1 Corinthians 6 Commentary


1 CORINTHIANS - PROBLEMS OF A LOCAL CHURCH
Click chart to enlarge
Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

FROM CHART: Note 2 major divisions:

  • FIRST DIVISION - Chapters 1-6 = Problems of Congregation - Divisions & Depravities,
  • SECOND DIVISION - Chapters 7-16 = Personal Problems, Worship Problems

1 Corinthians 6:1  Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?

Amplified - DOES ANY of you dare, when he has a matter of complaint against another [brother], to go to law before unrighteous men [men neither upright nor right with God, laying it before them] instead of before the saints (the people of God)?

Wuest's Paraphrase - Is anyone of you who has a case against another daring to be going to law before those who are unrighteous and not before the saints?

NET  1 Corinthians 6:1 When any of you has a legal dispute with another, does he dare go to court before the unrighteous rather than before the saints?

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:1 When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers!

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:1 If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:1 Τολμᾷ τις ὑμῶν πρᾶγμα ἔχων πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον κρίνεσθαι ἐπὶ τῶν ἀδίκων καὶ οὐχὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἁγίων;

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare any one of you, having a matter with the other, go to be judged before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against his neighbor, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:1 If any of you has a legal dispute against another, do you dare go to court before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:1 When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints?

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:1 How can any one of you with a case against another dare to bring it to the unjust for judgment instead of to the holy ones?

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:1 Is one of you with a complaint against another so brazen as to seek judgement from sinners and not from God's holy people?

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:1 When one of you has a complaint against another, how dare you go to court to settle the matter in front of wicked people. Why don't you settle it in front of God's holy people?

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:1 How is it, that if any one of you has a cause at law against another, he takes it before a Gentile judge and not before the saints?

  • when he has a case against his neighbor: Mt 18:15-17 Ac 18:14,15 19:38 
  • dare to go to law: 1Co 6:6,7 
  • the saints: 1Co 1:2 14:33 16:1,15 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


Bema Seat in Nearby Athens


Bema Seat Ruins in Corinth

SUING EACH OTHER IN
SECULAR COURTS!

The law cases in Corinth would have been tried at the bema seat in the center of the busy agora (marketplace) where all the pagans would be entertained by the brethren litigating against each other! A very sad witness. Little wonder that Paul's first word in the Greek is DARE! (cf 1 Cor 6:1KJV more literal than NAS). 

Ray Stedman entitles 1 Cor 6:1-11 "The Wrong Way To Right Wrongs"

Keep the context in mind - Paul had just spoken of judgment of unbelievers in 1 Cor 5:13 - "those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES." In fact the "key word" in the preceding context (1 Cor 5:12-13+) is the word "judge" repeated three times (judging...judge....judges). So now Paul launches into the major teaching in the Bible on judging cases involving believers.  I have been in strong evangelical churches for over 35 years and sadly I have never heard of these passages being used in any of the churches I attended. It is possible that there were some instances, but I was generally in leadership and would have been aware of those instances. 

MacDonald - News had come to Paul that some Christians were going to law against their fellow believers—before the judges of this world. So he lays down these instructions of lasting value for the church. Note the repetition of the expression “Do you not know” (1 Cor 6:2, 3, 9, 15, 16, 19).

Paul Apple's introductory comments on chapter 6 - Remember the book written by Jay Adams, Competent to Counsel - that laid a lot of the groundwork for the basis for nouthetic counseling. Adams made the argument that believers would be wrong to submit to the counseling of unsaved psychologists. Instead believers have the resources they need to confront the most serious problems of life - the resources of the Word of God and the Spirit of God. In a similar vein, the Apostle Paul argues in this passage that the Church is Competent to Judge as well. Why would we ever consider taking a fellow believer to court and submit to the “wisdom” of unsaved judges? This would be damaging to the testimony of Christ. We live in a society that goes to court at the drop of a hat. Look at the number of lawyers ... the backlog of court cases ... the ridiculous amounts of some of the settlements for damages, etc. Look at how people demand that their “rights” be protected and have the expectation of compensation if they are wronged in any way. Look at how this contributes to the high cost of liability insurance. Some commentators want to temper Paul’s tone in this passage and say that believers should try to avoid suing fellow believers. But the clear import of the teaching is that believers should never sue fellow believers! Remember the context from chapter 5 where believers were reminded of their responsibility to judge among themselves. “Not only is the church to judge in matters of morality, but in other matters having to do with everyday life (civil situations).” (Gil Rugh) (1 Corinthians Commentary)

Craig Keener - Like modern North American society, Roman society was extremely litigious. Cases began to be heard at dawn and sometimes could be argued as late as sunset. Judges were always chosen from among the well-to-do, and most legal disputes revolved around money Members of the upper class received better treatment in the law courts; indeed, this preference was written into penalties prescribed in the laws. Further, social inferiors could not sue members of the upper class. But for Paul, even the lowliest believers are equipped to judge cases. (IVPBBCNT)

Does any one of you, when he has a case (pragma) against his neighbor - Young's Literal = "Dare any one of you, having a matter with the other, go to be judged before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?" The is a rhetorical question. Paul is of course not speaking of criminal cases like robbery, murder, etc. 

Schreiner has an insightful comment noting that "The first word in the Greek is the word dare, (see Young's Literal above) showing that appealing to the ‘unrighteous’ (adikos) to resolve a legal dispute (pragma) with another believer is outrageous. The case should be brought before the ‘saints’ (hagios). The use of the word ‘unrighteous’ is intentional since believers are acting unrighteously (adikeite, v. 8), acting like the ‘unrighteous’ (adikoi, ESV, v. 9) who will not enter the kingdom. On the other hand, the believers are God’s ‘saints’ (CSB; 1:2; 6:11), yet they are not acting like God’s holy people but like the people of the world. (TNTC-1 Cor)

Recall from the previous context there are some factors that might predispose these saints to lawsuits and petty legal squabbles. In 1 Cor 1:10+ we see they were have church divisions and in 1 Cor 3:3+ Pauls said " you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?." Jealousy and strife among fleshly men would certainly predispose them to legal disagreements between members in the body at Corinth. 

Arnold - Surely the Apostle Paul did not mean that a Christian should never go to the secular law courts against unbelievers. If a lawsuit is brought against us by an unbeliever, it may be necessary for us to defend ourselves. Nor was Paul saying the Christian would not get justice before the secular courts because the courts were corrupt. Actually, the Romans as a whole had an excellent law system. Nor was he saying a Christian should never use the secular courts to defend his cause for even Paul himself said, "I appeal to Caesar". The thing Paul is critical of is Christians taking other Christians before the secular courts. He was stunned that one Christian would prosecute another before the secular courts  where an unbeliever was presiding. Even the Jews understood that disputes were to be settled among the brotherhood, for they had a maxim which said, "It is a statute which binds all Israelites, that if one Israelite has a cause against another, it must not be prosecuted before the Gentiles.” Yet these carnal Corinthians had not even reached the Jewish standards and it was a disgrace. Paul’s point was that all lawsuits between Christians should be handled by church courts within the local church and not in the secular courts.

Baker has an interesting note on a case against - means to bring a case or, as in the NLT, a lawsuit, against someone. The language makes it clear that this is not a criminal case but one involving property or perhaps business matters. In civil cases, such as these in Corinth, two citizens would have been appointed by the court to adjudicate the matter

Hodge - The third evil in the Corinthian church that the apostle endeavors to correct was taking lawsuits to heathen judges. There was no need for this. The Roman laws allowed the Jews to settle their disputes about property by arbitration among themselves. And the early Christians, who were not distinguished as a distinct class from the Jews, doubtless had the same privilege. It is not necessary, however, to assume that the apostle is referring to that privilege here. It was enough that these civil suits might be arranged without the disgraceful spectacle of Christian suing Christian before heathen magistrates. The rabbis say, “It is a statute that binds all Israelites, that if one Israelite has a case against another, it must not be brought before the Gentiles.”

Craig Keener has an interesting intro comment - Having advocated that the church act as a court with regard to sexual offenses (chap. 5), Paul now argues for the necessity of church courts in his society (6:1–8) and then returns to sexual offenses (6:9, 12–20). It is possible that the litigants of 6:1–8 are the father and son of 5:1; if so, such litigation would clearly be displaying the church’s dirty laundry before the world. “Defraud” (6:7–8) favors this suggestion (cf. 1 Thess 4:4–6); “why not be wronged?” (6:7) may be against it. Jewish communities throughout the Mediterranean world had their own courts in their synagogues. Bringing internal disputes of the Jewish or Christian communities before secular magistrates was a luxury these minority religions could ill afford; there was already too much slander against them in the broader society. (IVPBBCNT)

Dare to (present tense - continually) go to law before the unrighteous (adikos) and not before the saints - Dare is the verb tolmao (present tense = indicates the action was in process) which is used negatively with a component of boldness or insolence (like our phrase "how dare you!"). Literally "to be judged by the unjust one.” Clearly Paul is surprised about this practice among believers. Literally this reads "go to be judged before the unrighteous." Note the juxtaposition of unrighteous (unholy) with saints (holy). Unrighteous is used in this context as a synonym for an unbeliever (and again with same meaning as unrighteous in 1 Cor 6:9+) and not to mean that the judicial system/judges were not fair and just, but that they were not "justified by faith" so not believers. 

What is fascinating is where these cases were held -- the unbelieving judges would sit on the bema seat of the civil magistrate, which was located in the center of the Corinthian agora (marketplace) and was a place the Greeks would come for entertainment that might result from a good legal battle. One can imagine the "leaven" effect of two Christians going after each other, this word spreading throughout the entire city. One can imagine the call "Come on folks, we've got another great Jerry Springer show for today's entertainment!" And the Church of Jesus Christ is sullied! Sad! 

Hodge - What Paul was complaining of was not that the Corinthians could not get justice at the hands of heathen magistrates, but that they acted unworthily of their dignity as Christians in seeking justice from such a source. Paul himself appealed to Caesar. It was, therefore, no sin in his eyes to seek justice from a heathen judge when it could not be obtained in any other way. But it was a sin and a disgrace in his view for Christians to appeal to heathen magistrates to settle disputes among themselves.

Robertson -  The Jews held that to bring a lawsuit before a court of idolaters was blasphemy against the law. But the Greeks were fond of disputatious lawsuits with each other. Probably the Greek Christians brought cases before pagan judges.

Dare (5111) tolmao rom tólma = courage in turn from tlao = to sustain, support, endure) means to have courage, to be bold, to dare to do something. To be courageous enough to try or to do something. Louw-Nida - "to be so bold as to challenge or defy possible danger or opposition." BDAG says tolmao means "to show boldness or resolution in the face of danger, opposition, or a problem." The meaning "dare" is used mostly in the negative, indicating the sense of "being unwilling to act through moral conviction, fear, or embarrassment." In order to avoid public humiliation, people often "dared not" ask Jesus any more questions. 

Go to law (go to be judged)(2919)(krino and its cognates [see below] is a root of English words like critic, critical [kritikos] = a decisive point at which judgment is made) primarily signifies to distinguish, to decide between (in the sense of considering two or more things and reaching a decision), to make up one's mind, to separate, to discriminate. to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, without necessarily passing an adverse sentence, although that is often what is usually involved.  The basic meaning of krino is to form an opinion after separating and considering the particulars in the case. Krino means to evaluate and determine what is right, proper, and expedient for correction. Wuest gives an excellent sense of the progression of meaning of this Greek word - The word krino meant originally to separate, then to distinguish, to pick out, to be of opinion, and finally, to judge. The act of judgment was therefore that of forming an accurate and honest opinion of someone, thus, appraising his character, and placing him in a certain position with respect to the law of God. The result of such a judgment is commonly condemnation. (Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament) Uses in the Corinthian letters  1 Co. 2:2; 1 Co. 4:5; 1 Co. 5:3; 1 Co. 5:12; 1 Co. 5:13; 1 Co. 6:1; 1 Co. 6:2; 1 Co. 6:3; 1 Co. 6:6; 1 Co. 7:37; 1 Co. 10:15; 1 Co. 10:29; 1 Co. 11:13; 1 Co. 11:31; 1 Co. 11:32; 2 Co. 2:1; 2 Co. 5:14

Unrighteous (unjust, wicked)(94adikos from a = without + dike = justice) is an adjective which in general generally describes that which is characterized by violation of divine law (USED AGAIN IN THIS CHAPTER IN 1 Cor 6:9+ = "do you not know that the unrighteous [adikos] shall not inherit the kingdom of God?"). It means acting in a way that is contrary to what is right (unjust, crooked) ultimately as defined by God. Adikos is what God is NOT (Heb 6:10+, Ro 3:5+). As in the Old Testament, the “unrighteous” (adikos) are a class of people who stand over against the “righteous,” or the people of God. The “righteous” will be “rescued” (cf. Ps 1:6,  Ps 18:48; 120:2; 140:1 and 2 Pe 2:9), while the “unrighteous” will be punished and judged (2 Pe 2:9+) Peter writes "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;" (1 Pe 3:18+)

Adikos 12x in 11v - Mt. 5:45; Lk 16:10; Lk. 16:11; Lk. 18:11; Acts 24:15; Ro 3:5; 1 Co. 6:1; 1 Co. 6:9; Heb. 6:10; 1 Pet. 3:18; 2 Pet. 2:9

Case (matter) (4229) pragma from prásso = to do, perform where suffix –ma = the result of; English = pragmatic [dealing with things in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations: practical as opposed to idealistic]; Pragma - used 11x in NT - Mt. 18:19; Lk. 1:1; Acts 5:4; Ro 16:2; 1 Co. 6:1; 2 Co. 7:11; 1 Th 4:6; Heb. 6:18; Heb. 10:1; Heb. 11:1; Jas 3:16

1 Corinthians 6:2  Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

Amplified - Do you not know that the saints (the believers) will [one day] judge and govern the world? And if the world [itself] is to be judged and ruled by you, are you unworthy and incompetent to try [such petty matters] of the smallest courts of justice?

Wuest's Paraphrase -  Or, do you not all know that the saints shall judge the world system [of evil]? And in view of the fact that the world system is being judged by you, are you those who are unfit to sit on the tribunal of a judge where trifling affairs are judged [forming courts yourselves to settle matters among yourselves]?

NET  1 Corinthians 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent to settle trivial suits?

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:2 Don't you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide even these little things among yourselves?

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:2 ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι οἱ ἅγιοι τὸν κόσμον κρινοῦσιν; καὶ εἰ ἐν ὑμῖν κρίνεται ὁ κόσμος, ἀνάξιοί ἐστε κριτηρίων ἐλαχίστων;

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:2 have ye not known that the saints shall judge the world? and if by you the world is judged, are ye unworthy of the smaller judgments?

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:2 Or know ye not that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world is judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:2 Or don't you know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest cases?

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are you unqualified for the lowest law courts?

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not realise that the holy people of God are to be the judges of the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you not competent for petty cases?

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:2 Don't you know that God's people will judge the world? So if you're going to judge the world, aren't you capable of judging insignificant cases?

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:2 Is it not certain that the saints will be the judges of the world? if then the world will be judged by you, are you unable to give a decision about the smallest things?

  • the saints: Ps 49:14 149:5-9 Da 7:18,22 Zec 14:5 Mt 19:28 Lu 22:30 1Th 3:13 Jude 1:14-15 Rev 2:26-27 Rev 3:21 Rev 20:4 
  • the smallest: 1Co 6:4 2Co 4:18 1Jn 2:16,17 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Jude 1:14-15+ It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, (cf Rev 17:14+) 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

2 Ti 2:12+  If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us

Revelation 2:26-27+ ‘He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; 27 AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father;

Revelation 3:21+  ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Revelation 20:4+  Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Matthew 19:28(12 APOSTLES WILL JUDGE 12 TRIBES OF ISRAEL) And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 22:30+  (JESUS ADDRESSING 12 DISCIPLES) that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 

SAINTS JUDGE
IN THE "SUPREME" COURT

Hodge -  If Christians are destined to judge the world, and even angels, they may surely settle their worldly affairs among themselves (verses 2–3).

Or do you not know - Paul repeatedly (see below) used this phrase to bring to mind some truth that his readers knew but either forgot or more likely disregarded. Paul asks a question which expects an affirmative answer. So the believers were aware of this incredible to comprehend truth! 

Phrase - Do you not know  Gen. 44:15; Jdg. 15:11; 2 Sam. 2:26; 2 Sam. 3:38; 2 Chr. 13:5; 2 Chr. 32:13; Isa. 40:21; Isa. 40:28; Ezek. 17:12; Zech. 4:5; Zech. 4:13; Jn. 19:10; Rom. 6:3; Rom. 6:16; Rom. 7:1; Rom. 11:2; 1 Co. 3:16; 1 Co. 5:6; 1 Co. 6:2; 1 Co. 6:3; 1 Co. 6:9; 1 Co. 6:15; 1 Co. 6:16; 1 Co. 6:19; 1 Co. 9:13; 1 Co. 9:24; Jas. 4:4

Paul Apple says they DO KNOW -Reminder #1 - The Saints Will Ultimately Judge the World - Argument from the Greater (judge world) to the Lesser (judge saints). Statement of the Obvious - Doctrine 101 class “Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?”This is a huge responsibility; clearly delineates a great chasm between believers and non-believers; speaking of responsibility of believers in coming kingdom

That the saints will judge (krino) the world? - This question expects an affirmative answer. Why is Paul asking this question? If he is calling on Christians to judge Christians, they might say "We've never been to law school. We are not competent or qualified to judge our brethren." Paul now reasons from their future position on a far higher "court," to show them they are fully qualified.  Paul had begun his letter referring to the Corinthians as saints (1 Cor 1:2) as those who were separated from the fallen world under the dominion of Satan and were consecrated to service of their Lord Jesus.

Saints will judge/rule the world because they are in covenant with Christ, in Him, one with Him, forever and ever and judging is only one of countless eternal benefits of being in Christ! Hallelujah! 

G Campbell Morgan - How great is God’s destiny for redeemed men and women! “Is there any statement in the apostolic writings in certain senses which has more definite and tremendous implication of the union of the saints with their Lord?” 

Daniel 7:22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom (Da 7:22ESV+)

Hodge on will judge the world - This does not mean that the time would come when Christians would become magistrates, nor that the conduct of the saints would condemn the world, as it is said the Queen of the South would condemn those who refused to listen to the words of Christ (Matthew 12:42). The context and spirit of the passage require that this should be understood of the future and final judgment. Saints are said to sit in judgment on that great day for two reasons. First, because Christ, who is to be the Judge, is the head and representative of his people, in whom they reign and judge. The exaltation and dominion of Christ are their exaltation and dominion. This is what Scripture constantly says (Ephesians 2:6). In Hebrews 2:5–9 the declaration that all things are subject to man is said to be fulfilled in all things being made subject to Christ. Second, because Christ’s people are to be associated with him in his dominion. They are joint heirs with him (Romans 8:17). If we suffer, we shall reign with him (2 Ti 2:12). Daniel 7:22 (KJV) predicted that judgment (the right and power to judge) would be given to the saints of the Most High. Compare Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30; Revelation 2:26–27. If then, asks the apostle, such a destiny as this awaits you, are you unfit to decide the smallest matters?

If the world is judged (krino)  by you - IF marks this as a first class conditional sentence, which assumes that saints will participate in some way as judges in the end-time events.

Are you not competent (not worthy, unworthy)  to constitute the smallest law courts - Wuest - "are you those who are unfit to sit on the tribunal of a judge where trifling affairs are judged [forming courts yourselves to settle matters among yourselves]?" NLT = "And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide even these little things among yourselves?" The answer is of course they are competent to serve as judges of their squabbles and potential suits. It they can judge the world, they can judge these smaller issues. Paul's point in reminding them of the high position in the future as judges of the world should show them that they are able to handle petty differences amongst them now.

Hodge on not competent - that is, of too little weight or value, having neither the requisite dignity nor ability—to judge trivial cases?

Utley on are you not competent - This is biting sarcasm directed to those who claimed to have superior wisdom! This same term (anaxios) is used of the inappropriate behavior of the Corinthian churches at the Lord’s Supper (cf. 11:27, 29). These immature believers, who claimed so much special spiritual insight, in reality did not know how to evaluate properly or act properly! The term “smallest” is the superlative form of mikros. Paul used it earlier in 1 Cor 4:3. Its use heightens the sarcasm.

Not competent (370)(anaxios from a= negative +  áxios = worthy)  is an adjective which means incompetent, unfit, ‘unworthy’, inadequate. Only used here in NT and in Lxx in Esther 8:12, Jer 15:18.  Paul uses the related adverb anaxios in 1 Cor 11:27 = "unworthy manner."  

Courts (2922)(kriterion) (1) as a place where justice is carried out tribunal, law court ( James 2.6); (2) of a legal process case for judgment, lawsuit ( 1Cor 6.2, 4) Hodge says kriterion means 1. A criterion or test; a rule of judgment. 2. A tribunal or place of judgment, and then, the court of assembled judges (Exodus 21:6; Daniel 7:10; and in the New Testament, James 2:6). 3. The trial—that is, the process of judgment. 4. The cause itself, or the matter to be tried. This last sense is doubtful, although it is generally adopted here because it suits so well the fourth verse, where the same word occurs. The second sense would suit this verse. “If you are to sit with Christ on the seat of universal judgment, are you unworthy of the lowest judgment seats?” But the fourth verse is in favor of the explanation adopted in our version: “Are you unfit for the least causes?”

Henry Morris - The resurrected saints will apparently "judge the world" during the coming millennium when Christ reigns and His people reign with Him (Revelation 2:26; 3:21; 20:4).

Ryrie explains it this way - Because of our union with Christ, we will be associated with Him in this judgment (during the Millennium).

1 Corinthians 6:3  Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?

Amplified - Do you not know also that we [Christians] are to judge the [very] angels and pronounce opinion between right and wrong [for them]? How much more then [as to] matters pertaining to this world and of this life only!

Wuest's Paraphrase - Do you not know that we shall sit in judgment upon angels, to say nothing at all of judging the affairs of this life?

NET  1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? Why not ordinary matters!

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:3 Don't you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life.

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:3 οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἀγγέλους κρινοῦμεν, μήτιγε βιωτικά;

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:3 have ye not known that we shall judge messengers? why not then the things of life?

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more, things that pertain to this life?

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:3 Don't you know that we will judge angels-- not to mention ordinary matters?

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels-- to say nothing of ordinary matters?

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? Then why not everyday matters?

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not realise that we shall be the judges of angels? - then quite certainly over matters of this life.

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:3 Don't you know that we will judge angels, not to mention things in this life?

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:3 Is it not certain that we are to be the judges of angels? how much more then of the things of this life?

  • judge: Mt 25:41 2Pe 2:4 Jude 1:6 
  • How much more matters of this life 1Co 6:4 Ps 17:14 Lu 8:14 21:34 2Ti 2:4 4:10 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

2 Peter 2:4  For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;

Jude 1:6   And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,

SAINTS WILL 
JUDGE ANGELS

Do you not know that we will judge (krino) angels?  -  This question expects a positive answer. Which specific angels to be judged and when the judgment will occur is not stated and is not found in other passages. Paul uses another greater/lesser argument, so if we can judge angels, surely we can judge trivial cases! 

Utley - Believers are a higher spiritual order than the angels. It is hard for believers, trapped in this fallen world, to realize their true spiritual standing. Angels were created as servants of God and of redeemed humanity (cf. Heb. 1:14). It is humanity, not the angels, that is created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen. 1:26–27). It is for humanity, not the angels, that Jesus gave His life (cf. Heb. 2:14–16). Believers will one day judge the angels (rebellious angels, cf. Gen. 6; Matt. 25:41; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6 or all angels as a metaphor of universal domination, Dan. 7:22, 27). According to rabbinical theology, the angels have always been jealous of God’s love, care, and provision for fallen humanity. The Jewish apocalyptic literature even asserts that Satan’s rebellion was related to God’s command to serve Adam’s race.

