1 Corinthians 6 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of 1 Corinthians 6)

Verse 1

[1] Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

The unjust — The heathens. A Christian could expect no justice from these.

The saints — Who might easily decide these smaller differences in a private and friendly manner.

Verse 2

[2] Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

Know ye not — This expression occurs six times in this single chapter, and that with a peculiar force; for the Corinthians knew and gloried in it, but they did not practise.

That the saints — After having been judged themselves.

Shall judge the world — Shall be assessors with Christ in the judgment wherein he shall condemn all the wicked, as well angels as men, Matthew 19:28; Revelation 20:4.

Verse 4

[4] If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

Them who are of no esteem in the church — That is, heathens, who, as such, could be in no esteem with the Christians.

Verse 5

[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?

Is there not one among you, who are such admirers of wisdom, that is wise enough to decide such causes?

Verse 7

[7] Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

Indeed there is a fault, that ye quarrel with each other at all, whether ye go to law or no.

Why do ye not rather suffer wrong — All men cannot or will not receive this saying. Many aim only at this, "I will neither do wrong, nor suffer it." These are honest heathens, but no Christians.

Verse 8

[8] Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

Nay, ye do wrong — Openly.

And defraud — Privately. O how powerfully did the mystery of iniquity already work!

Verse 9

[9] Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Idolatry is here placed between fornication and adultery, because they generally accompanied it.

Nor the effeminate — Who live in an easy, indolent way; taking up no cross, enduring no hardship. But how is this? These good-natured, harmless people are ranked with idolaters and sodomites! We may learn hence, that we are never secure from the greatest sins, till we guard against those which are thought the least; nor, indeed, till we think no sin is little, since every one is a step toward hell.

Verse 11

[11] 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.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed — From those gross abominations; nay, and ye are inwardly sanctified; not before, but in consequence of, your being justified in the name - That is, by the merits, of the Lord Jesus, through which your sins are forgiven.

And by the Spirit of our God — By whom ye are thus washed and sanctified.

Verse 12

[12] 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.

All things — Which are lawful for you.

Are lawful for me, but all things are not always expedient — Particularly when anything would offend my weak brother; or when it would enslave my own soul. For though all things are lawful for me, yet I will not be brought under the power of any - So as to be uneasy when I abstain from it; for, if so, then I am under the power of it.

Verse 13

[13] 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.

As if he had said, I speak this chiefly with regard to meats; (and would to God all Christians would consider it!) particularly with regard to those offered to idols, and those forbidden in the Mosaic law. These, I grant, are all indifferent, and have their use, though it is only for a time: then meats, and the organs which receive them, will together moulder into dust. But the case is quite otherwise with fornication. This is not indifferent, but at all times evil.

For the body is for the Lord — Designed only for his service. And the Lord, in an important sense, for the body - Being the Saviour of this, as well as of the soul; in proof of which God hath already raised him from the dead.

Verse 16

[16] What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

Genesis 2:24.

Verse 17

[17] But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

But he that is joined to the Lord — By faith.

Is one spirit with him — And shall he make himself one flesh with an harlot?

Verse 18

[18] Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

Flee fornication — All unlawful commerce with women, with speed, with abhorrence, with all your might. Every sin that a man commits against his neighbour terminates upon an object out of himself, and does not so immediately pollute his body, though it does his soul.

But he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body — Pollutes, dishonours, and degrades it to a level with brute beasts.

Verse 19

[19] 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?

And even your body is not, strictly speaking, your own even this is the temple of the Holy Ghost - Dedicated to him, and inhabited by him. What the apostle calls elsewhere "the temple of God," 1 Corinthians 3:16,17, and "the temple of the living God," 2 Corinthians 6:16, he here styles the temple of the Holy Ghost; plainly showing that the Holy Ghost is the living God.

Verse 20

[20] For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Glorify God with your body, and your spirit — Yield your bodies and all their members, as well as your souls and all their faculties, as instruments of righteousness to God. Devote and employ all ye have, and all ye are, entirely, unreservedly, and for ever, to his glory.