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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 6

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


How dare he. It was the custom at Corinth to sue each other in the heathen courts of justice over worldly matters, often over unimportant things. After becoming Christians, they had continued to do this. This showed a lack of trust in the church-leaders, and gave the heathen reason to think that the Christians were hostile to each other. [Paul himself did not hesitate to use his Roman citizenship and appeal his case to Roman justice. Yet he did not do this in matters between brother and brother, nor to accuse his persecutors (Acts 28:19), only for his defence.]

Verse 2


Don’t you know? This question is repeated six times in this chapter, which implies Paul is scolding them because of their ignorance, when they boast that the false teacher has given them wisdom. That God’s people will judge the world. This can mean: (1) That Christians actually judge the world by preaching the Good News of Christ (see note on Matthew 19:28); (2) That Christians judge the world by their faith (compare Luke 11:31; John 3:18-20; Romans 8:3); (3) That Christians will sit with Christ, after they have been judged, as He judges the world (compare Matthew 25:34; Matthew 25:41). [Johnson favors #3.]

Verse 3


We shall judge the angels? Godet writes: “Paul does not wish to mark out this or that class of angels, but to awaken in the Church the sense of its competence and dignity by reminding it that beings of this lofty nature will one day be subject to its jurisdiction.” [MacKnight thinks it speaks about Christians foretelling the judgment and punishment of bad angels.]

Verse 4


Who have no standing in the church? [The Greek of this verse can be translated three ways. The TEV follows Meyer, Heinrici, W & H, Tisch., et. al. The NIV follows the Vulgate, Beza, KJV, et. al. Whitby translates it: “If ye use the heathen secular judgment-seats, ye constitute those who are despised in the church your judges.”] See 1 Corinthians 2:15 and note. Paul writes with some degree of anger. They, who are spiritual men, bring shame to themselves and to the church, when they go to unspiritual men to settle these matters.

Verse 5


At least one wise man. “With all your boasting about wisdom, you ought to be able to find one wise man!”

Verse 6


Instead. “Your action shows there is no wise man in the Church at Corinth, or he would surely have been called upon to settle the matter.” See note on 1 Corinthians 6:1.

Verse 7


Shows that you have failed completely. The lawsuits were only symptoms of something far more serious. There was unchristian resentment; but even more, there was antisocial behavior on the part of the aggressors (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Would it not be better? It would be better to be wronged or robbed, rather than to bring shame and division into the church. The rule is: (1) better to be wronged than to go to law in the civil courts; (2) if a settlement is required, get a wise man in the church to make it. See what Jesus said in Matthew 5:38-42.

Verse 8


Even your very brothers. We are ONE in Christ. This makes it even more sinful when we destroy each other!

Verse 9


Will not receive God’s Kingdom. The church is God’s Kingdom on earth, and all who die in Christ will receive the Eternal Kingdom! Do not fool yourselves. No unholy person will receive the Eternal Kingdom. But see 1 Corinthians 6:11. Immoral. See note on Matthew 19:9. Worship idols. See note on 1 Thessalonians 1:9. Adulterers. See 1 Corinthians 6:16. Homosexual perverts. The Greek specifies both passive and active roles in this.

Verse 10


Who rob. Who break in and steal. Greedy. Covetous persons. Drunkards. The Bible severely condemns drunkenness. Slander. Compare Matthew 5:22 and note. Thieves. Extortioners, blackmailers. None of these. To gain the favor of the Greeks, the false teacher had taught that opulence and immorality were permitted by the gospel; and he had used all the standard arguments to justify his claim. Paul makes it plain that this is not true!

Verse 11


Some of you were like that. This shows the amazing power of the gospel! Faith in “Christ on the cross” leads bad people to become transformed! See 1 Peter 4:3-5. Cleansed from sin. Literally: “But you washed yourselves!” This certainly points to baptism (see Acts 22:16; Titus 3:4-5; Hebrews 10:22; Ephesians 5:26). Dedicated. The TEV does not use “sanctification, sanctify, or saint,” because the average person understands these words in an unbiblical way. “Sanctification: the work of the Holy Spirit by which the believer is 1) set free from sin; 2) exalted to holiness of life.” This dictionary definition is accurate, if you recognize: 1) Christ’s finished work for us – made clean by His bloody-death and dedicated to God; 2) the Holy Spirit’s work in us, as we co-operate with Him to become progressively holy (1 Peter 1:2; 1 Peter 1:16; 1 Peter 1:22, 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). “Sanctification is the believer taking Justification seriously! Sanctification is Justification translated into action.” To be holy is to take being put right with God seriously! Put right with God. The bloody-death of Christ was to change sinners! We reach out through faith to seize His sacrifice, to be put right with God by His imputed righteousness. See Acts 22:16 and note. Through the name. See Acts 4:12. And by the Spirit. We are buried with Christ in the liquid grave so our sins will be forgiven, and to receive the Holy Spirit as a gift. See notes on Acts 2:38; Acts 5:32; 1 Corinthians 12:13.

Verse 12


I am allowed to do anything. Paul taught that a Christian was free from human rules that said: “Don’t handle this, Don’t taste that, Don’t touch the other” (Colossians 2:21). Some thought this gave them the right to live in opulence and sensuality as the Epicureans taught. Paul says: “Yes, you are free, but not everything is good for you. You must not let anything make you its slave.” “I am allowed to do anything” must have been a slogan used by the Corinthian Christians, since Paul uses it twice here, and twice again in 1 Corinthians 10:23.

Verse 13


Food is for the stomach. Paul follows what Jesus said in Mark 7:15-23. Food is neutral, neither good nor bad, But neither food nor stomach are eternal matters. A man’s body. Greek thought viewed man as “a soul imprisoned in a body of flesh;” the soul valuable, the flesh worthless. Jewish thought saw man as a unity – all parts equally valuable. Compare Paul’s statement in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Paul makes it plain here that a man’s body is to be used to serve the Lord. And the Lord serves the body. By raising it from death and changing it! Compare Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:35-57; 1 John 3:1-3.

Verse 14


And he will also raise us. “Raising our bodies from death” is an integral part of the Good News (Acts 17:18; Acts 17:31-32). Our bodies are too important to throw away in sensuality!

Verse 15


You know. Current religious thought says man is only valuable because he has a soul. Paul says the Christian’s body is part of the body of Christ. See 1 Corinthians 6:19. The body of a prostitute? This would defile the holy!

Verse 16


The two will become one body. Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 to prove that the man and the prostitute become physically one in the sex act. [This does not mean that the man and the prostitute are now married to each other.] Jewish thought did not see a marriage as solemnized until the physical union took place. God himself blessed marriage, but union with a prostitute is a perversion.

Verse 17


But he. Paul uses the marriage relationship (the physical union) to symbolize the spiritual union to Christ. Compare Ephesians 5:25-33; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 3:27.

Verse 18


Avoid immorality. Idolatry and immorality go along together. They are to be avoided (1 Corinthians 10:14). Sins against his own body. This sin defiles his body, because in it he becomes physically one with the other person.

Verse 19


Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Every Christian is a “Spirit-filled Christian” (Acts 2:38; Acts 5:32; Ephesians 2:22; John 7:38-39). But to God. When you became a Christian, you gave yourself to God. You no longer have the right to use your body to serve sin.

Verse 20


He bought you. John 3:16. The Cross stands as God’s estimate of YOUR value!!! So use your bodies for God’s glory. By holy living and good actions. Compare Matthew 25:31-40.

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/1-corinthians-6.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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