The people of Corinth had started corrupting the greatest temple of the Lord, their own bodies and Paul sought to make them realize the gravity of their actions.
Infighting within the Church
The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already1 Corinthians 6:7
A church community helps people of different classes come together under one roof and worship the Everlasting God. The church in Corinth was riddled with infighting and arguments that ended up taking its members to court. The corrupt church was not able to resolve the disputes of its members leaving them to ask for a ruling from the courts of the land. Paul asks the church to resolve matters internally but rather than us taking our matters to the church, there should be an attitude of togetherness and humility that enables us to solve our issues amicably.
Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?1 Corinthians 6:7
It is better to be judged in the wrong or be cheated of what we feel is our right than to waste time arguing with our fellow believers. That is exactly what satan wants, for us to be distracted with trivial matters while the goal with which we started our fellowships is forgotten by everyone. Our fellowships should bring us peace as we help each other come closer to God. While the fellowship itself will never bring us peace only jealousy, but when we find the right one that helps us connect with God, we will find the peace that our soul longs for. We have forgotten the purpose of a church in our lives and have substituted it for a social organisation or a club that we visit every other week and pay a fee to continue our membership. If we go to church for any reason other than the intention of worshipping God, such problems will occur in our lives repeatedly. In the end, we will have spent years or even decades in a particular fellowship without coming an inch closer to God. We must set our sight on things beyond this world and not let these distractions hinder our growth in Christ.
Misusing our Freedom in Christ
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.1 Corinthians 6:12
The Corinthian believers were saying that they had the right to do anything and even went as far as deeming sexual immorality as a normal everyday activity like consuming food. Jesus himself said that what goes in through someone’s mouth does not corrupt them but the Corinthians were putting sexual promiscuousness in the same category as dietary habits. Paul is either quoting lines from an earlier letter or relaying back what he has been told by the elders about the statements of the church members. As we see in the latter half of this letter that some in the church did not even believe in the resurrection of our bodies (1 Corinthians 15:12) and would be of the opinion that our bodies cannot corrupt us or keep us from entering our eternal homes. That is foolishness at another level where we have taken Christ’s words out of context and applied them to our benefit.
As Christians, we do have freedom in Christ, but do we really understand the freedom we have? The freedom that we have is that the age-old restrictions to approach God, have been removed by the blood of Christ and we can be in union with our Creator while choosing our paths. We have been freed from the slavery of sin and have been given the gift of salvation by Jesus. Yet we keep abandoning our freedom, trading it in for a life of captivity every time we surrender to the lust and desires of this world. We want the freedom to do anything our heart desires and then we expect to reach heaven, regardless of our actions.
The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.1 Corinthians 6:13
Over the years sexual morality was never given importance by even the leaders of the Abrahamic race. Heroes like David, Judah, Solomon and even Abraham had not kept their bodies pure for the Lord. Every generation has its own definition of sexual immorality and while they do not condone the actions of their forefathers they still were knee-deep in sin. If we go back to the garden we can see God’s will when he created man and his companion and they both became one flesh. In one flesh they communed with God and in the same one flesh, they disobeyed Him too. Associating with immoral people corrupts our thoughts but associating with them sexually, corrupts even our bodies as we grow hardened to our Lord’s rebuke day by day. Our bodies that were meant to be the temple of the Lord has instead been turned into the shrine of prostitutes.
But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.1 Corinthians 6:17
More than the physical bond we share with our earthly partner, there is a higher spiritual bond that connects us with God. Our moral compass keeps guiding us to what we feel is acceptable by the society around us but God has a higher path for us. If we keep limiting our thoughts and standards to what is acceptable by our surroundings we will never be able to walk on the path of God.
The New Temple
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit?1 Corinthians 6:19
We were created in the image of God to have regular communion with Him. The sole purpose of our existence was to praise and honour God. God gave Adam a companion so that they became one and together fulfilled their purpose. However, because of the distraction-filled sideshow that satan has created for us, we have forgotten that purpose. We must remember to whom we belong and give Him every part of our lives. When we invite Jesus in our hearts, do we not realise that His Spirit starts residing in us? So let us forget about honouring man-made buildings and altars, and start honouring God in the new temple He has built within us.
- V7: What should we do when we have disagreements with our fellow believers?
- V12: Do Christians have a right to do anything?
- V13: Why is sexual morality important?
- V20: How can we honour God with our bodies?