Purchased at a Price
the Roman court system did not allow social inferiors to take their social superiors to court, what takes place here is a reflection of Corinthians of similar social status going before the courts in Corinth. On the other hand, a social superior could bring charges against a social inferior, and this often happened. The jurors were selected from the wealthier social classes and not from among one’s peers. The corruption of the courts was well-known in Paul’s day
Applications for Church Unity
Faithfulness of Servants and Stewards
Corinthian Stewards Contrasted with Godly Stewards
Admonished to be Imitators
Immorality and Lawsuits
6:1-11 Judicial System...
Verses 6:12-20 Deal with Immorality
6:12–20 Paul continues to address the conduct of the Corinthian believers. Here he denounces them for using a distorted understanding of freedom in Christ to validate their visitations of prostitutes.
Paul acknowledges that Christians are free in Christ (see also 10:23), there are nevertheless limits to that freedom. Evidently some of the Christians at Corinth were involved with prostitutes, and Paul reminds them that God forbids premarital sexual intercourse or marital sexual intercourse with one who is not his/her spouse. Such comments reflect Paul’s understanding of Deut. 22:12–29. Some Greeks of Paul’s day argued that sex outside of the bonds of marriage was acceptable as long as it did not control the person. For most Greek males under the age of thirty, sex outside of marriage was available through prostitution and slaves. Fornication was only a problem if it occurred within aristocratic or free families, but not if it occurred with slaves or prostitutes.
All things are permitted for me The Corinthians likely used this slogan as an excuse to mistreat and abuse the physical body (e.g., through sexual immorality; v. 19). Paul cites it negatively in 10:23. He also says in this verse that it is not beneficial for people to elevate their desires above God’s.
the stomach for food
Describes a person’s sexual appetite using a well-known euphemism from the ancient world. The logic of the metaphor is that just as the stomach’s appetite is meant to be satisfied with food, so the body is meant to be satisfied through sexual activity.
Paul is familiar with Hellenistic notions of sexual morality and also of their view of the body. Just as the stomach was for food and food was for the stomach, so it was, as some argued, the body was for sex and sex was for the body and, since the body had no future in the Greek notion of immortality with the gods, many argued that it did not matter what was done sexually in the body. Paul rejects this notion and appeals to the Jewish tradition on human sexuality.
God will abolish both of them Many Greeks rejected the idea of a bodily resurrection because they believed that death separated the body and spirit permanently
will raise us up Believers should not misuse their bodies for sexual immorality because God cares about their bodies that will be resurrected; rather, they must recognize that their bodies belong to the Lord, who will resurrect them
6:15-17 Membership matters
Members of Christ or members of a Prostitute
The doctrine of the believer’s union with Christ is one of the most fundamental teachings of the apostle. What is significant about this verse is that it represents that union as involving the whole person, including the physical body (Rom. 12:1). The Corinthians were wrong in thinking that sexual union with a prostitute, just because it was physical, did not affect their relationship with Christ.
members of Christ The individual members of the Church comprise the body of Christ (the Church as a unit). If a believer visits a prostitute, the person not only joins their entire self to a prostitute, but the whole body of Christ.
The two will become one flesh Paul quotes the Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT) version of Gen 2:24 to support his prohibition of sexual relations with prostitutes. Sexual intercourse creates a unique bond between two people.
6:18-20 Solution & Explanation
outside his body The Corinthians may have assumed that their physical bodies were not subject to moral instruction (see note on v. 13); thus, they believed that everything is permissible. Paul counters their assumption; he argues that those who sin sexually also sin against their own bodies.
do you not know Paul asks a question to explain his association of the physical body with holiness (vv. 13–17). The nature of this question suggests that the Corinthian believers should already know about this truth.
your body Refers to the body of each believer. Paul’s use of the singular form of “body” may emphasize that each believer is a temple of God. Paul also described the entire church community as the temple of God in 3:16.
the temple In this context, Paul focuses on individual believers instead of the entire church community.
For you were bought at a price In Paul’s time, masters purchased slaves from other masters, thereby issuing a change in ownership for a slave. Paul reminds the Corinthians that God purchased them from slavery to sin and death through the sacrificial death of Christ. Therefore, they belong to God, not to themselves