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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 6

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

1) “Dare any of you.” (Greek tolma tis humon) “dares anyone of you all” - of the Corinth church membership ... is anyone of you so presumptuous? This seems to be a reprimand or chiding for wrong.

2) “Having a matter against another.” (pragma echon pros heteron) “having or holding a business matter (or business practice) against another, another brother of like faith.”

3) “Go to law before the unjust.” (Greek krinesthai- “to be judged or to place himself to be judged” (epi ton adikon) “before the presence of the unjust or unrighteous,” before the unsaved world, in civil courts.

4) “And not before the saints.” (kai ouchi epi ton hagion) “and not before holy ones, saints or membership of your church?” It appears that Paul chides the Corinth brethren for taking business differences among themselves to civil courts, to bring reproach upon the church fellowship, Matthew 18:15-18.

Verse 2

1) “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?” (he ouk oidate) “or do ye not perceive” (hoti hoi hagioi) “that the saints, holy ones, or sanctified ones (of the church) .. (ton kosmon krinousin) “the world order shall judge.” This is during the millennial reign of Christ. Luke 22:28-30; Revelation 5:9-10; Ephesians 3:21.

2) “And if the world shall be judged by you.” (kai ei en humin krinetai ho kosmos) “and if by you the world order is (to be) judged” ... Children of God now have the laws of Christ to provide them with present judgment of the world and their conduct in and toward it, 1 John 2:15-17.

3) “Are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” (anaksioi este) “are ye unworthy, or incapable” (kriterion elachiston) “judgments (to render) of very little business matters or disputes?” Paul rhetorically chides “are you all not capable to render fair judgments on small business matters, disputes?” The conclusion. was that they were able and should try to do so!

Verse 3

1) “Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” (ouk oidate hoti angelous krinoumen) “Do you all not perceive or realize that we shall judge angels.” The term angels often refers to messengers of God, or servants of God as Luke 7:24; James 2:25; Revelation 1:20; Revelation 2:1; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 3:1; Revelation 3:7; Revelation 3:14.

2) “How much more things that pertain to this life?” (meti ge biotika) “not to speak of things of this biological life?” If members of God’s church are to make judgments or decisions regarding messengers of God, how much more capable should they be to help resolve practical business matter disputes in council among themselves, rather than to appeal for help to and before the unsaved of the world?

Verse 4

1) “If then ye have judgments.” (men oun kriteria ean echete) “If therefore indeed ye have, hold, or render judgment decisions,” or if you have them confront you. For Paul is asserting that they will arise.

2) “Of things pertaining to this life.” (Greek Biotika) “of matters of biological business life,” differences and conflicts in everyday business affairs -

3) “Set them to judge,” (Greek kathizete) “Sit, set, or place ye (to judge) (toutous) these or this kind of people:” - Surely no church member should go to civil courts to try to resolve differences with any brother of his own church.

4) “Who are least esteemed in the church.” (tous eksouthenemenous) “those being least esteemed, despised, or most impartial” (Greek en te ekklesia) “in the assembly or church.” Galatians 6:1; Matthew 18:15-18.

Verse 5

1) “I speak to your shame.” (pros entropen humin lego) “for shame to you - I say.” Paul desired to cause the Corinth brethren to feel shame and guilt for, and to turn from their selfish hurtful behavior.

2) “Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you?” (Greek houtos) “thus, or is it this way” (ouk eni en humis oudeis sophos) “there is not even one wise person among you” a person of wisdom in judgment?

3) “No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?” (hos dunesetai) “who shall be capable (diakrinai) to judge discretely his brother?” Paul desired that pragmatic, practical, business matters of difference or contention between brethren of the church be settled by council of disinterested or impartial brothers in the church.

Verse 6

1) “But brother goeth to law with brother.” (all adelphos meta adelphou krinetai) “but a brother with a brother, in close association or colleague of his, goes to law or civil court.”

2) “And that before the unbelievers.” (kai touto epi apiston?) “And this thing (goes on) in the presence of the unbelievers?” Paul’s reprimand or fatherly chiding continued - Is this becoming conduct for brethren who claim to love the Lord, one another, and the church?

This is much like Abraham’s chiding Lot’s herdsmen and his own for domestic bickering over their flocks and the business affairs of managing them. To forbear and even suffer wrong rather than quarrel over material desires is desirable when “we be brethren” in the Lord and in the same church, especially. Genesis 13:5-8; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:13. It is, that God’s best bear, is forbear.

