Thursday, Second Week in Lent

By Matthew B. Harper

1 Corinthians 6:19 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?

Paul begins this passage by quoting the Corinthians, and then rebuking them kindly. Are all things good and legal for us as Christians? Yes. The sin comes from how we use them and if we corrupt them. Anything on this earth can become an addiction and destroy, and that is the danger.

I know many men in here whose lives have been destroyed by their addictions to drugs and alcohol. Yet Paul tells Timothy in a letter to him to enjoy a drink of wine from time to time. Is there a conflict in this? Not at all. For Paul reminds the Corinthians that all things are permissible, but not all good, and we should not be dominated by anything. Alcohol, (like drugs, sex, money, clothes, food…) is not in and of itself evil, but to be dominated by an addiction for it is. For it is to be in subjection not to God, but to something of the world. The evil comes not from any one substance, but from our usage of it. The responsibility is upon us, as believers, to allow the spirit to help us discern the proper usage for God’s gifts.

Christ has purchased freedom for us but that does not mean that we are to indulge in anything we please with wanton abandon. We are to test all things by the spirit of God. Above all we are not to allow ourselves to become in subjection to the addictions to anything other than God. All things are permissible, but not all things beneficial, and our only addiction should be to God.

That it may please thee to illumine all bishops, priests, and deacons, with true knowledge and understanding of thy Word; and that both by their preaching and living, they may set it forth, and show it accordingly, We beseech thee t hear us, good Lord” BCP 150

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