Baker explains it this way - Thiselton (2000:426–427) makes a strong case that Paul’s idea stems from his assumption that the resurrection of believers with Christ identifies them with him in such a way that they share corporately with his lordship over all—i.e., over all people who reject or embrace him, all angels, those who serve his kingdom well, and those who have worked against it. Others suggest that Paul was thinking of believers judging only condemned fallen angels—namely, Satan and his cohorts  (CBC-1 Cor)

Henry Morris  - The fallen angels are being "reserved unto judgment" (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6), but it is doubtful that the saints will participate in that judgment, for all such are already destined for "everlasting fire" (Matthew 25:41). More likely, we shall have authority over the holy angels, for they were created for this very purpose, being "sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:14).

MacDonald explains that "We know from Jude 1:6 and 2 Peter 2:4, 9 that angels will be judged. We also know that Christ will be the Judge (John 5:22). It is because of our union with Him that we can be spoken of as judging angels in a coming day. If we are considered qualified to judge angels, we should be able to handle the everyday problems that arise in this life. (Believer's Bible Commentary)

How much more matters of this life - The phrase How much more adds emphasis and makes the sarcastic contrast more obvious. It also shows the argument is from greater to lesser (world/angel judgment versus judging believer differences).

Schreiner - We see a similar kind of argument in Hebrews 2:5–18, where rule of the coming world belongs to human beings and not to angels. This rule is given to believers because they belong to Jesus Christ, for Jesus will allow believers to sit on the throne with him to rule the world (Rev. 3:21), and this rule presumably includes rule over angels. If believers are going to rule over angels, they should be able to resolve disputes over matters of ordinary life. (Ibid)

Matters of this life (982)(biotikos from bios - possessions of life, life in its concrete outward manifestations) means anything that pertains to what is found in the ordinary course of life, everyday matters. It contrasts with zoe the life principle.


Question: What does it mean that we will judge angels?

Answer: In his letter to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul tells us that believers will not only judge the world but also judge angels: “Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world ... Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). Scripture teaches that the fallen angels will be judged by God (Isaiah 24:21-22; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; Revelation 21:10). But what does Paul mean when he says the saints will also judge angels?

What we can surmise from this 1 Corinthians passage is that we, as God’s children, will be given a higher position than the angels. We’re not only created in God’s image but redeemed by Christ (Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:9; Luke 1:68; Ephesians 1:7). Angels are not created in God’s image and are not redeemed by Christ (Hebrews 1:14; 2:16). Also, God sends His angels to serve His saints, i.e., those who are to inherit eternal life (Hebrews 1:14; see also Psalm 34:7; Psalm 91:11).

Additionally, we know that the Greek word for “judge,” krino, also means “to rule or govern.” This strongly implies that we will have authority over the holy angels, for they have no sin for which to be “judged” in the sense of “condemned.” Most likely, the meaning of this passage is that believers in heaven will take part in the judgment of the fallen angels and exercise some authority over the holy angels. Christ has been exalted above all the angels (see Ephesians 1:20-23), and it seems reasonable that those who are in Him and made in His likeness (Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 15:49; Ephesians 4:24; 1 John 3:2) will share in His authority, including His authority over the angels (Matthew 19:28; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:4). GotQuestions.org

1 Corinthians 6:4  So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church?

​​​​Amplified -If then you do have such cases of everyday life to decide, why do you appoint [as judges to lay them before] those who [from the standpoint] of the church count for least and are without standing?

Wuest's Paraphrase - Therefore, if you may be having courts [for the adjudication of your private matters], those who are least esteemed and of the most humble station in the local assembly,

NET  1 Corinthians 6:4 So if you have ordinary lawsuits, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church?

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:4 If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church?

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:4 βιωτικὰ μὲν οὖν κριτήρια ἐὰν ἔχητε, τοὺς ἐξουθενημένους ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, τούτους καθίζετε;

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:4 of the things of life, indeed, then, if ye may have judgment, those despised in the assembly -- these cause ye to sit;

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:4 If then ye have to judge things pertaining to this life, do ye set them to judge who are of no account in the church?

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:4 So if you have cases pertaining to this life, do you select those who have no standing in the church to judge?

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:4 If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:4 If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church?

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:4 If, therefore, you have courts for everyday matters, do you seat as judges people of no standing in the church?

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:4 But when you have matters of this life to be judged, you bring them before those who are of no account in the Church!

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:4 When you have cases dealing with this life, why do you allow people whom the church has a low opinion of to be your judges?

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:4 If then there are questions to be judged in connection with the things of this life, why do you put them in the hands of those who have no position in the church?

WHY LET SECULAR JUDGES
BE YOUR JUDGE

So if - This is a THIRD CLASS CONDITIONAL sentence, which means potential action. Amplified "If then you do have such cases of everyday life to decide." 

You have law courts dealing with matters of this life - NET = "So if you have ordinary lawsuits." Matters of this life (biotikos) means those things pertaining to ordinary, daily life and living. 

Do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church - NLT- "why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church?y,"  Paul implies that the least of Christians should be more competent in justice than the wisest of pagans. Paul is not dishonoring judges, but simply saying they have no part in the church and do not understand the relationship of one Christian to another as brethren, members of the same family of God.

MacDonald adds "Unsaved judges are not given places of honor or esteem by the local church. They are, of course, respected for the work they are doing in the world, but as far as church matters are concerned they do not have any jurisdiction. Thus Paul is asking the Corinthians:  When matters arise between you requiring the impartial judgment of some third party, do you go outside the confines of the church and set men to judge you who are not recognized by the church for spiritual discernment?" (Ibid)

Schreiner - In this verse Paul summons the church to action, though the precise course of action prescribed is debated. The KJV represents one interpretation, in which Paul calls upon social inferiors—those disrespected in the church—to resolve the matter: ‘set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church’. This reading is quite attractive, for once again Paul would be reminding the Corinthians that their pretensions for status are contrary to the cross. According to this reading, those of lower status in the church should adjudicate the issue before the church. It is more likely, however, that Paul asks a question here, which is reflected well by the NIV: do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? This second option is more likely, since what concerns Paul in this paragraph is that the believers are taking their legal cases to unbelievers. The word for those … scorned (exouthenēmenous) is a strong one, and Paul uses it for shock effect. The social elite of the world, before whom the Corinthians act so obsequiously, are ‘despised’ before God. The term used here for unbelievers is rhetorical and hyperbolic, since the intent is to galvanize the church to rethink its ways and to resolve matters internally. (Ibid) 

No account  (1848)(exoutheneo  from ek = an intensifies + outhenéo = bring to naught) is a strong verb which means to despise someone or something on basis that it is worthless or of no value. To consider as nothing. 

Ryrie on appoint them - Better, are you appointing them . . . (expressing irony that believers would prefer to take their cases to unbelievers)? 

1 Corinthians 6:5  I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren,

Amplified -I say this to move you to shame. Can it be that there really is not one man among you who [in action is governed by piety and integrity and] is wise and competent enough to decide [the private grievances, disputes, and quarrels] between members of the brotherhood,

Wuest's Paraphrase - I am saying this to you with a view to arousing your sense of shame. Is it thus, that you do not have one among you who is wise, who will be able to arbitrate between brother and brother?

NET  1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to your shame! Is there no one among you wise enough to settle disputes between fellow Christians?

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:5 I am saying this to shame you. Isn't there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues?

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers,

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:5 πρὸς ἐντροπὴν ὑμῖν λέγω. οὕτως οὐκ ἔνι ἐν ὑμῖν οὐδεὶς σοφός, ὃς δυνήσεται διακρῖναι ἀνὰ μέσον τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ;

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:5 unto your shame I speak: so there is not among you one wise man, not even one, who shall be able to discern in the midst of his brethren!

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to move you to shame. What, cannot there be found among you one wise man who shall be able to decide between his brethren,

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to your shame! Can it be that there is not one wise person among you who is able to arbitrate between his brothers?

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to decide between one believer and another,

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to shame you. Can it be that there is not one among you wise enough to be able to settle a case between brothers?

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to make you ashamed of yourselves. Can it really be that it is impossible to find in the community one sensible person capable of deciding questions between brothers,

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:5 You should be ashamed of yourselves! Don't you have at least one wise person who is able to settle disagreements between believers?

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to put you to shame. Is there not among you one wise man who may be able to give a decision between his brothers?

  • to your shame: 1Co 4:14 11:14 15:34 
  • there is not among you: 1Co 3:18 1 Cor 4:10 Pr 14:8 Jas 1:5 3:13-18 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

PAUL SHAMES THE
"WISE" CORINTHIANS!

I say this to your shame - Wuest = "I am saying this to you with a view to arousing your sense of shame" This statement (some see it as a question) is calculated to move the Corinthian saints to a state of humiliation. 

Schreiner - If Paul wrote earlier about not shaming them (1 Cor. 4:14), now he informs them that he writes about lawsuits to shame them. In an honour—shame society such a remark would wound deeply, but Paul is audacious enough to say this because he is scandalized by their lawsuits. He continues to reprove the Corinthians with another shaming remark (Ibid)

Shame (1791)(entrope from entrepo = put to shame) state of shame or humiliation as caused by a sense of failure. Only other use 1 Cor 15:34. 

Is it so (houtos) means something like "Has it come to this that,” “is it to such a degree true that?”

That there is not among you one wise (sophos) man who will be able (dunamai - have the inherent capability) to decide between (diakrino - judge between) his brethren - Paul is being sarcastic, tongue in cheek. Why so? What were the Corinthians so proud of in earlier chapters (cf 1 Corinthians 1:18–31+)? Their attainment of sophisticated wisdom (cf 1 Cor 4:18+). Paul is saying in essence "You have all this wisdom in your midst and they could not find even on wise man to judge! Shame on you!" 

Arnold - If a brother has wronged or defrauded you, then go to your elders and ask them to set up a court of law within the church to arbitrate the matter. This would have a phenomenal impact upon our society if Christians settled all their disputes between themselves in such a fashion. It can be documented that the early church did set up courts to arbitrate disputes between Christians. The courts were set up in the early part of the week. It was the elders or some particularly wise man who arbitrated in these sessions. By holding court in the early part of the week, decisions could be rendered before Sunday so that the fellowship of the assembly would not be disrupted and the parties could sit down together at the Lord’s Table. This practice stopped when Constantine made Christianity the official religion in Rome and church and state were wedded. The result was that the church thought they no longer needed to handle their own problems and turned over lawsuits to the state. ( The Case Against Lawsuits)

1 Corinthians 6:6  but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?

Amplified -But brother goes to law against brother, and that before [Gentile judges who are] unbelievers [without faith or trust in the Gospel of Christ]?

Wuest's Paraphrase - But brother goes to law with brother, and this before unbelievers.

NET  1 Corinthians 6:6 Instead, does a Christian sue a Christian, and do this before unbelievers?

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:6 But instead, one believer sues another-- right in front of unbelievers!

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:6 But instead, one brother goes to law against another--and this in front of unbelievers!

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:6 ἀλλὰ ἀδελφὸς μετὰ ἀδελφοῦ κρίνεται καὶ τοῦτο ἐπὶ ἀπίστων;

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:6 but brother with brother doth go to be judged, and this before unbelievers!

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:6 but brother goeth to law with brother, and that before unbelievers?

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:6 Instead, believer goes to court against believer, and that before unbelievers!

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:6 but a believer goes to court against a believer-- and before unbelievers at that?

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:6 But rather brother goes to court against brother, and that before unbelievers?

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:6 and that this is why brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:6 Instead, one believer goes to court against another believer, and this happens in front of unbelievers.

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:6 But a brother who has a cause at law against another takes it before Gentile judges.

  • brother: 1Co 6:1,7 Ge 13:7-9 45:24 Ne 5:8,9 Ps 133:1-3 Ac 7:26 Php 2:14,15 1Jn 2:9-11 3:11-15 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


"Family Feud" between Christian Brethren in Corinth!

SAINTS SUE BEFORE
SECULAR JUDGES

but - Term of contrast. "Apparently not one such wise man was available, since a Christian brother was going to law against his own brother in Christ." (MacDonald)

brother (adelphos) goes to law (krino) with brother and that before unbelievers? - The Corinthians remind me of the old Television program "Family Feud". This is like having one's family quarrels out in a public place, so that all the lost can see the fleshly behavior of those who should by now be spiritual men (1 Cor 3:1)! What a poor testimony to the lord!  Family matters should have been resolved in the church family!

Guzik - By his actions, Paul showed he was not against all legal action. In Acts 22:25+ and Acts 25:10–11+, he appealed to Roman courts for his rights. However, Paul knew it was wrong when brother goes to law against brother. Paul does not say that Christians should have their own court system to handle criminal law. In Romans 13:3–4 Paul says that it is appropriate for the state to handle criminal cases. Christians should, however, be able to handle civil cases among themselves. “Those in a religious community who will not submit to a proper arbitration, made by persons among themselves, should be expelled from the Church of God.” (Clarke)

Unbelievers (571)(apistos from a = without + pistos = believing, faithful) means lacking in faith, without faith, disbelieving, unbelieving - in this context apistos is one who does not believe the Good News about Jesus Christ (1Ti 5:8, Titus 1:15, Rev 21:8) Uses in the letters to the Corinthians -  1 Co. 6:6; 1 Co. 7:12; 1 Co. 7:13; 1 Co. 7:14; 1 Co. 7:15; 1 Co. 10:27; 1 Co. 14:22; 1 Co. 14:23; 1 Co. 14:24; 2 Co. 4:4; 2 Co. 6:14; 2 Co. 6:15

1 Corinthians 6:7  Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?

Amplified - Why, the very fact of your having lawsuits with one another at all is a defect (a defeat, an evidence of positive moral loss for you). Why not rather let yourselves suffer wrong and be deprived of what is your due? Why not rather be cheated (defrauded and robbed)?

Wuest's Paraphrase - Nay! It is already a total [moral] defeat for you, having lawsuits with one another. Why do you not permit yourselves rather to be wronged? Why do you not permit yourselves rather to be defrauded?

NET  1 Corinthians 6:7 The fact that you have lawsuits among yourselves demonstrates that you have already been defeated. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:7 Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated?

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:7 ἤδη μὲν [οὖν] ὅλως ἥττημα ὑμῖν ἐστιν ὅτι κρίματα ἔχετε μεθ᾽ ἑαυτῶν. διὰ τί οὐχὶ μᾶλλον ἀδικεῖσθε; διὰ τί οὐχὶ μᾶλλον ἀποστερεῖσθε;

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:7 Already, indeed, then, there is altogether a fault among you, that ye have judgments with one another; wherefore do ye not rather suffer injustice? wherefore be ye not rather defrauded?

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:7 Nay, already it is altogether a defect in you, that ye have lawsuits one with another. Why not rather take wrong? why not rather be defrauded?

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:7 Therefore, to have legal disputes against one another is already a moral failure for you. Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather be cheated?

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:7 In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:7 Now indeed (then) it is, in any case, a failure on your part that you have lawsuits against one another. Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather let yourselves be cheated?

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:7 No; it is a fault in you, by itself, that one of you should go to law against another at all: why do you not prefer to suffer injustice, why not prefer to be defrauded?

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:7 You are already totally defeated because you have lawsuits against each other. Why don't you accept the fact that you have been wronged? Why don't you accept that you have been cheated?

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:7 More than this, it is not to your credit to have causes at law with one another at all. Why not put up with wrong? why not undergo loss?

  • Actually, then, it is already a defeat : Pr 2:5,8-10 Ho 10:2 Jas 4:1-3 
  • Why not rather Pr 20:22 Mt 5:39-41 Lu 6:29 Ro 12:17-19 1Th 5:15 1Pe 2:19-23 1Pe 3:9 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

A CALL TO DIE
TO SELF

Actually, then, it is already - Wuest = "Nay! It is already a total [moral] defeat for you" Young's Literal = "Already, indeed, then, there is altogether a fault (defeat) among you" -- "This phrase (ēdē men oun) implies that this church had already been doing these very things. They were already defeated!" (Utley)

Robertson - “Indeed therefore there is to you already (to begin with, [ēdē], before any question of courts) wholly defeat."

A defeat (hēttama) for you, that you (present tense - continually, active voice - willfully) have lawsuits (krima) with one another - Amplified = "Why, the very fact of your having lawsuits with one another at all is a defect (a defeat, an evidence of positive moral loss for you)." The word defeat (hettema) was used of a judicial defeat in court (Schlatter); here used of moral and spiritual defeat. One another here is the antithesis of what it should have been if they had (enabled by the Spirit) obeyed the One Another' Commands of Scripture

Robertson - [Nikē] was victory and [hēttama from hetton = less] defeat with the Greeks. It is defeat for Christians to have lawsuits (κριματα [krimata], usually decrees or judgments) with one another. This was proof of the failure of love and forgiveness (Col. 3:13+).

Schreiner comments on the irony in this passage - People engage in lawsuits to win, to be vindicated and to have their rights reasserted. But the very fact that the Corinthians have taken their cases to unbelievers, that they have gone to court, is ‘an utter failure’ (NKJV). Or, as the NIV felicitously puts it: "you have been completely defeated already." The believers were looking for a victory [Nikē]  in court, but Paul informs them that the very presence of lawsuits signals a stunning defeat [hēttama] and reversal. (Ibid)

Guzik - The Corinthians were just like modern Americans: addicted to their own “rights.” But in clinging to their rights so fiercely, they had already shown utter failure. Just by going to court against your brother, you already lose....There is no place for dishonest dealing by Christians; how much less place is there for dishonest dealing among Christians! Many have rejected the things of God and the fellowship of the saints because of dishonesty and cheating among Christians.

Arnold - To have an unbelieving judge arbitrate for two Christians is a defeat regardless of the verdict. No matter who wins the lawsuit, the cause of Christ suffers. People are turned off when they see believers fighting each other in an open, aggressive, hostile way. What lawsuits among Christians means to the watching world is that Christians are no better off than non-Christians. What have we to offer the unsaved world if we have to get unbelievers to settle our disputes?  For so many pastors and Christians it is a new revelation to learn that Christians are not to go to secular court against each other. They don’t understand that the early church never went to the secular courts to settle problems. 

Hodge - It was a great evil that they had such lawsuits. It would be better to submit to injustice

Ryrie on why it was a defeat - Going to court against a brother brings defeat (because greed or vengeance win) before the case is even heard. It is better to be wronged and take a loss. 

Why not rather be wronged (adikeo)? Why not rather be defrauded?  Amplified - "Why not rather let yourselves suffer wrong and be deprived of what is your due? Why not rather be cheated (defrauded and robbed)?" NLT - Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated?  Be wronged and be defrauded are both in the present tense, continually be wronged and defrauded! Woe! You had better be Spirit filled to obey this instruction! 

Robertson on be wronged...be defrauded - Better undergo wrong yourself than suffer defeat in the matter of love and forgiveness of a brother. (be defrauded =) Permissive middle again like [adikeisthe - be wronged]. Allow yourselves to be robbed (old verb to deprive, to rob) rather than have a lawsuit! 

Be wronged (injured, offended, treated unjustly) (91) see adikeo 

Defrauded) (91)(apostereo from apó = from + steréō = to deprive) means to be or become deprived of something by deceit, deception, trickery.  To wrong. To defraud. (1) active, as obtaining something by deceiving another - deprive, defraud, steal (1Cor 6.8); figuratively, of marital rights withhold, deprive (1Cor  7.5); (2) passive permit oneself to be defrauded; let oneself be robbed (1Cor 6.7).  BDAG - (1) to cause another to suffer loss by taking away through illicit means, rob, steal, despoil, defraud  (2) 2. to prevent someone from having the benefit of someth. (1 Cor 7:5) . Zodhiates - In the mid., aposteréomai, to suffer oneself to be defrauded, as spoken of persons (1 Cor. 6:7); to be kept back by fraud, as spoken of a thing (James 5:4, wages held back by fraud; Sept.: Deut. 24:16; Mal. 3:5). The pass. joined with a gen., to be destitute of, devoid of (1 Tim. 6:5, “defrauding themselves” [a.t.], i.e., “destitute of the truth” [cf. 1 Cor. 7:5 in respect to conjugal intercourse]).

Used 5x in NT - Mk. 10:19; 1 Co. 6:7; 1 Co. 6:8; 1 Co. 7:5; 1 Ti 6:5 Used in the Septuagint in Ex 21:10, Mal 3:5. 

Arnold - Deprive yourself of your right when wronged. When you consider the damage and injury that may be done to the body of Christ, you may decide to drop the lawsuit altogether. A Christian should voluntarily take wrong, even if he is right, rather than go to court (outside the church) against a brother. The Christian should voluntarily take wrong and say, "I leave it all with God. I'm not going to say anything about it. If they wrong me, You understand, 0 God.” Christians are to give way to any aggressive, self-centered attitudes, insisting upon their own rights at all cost.  Without complaint, gossiping, accusations or bitter spirit, an offended brother is to follow the example of Christ who, when wronged, gave up His rights, committing Himself to God who judges righteously. As Christians, we should never forget we are called to demonstrate a different lifestyle before the world, one in which we are ready to surrender our personal rights for the cause we serve. (THOUGHT - ONLY A SPIRIT FILLED AND EMPOWERED BELIEVER COULD TAKE THIS CHRIST-LIKE APPROACH!)

Zodhiates - In trying to redress the wrong, Paul points out that our own interests should not be the major consideration. He asks, "Why do you not rather take wrong? Why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?". The Greek word is adikeísthe, meaning "to suffer injustice" or "to be treated unjustly." Paul says that we must allow ourselves to suffer an injustice rather than cause someone else to become irreconcilable to virtue or to bring reproach upon the name of Jesus Christ. Our first concern in dealing with another's wrongdoing should be the advancement of God's kingdom and not our own personal interests.

Henry Morris - This principle is as relevant today as in Paul's days. Christians ought to love one another, not sue one another. Christians, like unbelievers, do unfortunately get into mundane arguments and disagreements with each other. However, they should be able to settle such arguments amicably as Christian brothers. If not, they should be willing to accept Christian mediation from objective fellow-Christians. Failing this, the more mature Christian should be willing simply to yield to the other, even if he is legally in the right. Above all, they should not take the matter to court, as this damages the testimony of the whole church.

ILLUSTRATION - Gandhi wrote - "I believe in the teachings of Christ, but you on the other side of the world do not, I read the Bible faithfully and see little in Christendom that those who profess faith pretend to see. The Christians above all others are seeking after wealth. Their aim is to be rich at the expense of their neighbors. They come among aliens to exploit them for their own good and cheat them to do so. Their prosperity is far more essential to them than the life, liberty, and happiness of others.The Christians are the most warlike people." 

1 Corinthians 6:8  On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren.

Amplified - But [instead it is you] yourselves who wrong and defraud, and that even your own brethren [by so treating them]!

Wuest's Paraphrase - Why do you not permit yourselves rather to be defrauded? But, as for yourselves, you are committing wrong, and you are defrauding, and doing this to brethren.

NET  1 Corinthians 6:8 But you yourselves wrong and cheat, and you do this to your brothers and sisters!

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:8 Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud-- even your own brothers!

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:8 ἀλλὰ ὑμεῖς ἀδικεῖτε καὶ ἀποστερεῖτε, καὶ τοῦτο ἀδελφούς.

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:8 but ye -- ye do injustice, and ye defraud, and these -- brethren!

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:8 Nay, but ye yourselves do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:8 Instead, you act unjustly and cheat-- and you do this to believers!

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud-- and believers at that.

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:8 Instead, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers.

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:8 And here you are, doing the injustice and the defrauding, and to your own brothers.

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:8 Instead, you do wrong and cheat, and you do this to other believers.

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:8 So far from doing this, you yourselves do wrong and take your brothers' property.

  • Lev 19:13 Mic 2:2 Mal 3:5 *marg: Mk 10:19 Col 3:25 1Th 4:6 Jas 5:4 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Leviticus 19:13+  ‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning.

Malachi 3:5+  “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress (NET = "exploit"; Lxx = same verb used here - apostereo) the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the LORD of hosts.

Micah 2:2+ They covet fields and then seize them, And houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, A man and his inheritance. 

DEFRAUDING ONE'S 
BRETHREN!

