We should not "judge" those outside (1Co 5:12), and they
should not "judge" us!
ANGELS: May ref to mortals: Mat 11:10; Jam
Alternatives: "If then you have such cases, why do you lay
them before those who are least esteemed BY the church?" (RSV). In other words,
NOT the ones IN the church who are least esteemed, BUT RATHER ones (outside the
church) who are least esteemed BY the church. "If then ye have to judge things
pertaining to this life, do ye set them to judge who are of no account in the
church?" (ASV). (Not a way to refer to any brothers, it would seem, but rather a
way of referring to "outsiders".) "Therefore, if you have disputes about such
matters, do you appoint as judges men of little account in the church?" (NIV
Put as a question, then, v 4 become parallel to v 1: "Dare any
of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not
before the saints?" Taken this way, v 4 is another rebuke, and not a
commandment, and leads quite reasonably to v 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?"
In other words, it would be far better to go to the ecclesial
elders for help in settling a dispute -- than it would be to go to Gentile
judges and magistrates. It would of course be better, for that matter, to go
even to the very least qualified among all the brothers to settle one's
disputes, than to appeal to non-believing judges. But the other translations
suggest a more reasonable alternative than that.
Cp consecration of Levites (Num 8).
"EVERYTHING IS PERMISSIBLE FOR ME": Obviously not a
Biblical principle -- but rather Paul is quoting the words of certain
philosophers or critics, words used wrongly as a cloak for various vices and
"FOOD FOR... STOMACH AND... STOMACH FOR FOOD": The
unspoken saying of some: "Sex is meant for the body, and the body for sex." Paul
is caustically quoting a saying of the "Libertines", ie 'God has made the body
with certain functions. How can it be wrong to use the body in these ways?' "
IS ONE... IN SPIRIT: That is, he shares the same
Seven reasons why believers should shun, or flee from,
The immoral will be excluded from the Kingdom of God: "Do you not know that
the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither
the immoral... nor adulterers will inherit the kingdom of God" (1Co 6:9,10; cp
You were separated from immorality at baptism: "You have been
washed... separated... and justified" (1Co 6:11).
Your body belongs to the
Lord: Therefore you are not free to do as you wish with your body: "The body is
not for fornication, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body" (1Co
The body will be the subject of a future resurrection: "God who
raised Christ by His power will raise your body by the same power" (1Co
Your body is a member of Christ: "Do you not know that your bodies
are members of Christ?" (1Co 6:15). Immoral unions violate the oneness with
Christ. The believer is one spirit with his Savior. The "one spirit" is a
oneness in thinking and attitude (John 17). You cannot be of "one spirit" with
the Savior and of "one flesh" by union with an immoral person (1Co
Fornication is a sin against one's own body (1Co 6:18).
not your own: "You have been purchased with a price; therefore glorify God in
your body" (1Co 6:20).
FLEE FROM SEXUAL IMMORALITY: Sexually transmitted
disease has become an epidemic in America. One in four Americans between the
ages of 15 and 55 will contract an STD at some point in life. The problem now
accounts for more than $2 billion annually in health-care costs. The new STDs
produce chronic pain, sterility, abnormal pregnancies, brain-damaged children,
cancer, and with AIDS, almost certain death. Newsweek observed, "With effective
vaccines a long way off, the best protection against STD, it seems, just might
be a return to that old-fashioned safeguard: monogamy."
YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: Temple
worship in Israel was an awesome prospect, especially when the glory of God's
presence filled the most holy place! Imagine your fear, your sense of frailty,
your concern for personal purity, if you were called to serve inside the Temple
of God. As the law prescribed, the priest who entered the holy place was to make
offering for his own sins before standing before God to offer sacrifice for the
people's sins. And sins committed outside the Temple would have to be covered
before worship could take place. Imagine then the calamity that would occur if a
worshiper actually committed sin inside the Temple. It would be an atrocity of
the worst kind. To commit sin in the Temple would be unthinkable -- and possibly
fatal! With this picture in mind, Paul addressed believers who were immersed in
the immoral and sexually-oriented culture of Corinth. To them the picture of
committing immorality inside a place of worship would hit home, since temple
prostitution was common in Corinth's pagan religions.
What must have had the greatest impact on Paul's readers,
though, was not simply the distasteful idea of a person sinning inside a place
of worship. It was the fact that their very bodies were now the temple of the
Holy Spirit! This meant that, for a believer, to commit any kind of immorality
would be the same as a worshiper committing sin in the most solemn place of
worship. The rationale is clear: if our bodies are the temple of the Holy
Spirit, then we must not profane that temple with any sort of sexual immorality.
The alternative is to "honor God with your body," in the same way that a place
of worship would be put to its proper use.
"Not only are we to flee temptation and sin in our flesh, but
we are to take care of ourselves also. For some the battle of fleshly desires is
a constant front. For others, it is not so much against some fleshly desire, but
rather of giving too much of themselves. Those who fight against desires will
find the work of the Lord and attention to others rather than self can help. For
those who give too much, some will wear their physical selves out, and in taking
care of other they neglect themselves. Christ gives an example to us: to give of
our gifts freely, but to take care to eat and sleep and nourish our spiritual
selves in prayer and the word. We do not glorify God if we bury our gifts in
fleshly lusts nor in exhausting ourselves so that we have no more gifts to
share. Let us examine our health, physically and spiritually, and move to
wellness in whatever means are right for us, so we can strengthen the body of
Christ and thereby glorify our Father" (CPv).
YOU WERE BOUGHT AT A PRICE. THEREFORE HONOR GOD WITH YOUR
BODY: "Do not waste a minute of God's time, not one cent of His money. You
are totally 'bought with a price', to be His faithful laborers. You were not
selected from the perishing millions to indulge yourself in unfaithful
stewardship, or to lounge lazily in the sun. Total devotion to the work of God
is the only way to eternal joy. Indolent, self-pleasing, and embezzling servants
will be cast with shame into outer darkness. Have wisdom in this brief day of
such glorious opportunity. The reward for faithful devotion in His service is
beyond our highest conception: the punishment for slothfulness is dreadful to
contemplate. Truly, no one can earn the reward: it is a free gift -- but on
conditions. Only by total love, manifested in total devotion and service, can we
obtain God's mercy and acceptance. Anything less is a mockery of His infinite
goodness toward us. Why would any servant be so stupid as to expect a reward,
and not rather severe punishment, for laziness and unfaithful self-indulgence
and self-use of his lord's entrusted goods" (GVG).
BOUGHT: Gr "agorazo": to be in the "agora", the
marketplace or forum; hence, to buy or sell there. See Lesson,