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1 Corinthians Chapter Six


1 Corinthians 6

Chapter 6:1-11 treats the subject of wrongs. It was shameful that those who were to judge the world and the angels should be incapable of judging the paltry affairs of this world. Let the least esteemed in the assembly be employed in this service. Rather should they bear the wrong, whereas they did wrong themselves. But the wicked and the unrighteous would assuredly not inherit the kingdom. What a wonderful mixture we have here of astonishing revelations, of a morality that is unchangeable whatever may be the divine supremacy of grace, and of ecclesiastical order and discipline! The assembly is united to Christ. When He shall judge the world and pronounce the doom of the angels, she will be associated with Him and take part in His judgment, for she has His Spirit and His mind. Nothing however that is unrighteous shall enter into that kingdom, for in effect how could evil be judged by any that took pleasure in it? Christians should not go to a worldly tribunal for justice, but have recourse to the arbitration of the brethren-a service which, as entering so little into christian spirituality, was suited to the weakest among them. Moreover the proper thing was rather to suffer the wrong. Be it as it might, the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom.

Judaism, which took pleasure in a carnal sanctity of outward regulations, and the spirit of the world with conformity to its ways, were the two dangers that threatened the assembly at Corinth-dangers, indeed, which exist for the heart of man at all times and in all places. With regard to meats the rule is simple: perfect liberty, since all is allowed-true liberty, in that we are in bondage to none of these things. Meats and the belly, as in relationship to each other, should both perish; the body has a higher destiny-it is for the Lord, and the Lord for it. God has raised up Christ from the dead, and He will raise us up again by His power. The body belongs to this and not to meats.

But the doctrine that the body is for Christ decided another question, to which the depraved habits of the Corinthians gave rise. All fornication is forbidden. To us, with our present Christian habits of mind, it is a thing of course-to Pagans, new; but the doctrine exalts every subject. Our bodies are the members of Christ. Another truth connected with this is of great importance: if (by union according to the flesh) two were one body, he who is united to the Lord is one spirit. The Spirit whose fulness is in Christ is the same Spirit who dwells in me and unites me to Him. Our bodies are His temples. What a mighty truth when we think of it!

Moreover we are not our own, but were bought with a price-the blood of Christ offered for us. Therefore we ought to glorify God in our bodies, which are His-powerful and universal motive, governing the whole conduct without exception. Our true liberty is to belong to God. All that is for oneself is stolen from the rights of Him who has bought us for His own. All that a slave was, or gained, was the property of his master; he was not the owner of himself. Thus it was with the Christian. Outside that, he is the wretched slave of sin and of Satan-selfishness his rule, and eternal banishment from the source of love his end. Horrible thought! In Christ we are the special objects and the vessels of that love. We have here two mighty motives for holiness: the value of Christ's blood, at which we are purchased; also the fact that we are the temples of the Holy Ghost.

── John DarbySynopsis of 1 Corinthians


1 Corinthians 6

Chapter Contents

Cautions against going to law in heathen courts. (1-8) Sins which, if lived and died in, shut out from the kingdom of God. (9-11) Our bodies, which are the members of Christ, and temples of the Holy Ghost, must not be defiled. (12-20)

Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:1-8

(Read 1 Corinthians 6:1-8)

Christians should not contend with one another, for they are brethren. This, if duly attended to, would prevent many law-suits, and end many quarrels and disputes. In matters of great damage to ourselves or families, we may use lawful means to right ourselves, but Christians should be of a forgiving temper. Refer the matters in dispute, rather than go to law about them. They are trifles, and may easily be settled, if you first conquer your own spirits. Bear and forbear, and the men of least skill among you may end your quarrels. It is a shame that little quarrels should grow to such a head among Christians, that they cannot be determined by the brethren. The peace of a man's own mind, and the calm of his neighbourhood, are worth more than victory. Lawsuits could not take place among brethren, unless there were faults among them.

Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

(Read 1 Corinthians 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.

Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

(Read 1 Corinthians 6:12-20)

Some among the Corinthians seem to have been ready to say, All things are lawful for me. This dangerous conceit St. Paul opposes. There is a liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, in which we must stand fast. But surely a Christian would never put himself into the power of any bodily appetite. The body is for the Lord; is to be an instrument of righteousness to holiness, therefore is never to be made an instrument of sin. It is an honour to the body, that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead; and it will be an honour to our bodies, that they will be raised. The hope of a resurrection to glory, should keep Christians from dishonouring their bodies by fleshly lusts. And if the soul be united to Christ by faith, the whole man is become a member of his spiritual body. Other vices may be conquered in fight; that here cautioned against, only by flight. And vast multitudes are cut off by this vice in its various forms and consequences. Its effects fall not only directly upon the body, but often upon the mind. Our bodies have been redeemed from deserved condemnation and hopeless slavery by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. We are to be clean, as vessels fitted for our Master's use. Being united to Christ as one spirit, and bought with a price of unspeakable value, the believer should consider himself as wholly the Lord's, by the strongest ties. May we make it our business, to the latest day and hour of our lives, to glorify God with our bodies, and with our spirits which are his.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on 1 Corinthians


1 Corinthians 6

Verse 1

[1] Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

The unjust — The heathens. A Christian could expect no justice from these.

