1 Corinthians 6 Commentary

Lawsuits before heathen judges (6:1-11)

If a dispute arises between believers, it should be settled within the church, not in a public court of law (6:1). If Christians are to share in the future judgment of the world, surely they can judge everyday affairs of the present life (2-3). The Corinthians boast of their wisdom, yet not one among them is wise enough to decide the matter. Instead they shame themselves by taking Christian problems to non- Christian people for a decision (4-6).

Christians should not have lawsuits at all. They should be willing to suffer ill-treatment, as Jesus taught, but at Corinth they attack and cheat each other (7-8). They behave like the sorts of people they were before they became Christians. God has declared them righteous and holy through Jesus Christ, and therefore they should be righteous and holy in their conduct (9-11).

Unlawful sexual freedom (6:12-20)

The Corinthians had claimed that since they were not in bondage to laws they could do as they wished. Paul replies that this is not so. Not all things are helpful, and some may lead a person into a new kind of bondage (12).

Certain people at Corinth even claimed that just as the stomach needs a constant supply of food to satisfy it, so the body needs unrestrained sexual pleasure for its satisfaction. Paul denies this. The body’s main purpose is not concerned with sex but with God. It is the means by which people serve God and by which God functions in people (13). It is a body which, in the case of believers, will one day be raised in glory and which is already united spiritually with Christ. Such a body should not, therefore, be united physically with a prostitute (14-17).

Immorality is a sin against the dignity of one’s own body. For the believer it is a sin also against the temple of God, for the believer’s body is the Holy Spirit’s dwelling place. Whatever is not fitting in God’s temple is not fitting in the body of the believer (18-19). God has bought believers out of the slavery of sin at the price of Christ’s life. They belong to him, not to themselves, and therefore they must use their bodies for his glory (20).

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