Verse 7

1) “Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you.” (ede men oun holos) “at this time therefore there is an absolute or total,” (Greek ettema) “fault or failure” (humin estin) “existing with or within your fellowship.”

2) “Because ye go to law one with another.”

(hote krimata echete meth heauton) “that ye have or hold civil lawsuits with yourselves or one another.”

3) “Why do ye not rather take wrong?” (dia ti ouchi mallon adikeisthe) “through this why not rather or instead be wronged or take wrong in business quarrels?”

4) “Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?” (dia ti ouchi mallon apostereisthe) “why not turn away or be deprived, rather than be an object of derision for conduct in civil courts, before the world?” This is Paul’s court plea to the erring, unforbearing, contentious, divisive, and divided Corinth saints. This is in absolute conflict with our Lord’s command that brethren forfeit cloaks, and turn the other cheek, Matthew 5:39-42.

Verse 8

1) “Nay, ye do wrong,” (alla) “but”, a strong adversative, meaning that instead of taking wrong or trying to resolve it as Abraham and our Lord did (Greek humeis adikeite) “ye do wrong or act unrighteously.”

2) “And defraud, and that your brethren.” (Kai apostersite) “and ye do deprive, or turn from you” (kai touto adelphous) “even turn from you your brethren.” How different was this attitude from that which Jesus taught Matthew 5:25; Matthew 5:38-45.

Verse 9


1) “Know ye not.” (he ouk pidate) “or, what is more, do you all not perceive or realize.”

2) "That the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God?” (hoti adikoi) “that unrighteous ones or lawless ones”. (theou Basileian ou kleronomesousin) “the kingdom of God will not provide an heir-setting or heir-holding right.” Saints who live promiscuously, though redeemed, shall not be granted rights of ruling, reigning, and administering for God abundantly in the millennial age; Such honors they abdicate through undisciplined conduct.

3) “Be not deceived.” (Greek me planasthe) “be not led away, deceived or deluded about this.” Such immature saints shall be reigned over, not themselves rule and reign with Christ - See Galatians 5:21; 2 Peter 1:11; Revelation 5:9-10.

a) “Neither fornicators,” (oute pornoi) persons committing, practicing illicit, morally illegal sex Ac in an unmarried state or relationship with each other.

b) “Nor idolaters,” (oute eidolatrai) “nor those who bow down in worship and adoration before statues and images”.

c) “Nor adulterers,” (oute moichoi) “those married persons who engage in immoral sex relations with another married person to whom they are not married.

d) “Nor effeminate,” (oute malakoi) ‘voluptuous persons,” “even effeminate, men posing as women, who act like, walk like a woman.”

e) “Nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” (oute arsenokoitai) “nor sodomites, sex perverts.”

Verse 10

f) “Nor thieves.” (oute kleptai) “nor kleptomaniacs, thieves, persons who with unrestrained passions take property of others.”

g) “Nor covetous.” (oute pleonektai) “nor selfish, covetous persons.”

h) “Nor drunkards” (ou methusoi) “not drunkards, habitual inebriates.,;

i) “Nor revilers” (ou loidoroi) “not revilers, deriders, scorners.”

j) “Nor extortioners” (ouch arpages) “not rapacious, embezzling like persons.”

k) “Shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Such shall not have or hold an “heir-setting” or rule-reigning right or position in God’s kingdom age on earth.

Verse 11

1) “And such were some of you.” (Kai tauta tines ete) “and these things some of you all were” - by both nature and practice, they had once lived such a pattern of life.

2) “But ye are washed.” (alla hegiasthete) “but ye were and are from such washed, cleansed.”

3) “But ye are sanctified.” (alla hegiasthete) “but ye were and are sanctified” or “made holy.”

4) “But ye are justified.” (alla edikaiothete) “but ye were and are justified or made righteous.” Tho having much imperfection the Corinth brethren were still children of God, involved in much wrong.

5) “In the name of the Lord Jesus.” Their washing, sanctification, and justification were in the name or by the authority of Jesus Christ.

6) “And by the Spirit of our God.” By the instrument or agency of the regenerating power and act of the Holy Spirit the Corinth brethren had become saints, saved, children of God, John 3:1-11; John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 3:6.