On the contrary - (alla - strong adversative) - Instead of dying to self, they took the opposite stance (indulging self) which was even more deplorable.

You (emphatic!) yourselves wrong (adikeoand defraud (apostereo). You do this even to your brethren - Both wrong and defraud are in the present tense indicating this actually an ongoing problem in the saints at Corinth who were acting more like the "aint's" of the world!!! NLT = "But instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your own Christian brothers and sisters." Sadly instead of submitting to wrong or suffering wrong, they were committing wrong! Instead of submitting to being defrauded, they were willfully (active voice) continually seeking to defraud their brothers! What a witness to the world when acted out in front of non-believers! When the lost world sees our "dirty laundry" they usually unleash unmerciful mocking and scorn on our Savior Jesus Christ (for He is the Head of the Church when she is impugned or disparaged)  As discussed earlier, we should not be surprised by this statement because not only were the factions and divisions in the church (1 Cor 1:10+)  in 1 Cor 3:3+ Paul described them as "still fleshly (DOMINATED BY THE FLESH RATHER THAN THE HOLY SPIRIT). For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?." Fleshly men would have a difficult time accepting being wronged and defrauded as Paul advised in 1 Cor 6:7! 

Utley on wrong and defraud - These are two PRESENT PASSIVE INDICATIVES. Believers’ individual rights are not as important as the reputation and mission of the church (AKA "THE REPUTATION OF CHRIST!"). Does any Christian win if the Kingdom loses? (Utley goes on to add an interesting comment) "The western church, with its emphasis on the individual, has skewed the gospel. We have missed its continual emphasis on the whole, the corporate, the body! We see Christianity as something for us individually instead of something for the gospel. We are saved (individually) to serve the body (cf. 1 Cor. 12:7). Believers must develop a NT world view, see the world through God’s eyes and corporate, global purposes." 

Here is what they should have been doing...

Romans 12:17+  Never pay back (present tense - just try to do this without depending on the Holy Spirit!)  evil for evil to anyone. Respect (present tense) what is right in the sight of all men.

1 Thessalonians 5:15+ See (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after (present imperative) that which is good for one another and for all people.

Matthew 5:39+  “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn (aorist imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) the other to him also.

Jack Arnold - These carnal Corinthians were not only not ready to suffer wrong, but Paul accused them of actively doing wrong to others. They were doing wrong to their brothers. Apparently they were not just going to court for damages but to make money. Greed became a factor. Christians should love all men but there is a special love for those who are brothers and sisters in Christ. This does not mean that it is alright to wrong people as long as they are not Christians. Paul is not saying we should take the shirt off an unbeliever’s back, but that we should show love for our Christian brothers and sisters....Notice carefully it nowhere says in this passage that a Christian is commanded not to go to a secular court against his brother. It is discouraged. It is belittled. It is made very clear it is not a wise course of action. Whatever else this teaches, it says that Christians are go to the church courts first before the secular route is even considered. If this were done, 95% of all disputes among Christians would be settled.

Schreiner offers these theological insights on 1 Cor 6:1-8 - For Paul, theology should lead to ethics: to a new way of life, one that is pleasing to God. Believers belong to the same kinship group—they are family—and it is intolerable to conceive of mistreating fellow family members. Far better to follow the way of Jesus and to surrender one’s rights for the sake of other believers. Paul is particularly concerned about the witness before the world, for unbelievers will see the truth of the gospel when believers love one another (John 13:34–35), and engaging in litigation against one another blatantly contradicts the call to sacrificial love. (Ibid) 

Wrong (injure, do harm, offend, treat unjustly) (91adikeo from  adikos = unjust) means do wrong Col 3:25; the evildoer Rev 22:11. Be in the wrong Acts 25:11. Do wrong to someone, cheat someone Mt 20:13; Ac 7:26; Gal 4:12; 2 Pt 2:13. Injure, harm, damage, spoil Rev 9:4, 10, 19; if he has caused you any loss Philemon 1:18. In classical Greek literature, adikeō’s usage includes “to do wrong,” “to injure or harm,” “to violate law or custom,” “to be in the wrong,” and “to be mistaken. Uses in the Corinthians letters - 1 Co. 6:7; 1 Co. 6:8; 2 Co. 7:2; 2 Co. 7:12; 

ILLUSTRATION (NEGATIVE) - A Christian friend of mine had a multimillion dollar business. One of his lesser partners who was also a professing Christian sought to steal the business from my friend. Through various manipulations, he stole the name of the company, took away a large number of employees, ran off good business and set up a competing company of his own in the same city. My friend lost close to a million dollars through it all which almost caused him to go bankrupt. These two Christians went to the same church. The whole situation was taken before the elders.  They heard the whole situation and the elders decided to do nothing. They told my friend just to suck it up and be willing to be cheated rather than go to the secular court. Easy to say if it is not your million dollars. This is one time I think a Christian had a right to take another Christian to the secular courts. Why? Because the church court did nothing. My friend lives in two realms. He is a citizen of heaven and citizen of the state. He may use the state if the church does nothing about his situation. However, if the church meets and makes a decision to arbitrate, then that decision is binding and there is no need to go to the secular courts.

ILLUSTRATION (POSITIVE) -  You know, I can say that this is a - a good thing, I guess. Maybe it’s good only in the sense that I’m ignorant, but the six-and-a-half years that I’ve been here, we have never had in our congregation that I know of a lawsuit that went into public courts, and I’m thankful to the Lord for that. None should, and we are ready and able and aware and set to be able to handle those kinds of problems if they come up within the church. Now, we have had occasion for a lawsuit between a Christian here and a Christian in another congregation. We arbitrated it by taking elders from their congregation, elders from ours, meeting together in private, praying over it, seeking the mind of the Holy Spirit, and deciding it, and it never got out of the - of the community of believers, and that’s exactly what the Bible says to do. I was talking to Sam Ericsson earlier this morning, who is an attorney and chairman of our board of elders, and he was saying that in the six years or so that’s he’s been involved in this, in the literally dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of cases that he handles as an attorney, every time, he says 90 percent of the time, he can convince Christians who start this procedure in all the business that he does, and it’s - much of it is outside our community, our congregation, but he can convince Christians 90 percent of the time to follow the biblical pattern. And in every case, he says, without exception, they have been blessed. He said, “On the other hand, every single time I have ever seen them disobey Scripture, the result has been terrible. They are bitter. They are hateful. No matter what happens, they lose in the end. They - they don’t like their attorneys. They don’t like the way things were handled. They’re not happy with their money. They have a guilty conscience,” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. That’s confirmation right from the people who know. And it simply says this, people. Do it God’s way and He blesses. I’d rather have God’s blessing than money, wouldn’t you? I’d rather not even get to court and have the blessing of God than try to fight for something that would be in violation of His principles. So we’ve endeavored to do this, and we’ve disposed of at least one case. I was in on that as one of the arbitrators, and it was an exciting thing to be able to settle it in the family. (Sermon from John MacArthur)

1 Corinthians 6:9  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,

Amplified  Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality,

Wuest's Paraphrase - Or do you not know that unrighteous individuals will not inherit God’s kingdom? Stop being deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor those who are of a voluptuous nature, given to the gratification of sensual, immoral appetites, neither men who are guilty of sexual intercourse with members of their own sex, 

NET  1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals,

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:9 Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:9 ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι θεοῦ βασιλείαν οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν; μὴ πλανᾶσθε· οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:9 have ye not known that the unrighteous the reign of God shall not inherit? be not led astray; neither whoremongers, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor sodomites,

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:9 Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men,

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:9 Don't you know that the unjust will not inherit God's kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or any kind of homosexual,

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites,

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not realise that people who do evil will never inherit the kingdom of God? Make no mistake -- the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, the self-indulgent, sodomites,

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:9 Don't you know that wicked people won't inherit the kingdom of God? Stop deceiving yourselves! People who continue to commit sexual sins, who worship false gods, those who commit adultery, homosexuals,

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:9 Have you not knowledge that evil-doers will have no part in the kingdom of God? Have no false ideas about this: no one who goes after the desires of the flesh, or gives worship to images, or is untrue when married, or is less than a man, or makes a wrong use of men,

  • do you not know: 1Co 6:2,3,15,16,19 3:16 9:24 
  • unrighteous Ex 23:1 Lev 19:15,35,36 De 25:13-16 Pr 11:1 22:8 Isa 10:1,2 Isa 55:7 Zec 5:3 Ac 24:25 Ro 1:18 1Ti 1:9 
  • will not inherit the kingdom of God 1Co 6:10 15:50 Mt 19:29 25:34 Ga 5:21 
  • neither fornicators: 1Co 5:1,10 Ga 5:19-21 Eph 5:4,5 1Ti 1:9 Heb 12:14,16 13:4 Rev 21:8 Rev 22:15 
  • nor homosexuals: Ge 19:5 Lev 18:22 20:13 De 22:5 23:17 Jud 19:22 Ro 1:26,27 1Ti 1:10 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Galatians 5:19-21+ Now the deeds of the flesh are evident (NOT SUBTLE!), which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice (present tense =  their continual lifestyle, their unabated practice) such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.


"KINGDOM OF GOD" PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
FROM BIBLE.ORG

UNRIGHTEOUS DO NOT
ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD

OR (e) - BDAG says one use of this particle (e) is "to introduce and to add rhetorical questions (Just., D 2, 4 al.; Ath. 8:3 al.) "OR do you suppose that?" Mt 26:53., "OR is God the God of the Judeans alone?" Ro 3:29. = "OR do you not know?" (Ro 6:3; 7:1_;  also (AS IN OUR PASSAGE) "e ouk oidate" = "OR do you not know?" =  1 Cor 6:9, 16, 19; cp. 1 Cor 10:22;  2 Cor 11:7."  Paul is adding one of the most stunning rhetorical questions in all of Scripture! 

So what is the "OR" linking? What has Paul just said about the practice of the saints at Corinth (1 Cor 6:8)? They were continually doing wrong and cheating (defrauding) their own spiritual brothers! Unbelievable fleshly behavior! So Paul wants to bring them back to the Cross of Christ for that is where we receive the power of God (dispensed by the Spirit of God) (1 Cor 1:18+) to live an unleavened life (1 Cor 5:7-8+), a new life in Christ (2 Cor 5:17+), a transformed supernatural life that is the antithesis of fleshly, selfish, natural worldly life they had been groveling in! And so he begins with a poignant, pithy reminder of who they were outside of Christ and the power of the Cross (v9-10) and then he ascends the hill of Calvary to remind them of the work of amazing grace they each had experienced when the believed on Christ and He became their life (Col 3:4+) and bestowed on them the priceless, perpetual possession of citizenship in the Kingdom of God (cf Jn 3:3+, Php 3:20-21+, 1 Peter 1:3-5+). 

How does this section mesh with the overall context? Stedman: What ties this section with that which has gone before is found in the word in Verse 8, "But you yourselves wrong (adikeo)," and the word adikos in Verse 9, "Do you not know that the unrighteous (adikos) will not inherit the kingdom of God?" Those are the same basic root words. What Paul is really saying is, "Look, when you are so aggressive in defense of your own rights that you take another brother to law before a secular court, you are wronging that brother. Even though you may be right in your cause, you are wronging your brother, and that wronging, that unjust action, gives rise to the question, 'Have you yourself ever been justified before God?'" That is what Paul is saying. To treat another unjustly makes one ask if you have ever been justified, and he says the unjustified, the unrighteous, the unregenerate cannot inherit the kingdom of God if they are committed to these things that he lists as a lifestyle. Now he surely does not mean that those who have been involved in these things cannot be saved, for he goes on to say, "such were some of you"; they have come out of it. But what he is saying, very clearly, is that these things cannot be continued as a lifestyle for Christians. Conversion makes a visible difference, and if it does not, there is room to question whether there has ever been a conversion. (The Wrong Way To Right Wrongs)

Do you not know - This is a characteristic phrase used repeatedly by Paul to refer to things the believers should have known, things he had previously taught them, but which they apparently (because of their actions and attitudes) had forgotten or chosen to ignore.

That the unrighteous (adikos, cf use in 1 Cor 6:1+) will not inherit (kleronomeo) the kingdom of God- Paul uses this phrase Do you not know (repeatedly in this letter)  to remind them what they should have known because they had been previously taught by him and then by Apollos, two of the greatest teachers in the history of the church! The Corinthians had been taught that those who practice unrighteousness will earn the wages of sin which is eternal death (Ro 6:23+). Of course believers still possess the fallen flesh (Ro 7:18+, cf Gal 5:17, 16+) and so we can and do still (sadly) commit these sins. However these sins do not characterize their (OUR) lives as an unbroken pattern. When these sins are one's lifestyle, morning to evening, 24/7, then this "rotten fruit" (cf Gal 5:19-21+, Mt 7:17-20+) demonstrates that the person is not a citizen of the Kingdom of God. True believers who do sin are miserable creatures to be around, hate their sin and continually seek to gain and walk in victory over sin by learning to jettison self-effort and relying wholly on the power of the Holy Spirit. In one of the most important passages in Scripture regarding how the believer is to experience victory over the sin that so easily entangles him, Paul wrote these powerful words...

if you are (present tense - continually, habitually) living according to the flesh, you must die (NET, ESV, NLT, NIV = "YOU WILL DIE"); but if by the Spirit you are putting to death (present tense, active voice = continually, habitually killing sin and) the deeds of the body, you will live, 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.. (Romans 8:13, 14+)

Ray Stedman offers an interesting illustration of the spiritual war involving the evil flesh and the Spirit of God - "At the close of World War II, a picture appeared in a magazine showing a soldier in conflict with a tank. I remember the picture vividly because it was in color and it showed a tremendously huge army tank bearing down on the tiny figure of the soldier, about to crush him. How frightened he was, as this massive tank was about to overwhelm him. The picture was designed to show the odds involved when a foot soldier with a rifle faced a tank. Then it showed what happened to that soldier's odds when the bazooka (a rocket launcher) was invented. It showed him standing with a bazooka in his hands. It was the same soldier, but he had a different weapon. The next picture showed the tank, shrunken in size, with the soldier at least equal in size, if not a little larger. This is what Paul is saying to us. WITHOUT THE POWER OF GOD released in our lives, we are like an infantry soldier in the presence of a tank. We cannot do a thing. It is too much for us. But, by trust in the power of the living God at work in us, we can rise up in the FACE OF TEMPTATION, and, armed with the BAZOOKA OF THE SPIRIT, we can say, "YES" to the Spirit and "NO" to the flesh -- and He will make it stick! We can turn and begin to live as God intended us to live." (Bolding added) (Note that the order is not by accident but is critical - First = "Yes" to the Spirit. Then = "No" to the flesh. Be careful not to reverse the order or you may find the "tank" runs you over!)

Charles Hodge writes Paul "solemnly assures them that the unjust or rapacious or corrupt will not inherit the Kingdom of God." 

Phrase - Do you not know  Gen. 44:15; Jdg. 15:11; 2 Sam. 2:26; 2 Sam. 3:38; 2 Chr. 13:5; 2 Chr. 32:13; Isa. 40:21; Isa. 40:28; Ezek. 17:12; Zech. 4:5; Zech. 4:13; Jn. 19:10; Rom. 6:3; Rom. 6:16; Rom. 7:1; Rom. 11:2; 1 Co. 3:16; 1 Co. 5:6; 1 Co. 6:2; 1 Co. 6:3; 1 Co. 6:9; 1 Co. 6:15; 1 Co. 6:16; 1 Co. 6:19; 1 Co. 9:13; 1 Co. 9:24; Jas. 4:4

We do not inherit the Kingdom of God by refraining from sin (WHICH OF COURSE WE ARE TO DO), but we prove that we are in the Kingdom of God and on our way to His Kingdom in Heaven  by the godly lives that we live, lives only possible by grace and the Spirit, for as Paul reminded the Galatians "Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" (Gal 3:3+)

Kingdom of God - The OT taught again and again that the kingdom of God is a righteous kingdom (Ps 45:6,7), and Jesus affirmed it (Mt 6:33). In [1 Cor 4:20] the Kingdom of God is described as present, but in this verse and 1 Cor 15:50 it refers to the future Kingdom.  The KINGDOM OF GOD is the spiritual sphere of salvation where God rules as king over all who belong to Him by faith (Mt 5:3, 10). All believers are in that spiritual kingdom, yet are waiting to enter into the full inheritance of it in the age to come. 

Will inherit (2816) see below on kleronomeo

Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals - Do not be deceived is a present imperative with a negative  (see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) which means stop being deceived. The Corinthians were continually wronging and defrauding their brethren (1 Cor 6:8) and in so doing were in effect continually being deceived by Sin (deceived is passive voice indicating a power working on them from without) (see Hebrew 3:13+ and topic Deceitfulness of Sin) It would seem that there were some in the Corinthian assembly who have professed Christianity as a system of doctrine, but not as a rule of life. The apostle warns that this is a fatal mistake. No one who can allow themselves to continually indulge in sin and thing they are going to Heaven This passage proves that “Paul and James are in basic agreement. Both affirm that genuine faith produces good works (cf. Ep 2:8-9, 10+), and that the absence of good works indicates the lack of faith (cf. Jas 2:14-26+).” Stop being continually led astray by their specious arguments and rationalizations to cover up sin as animal behavior. One cannot wantonly sin (lifestyle) and  pretend to call themselves a "Christian", a new creature in Christ (2 Co 5:17+). Profession is not possession (Titus 1:16+). 

John has some sobering words regarding living an unabated lifestyle of sin

Everyone who practices sin also (present tense - continually) practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that He (Jesus) appeared in order to take away sins (cf 2 Ti 1:10+, Titus 2:11-14+ = "to redeem us from every lawless deed,"); and in Him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in Him (present tense - continually) sins; no one who (present tense - continually) sins has seen Him or knows Him. 7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you (same verb as in 1 Cor 6:9 planao in present imperative with a negative); the one who (present tense - continually) practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who (present tense - continually) practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one who is born of God (present tense - continually) practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God (BELOVED READ THAT LAST VERSE AGAIN - JOHN COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ANY CLEARER!). (1 John 3:4-9+)

Comment - Be aware that some well known commentators teach that John is not describing unbelievers but believers who had made a profession of faith in Christ, and the then went the rest of their life living in sin, without evidence of either holiness or fruit (which is completely counter to the lives of those who have a holy power source within them, the Holy Spirit)! Do not be deceived by this dangerous teaching. If you made a profession of faith (say at a youth camp) and thereafter experienced no change whatsoever in your patterns of behavior (you continued living unabated in a worldly manner)

Jesus gave a somber warning to all who continue to practice sin and think they will go to Heaven declaring in Mt 7:21-23+.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who (present tense - continually) does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. ("DOING" GOD'S WILL DOES NOT SAVE US, BUT IT IS STRONG EVIDENCE WE ARE TRULY SAVED) 22 “MANY will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never (STRONG NEGATIVE, NEVER AT ANY TIME) knew you; DEPART (aorist imperative) FROM ME, YOU WHO (present tense - continually) PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Be deceived (be misled, be led astray)(4105)(planao from plane which describes "a wandering" and gives us our English word "planet") means literally made to wander and so to go (active sense) or be led (passive sense as of sheep in Mt 18:12-13) astray. Note that in this passage planao is in the passive voice which indicates an outside force or influence (e.g., the unregenerate heart in unbelievers in this context aka Sin) is causing the deception that leads one down the wrong path. Scripture teaches us that various things or classes of people can deceive a person including the following…

  • Signssorcerypretenders coming in Jesus' name (Mt 24:4, 5, Mark 13:5, 6, Luke 21:8),
  • False teachers (1 Jn 2:26, 3:7),
  • False Christs and false prophets (Mt 24:11,24, see note on Jezebel the false prophetess Re 2:20-note),
  • Not understanding the Scriptures or the power of God (Mt 22:29, Mark 12:24),
  • One's own self (evil flesh) ("self deception" 1Co 6:9, 1Co 15:33, Gal 6:7, Titus 3:3-note1 John 1:8)
  • One's heart (synonymous with evil flesh - Hebrews 3:10-note)
  • Evil men and imposters (2Ti 3:13-note),
  • The devil (Rev 12:9-note, Rev 20:3-note; Re 20:8-note;Re 20:10-note),Rev 20:3; 20:8; 20:10),
  • Babylon (Revelation 18:23-note)
  • The Antichrist's false prophet (Rev 13:14-note, Re 19:20-note)

Henry: "Men are very much inclined to flatter themselves that God is such a one as themselves, and that they may live in sin and yet die in Christ, may lead the life of the devil’s children and yet go to heaven with the children of God. But this is all a gross cheat. Note, It is very much the concern of mankind that they do not cheat themselves in the matters of their souls. We cannot hope to sow to the flesh and yet reap everlasting life."

Paul is not saying that a single infraction or even a "season" of sin will cause a person to lose his salvation, for one who is truly born again cannot be "unborn!". He is saying that people who continue to lead a life of sin, who are habitual thieves, who intentionally go on committing one or more of the four enumerated varieties of sexual immorality, who refuse to give up the other egregious sins named, show by their behavior that they are not part of God’s people (cp 1 Jn 3:9+). Mere mental assent to doctrines or to the fact of Yeshua’s Messiahship is not sufficient for salvation, for “faith without works is dead.” (Jas 2:26+). 

Related Resources: 

Jewish NT commentary: "The idea that a person can profess belief in...Yeshua and still highhandedly go on sinning is repugnant to the writers of Scripture. Overly easygoing congregations bring shame on the Messianic Community by soft pedaling the need for believers to change their lifestyles. Such congregations produce complacent pseudo-believers. Some take advantage of the notion that God is gradually changing them, thereby justifying continued indulgence in their sins. God, who has made his will clear, has provided through the power of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah and the Spirit of our God everything needed to overcome known grievous sins like the ones named in these verses. We are not to presume on God’s patience (Ro 2:3-6)."

Charles Hodge: "The tendency to divorce religion from morality has manifested itself in all ages of the world and under all forms of religion. The pagan, the Jew, the Muslim, the nominal Christian have all been exact in the performance of religious services and zealous in the assertion and defense of what they regard as religious truth, even while unrestrained in the indulgence of every evil passion. This arises from looking upon religion as an outward service and God as a being to be feared and propitiated, but not to be loved and obeyed. According to the Gospel, all moral duties are religious services; and piety is the conformity of the soul to the image and will of God. So, to be religious and yet immoral is, according to the Christian system, as palpable a contradiction as to be good and wicked. In the Bible, believers are often called heirs. Their inheritance is a kingdom—the kingdom that God has established and that is to be consummated in heaven (Lu12:32; Mt25:34; etc.). From this inheritance all the immoral will be excluded, no matter how zealously they may profess the truth or how assiduously they may perform religious services. Let it also be remembered that immorality, according to the Bible, does not consist exclusively in outward sins, but also in sins of the heart such as greed, malice, envy, pride, and such like (Ga5:19-21). No wonder that the disciples, on a certain occasion, asked their Master, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” or that the Lord answered them by saying, “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Lu13:23; Mt7:14).

MacArthur: The application to believers is clear. “Why, then,” Paul asks the Corinthians, “do you keep living like the unsaved, the unrighteous? Why do you keep falling into the ways of your old life, the life from which Christ has saved you? Why are you following the old standards, and having the old selfish, ungodly motives? You are to be separated from the world’s ways, not following them. And specifically, why are you taking your problems to the world’s courts?” A believer is a new creation (2Co 5:17), with a new inner person-hood made after God’s own person (2 Pe 1:4+), and there is no longer unbroken unrighteousness. But the flesh can become dominant in the disobedient Christian, so that he may take on the appearance of an unbeliever (cf 1 Cor 3:1-3+)."

Neither fornicators, (Heb 13:4, Rev 21:7-8; Rev 22:14-15) - There was a great deal of sexual laxity in the cesspool called Corinth. It was a permissive society with a depraved philosophy similar to America where 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. God condemns sexual sins; Paul named some of them in 1Co 6:9. In that day, idolatry and sensuality went together. In 1Co 6:10, Paul pointed his finger at the members guilty of sins of the spirit, those suing each other because of their covetous attitude.

