Articles

First Corinthians - Part 15

Introduction

Last time we looked at the 10 categories of sinners that would not inherit the kingdom of God. The first five but one were sexual in nature and the one that was not, "idolaters", evokes an obvious question: Why is this category placed here? A possible answer is that the sexual practices may be associated with idolatry in so far as a) the actual practice (religious sexual requirements) and b) the idolatry that the practice produces in the mind of the person.

Today we will examine the remainder of chapter 6.

Chapter 6:12-20

After the list of 10 categories Paul says:

11  (AV) 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.
11  (TR) και ταυτα τινες ητε αλλα απελουσασθε αλλα ηγιασθητε αλλ εδικαιωθητε εν τω ονοματι του κυριου ιησου και εν τω πνευματι του θεου ημων

The adversative "BUT" has an interesting part to play in the grammatical diagram to the left along with the shift from active to passive. But you were of these categories -- "such things" -- Paul does not say specifically which. They participated in these things which became characteristics of who they were so that they could be categorized as such. This is an active mood -- they did these things BUT God does something and hence the passive: ye are washed, sanctified and justified. All of these actions performed on the Corinthians were done in the name of the lord and in or by the Spirit of our God. The diagramming showing the instrument by which the washing, sanctifying and justifying was accomplished. 

Paul makes it clear that the Corinthians now are in a different category and it was accomplished by Grace.

12 ¶  (AV) 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.
12  (TR) παντα μοι εξεστιν αλλ ου παντα συμφερει παντα μοι εξεστιν αλλ ουκ εγω εξουσιασθησομαι υπο τινος

"All things" refer to a partcular category, verse 13 gives an example "meats for the belly" -- he cannot mean "all things" without distinction for this would include things that were clearly "unlawful" and lead to the categories just named. There are liberties we have and can certainly enjoy BUT we should not be brought under their power. The fact that we can enjoy "taste" is a good thing but to be brought under its power could lead to unhealthy practices and eventually untimely death and avoidable sickness.

TBT  1 Corinthians 6:12 Πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐ πάντα συμφέρει· πάντα μοι ἔξεστιν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἐγὼ ἐξουσιασθήσομαι ὑπό τινος. (1Co 6:12 TBT)

The word translated "lawful" is the word meaning "permissable" or "possible" BUT not all things are profitable. Paul says that he would not be brought under the power of any such thing.

13  (AV) 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.
13  (TR) τα βρωματα τη κοιλια και η κοιλια τοις βρωμασιν ο δε θεος και ταυτην και ταυτα καταργησει το δε σωμα ου τη πορνεια αλλα τω κυριω και ο κυριος τω σωματι

Meats (τα βρωματα) or foods in general are for the belly, belly for the meats. Paul plays on the cases here to show the limiting function of meats and belly (Nom pl Meats, Dat sing. Belly, Nom sing Belly, Dative pl Meats). But finally God will destroy both the belly and foods. The word "destroy" comes from  καταργήσει (1Co 6:13 TBT) which means to bring to no power and is used in the New Testament in 20 verses (see the table alomngside). Lets have a look at some of the usages:

KJV  Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? (Rom 3:3 KJV)

*καταργ*

Lk. 13:7
Rom. 3:3, 31
Rom. 6:6
1 Co. 1:28
1 Co. 2:6
1 Co. 6:13
1 Co. 13:8, 10
1 Co. 15:24, 26
2 Co. 3:7, 11, 13-14
Gal. 3:17
Eph. 2:15
2 Thess. 2:8
2 Tim. 1:10
Heb. 2:14

KJV  Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Rom 3:31 KJV)

KJV  1 Corinthians 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: (1Co 1:28 KJV)

The idea here is that the belly and meats have a temporary functional relationship which must be carefully maintained and restricted they are temporary because in the future God will give us all a new body which will not need any of these restrictions because of the perfectness of what is coming. Therefore foods and the present body will be brought to nought, they will be made to have "no effect" and will be powerless on our being. In light of this we must exercise power over them now. The same idea was brought out on the subject of judging -- the Acts believers will judge angels therefore they should judge now. 

The subject then moves from the power of "all things" that are permissable to the power of the impermissable that is fornication. "Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body." In a similar way to the permissable and restrictive function of Belly and Meats so is the body and the Lord. In a very real way the body is for the Lord it functions for the Lord and is nourished by the Lord. While this is meant primarily from a spiritual point of view it must be pointed out that there were real physical consequences for shunning the Lord's requirements. A spiritually healthy person then  may not always be physically healthy but was in a place where he/she in the Acts could enjoy physical health by the application of the gifts.

14  (AV) And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
14  (TR) ο δε θεος και τον κυριον ηγειρεν και ημας εξεγερει δια της δυναμεως αυτου

Again the use of power in the future to give a new body should be interpreted NOW concerning conduct.

15  (AV) 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 an harlot? God forbid.
15  (TR) ουκ οιδατε οτι τα σωματα υμων μελη χριστου εστιν αρας ουν τα μελη του χριστου ποιησω πορνης μελη μη γενοιτο

The analogy is made clear and the response is also -- may it not be so!

16  (AV) What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
16  (TR) η ουκ οιδατε οτι ο κολλωμενος τη πορνη εν σωμα εστιν εσονται γαρ φησιν οι δυο εις σαρκα μιαν

Here is the physical heart of marriage, the physical union -- to join with a harlot is to form the physical union consecrating a marriage.

17  (AV) But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
17  (TR) ο δε κολλωμενος τω κυριω εν πνευμα εστιν

Joining spiritually with the Lord is to form a union of spirit. Fornication will break that spiritual union.

18  (AV) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
18  (TR) φευγετε την πορνειαν παν αμαρτημα ο εαν ποιηση ανθρωπος εκτος του σωματος εστιν ο δε πορνευων εις το ιδιον σωμα αμαρτανει

Sinning against your own body is the unique domain of fornication.

19  (AV) 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?
19  (TR) η ουκ οιδατε οτι το σωμα υμων ναος του εν υμιν αγιου πνευματος εστιν ου εχετε απο θεου και ουκ εστε εαυτων

The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit - the Spirit resides within the believer (today also) and ye are bought with a tremendous price. 

20  (AV) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We are not our own we are bought and therefore must not presume that we can do anything we like wit our bodies.

Conclusion:

This section of the scriptures raises some interesting analogies and practical applications for us to learn from. While an acts epistle the book of first corinthians contains issues that will be important for all christians. The matter of how we should use the bodies which God has bought must be of huge importance to all of us.