(2PPAM) ten porneian) :(Ge 39:12,
13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18; Pr 2:16, 16, 17, 18,
19; 5:3-15; 6:24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32; 7:5-23,24, 25, 26, 27; 9:16, 17, 18; Ro 6:12,13;
2Ti 2:22; Hebrews 13:4; 1Pe 2:11)
Slow Fade by Casting Crowns -
Powerful Video with Superb Lyrics - Play this Before or After Sermon
on 1Co 6:18-20
6:12-17) which is vital if one seeks to accurately
interpret an isolated verse or group of verses such as 1Co 6:18-20.
Paul had just reminded the
Corinthian church of the radical supernatural transformation that had
transpired in them when they were born again (washed, sanctified,
justified - Read
1Co 6:9, 10, 11).
Warren Wiersbe explains the
cultural background noting that...
There was a great deal of sexual
laxness in the city of Corinth. It was a permissive society with a
philosophy similar to that which the world has today: Sex is a normal
physical function, so why not use it as you please? Paul pointed out
that God created sex when He made the first man and woman, and
therefore He has the right to tell us how to use it. The Bible is the
“owner’s manual” and it must be obeyed.
In light of the Corinthians' "so great a salvation"
which brought new freedom/liberty in Christ [Ga 5:1, Jn 8:36 -
Freedom in Christ is not the right to do as one pleases but the power
to do as one should!], MacArthur feels that
in this section, Paul exposed the
error in the Corinthian Christians’ rationalization (argument) that
they were free to sin (cp Paul's warning to the Galatian Christians -
Ga 5:13), because it was covered by God’s grace (cp Ro 5:20-note,
Ro 6:1, 2-note).
Vine adds that
The idea of Christian liberty had
been perverted by some in the assembly, as well as by opponents (cp Ro
and had been made an excuse for license (cp Jude 1:3). Accordingly,
the apostle sets forth the true significance and scope of liberty in
Christ and the character and purpose of the body of the believer.
All things are
lawful for me (Speaks of
one's freedom/liberty in Christ and may have been a slogan used in the
Corinthian church to justify immoral behavior especially use of cult
prostitutes in a culture where such behavior was readily accepted as a
"religious" exercise in which one was simply visiting the "temple
priestesses [prostitutes]"! Paul use of this phrase clearly does not
legitimatize things that are sinful), but not all things are profitable
(Some things might be allowable by God and yet not be profitable. So
Paul lays down a principle that one must ask in light of our freedom
in Christ - "Is it beneficial, expedient, good for my spiritual life?"
cp Php 4:8-note;
Ro 12:9-note). All things are
lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything (This should
prompt the question "Will this activity enslave me?").
John MacArthur sees this
statement by Paul (1Co 6:12) as referring primarily to sexual sin
which was rampant in Corinth (and was tempting to the believer's in
the context of the permissive Corinthian culture and their new found
freedom/liberty in Christ) writing that...
Sin has power. The word means
“mastered” (cf. Ro 6:14-note),
and no sin is more enslaving than sexual sin. While it can never be
the unbroken pattern of a true believer’s life, it can be the
recurring habit that saps joy, peace, usefulness and brings divine
chastening and even church discipline (cf. 1Co 5:1ff.). See notes on
1Th 4:3, 4, 5-note.
Sexual sin controls, so the believer must never allow sin to have that
control, but must master it in the Lord’s strength (1Co 9:27). Paul
categorically rejects the ungodly notion that freedom in Christ gives
license to sin (cf. Ro 7:6-note;
1Cor 6:13 Food is for
the stomach and the stomach is for food (food is needed for the body
and thus they are naturally suited one to the other and we are at
liberty to use food), but God will do away with
both of them (Food is lawful and profitable but its value is temporary
and believers are not to live as if the greatest thing in life is to
gratify their appetites [e.g., gluttony]). (Now Paul passes on to what
is not lawful for the body and in fact is sin) Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord,
and the Lord is for the body.
Wiersbe feels that this was
the second argument the Corinthians used to defend their freedom to
frequent the temple prostitutes (the first being "All things are
permissible"... including temple prostitutes!)...
Their second argument was, “Meats
for the belly, and the belly for meats” (1Co 6:13). They treated sex
as an appetite to be satisfied and not as a gift to be cherished and
used carefully. Sensuality is to sex what gluttony is to eating; both
are sinful and both bring disastrous consequences. Just because we
have certain normal desires, given by God at Creation, does not mean
that we must give in to them and always satisfy them. Sex outside of
marriage is destructive, while sex in marriage can be creative and
1Cor 6:14 Now God has not only raised the Lord,
but will also raise us up through His power (Reminding them of the
greatness of their future tense salvation, that their bodies are
destined for high honor, truth which should serve to
motivate present progress in holiness).
1Cor 6:15 Do you not know
(They did know) that your
bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of
Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be!
1Cor 6:16 Or
do you not know (They did know) that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one
body with her? For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH."
1Cor 6:17 But
the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him (This
"oneness" of Christ and believers reflects an inherent truth of our
new covenant relationship with Christ. Paul learned something of this
oneness of believers with Christ in his Damascus Road experience when
Christ asked him "Why do you persecute Me?". Clearly Paul's
persecution of believers who were in covenant oneness with Christ was
treated by our Lord as persecution of Himself because of this mystical
but real and vital union between the Head and His body. See
The Oneness of Covenant).
is a command calling for all believers (flee = second person plural)
to continually strenuously avoid the snares strewn about by variegated sexual
temptations. You may be saying "This command was written some 2000
years ago. Paul was never tempted like we are today by the plethora of
pornography pervading and perverting the internet!" That's true, but
beloved, God's call to holiness (Lv 11:44, 45, 1Pe 1:15, 16-note)
is always "in vogue" and fleeing the evil trap of pornography (in
whatever form) is part of what it means to be continually pursuing
holiness (He 12:14-note).
Secondly, the well known aphorism (which is Biblical) reminds us
God commands, God enables!" Part of the problem is trying to
fight the good fight
in our own strength. You are correct if you are thinking but "I cannot".
Cannot! Paul could not either! While Paul did not have
access to the fantasy world of the internet, there was the very real
world of real women, posing as religious priestess/prostitutes in a
society where every man did what was right in his own eyes (cp Jdg
If we think morals are "loose" today (and they are, and are growing
"looser"!), the morals of the Corinthian society were so depraved that
they birthed a new verb "corinthianize" meaning to practice sexual
immorality or engage in sexually promiscuous behavior! Such was the
norm in Paul's day.
And so Paul was tempted just as men today are
tempted. And so the command remains in effect -
which the English dictionaries say means to run away from danger or
evil, scurrying to a place of security! (cp Pr 18:10-note) So believers today (primarily
this addresses men, but women are not immune!) are charged to run away
from email pornography spamming their computer, etc, etc. We are called
to shun the evil and pursue that which is holy (1Pe 2:11-note), for we are being
prepared for another world, a holy world, a forever world. And so we
acknowledge the weakness of our
fallen flesh to even be able to flee
(cp similar principle in Zech 4:6). Yes as believers we are commanded to continually
work out our salvation in fear and trembling (Php 2:12-note), by fleeing,
running, shunning, etc, from the strong temptations to gratify our
God given desires. But beloved, praise
God, we are not left to our own flesh driven mental ingenuity, but can (and
must) trust God's Spirit to give us the desire
and the power to run (Php 2:13-note,
cp Ezekiel 36:27, Ro 8:13-note,
Gal 5:17-note). The more I study these Scriptures, the
more mysterious becomes the unarguable juxtaposition of man's (my)
responsibility and God's sovereignty (His provision of everything
necessary for life and godliness 2Pe 1:3-note).
So let us continually surrender to the wooing of the Spirit, that we
might be protected and enabled to fend off and run from the seductive wooing of
the flesh. For the glory of His Name and the holiness of His Church,
the Bride of Christ, who is to be making her wedding dress spotless by
her righteous (God energized) deeds (cp Rev 19:7, 8-note; see
does not mean stay put and rationalize such a foolish course of action by saying
"Steel is tempered by heat and thereby becomes stronger. I'll
stand fast and become stronger by
resisting the fiery temptation". Wrong! That is not Biblical and is a
"surefire" guarantee for moral failure, dear believer! Yes, you are
correct, God tells us to "Resist
the tempter" (Jas 4:7-note)
but not the "temptation" to sexual sin.
"flee from the temptress" (cp Pr 5:8-note,
We are called not to a moderate degree of resistance to immorality,
but to radical separation from it. The command says to "flee" not
"flirt" with fornication!
Vice is a monster of so
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
(*Mien = air
or bearing especially as expressive of attitude or personality)
means to flee away in the sense of to take to flight in order to seek
safety. To flee in the sense of to escape something, being made safe
from danger by eluding or avoiding it (He 11:34-note,
Mt 3:7, Acts 27:30). To flee in the sense of to avoid, shun (Webster
says "shun" =
to avoid deliberately and especially habitually), have nothing to do
with (1Co 6:18). To vanish or disappear (Re 16:20-note,
Pheugo is the root of our English word "fugitive" defined
as one who escapes from something or someone.
Dear Christian reader (especially the men), are you being tempted to
look at internet pornography? Let's be honest, it's pervasive,
persuasive and pernicious! If any of us think we stand, we don't stand
a chance! (cp 1Co 10:12)
is powerful and the old
is like smoldering coals just waiting for gasoline to be poured upon
them to set them into full blaze! Men, when you barbeque, you don't
put your hand in the flame to see how hot it is do you? Of course not,
for you're smart enough to know you'll be burned, and can incur an
injury that is incredibly painful as the fire burns down to the level
of the cutaneous nerve endings (second degree burn). Now if you leave
your hand in the fire too long, you actually burn even the nerve
endings and lose all sense of pain (third degree burn), in one sense
good in that it doesn't hurt anymore, but obviously indicative of a
deeper, more serious and potentially even life threatening injury
(because of propensity to infection, fluid loss, etc). Do you see
where I am going (you can tell I'm a physician can't you)? Internet
pornography is the "gasoline" and our
old flesh nature
is the "smoldering coal" in our physical body, just waiting to be
"stoked" by even a few sensual images! (cp Job 31:1) And your heart
(spiritually speaking) not your skin, is the target organ at great
risk of damage! (cp Pr 4:23-note)
With "second degree" exposure to the fuel of internet pornography,
there is damage which includes considerable "pain" (I don't have to
explain this I'm sure). But if you keep pouring fuel on the fire,
eventually the "nerve endings" of your heart will be seared and you
won't even "feel the pain" (or at least you are so deceived, you don't
think your heart is being hurt! cp "deceitfulness of sin" He 3:13-note,
The Deceitfulness of Sin).
This last state is worse than the first and it could even cost you
your life, not to mention your marriage, your family, your reputation,
etc! Paul, like a fire inspector, is saying to all Christian men
"Don't try to test the flames to see if they are hot enough to burn
you. Instead, flee the flame, lest you get severely burned, beloved!"
Act Like a Man on the Internet)
Plummer put it this way...
'Do not stop to dispute about
it; make a practice [present
of flying at once.' So also of idolatry, which was so
closely allied with impurity, (1Co 10:14). The asyndeton (omission of
the conjunctions that ordinarily join coordinate words or clauses as
in “I came, I saw, I conquered”) marks the
urgency. cf. 1Th 4:3-note.
critical and exegetical commentary - page 127)
In sexual temptation, the “way of
escape” may only last a moment. The sad story of Samson reminds us of
what happens a man keeps making the wrong choices. It’s too late to
decide to do right when you wake up with your head in Delilah’s lap.
At that point his doom was sealed. The same thing happens to any of us
when we let our emotions drive our decisions. But for a moment, before
you put the pedal to the metal and go wild, the way of escape is
always there. That’s why the Bible tells us to “flee from sexual
immorality” (1Corinthians 6:18) and “flee the evil desires of youth”
(2Timothy 2:22). (From
Temptation to Triumph by Dr. Ray Pritchard - November 1996)
has the following excerpt on the use of pheugo in classic Greek...
(cf. Lat. fugere). From the time of
Homer, its most common meaning is “flee”, “take flight”, whether
absolutely, or from someone or something (Homer, Plato, Herodotus,
etc.). The present and imperfect tenses often express only the purpose
or endeavor to get away. Hence the compounds apopheugo, katapheugo,
ekpheugo, or propheugo may be added to the participle pheugon in a
sentence to denote the escape itself. The accusative (and occasionally
the genitive) with pheugo specifies that which is being “shunned”,
“escaped from”, or “avoided”-whether death and war (Homer), evil
(Demosthenes), or the consequences of murder (Euripides).
Metaphorically reins may “escape from” the hands of the charioteer.
Because a person may flee his country, the articular participle refers
to “the exile(s)” (Homer, Xenophon, Thucydides); and since such people
may well have been banished, by a natural extension the active verb
itself takes on the quasi-passive force of “be banished”, “be
expelled” (Herodotus, Xenophon, Dinarchus). Similarly phuge comes to
mean “exile”, “banishment”. In Attic Greek, both pheugo and apopheugo
occur as law-terms. The pheugon is the defendant, as opposed to the
diokon, the prosecutor; and pheugein graphen (or diken) means “to be
put on trial”, while an added genitive (e.g. phonou, murder) specifies
the charge. To escape the prosecutors
therefore means “to be acquitted”.
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
Guzik adds that...
Paul doesn’t tell us to be brave and resist the lustful passion of
sexual immorality, but to flee from its very presence. Many have
fallen because they underestimated the power of lustful passion, or
thought they would “test” themselves and see how much they could
“take.” Instead, we should follow the example of Joseph, who fled from
sexual immorality - even when it cost him something to do so (Genesis
39:7-21). “Some sins, or solicitations to sin, may be reasoned with;
in the above cases, if you parley you are undone; reason not, but
Paul does not say that Christians should flee sex, only sexual
immorality. God gave sex as a precious gift to mankind, and uses it
powerfully to bond husband and wife together in a true one-flesh
relationship. So as Hebrews 13:4 says, the marriage bed is undefiled -
the sexual relationship between husband and wife is pure, holy, and
good before God. But sexual immorality works against God’s good
purpose for sex, working against a true, godly one-flesh relationship.
Sex outside of marriage can be exciting, but it can’t be enriching.
We are reminded Paul uses the Greek word porneia, which refers to a
broad range of sexual sin. To flee sexual immorality means more than
just to not have sexual intercourse with someone we are not married
to. It means to flee sexual gratification short of, or apart from,
intercourse with someone we are not married to. It means to flee
sexual gratification or thrills one might find from pornographic
videos, movies, magazines, books, or Internet materials.
Run from sin. Run from temptation. Don’t stay and savor it. When
Joseph was cornered by Potiphar’s wife, she grabbed him and begged him
to sleep with her. He left his coat in her hand and ran. We would be
wise to do the same.
We chased after sin.
Now after Christ
Sin chases after us!
Only by a swift flight can we shun the savagery of such a rabid
mistress and escape from such vile servitude. (Bray, G. L. 1-2
Corinthians. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture NT 7. Downers
Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press)
Paul’s instruction about sexual relations within marriage
alludes to his concern over the danger of porneia in the marriage
because of immoralities (porneia),
each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own
husband. (1Co 7:2) (Sex in marriage is God's "safety net" to
keep us from falling into the sexual sin that entangles and corrupts
this fallen world.)
+ negative = stop something that you are already doing) one another,
except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to
prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt (peirazo
- Satan always tests us to cause harm. When God tests us that is never
His goal. - Jas 1:13-note)
you because of your lack of self-control (cp need for dependence on
the Holy Spirit Gal 5:23-note).
Paul used pheugo three other
times all in the form of a
command (make this your habitual practice - implies also that these
things are always "dangerous" to our spiritual life) for believers
(1) Flee from idolatry -
Therefore, my beloved,
flee from idolatry. (1Co
10:14) (An idol is anything/anyone that takes the place of God your
(2) Flee from love of money
- But flee
from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness,
godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. (1Ti 6:11)
(3) Flee from youthful lusts
- Now flee
from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace,
with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2Ti 2:22)
[word study] from porneuo = to commit fornication,
to play the harlot <> from pornos = a male prostitute)
originally referred to any excessive behavior or lack of restraint,
but eventually became associated with sexual excess and indulgence, of
every kind of extramarital, unlawful, or unnatural sexual intercourse.
Our English word
pornography is derived from porneia + graph = a
writing and thus pornography (or colloquially "porn") is thus a
writing (or picture) about sexual sin.
Christianity brought chastity into
the world of pagan idolatry where sexual immorality was not
only condoned, but regarded as normal. Sadly, twentieth-century
America has reverted back to the “normality of sexual immorality” and
the revival fire of the Christian faith is desperately needed.
includes including (but not limited to) adultery, premarital sex,
homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and prostitution. As an aside,
porneia refers primarily to sins of the flesh, but those sins can
never be divorced from the sins of the mind or heart, because all sin
is related. Sin in one area always makes us more susceptible to sin in
In Paul's day,
prostitution and fornication were considered permissible activities. A
married man in Greece cold engage in extramarital sexual intercourse
as much as he wished, but this practice was forbidden for the wife!
Athenaeus, a writer in the second century AD, quotes from a speech of
We keep mistresses for pleasure,
concubines for daily concubinage, but wives we have in order to
produce children legitimately and to have a trustworthy guardian of
our domestic property.
Kenneth Wuest records
The moral life of the Greco-Roman
world had sunk so low that, while protests against the prevailing
corruption were never entirely wanting, fornication had long come to
be regarded as a matter of moral indifference, and was indulged in
without shame or scruple, not only by the mass, but by philosophers
and men of distinction who in other respects led exemplary lives. (Wuest,
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in
the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
In Acts the
early church condemned all sexual experimentation outside of marriage
James declaring that the Gentiles who were turning to God from idols
that they abstain from things
contaminated by idols and from fornication (porneia - in
this context the reference is to sexual sins in general but orgies
that were associated with the worship of the pagan idols) and from
what is strangled and from blood. (Acts 15:20)
In Paul’s day
Corinth was like much of our culture today, for people were strongly
intent on having their own ways, doing what was right in their own
eyes, and this aberrant behavior was especially manifest in fulfilling
their physical lust. Corinth was so conspicuous for its immorality
that to “corinthianize” was the term for reckless debauchery.
And so sexual permissiveness was rampant and then, as now the church
was not unaffected. Sensuality in the guise of religion was rife. And
so Paul writing to the Corinthian church declared...
It is actually reported that there
is immorality (porneia) among you, and immorality
(porneia) of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles,
that someone has (present tense = an ongoing, habitual activity) his
father's wife. (1Cor 5:1 read the entire chapter [1Cor 5:1-13] which
is devoted to immorality in the church and specifically is directed
not so much to those committing immorality but to the church who stood
by doing nothing about it and in fact arrogantly refusing to do
anything about it!)
5 Paul addresses a form of incest, because a man was living with his
father’s wife, specifically his stepmother. Sexual relations between a
man and his stepmother are in the same category as relations between
him and his natural mother and anyone guilty of those or other sexual
“abominations” was to be cut off from his people (Lev 18:7, 8,29),
a reference to capital punishment. From Cicero we know that such
incest was even strictly forbidden among the perverted pagan culture
by Roman law!
illustration of fleeing immorality is found in the account of
Joseph when he was tempted to sin by Potiphar’s wife Joseph addressing
her advances declared
There is no one greater in this
house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because
you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil, and sin
against God? (Joseph feared Jehovah and so turned away from evil,
cf Job 1:1 Why is there such a problem with porneia even in Christian
circles? There is minimal to know healthy fear of God. See 2Cor 7:1)
10 And it came about as she spoke to Joseph day after day, that he did
not listen to her to lie beside her, or be with her.11 Now it happened
one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the
men of the household was there inside.12 And she caught him by his
garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand
and fled, and went outside.) (Genesis 39:9, 10, 11, 12)
It is like the
pastor who cautioned his handsome new assistant about the dangers of
immorality in the ministry. The assistant said that he always did his
socializing in a group setting and concluded that “there is safety in
numbers.” The wise pastor replied, “Yes, that is so, but there
is more safety in Exodus!” While there may be safety in
numbers, sometimes there is more safety in flight!
How serious is
immorality? Paul's rhetorical question indicates the
consequences can be eternally serious asking...
Or do you not know that the
unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived;
+ a negative = Stop being led astray by "politically correct",
seemingly plausible reasoning that covers up these sins with such
rationalizations like "Everyone's doing it" or "What we do behind
closed doors is no one else's business" [Wrong! cp Ge 16:13, Pr 5:21-note,
Pr 15:3, Heb 4:13-note
Job 34:21 = there is no such thing as a "secret
sin" with the all seeing God Je 16:17, 23:24 - Note the contrast
= 2Chr 16:9, 8, 10], implying that some already were
deceiving themselves with the following false, deadly "doctrine" of
demons) neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor
drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom
of God. (1Cor 6:9, 10)
MacDonald commenting on the preceding passage in first Corinthians
explaining that Paul...
does not mean to imply that
Christians can practice such sins and be lost (cp eternal
security in Jn 10:27, 28, 29), but rather he is saying
that people who practice (present
habitually, as their lifestyle) such sins are not Christians. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
Comment: God is not saying
anyone who has ever committed any of these sins is doomed and destined
for eternal separation from Him, but He is saying that the one who
practices these acts as their lifestyle should not be surprised at
where they "wake up" after they've taken their last breath on this
earth! Cp 1John 3:7, 8, 9, 10, where every the present tense is used
repeatedly - e.g., "practices sin" means to continually, without ever
experiencing any "change of direction". "Cannot sin" does not say a
believer never sins but that he or she does not habitually practice
sin as their lifestyle. If we are truly new creatures in Christ, we
won't experience perfection in this life, but we certainly should (and
must) experience a change of "direction" in our lives! Otherwise we
need to seriously study 2Cor 13:5, God's words of mercy, not judgment,
so that we don't have to experience His wrath! God's desire is 2Pe
Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators
Born to Reproduce),
put it this way "You
are going to be what you are now becoming."
What are you "becoming" dear
Writing to another predominantly Gentile church immersed in a culture
of blatant pagan idolatry and gross immorality (these two sins are
closely linked in Scripture - see
Idolatry and Immorality - the
relationship and the antidote) Paul writes...
For this is the will of God, your sanctification (hagiasmos
[word study] - that you should be consecrated -
separated and set apart for pure and holy living); that is, that you
tense = literally
continually or as the habit of your life hold oneself away)
from sexual immorality (1Th 4:3-note)
(Stewart rightly writes that "Holy has the same root as wholly, it
means complete. A man is not complete in spiritual stature if all his
mind, heart, soul, and strength are not given to God.")
The will of God,
Graham has observed...
