1 Corinthians 6
The Passion Translation
Lawsuits between Believers
6 Furthermore, how dare you take a fellow believer to court! It is wrong to drag him before the unrighteous to settle a legal dispute. Isn’t it better to take him before God’s holy believers to settle the matter? 2 Don’t you realize that we, the holy ones, will judge the universe?[a] If the unbelieving world is under your jurisdiction, you should be fully competent to settle these trivial lawsuits among yourselves. 3 For surely you know that we will one day judge[b] angels, let alone these everyday matters. 4 Don’t you realize that you are bringing your issues before civil judges appointed by people who have no standing within the church?[c] 5 What a shame that there is not one within the church[d] who has the spirit of wisdom who could arbitrate these disputes and reconcile the offended parties! 6 It’s not right for a believer to sue a fellow believer—and especially to bring it before the unbelievers.
7 Don’t you realize that when you drag another believer into court you’re providing the evidence that you are already defeated? Wouldn’t it be better to accept the fact that someone is trying to cheat and take advantage of you, and simply choose the high road? At times it is better to just accept injustice and even to let someone take advantage of you, rather than to expose our conflicts publicly before unbelievers.[e] 8 But instead you keep cheating and doing wrong to your brothers and sisters, and then request that unbelievers render their judgment!
Christian Morality and the Kingdom Realm of God
9 Surely you must know that people who practice evil cannot possess God’s kingdom realm. Stop being deceived![f] People who continue to engage in sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual perversion,[g] homosexuality, 10 fraud, greed, drunkenness, verbal abuse,[h] or extortion—these will not inherit God’s kingdom realm. 11 It’s true that some of you once lived in those lifestyles, but now you have been purified from sin,[i] made holy, and given a perfect standing before God—all because of the power of the name of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, and through our union with the Spirit of our God.
12 It’s true that our freedom allows us to do anything, but that doesn’t mean that everything we do is good for us. I’m free to do as I choose, but I choose to never be enslaved to anything. 13 Some have said, “I eat to live and I live to eat!” But God will do away with it all. The body was not created for illicit sex, but to serve and worship our Lord Jesus, who can fill the body with himself.
14 Now the God who raised up our Lord from the grave will awaken and raise us up through his mighty power!
The Body of Christ
15 Don’t you know that your bodies belong to Christ as his body parts? Should one presume to take the members of Christ’s body and make them into members of a harlot? Absolutely not! 16 Aren’t you aware of the fact that when anyone sleeps with a prostitute he becomes a part of her, and she becomes a part of him? For it has been declared:
The two become a single body.[j]
17 But the one who joins[k] himself to the Lord is mingled into one spirit with him. 18 This is why you must keep running away from sexual immorality. For every other sin a person commits is external to the body, but immorality involves sinning against your own body.
19 Have you forgotten that your body is now the sacred temple of the Spirit of Holiness, who lives in you? You don’t belong to yourself any longer, for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside your sanctuary.[l] 20 You were God’s expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood,[m] so by all means, then, use your body[n] to bring glory to God!
- 1 Corinthians 6:2 As translated from the Aramaic.
- 1 Corinthians 6:3 The meaning of this is that believers will one day govern over and judge the angelic realm. Our position in Christ is higher than the angels. They are servants; we are sons. Sons rule over servants.
- 1 Corinthians 6:4 The Greek verb kathizete can be interpreted as an ironic imperative instead of a question. This would change the verse to read “Appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church to arbitrate ordinary lawsuits.” However, it is more likely a question since kathizete is found at the end of the sentence.
- 1 Corinthians 6:5 This chapter is loaded with irony. Paul here argues that the church must have someone who could discern, sift, weigh, and judge these everyday matters within the body. The irony is that the word for church is ekklēsia, which means “governing body,” similar to a senate. It was a Greek term used for the gathering of a governing body to promote the welfare of a city. To be a part of an ekklēsia (church) implies that there is wisdom and leadership among the group to govern and bring blessing to a city.
- 1 Corinthians 6:7 Paul does not mean that we should passively acquiesce to abuse from others. Rather, he brings before us a higher principle: It is better to suffer personal injustice than to bring disgrace to Christ by bringing our conflicts before unbelievers. The Spirit of wisdom (Eph. 1:17) is one of the graces that God pours out upon his people. This anointing of wisdom will empower the body of Christ to bring justice and righteousness into our churches. Most scholars conclude that these disputes were not criminal but issues related to business, personal property, inheritances, default in loan payments to other believers, and the like. See also Matt. 5:25-26; 18:15–17.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9 Or “Make no mistake!”
- 1 Corinthians 6:9 Or “catamites” or “pederasts” or “child molesters.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:10 Or “slanderers.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:11 Or “washed clean.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:16 See Gen. 2:24. Paul is teaching that sexual intercourse causes an interpersonal union that goes beyond a physical relationship.
- 1 Corinthians 6:17 The Greek verb kallaō means “to unite,” “to knit or weld together,” “to mingle,” or “to join together,” and “to make two into one.”
- 1 Corinthians 6:19 Or “the in-you Holy Spirit.” The Greek word Paul uses for “temple” is actually naos, “sanctuary.” See Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4-5.
- 1 Corinthians 6:20 As translated from the Aramaic.
- 1 Corinthians 6:20 The Aramaic and the Textus Receptus adds “and in your spirit.”