Fornicators (4205)(pornos from pernáo = sell [as those who sell their bodies for lust] in turn from peráō = to pass thru, as a merchant would do, passing thru and then coming to mean to sell) (see also study of related word porneia) means a fornicator, one who is sexually immoral or who commits sexual immorality. Pornos originally meant a "male prostitute" but came to be used in the universal meaning of "fornicator" or one who engages in sexual immorality, whether a man or a woman. A pornos in secular Greece was a person who prostituted themselves for gain. The KJV translates pornos as “whoremonger”, which describes one who consorts with whores (a lecher). One can carry on the life of a "whoremonger" in "private" on the internet's plethora of sleazy porn sites, in filthy magazines at the newsstand (or even at the checkout stand at the grocery store!), or at the movies (unfortunately even PG Rated can be contaminated with pornos). In our local cable listings in Austin, Texas (Summer, 2008) there are some 5-10 channels devoted solely to pornography (I don't subscribe to any of them by the way). America is in very serious trouble beloved. Let us pray for revival (2Chr 7:13,14, 6:37, 38, 39) Here are the 10 uses of pornos in the NT - 1Cor 5:9, 10, 11; 6:9; Eph. 5:5-+; 1Ti 1:10; describing Esau = Heb 12:16+; describing those who defile the marriage bed = Heb 13:4-note; describing those who will not be in heaven = Rev 21:8-+; Re 22:15+.

The NAS translates pornos as fornicators(2), immoral(2), immoral men(1), immoral people(2), immoral person(1), immoral persons(2). 1 Co. 5:9; 1 Co. 5:10; 1 Co. 5:11; 1 Co. 6:9; Eph. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:10; Heb. 12:16; Heb. 13:4; Rev. 21:8; Rev. 22:15 The KJV as noted translates pornos with the word whoremonger (5 times). Pornos is not found in the non-apocryphal Septuagint.

Nor idolaters, A comparison of this list with those of the other epistles suggests the greater debauchery and sensuality of Corinth. Barclay adds that "The greatest building in Corinth was the Temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, where idolatry and immorality flourished side by side. Idolatry is a grim example of what happens when we try to make religion easier. An idol did not begin by being a god; it began by being a symbol of a god; its function was to make the worship of the god easier by providing some object in which his presence was localized. But very soon men began to worship not the god behind the idol but the idol itself. It is one of the chronic dangers of life that men will come to worship the symbol rather than the reality behind it."

Idolaters (1496) eidololatres from eidolon = idol, image, a phantom or likeness [from eidos = form, appearance, literally that which is seen from eido = to see] + látris = servant, worshiper) (see study of eidololatreia) (See multiple Bile dictionary articles on idolatry) is literally an image worshipper or one who serves idols or images representative of false gods. Idolatry is the worship of something created which is in direct opposition to the worship of the Creator Himself. Ultimately it is placing anything in the place of God, Who alone deserves the right to be number one in our focus. Originally, a physical idol helped visualize the god it represented but later people worshipped the physical object itself (Ro 1:19; 20; 21; 22; 23 see notes Ro 1:1920212223).

Nor adulterers - The Greek word is moichos (3432) (cf moichalis = adulteress) describes one who is unfaithful to a spouse. Figuratively, moichos describes one who is faithless toward God.

nor effeminate (NIV - male prostitutes) God’s unique creation, those created in His own image, were created “male and female” (Ge 1:27), and the Lord strictly forbids the two roles to be blurred, much less exchanged. “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deut. 22:5). The Hebrew terms in that verse indicate more than clothing, and include any tool, implement, or apparatus.

nor homosexuals - KJV has "nor abusers of themselves with mankind."  Barclay writes: "This sin had swept like a cancer through Greek life and from Greece, invaded Rome. We can scarcely realize how riddled the ancient world was with it. Even so great a man as Socrates practised it; Plato’s dialogue The Symposium is always said to be one of the greatest works on love in the world, but its subject is not natural but unnatural love. Fourteen out of the first fifteen Roman Emperors practised unnatural vice. At this very time Nero was emperor. He had taken a boy called Sporus and had him castrated. He then married him with a full marriage ceremony and took him home in procession to his palace and lived with him as wife. With an incredible viciousness, Nero had himself married a man called Pythagoras and called him his husband. When Nero was eliminated and Otho came to the throne one of the first things he did was to take possession of Sporus. Much later, the Emperor Hadrian’s name was associated with a Bithynian youth called Antinous. He lived with him inseparably, and, when he died, he deified him and covered the world with his statues and immortalised his sin by calling a star after him. In this particular vice, in the time of the Early Church, the world was lost to shame; and there can be little doubt that this was one of the main causes of its degeneracy and the final collapse of its civilization.

College Press Commentary - Generally speaking pederasty was a widespread phenomenon in Greek and later Roman society. These sexual experiences were a typical part of a young boy’s education and were practiced by leading thinkers such as Plato as well as later by many Emperors of the Roman Empire. Even though this type of relationship had both pedagogical and emotional facets, it would be exceedingly anachronistic to think that these homoerotic relationship and experiences with boys were based upon “Platonic love.” The classical scholar K.J. Dover makes this very point in a candid observation when he remarked, "It was taken for granted in the Classical period that a man was sexually attracted by a good-looking younger male, and no Greek who said that he was ‘in love’ would have taken it amiss if his hearers assumed without further enquiry that he was in love with a boy and that he desired more than anything to ejaculate in or on the boy’s body. I put the matter in these coarse and clinical terms to preclude any misapprehension arising from modern application of the expression ‘Platonic love’ or from Greek euphemism."

Barclay: After this dreadful catalogue of vices, natural and unnatural, comes Paul’s shout of triumph “and such were some of you.” The proof of Christianity lay in its power. It could take the dregs of humanity and make them into men. It could take men lost to shame and make them sons of God. There were in Corinth, and all over the world, men who were living proofs of the re-creating power of Christ.

Seneca, a contemporary of Paul, cries out that what men want is “a hand let down to lift them up.” “Men,” he declared, “are overwhelmingly conscious of their weakness in necessary things.” “Men love their vices,” he said with a kind of despair, “and hate them at one and the same time.” He called himself a homo non tolerabilis, a man not to be tolerated. Into this world, conscious of a tide of decadence that nothing could stop, there came the radiant power of Christianity, which was triumphantly able to make all things new.

Henry has some excellent comments on these 1 Cor 6:9-11):

The Corinthians are warned against many great evils, of which they had formerly been guilty. There is much force in these inquiries, when we consider that they were addressed to a people puffed up with a fancy of their being above others in wisdom and knowledge. All unrighteousness is sin; all reigning sin, nay, every actual sin, committed with design, and not repented of, shuts out of the kingdom of heaven. Be not deceived. Men are very much inclined to flatter themselves that they may live in sin, yet die in Christ, and go to heaven. But we cannot hope to sow to the flesh, and reap everlasting life. They are reminded what a change the gospel and grace of God had made in them. The blood of Christ, and the washing of regeneration, can take away all guilt. Our justification is owing to the suffering and merit of Christ; our sanctification to the working of the Holy Spirit; but both go together. All who are made righteous in the sight of God, are made holy by the grace of God. 


Question - What does it mean that a person will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)?

Answer: The first mention of not inheriting the kingdom of God is found in Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

By saying the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God, Paul is stating that the wicked are not children of God, nor are they heirs of eternal life (Romans 8:17). This does not mean that anybody who has ever committed one of these sins will be denied entrance to heaven. What differentiates a Christian’s life from that of a non-Christian is the struggle against sin and the ability to overcome it. A true Christian will always repent, will always eventually return to God, and will always resume the struggle against sin. But the Bible gives no support for the idea that a person who perpetually and unrepentantly engages in sin can indeed be a Christian. (ED: SEE DISCUSSION OF FALSE DOCTRINE OF SO-CALLED CARNAL CHRISTIAN) The 1 Corinthians passage lists sins that, if indulged in continuously, identify a person as not being redeemed by Christ.

The Christian’s response to sin is to hate it, repent of it, and forsake it. We still struggle with sin, but by the power of the Holy Spirit Who lives in us, we are able to resist and overcome sin (Ro 8:13+) The hallmark of a true Christian is the decreasing presence of sin in his life. As Christians grow and mature in the faith, sin has less and less of a hold on us. Of course, sinless perfection is impossible in this life (1 Jn 1:8+), but our hatred for sin becomes greater as we mature. Like Paul, we are distressed that sin still exists in our flesh, causing us at times to do what we don’t want to do and looking to Christ for relief from this “body of death” (Romans 7:18-25+).

If a person actively, perpetually, and unrepentantly lives a homosexual lifestyle, the lifestyle of a thief, a greedy lifestyle, a drunken lifestyle, etc., that person is showing himself to be unsaved, and such a person will definitely not inherit the kingdom of God. GotQuestions.org

1 Corinthians 6:10  nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Amplified - Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.

Wuest's Paraphrase -nor thieves, nor those who are always greedy to have more than they possess, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit God’s kingdom. 

BGT  1 Corinthians 6:10 οὔτε κλέπται οὔτε πλεονέκται, οὐ μέθυσοι, οὐ λοίδοροι, οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν.

NET  1 Corinthians 6:10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people-- none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:10 οὔτε κλέπται οὔτε πλεονέκται, οὐ μέθυσοι, οὐ λοίδοροι, οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν.

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, the reign of God shall inherit.

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:10 no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God's kingdom.

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers-- none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:10 thieves, misers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:10 or thieves, those who are greedy or drunk, who use abusive language, or who rob people will not inherit the kingdom of God.

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:10 Or is a thief, or the worse for drink, or makes use of strong language, or takes by force what is not his, will have any part in the kingdom of God.

  • nor thieves,,: Ps 50:17,18 Isa 1:23 Jer 7:11 Eze 22:13,27,29 Mt 21:19 Mt 23:14,33  Joh 12:6 Eph 4:28 1Th 4:6 1Pe 4:15 
  • nor the covetous,: 1Co 5:11 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries


"KINGDOM OF GOD" PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
FROM BIBLE.ORG

LIST OF SINS THAT KEEP
ONE OUT OF THE KINGDOM

Ryrie draws an important general conclusion on this list of sordid sins - People whose lifestyles exhibit wickedness, not fruit, show they are unsaved and will, therefore, not inherit the kingdom of God. 

MacArthur - The point is that in unbelievers there is an unbroken pattern of sinning that cannot be restrained. In believers that unbroken pattern is broken, the frequency and totality of sin is changed. Righteousness and goodness find a place and the life manifests virtue. Because of our humanness, however, sin will sometimes break the pattern of righteousness. If persisted in, it establishes a sinful pattern, interrupting the manifestations of holiness coming from the new nature. That is why there are so many commands and calls to obedience and to church discipline. The believer will never become totally sinful, but may be sinful enough at certain points in his life to be characterized as an unbeliever.

Nor thieves - Barclay says that "The ancient world was cursed with them. Houses were easy to break into. The robbers particularly haunted two places—the public baths and the public gymnasia where they stole the clothes of those who were washing or exercising themselves. It was common to kidnap slaves who had special gifts. The state of the law shows how serious this problem was. There were three kinds of theft punishable by death: (i) Theft to the value of more than 50 drachmae, that is, about £2. (ii) Theft from the baths, the gymnasia and the ports and harbours to the value of 10 drachmae, that is about 40 pence. (iii) Theft of anything by night. The Christian lived in the middle of a pilfering population."

Thieves (2812)(kleptes from  klepto = steal; kleptomaniac) is a stealer or thief who acts with stealth or subterfuge. The kleptes steals by fraud and in secret (Mt 24:43; Jn 12:6) whereas the robber or lestes steals by violence and openly. The NT uses kleptes in a figurative sense to describe the false teachers and deceivers who "steal" men away from the truth. In the present context kleptes is used as a figure of speech ("like a thief" - see term of comparison = simile) to describe the sudden and unexpected appearance of the Day of the Lord.

Nor the covetous - This was a component of the "leaven" in 1 Cor 5:10-11+ which was to be removed from the congregation (1 Cor 5:13+). The idea of the word is  rapacious = excessively grasping. The Greeks defined it as “the spirit which is always reaching after more and grabbing that to which it has no right.” It is aggressive getting. It is not the miser’s spirit, for it aimed to get in order to spend, so that it could live in more luxury and greater pleasure; and it cared not over whom it took advantage so long as it could get. 

Covetous (4123pleonektes from pleonekteo = to be covetous in turn from pleíon = more + écho = have) describes one who is "grasping", one who wants more, one who is always eager for more and especially for what belongs to someone else. Greedy for gain. One who desires to have more than is due. The Greeks defined pleonektes as “the spirit which is always reaching after more and grabbing that to which it has no right.” It is aggressive getting. It is not the miser’s spirit, for it aimed to get in order to spend, so that it could live in more luxury and greater pleasure and it cared not over whom it took advantage so long as it could get.  Morris writes that here is "Another surprising revelation is that a "covetous man" is equivalent to an "idolater." In fact, "Thou shalt not covet" is the last of God's ten commandments (Ex 20:17), whereas the first two are commands against idolatry (Ex 20:3, 4, 5). Covetousness, in God's sight, is equivalent to the worship of the creation rather than the Creator (Ro 1:25-note), the same as the worship of other aspects of nature as personified in various gods and goddesses. The god of money and material things is mammon, and Jesus stressed that "ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Mt 6:24-note). (Defenders Study Bible)

There are only 4 uses in the NT -

1 Corinthians 5:10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler-- not even to eat with such a one.

1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5:5+ For this you know with certainty (PAUL IS NOT VACILLATING!), that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, (HE IS SPEAKING OF THOSE WHO MAKE THIS THEIR LIFESTYLE) has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Related ResourceCovetousness - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

Nor drunkards Barclay says "The word used comes from a word (methos) which signifies uncontrolled drinking. Even little children in ancient Greece drank wine; the name for breakfast is akratisma and it consisted of bread dipped in wine. The universality of wine drinking was of course due to the inadequate water-supplies. But normally the Greeks were sober people, for their drink was three parts of wine mixed with two of water. But in luxury-loving Corinth uncontrolled drunkenness abounded."

Drunkard (3183)(methusos) drunkard (used of both men and women); drunken, intoxicated: 

Only 2x in NT 1 Co. 5:11; 1 Co. 6:10

Nor revilers Revilers are those who destroy with their tongues; they wound with words. God does not consider their sin to be mild, because it comes from hearts full of hate and causes misery, pain, and despair in the lives of those it attacks.

Revilers  (3183)(loidoros - see verb loidoreo) as one who intentionally abuses another with speech - reviler, slanderer, abusive person. TDNT -  This common word group has the secular sense of reproach, insult, calumny, and even blasphemy. In the LXX it carries the nuance of wrangling, angry remonstrance, or chiding as well as the more usual calumny. Philo has it for mockery or invective. In the NT the verb occurs four times and the noun and adjective twice each. "It means to go behind somebody’s back with a rumor or a lie and tear down their reputation to somebody else." (Barber)

Only 3x in NT 1 Co. 5:11; 1 Co. 6:10

Nor swindlers - Swindlers are thieves who steal indirectly. They take unfair advantage of others to promote their own financial gain. Extortioners, embezzlers, confidence men, promoters of defective merchandise and services, false advertisers, and many other types of swindlers are as common to our day as to Paul’s.

Swindlers (727) harpax from harpazo - to seize, catch away, word for the "rapture") means grasping, violently greedy, robber, swindler. One who uses force and violence in stealing. In some contexts it means ravenous (Mt 7:15+, Lxx Gen 49:27). Swindlers were prohibited in the 10 Commandments (Ex 20:15) Robbers did this to people and so did the tax collectors, but the Pharisees did this, too. They would pressure those who were weak or widows to surrender their possessions through ruthless, scheming tactics (see Mt 23:14). "The word “swindler” means to seize. It’s one who secretly steals from another. The word picture is of a wolf that preys upon other animals. That’s the kind of mind-set. Somebody always preying on somebody to see if he can get a buck out of them or to swindle them in some way."(Wayne Barber) 

Harpax - ravenous(1), swindler(1), swindlers(3) -  Matt. 7:15; Lk. 18:11; 1 Co. 5:10; 1 Co. 5:11; 1 Co. 6:10

Will inherit the kingdom of God - The Kingdom of God implies a King and His Name is Jesus (Rev 19:16+) and in all who placed their faith in Him, He is to reign over their lives (May our daily prayer be Lord reign in me. Amen), their will being surrendered to and encompassed by His will, which is good and acceptable and perfect (Ro 12:2+). So Paul again repeats this phrase for emphasis enclosing his vice list in "bookends." Then he goes to the next shelf of the "divine library" and explains the victory in Christ over the vice list! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus our Savior forever! Amen. 

A T Robertson: "All these will fall short of the kingdom of God. This was plain talk to a city like Corinth. It is needed today. It is a solemn roll call of the damned even if some of their names are on the church roll in Corinth whether officers or ordinary members."

Will inherit (2816)(kleronomeo from kleros = First a pebble, piece of wood used in casting lots as in Acts 1:26+ then the allotted portion or inheritance, and so a lot, heritage, inheritance + nemomai = to possess; see Kleronomos) means to receive a lot or share of an inheritance, inherit a portion of property or receive a possession as gift from someone who has died. Kleronomeo means "to receive the portion assigned to one, receive an allotted portion, receive as one's own or as a possession; to become partaker of, to obtain" (Thayer) Paul later writes "Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable." (1 Co. 15:50) Noah Webster 1828 ed on Inherit - To take by descent from an ancestor; to take by succession, as the representative of the former possessor; to receive, as a right or title descendible by law from an ancestor at his decease. To receive by nature from a progenitor. To possess; to enjoy; to take as a possession, by gift or divine appropriation; as, to inherit everlasting life; to inherit the promises. 

In the NT kleronomeo is used to describe inheriting -- "the earth" (for those who are gentle, i.e., believers) (Mt 5:5), "many times more" (than a believer has given up in this present life) (Mt 19:29), "the Kingdom" (of God - referring to believing Gentiles who aid Jews) (Mt 25:34), "eternal life" (Mk 10:17, Lk 10:25, 18:18), "the kingdom of God" (not given to the unrighteous - 1Co 6:9, 10, cp Gal 5:21 = those who practice unrighteous behavior; Not to "flesh and blood" 1Co 15:50), "a more excellent name" (of Jesus better than angels, Heb 1:4), "salvation" (speaking of believers who have angelic assistance in this life, Heb 1:14), "the promises" (which include the promises of salvation = He 6:12), "the blessing" (which was Esau's "lot", one he traded for food, He 12:17), "a blessing" (the lot of believers 1Pe 3:9), the things of heaven and eternity in the presence of God (Rev 21:7).

Kleronomeo - 17v in NT - Matt. 5:5; Matt. 19:29; Matt. 25:34; Mk. 10:17; Lk. 10:25; Lk. 18:18; 1 Co. 6:9; 1 Co. 6:10; 1 Co. 15:50; Gal. 4:30; Gal. 5:21; Heb. 1:4; Heb. 1:14; Heb. 6:12; Heb. 12:17; 1 Pet. 3:9; Rev. 21:7

1 Corinthians 6:11  Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Amplified - And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.

Wuest's Paraphrase - And these things you were, certain ones of you. But you bathed yourselves clean [from sin in the fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins], but you were set apart for God, but you were made righteous in the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

NET  1 Corinthians 6:11 Some of you once lived this way. 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.

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you. 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.

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:11 And that is what some of you were. 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.

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:11 καὶ ταῦτά τινες ἦτε· ἀλλὰ ἀπελούσασθε, ἀλλὰ ἡγιάσθητε, ἀλλὰ ἐδικαιώθητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ ἐν τῷ πνεύματι τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν.

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:11 And certain of you were these! but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were declared righteous, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God.

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:11 And some of you used to be like this. 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.

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:11 And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:11 That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:11 Some of you used to be of that kind: but you have been washed clean, you have been sanctified, and you have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of our God.

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:11 That's what some of you were! But you have been washed and made holy, and you have received God's approval in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you; but you have been washed, you have been made holy, you have been given righteousness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

  • Such were some of you: 1Co 12:2 Ro 6:17-19 Eph 2:1-3 4:17-22 5:8 Col 3:5-7 Tit 3:3-6 1Pe 4:2,3 
  • but you were washed: Ps 51:2,7 Pr 30:12 Isa 1:16 Jer 4:14 Eze 36:25 Joh 13:10 Ac 22:16 Eph 5:26 Tit 3:5 Heb 10:22 1Pe 3:21 Rev 1:5 7:14 
  • you were sanctified 1Co 1:2,30 Ac 26:18 Ga 5:22,23 2Th 2:13 Heb 2:11 1Pe 1:2,22 
  • you were justified: Isa 45:25 53:11 Lu 18:14 Ac 13:39 Ro 3:24,26-30 4:5 5:1,9 Ro 8:30,33 Ga 2:16 3:8,11,24 Tit 3:7 Jas 2:21-26
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries 

THE DIVINE
"BEFORE/AFTER"

Such were some of you - And such were some of you reading (and this one who is writing)! Utterly dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1+), having no hope (Eph 2:12+), and otherwise ultimately destined for wrath (had we not received the good news - 1 Th 5:9+).  

Morris - Any man or woman, no matter how wicked, can be saved and transformed through faith in Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 list several flagrant sins from which Christ can set converts free.

But: Paul uses but (alla, the strongest Greek adversative particle) three times to indicate the contrast of the Christian life with the worldly life he has just been describing. We were made new in "triplicate!" Glory! Hallelujah!

As discussed below were washed, were sanctified, were justified are all in historical aorist tense pointing to a past completed even when they heard and accepted the Gospel of salvation and were deliver from danger and enslavement to sexual sins and made into new creatures in Christ. The implication is that because of all that God had done for them, they had an obligation to God to use their bodies for His service and His glory. And in context not to take each other to court (but he quickly moves to the body and immorality in 1 Cor 6:12-20). They were different now and should show it.

You were washed - The historical aorist tense indicates this was a past tense, completed supernatural event. While the middle voice could be translated "you washed yourself", the context indicates that this was a supernatural "bath" and thus the only way it could have transpired would have been by grace through faith and the supernatural work of the Holy Word and the Holy Spirit. Some have referred to it as the permissive middle or middle with a passive meaning since the word in the NT only occurs in middle voice. And so it conveys the sense of the passive voice it would be synonymous with the so-called divine passive. God carried out this action of washing from their moral pollution and made them "white as snow." (Isaiah 1:18+)

Paul alludes to washing in Titus 3 writing 

Titus 3:5-7+  He saved (sozo) us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration (paliggenesia) and renewing (anakainosis) by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified (dikaioo) by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Hodge: "They had put off the old nature and put on the new. Their sins, considered as filth, had been washed away; considered as pollution, they had been purged or purified; considered as guilt, they had been covered with the righteousness of Christ (Ro 1:17+, cf 1 Cor 1:30+)"

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

 Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my cleansing this I see—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
For my pardon this my plea—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Nothing can my sin erase
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Naught of works, ’tis all of grace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

This is all my hope and peace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my righteousness—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

John MacArthur favors washed signifies regeneration - "Refers to new life, through spiritual cleansing and regeneration (cf. Jn 3:3-8; 2Co 5:17; Ep 2:10; Titus 3:5+)"

Nelson's Study Bible agrees "Washed means spiritually cleansed by God"

William MacDonald "They had been washed from their sin and impurity through the precious blood of Christ, and they were being continually washed from defilement through the word of God." 

Ryrie on washed =  regenerated (Titus 3:5+).Personal salvation is not achieved through good deeds but through the cleansing of the new birth. renewing by the Holy Spirit means either the initial act of conversion or, possibly, continual renewing by the Spirit throughout the life of the believer. In any case, salvation is God's gracious work, not a reward for man's worthwhile acts. 

Hodge: To “wash” means to purify and is frequently used in Scripture to express moral or spiritual purification: “Wash and make yourselves clean” (Isaiah 1:16); “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7); “Wash the evil from your heart and be saved” (Jeremiah 4:14). In these and many other passages the word expresses general purification, without exclusive reference to guilt or to pollution. There is no reason why it should not be taken in this general sense here, and the phrase may be translated either “You have purified yourselves” or “You are purified.” The reference that so many assume to be to baptism does not seem to be authorized by anything in the context."

Were washed (628)(apolouo from apo = away from +  louo = to wash, literally to bathe, figuratively - spiritual cleansing - Jn 13:10) literally is to wash away as dirt, but only figuratively in the NT means to be or to become forgiven (by God) which is pictured as having one's sins washed away. It means to to wash thoroughly, the preposition "apo--" in the compound points to the complete washing away and the aorist tense refers to a decisive action. (Related - Is baptismal regeneration sound doctrine or false teaching? | GotQuestions.org)

Apolouo - 2x in NT - 1 Co. 6:11 Acts 22:16+ = "Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name." The idea here would be to now live as one whose sins have been washed away by the cleansing blood of Jesus. See Gerald Cowen's excellent comment on that passage which unfortunately is used to support the false belief that the literal act of water baptism has supernatural salvific effect.

But you were sanctified -  Note the historical aorist tense indicates this was a past tense, completed supernatural event and in the passive voice is the so-called divine passive. God carried out this action of setting them apart from the profane and unto the holy when they (we) believed. They were consecrated (dedicated to a specific given goal or purpose!), set apart to do God’s special service (each saint being a "minister" or diakonos and each saint having at least one spiritual gift, cf 1 Pe 4:10-11+) In such an exalted position, it seems incredible that such people would find it necessary to go before an inferior human law courts to arbitrate their disputes.  In Scripture, anything is said to be sanctified that is devoted to God’s service. Thus, God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it (Ge 2:3KJV). Moses sanctified the people (Ex 19:14KJV+).

In his opening words, Paul had reminded the saints in Corinth of their privileged position in Christ writing

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified (hagiazo in the perfect tense = set apart in past and now their continuing state) in Christ Jesus, saints (hagios by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: (1 Corinthians 1:2+)

Ryrie notes that sanctified means "set apart for God's use. There are three aspects to sanctification: (1) positional sanctification, possessed by every believer from the moment of his conversion (his perfect standing in holiness, Acts 20:32+; 1 Cor. 1:2+); (2) progressive sanctification, the daily growth in grace, becoming in practice more and more set apart for God's use (John 17:17, 2 Cor 3:18+, 1 Cor 1:18+); and (3) ultimate sanctification, (ED: AKA GLORIFICATION) attained only when we are fully and completely set apart to God in heaven (1 Th 5:23). . (See also the Three Tenses of Salvation)

Were sanctified (37hagiazo from hagios = holy, set apart) means to set apart for God, to consecrate, to sanctify, to make a person or thing (in the OT altars, days, priests, etc were set apart) the opposite of koinos, which means profane or common. Wuest writes that hagiazo does not mean "merely “to set apart,” but in the case of the pagan word, “to set apart for the gods,” and in the case of the Christian word “to set apart for God.” The worshipper of the pagan god acquired the character of that pagan god and the religious ceremonies connected with its worship. The Greek temple at Corinth housed a large number of harlots who were connected with the worship of the Greek god. Thus, the set-apartness of the Greek worshipper was in character licentious, totally depraved, and sinful. The believer in the Lord Jesus is set apart for God by the Holy Spirit, out of the First Adam with the latter’s sin and condemnation, into the Last Adam with the latter’s righteousness and life (cf 1Cor 15:22,45). Thus, the worshipper of the God of the Bible partakes of the character of the God for Whom he is set apart (ED: cf 2 Pe 1:4+ = "partakers of the divine nature"). This is positional sanctification, an act of God performed at the moment a sinner puts his faith in the Lord Jesus (1Cor 1:2+)."

Hagiazo in the NT 25v - Matt. 6:9; Matt. 23:17; Matt. 23:19; Lk. 11:2; Jn. 10:36; Jn. 17:17; Jn. 17:19; Acts 20:32; Acts 26:18; Rom. 15:16; 1 Co. 1:2; 1 Co. 6:11; 1 Co. 7:14; Eph. 5:26; 1 Thess. 5:23; 1 Tim. 4:5; 2 Tim. 2:21; Heb. 2:11; Heb. 9:13; Heb. 10:10; Heb. 10:14; Heb. 10:29; Heb. 13:12; 1 Pet. 3:15; Rev. 22:11

But you were justified - Note the historical aorist tense indicates this was a past tense, completed supernatural event and in the passive voice is the so-called divine passive. God carried out this action of justification when they (we) believed. You were declared righteous, placed into a new right standing before God, in which now and forever clothed in the righteousness of Christ (1Co 1:30+). In His death, the believer’s sins were put on Christ's account and He suffered for them (Isa 53:5-6+), so that His righteousness might reckoned to them. (Ro 3:26+;  Ro 4:22-25+; 2Co 5:21+; Php 3:8-9+; 1 Pe 3:18+). 

Ryrie on justified - To justify was a legal term meaning to secure a favorable verdict, to acquit, to vindicate, to declare righteous (Deut. 25:1). as a gift. I.e., "without a cause" to be found in us (same word is in John 15:25). by His grace. Unmerited favor. It is an act of God (8:33), who takes the initiative and provides the means through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. The sinner who believes in Christ receives God's gift of righteousness (5:17), which then enables God to pronounce him righteous. 

Each of these verbs were washed, were sanctified, were justified refer to the same thing with differing emphases (think of a multifaceted diamond - Paul is just turning it from one side to another and different hues of brilliant light come cascading through the diamond of salvation in Christ), the one stressing the believer’s complete cleansing, the next the believer’s new holy calling, and the final one the believer’s new right standing before a Holy God. Justified stands last, as a fitting climax to the argument about seeking justice before the unjust or unrighteous pagan judges (1 Cor 6:1-8).

Were justified (1344dikaioo from dike = right, expected behavior or conformity, not according to one’s own standard, but according to an imposed standard with prescribed punishment for nonconformity) primarily means to deem to be right. To cause someone to be in a proper or right relation with someone else. Dikaioo describes the act by which a man is brought into a right state of relationship to God. Dikaioo is a legal term having to do with the law and the the courtroom, where it represented the legally binding verdict of the judge. This is the sense in which Paul uses dikaioo in this section in Romans (Ro 3:21-5:11) in which he unfolds the doctrine of justification. ( What is justification? What does it mean to be justified? | GotQuestions.org)

Dikaioo in the Corinthians letters -1 Co. 4:4; 1 Co. 6:11; 

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God - The preposition IN introduces us to the so-called "locative of sphere" (see note). The name of is often another way of saying God or Christ himself. To call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ is to call on God. Similar uses of  Name in the context of salvation in that Name are found in Jn 20:31, John writing “that by believing you may have (eternal, supernatural, abundant, real) life in His Name”; In Acts 10:43+ “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through His Name.” So those Corinthians who had entered the kingdom of God had been reckoned righteous (justified) before God on the basis of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross ast their substitutionary Sacrificial "Lamb" (Jn 1:29+), had been transferred from the kingdom of darkness under the dominion of Satan (Col 1:13+, Acts 26:18+), out of the position "in Adam" and now and forever in Christ Jesus Who is their "righteousness and sanctification, and redemption," (1Co 1:30+). In Galatians we see a "commentary" on in the Spirit of our God (notice the Trinity in this passage), Paul writing "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE” (THAT IS, "in the Name of the Lord Jesus  Christ")– in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (THAT IS "in the Spirit of our God.") (Gal 3:13-14+). Notice God is OUR GOD. By a supernatural act of amazing grace, we now can call God our own "Possession." That is mind boggling (or should be). The Spirit is the gracious Gift of both the Father and the Son  (see John 14:26, 15:29). 

What is Paul’s argument here? It is simply this, as expressed by Godet: “Such a fathomless depth of grace is not to be recrossed.” Once a person enters the kingdom of God, they are forever kingdom citizens (cf eternal security). 

1 Corinthians 6:12  All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.

Amplified Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power.

Wuest All [good] things are under my power of choice to be doing, but all things are not profitable. All things are under my power of choice, but I will not be brought under the power of any one of them.

NET  1 Corinthians 6:12 "All things are lawful for me"– but not everything is beneficial. "All things are lawful for me"– but I will not be controlled by anything.

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:12 You say, "I am allowed to do anything"-- but not everything is good for you. And even though "I am allowed to do anything," I must not become a slave to anything.

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:12 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be dominated by anything.

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:12 "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything.

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:12 Πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν ἀλλ᾽ οὐ πάντα συμφέρει. πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἐγὼ ἐξουσιασθήσομαι ὑπό τινος.

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful to me, but all things are not profitable; all things are lawful to me, but I -- I will not be under authority by any;

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful for me; but not all things are expedient. All things are lawful for me; but I will not be brought under the power of any.

ICB  "I am allowed to do all things." But all things are not good for me to do. "I am allowed to do all things." But I must not do those things that will make me their slave.

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:12 "Everything is permissible for me," but not everything is helpful. "Everything is permissible for me," but I will not be brought under the control of anything.

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:12 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are beneficial. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be dominated by anything.

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:12 "Everything is lawful for me," but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is lawful for me," but I will not let myself be dominated by anything.

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:12 'For me everything is permissible'; maybe, but not everything does good. True, for me everything is permissible, but I am determined not to be dominated by anything.

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:12 Someone may say, "I'm allowed to do anything," but not everything is helpful. I'm allowed to do anything, but I won't allow anything to gain control over my life.

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:12 I am free to do all things; but not all things are wise. I am free to do all things; but I will not let myself come under the power of any.

  • All things are lawful: 1Co 10:23 Ro 14:14 
  • not all things are profitable 1Co 8:4,7-13 9:12 10:24-33 Ro 14:15-23 2Th 3:9 
  • but I will not be mastered by anything 1Co 9:27 Ro 7:14 Heb 12:15,16 Jude 1:12 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages: 

Romans 6:14+  For sin shall not be master (kurieuo) over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 

Psalm 19:13+  Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over (Lxx = katakurieuo = become master, gain dominion over) me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. 

1 Corinthians 9:27+  but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Galatians 5:1+  t was for freedom (eleutheria) that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Proverbs 6:26+ (ON HOW UNPROFITABLE SEXUAL IMMORALITY WAS) For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, And an adulteress hunts for the precious life. 

PAUL'S FREEDOM
IN CHRIST

Notice the flow of Paul's letter -- In 1 Cor 6:9 he had just given a list of sins when practiced would keep one out of the kingdom of God and he listed the sexual sins first which gives them prominence, which would be appropriate in a city that had coined the verb "to corinthianize" meaning to live a promiscuous life. This was the "baggage" that probably quite a few of the saints had brought over into their new life in Christ. And so given the Corinthian culture of sexual license, the saints would have been continually tempted to backslide into their old ways of immoral behavior. 

Hodge introduces 1 Cor 6:12-20 entitling it "The abuse that some people had made of the principle, “All things are lawful."

In 1 Cor 6:12-20 Paul proceeded to expose the error in the Corinthian Christians’ rationalization that they were free to sin, because now their sins were covered by God’s grace. They were like those in Jude who were in effect turning the grace of God into licentiousness (Jude 1:4+). They were continuing in sin (simply doing what they had done prior to conversion as Paul described in 1 Co 6:9+) that grace might abound (Ro 6:1+). And even Paul's words in 1 Cor 6:9 that "fornicators...adulterers" would not inherit the Kingdom of God should have been a warning shot over the bow of their boat, so to speak. Some had come out of those practices, but this section indicates that these sins were still a significant problem in the Christian community in Corinth. In fact, one wonders if it is not this fact that many in the church were still trapped in immorality themselves, that they did not condemn the man committing incest with his stepmother. To condemn him would have been hypocritical. 

Charles Hodge adds that "In the preceding paragraph the apostle had declared that the immoral cannot inherit the kingdom of God; he had given special prominence to sins against the seventh commandment. In this paragraph he comes to consider the basis on which the violations of that commandment were defended or palliated. That basis was a gross perversion of the principle of Christian liberty Paul was accustomed to say in reference to the ceremonial or positive enactments of the Jewish law, and especially in reference to the distinction between clean and unclean meats, “All things are permissible for me.” As the Greeks and Romans generally regarded sexual immorality as not immoral in themselves, it is not surprising that some of the Corinthians educated in that belief should retain and act on the principle even after their profession of Christianity. They reasoned from analogy. As it is right to eat all kinds of food that are suitable for the stomach, so it is right to gratify any other natural propensity. Paul has two answers to this argument. First, he shows that the principle of Christian liberty is to be restricted in its application; and, second, there is no analogy between the cases mentioned. Food is something not immoral in itself, whereas sexual immorality is in its own nature a profanation and a crime. (1 Corinthians 6 Commentary)

All things are lawful (allowed, permitted) for me but not all things are profitable - NIV = "Everything is permissible for me" NLT = "You may say, "I am allowed to do anything." Did you notice that the NET, NLT, ESV, NIV, CSB. NRSV all put the phrases "all things are lawful for me" in quotation marks? They did this because these versions all assumed that these were common sayings by the Corinthian saints and Paul was simply quoting them to lay a common ground from which he would make to make his argument against their loose living sexually. Thus All things are lawful may have been used by the saints to justify various sinful behaviors, (and from the context) especially promiscuous sexual behavior. If so, Paul agrees with them by saying as far as it speaks to Christian freedom all things are lawful, but then he adds two significant qualifiers to balance this statement on Christian liberty. Note that when he says all things obviously he is not saying all things without exception, for murder or stealing  would not be lawful. Or as Robertson says "Paul limits the proverb to things not immoral, things not wrong per se." Wuest paraphrases it "All [good] things are under my power of choice to be doing." Also Paul is speaking in context of spiritual things (or physical things which affect the spiritual aspect of man). Some among the Corinthians seem to have been ready to say, 'All things are lawful for me and this justifies my immoral behavior'.

And so the phrase All things are lawful generally speaks of his freedom or liberty in Christ and more specifically in this context the freedom he had in the use of his own body. Beginning in the next verse to the end of this chapter the word body is used 8 times in 6 verses and clearly is a key word in this section. So while agreeing with the basic premise of freedom, Paul gives two qualifying statements regarding things that are lawful in Christ or for a Christian. First he says they should be things that are profitable, things that confer a benefit, things that are useful and to one's advantage. 

NET Note - All things are lawful for me. In the expressions in vv. 12–13 within quotation marks, Paul cites certain slogans the Corinthians apparently used to justify their behavior. Paul agrees with the slogans in part, but corrects them to show how the Corinthians have misused these ideas.

Ryrie on are lawful - Apparently some of the Corinthians were trying to use their Christian freedom to justify their sins. Paul here insists that Christian liberty is limited by two considerations: Is the practice expedient (helpful) and will it enslave? 

Hodge on is it profitable - The first limitation of the principle is expediency. Not all permissible things are expedient. It is both absurd and wicked to do anything that is injurious to ourselves or others simply because it is not sinful in its own nature. The apostle enforces this principle of expediency at length in Romans 14:15–23 and 1 Corinthians 8:7–13 and 10:23–33. 

Arnold - While a Christian does have liberty within the area of questionable practices, the exercise of that liberty may not always be profitable or beneficial.
Even Christian liberty when taken to extremes can be hurtful. The moment the use of our Christian liberty begins to hurt us or someone else, we have fallen off into license, and we are as bad off as the legalist. The key word in Christian liberty is balance. Some things may not be wrong in themselves but it may not be wise for one’s body, social life or spiritual life to practice them. For instance, a Christian is free to eat anything he wants and as much as he wants and whenever he wants, but that freedom may cause great hurt and not be beneficial. If a person has a sickness, it may not be good for him to eat sugar, although he is free to do so. If we are concerned about our health and the use of our bodies for God, then it is not wise to eat whatever and whenever we want. Just because we have Christian liberty does not mean we insist upon using that liberty. Christians willingly and gladly set aside their liberty to have a positive testimony before the unsaved world and to keep a brother or sister in Christ from stumbling. The mature Christian is never thinking about himself only but also about the winning of people to Christ and the spiritual growth of the church.

Lawful (permitted)(1832)(exesti from from ek = out + eimí = to be) is an impersonal verb, signifying "it is permitted, it is lawful" (or interrogatively, "is it lawful?"). Exesti occurs most frequently in the synoptic Gospels and the Acts, especially in Jesus' conflicts with the Pharisees over His actions (and those of His disciples) on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:2; 12:4; 12:10; 12:12, etc). BDAG - 1. to be authorized for the doing of something - it is right, is authorized, is permitted, is proper. 2. to be within the range of possibility, it is possible (Acts 2:29) TDNT on exesti - “It is free,” denoting a. an action that is possible because there is occasion for it or no obstacle to it,  b. an action that is not prevented by a higher norm or court, and c. an action to which there is no psychological or ethical block.  Uses in the Corinthian letters - 1 Co. 6:12; 1 Co. 10:23; 2 Co. 12:4

Profitable (good, advantage, expedient)(4851) sumphero from sún = together + phéro = bring) means literally to bring together (literally - as in Acts 19:19+). Then sumphero means bears together for good and thus worthwhile, to confer a benefit, to be profitable, to be advantageous (Mt. 5:29, 30; Mt 18:6; Mt 19:10; John 11:50; Jn 16:7) or useful. The idea is to bring together for the benefit, profit or advantage of another. And so in Heb 12:10 sumphero describes the dividends of discipline, aka "the profit of punishment!" Paul uses sumphero to describe another advantage of discipline declaring that "when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world. (1Co 11:32+) Sumphero - 15v in NT - Mt. 5:29; Mt. 5:30; Mt. 18:6; Mt. 19:10; Jn. 11:50; Jn. 16:7; Jn. 18:14; Acts 19:19; Acts 20:20; 1 Co. 6:12; 1 Co. 10:23; 1 Co. 12:7; 2 Co. 8:10; 2 Co. 12:1; Heb. 12:10

Alan Redpath - “All things are lawful unto me,” writes Paul, “and there is not a single faculty or appetite of the body which is not for me to use lawfully.” But because we are Christians there are two things we must bear in mind as we exercise our liberty. The first is this: “All things are not expedient.” That word means “bearing together,” “helping together.” Paul is saying, therefore, that he no longer lives to himself; as a Christian he is one of a fellowship, and he can only use the appetites of the body so long as he is not hurting another. He is governed by the effect upon other people, not upon himself. Not only that, says Paul, but “I will not be brought under the power [authority] of any.” If through the unrestrained use of the body he is mastered by these things, then he is denying the right of Jesus Christ to the sovereignty of his life.

All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything - Amplified = "I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power." NET = "I will not be controlled by anything." Paul repeats the statement that alludes to Christian freedom, and gives his second qualification regarding all things. So now he says that the all things should not only be profitable (primarily in a spiritual sense), but also things that do not master him, things that do not make him a slave, that do not exert authority over him. In other words whatever things he chooses should not be such that it brings him under the power of that particular thing. While this could refer to a number of things, in context it clearly refers to illicit sex. If one experiences sex the way God intended it to be used, it is profitable and it does not bring a person into bondage to sexual sin. However, if one flaunts his or her Christian freedom in this area of sexual activity, the experience, while momentarily gratifying, eventually brings untoward consequences that are not beneficial ("euphemism!"), but in fact are detrimental and even destructive, to one's body, one's relationships and one's overall spiritual well-being. Paul implies that sinful sex will master you "hook, line and sinker," like a fish who takes the bait that hides the hook and ends up on as the evening meal. Given the fact that the sex drive in human beings is one of the strongest drives of all, once a person begins to capitulate to the sin of immorality (in manifold forms from mistresses to internet pornography), they will be mastered by this seductive, ensnaring sin (cf Romans 6:14+ Psalm 19:13+) ! 

Christian liberty treated as license
Leads to sin becoming one's lord!

Hodge on not be mastered by anything - The second limitation of our liberty is self-respect. Because it is permissible to eat, that is no reason why I should make myself a slave to my appetite. “I will not be brought under the power of anything,” says Paul. “I will not make myself its slave.” It is of great importance to the moral health of the soul that it should preserve its self-control and not be in subjection to any appetite or desire, however innocent that desire may be in itself. This is a scriptural rule that Christians often violate. They are slaves to certain forms of indulgence, which they defend on the basis that they are not wrong in themselves, forgetting that it is wrong to be in bondage to any appetite or habit.

In qualifying  the phrase all things are lawful with the addendums (so to speak) of profitable and mastered by, Paul was taking dead aim at the sexual immorality in the saints at Corinth who said they could practice it because "all things are lawful." The Corinthians did not understand how harmful immorality was to everyone involved (i.e., it was NOT profitable), and they did not understand how immorality will gains control over those who practice it (i.e, they would BE mastered by it). 

ILLUSTRATION - Sex outside of marriage is like a man robbing a bank who gets money, but it is not his and he will eventually have to pay the consequences for robbing the bank, consequences that are anything but gratifying! Conversely, healthy, normal sexual relations in the covenant of marriage are like putting money into a bank where it will be safe and will earn interest (at least when the interest rates were higher). 

Gilbrant adds this note on lawful - "If the Christian is free to do all things, he is still not free to sin. Limitations to a Christian's liberty are set by consequences and what is right." 

Robertson - Paul is determined not to be a slave to anything harmless in itself. He will maintain his self-control. He gives a wholesome hint to those who talk so much about personal liberty.

Writing to the Galatians Paul declared "For you were called to freedom (eleutheria) , brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity (aphorme - literally starting point or base of operations for an expedition) for the flesh (sinful flesh), but through love serve one another." (Gal 5:13+) This is a description of Christian freedom being abused and is likely a good description of what the saints at Corinth were doing, justifying their immorality by saying they were now no longer under the law and were free in Christ. The problem was they had allowed the truth of their freedom become the "base of operations" for their immoral behavior.

Freedom is not the power to do as you please, but the power to do as you should. 

Arnold - Paul taught liberty in questionable practices, but he also taught the Christian should never allow himself to be a slave to any fleshly appetite. Things that are doubtful are often things which become enslaving. Yet, a Christian is not to be brought under the power of anything. The things which hurt us often have a tendency to be habit forming. They are harmful because they give us a certain degree of pleasure which makes us not mind the hurt so much, but that degree of pleasure is habit forming, either physically or emotionally

THOUGHT - One practical application is that every action having to do with ALL THINGS, is  that we should test the things with at least two questions, (1) Is this THING profitable in the eternal scheme of things? and (2) Will this THING overpower and enslave me and have a detrimental effect on the church and my testimony for Christ? Sin has power and no sin is more enslaving than sexual sin, Solomon writing in the context of warnings against the "strange woman" that "His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin." (Pr 5:22) Jesus said "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits (present tense) sin is the slave of sin." (Jn 8:34) Peter wrote that "by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved." (2 Pe 2:19) Ro6:16, cp Ps 19:13). While SEXUAL SIN 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 (cp esp Samson's sad life Jdg 13-16) and even church discipline (cf. 5:1ff.). SEXUAL SIN controls, so the believer must never allow sin to have that control, but must master it in the Lord’s strength (1 Cor 9:27, Ro 8:13, Php 2:12,13). 

Mastered (1850exousiazo from exousia = the right and the might) means to exercise authority over others. The idea is that one who has the right or power and thus is able to do with something or someone as he sees fit. In 1 Co. 6:12 it refers to Christians giving up their rights. Although "all things are lawful," there are limitations, so that what is possible, is not necessarily best. Only 3 uses in the NT - Lk. 22:25; 1 Co. 6:12; 1 Co. 7:4

Henry Morris - On decisions dealing with doubtful things, see the notes on Romans 14. The principle given here is to steer clear of any involvement with drugs, intoxicating drink, smoking, gambling or any other behavior that might become addictive.

Vincent - There is a play between this word and ἐξουσιασθήσομαι be brought under the power, which can hardly be accurately conveyed to the English reader. The nearest approach to it is: “all things are in my power, but I shall not be brought under the power of any.”


Question - What does it mean that “all things are lawful unto me” (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23)?

