. Because of sins – relational and sexual – we are broken in our capacity to love. The issue is not about victory over our sexual struggles, but a renewal and restoration to fellowship with God, to worshipping him, and to living according to his purpose and mission.
So, instead of saying in your struggles with sin:
- “Ganito na ako dati pa, mahirap nang baguhin pa.” – Pinalaya na ako ni Jesus sa pagkaalipin sa kasalanan.
- “Alam kong kasalanan, pero parang malungkot kapag hindi ko nagagawa iyon.” – Maraming magagandang bagay na nakalaan ang Dios para sa akin.
- “Tao lang naman, ganito rin naman ginagawa ng marami.” – Ang disenyo sa akin ng Dios bilang tao ay maging kawangis ni Cristo at mamuhay na may kabanalan ayon sa Espiritu Santong nasa akin.
This is what means to fight sin with the Story of God.