The saints — Who might easily decide these smaller differences in a private and friendly manner.

Verse 2

[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?

Know ye not — This expression occurs six times in this single chapter, and that with a peculiar force; for the Corinthians knew and gloried in it, but they did not practise.

That the saints — After having been judged themselves.

Shall judge the world — Shall be assessors with Christ in the judgment wherein he shall condemn all the wicked, as well angels as men, Matthew 19:28; Revelation 20:4.

Verse 4

[4] If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

Them who are of no esteem in the church — That is, heathens, who, as such, could be in no esteem with the Christians.

Verse 5

[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?

Is there not one among you, who are such admirers of wisdom, that is wise enough to decide such causes?

Verse 7

[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?

Indeed there is a fault, that ye quarrel with each other at all, whether ye go to law or no.

Why do ye not rather suffer wrong — All men cannot or will not receive this saying. Many aim only at this, "I will neither do wrong, nor suffer it." These are honest heathens, but no Christians.

Verse 8

[8] Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

Nay, ye do wrong — Openly.

And defraud — Privately. O how powerfully did the mystery of iniquity already work!

Verse 9

[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,

Idolatry is here placed between fornication and adultery, because they generally accompanied it.

Nor the effeminate — Who live in an easy, indolent way; taking up no cross, enduring no hardship. But how is this? These good-natured, harmless people are ranked with idolaters and sodomites! We may learn hence, that we are never secure from the greatest sins, till we guard against those which are thought the least; nor, indeed, till we think no sin is little, since every one is a step toward hell.

Verse 11

[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.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed — From those gross abominations; nay, and ye are inwardly sanctified; not before, but in consequence of, your being justified in the name - That is, by the merits, of the Lord Jesus, through which your sins are forgiven.

And by the Spirit of our God — By whom ye are thus washed and sanctified.

Verse 12

[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.

All things — Which are lawful for you.

Are lawful for me, but all things are not always expedient — Particularly when anything would offend my weak brother; or when it would enslave my own soul. For though all things are lawful for me, yet I will not be brought under the power of any - So as to be uneasy when I abstain from it; for, if so, then I am under the power of it.

Verse 13

[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.

As if he had said, I speak this chiefly with regard to meats; (and would to God all Christians would consider it!) particularly with regard to those offered to idols, and those forbidden in the Mosaic law. These, I grant, are all indifferent, and have their use, though it is only for a time: then meats, and the organs which receive them, will together moulder into dust. But the case is quite otherwise with fornication. This is not indifferent, but at all times evil.

For the body is for the Lord — Designed only for his service. And the Lord, in an important sense, for the body - Being the Saviour of this, as well as of the soul; in proof of which God hath already raised him from the dead.

Verse 16

[16] What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

Genesis 2:24.

Verse 17

[17] But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

But he that is joined to the Lord — By faith.

Is one spirit with him — And shall he make himself one flesh with an harlot?

Verse 18

[18] Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Flee fornication — All unlawful commerce with women, with speed, with abhorrence, with all your might. Every sin that a man commits against his neighbour terminates upon an object out of himself, and does not so immediately pollute his body, though it does his soul.

But he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body — Pollutes, dishonours, and degrades it to a level with brute beasts.

Verse 19

[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?

And even your body is not, strictly speaking, your own even this is the temple of the Holy Ghost - Dedicated to him, and inhabited by him. What the apostle calls elsewhere "the temple of God," 1 Corinthians 3:16,17, and "the temple of the living God," 2 Corinthians 6:16, he here styles the temple of the Holy Ghost; plainly showing that the Holy Ghost is the living God.

Verse 20

[20] For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Glorify God with your body, and your spirit — Yield your bodies and all their members, as well as your souls and all their faculties, as instruments of righteousness to God. Devote and employ all ye have, and all ye are, entirely, unreservedly, and for ever, to his glory.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on 1 Corinthians


1 Cor. 6:1~8

A Spanish proverb says, “The Jews ruin themselves at their Passover; the Moors, at their marriages; and the Christians, in their lawsuits.” In 1 Cor. 6:1~8, Paul decried legal disputes within the early church. What a sad commentary it is that lawsuits among Christians have been so common as to warrant a proverbial generalization.