Answer: Twice in his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul uses the statement “all things are lawful unto me” (KJV), once in 1 Corinthians 6:12 and again in 1 Corinthians 10:23. In both instances, the apostle is warning the church against misusing Christian liberty. We’ll take a look at both passages in their immediate context.

In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul is finishing up his address of several specific sins the Corinthian believers were tolerating: some church members were taking advantage of each other in court (verses 1–8), and others were practicing immorality (verses 12–20). In this context, the apostle says, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (verse 12, KJV). In this verse, Paul seems to be anticipating an argument from those who justified their sin in the name of “Christian liberty.” His point is that liberty has limitations. He moves right into proofs that sexual immorality is at odds with the Christian life, and no amount of “Christian liberty” can excuse it.

The NIV translation of 1 Corinthians 6:12 brings out more clearly the idea that Paul is quoting those who objected to his reprimand: “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but I will not be mastered by anything.” It seems that some within the Corinthian church were using “I have the right to do anything” as a mantra, repeating it whenever they were questioned about their behavior. Paul responds to their mantra by adding his own clauses: “but not everything is beneficial” and “but I will not be mastered by anything.” Even if all things were lawful, not everything should be done, and nothing should be allowed to enslave us as a sinful habit.

In 1 Corinthians 10, the issue is eating meats offered to idols. Paul again turns to the mantra of the Corinthians: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (verse 23, KJV). He then goes on to make the case that eating meat sold in the marketplace is not wrong in itself; however, if eating meat offered to idols caused anyone to stumble, then that activity becomes wrong.

The NIV words 1 Corinthians 10:23 this way: “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive.” So, Christian liberty is limited by at least two considerations: 1) what is the effect of this action upon oneself? and 2) what influence will this action have on “Jews, Greeks or the church of God” as a whole (verse 32)? Our goal must be to seek “the good of others” (verse 24), not just our own good (cf. verse 33).

Christian liberty was a major theme of Paul’s (see Galatians 5:1). So it is quite possible that the Corinthians’ mantra, “All things are lawful unto me,” was originally Paul’s teaching to that church. But the church was ignoring the limitations that love for others and holiness before God place on liberty. The Christian cannot live in sin and, when confronted, shrug and say, “All things are lawful unto me, because Paul said so.” No believer has the right to knowingly cause someone to fall into sin and excuse it with the catchphrase “I have the right to do anything.” Christian liberty ceases to be “Christian” and becomes libertinism when we engage in acts of immorality or fail to truly love one another. GotQuestions.org


Question:  Christian liberty – what does the Bible say?

Answer: Christian liberty is found in the Bible in several concepts. For example, liberty for the Christian can mean that he or she has been freed from the penalty of sin by faith in Jesus Christ (John 8:31-36; Romans 6:23). Also, Christian liberty can refer to being freed from the power of sin in one’s life by daily faith in Jesus Christ as Lord of one’s character and conduct (Romans 6:5-6, 14). In addition, Christian liberty can mean that Christians are freed from the Jewish Law of Moses in that the Law only "exposes" sin in one’s life but cannot "forgive" sin (Romans 3:20-22).

Finally, Christian liberty can mean that Christians are freed in respect to such activity that is not expressly forbidden in the Bible. Therefore one can feel free to engage in such activity as long as it doesn’t "stumble" or "offend" another Christian (Romans 14:12-16). Most of these activities revolve around social "dos" and "don’ts, such as whether or not to wear certain kinds of clothes, make-up, jewelry, tattoos, piercings, and/or practicing certain things, such as smoking, social drinking, recreational gambling, dancing, or viewing movies or videos. As the passage in Romans 14 says, these things may not be strictly prohibited by God’s Word, but they can be bad for one’s spiritual growth or Christian testimony and can cause other Christians to stumble.

Furthermore, Christians who tend to vigorously promote such liberties can sometimes fall into a loose lifestyle of undisciplined living, while, on the other hand, Christians who tend to vigorously limit such liberties can sometimes fall into a legalistic lifestyle of being defined by what they are "against." So, it is wise to seek God in prayer and His Word to determine whether or not a particular activity is actually forbidden in Scripture. If it is, it should be avoided. If it is not forbidden, then we should seek to determine how the activity reflects on our reputation as Christians and whether it will help us or hinder us in representing Jesus to unbelievers around us, whether it edifies them or not.

The ultimate goal for the Christian should be to glorify God, edify fellow believers, and have a good reputation before unbelievers (Psalm 19:14; Romans 15:1-2; 1 Peter 2:11-12). "For you brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another" (Galatians 5:13).GotQuestions.org

1 Corinthians 6:13  Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.

Amplified - Food [is intended] for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will finally end [the functions of] both and bring them to nothing. The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but [is intended] for the Lord, and the Lord [is intended] for the body to save, sanctify, and raise it again].

Wuest - The various kinds of food are for the stomach, and the stomach is for these various kinds of food. But God will abolish both it and them. But the body is not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. 

NET  1 Corinthians 6:13 "Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both." The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:13 You say, "Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food." (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can't say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies.

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:13 "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food"-- and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:13 "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"--but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:13 τὰ βρώματα τῇ κοιλίᾳ καὶ ἡ κοιλία τοῖς βρώμασιν, ὁ δὲ θεὸς καὶ ταύτην καὶ ταῦτα καταργήσει. τὸ δὲ σῶμα οὐ τῇ πορνείᾳ ἀλλὰ τῷ κυρίῳ, καὶ ὁ κύριος τῷ σώματι·

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:13 the meats are for the belly, and the belly for the meats. And God both this and these shall make useless; and the body is not for whoredom, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body;

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall bring to nought both it and them. But the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body:

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:13 "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food," but God will do away with both of them. The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:13 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:13 "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food," and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:13 "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food," but God will do away with both the one and the other. The body, however, is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body;

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:13 Foods are for the stomach, and the stomach is for foods; and God will destroy them both. But the body is not for sexual immorality;

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:13 Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food, but God will put an end to both of them. However, the body is not for sexual sin but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will put an end to them together. But the body is not for the desires of the flesh, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body:

  • Food is for the stomach: Mt 15:17,20 Mk 7:19 Ro 14:17 
  • but God will do away with both of them: 1Co 10:3-5 Joh 6:27,49 Col 2:22,23 
  • but for the Lord,: 1Co 6:15,19 3:16 Ro 6:12 7:4 12:1 14:7-9 2Co 5:15 11:2 Eph 5:23 1Th 4:3-7 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

SEGUE TO SINS
OF THE BODY

The second saying the Corinthian used to support their immorality was, “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats”. In other words 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 normal desires, given by God at Creation, does not mean that we must give in to them and satisfy them in ungodly ways. Sex outside of marriage is destructive, while sex within marriage is beautiful. 

NET Note - There is debate as to the extent of the Corinthian slogan which Paul quotes here. Some argue that the slogan is only the first sentence—“Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food”—with the second statement forming Paul’s rejoinder, while others argue that the slogan contains both sentences (as in the translation above). The argument which favors the latter is the tight conceptual and grammatical parallelism which occurs if Paul’s response begins with “The body is not for sexual immorality” and then continues through the end of v. 14. For discussion and diagrams of this structure, see G. D. Fee, First Corinthians (NICNT), 253–57.

Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them - NLT = You say, "Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food." This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them." When will God do away with both of them? When our body is glorified, when we are like Christ our Lord (1 Jn 3:2+). John goes on to add this future hope ("hope sure" NOT "hope so"!) should motivate us in the present life, for "everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." (1 Jn 3:3+). 

Robertson says this is "Another proverb about the adaptation of the belly (κοιλια [koilia]) and food (βρωματα [brōmata], not just flesh), which had apparently been used by some in Corinth to justify sexual license (fornication and adultery). These Gentiles mixed up matters not alike at all (questions of food and sensuality)"

Dave Roper - "Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food"--another contemporary saying in Corinth. They were saying that nature demands satisfaction. If you're hungry, you go buy a hamburger. That is a perfectly legitimate position. But you cannot infer from it that because you have a sexual drive you must immediately fulfill it. Because both food and the stomach are temporary, but the body is not. The body is not for immorality. God has a higher purpose for it. "The body is for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body." Just as a perfect body was created for Jesus Christ and became an instrument through which he displayed the character of the Father, so a body is given to us to be used not as a plaything, not as an object for self-gratification, but as an eternal instrument through which we can declare the glory of Jesus Christ.

Hodge on food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food - The one is evidently designed for the other. It is a legitimate inference from this that it is permissible to eat, and to eat everything suitable for food. But this is a mere temporary arrangement.

Redpath of food is for the stomach  - We need food for our physical appetite, but a day is coming when God is going to destroy both. That does not mean the body will be destroyed. That will mark the end of its physical desires and physical limitations, the end of its demand for physical satisfaction. 

Hodge on God will do away with both of them - The time will come when people will no longer be sustained by food but will be like the angels of God (Mk 12:25+). The fact that the body’s present constitution is temporary is a proof that foods belong to the category of things that are not important in themselves. They can have no influence on the eternal destiny of the body. This is not true with regard to sexual immorality. The body was never designed for promiscuous living. Such a use of it is inconsistent with the design of its creation and with its future destiny.

Arnold - This apparently was another expression of the Corinthians and it sounded very impressive. The argument was the stomach is designed for food, and it is perfectly natural and right to satisfy one’s need for food whenever it arises. Eating is a natural function, and the Corinthians concluded one body function is much like another. Fulfilling the sexual desire is as natural as eating a steak because nature demands satisfaction.

Ryrie on food - Some were saying that just as food and the stomach necessarily go together, so the body and sexual indulgence go together. Not so, says Paul. Rather, the body should always glorify the Lord. 

Do away with (2673)(katargeo from kata = intensifies meaning + argeo = to be idle or inactive from argos = ineffective, idle, inactive from a = without + érgon = work) literally means to reduce to inactivity. The idea is to make the power or force of something ineffective and so to render powerless, reduce to inactivity. To do away with. To put out of use. To cause to be idle or useless. To render entirely idle, inoperative or ineffective. Cause something to come to an end or cause it to cease to happen. To abolish or cause not to function. To free or release from an earlier obligation or relationship. To no longer take place.

Uses of katargeo in the Corinthians letters - 1 Co. 1:28 = "so that He may nullify the things that are"; 1 Co. 2:6 = "this age, who are passing away"; 1 Co. 6:13; 1 Co. 13:8; 1 Co. 13:10; 1 Co. 13:11; 1 Co. 15:24; 1 Co. 15:26; 2 Co. 3:7; 2 Co. 3:11; 2 Co. 3:13; 2 Co. 3:14;

Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord - Amplified - "The body is not intended for sexual immorality, but [is intended] for the Lord." Body (soma) is clearly a key word in this last section (1 Cor 6:12-20) occurring 8x in 6 verses. This emphasis on the body is of course because the saints in Corinth were misusing their bodies for "unlicensed" gratification by committing acts of immorality. Their (our) body is not to be used for sinful purposes but for the Owner, the Lord Jesus Christ (for the Lord). As the Westminster Shorter Catechism in answering question #1 says "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever." And so the chief end of our body now in this short life is to glorify God, not gratify self! 

MacArthur says for the Lord means "The body is to be the instrument of the Lord, for His use and glory." 

Robertson - Paul here boldly shows the fallacy in the parallel about appetite of the belly for food. The human body has a higher mission than the mere gratification of sensual appetite. Sex is of God for the propagation of the race, not for prostitution. Paul had already stated that God dwells in us as the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16f.). This higher function of the body he here puts forward against the debased Greek philosophy of the time which ignored completely Paul’s idea, “the body for the Lord and the Lord for the body” (dative of personal interest in both cases). “The Lord Jesus and πορνεια [porneia] contested for the bodies of Christian men; loyal to him they must renounce that, yielding to that they renounce him” (Findlay).

Alan Redpath - Now, in what sense is the body for the Lord? It is not only that it is going to be transformed into His likeness, but that we will be held responsible before the judgment seat of Christ, as Paul himself tells us, for the deeds done in this body. That will put discipline and restraint into life. It will mean that certain habits must stop because I am a Christian. Certain practices that the world may consider “the thing to do” are going to have no part in my life, because I am a Christian.

Lord (Master, Owner)(2962kurios from kuros = might or power, related to kuroo = to give authority) primarily means the possessor, owner, master, the supreme one, one who is sovereign and possesses absolute authority, absolute ownership rights and uncontested power. DOES THAT DESCRIBE WHO JESUS IS TO YOU? IT SHOULD BELOVED, FOR YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN BUT HIS! There are 4 uses of kurios in this last section dealing with immorality - 1 Co. 6:11; 1 Co. 6:13; 1 Co. 6:14; 1 Co. 6:17;

Kurios in the Corinthians letters - 1 Co. 1:2; 1 Co. 1:3; 1 Co. 1:7; 1 Co. 1:8; 1 Co. 1:9; 1 Co. 1:10; 1 Co. 1:31; 1 Co. 2:8; 1 Co. 2:16; 1 Co. 3:5; 1 Co. 3:20; 1 Co. 4:4; 1 Co. 4:5; 1 Co. 4:17; 1 Co. 4:19; 1 Co. 5:4; 1 Co. 5:5; 1 Co. 6:11; 1 Co. 6:13; 1 Co. 6:14; 1 Co. 6:17; 1 Co. 7:10; 1 Co. 7:12; 1 Co. 7:17; 1 Co. 7:22; 1 Co. 7:25; 1 Co. 7:32; 1 Co. 7:34; 1 Co. 7:35; 1 Co. 7:39; 1 Co. 8:5; 1 Co. 8:6; 1 Co. 9:1; 1 Co. 9:2; 1 Co. 9:5; 1 Co. 9:14; 1 Co. 10:9; 1 Co. 10:21; 1 Co. 10:22; 1 Co. 10:26; 1 Co. 11:11; 1 Co. 11:23; 1 Co. 11:26; 1 Co. 11:27; 1 Co. 11:32; 1 Co. 12:3; 1 Co. 12:5; 1 Co. 14:21; 1 Co. 14:37; 1 Co. 15:31; 1 Co. 15:57; 1 Co. 15:58; 1 Co. 16:7; 1 Co. 16:10; 1 Co. 16:19; 1 Co. 16:22; 1 Co. 16:23; 2 Co. 1:2; 2 Co. 1:3; 2 Co. 1:14; 2 Co. 2:12; 2 Co. 3:16; 2 Co. 3:17; 2 Co. 3:18; 2 Co. 4:5; 2 Co. 4:14; 2 Co. 5:6; 2 Co. 5:8; 2 Co. 5:11; 2 Co. 6:17; 2 Co. 6:18; 2 Co. 8:5; 2 Co. 8:9; 2 Co. 8:19; 2 Co. 8:21; 2 Co. 10:8; 2 Co. 10:17; 2 Co. 10:18; 2 Co. 11:17; 2 Co. 11:31; 2 Co. 12:1; 2 Co. 12:8; 2 Co. 13:10; 2 Co. 13:14

Body (4983soma is the body as a whole, the instrument of life, whether of man living, e.g., Mt 6:22, or dead, Mt 27:52; or in resurrection, 1Co 15:44. The word soma was used by Homer (about ninth century B.C.) for a dead body (Mt 14:12, 27:59 Mk 15:43, 45 Lk 17:37 He 13:11). But beginning with Hesiod (eighth century B.C.) it came to be employed for living bodies, whether of animals or men (Mt 5:29, 30, 6:22, 23 25, Jn 2:21 Ro 1:24 Ro 8:10 Jas 3:3 1Co 6:18). 

All uses of soma in the Corinthian letters -  1 Co. 5:3; 1 Co. 6:13; 1 Co. 6:15; 1 Co. 6:16; 1 Co. 6:18; 1 Co. 6:19; 1 Co. 6:20; 1 Co. 7:4; 1 Co. 7:34; 1 Co. 9:27; 1 Co. 10:16; 1 Co. 10:17; 1 Co. 11:24; 1 Co. 11:27; 1 Co. 11:29; 1 Co. 12:12; 1 Co. 12:13; 1 Co. 12:14; 1 Co. 12:15; 1 Co. 12:16; 1 Co. 12:17; 1 Co. 12:18; 1 Co. 12:19; 1 Co. 12:20; 1 Co. 12:22; 1 Co. 12:23; 1 Co. 12:24; 1 Co. 12:25; 1 Co. 12:27; 1 Co. 13:3; 1 Co. 15:35; 1 Co. 15:37; 1 Co. 15:38; 1 Co. 15:40; 1 Co. 15:44; 2 Co. 4:10; 2 Co. 5:6; 2 Co. 5:8; 2 Co. 5:10; 2 Co. 10:10; 2 Co. 12:2; 2 Co. 12:3

Immorality (4202porneia from root verb pernao = to sell, porneuo = to play the harlot; pornos = male prostitute) originally referred to any excessive behavior or lack of restraint. Porneia originally was used especially to describe the practice of consorting with prostitutes (porneis = “prostitute”) and eventually came to mean “habitual immorality.” Porneia in the Scripture describes any illicit sexual activity outside of the divine bounds established by marriage and thus includes the ideas of unlawful sexual intercourse, unchastity and fornication (including but not limited to adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and prostitution). As an aside, while porneia refers primarily to sins of the flesh, 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 other areas. Nowhere does Scripture sanction the commitment of any form of extramarital sexual activity, a far cry from our modern American culture! Sex was often linked to pagan religious practices (both male and female prostitutes), with the idolatrous worship of false gods (idolatry and immorality are commonly described together in the Bible). Porneia  gives us our English word pornography.   Porneia is the opposite of the Greek word enkrateia/egkrateia (literally "holding oneself in"), which usually referred to sexual self-control (see Acts 24:25+)

Porneia is found in 24v in NT - fornication(4), fornications(2), immoralities(1), immorality(16), sexual immorality(1), unchastity(1). Matt. 5:32; Matt. 15:19; Matt. 19:9; Mk. 7:21; Jn. 8:41; Acts 15:20; Acts 15:29; Acts 21:25; 1 Co. 5:1; 1 Co. 6:13; 1 Co. 6:18; 1 Co. 7:2; 2 Co. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3; Rev. 2:21; Rev. 9:21; Rev. 14:8; Rev. 17:2; Rev. 17:4; Rev. 18:3; Rev. 19:2

And the Lord is for the body - NLT = "(Bodies) were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies." So our Master, our Owner, our Possessort is not indifferent towards our the bodies but cares about them and "puts a premium on" how we make use of our bodies (which are in fact His bodies!) It is almost like our Lord has given us a stewardship over our bodies, since they are really His possession and as all stewards must do, we will give an account for how we handled His possession, so to speak! He makes the body His temple (6:19). He is "for the body" -- not against it, and not indifferent to it. 

Robertson - Paul here boldly shows the fallacy in the parallel about appetite of the belly for food. The human body has a higher mission than the mere gratification of sensual appetite. Sex is of God for the propagation of the race, not for prostitution. Paul had already stated that God dwells in us as the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit (3:16f.). This higher function of the body he here puts forward against the debased Greek philosophy of the time which ignored completely Paul’s idea, “the body for the Lord and the Lord for the body” (dative of personal interest in both cases). “The Lord Jesus and πορνεια [porneia] contested for the bodies of Christian men; loyal to him they must renounce that, yielding to that they renounce him” (Findlay).

Hodge The body is … for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. The one stands in intimate relationship to the other. The body is designed to be a part of Christ and is the place where his Spirit lives. And Christ regards it as such, redeeming it with his blood, uniting it to himself as a part of his mystical body, making it an instrument of righteousness for holiness. The sin in question is absolutely incompatible with this and destroys the relationship that the body has with the Lord.

Corinthian culture misunderstood and misused sexual freedom, and the result was that they dishonored God in their bodies. But we struggle with the same temptations today. People live wrongly because they believe wrongly.  Read that again. What we believe (really believe), should radically effect our behavior. Truth should transform our thinking and be extension our behaving (Ro 12:1-2+ - note body and mind in these passages). Our 21st century American "Corinthian" culture doesn't have a clue about the eternal truth that there are spiritual principles pertaining to sexuality that apply to all of us, no matter what our age or our marital status. Sadly, just as the "leaven" of the corrupt Corinthian culture had crept into the Corinthian church, the same "unholy leaven" has slowly crept into the evangelical church in America! Let's face it beloved, the Church of Jesus Christ in America is in a precarious state! (I am writing in March, 2021). 

1 Corinthians 6:14  Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.

Amplified - And God both raised the Lord to life and will also raise us up by His power.

Wuest -  And God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up through His power. 

NET  1 Corinthians 6:14 Now God indeed raised the Lord and he will raise us by his power.

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:14 ὁ δὲ θεὸς καὶ τὸν κύριον ἤγειρεν καὶ ἡμᾶς ἐξεγερεῖ διὰ τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ.

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:14 and God both the Lord did raise, and us will raise up through His power.

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:14 and God both raised the Lord, and will raise up as through his power.

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:14 God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:14 God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:14 it is for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. God raised up the Lord and he will raise us up too by his power.

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:14 God raised the Lord, and by his power God will also raise us.

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:14 And God who made the Lord Jesus come back from the dead will do the same for us by his power.

  • Now God: 1Co 15:15-20 Ac 2:24 17:31 Ro 6:4-8 8:11 2Co 4:14 Php 3:10,11 1Th 4:14 
  • will also raise us up through His power.: Joh 5:28,29 6:39,40 11:25,26 Eph 1:19,20 Php 3:20-21

OUR FUTURE
RESURRECTION GLORY

Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power - Why does Paul begin speaking about the resurrection and by implication about our new immortal, imperishable resurrection bodies? The body (soma) in the context of Paul's discussion about sexuality meant more than the physical frame. It referred to the whole person, composed of flesh (the material) and spirit (immaterial; cf. 2 Co 2:13 with 2 Cor 7:5). Paul's point then is that the Bodies of believers and the Lord have an eternal relationship that will never perish.  On the destiny of the body, see also Ro 8:11; 2 Co 4:14; 1 Th 4:14). So in other words the body will never lose its importance. It may decay for a season in the grave, but it will be raised and restored. God gave jesus a resurrection body and God will give us a resurrection body. The resurrection is God's final declaration that He is for the body. 

In Philippians Paul alludes to our future resurrection and the power of the Lord... 

For our citizenship is in heaven (Kingdom of God future), from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory (Our body will be glorified), by the exertion of the power (dunamis) that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Php 3:20-21+)

Redpath on raise us up -  Although this thing (BODY) in which we live may be put in a grave, one day it will be raised and transformed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ. The body is not finished when it is put into a coffin; it is to be brought into the very presence of God. This body is for the Lord, for His use and not for mine. That gives us a new slant on the problem of sex, an attitude peculiarly Christian, rooted in the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the “firstfruits of them that sleep.” It is based on the reality of eternity; we were not created only to live down here. Our body is God’s, and we cannot play fast and loose with it, because it is for His use. We have Christian liberty, but only in consideration of others and in carefulness with regard to the damage we might do. Our liberty is only within the fellowship of God’s people and under the authority of the Lord Jesus. The body is not to be played with; it is for Him.

Power (1411)(dunamis) speaks of Inherent power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, in this context the "nature" is the omnipotence of Christ the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe! Our word “dynamite” is the transliteration of this Greek word but not its translation. Dunamis does not refer to an explosive powder. The Greeks knew nothing about gunpowder. Although in the sense that a stick of dynamite contains the inherent power to effect results it would be a reasonable picture of the Greek word. 

Uses in the Corinthian letters 1 Co. 1:18; 1 Co. 1:24; 1 Co. 2:4; 1 Co. 2:5; 1 Co. 4:19; 1 Co. 4:20; 1 Co. 5:4; 1 Co. 6:14; 1 Co. 12:10; 1 Co. 12:28; 1 Co. 12:29; 1 Co. 14:11; 1 Co. 15:24; 1 Co. 15:43; 1 Co. 15:56; 2 Co. 1:8; 2 Co. 4:7; 2 Co. 6:7; 2 Co. 8:3; 2 Co. 12:9; 2 Co. 12:12; 2 Co. 13:4;

Lord (Master, Owner)(2962) see kurios

1 Corinthians 6:15  Do you not 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!

Amplified - Do you not see and know that your bodies are members (bodily parts) of Christ (the Messiah)? Am I therefore to take the parts of Christ and make [them] parts of a prostitute? Never! Never!

Wuest - Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Having taken then the members of Christ, shall I make them members of a harlot? Let not such a thing take place. 

NET  1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:15 Don't you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:15 οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν μέλη Χριστοῦ ἐστιν; ἄρας οὖν τὰ μέλη τοῦ Χριστοῦ ποιήσω πόρνης μέλη; μὴ γένοιτο.

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:15 Have ye not known that your bodies are members of Christ? having taken, then, the members of the Christ, shall I make them members of an harlot? let it be not!

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are members of Christ? shall I then take away the members of Christ, and make them members of a harlot? God forbid.

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:15 Don't you know that your bodies are a part of Christ's body? So should I take a part of Christ's body and make it part of a prostitute? Absolutely not!

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take Christ's members and make them the members of a prostitute? Of course not!

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not realise that your bodies are members of Christ's body; do you think one can take parts of Christ's body and join them to the body of a prostitute? Out of the question!

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:15 Don't you realize that your bodies are parts of Christ's body? Should I take the parts of Christ's body and make them parts of a prostitute's body? That's unthinkable!

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not see that your bodies are part of the body of Christ? how then may I take what is a part of the body of Christ and make it a part of the body of a loose woman? such a thing may not be.

  • your bodies are members of Christ 1Co 6:19 1 Cor 11:3 1 Cor 12:27 Ro 12:5 Eph 1:22-23 4:12,15,16 Eph 5:23,29-30 Col 2:19 
  • May it never be: Ge 44:17 Lu 20:16 Ro 3:3,4,6,31 6:2,15 7:7,13 Ga 2:17 3:21 Ga 6:14 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

OUR PHYSICAL BODY
MEMBERS OF CHRIST

Do you not know - This is a characteristic phrase used repeatedly by Paul to refer to things the believers should have known, things he had previously taught them, but which they apparently (because of their actions and attitudes) had forgotten or chosen to ignore.

Phrase - Do you not know  Gen. 44:15; Jdg. 15:11; 2 Sam. 2:26; 2 Sam. 3:38; 2 Chr. 13:5; 2 Chr. 32:13; Isa. 40:21; Isa. 40:28; Ezek. 17:12; Zech. 4:5; Zech. 4:13; Jn. 19:10; Rom. 6:3; Rom. 6:16; Rom. 7:1; Rom. 11:2; 1 Co. 3:16; 1 Co. 5:6; 1 Co. 6:2; 1 Co. 6:3; 1 Co. 6:9; 1 Co. 6:15; 1 Co. 6:16; 1 Co. 6:19; 1 Co. 9:13; 1 Co. 9:24; Jas. 4:4

That your bodies are members of Christ? - The important truth in is that our spirituality and our sexuality are mysteriously intertwined. our bodies are members of Christ himself. These three verses describe the mystery of our union with Christ as a result of being in covenant oneness with Him. Jesus alluded to this oneness in Jn 15:4: "Abide in Me, and I in you." Paul described this union with Christ in Col 1:27+, as "Christ in you, the hope of glory." When we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior (Ro 10:9-10+), we are joined in spirit with Jesus. He takes up residence in our mortal body, and whatever we do with our body implicates our resident Lord Jesus. You can see where Paul is going with this line of reasoning. The Corinthians were taking their bodies into the brothels and pagan temples (Aphrodite) and in so doing were taking the Lord Jesus Christ into these polluted places! Perish the thought! 

Vincent - The body is not only for the Lord (1 Cor 6:13), adapted for Him: it is also united with Him. See Eph. 4:16+.

Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?- Our Union with Christ extends to our physical bodies so defling our bodies (with immoral acts) should be unthinkable! Believers’ lives are greatly altered when they are joined to Christ. The union affects both the believer and Christ. When a believer commits immorality, he or she is dragging the union with Christ into the illicit relationship! This should give any reasonable person pause to consider his or her actions. 

The believer’s body is not only for the Lord here and now (v14) but is of the Lord, a part of His body, the church (Eph 1:22, 23). The Christian’s body is a spiritual temple in which the Spirit of Christ lives (1 Cor 12:3; Jn 7:38, 39; 20:22; Acts 1:8; Ro 8:9; 2 Co 6:16); therefore, when a believer commits a sexual sin, it involves Christ with a harlot. 

Vincent - The union of man and woman, whether lawful or unlawful, confers a double personality. Fornication effects this result in an immoral way.

When the Lord brought Adam and Eve together, they entered into a sexual relationship that involved them as both physical beings and spiritual beings. And you can't tear those two things apart. D. S. Bailey describes sexual intercourse as "an act which by reason of its very nature engages and expresses the whole personality in such a way as to constitute a unique mode of self-disclosure and self-commitment." There is no such thing as casual sex or inconsequential sex or recreational sex.
     The horror of deliberately taking “members of Christ” and making them “members of a harlot” in an actual union staggers Paul and should stagger us.  That sexual immorality is incompatible with the relationship of the bodies of believers to Christ arises out of the special nature of that sin. The parties to it share a common life. Whether we can understand this or not, it is the doctrine of the Bible.
    In the matter of prostitutes, the prevailing cultural views (= what was right in their own eyes, cp Jdg21:25) which were brought into the church of God by pagan converts and against which Paul is arguing in this section are capsulated in a statement by a leading Roman politician and philosopher of the first century b.c. Cicero wrote: Mind you, if there is anyone who thinks that young men ought not to visit prostitutes, he is certainly narrow-minded (no doubt about it), and completely out of step with our present liberal thinking. In fact, he has nothing in common with the customs and behaviour of previous generations, who were quite broadminded on the subject.
    As is often the case, the “free love” attitudes found among some in the Roman world involved a double standard. Immoral sex was tolerated much more if committed by men than by women, and of course there were certain societal norms which were suppose to be observed. As is recorded in the works of one Roman author, “Provided you keep away from married women, virgins, young innocents, and children of respectable families, love anyone you want.”  
    To have sexual relations with a prostitute was so common in Corinth that the practice came to be called ''Corinthianizing.'' Many believers had formerly been involved in such immorality, and it was hard for them to break with the old ways and easy to fall back into them. 
    Houses of prostitution were widespread in the Greco-Roman world and were generally looked upon as a social necessity. The venerable Roman leader Cato was supposed to have congratulated a young man he saw departing from a brothel. When your sexual passions are strong, he told the young man, it is better to have sex with a prostitute than another man’s wife.
    Like much of 20th century paganism that affirms that men’s and women’s sexual activity should be based upon personal choice and inalienable rights and that argues that their bodies are their own private property, so also most ancient pagans did not correlate the satisfaction of bodily sexual appetites with a view of divine ownership of their bodies. For the most part neither ancient religions nor ancient philosophies affirmed anything like the Biblical view that the divine creation of mankind (with its sensual appetites) placed mankind’s sexual expressions and activities under divine authority and legislation. The Biblical view simply stated is that mankind is, was, and will always be creation and will never evolve into the status of the Creator. As such, the creations of God are subject to God’s laws and his divine odering of creation. Humans are never wise enough or holy enough to guide their own steps.

May it never be!

These words translate the strongest Gr. negative—”may it never be so.” [Cp Ro3:6,31, 6:2,15, 7:7,13, 9:14, 11:1,11, Lu20:16, Ga2:17, 2:21, 6:14] In context it is clear that Paul is referring to the personal human bodies of believers when he writes that they are members of Christ. Since their personal bodies are connected with Christ, when a Corinthian believer had sexual relationship with a prostitute, he established a union between Christ and the prostitute through the medium of the believer’s body. This sinful situation is never acceptable for a Christian.
    Paul’s declaration that sexual immorality is unacceptable was addressed to those who had a choice about the matter. It must be kept in mind that large numbers of boys and girls and men and women, especially slaves, had little choice about their sexual involvement. The Roman author Seneca the Elder once commented that:
    “Losing sexual purity was a crime if you were a freeborn.” 
    “Losing sexual purity was a necessity if you were a slave.” 
    “Losing sexual purity was a duty if you were a freedman.” 

1 Corinthians 6:16  Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH."

Amplified - Or do you not know and realize that when a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? The two, it is written, shall become one flesh. 

Wuest - Or, do you not know that he who joins himself with his harlot is one body [with her]? For they shall become, He says, these two, one flesh. 

NET  1 Corinthians 6:16 Or do you not know that anyone who is united with a prostitute is one body with her? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:16 And don't you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, "The two are united into one."

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh."

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:16 [ἢ] οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ὁ κολλώμενος τῇ πόρνῃ ἓν σῶμά ἐστιν; Ἔσονται γάρ, φησίν, οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν.

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:16 have ye not known that he who is joined to the harlot is one body? 'for they shall be -- saith He -- the two for one flesh.'

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:16 Or know ye not that he that is joined to a harlot is one body? for, The twain, saith he, shall become one flesh.

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:16 Don't you know that anyone joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For Scripture says, The two will become one flesh.

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh."

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:16 Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, "The two shall be one flesh."

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:16 (Or) do you not know that anyone who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For "the two," it says, "will become one flesh."

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:16 Or do you not realise that anyone who attaches himself to a prostitute is one body with her, since the two, as it is said, become one flesh.

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:16 Don't you realize that the person who unites himself with a prostitute becomes one body with her? God says, "The two will be one."

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:16 Or do you not see that he who is joined to a loose woman is one body with her? for God has said, The two of them will become one flesh.

  • the one who joins himself to a prostitute: Ge 34:31 38:15,24 Jud 16:1 Mt 21:31,32 Heb 11:31 
  • For He says Ge 2:24 Mt 19:5,6 Mk 10:8 Eph 5:31 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

THE PRINCIPLE OF
"ONE FLESH"

Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her The verb joins is used in [Ge2:24] of the relationship of husband and wife. It is also used of man’s relationship to God (Dt10:20; 11:22; Je13:11). See the verb "kollao" used in the LXX of 2Ki18:6 describing Hezekiah who "clung to Jehovah".

How can we be joined to Christ and joined to sin at the same time? Such a horrible thought should cause us to be very careful how we walk, not as unwise but as wise. Sadly some of the Corinthians saw no harm in visiting the temple prostitutes (there were 1,000 of them at the temple of Aphrodite!) and committing fornication. 

Vincent on joins - He that is joined. See on Luke 15:15 (The verb means to glue or cement.). Compare Aeschylus: “The family has been glued (κεκόλληται) to misfortune” (“Agamemnon,” 1543). The verb is used Ge 2:24, Sept., of the relation of husband and wife: shall cleave. In Deut. 10:20; 11:22; Jer. 13:11, of man’s cleaving to God.

Joins (2853)(kollao from kolla = glue) means literally to glue, cement, join or fasten together and thus to unite (someone with or to someone or some thing). To fasten firmly together. Kollao is used to describe joining oneself to a harlot in a sexual union in (1Co 6:16). Kollao - 12v - Mt. 19:5; Lk. 10:11; Lk. 15:15; Acts 5:13; Acts 8:29; Acts 9:26; Acts 10:28; Acts 17:34; Ro 12:9; 1 Co. 6:16; 1 Co. 6:17; Rev. 18:5

Vincent on a prostitute -  Lit., the harlot. The article is significant: his harlot, or that one with whom he is sinning at the time.

For He says, "THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH" - Paul referred to the Creation account (Ge2:24) to explain the seriousness of sexual sin. When a man and woman join their bodies, the entire personality is involved. There is a much deeper experience, a “oneness” that brings with it deep and lasting consequences. Paul warned that sexual sin is the most serious sin a person can commit against his body, for it involves the whole person (1Co6:18). Sex is not just a part of the body. Being “male” and “female” involves the total person. Therefore, sexual experience affects the total personality. 

Paul did not suggest that being joined to a harlot was the equivalent of marriage, for marriage also involves commitment. The man and woman leave the parental home to begin a new home. This helps us to understand why sex within marriage can be an enriching experience of growth, because it is based on commitment. When two people pledge their love and faithfulness to each other, they lay a strong foundation on which to build. Marriage protects sex and enables the couple, committed to each other, to grow in this wonderful experience. Stated another way, adultery creates a union but not a marriage. 

Given the sexual promiscuity that characterized large segments of pagan society, Paul wanted to emphasize that more takes place during sexual intercourse than the mere fulfillment of animal urges and concupiscent impulses. There is a oneness that occurs that has profound implications for the believer’s relationship with the Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:17  But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Amplified - But the person who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.

Wuest - But he who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit [with Him].

NET  1 Corinthians 6:17 But the one united with the Lord is one spirit with him.

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:17 ὁ δὲ κολλώμενος τῷ κυρίῳ ἓν πνεῦμά ἐστιν.

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:17 And he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit;

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:17 But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:17 But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:17 But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:17 But anyone who attaches himself to the Lord is one spirit with him.

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:17 However, the person who unites himself with the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:17 But he who is united to the Lord is one spirit.

COVENANT ONENESS
WITH CHRIST

But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him 

Joins (2853) see kollao

Further strengthening the point, Paul affirms that all sex outside of marriage is sin; but illicit relationships by believers are especially reprehensible because they profane Jesus Christ with Whom believers are ONE (Jn14:18-23; 15:4, 7; 17:20-23; Ro12:5). The oneness with the Lord takes place, however, in the realm of  Spirit. Nevertheless there is a bodily connection with the Lord since the believers’ bodies are now members of Christ (6:15) This argument should make such sin unthinkable.

Lord (Master, Owner)(2962) see kurios

Spirit (breath, wind)(4151)(pneuma from pneo = to breath) - Pneuma originally meant “wind” or “breath” and continued to have these meanings into the New Testament (Jn 3:8; 2 Th 2:8; Rev 11:11; 13:15). Because the breath of an individual was the sign of life, pneuma came to include the meaning of the “spirit” that gives life to the body. 

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.

Amplified - Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed]. Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

Wuest - Be fleeing from fornication. Every act of sin which a man may do is outside of his body, but he who commits fornication is sinning against his own body. 

NET  1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee sexual immorality! "Every sin a person commits is outside of the body"– but the immoral person sins against his own body.

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:18 φεύγετε τὴν πορνείαν. πᾶν ἁμάρτημα ὃ ἐὰν ποιήσῃ ἄνθρωπος ἐκτὸς τοῦ σώματός ἐστιν· ὁ δὲ πορνεύων εἰς τὸ ἴδιον σῶμα ἁμαρτάνει.

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:18 flee the whoredom; every sin -- whatever a man may commit -- is without the body, and he who is committing whoredom, against his own body doth sin.

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:18 Run from sexual immorality! "Every sin a person can commit is outside the body." On the contrary, the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body.

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:18 Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself.

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:18 Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body.

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:18 Keep away from sexual immorality. All other sins that people may commit are done outside the body; but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:18 Stay away from sexual sins. Other sins that people commit don't affect their bodies the same way sexual sins do. People who sin sexually sin against their own bodies.

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:18 Keep away from the desires of the flesh. Every sin which a man does is outside of the body; but he who goes after the desires of the flesh does evil to his body.

  • Flee immorality Ge 39:12-18 Pr 2:16-19 5:3-15 6:24-32 7:5-23,24-27 9:16-18 Ro 6:12,13 2Ti 2:22 Heb 13:4 1Pe 2:11 
  • Every other sin that a man commits: Ro 1:24 1Th 4:5 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

NOTE: THESE ARE ONLY ABBREVIATED COMMENTS - CLICK IN DEPTH COMMENTS ON 1 CORINTHIANS 6:18. 

COMMAND AND REASON 
TO FLEE IMMORALITY

NET Note - 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.

Flee (pheugo) immorality - Amplified - "Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed]." That is a good paraphrase for we not only have to flee literally and physically (like Joseph) but we first have to flee mentally (thoughts precede actions)! Flee is a command (present imperative  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) to continually keep fleeing until the danger is past. When we are in danger of immorality, do not argue or debate or explain, and do not rationalize.

It is no accident that the imperative form of the verb “flee” is used once in 1 Corinthians with immorality and once with idolatry (1 Cor 10:14+) as these two sins characterized the pagan world and from OT times these two sins tended to "traffic together". (cp Nu 25:1-3). Idolatry is equated with greed or covetousness () and immorality is basically coveting someone else's wife or a woman that is not your wife! Do not to consider immorality a spiritual challenge to be met, but a spiritual trap to be escaped. We should get away as fast as we can.

Sexual lusts drive men (and women) 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 (1 Cor 6:16,17), its misuse corrupts one 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.

Joseph fled

(JOSEPH WHEN TEMPTED BY POTIPHAR'S WIFE) 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?”....She (POTIPHAR'S WIFE) caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled (Lxx = pheugo = same verb in 1 Cor 6:18!), and went outside.(Ge 39:9, 12)

Comment - It was not the time for argument or explanation but for flight. When we unavoidably get caught in such a situation, the only sensible thing to do is to get away from it as quickly as we can. Passion is not rational or sensible, and sexually dangerous situations should be avoided  or fled, not debated. (Ro 13:12-14)

Moses made a choice based on his faith in God...

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy ( apolausis) the passing pleasures of sin, (Hebrews 11:24-25+)

Solomon writes 

Keep (Command in Hebrew; ) your way far from her and do not go near the door of her house, (Proverbs 5:8+)

Deliver (Command in Hebrew; Lxx = sozo in present tense - "save yourself" and keep saving yourself!) yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand (Lxx = brochos = a noose = used in hunting for catching prey!) And like a bird from the hand of the fowler. (Proverbs 6:5)

In Colossians Paul writes

Therefore (CONCLUSION BASED ON Col 3:1-4+, especially Col 3:4+consider the members of your earthly body as dead (aorist imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) to immorality (porneia), impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (covetousness - pleonexia = state of desiring to have more than one’s due), which amounts to idolatry (eidololatreia = literally worship of images) (Col 3:5+)

Writing to the saints at Ephesus (most of whom were Gentiles who had come out of pagan idolatry and immorality)

immorality (porneia) or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; (Eph 5:3+)

In his parting words to his young disciple Timothy Paul commanded

Now flee (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) from youthful lusts (epithumia) and pursue ((present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Ti 2:23+)

Flee (escape) (5343)(pheugo) 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+, Mt 3:7, Acts 27:30). To flee in the sense of to avoid, shun (Webster = to avoid deliberately and especially habitually), have nothing to do with (1Co 6:18). To vanish or disappear (Re 16:20+, Re 20:11+). Webster defines flee as to run away often from danger or evil or to hurry toward a place of security. Pheugo is the root of our English word "fugitive" defined as one who escapes from something or someone.

Pheugo - 29v in NT - Mt. 2:13; Mt. 3:7; Mt. 8:33; Mt. 10:23; Mt 23:33; Mt. 24:16; Mt. 26:56; Mk. 5:14; Mk. 13:14; Mk. 14:50; Mk. 14:52; Mk. 16:8; Lk. 3:7; Lk. 8:34; Lk. 21:21; Jn. 10:5; Jn. 10:12; Acts 7:29; Acts 27:30; 1 Co. 6:18; 1 Co. 10:14; 1 Ti 6:11 = "flee (p from these things"; 2 Ti 2:22; Heb. 11:34; Jas. 4:7; Rev. 9:6; Rev. 12:6; Rev. 16:20; Rev. 20:11

Immorality (4202porneia from root verb pernao = to sell, porneuo = to play the harlot; pornos = male prostitute) originally referred to any excessive behavior or lack of restraint. Porneia originally was used especially to describe the practice of consorting with prostitutes (porneis = “prostitute”) and eventually came to mean “habitual immorality.” Porneia in the Scripture describes any illicit sexual activity outside of the divine bounds established by marriage and thus includes the ideas of unlawful sexual intercourse, unchastity and fornication (including but not limited to adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and prostitution). As an aside, while porneia refers primarily to sins of the flesh, 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 other areas. Nowhere does Scripture sanction the commitment of any form of extramarital sexual activity, a far cry from our modern American culture! Sex was often linked to pagan religious practices (both male and female prostitutes cf "priestesses" [aka prostitutes] in Temple of Aphrodite), with the idolatrous worship of false gods (idolatry and immorality are commonly described together in the Bible). Porneia gives us our English word pornography.   Porneia is the opposite of the Greek word enkrateia/egkrateia (literally "holding oneself in"), which usually referred to sexual self-control (see Acts 24:25+)

Porneia is found in 24v in NT - fornication(4), fornications(2), immoralities(1), immorality(16), sexual immorality(1), unchastity(1). Matt. 5:32; Matt. 15:19; Matt. 19:9; Mk. 7:21; Jn. 8:41; Acts 15:20; Acts 15:29; Acts 21:25; 1 Co. 5:1; 1 Co. 6:13; 1 Co. 6:18; 1 Co. 7:2; 2 Co. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3; Rev. 2:21; Rev. 9:21; Rev. 14:8; Rev. 17:2; Rev. 17:4; Rev. 18:3; Rev. 19:2

"Sexual immorality" has a peculiar effect upon the body. The sole purpose of this sin is the gratification of the strong desires (lust) inherent in the flesh (Old Man) and, therefore, it is probably the most selfish of all sins.

J C Ryle: The violation of the seventh commandment is the sin above all others, that, as Hosea says, "takes away the understanding" (Ho4:11). It is the sin that leaves deeper scars upon the soul than any other sin that a man can commit. It is a sin that destroys thousands of young men in every age, and has even overthrown a few of the saints of God in the past. Samson and David are fearful proofs. It is the sin that man dares to smile at, and smooths over using the terms:thrills, love, uncontrollable passions, and natural desires. But it is the sin that the devil rejoices over, for he is the "unclean spirit;" and it is the sin that God abhors, and declares He "will judge" (Heb13:4). Young men, "Flee from sexual immorality" (1Co6:18) if you love life. "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient" (Ep5:6). Flee from the opportunity of it--from the company of those who might draw you into it--from the places where you might be tempted to do it. Read what our Lord says about it in (Mt5:28). Be like the holy servant Job (who feared God & so turned away from evil Job1:1): (Job 31:1). Flee from talking about it. It is one of the things that ought not even be hinted about in conversation. You cannot even touch black grease without getting your hands dirty. Flee from the thoughts of it; resist them, destroy them, pray against them--make any sacrifice rather than give way to them. Imagination is the hotbed where this sin is too often hatched. Guard your thoughts (Pr4:23), and there will be little fear about your actions.

Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body,  Every sin that a man does is outside the body may have been another slogan used by the Corinthians to justify their immorality. Paul pointed out that the opposite is true: sexual sin is done against the body, not outside of it.  Sexual sin is not the worst possible sin, but it is the most unique in its character. It comes from inside the body, it's bent on personal gratification, and it drives us like no other impulse. And when it's fulfilled, it does have 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.

but the immoral man sins against his own body There is a sense in which sexual sin destroys a person like no other, because it is so intimate and entangling, corrupting on the deepest human level. Not to mention venereal disease, prevalent and devastating even in Paul's day. No sin has greater potential to destroy the body. None of the other sins that Paul has mentioned elsewhere in 1 Corinthians (5:11) actually create a bodily union with a prostitute.  To be sure, drunkenness can exclude one from the kingdom of God (6:10) and can cause physical harm to one’s body. Nevertheless, even those sins which can physically harm the body do not, as it were, contaminate the body by a unification with immorality. It is exactly this unique nature and capacity of the body to be both united with Christ and with a prostitute that is illuminated by the Scripture citation of Genesis. 

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

Amplified - Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own,

Wuest - Or do you not know that your body is an inner sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 

NET  1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:19 Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,

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

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:19 ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι τὸ σῶμα ὑμῶν ναὸς τοῦ ἐν ὑμῖν ἁγίου πνεύματός ἐστιν οὗ ἔχετε ἀπὸ θεοῦ, καὶ οὐκ ἐστὲ ἑαυτῶν;

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:19 Have ye not known that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own,

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

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:19 Don't you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

NRS  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?

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you and whom you received from God?

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:19 Don't you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don't belong to yourselves.

