1 Corinthians Chapter 6 Continued
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.”
First I want to give the definition of “expedient”: “Based on or marked by a concern for self-interest rather than principle”, which is self-explanatory. The definition of “power” can mean influence or is a measure of a person’s ability to control the environment around them, including the behavior of other persons. In this case, Paul refused to be influenced by either others around him or Satan.
This is probably one of the most controversial Scriptures in the Bible. First, we must remember who Paul is writing this to. They are still very much caught up in the regulations of their Jewish upbringing. Paul is saying, we are not obligated to keep the letter of the law, because Jesus fulfilled the law for us. Even in the Old Testament, we read that to obey is better than sacrifice.
1 Samuel 15:22 “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.
” Hearken: (To give heed to).
Obeying is an act of our own free will. We obey, because we know that it will please God, and we want to please Him. Sacrifice for the Jews had been an obligation, and not a choice. Paul is saying, I am not obligated to do anything, or not do it. I choose to please God, so as an act of my own free will, I obey God’s laws.
These new Christians were still sacrificing, and keeping the old Mosaic Law, from obligation. They were still technical in their form of religion and did not understand fully the sacrifice of Jesus. Paul, I believe is just saying, I am not under the law of obligation but I am a free agent to operate my own will in a way pleasing unto God. Paul is not saying that he has a license to sin without the punishment for sin. He is saying that he is a free-will agent. He chooses for himself, with the benefit of his conscience.
He also is saying, that he refuses to become servant to sin. Paul refuses to live by a set of man-made rules any longer. The condition of his soul is between him and God. A Christian has Christ dwelling within them, and they no longer have the desire in their hearts to sin. This is what Paul is saying. If Christ within me makes the decisions, there is no law against that.
Galatians 3:21: “[Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”
Read the 6th chapter of Romans where Paul fully explains this.
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.”
“Meats … belly”: Perhaps this was a popular proverb to celebrate the idea that sex is purely biological, like eating. The influence of philosophical dualism may have contributed to this idea since it made only the body evil. Therefore, what one did physically was not preventable and thus inconsequential. Because the relationship between these two is purely biological and temporal, the Corinthians, like many of their pagan friends, probably used that analogy to justify sexual immorality.
“The body … The Lord”: Paul rejects the convenient justifying analogy. Bodies and food are temporal relations that will perish.
In the spirit, all believers make up the body of Christ. Our body is the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. My belly, along with my body, should not be my God, because they will perish and the real me will live in my new spiritual body that Jesus will provide me. If the body is such a temporary thing, we should not elevate it to godhood.
1 Corinthians 6:14 “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.”
The 15th chapter of the book of Corinthians goes into detail about this very thing. We know that the body of the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross. That body was buried, and the third day He arose from the grave. There is a physical body, and there is a spiritual body. The physical body must die for the spiritual body to live. This mortal must put on immortality. Because Jesus rose from the grave, all those who put their faith in Jesus shall rise also. Read more at (1 Thess. 4:1-12).
Bodies of believers and the Lord have an eternal relationship that will never perish. He is referring to the believer’s body to be changed, raised, glorified and made heavenly.
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 a harlot? God forbid.”
This verse above is speaking of how bad it is for a Christian to commit a sin of the body, because it includes the house of the Holy Spirit in that sin. We Christians are the temple of the Holy Spirit. All of us are individual parts making up the body of Christ. You can see from the following Scriptures that we are one with Christ. Christ is the head, and we are the body.
Romans 12:5 “So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
1 Corinthians 12:12 “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.”
1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
Therefore, when a believer commits a sexual sin, it involves Christ with a harlot. Therefore, you can easily see why it would be important not to involve the temple of the Holy Spirit in the act of a body sin.
1 Corinthians 6:16 “What? know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.”
Paul supports his point in the previous verse by appealing to the truth of (Genesis 2:24), that define the sexual union between a man and a woman as “one flesh.” When a person is joined to a harlot, it is a one flesh experience; there Christ spiritually is joined to that harlot. The words “Shall be” are translated “shall become”.
1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”
These two Scriptures above should be studied carefully by those who would make husband and wife one in the spirit. The Scriptures say that husband and wife are one in the flesh, not the spirit. All Christians, whether male or female, are one in spirit with the Lord Jesus Christ. Husband and wife relations on this earth are in the flesh. In heaven, it will not be that way. There is no marrying or taking in marriage in heaven.
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 whose believers are one. This argument should make such sin unthinkable (Which I might add, is sin just thinking about the possibility).
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.”
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. But Paul is probably alluding to venereal disease, prevalent and devastating in his day and today. No sin has greater potential to destroy the body, something a believer should avoid because of the reality given (in verses 19-20).
Fornication, in the verse above, includes all sorts of harlotry. This includes all unnatural sex acts and it also includes acts not with the spouse that God has chosen for you. The Aids patients are finding out the hard way what this type of sin brings on. Not all Aids patients are committing this sin, but this is one of the major ways of transmitting this disease.
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?”
A Christian’s body belongs to the Lord (verse 13), is a member of Christ (verse 15), and is the Holy Spirit’s temple.
Think about this. Every act of fornication, adultery or any other sin is committed by the believer in the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, where God dwells. In the Old Testament, the High Priest only went in there once a year, and only after extensive cleansing, lest he be killed.
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.”
When Jesus paid the price for our sin on the cross, He bought us and paid in full for us. I have used the following Scripture numerous times, but it seems to say exactly what I want to say on this.
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
If Christ is in me, then I should treat my body as if it is His temple. I should allow nothing into the temple of God that would defame it in any way.
1 Corinthians Chapter 6 Continued Questions
1. Who had Paul written this to?
2. Where do we find in the Scriptures, that to obey is better than sacrifice?
3. Obeying is an act of our own ____ _____.
4. Sacrifice, for the Jews, had been an __________, not a choice.
5. Is Paul saying he has a license to sin?
6. Paul refuses to become a servant to ___.
7. If Christ within me makes the decisions, there is no ______ against that.
8. What does “expedient” mean in verse 12?
9. Meats for the _______, and the belly for ________.
10. The body is not for ______________, but for the Lord.
11. Our ______ is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.
12. Who raised up the Lord?
13. What hope does that give the Christian?
14. Where in Thessalonians, do we read a great deal about this?
15. Why must the physical body of man die?
16. Know ye not that your bodies are the ___________ of Christ?
17. Why is it so terrible for a Christian to be involved in a sin of the body?
18. What are those who engage in sin with a harlot, one with her in?
19. The word that was translated “shall be” in verse 16, could have been better translated what?
20. He that is joined unto the Lord is one _________.
21. Verse 18 says to flee what?
22. A person who commits fornication sins against their own _______.
23. What does fornication in verse 18, include?
24. What is the temple in verse 19?