Verse 12

1) “All things are lawful unto me.” (panta moi eksestin) “all kind of things are lawful to me, to have and hold.” Paul had civil liberties, rights under law for which it was not best to claim where and when such would be hurtful to the brethren or the Church.

2) “But all things are not expedient.” (alla ou panta sumpherei) “but all kinds of things are not advantageous, or expedient to me”, in using my influence best to the glory of God, Paul asserted.

3) “All things are lawful for me.” One had a civil legal right, to resort to civil law to secure the object of his contention in business or civil disputes, but Paul argued that he would not pursue such to the hurt of the church, See?

4) “But, I will not be brought under the power of any.” (alla ouk ego eksousiasthesomai hupo tinos) “But I will not permit myself to be ruled by a single lawful thing to the hurt of my influence.”

Verse 13

1) “Meats for the belly and the belly for meats.” (ta Broma te koilia kai -he koilia tois Bromasin) “Foods or bromides for the belly and the belly for foods” - these be temporal or ephemeral bodies and desires which sustain soul-life for but a little time.

2) “But God shall destroy both it and them.” (ho de theos tauten kai tauta katargesei) “Indeed God both this belly and these foods will destroy,” bring to vanity, emptiness, with their desires.

3) “Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord.” (to de soma ou te porneia alla to kurio). “Indeed the physical body is not for fornication, (attachment to selfish, covetous desires) but to or for the Lord or master.”

4) “And the Lord for the body.” (kai ho kurios to somati) ,and the Lord is for the body” - our Lord desires, glories in providing for His children’s needs of the body and life, as His children recognize it is to be kept under subjection to His will and usefulness to His service; Mark 8:34-36; 1 Corinthians 9:26-27; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 6:33.


What an incentive to holiness, to purity of life and conduct, lies in the fact that the body of a saint is the temple of God - a truer, nobler temple than that which Solomon dedicated by his prayer, Jesus consecrated by His presence.- In popish cathedral, where the light streamed through painted windows, and the organ pealed along lofty aisles, and candies gleamed on golden cups and silver crosses, and incense floated in fragrant clouds, we have seen the blinded worshipper uncover his head, drop reverently on his knees, and raise his awe-struck eye on the imposing spectacle; we have seen him kiss the marble floor, and knew that he would sooner be smitten dead upon the floor than be guilty of defiling it, How does this devotee rebuke us! We wonder at the superstition; how may he wonder at our profanity! Can we look on the lowly veneration he expresses for an edifice which has been erected by some dead man’s genius, which holds but some image of a deified virgin, or bones of a canonized saint, and which time shall one day cast to the ground and bury in the dust - can we, I say, look on that, and if sensible to rebuke, not feel reproved by the spectacle? In how much more respect, in how much holier veneration should we hold this body! The shrine of immortality, and a temple dedicated to the Son of God, it is consecrated by the presence of the Spirit - a living temple, over whose porch the eye of piety reads what the finger of inspiration has written: “if any defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

- Dr. Guthrie

Verse 14

1) “And God hath both raised up the Lord.” (ho de theos) “moreover the trinitarian God” - the elohim and elshaddi God of might or power (kai ton kurion egerein) “raised up both the Lord or master,” Acts 2:32; (See Colossians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Peter 1:21).

2) “And will also raise up us.” (kai hemas) “also us” (epsegerei) “He will raise up.” Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:52. The resurrection of all believers in Jesus Christ is a “case established, a case made out.” Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30-32.

3) “By his own power.” (dia tes dunomeos autou) “through the power of Him.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-22; Philippians 3:20-21; Job 19:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17. Bodies that are to be raised by our Lord should be kept from vanity and fornication of every worldly nature.

Verse 15

1) “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?” (ouk oidate hoti ta somata humon mele Christou estin) “Don’t you recognize or comprehend that the members of your physical body belong to Christ, if you do?” Paul rhetorically asked.

2) “Shall I then take the members of Christ?” Do I then have a valid or righteous right to take the members of my body, hands, tongue, feet, ears, etc....

3) “And make them the members of an harlot?” And use or utilize them in a perverted way, adverse, to the will of my Christ, to make them members of fornication or harlotry, in conflict with my confession to follow Jesus in all things?

