Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 6

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Legal And Moral Problems First Corinthians Six

In the church at Corinth there was a brother that had his father's wife. Paul instructed brethren to practice church discipline to resolve that issue. There were also other inconsistencies among the people of God in Corinth. Many of the problems that Paul dealt with sprang from the Corinthian's lax view of sin. Among other things that were going on at Corinth Christians were taking their personal disputes into Roman courts and hurting their influence as children of God.

Paul knew that Christians should be able to resolve conflict among brethren rather than taking the matter before heathen courts. He said it would even be better to suffer wrong than to disgrace the Lord's name before heathens. Christians should make the best judges because they have the wisdom to judge righteous judgment. ( Joh_7:24 ) Paul wondered if there was not one godly man at Corinth that could be trusted to judge in these matters that were dividing brethren. He was not saying that the church should establish "Christian courts." Rather he felt that there should be some godly brother that could arbitrate in the matter and resolve it without the law suits.

The expression "Know ye not" or "Do you not know" is found six times in I Corinthians chapter six. Paul wrote: (1) "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?" ( 1Co_6:2 ), (2) "Do you not know that we shall judge angels?" ( 1Co_6:3 ), (3) "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?" ( 1Co_6:9 ) (4) "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?" ( 1Co_6:15 ) (5) "Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her?" ( 1Co_6:16 ), and (6) "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit..." ( 1Co_6:19 ) Each of these thoughts were things the brethren should have already known

Verses 1-6

Legal problems at Corinth 1Co_6:1-6 : The Christians at Corinth not only were dealing with the problem of division and incest there were also legal problems. The brethren had legal matters against one another and were taking their cases before the ungodly and irreligious courts of that land. A church has serious problems when its members believe that they are more likely to get justice from unbelievers than from their own brethren.

These brethren had already lost and the church had lost even before the judge rendered his verdict. These were people that professed to love one another. Their suing each other was a shame and a defeat to the church and to everyone involved. This was a disgrace to God because, "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." ( 1Co_14:33 ) All they were doing was to invite the ridicule of the ungodly. Surely there were some godly brethren in the church that could judge in this matter and things be resolved with love! The least esteemed in the Church were better able to judge these matters, than unbelievers.

Verses 7-8

Wrong though they were right 1Co_6:7-8 : Paul wanted it understood that their going to law before unbelievers was contrary to the spirit of Christianity. These brethren were utterly wrong or at fault for doing so. Even if they were right in their positions they were wrong in trying to settle these matters before unbelievers. Paul said, "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?" ( 1Co_6:7 )

The spirit that Abraham manifested when dealing with Lot should be our spirit in dealing with our brethren. He would suffer wrong before he would live in such a way that unsaved people would have no respect for him and for his God. ( Gen_13:1-18 ) Christians are taught to do everything within their power to live peaceably with others. In Rom_12:17-19 Paul wrote, "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Why not just allow God to take care of those matters?

Verses 9-14

Christians belong to God 1Co_6:9-14 : Those that are saved are changed people. Before their conversion some of the Corinthians had been, "fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners." Now the blood of Christ had cleansed them, and they were set apart to a life of godliness. They were Christians and consequently they needed to live and act like Christians. Christians cannot continue in those sinful practices of their past life. That "old man" has died and been buried.

Our society need to read this list of sins again. Sexual immorality heads the list of sins. The first four sins named were fornicators, adulters, effeminate, and abusers of themselves with mankind. The "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind" are those that practice homosexual activities. A woman with another woman is also a sinful practice. ( Rom_1:26-27 ) Christians have been washed, sanctified and justified. They now belong to God and cannot live in sin. Our body belongs to the Lord and we cannot use it for fornication. We likewise must be careful to abstain from anything that might cause a brother to stumble.

Verses 15-20

Christians are the body of Christ 1Co_6:15-20 : God has purchased Christians with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. ( 1Pe_1:18-19 ) We have been bought with blood, therefore we belong to God. In view of that great truth we should glorify God in our bodies. Our actions must be governed by the fact that we are joined to the Lord. Paul did say that all things are lawful, but many lawful things are unwise because of the control they take over you. The Christians simply cannot be joined to sinful practices or things that control his life. The only control over our life must be the Lord.

Christians must flee fornication. "Flight" is often the best way to deal with temptation. Redemption by the blood of Jesus does not lead to freedom from sin but it must lead to faithfulness to God. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost. We often talk about stewardship of our money. We must also remember that we are stewards of our fleshly body. We belong to God and we must glorify Him in our bodies. We are His. We have been bought with a price. It is impossible to glorify God in an immoral body. 1Pe_1:16 should be the guiding principle for all our living. "Be ye holy; for I am holy." ( 1Pe_1:16 )

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". 2014.