Satan fails to speak of the
remorse, the futility, the loneliness, and the spiritual devastation
which go hand in hand with immorality.
Thus Paul warned
the Ephesian saints to
not let immorality (porneia)
or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among
saints (Ep 5:3-note).
porneia declaring that
the things that proceed out of the
mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of
the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications
(porneia), thefts, false witness, slanders. (Mt 15:18, 19)
Jesus' point is
that the basis of all sin is the inner thought, not the outward act.
Porneia begins in the heart. When a person is defiled on the
inside, what he does on the outside is also defiled. And so beloved,
(In Lxx this verb is in the present
= calling for continual watchfulness, cp Ge 4:6, 7 - picture sin like
a hunger lion crouching at the door of your heart!) over your heart with
all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23-noe)
John records that in the last
years just prior to our Lord's return indescribable sexual perversions
will be running rampant. He writes that those who dwell upon the earth
did not repent of their murders
nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. (Rev
is an all-encompassing sensual or sexual immorality, a perfect
description of modern day America. Let's be honest. Most men (even
Christian men!) have problems with this area that they would not even
dare tell anyone! When you realize that you are complete in Christ and
can now say "no" to this sin, from that point on you are responsible
what kind of mess you get yourself into.
And remember the best way, the
Biblical way, of saying "No" to sin is by first saying "Yes" to Jesus! "Victory"
in the spiritual life is not so much me
overcoming the problem but it is me being overcome by Christ so that now Christ in me
enables me to overcome the strong temptation to sin. You don't have to live the way
you once did when you were dead in your trespasses and sin. Your body is
now dead to sin (the power of sin) and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Immorality is evidence of turning your back on God as Romans 1
teaches (Ro 1:25-note,
God will judge illicit sexual sin (Heb 13:4-note)
whether in a believer or an unbeliever, Peter adding that judgment
begins at the household of God (1Pe 4:17-note)
because believers are even more accountable in view of the fact that
they have the power (Ro 6:11-note,
to flee youthful lusts (2Ti 2:22-note)
and to abstain from fleshly lusts (1Pe 2:11-note).
When believers sin, it is against a "flood of light"!
explained to believers who thought that now that they were "covered"
by grace and could sin with impunity since grace
abounded where sin increased (Ro 5:20-note),
he countered their deceptive, defective rationalization with the
strongest of Greek negative exclamations...
May it never be! How shall
we who died (dead men are positionally uninfluenced and unaffected
pleasures of this life-Col 1:27-note,
Col 3:4-note) to (the)
new creatures in Christ [2Co 5:17] the power of sin inherited from
Adam is broken along with the previous powerlessness to say "no" to
it's reign and demands to be gratified) still live in it?" (Ro
When we believed
in Christ, we need to remember that Jesus became not only our Saviour
but also our Master, the Owner of our bodies and He has the right to
command us (through Paul)...
Therefore (based on the Supremacy of Christ in Colossians 1-2, and in
the immediate context, the truth that He is our life = Col 3:4-
= Do this now! Make a decisive choice! Don't delay!) the members of
your earthly body as
to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which
amounts to idolatry. (Colossians
Note the order of sins in this "vice list" in Colossians 3:5 (note)
- immorality is #1...
(even in believers) has not
changed much since Paul wrote to the believers in Colossae.
Immorality heads the list of the deeds of the flesh (Gal 5:19) and is
not proper behavior for the saints (Ep 5:3-note). The Jerusalem Council
recognized the ever present, seductive danger of immorality and thus
ordered Gentile believers to avoid immorality and idolatry (Acts
15:20, 29; 21:25 -
Idolatry and Immorality - the
relationship and the antidote).
comments on Colossians 3:5 noting that Paul
puts at the beginning of the list
the sins which set at defiance the primal laws of God which govern the
continuation of the human race and are essential to its well-being,
physical and moral...The first in this list is a specific sin; from
this there is a transition to the moral general. (Vine,
W. Collected Writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Barclay has an interesting historical note to put Paul's teaching
in the proper cultural context writing that
Chastity was the one
completely new virtue which Christianity brought into the world. In
the ancient world sexual relationships before marriage and outside
marriage were the normal and accepted practice. The sexual appetite
was regarded as a thing to be gratified, not to be controlled. That is
an attitude which is not unfamiliar today, although often it is
supported by specious arguments. The Christian ethic insists on
chastity, regarding the physical relationship between the sexes as
something so precious that indiscriminate use of it in the end spoils
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The
another "vice" list (notice again what heads up the list) in
Galatians writing that
the deeds of the
are evident, which are:
impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife,
jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I
forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice (present
continually, as their lifestyle; yes, believers can still commit these
sins but they grieve when they do and the sins are not their continual
practice. Paul is not speaking of perfection but of the general
"direction" of our lives. If our life has never demonstrated a "change
of direction" then we would be wise to ponder 2Cor 13:5 regarding
which Criswell says "This verse is not intended to rob believers of
the assurance and security of their salvation. It is, however,
intended as a warning to those who would follow false teaching and
adopt a life-style that is inconsistent with the message of
reconciliation [cf. 2Cor 12:20, 21]. To persist in either activity is
a cause for serious introspection and a testing to see whether or not
one is truly "in the faith.")
such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal 5:19, 20, 21-notes).
records a similar warning writing
for the cowardly and unbelieving
and abominable and murderers and immoral persons
(related noun pornos) and sorcerers and idolaters and all
liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and
brimstone, which is the second death. (Re 21:8-note)
Brethren and sisters, it is no slight thing to be holy. A man must not
say, “I have faith,” and then fall into the sins of an unbeliever;
for, after all, our outer life is the test of our inner life; and if
the outer life be not purified, rest assured the heart is not changed.
That faith which does not bring forth the fruit of holiness is the
faith of devils. The devils believe and tremble. Let us never be
content with a faith which can live in hell, but rise to that which
will save us — the faith of God’s elect, which purifies the soul,
casting down the power of evil, and setting up the throne of Jesus
Christ, the throne of holiness within the spirit. (Sermon -
6:19-20 Bought with a Price)
You have no business indulging (thoughts of sexual sins). Put them
away at once. You yourself must do this; it cannot be done for you.
There is no point waiting for some heavenly power to erase this sin
automatically from your life. You are to stop it, and stop it
immediately (Ed: Think "Flee"!). Martyn Lloyd-Jones
I do not know of a single scripture—and I speak advisedly—which tells
me to take my sin, the particular thing that gets me down, to God in
prayer and ask him to deliver me from it and then trust in faith that
Now that teaching is also often put like this: you must say to a man
who is constantly defeated by a particular sin, “I think your only
hope is to take it to Christ and Christ will take it from you.” But
what does Scripture say in Ephesians 4:28 to the man who finds himself
constantly guilty of stealing, to a man who sees something he likes
and takes it? What am I to tell such a man? Am I to say, “Take that
sin to Christ and ask him to deliver you?” No, what the apostle Paul
tells him is this: “Let him that stole, steal no more.” Just that.
Stop doing it. And if it is fornication or adultery or lustful
thoughts, again: Stop doing it, says Paul. He does not say, “Go and
pray to Christ to deliver you.” No. You stop doing that, he says, as
becomes children of God.
Here is perhaps the most straightforward, obvious means of mortifying
our sin: stop doing it. Too many people think they must wait for an
extraordinary experience, a miracle from heaven, a sign from the Lord,
or whatever. They think some special divine intervention is necessary
to free them from a sinful practice or pattern of thinking. No, that
is precisely the error Romans 6 refutes. You are free from sin; now
stop doing it. You are dead to sin; now put to death the sin that
remains. How? “Abstain.” Reckon yourself dead to sin, and don’t do it
anymore. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas 4:7-note). It
is as simple as that. (MacArthur, J., F., Jr. The Vanishing Conscience
or see his excellent paper
Mortification of Sin)
EVERY OTHER SIN THAT A MAN
COMMITS IS OUTSIDE THE BODY: pan hamartema o ean poiese (3SAAS)
anthropos ektos tou somatos estin, (3SPAI):
Will take you farther than
you ever thought you’d stray
Will leave you so lost, you think you’ll never find your way
Will keep you longer than you ever thought you’d stay
Will cost you more than you ever thought you’d pay!
Playing with any
sin in your life, especially sexual sin, even if it seems relatively
innocent, is like staying on the sand bar when the tide is coming in.
You know the tide always comes in, and you think you’ll know before
its too late. But it creeps up on you, and before you know it, you’re
sin...outside the body - This introduces a clause that is somewhat
enigmatic and difficult to interpret so that needless to say there are
a number of thoughts on what Paul intends to convey.
John MacArthur feels that ...
although sexual sin is not necessarily the worst sin, it is the most
unique in its character. It rises from within the body bent on
personal gratification. It drives like no other impulse and when
fulfilled affects the body like no other sin. It has a way of
internally destroying a person that no other sin has. Because sexual
intimacy is the deepest uniting of two persons, its misuse corrupts on
the deepest human level. That is not a psychological analysis but a
divinely revealed fact. Sexual immorality is far more destructive than
alcohol, far more destructive than drugs, far more destructive than
crime....I explain it in this way, that Paul does not altogether deny
that there are other vices, in like manner, by which our body
is dishonored and disgraced, but that his meaning is simply this —
that defilement does not attach itself to our body from other
vices in the same way as it does from fornication. My hand, it is
true, is defiled by theft or murder, my tongue by evil speaking, or
perjury, and the whole body by drunkenness; but fornication
leaves a stain impressed upon the body, such as is not
impressed upon it from other sins. According to this comparison, or,
in other words, in the sense of less and more, other sins are said to
be without the body — not, however, as though
they do not at all affect the body, viewing each one by itself.
J: 1Corinthians. Chicago: Moody Press
Having set before us honorable conduct, he now shows how much we ought
to abhor fornication, setting before us the enormity of its wickedness
and baseness. Now he shows its greatness by comparison — that this sin
alone, of all sins, puts a brand of disgrace upon the body. (Commentary
on Corinthians Online)
Commentators differ greatly as to the explanation of outside the
body, which is the specially difficult expression. But the general
meaning of 1Co 6:13-18 is plain. The body has an eternal destiny,
the body is for the Lord. Fornication takes the body away from the
Lord and robs it of its glorious future, of which the presence of the
Spirit is the present guarantee (cf. Ro. 8:9, 10, 11). In 1Co 6:18 we
have the sharply cut practical issue, ‘Flee fornication.’ Clearly the
words that follow are meant to strengthen the severitas cum
fastidio of the abrupt imperative: they are not an
anti-climax...To sin against one’s own body is to defraud it of its
part in Christ, to cut it off from its eternal destiny. This is what
fornication does in a unique degree. While fornication is eis to
idou somatos, other sins are ektos tou somatos. The one
phrase is the opposite of the other. What St Paul asserts of
fornication he denies of every other sin. (Robertson, A., & Plummer,
A.. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the First epistle of St.
Paul to the Corinthians. 1911 - Read more
All other sins are outside of the
body in that they do not involve the entire personality (1Co 6:18).
Most sins have no direct effect on
one’s body, but sexual immorality is unique in the sense that it does
directly affect one’s body: a person reaps the consequences of this
sin in his own body. The difficulty is that the verse says that every
sin that a man commits is outside the body. But we believe that the
apostle is speaking here in a comparative sense. While it is true that
gluttony and drunkenness, for example, affect a person’s body, most
sins do not. And not even gluttony or drunkenness affect the body as
directly, as extensively, or as destructively as immorality. Sex
outside marriage inevitably and irresistibly works havoc on the
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
By alienating it from the service
of him to whom it belongs; by incorporating it with the degradation of
another; by staining the flesh and the body (Pr 5:8, 9, 10, 11; 6:24,
25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32; 7:24, 25, 26, 27); by subtly poisoning
the inmost sanctities of his own being. St. Paul is here thinking
mainly, however, if not exclusively, of the moral injury and
Pulpit Commentary: New Testament;
Old Testament; Ages Software
Any other sin which a man commits
remains in a certain sense external to him; but the man who gives
himself to immorality fundamentally destroys himself.
United Bible Societies' New Testament Handbook Series
"Sexual immorality" has a peculiar
effect upon the body. The sole purpose of this sin is the
gratification of lust; and, therefore, it is probably the most selfish
of all sins (cf. Matt. 5:32-note).
The internal spiritual sensitivities are wrecked by this sin.
W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas
Sexual sins bear a vicious
character all their own. They are peculiarly unsavory and hence entail
shame and disgrace in a peculiar manner. They rot the body, fill the
mind with rottenness, and rapidly eliminate the sinner from this
life.... No sinful act desecrates the body like fornication and sexual
abuse. In this sense fornication has a deadly eminence. A sanctuary is
desecrated by befouling it within; so this sin desecrates the
sanctuary of the body. All other sins besmirch the sanctuary on the
outside only. (Lenski, R. C. H. The Interpretation of St. Paul's First
and Second epistle to the Corinthians. Minneapolis, MN.: Augsburg
R L Pratt...
The meaning of these words is
difficult to determine. Many sins, such as substance abuse, gluttony,
and suicide, have detrimental effects on the body. Paul’s words do not
refer to disease and/or other damage caused by sin. Instead, his words
are linked to the preceding discussion of 1Co 6:12, 13, 14, 15, 16,
17. There Paul established that Christians’ bodies are joined with
Christ so that they become “members of Christ” (1Co 6:15) himself.
Sexual union with a prostitute violates one’s body by bringing it into
a wrongful “one flesh” union, and by flaunting the mystical union with
Christ (1Co 6:15). It is in this sense that sexual immorality is a
unique sin against the body. It violates the most significant fact
about believers’ physical existence: their bodies belong to
Christ...Believers’ bodies are sanctified and holy, being in union
with Christ. When a person in Christ engages in sexual immorality,
that immorality runs contrary to the new nature and new identity of
his body. (Pratt, R. L., Jr.. Vol. 7: I & II Corinthians. Holman New
Testament Commentary; Holman Reference. Page 101. Nashville, TN:
Broadman & Holman Publishers. 2000).
Every other sin; even gluttony,
drunkenness, and self-murder are “without,” that is, comparatively
external to the body (Mk 7:18; compare Pr 6:30, 31, 32). He certainly
injures, but he does not alienate the body itself; the sin is not
terminated in the body; he rather sins against the perishing accidents
of the body (as the “belly,” and the body’s present temporary
organization), and against the soul than against the body in its
permanent essence, designed “for the Lord.” “But” the fornicator
alienates that body which is the Lord’s, and makes it one with a
harlot’s body, and so “sinneth against his own body,” that is, against
the verity and nature of his body; not a mere effect on the body from
without, but a contradiction of the truth of the body, wrought within
has a in depth analysis of the common interpretations...
(1) Sexual sin is deemed
particularly destructive because it causes the greatest damage to a
person. As Calvin (1960: 131–32) characterizes it, “Other sins do not
leave the same filthy stain on our bodies as fornication does”
(2) A second view perceives that
Paul refers to a qualitative difference between sins: “Sexual sin is
different in kind, not just in degree from other sins” (Fisk 1996:
541). Bruce (1971: 65), for example, comments that other sins “consist
in things which are morally neutral.” Their effects can be undone by
abstinence. By contrast, “the relation once established by porneia
cannot be undone”... Fee (1987: 262–63) thinks that it is the unique
nature of sexual sin that the man removes his body from union with
Christ by putting it under the mastery of a prostitute and ruins its
redemptive status “as for the Lord” (see also Robertson and Plummer
1914: 150–51; Jewett 1971: 261).
Others stress how this sin in
particular distorts personal relationships. Käsemann (1964: 133)
argues that the body is the instrument of intimate bodily
communication between persons: “As body, man exists in relationship to
others, in subjection because of the world, in the jurisdiction of the
Creator, in the hope of resurrection, in the possibility of concrete
obedience and self-surrender.” Byrne (1983: 613) bases his view on
this insight from Käsemann and contends "The immoral person perverts
precisely that faculty within himself that is meant to be the
instrument of the most intimate bodily communication between persons.
He sins against his unique power of communication and in this sense
sins in a particular way “against his own body.” No other sin engages
one’s power of bodily personal communication in precisely so intimate
a way. All other sins are in this respect by comparison “outside” the
body—with “body” having in this verse the strong sexual overtones that
appear to cling to it throughout the passage as a whole."
When one has sex with a prostitute,
what God intended to be a means of sharing one’s life with another is
dehumanized into a momentary coupling for the sole purpose of sexual
release. It leaves a legacy of alienation and guilt rather than loving
intimacy and mutual commitment.
(3) Fisk offers a third view, which
understands sexual sin to be uniquely defiling and a sin against the
body. ...The context and rhetorical tone suggest that Paul wants to
draw out the distinctive character of sexual sin compared to every
other sin a person could possibly commit. That these other sins are
“outside the body” implies that they are not sins “against the body”,
not that the body is not involved in committing them. Sexual sin, by
contrast, is labeled a direct assault on the body (Fisk 1996:
546-47). Fisk (1996: 546) shows that this view reflects the Jewish
wisdom tradition that “some sins, but apparently not all, were viewed
as destructive acts against one’s self, one’s psyche, life, soul).”
Commentators, however, have long asked how drunkenness, gluttony,
suicide, and self-mutilation do not qualify also as sins against the
body. But Paul is not referring to what might physically injure the
body (Jewett 1971: 261). To take one example, drunkenness does not
have the capacity to make a person one flesh with alcohol. This
one-flesh union is true only of the sex act. Because intercourse with
a prostitute is “uniquely body joining, it is uniquely body-defiling”
(Fisk 1996: 558). In the context, sex with a prostitute severs the
union with Christ and sabotages its resurrection destiny. (Garland, D.
E.. 1Corinthians. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.
Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic)
the body hath not such a blemish
and note or mark of infamy laid upon it by any other sin as by this:
in drunkenness the liquor, in gluttony the meat, in other sins
something without a man’s self is that which is abused, but the body
itself is the thing which is abused in this filthy sin. (Matthew
Poole's Commentary on the New Testament)
The final phrases, without the body
and against the body, are difficult. Perhaps the meaning is that other
sins, such as drunkenness, have effects on the body, but fornication
is a sin wrought within the body and involves a monstrous denial of
union with Christ by union with the harlot.
The body is not the instrument, but
the subject. But in fornication the body is the instrument of the sin,
and “inwardly as well as outwardly is made over to another.”
Paul’s point is that sexual sin,
unlike other sins, involves one’s very body in a union with others and
is a sin against self as well as others. It involves the whole self
and thus is dangerous and deadly to one’s spiritual well-being, for it
puts one into the hands and mastery of someone other than the Lord.
(Conflict and Community in Corinth : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on
1 and 2 Corinthians. Page 169. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans)
has an interesting interpretation (but be a Berean, Acts 17:11-note,
1Th 5:21, 22-note)...
Because we are made in the image of
a triune God, we are comprised of three parts as well: body, soul, and
spirit. The body relates to the physical world. The soul is one’s
essence, one’s personality, and relates to people. The spirit relates
to God and will live eternally. Thus, each time one engages in immoral
activity, a part of his soul is permanently and irreplaceably
forfeited. The tragedy, then, is that the one who continues to live in
promiscuity becomes less and less of a person as a piece of his soul
is stripped away with each encounter. (Jon Courson's Application
Commentary. Page 1038. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson)
Sexual sin not only is against God
and other persons, it is also against ourselves. Part of our moral
responsibility to ourselves is to be sexually pure. When Christians
are immoral, the testimony of the gospel is polluted, as we all know
too well from the national exposure of the sexual infidelity of many
well known pastors.
The NET Bible
note is interesting...
It is debated whether this ("Every
sin a person commits is outside of the body”) is a Corinthian slogan.
If it is not, then Paul is essentially arguing that there are two
types of sin, nonsexual sins which take place outside the body and
sexual sins which are against a person’s very own body. If it is a
Corinthian slogan, then it is a slogan used by the Corinthians to
justify their immoral behavior. With it they are claiming that
anything done in the body or through the body had no moral relevance.
A decision here is very difficult, but the latter is to be preferred
for two main reasons. (1) This is the most natural understanding of
the statement as it is written. To construe it as a statement by Paul
requires a substantial clarification in the sense (e.g., “All other
sins…” [NIV]). (2) Theologically the former is more difficult: Why
would Paul single out sexual sins as more intrinsically related to the
body than other sins, such as gluttony or drunkenness? For these
reasons, it is more likely that the phrase in quotation marks is
indeed a Corinthian slogan which Paul turns against them in the course
of his argument, although the decision must be regarded as tentative.
Augustine, The Confessions of Saint
comes when we take a perfectly natural desire or longing or ambition
and try desperately to fulfill it without God. Not only is it sin, it
is a perverse distortion of the image of the Creator in us. All these
good things, and all our security, are rightly found only and
completely in him.
sins do not affect the body, but this one sin is ruinous to body and
soul alike, and so, Paul says, "Flee
run from anything that would tend to stir the body to unholy lust.
(Ed: You may want to read that again.
In his "Confessions" St. Augustine tells how in his unconverted
days he had allowed himself to become the willing victim of vile and
fleshly lusts. He lived his careless life as the pagans of that day,
and associated with the corrupt and wicked members of society. When he
got converted, the great question upon his mind was this, "Will I ever
be able to live according to the Christian standard of holiness, will
I ever be able to keep myself from the vile, sensuous life in which I
have lived so long?" When he first yielded himself to Christ, he took
as his life-text Ro 13:13, 14 (note),
where the apostle exhorts the believer to
= Command to make a decisive choice to do this!) the Lord Jesus Christ
+ negative = Stop doing this!) no provision (pronoia
- word study) for
the flesh, to fulfill its lusts."
For long after his conversion he did not dare even to go near that
part of the city where his godless companions of former days lived.
But one day a matter of business called him there, and as he was
walking along the street he suddenly saw one of the beautiful yet
wicked companions of his folly. The moment her eyes lit upon him her
face was illuminated with delight, and she came running with
outstretched arms and said, "Austin! where have you been for so long?
We have missed you so," and he turned and gathered up his long
philosopher's gown and started to run. It was not a very dignified
proceeding for a doctor, a professor of rhetoric, to run up the street
with a godless girl running after him. She called to him, "Austin,
Austin, why do you run? It is only I!" He looked back and exclaimed,
"I run because it is not I."
And he was off again. "The life which I now live in the flesh I live
by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me"
That is our standard, and so in all our behavior in the use of the
body we are thus to glorify Him. (H A Ironside Expository Commentary)
Susannah Wesley defined “sin” to her young
son, John Wesley
you would judge of the lawfulness or the unlawfulness of pleasure,
then take this simple rule: Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the
tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, and takes
off the relish of spiritual things—that to you is sin.
= the suffix "-ma" speaks of the result, in this case the
hamartia [word study]
or sin) describes the thought, word or deed by
someone which violates the will of God. Hamartema is sin as the act or
result of the principle of sin. A wrong doing. BDAG states
that hamartema has meanings ranging from involuntary mistake to
serious moral default.
writes that hamartema...
differs from hamartia in
that it “is never sin regarded as sinfulness, or as the act of
sinning, but only sin contemplated in its separate outcomings and
deeds of disobedience to a divine law.”
states that hamartema is
strictly error, fault; as an
offense against law, incurring guilt because of its wrong intent -
sin, sinful act, wrongdoing."
T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New
Testament. Baker Academic)
says that in classic Greek..
hamartano (Homer onwards)
originally meant to miss, miss the mark, lose, not share in something,
be mistaken. The Gk. view of a mistake is intellectually orientated.
hamartano is the result of some agnoia, ignorance. The cognate noun is
hamartia (Aeschylus onwards), mistake, failure to reach a goal
(chiefly a spiritual one). The result of such action is hamartema,
failure, mistake, offense, committed against friends, against one’s
own body, etc. From these was derived (in the 5th cent. B.C.) the adj.
and noun hamartolos, that thing or person that fails; in Aristophanes
it occurs as a barbarism used with a deprecatory and ironic ring.
hamartetikos (the better form) is also uncommon and late. The root
hamart-, with its meaning of fail, produced many popular compounds,
e.g. hamartinoos, madman. In the Gk.-speaking world the noun hamartema
prevailed over the vb. hamartano.
In the Gk.-speaking world the noun
hamartema prevailed over the verb hamartano. Aristotle
placed it between adikema, injustice, and atychema, misfortune, as an
offense against the prevailing order, but one without an evil
intention, i.e. without kakia, evil, wickedness (Eth. Nic. 5, 8, 1135b
18). Thus it was also used in legal language of deliberate offenses.
hamartia becomes a collective term with a relatively indefinite sense:
offending against right feeling. It can mean anything from stupidity
to law-breaking, anything that offends against the orthon, the right,
that does not conform to the dominant ethic, to the respect due to
social order and to the polis.
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
- 4x in 4v - Mark 3:28, 29; Ro 3:25-note; 1Cor 6:18
Mark 3:28 "Truly I say to you, all
sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever
blasphemies they utter;
Mark 3:29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has
forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin "--
NET Bible Note: This passage
has troubled many people, who have wondered whether or not they have
committed this eternal sin. Three things must be kept in mind:
(1) the nature of the sin is to
ascribe what is the obvious work of the Holy Spirit (e.g., releasing
people from Satan's power) to Satan himself;
(2) it is not simply a momentary doubt or sinful attitude, but
is indeed a settled condition which opposes the Spirit's work,
as typified by the religious leaders who opposed Jesus; and
person who is concerned about it has probably never committed this
sin, for those who commit it here (i.e., the religious leaders) are
not in the least concerned about Jesus' warning. On this last point
see W. W. Wessel, "Mark," EBC 8:645–46. (Mark
3 NET Bible Note) (Bolding
Whom (Christ) God displayed publicly as a propitiation (hilasterion) in His blood
through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in
the forbearance (anoche) of God He passed over the sins previously
1 Corinthians 6:18
Flee immorality. Every other
sin that a man commits
is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
(poieo) conveys the basic meaning of to produce something
material (to make). The idea is to to undertake or do something that
brings about an event, state, or condition. In this context the idea
clearly is to undertake to fulfill my will, not God's perfect will.
(ektos) means out of instead of within. It is the outside
surface of something as in Mt 23:36. The sense of ektos in this verse
is independent of. BDAG writes that ektos in this verse refers
to the fact that "sin in general, apart from fornication remains
outside the body, since sexual immorality pollutes the body itself."
(soma) refers to the organized physical substance of an
animal or plant either living or dead. The frame of an animal; the
material substance of an animal.
comments that body...
refers not to the human self,
personhood, or individuality but to “the corporeality of human life,”
its physical aspect. The body is “the locus where we experience life,
death, sickness and sexuality—in short our creatureliness and our
position in the realm of nature”. The body is capable of becoming an
instrument of wickedness or an instrument of righteousness; a slave of
impurity or a slave of righteousness (Ro 6:19); something that brings
glory to God (Ro 6:20; Php 1:20) or something that brings shame. Paul
does not view human beings as simply having a body; they are embodied,
and by using the word soma, he “directs attention to their bodies, not
to the wholeness of their being. The soma is simply that part of man
in and through which he performs concrete actions. It becomes the base
of operations for sin in the unbeliever, for the Holy Spirit in the
believer” (Gundry 1976: 50). (Ibid)
DON'T BE DECEIVED
THE "SILT" OF SIN!
OF THE SUBTLE CORRUPTING EFFECT OF SIN -- What happened to the
great city of Ephesus? Often mentioned in the New Testament, it was
one of the cultural and commercial centers of its day. Located at the
mouth of the Cayster River, it was noted for its bustling harbors, its
broad avenues, its gymnasiums, its baths, its huge amphitheater, and
especially its magnificent Temple of Diana. What happened to bring
about its gradual decline until its harbor was no longer crowded with
ships and the city was no longer a flourishing metropolis? Was it
smitten by plagues, destroyed by enemies, or demolished by
earthquakes? No, silt was the reason for its downfall—silent and
non-violent silt. Over the years, fine sedimentary particles slowly
filled up the harbor, separating the city from the economic life of
the sea traders. Little evil practices, little acts of disobedience
may seem harmless. (Song 2:15) But let the silt of sin gradually
accumulate, and we will find ourselves far from God. Life will become
a spiritual ruin. In the book of Hebrews we are warned of the danger
of “the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb 3:13 -
See Related Discussion:
The Deceitfulness of Sin). James said that the
attractive pleasures of sin are really a mask covering death (Jas
1:15-note).God forbid that we let the silt of sin accumulate in our lives!
Nature Always Has the Potential to Erupt - Scores of people lost
their lives. The world’s mightiest army was forced to abandon a
strategic base, property damage approached a billion dollars. All
because the sleeping giant, Mount Pinatube in the Philippines, roared
back to life after 600 years of quiet slumber. When asked to account
for the incredible destruction, caused by this volcano, a research
scientist from the Philippine department of volcanology observed,
“When a volcano is silent for many years, our people forget that it’s
a volcano and begin to treat it like a mountain. Like Mount Pinatube,
our sinful nature always has the potential to erupt, bringing great
harm both to ourselves and to others. The biggest mistake we can make
is to ignore the volcano and move back onto what seems like a dormant
Sin is like
the Tiny Insect described in this illustration - It was reported
recently that an enormous pine tree in the mountains of Colorado had
fallen victim to a pine beetle and died. According to locals, up to
that point the tree was thought to be indestructible. It had survived
fourteen lightning strikes and many years of Colorado winters,
including avalanches and fires. But it was eventually brought down
from within by a tiny insect that did its work silently. That's the
way it is with sin in a person's life, be they a Christian or a
non-Christian. Watch over your heart with all diligence (See Pr 4:23-note).
BUT THE IMMORAL MAN SINS
AGAINST HIS OWN BODY: (3SPAI) o de porneuon (PAPMSN) eis to idion soma
hamartanei (3SPAI): (Ro 1:24; 1Th 4:5)
this verse reads "he who is committing whoredom (present tense),
against his own body doth sin (present tense)"
from pornos = literally the purchasable one, the one you buy,
the harlot, the prostitute) means to prostitute one's body to the lust
of another, to give oneself to unlawful sexual intercourse. To commit
fornication. Used as a Hebraic sense as a figure of speech to describe
one who worships idols rather than the living God. Note in the uses of
porneuo in the Septuagint (see below), Israel was pictured as a woman
(God's wife - Jer 31:32, Isa 54:5) who was unfaithful and like a wife
who became a prostitute, figuratively committed acts of immorality
against God. However as worship of idols is often associated with
literal immorality in Scripture, the OT uses of porneuo surely picture
both literal and figurative fornication.