4) “God forbid.” (Greek me genoito) “God forbid or may it never become so.” Galatians 5:13. Let those who are Christ’s free servants never use their freedom to serve self, but Christ, in love.

Verse 16

1) “What? Know ye not,” (he ouk oidate) For do you all not know, comprehend, recognize, or realize”. Attention is called to the selfish, sensual, carnal ways and desires of the unregenerate.

2) “That he which is joined to an harlot is one body.” (hoti ho kollomenos te porne en soma estin) “that the person joined or cohabiting, to a harlot or pornographic woman, is one body,” in guilt and immoral lawlessness? (Genesis 2:24)

3) “For two saith he shall be one flesh.” (esontai gar phesin hoi duo eis sarka nian). “For will be says he (God) the duo (two) into one flesh.” Two cohabiting in flesh shall be equally righteous or equally unrighteous in their act of oneness. Paul continues to "whale” away at the error of two brothers in the same church who join in hurtful civil combat through seeking to gratify their own desires to the hurt of the church before the world.

Verse 17

1) “But he that is joined to the Lord.” (ho de kollomenos to kurio). “Indeed the one being joined, attached, to the Lord (master)”. The one in proper relation to the Lord in behavior and conduct has the spirit or attitude of the Lord, Galatians 5:25.

2) “Is one spirit.” (en pnema estin) “in one spirit, attitude or disposition is or exists.” Harmony with Christ and brethren should and does prevail when a child of God fully adopts the spirit of Christ in suffering or enduring wrong rather than striking back at one who does him wrong; Titus 3:9; Philippians 4:11; Hebrews 13:5.

Verse 18

1) “Flee fornication.” (pheugete ten porneian). “Flee or run from fornication.” The command concerns 1) first, flesh fornication of such as the young man of 1 Corinthians Chapter 5 was guilty and 2) second, even selfish conduct of a worldly, unspiritual nature, such as going to civil law with one’s own church brother over domestic or commercial differences.

2) “Every sin that a man doeth is without the body.” (panhamartema ho ean poiese anthropos ektos tou somatos estin). “Every or each sin which a person may do is outside of the physical body.”

3) “But he that committeth fornication.” (ho de pronoun). “But the one engaging in or participating in flesh fornication,” or “committing the act of sexual fornication,” Deuteronomy 5:21

4) “Sinneth against his own body.” (eis to idion soma hamartane) “with reference to or against his own body he sins or misses the mark of Godly conduct,” Matthew 5:48; Hebrews 12:14.

Verse 19

1) “What? know ye not.” (he ouk oidate) “or do you not perceive, realize, or comprehend.”

2) “That your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.” (hoti to soma humon) “that the fleshly body of you” (naos tou en humin hagiou pneumatos estin) “a temple like shrine it is or an abode of the Holy Spirit” - don’t you realize this?

3) “Which is in you.” (Greek en humin) “(which) is in or indwelling each of you.”

4) “Which ye have of God,” (ou echete apo theou)”which ye have or hold from God, the trinity.” The person of the Holy Spirit, third person of the Godhead indwells every believer in Jesus Christ, Romans 8:9; Romans 8:11; Romans 8:14; 1 John 4:13.

5) “And ye are not your own.” (kai ouk este heauton) “and ye are not of yourselves.” This means your salvation is not of your own origin, good nature, or good works, nor do you selfishly belong to yourself. This fact of Christian experience should excite holy living and service of gratitude from every church member.

Verse 20

1) “For ye are bought with a price.” (agprasthete) ‘lye were bought, redeemed from the slavemarket,” (Gar) “for or based on this recognition” (times) “of or with a price” (high bid). 1 Peter 1:18-21; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:7.

Redeemed how I love to proclaim it, Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, Redeemed by His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am.

2) “Therefore glorify God.” (dokasate de) “Then glorify yell (ton theon) “the God.” Only He is worthy of praise and adoration,

a) “in your body.” (en to somai humon) “In the body of you.” This means in the way one lives, walks, talks, and Ac in daily conduct.

b) “And in your Spirit.” This and the latter phrase are omitted by some authorities. Yet the idea that man belongs to God in his entirety is affirmed by the body of the Scriptures as a whole.

3) “Which are God’s” See 1 Corinthians 3:21; Ezekiel 18:4-5; John 17:10.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/1-corinthians-6.html. 1985.
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