Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?CHAPTER 6
1. Concerning Disputes before Heathen Courts. (1Corinthians 6:1-7).
2. The Holiness of Believers; Their Bodies the Temples of the Holy Spirit. (1Corinthians 6:8-20).
Instead of settling their disputes amongst themselves, as it becomes the Saints of God, they brought their difficulties before a heathen court. In doing this they had lost sight of the dignity of their calling. The Saints of God are to reign with Christ and share His glory; they shall judge the world and angels in that day. Going to a heathen court to have these matters settled by one who was not a child of God, but unrighteous, was unworthy of them; they were making known their own shame before the world. If they had remembered that coming day of glory, when as Saints they were to participate in the judgment of the world, they would not have acted in such a way. They would have gladly suffered wrong themselves and permitted themselves to be defrauded instead of rushing with their grievances before a heathen court. Matthew 18:15-18 shows the true way for believers to settle such matters. They were doing wrong and defrauding their own brethren. In all this they dishonored God and denied their relationship to Him. And these Corinthian failures are today in professing Christendom fully developed.
The unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. He reminds them what some of them had been in their unconverted state. They had practiced the vile things of the flesh, which were so common in Corinth. And connected with this there is a warning. If the little leaven was allowed to work, if they continued in the evil ways they were following, they would surely relapse into their former state. But even more, the Apostle reminds them what the grace of God had done for them in saving them from such a life. They had been translated from the power of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son of His love. “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.” The washing has nothing to do with baptism, as some claim. Through regeneration (called in Titus 3:5, “the washing of regeneration”), the believing sinner becomes clean every whit (John 13:10). Then he is also sanctified in Christ, set apart unto God. And the holy Spirit takes possession of the believer as His own temple. This is the meaning here of “Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” He is the seal.
Then the question concerning the believer’s body is introduced. A believer is no longer under the law as to meats and foods, as the Jews were. “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not profitable.” A believer is not to be brought under the power of any of these things. He is not in bondage to anything, but is to have perfect liberty. To be a slave to anything, for instance, a habit, would be wrong. Meats are for the belly; they are but temporary and will pass away. “God will bring to nought both it (the belly) and them (the meats).” But the body itself is something different. In the body of the believer the Holy Spirit is the abiding guest, the divine Indweller. The body is therefore for the Lord and the Lord for the body. The body has the promise of redemption. God, who raised up the Lord, will also raise us up by His own power. And the bodies of believers are members of Christ, joined to Himself by the Spirit of God. “For he that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit.” And all is in warning against the horrible sin, which was so prominent in Corinth, fornication. The bodies of believers belong to the Lord. They are the temples of the Holy Spirit. Therefore we are not our own. Furthermore, all this has been accomplished by the great redemption price, the price paid upon Calvary’s cross. The body must be yielded to God as a living sacrifice. “For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, which are God’s.”