Idolatry and Immorality - the
relationship and the antidote.
is in the
- the one who continually prostitutes himself (or herself).
8x in 7v - NAS renders porneuo as act immorally(1),
commit...immorality(2), committed...immorality(3), did(1), immoral(1).
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee immorality.
Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the
immoral man sins against his own body.
1Corinthians 10:8 Nor let us act
immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in
one day. (See below as NAS somewhat obscures the two uses of
1Co 10:8YLT neither may we
commit whoredom, as certain of them did commit whoredom,
and there fell in one day twenty-three thousand;
'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who
hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a
stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to
idols and to commit acts of immorality.
'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who
calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants
astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things
sacrificed to idols.
(Babylon the great! Re 17:5) with whom the kings of the earth
committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth
were made drunk with the wine of her immorality."
"For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her
immorality (Babylon the great - Re 18:2), and the kings of the earth
have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants
of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality."
Revelation 18:9-note "And
the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and
lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see
the smoke of her burning
17v in the non-apocryphal
- Dt 23:17; 1Chr 5:25; Ps 73:27; 106:39; Je 3:6, 7, 8; Ezek 6:9;
16:15, 34; 23:19; Hos 3:3; 4:10, 14, 18; 9:1; Amos 7:17
1Chronicles 5:25 But they acted
treacherously against the God of their fathers and played the
harlot (KJV = went a whoring. Hebrew = zanah = to fornicate
or prostitute and most often used for women; Lxx = porneuo) after the
gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them.
Psalm 73:27 For, behold, those who
are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are
unfaithful to You (KJV = "go a whoring". Hebrew = zanah =
commit adultery; Lxx = porneuo).
NET Psalm 106:39 They were defiled
by their deeds, and unfaithful in their actions. (or
"they committed adultery in their actions." = they were unfaithful to
the LORD. Lxx = porneuo)
Jeremiah 3:6-8 Then the LORD said
to me in the days of Josiah the king, "Have you seen what faithless
Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree,
and she was a harlot (Lxx = porneuo) there. 7 "I
thought, 'After she has done all these things (Lxx adds
"committed acts of fornication" = porneuo) she will return to Me'; but
she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 "And I
saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her
away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah
did not fear; but she went and was a harlot (Lxx = porneuo)
Ezekiel 6:9 Then those of you who
escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be
carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts
which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the
harlot (Lxx = porneuo) after their idols; and they will loathe
themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed,
for all their abominations.
Comment: Beloved, one who
has been bought with the costly price of the infinitely priceless
blood of Christ, does this passage not grieve your heart. The gracious
and loving God's was hurt but their adultery. Let this be a warning
and a motivation to us to continually flee immorality in every form.
Hosea 9:1 Do not rejoice, O
Israel, with exultation like the nations! For you have played
the harlot (Lxx = porneuo), forsaking your God. You have
loved harlots’ earnings on every threshing floor.
(hamartano) means to miss the mark (and so not share in the
prize) err, esp sin, offend, sin, trespass, to act contrary to the
will and law of God. A "sinner" is one who keeps missing mark in
relation to God.
Here are three
"Scriptural definitions" of sin...
(1) Sin = lawlessness = rebellion of creature’s will against his
Creator's will 1Jn 3:4
(2) Sin = not only do what wrong but failure to do what you know is
right Jas 4:17
(3) Sin = Whatever is not of faith Ro 14:23-note
= This means that it is wrong for a man to do anything about which he
has a reasonable doubt. If he does not have a clear conscience about
it, and yet goes ahead and does it, he is sinning.
notes that in classical Greek hamartano did not have the depth
of meaning it has in the Bible noting that...
The pagan Greeks used it of a warrior who hurls his spear and fails
to strike his foe. It is used of one who misses his
way. Hamartia is used of a poet who selects a subject which it
is impossible to treat poetically, or who seeks to attain results
which lie beyond the limits of his art. The hamartia is a
fearful mistake. It sometimes is employed in an ethical sense where
the ideas of right and wrong are discussed, but it does not have the
full significance of the biblical content of the word. In the moral
sphere, it had the idea of missing the right, of going wrong.
In the classics, its predominating significance was that of the
failure to attain in any field of endeavor. Brought over into the
NT, this idea of failing to attain an end, gives it the idea of
missing the divinely appointed goal, a deviation from what is pleasing
to God, doing what is opposed to God’s will, perversion of what is
upright, a misdeed.
Thus the word hamartia means a missing of the goal conformable to
and fixed by God.
It is interesting to note that in Romans the word
dikaiosune (word study)
which means “conformity
to the standard” appears as the opposite of hamartia, a
missing of the standard set by God (Ro 6:16, 17, 18-note). The noun
hamartia is everywhere translated in the NT, by the word “sin”
except in 2Co 11:7, where it is rendered “offense,” since the context
speaks of Paul’s relations to the Corinthians.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
Because this body is the Lord’s,
then when you sin, when you commit immorality, God has got to judge
There is to be no other course than
immediate and decisive dissociation from everything to do with it.
Every other sin such as murder, lying, robbery, drunkenness is
“without the body,” but fornication stands alone, in that it not only
makes the body itself, and so the whole being, the very motive for, as
well as the instrument of, sin but it involves the complete
destruction of the life and mars the personality of the individual,
rendering the living organism, the body, which should be devoted to
the service of God, impossible for the fulfillment of the Lord’s
design for it. Intended to be only temporary it really forms a
permanent bond, to the Lord’s dishonor, sundering union with Him and
bringing dishonor, too, upon both the male and the female.
Paul isn’t saying sexual immorality
is worse than any other sin; but he does teach that sexual sin has a
unique effect on the body; not only in a physical way, but also in a
moral and spiritual ways. Augustine was a Christian who had a
lot of trouble with keeping sexually pure. For a long time, it kept
him from really following God. He used to pray: “God, make me pure -
but not just yet.” But there came a point where he really turned
everything over to God. He stopped hanging around with his companions
in sexual immorality, and stopped going to the neighborhood where he
used to meet them. But once, he had to go there on business, and on
the street he met an old flame. She was glad to see him, and started
running to him with arms outstretched, saying “Augustine! Where have
you been for so long? We have missed you so!” Augustine did the only
thing he could do: he started running the other way. She called out to
him: “Augustine, why are you running? Its only me!” He looked back,
while still running, and said “I’m running because I’m not me!” He was
a different man because of Jesus, living a different way. If we have
had our lives changed by Jesus, it will show in the desire to flee
The apostle then passes on to speak
of that which is not lawful for the body — actual sin. Here we are
reminded that the body is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. He
reminds us, too, that these bodies are destined for high honour, for
even as God hath raised up the Lord, so will He also raise up these
bodies by His own power. Moreover, our bodies are members of Christ,
and he that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit. The apostle learnt
something of this great truth at his conversion, for the Lord said to
him, “Why persecutest thou Me?”. To touch the bodies of the saints was
to touch Christ. How solemn is all sin, but how specially solemn is
sin against the body which is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and belongs
to God, and which it is our privilege and responsibility to use for
the glory of God. To press upon us the deep importance of holiness,
the apostle re-minds us in the course of the chapter that we are
washed, sanctified and justified, and, further, that our bodies are
for the Lord, joined to the Lord, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, belong
to God, and are to be used for the glory of God; and, too, the Lord is
for the body, and God will raise it up by His power. (The
First Epistle to the Corinthians)