1 Corinthians 6 – 2019-11-12
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1 CORINTHIANS 6 – COMMENTARY
vv.1-6 “More important than any private property is the unity of the church. Paul calls again for a conversion of the imagination. The Corinthians are to stop seeing themselves as participants in the ‘normal’ social and economic structures of their city and to imagine themselves instead as members of the eschatological people of God, acting corporately in a way that will prefigure and proclaim the kingdom of God. Whatever decisions are made about economic affairs ought to be made by the church acting together, and in making such decisions, the church should remember that they are the saints who will be called upon ultimately to participate in God’s righteous judgment of the world.”
“Disputes, differences of opinions among believers and in a church are not surprising; the way conflicts are resolved says a great deal about the maturity of the believers involved, about the health of a community of believers, about its understanding of itself and its obligations to others, and about its perception of its ultimate destiny and function in God’s grand design.”
vv.1-2 “Paul is upset with the Corinthians because they are failing to act as a community, failing to take responsibility for one another, Just as they have failed to discipline the incestuous man, so they are failing to take responsibility for settling their own disputes.”
vv.9-10 “The same items that Paul mentions in chapter 5 reappear, along with four new ones. If they have anything in common, it would seem to be that all represent some form of ruthless self-gratification, reckless of other people’s rights. […] By using nouns that become labels for individuals only after persistent sin in particular areas, Paul makes plain that temporary lapses do not cause an individual to forfeit salvation. As Prior explains, ‘Paul is not talking about isolated acts of unrighteousness, but about a whole way of life pursued persistently by those who thus indicate that they would be aliens in the kingdom of truth and light’ (cf. I John 3:4-10).”
“As in Romans 1:24-27, homo- and heterosexual sins are paired in a way that suggests that neither is any better or any worse than the other… in each of these instances true Christians should acknowledge their behavior as sinful and try to change it. Persistent rebellion increasingly calls into question any prior profession of faith…
“What is more, it is important to stress that actions rather than orientations predominate throughout this list… it is true that one’s predisposition need not lead to actual sin. Celibacy remains the biblically mandated alternative to heterosexual marriage for people of any orientation unable to find a permanent partner of the opposite sex…
v.11 “Verse 11 recalls another crucial point in this discussion: homosexuality can be abandoned with God’s help. Both the Corinthians’ and contemporary experiences demonstrate that gays can become ‘straight’ and have loving, fulfilling heterosexual marriages, even though it is often a long process and difficult struggle. As with conciliation services, there are a growing number of national and local ministries that facilitate these conversions. These ministries should be greatly welcomed and enthusiastically supported by all Christians.”
v.12 “The great fact of the Christian faith is, not that it makes a man free to sin, but that it makes a man free not to sin.”
vv.13-17 “Believers are one body with the Lord (6:13); they are one spirit with the Lord (6:17); and the Gen 2:24 quotation suggests that they are one flesh as well. Paul goes out of his way to affirm as fully and completely as possible the believers belonging to Christ as an exclusive and all-embracing identity. […] Belonging to the Lord allows no rival claim, permits no association whatsoever with sin or porneia.”
vv.13-14 “[T]he Corinthians were apparently inferring from the relatively accurate observation that food and stomach were made for each other that the body and sexual release were identically related. After all, both eating and having sex seem to be limited to this life. Not so, declares Paul! There may be no need for stomachs in resurrection bodies that do not need to eat, but there most certainly will be resurrection bodies! And sexual immorality affects one’s entire body in a way that overeating cannot, as verse 18 will explain. Hence, that body is to be dedicated to the Lord in holiness and not to sexual impurity.”
“Paul’s is a lofty and holistic view of the self, lofty because one’s present self, as is, is loved and cherished by God and will be preserved by God, and holistic because Paul thinks of the human as a whole integrated being who is not only part of the ‘new creation’ but also the object of God’s redeeming love. So redemption is not the salvaging of some inner, perhaps purer essence of the individual, it is the saving of the whole being.”
vv.15-16 “The whole argument presupposes that sexual intercourse cannot be understood merely as a momentary act that satisfies a transient natural urge. Instead, it creates a mysterious but real and enduring union between man and woman. In support of this claim, Paul cites Genesis 2:24: ‘The two shall be one flesh.’ The union of a member of the church with a prostitute is disastrous for the Christian community precisely because it creates a real bonding with her; therefore it creates an unholy bond between the Lord’s members and the sinful world. The result is both defilement and confusion.”
v.18 “The strong command to keep on fleeing porneia may need to be reenacted literally, as with Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife (Gen. 39: 12). But it may also require refusing intimate friendships with people to whom one is improperly attracted, refraining in dating relationships from bodily contact that prematurely arouses too strong a sexual desire, or avoiding places that make pornography available in print or on television and film. It applies also at the mental level, whenever we dwell on that which is not true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).”
vv.19-20 “All people are dependent on some being or some thing beyond themselves to give them meaning and significance (cf. Rom 14:7). So for Paul the issue is not whether one has a lord or not; one simply will have some lord. At stake is what lord one will have. Paul has taken as his model the contemporary practice of buying and selling slaves in the agora (meeting place or marketplace): ‘you were bought.’ And, because slaves were supposed to increase their owners’ honor, to make their owners look good, Paul transposes the slave’s need to honor the owner into his own theological concepts and tells the Corinthians how to honor their new owner: ‘glorify God in your body’ (6:20). In Paul’s categories, the chief competing lords are sin, a power that takes over one’s life and governs it (and a power that Paul thinks was the former lord of all believers; cf. Rom 3:23), or Christ, whose lordship grants perfect freedom.”
 Richard B. Hays, “1 Corinthians,” Interpretation (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 98.
 Paul J. Sampley, “The First Letter to the Corinthians,” The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. X (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002) 857.
 Richard B. Hays, “1 Corinthians,” Interpretation (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 92-93.
 Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 118.
 Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 121
 Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 124.
 Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 125.
 Paul J. Sampley, “The First Letter to the Corinthians,” The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. X (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002) 865.
 Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 126.
 Paul J. Sampley, “The First Letter to the Corinthians,” The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. X (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002) 866.
 Richard B. Hays, “1 Corinthians,” Interpretation (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1997) 105.
 Craig Blomberg, 1 Corinthians, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 129.
 Paul J. Sampley, “The First Letter to the Corinthians,” The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. X (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2002) 867.
1 Corinthians 6:1-11 (ESV)
1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
God [What truths about God’s person, activity or character does the text reveal?]
Apply and Obey [How does today’s text apply to me? How will I obey or respond to the truths from today’s text?]