1Corinthians Chapter Six

In the last chapter Paul addressed the issues concerning standards of behavior in the church regarding sexual misconduct. Now in chapter six he addresses them over the fact that there are brothers in the church family who are taking one another to court. Paul’s indignation over this issue is because they are allowing the wider community to exercise their brand of justice and ethics. He tells them that they should be operating justice according to their new life standards of faith and love as a redeemed community of faith. The matter would appear to be one between property owners, who were the only people able to afford litigation, and property owners would most probably have been part of the leadership of the church. So this all added up to bad practice and a bad testimony. He urges them to rather suffer the injustice and let God be the vindicator, and so grow and mature in the nature and character of the kingdom as well as becoming a good witness to the wider community.

He brings in the lofty thought of the church one day in the end times bringing judgment upon the whole world and also upon the rebellious angels, and challenges them that if this is so, then can they not judge in these baser material issues. Paul paints this picture as the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ which will drive them as a community further and further into a worldly way of life. He then describes some of the degenerate practices of the worldly lifestyle of the outside community and tells them that such behavior prevents a person from living in the dynamic of the kingdom of God. He adds that once they lived in such a way as that but that now they were redeemed and free to live a shared life with Jesus, with all of the implications that represents. Paul then makes the legendary statement in vs.12 ‘All things are lawful for me but not all things are expedient etc…’ I have translated this in the Spiritcode version as ‘I am free to do whatever I want but not everything shows principle and integrity. I am free to have what I need but I will not allow myself to be obsessed or driven by anything.’

Paul compares being joined sexually to a prostitute in body with the mystical union of husband and wife. Ephesians 5:31-32. ‘The two shall be one flesh – but this is a great mystery…’ Paul then develops the theme of being joined in nature and substance to God through the supernatural exchanged life that Jesus made possible with and for humanity

And he further develops this into the supernatural joining of the Christian to Jesus as one spirit. Therefore comes the injunction against sexual immorality and the picture of our bodies as being the temple of The Holy Spirit.

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1. I don’t know how any of you could have the nerve to take one another to a secular court over material assets instead of letting the matter be settled among you as church family.

2. Didn’t you realize that God has appointed the Church to bring final judgment to the world? And if this is the case then why aren’t you competent to judge in these trivial issues?

3. And didn’t you know that the Church will also judge the rebellious heavenly angels? So don’t you think you should be ready to judge earthly matters?

4. If you have issues among you concerning material disputes why appoint people to judge who don’t have a value system anywhere near yours.

5. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Isn’t there anyone with enough wisdom and intelligence to help you reach some equitable solution to all this?

6. But you take your church family disputes away from the family structure to people that live outside your principles of faith and love.

7. This shows an absolute lack of integrity amongst you, to challenge one another’s integrity before a secular court of law. Wouldn’t it show greater integrity and honor to let the decision go in favor of the other person? Trade your money value for spiritual virtue.

8. No you would rather maneuver and take advantage of one another, even your own brother.

9. Don’t you know that unjust and lawless people will not share in the richness of the kingdom of God? So don’t fool yourselves. Neither will the sexually immoral and the idol worshipers, and the adulterers and the effeminate and homosexuals.

10. Neither will thieves, or the greedy materialists, or drunkards, or abusers or extortionists.

11. Those descriptions would have fitted some of you once, but you’re clean from all of that now, you have been chosen by God for a new life and been put right with God through Jesus and The holy Spirit.

12. I am free to do whatever I want but not everything shows principle and integrity. I am free to have what I need but I will not allow myself to be obsessed or driven by anything.

13. Food was made for our stomachs and our stomachs are fulfilled by food, but one day we won’t need food or stomachs. Our bodies were not made for fulfillment in sexual immorality, but for fulfillment in The Lord, and The Lord is fulfilled in us.

14. The Lord’s body was supernaturally raised from the dead by God, and that same power will resurrect our bodies.

15. Did you know that your physical bodies are now part and parcel of our resurrected Lord Jesus? Will we then take what is joined to Christ and join that with a prostitute? In God’s name – No!

16. Didn’t you know that sexual union with a prostitute joins two bodies together as though they were one, because God said about sexual union that two people mysteriously become one.

17. But when you are joined to The Lord it is a spiritual union that makes your spirit and his spirit the one spirit.

18. Stay clear of sexual immorality. Every wrong thing that someone does has a harmful effect on someone or something else, but sexual immorality has a harmful effect on the person who commits it.

19. Didn’t you know that your body is a habitation of The Holy Spirit who is within you as a gift from God, and so you do not belong to yourself.

20. Jesus has paid the price of his own life to make your life his life, so honor and respect the bond that exists between God and you in your body and in your spirit because that belongs to God.

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