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:19 Or are you not conscious that your body is a house for the Holy Spirit which is in you, and which has been given to you by God? and you are not the owners of yourselves;

  • Or do you not know 1Co 6:15,16 
  • your body is a temple 1Co 3:16 2Co 6:16 Eph 2:21,22 1Pe 2:5 
  • you have from God 1Ki 20:4 1Ch 29:14 Ps 12:4 100:3 Ro 14:7-9 2Co 5:15 Tit 2:14 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

NOTE: THESE ARE ABBREVIATED COMMENTS - CLICK IN DEPTH COMMENTS ON 1 CORINTHIANS 6:19. 

YOU BODY IS A TEMPLE
POSSESSED BY GOD

Or do you not know Who owns you? When I ask myself that question, my first impulse is to dismiss it as nonsensical. With Paul, who enjoyed the rights and freedoms of a Roman citizen, I too can boast that I am free—at least politically. Olav Olavson was a free citizen of Sweden, but he found himself hardpressed for money. So in desperation he sold his body for medical research to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in 1910. A year later, he inherited a fortune, so he tried to buy himself back. But the Institute refused to sell him his rights to his own body, and in a lawsuit they retained possession of it. The Institute even collected damages from him because he had two teeth extracted without permission. 

that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you - The word your is plural, but the words body and temple are singular. It may be that Paul is here describing not only the individual believer, but also the local church. Each local assembly is a “body” of people united to Jesus Christ. The conduct of individual members affects the spiritual life of the entire church. 
    To commit sexual sin in a church auditorium, disgusting as that would be, would be no worse than committing the sin anywhere else. Offense is made within God’s sanctuary wherever and whenever sexual immorality is committed by believers. Every act of fornication, every act of adultery by Christians, is committed in God’s sanctuary: their own bodies. “For we are the temple of the living God” (2Co 6:16). 
    . One of the words for Holy Spirit is parakaleo, = "Counselor" or "Helper."  (parakletos in Jn 14:26) We have been given a divine resource in the battle against the flesh and against sexual sin. We don't have to be in bondage, because we have the power of the Spirit of God within us (Ezek 36:27) to supernaturally help us resist the temptation. It is possible to live a life of sexual purity.

whom you have from God, We are his temple, but literally it's not the whole temple, but the holy of holies, the sanctuary, the place in the temple where God dwelt. Each one of us, if we have a relationship with Christ, is the sanctuary of God. Paul calls us to sexual purity because we are the dwelling place of the eternal God of the universe. So how can we defile the place where God lives with sexual immorality?

and that you are not your own? Every act (= thought) of fornication, every act (= thought) of adultery by Christians is committed in essence in the "holy of holies"! This is serious & is why Jesus said if your hand or eye cause you to stumble cut it off or pluck it out (Mt 18:8,v9, Mt 5:29,30)! (cp Heb 13:4). We have the power to put to death these deeds of the flesh by the Spirit (Ro8:13, Col3:5, which follows Col1, chap 2 teaching us who we are in Christ & "Whose" we are).

C.T. Studd - I had known about Jesus dying for me, but I never understood that if He died for me, then I didn't belong to myself.... If I belong to Him, either I had to be a thief and keep what wasn't mine, or else I had to give up everything to God. When I came to see that Jesus Christ had died for me, it didn't seem hard to give up all for Him. 


Question -  What does it mean that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Answer: Instructing the Christians in Corinth to flee from sexual immorality, the apostle Paul exhorted, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Indeed, God the Father created our bodies, God the Son redeemed them, and God the Holy Spirit indwells them. This makes our body the very temple of the Holy Spirit of God.

Those who do not belong to Christ do not have the Spirit of Christ residing in them (Romans 8:9). Thus, their bodies are not a temple of the Holy Spirit. Clearly, then, the greatest thing we can do for our bodies is to make them into a temple for God’s Spirit. And we do this by placing our trust and faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. The moment we do this, the indwelling of God’s Spirit takes place (1 Corinthians 12:13). Our salvation is then sealed and guaranteed (Ephesians 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit will then be with us forever (John 14:16), given by God as His pledge of the believer’s future inheritance in glory (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

As the Holy Spirit resides in us, therefore, we are to honor God with our bodies as they “are not [our] own,” as Paul said. We have indeed been bought with a price. And it was not gold or silver or other perishable things by which we were redeemed; it was with the precious, unblemished blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). Ordained by God before the foundation of the world (Acts 2:23), Christ’s blood purchased us out of the slavery of sin and set us free forever. And as Christian’s bodies are God’s temple, we are to use them to glorify God.

If God meant simply to convey the idea that the Spirit lives within the believer, He could well have used words such as “home,” “house,” or “residence.” But by choosing the word “temple” to describe the Spirit’s dwelling, He conveys the idea that our bodies are the shrine, or the sacred place, in which the Spirit not only lives, but is worshiped, revered, and honored. Therefore, how we behave, think and speak, and what we let into the temple through our eyes and ears becomes critically important as well, for every thought, word and deed is in His view. Even though He will never leave us, it is entirely possible to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4: 30). Instructing the Ephesians to not grieve the Spirit, Paul told them to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32). When we live by the Spirit, we will no longer gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:16).GotQuestions.org

1 Corinthians 6:20  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Amplified - You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

Wuest - For you were purchased at a price. Now therefore, glorify God in your body.

NET  1 Corinthians 6:20 For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.

NLT  1 Corinthians 6:20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

ESV  1 Corinthians 6:20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

NIV  1 Corinthians 6:20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

GNT  1 Corinthians 6:20 ἠγοράσθητε γὰρ τιμῆς· δοξάσατε δὴ τὸν θεὸν ἐν τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν.

KJV  1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

YLT  1 Corinthians 6:20 for ye were bought with a price; glorify, then, God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

ASV  1 Corinthians 6:20 for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body.

CSB  1 Corinthians 6:20 for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.

NKJ  1 Corinthians 6:20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

NRS  1 Corinthians 6:20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

NAB  1 Corinthians 6:20 For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.

NJB  1 Corinthians 6:20 You are not your own property, then; you have been bought at a price. So use your body for the glory of God.

GWN  1 Corinthians 6:20 You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.

BBE  1 Corinthians 6:20 For a payment has been made for you: let God be honoured in your body.

  • For you have been bought with a price: 1Co 7:23 Ac 20:28 Ga 3:13 Heb 9:12 1Pe 1:18 2Pe 2:1 Rev 5:9 
  • glorify God in your body: 1Co 10:31 Mt 5:16 Ro 6:19 12:1 Php 1:20 1Pe 2:9 
  • 1 Corinthians 6 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

NOTE: THESE ARE ABBREVIATED COMMENTS - CLICK IN DEPTH COMMENTS ON 1 CORINTHIANS 6:20. 

THE COST OF REDEMPTION SHOULD
MOTIVATE GOD-GLORIFYING BEHAVIOR

For gar: The reason that the believer, according to Paul, can no longer claim free choices is that he is now the personal property of another. The imagery of “bought with a price” probably derives from the slave auctions so well known in the ancient world (cp Ga3:13) Its emphasis, therefore, is not on having a ransom paid that leads to freedom, but rather on a change of ownership. There was for Paul no stronger antidote against sexual promiscuity and prostitution than claiming the believer’s body, and not just his soul and spirit, as the location for the glorification of God.

you have been bought with a price - Jesus Christ bought us with a price, and therefore our bodies belong to Him. We are one spirit with the Lord and we must yield our bodies to Him as living sacrifices (Ro 12:1-2). If you begin each day by surrendering your body to Christ, it will make a great deal of difference in what you do with your body during the day. 

What is the "price" [Greek = time) Jesus paid? [1Pe1:19] The precious (timios) blood of the unblemished, spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29). 

Christians’ bodies are God’s temple, and a temple is for worship. Our bodies, therefore, have one supreme purpose: to glorify God. This is a call to live so as to bring honor to the person of God, who alone is worthy of our obedience and adoration.

As you review this section, you will see that sexual sins affect the entire personality. They affect the emotions, leading to slavery (1Co6:12b). It is frightening to see how sensuality can get ahold of a person and defile his entire life, enslaving him to habits that destroy. It also affects a person physically (1Co6:18). The fornicator and adulterer, as well as the homosexual, may forget their sins, but their sins will not forget them.

SPURGEON - 6:19–20 “You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.” Notice three things in this text. First is a blessed fact: “You were bought at a price.” Then comes a plain consequence: “You are not your own.” And out of that springs inevitably a natural conclusion: “So glorify God with your body.”
First, the blessed fact: “You were bought at a price.” Paul reminded us that we were redeemed from the punishment due us, redeemed from the wrath of God, redeemed to Christ to be his forever. “You were bought” implies a price, but the words “at a price” are added to show that it was not for nothing that we were purchased; something inestimably precious was paid for us—“the precious blood of Christ” (1Pt 1:19). Our being “bought at a price” is the most important fact in our present existence. It determines all we do and are as Christians. It also will be the most important fact in our future existence, for redeeming love is the song of heaven: “You were slaughtered, and you purchased people for God by your blood” (Rv 5:9).
Second, from this arises an important consequence—“You are not your own.” If bought, we are not our own. Now if it is true that we are not our own, then the inferences from this are that we have no right to injure what does not belong to us; and, as we are not our own, we have no right to be idle or to waste our talents. Further, we have no right to do what our old will would do; we are to desire to be obedient to the will of our Father who is in heaven. Yet again, if we are not our own, then we have no right to serve ourselves. The person who is living entirely for himself, whose object is his own ease, comfort, honor, or wealth—what does he know about redemption by Christ? If our aims rise no higher than our personal advantages, we are false to the fact that we “are bought at a price”; we are traitors to him in whose redemption we pretend to share.
Finally, from this there is a natural conclusion—“So glorify God with your body.” The force of the apostle’s language falls on the word body, and perhaps it is so because we are so apt to forget the truth of God that the body is redeemed and is the Lord’s and should be made to glorify God. The Christian’s body should glorify God by its chastity. The body should glorify God by its self-control in all things—in eating, drinking, sleeping—in everything that has to do with the flesh. As the apostle put it, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1Co 10:31). The body ought to glorify God by its industry. A lazy servant is a bad Christian and does not glorify God in his or her body. Our bodies used to work hard enough for the devil; now that they belong to God we need to make them work for the Lord.

Warren Wiersbe writes: "In my pastoral counseling, I have had to help married couples whose relationship was falling apart because of the consequences of premarital sex, as well as extramarital sex. The harvest of sowing to the flesh is sometimes delayed, but it is certain (Ga6:7-8). How sad it is to live with the consequences of forgiven sin. Having said all this, we must also realize that there are eternal consequences for people who habitually practice sexual sins. In 1Co6:9-10, Paul twice states that people who practice such sins will not inherit God’s kingdom. A Christian may fall into these sins and be forgiven, as was David; but no Christian would continuously practice such sins (1Jn 3:1-10)."

John MacArthur writes: "A friend once took a visitor to a large Catholic cathedral in the east. The visitor wanted to pray at the station of his favorite saint. But upon arriving at that station, he was startled to find no candles lit, and a sign saying, “Do not worship here; closed for cleaning.” The Corinthians provided no divine focus, either, no place for seeking souls to worship, since they were unclean. That, Paul said, had to change."

therefore glorify God in your body - The question then that we must always keep before our mind regarding our thoughts & actions is "Does it, or does it not, glorify God (give a proper opinion to others of God) in our body and spirit?" [Mt5:16, Isa 61:3, 1 Pe 2:12,  Jn 15:8, 2 Th 1:12,3:1, Jn 4:24,17:4,Ro 15:6] 

Piper - What that means very simply is use your body in ways that will show that God is more satisfying, more precious, more to be desired, more glorious than anything the body craves.

A large group of European pastors came to one of D. L. Moody’s Northfield Bible Conferences in Massachusetts in the late 1800s. Following the European custom of the time, each guest put his shoes outside his room to be cleaned by the hall servants overnight. But of course this was America and there were no hall servants. Walking the dormitory halls that night, Moody saw the shoes and determined not to embarrass his brothers. He mentioned the need to some ministerial students who were there, but met with only silence or pious excuses. Moody returned to the dorm, gathered up the shoes, and, alone in his room, the world’s only famous evangelist began to clean and polish the shoes. Only the unexpected arrival of a friend in the midst of the work revealed the secret. When the foreign visitors opened their doors the next morning, their shoes were shined. They never know by whom. Moody told no one, but his friend told a few people, and during the rest of the conference, different men volunteered to shine the shoes in secret. Perhaps the episode is a vital insight into why God used D. L. Moody as He did. He was a man with a servant’s heart and that was the basis of his true greatness. He gave a proper opinion of his Master. 


Question - What does it mean that “you were bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23)?

Answer: Twice the apostle Paul informed believers at Corinth, “You were bought with a price.” In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul was making a passionate appeal against sexual immorality. He concluded his argument, stating, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20ESV).

A Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. At salvation, the Holy Spirit takes up residence, transforming the believer’s body into a sanctified place, a home for God’s holy presence (Hebrews 10:10). In union with Christ, the Christian receives a new nature and a new identity (2 Corinthians 5:17). When a believer engages in sexual immorality, he or she violates that new creation, which was purchased at a very high price.

The price we were bought with is disclosed in 1 Peter 1:18–19NLT: “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God”.

When Paul said, “You were bought with a price,” he meant that believers were purchased and paid for with the sinless, spotless perfection of Jesus Christ’s blood. Jesus Himself said that He came to give His life as a ransom for us (Matthew 20:28). Since we were obtained at such a tremendous expense, we are to use our bodies to honor God with good deeds: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10NLT).

Paul reminded the Corinthians that ownership of their bodies had been transferred to Christ. They no longer had the right or freedom to use their bodies any way they wished. Just as slaves were purchased in the ancient world, we were bought with the price of Christ’s blood on the cross. We now belong to Him (1 Corinthians 7:22). We don’t have the right to rebel against our Master by using our bodies in ways He forbids.

Paul repeated this teaching in 1 Corinthians 7:23, but with an emphasis on spiritual freedom: “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.” Believers are set free from the dominion of sin through the death of Christ (Galatians 1:4). Our spiritual freedom comes at the price of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). Consequently, since we now belong to Christ, we must not let ourselves come under the control of other humans.

Paul’s phrase become slaves of human beings was meant metaphorically. We are not to let human ideas and worldly systems rule over us. Legalism, for example, should not rule us; we are not bound by the rules of men. Rather, we are “responsible to God” (1 Corinthians 7:24). Jesus Christ alone is our Master.

In one sense, the blood of Christ paid for our liberation, setting us free from sin; but in another inference, His sacrifice changed our ownership, making us slaves to God alone. “You were bought with a price” means God was willing to obtain possession of us on Calvary by paying the ultimate price—the blood of His own Son (Acts 20:28). GotQuestions.org


Alan Redpath - THINGS GOD EXPECTS YOU TO KNOW — II - 1 CORINTHIANS 6:12–20

These chapters of Paul’s letter require very careful and prayerful treatment in public ministry. But I believe they concern matters of importance to the whole Christian church and to each one of our lives today. Paul addresses himself straightforwardly to the sin which lay at the root of the situation in the Corinthian church and gives the supreme answer to it. Victory and deliverance are yet possible. He is always seeking to point people away from their failure, to get them to look up to the Lord; Paul’s answer to every situation is Calvary.

He has already dealt with the individual who was personally responsible, telling the church what they must do: deliver him to Satan for the destruction of the flesh and the saving of the soul in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then he goes on to rebuke them for their petty disputes and calls upon them to remember what they are as Christians: washed, sanctified, justified.

Now we hear him saying,

Remember to Whom you belong,”
and telling us to bring that relationship between the soul and the Savior
to bear upon every matter of life.

The whole theme of this portion of Scripture is the Christian’s attitude toward his body. His moral standards must be recognizably different from others, and he must be able not only to explain why they are necessary but also how they can be maintained.

The apostle who writes this letter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is the one who, perhaps above all others, proclaims salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves . . . not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). This is Paul’s great gospel, that a man comes to know Jesus Christ only on simple faith in the atonement for him at Calvary.

Yet the apostle Paul also relentlessly declares that no one can claim salvation and go on practicing sin like an unbeliever. If the outer life of a child of God is not made pure, it is evidence that the inward heart has never been renewed. The faith that does not produce holiness is not New Testament faith; it is not saving faith, for “without [holiness] no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14+). (ED: This Series was published in 1960 - imagine what Redpath would think now some 60 years later in 2021!)

With that background in mind, let us turn to what Paul has to say concerning our relationship to our body and think of it carefully, prayerfully, and soberly in the presence of God. First of all, Paul lays down some principles of Christian liberty: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Cor 6:12). That was a master stroke on Paul’s part, for that was exactly what everyone in Corinth said: “All things are lawful” was their attitude on the matter of sex relationships.

That is also what the twentieth century is saying: “Have your fling! Go to the registrar, if you like, to get a little legal authority to practice what you have already been doing.” There are to be no inhibitions, no frustrations because, we are told, these things are not sin. “Express yourself! Away with the prohibitions that come from an outmoded method of life and thinking!” That is what Corinth said, and the spirit of the city had got into the church. Who can say that the spirit of what is practiced today has not penetrated our churches? Has not this very thing eaten into the vital testimony of professing Christianity today?

All things are lawful unto me,” writes Paul, “and there is not a single faculty or appetite of the body which is not for me to use lawfully.” But because we are Christians there are two things we must bear in mind as we exercise our liberty.

The first is this: “All things are not expedient.” That word means “bearing together,” “helping together.” Paul is saying, therefore, that he no longer lives to himself; as a Christian he is one of a fellowship, and he can only use the appetites of the body so long as he is not hurting another. He is governed by the effect upon other people, not upon himself.

Not only that, says Paul, but “I will not be brought under the power [authority] of any.” If through the unrestrained use of the body he is mastered by these things, then he is denying the right of Jesus Christ to the sovereignty of his life.

Notice his simple illustration here: “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power” (6:13–14).

We need food for our physical appetite, but a day is coming when God is going to destroy both. That does not mean the body will be destroyed. That will mark the end of its physical desires and physical limitations, the end of its demand for physical satisfaction. Although this thing in which we live may be put in a grave, one day it will be raised and transformed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ. The body is not finished when it is put into a coffin; it is to be brought into the very presence of God. This body is for the Lord, for His use and not for mine.

That gives us a new slant on the problem of sex, an attitude peculiarly Christian, rooted in the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the “firstfruits of them that sleep.” It is based on the reality of eternity; we were not created only to live down here. Our body is God’s, and we cannot play fast and loose with it, because it is for His use. We have Christian liberty, but only in consideration of others and in carefulness with regard to the damage we might do. Our liberty is only within the fellowship of God’s people and under the authority of the Lord Jesus. The body is not to be played with; it is for Him.

Here, very briefly, is the principle for Christian living. Now, in what sense is the body for the Lord? It is not only that it is going to be transformed into His likeness, but that we will be held responsible before the judgment seat of Christ, as Paul himself tells us, for the deeds done in this body. That will put discipline and restraint into life. It will mean that certain habits must stop because I am a Christian. Certain practices that the world may consider “the thing to do” are going to have no part in my life, because I am a Christian.
When we look further into this chapter, I think we will see why — it is the prevention of license. Notice again one of Paul’s great questions: “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (6:15–17).
May I ask you to follow me very carefully here. We who have been redeemed by His precious blood are His body here on earth, the channels through which He works. Our Lord, instead of being subject to the time and space limitations of one physical body, as when He was here on earth, now acts through the bodies of His people in whom He lives. “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit,” says Paul. Wherever He can find a body surrendered to Him, a man or woman who will receive Him as their Lord and Sovereign, then they become His means of revealing Himself to the world around them. “Ye are members of Christ.”
You will always find in Scripture that God works through a human body. That is why it was said of the Lord Jesus, “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God . . . by the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:9–10). It was in a body that man sinned; it is in a body that we sin. It was in a body that Jesus came to earth; it was in a body that He lived triumphantly and overcame where we have been overcome. It was in a body that He died and rose again, and now by His Spirit He comes to live within the body of His people.
Satan always works through a body, also. The only way he can thwart God’s purposes is to get a body surrendered to his use, available for his diabolic power and ugly purposes.
This is the question of choice in a Christian’s life: shall he take that which is a member of Christ and give it to some unworthy use? Shall he take his body, the means through which God’s will is to be done, and yield it to the immoral, sinful purposes of Satan? What will happen if he does? He becomes one body if he is joined to that which is sinful. But if he is joined to the Lord, he is one spirit. That means that in every physical faculty the human frame is under the control of the Lord’s Spirit. That Spirit enabled Jesus Christ to live day by day in a human body and never deviate from the will of God, never yield to all the tremendous temptations of the devil.
If we are joined to Christ, we are therefore enabled by His grace to control the body. But if we join ourselves to that which is immoral, we become one flesh with that which we love, and therefore we become part of judgment, condemnation, and punishment, the inevitable result of such action.
Here is the issue from the moment of our birth until the moment when we meet God face to face: either the Spirit of God is to triumph and the life of the flesh die out, or that which is of sin and of the flesh will control us that the Spirit of God ceases to speak. That tremendously solemn alternative faces everyone. Everything is lawful for the child of God, but only under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. What He permits, I will do; what He refuses, I will reject. What His Word tells me is right, I will accept; what His Word tells me is wrong, I will refuse. This is the battleground where you and I fight every day.
However, lest I seem to place burdens upon you that are impossible to carry, there is something else Paul tells us, the answer to “how.”
I repeat, Paul always brings his hearers back to the cross, back to the place where Jesus died for them. He is never afraid to reveal the ugliness of sin for what it is; he exposes it and drags it to the very foot of Calvary that it may be dealt with there: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (6:19–20).
Here is Paul’s plea for loyalty, and it is sufficient to make a man stand when otherwise he would fall. In making his greatest argument for holiness and purity, for power to keep the body in subjection, Paul points back again to the place where “ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18–19).
An infinite price, the price of His precious blood, suggests infinite pain. I can never enlarge upon the physical point of our Lord Jesus, great as that must have been. But I don’t believe that was by any means the depth of the horror of the cross. The pain of Christ was expressed in His cry, “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” It was in being made sin for me: coming all the way down the shame and agony of the cross, enduring the judgment of a holy God on the sin that was mine, paying the price I could never pay.
You who have been playing fast and loose with your body, you who have been letting the standard down and not caring, you who have allowed the spirit of the age to catch you: remember you have been bought with a price. Therefore it follows that you are not your own. The greatest tyrant in life is self: the demand for freedom from restraint, a “me first” attitude, touchiness and loneliness. But the Bible says we are not our own, and what a real comfort that is!
Again I say, if you refuse to acknowledge that, you have no right to claim salvation. If you refuse the implication of His claim upon you, then what business have you to hide in the shelter of John 3:16? You cannot have the grace of God without the government of God. Real deliverance demands real holiness. The price of His precious blood demands a practical surrender of all your body. You cannot have free salvation unless, as you accept it gladly from the risen Savior, you acknowledge, “I am no longer my own; I am bought with a price.”
Then if that is true, let me say this quietly but firmly: you have no right to injure God’s property. “If any man defile the temple of God, him will God destroy.” You have no right to drunkenness, immorality, uncleanness. You have no right to indulgence or laziness. You have no right to lack of control in any appetite. Furthermore, you have no right to let yourself lie waste. If you belong to the Lord, then you should be going to work for Him. You have no right to any reservations, no right to self-government. When Satan comes with all his insinuations, you must tell him that you are not your own. Every power and faculty, all the time, is altogether God’s.
Paul concludes his argument by saying, “Therefore glorify God in your body.” How can you? By chastity, discipline, temperance in the way you eat and drink and sleep: whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. The feet that led you into sin should now take you to the house of God and to the place of prayer. The eyes that once looked upon things that aroused lust should now be turned upon your wonderful Savior. The ears that listened to doubtful stories should now be eager to hear the Word of God. The hands that once squandered your money should now labor in the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ. The tongue that talked so loosely and glibly should now be singing His praises and telling others of His love.
Your body is the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit. Is everything in the temple singing “Glory to God!” today? I could not conclude more appropriately than to remind you of the great words of Paul in the conclusion of his letter to the church at Rome: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).