|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:12-20 Some among the Corinthians seem to have been ready to say, All things are lawful for me. This dangerous conceit St. Paul opposes. There is a liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, in which we must stand fast. But surely a Christian would never put himself into the power of any bodily appetite. The body is for the Lord; is to be an instrument of righteousness to holiness, therefore is never to be made an instrument of sin. It is an honour to the body, that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead; and it will be an honour to our bodies, that they will be raised. The hope of a resurrection to glory, should keep Christians from dishonouring their bodies by fleshly lusts. And if the soul be united to Christ by faith, the whole man is become a member of his spiritual body. Other vices may be conquered in fight; that here cautioned against, only by flight. And vast multitudes are cut off by this vice in its various forms and consequences. Its effects fall not only directly upon the body, but often upon the mind. Our bodies have been redeemed from deserved condemnation and hopeless slavery by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. We are to be clean, as vessels fitted for our Master's use. Being united to Christ as one spirit, and bought with a price of unspeakable value, the believer should consider himself as wholly the Lord's, by the strongest ties. May we make it our business, to the latest day and hour of our lives, to glorify God with our bodies, and with our spirits which are his.
Verse 18. - Flee fornication. In the battle against sensual sins, there is no victory except in absolute flight, for the reason which immediately follows, namely, that these sins have their dwelling in that body which is part of our being, and which yet they tend to destroy. They make a man his own deadliest enemy. Every sin... is without the body. Some have supposed that this cannot apply to gluttony and drunkenness, which they therefore class with fornication; but even in those sins, as in suicide, the cause of and incentive to the sin is external, whereas the source of uncleanness is in the heart and in the thoughts, which come from within, and so defile the man. Other sins may be with and by means of the body, and may injure the body; but none are so directly against the sanctity of the whole bodily being as fornication. Sinneth against his own body. By alienating it from the service of him to whom it belongs; by incorporating it with the degradation of another; by staining the flesh and the body (Proverbs 5:8-11; Proverbs 6:24-32; Proverbs 7:24-27); by subtly poisoning the inmost sanctities of his own being. St. Paul is here thinking mainly, however, if not exclusively, of the moral injury and defilement.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Flee fornication,.... As that which is hurtful, scandalous, and unbecoming Christians; avoid it, and all the occasions of it, that may lead unto it, and be incentives of it:
every sin that a man doth is without the body not but that other sins are committed by the body, and by the members of it as instruments; they are generally committed by the abuse of other things that are without, and do not belong to the body; and so do not bring that hurt unto and reproach upon the body, as fornication does:
but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body; not meaning his wife, which is as his own body; but his proper natural body, which is not only the instrument by which this sin is committed, but the object against which it is committed; and which is defiled and dishonoured by it; and sometimes its strength and health are impaired, and it is filled with nauseous diseases hereby.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. Flee—The only safety in such temptations is flight (Ge 39:12; Job 31:1).
Every sin—The Greek is forcible. "Every sin whatsoever that a man doeth." Every other sin; even gluttony, drunkenness, and self-murder are "without," that is, comparatively external to the body (Mr 7:18; compare Pr 6:30-32). He certainly injures, but he does not alienate the body itself; the sin is not terminated in the body; he rather sins against the perishing accidents of the body (as the "belly," and the body's present temporary organization), and against the soul than against the body in its permanent essence, designed "for the Lord." "But" the fornicator alienates that body which is the Lord's, and makes it one with a harlot's body, and so "sinneth against his own body," that is, against the verity and nature of his body; not a mere effect on the body from without, but a contradiction of the truth of the body, wrought within itself [Alford].
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