Chapter 6. No Lawsuits

Everything Is Permissible
Not To Be Mastered

I. Mistake to Sue Against Each Other

  1. the Right of Judgement
  2. Seek Judgement Among Unbelievers
  3. Lack of Love

II. Live a Holy Life

  1. Ten Kinds of Charges
  2. Sanctified and Justified
  3. Unite with the Lord

III. The Body Is a Temple of the Holy Spirit

  1. Flee from Sexual Immorality
  2. Bought at a Price
  3. To Honor God
── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament
Chapter Six General Review
1) To see how brethren in Christ should settle their differences
2) To be impressed with the power of the gospel to transform the lives
   of people
3) To appreciate the proper use of our bodies in service to God
Having seen that the brethren at Corinth were often filled with strife,
envy and divisions (3:3), and that Paul frequently describes them as
being "puffed up" (4:6,18), it is not surprising that they were also
guilty of the fault Paul deals with in this chapter:  taking brethren
to court before unbelievers.  With an expression of  shock and 
disbelief, he instructs them through a series of questions designed to 
help them see how absurd and wrong such a thing was (1-11).
The latter half of the chapter deals with what must have been a major
problem in a city like Corinth: immorality.  What might have been
acceptable behavior with their bodies prior to becoming Christians is
no longer acceptable, for even their bodies belong to the Lord, whose
Spirit indwells them, and who will one day raise them from the dead by
His own power.  Therefore they should glorify God with their bodies 
      1. Dare they take their personal problems to be decided upon by
         the unrighteous? (1)
         a. When the saints will one day judge the world? (2)
         b. When the saints will one day judge angels? (3a)
         c. How much more should they be able to judge matters of this
            life! (3b)
      2. More rebuke in the form of questions (4-5)
         a. Do they seek the advice of those least esteemed by the
            church to judge? (4)
         b. Don't they have even one wise man among them who could serve
            as judge? (5)
      3. The shame of it all:  brethren suing each other before
         unbelievers! (6)
      1. It is bad enough that they had lawsuits to begin with! (7-8)
         a. It would be better to accept wrong and be defrauded (7)
         b. But no, they found themselves doing wrong and defrauding
            their own brethren! (8)
      2. A warning and a reminder (9-11)
         a. The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (9-10)
         b. They had been such, but had been washed, sanctified, and
            justified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit of God (11)
      1. What may be lawful may not be helpful, and should not
         overpower us (12)
      2. The stomach may need food, but that need is only temporary
      3. The body, which is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord,
         will be raised up by the power of God (13b-14)
      1. Shall we take the members of Christ and make them one with a
         harlot? (15-16)
      2. No, for we are to be one in spirit with the Lord (17)
      3. Therefore flee immorality which is a sin against your own
         bodies (18)
      1. The body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is from God, and
         is in it (19a)
      2. You are not your own, you were bought at a price (19b-20a)
      3. Therefore glory God in your body (20b)
1) List the main points of this chapter
   - Taking Brethren To Court (1-11)
   - Glorifying God With Your Body (12-20)
2) What was the nature of the problem being discussed in the first part
   of this chapter? (6)
   - Brethren taking each other to court, before unbelievers
3) What is Paul's solution to such a problem? (5)
   - Find a wise man among brethren to decide the issues
4) What would have been better than displaying their differences before
   the eyes of the world? (7)
   - For the one in the right to accept wrong, to be defrauded
5) What were some of the Corinthians before they became Christians?
   - Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites,
     thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners
6) Though something may be lawful, what two other criteria does Paul 
   mention which should govern our use of it? (12)
   - Is it helpful?
   - Does it overpower us?
7) To whom does our bodies belong? (15)
   - Christ
8) What is the body of one who is a Christian? (19)
   - A temple of the Holy Spirit who is in them
9) What then should we do with our bodies?  Why? (20)
   - Glorify God
   - We were bought at a price

--《Executable Outlines


No Lawsuits

Everything Is Permissible

Not To Be Mastered


I.  Mistake to Sue Against Each Other

1.    The Right of Judgment

2.    Seek Judgment Among Unbelievers

3.    Lack of Love

II.Live a Holy Life

1.    Ten Kinds of Charges

2.    Sanctified and Justified

3.    Unite with the Lord

III.       The Body Is a Temple of the Holy Spirit

1.    Flee from Sexual Immorality

2.    Bought at a Price

3.    To Honor God

-- Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament