1 Corinthians 6:13
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.
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(13) Meats for the belly.—The Apostle proceeds now to show that the question of eating meats offered to idols does come into that catalogue of indifferent things on which an exercise of Christian freedom is permissible, and that the question of fornication does not. Lawful matters are to be decided upon the highest principle of expediency; but fornication is an unlawful matter, and therefore the question of its expediency does not arise at all. The stomach is adapted to the digestion of food, and food is adapted to it. This is, however, only for this life; both shall be destroyed by death. But the person (“body” being equivalent to “us” in 1Corinthians 6:14) of the man is enduring. No food which enters defiles the man. Fornication is not a mere transitory gratification; it affects the man. The use of the stomach is to receive and digest food, and only the animal organisation is affected by that. It cannot be said that the man is made for fornication. The person of each is made for the Lord; the whole Church is His body; each baptised person is a limb of that body; and the Lord is for the body. He came to earth and died for it, and for each member of it; therefore what affects that body, or any member of that body (i.e., any Christian), cannot be an indifferent matter. Neither shall the man perish, as meats and the belly shall; he is immortal. (See 1Corinthians 15:51-52.) Such seems to be the argument by which St. Paul maintains liberty to be right regarding meats, and shows that the same principle does not apply to sensual indulgence. It may be put argumentatively thus:

1. Eating meats offered to idols is an “indifferent matter,” because—

(a) Meats only affect the particular organ designed for them;

(b) Meats and that organ shall perish together.

2. Fornication is not an “indifferent matter,” because—

(a) It affects the man, and he is not designed for the purpose of this indulgence,

(b) The man is immortal, and therefore the moral effect of the fornication on his nature does not perish at his death.

Conclusion.—Only indifferent matters are to be the subject of Christian liberty; and the decision must be according to the utility of each act. Fornication is not an indifferent matter; therefore it is not so to be decided upon.

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.Meats for the belly ... - This has every appearance of being an adage or proverb. Its meaning is plain. "God has made us with appetites for food; and he has made food adapted to such appetites, and it is right, therefore, to indulge in luxurious living." The word "belly" here κοιλία koilia denotes the "stomach;" and the argument is, that as God had created the natural appetite for food, and had created food, it was right to indulge in eating and drinking to any extent which the appetite demanded. The word "meats" here βρώματα brōmata does not denote animal food particularly, or flesh, but "any kind" of food. This was the sense of the English word formerly. Matthew 3:4; Matthew 6:25; Matthew 9:10; Matthew 10:10; Matthew 14:9, etc.

But God shall destroy - This is the reply of Paul to the argument. This reply is, that as both are so soon to be destroyed, they were unworthy of the care which was bestowed on them, and that attention should be directed to better things. It is unworthy the immortal mind to spend its time and thought in making provision for the body which is soon to perish. And especially a man should be willing to abandon indulgences in these things when they tended to injure the mind, and to destroy the soul. It is unworthy a mind that is to live forever, thus to be anxious about that which is so soon to be destroyed in the grave We may observe here:

(1) This is the great rule of the mass of the world. The pampering of the appetites is the great purpose for which they live, and the only purpose.

(2) it is folly. The body will soon be in the grave; the soul in eternity. How low and grovelling is the passion which leads the immortal mind always to anxiety about what the body shall eat and drink!

(3) people should act from higher motives. They should be thankful for appetites for food; and that God provides for the needs of the body; and should eat to obtain strength to serve him, and to discharge the duties of life. Man often degrades himself below - far below - the brutes in this thing. they never pamper their appetites, or "create artificial" appetites. Man, in death, sinks to the same level; and all the record of his life is, that "he lived to eat and drink, and died as the brute dieth." How low human nature has fallen! How sunken is the condition of man!

Now the body is not ... - "But δέ de the body is not designed for licentiousness, but to be devoted to the Lord." The remainder of this chapter is occupied with an argument against indulgence in licentiousness - a crime to which the Corinthians were particularly exposed. See the Introduction to this Epistle. It cannot be supposed that any members of the church would indulge in this vice, or would vindicate it; but it was certain:

(1) That it was the sin to which they were particularly exposed;

(2) That they were in the midst of a people who did both practice and vindicate it; compare Revelation 2:14-15.

Hence, the apostle furnished them with arguments against it, as well to guard them from temptation, as to enable them to meet those who did defend it, and also to settle the morality of the question on an immovable foundation. The first argument is here stated, that the body of man was designed by its Maker to be devoted to him, and should be consecrated to the purposes of a pure and holy life. We are, therefore, bound to devote our animal as well as our rational powers to the service of the Lord alone.

And the Lord for the body - "The Lord is in an important sense for the body, that is, he acts, and plans, and provides for it. He sustains and keeps it; and he is making provision for its immortal purity and happiness in heaven. It is not right, therefore, to take the body, which is nourished by the kind and constant agency of a holy God, and to devote it to purposes of pollution." That there is a reference in this phrase to the resurrection, is apparent from the following verse. And as God will exert his mighty power in raising up the body, and will make it glorious, it ought not to be prostituted to purposes of licentiousness.

13. The argument drawn from the indifference of meats (1Co 8:8; Ro 14:14, 17; compare Mr 7:18; Col 2:20-22) to that of fornication does not hold good. Meats doubtless are indifferent, since both they and the "belly" for which they are created are to be "destroyed" in the future state. But "the body is not (created) for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body" (as its Redeemer, who hath Himself assumed the body): "And God hath raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us" (that is our bodies): therefore the "body" is not, like the "belly," after having served a temporary use, to be destroyed: Now "he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body" (1Co 6:18). Therefore fornication is not indifferent, since it is a sin against one's own body, which, like the Lord for whom it is created, is not to be destroyed, but to be raised to eternal existence. Thus Paul gives here the germ of the three subjects handled in subsequent sections: (1) The relation between the sexes. (2) The question of meats offered to idols. (3) The resurrection of the body.

shall destroy—at the Lord's coming to change the natural bodies of believers into spiritual bodies (1Co 15:44, 52). There is a real essence underlying the superficial phenomena of the present temporary organization of the body, and this essential germ, when all the particles are scattered, involves the future resurrection of the body incorruptible.

The beginning of this verse seemeth to give a great light to our true understanding of the former verse, and maketh it very probable that the apostle spake with reference to the free use of meats and drinks, when he said: All things are lawful for me. Though God hath ordained

meats for the filling of the belly, and hath made the belly for the receptacle of meats, for the nourishment of the body, so as the use of meats and drinks is lawful; yet when we see that the free use of them proveth inexpedient, as too much pampering the body, and disposing it to wantonness, so far as they do so they are to be avoided. Others make the connection thus: All your contests are but for things which concern the belly, for meats and drinks, for perishing things; now, in things of this nature, all things that are lawful are not expedient. Others say, that the apostle here answereth or obviateth what the Nicolaitanes or the Epicureans held, that all sorts of meats and drinks were lawful, yea, fornication itself. The apostle grants the first, but denieth the second, there being not a parity of reason for the lawfulness of meats and drinks, and of fornication. He tells them, God had ordained meats for the belly of man, and had created the stomach and belly for the reception of meats for the nourishment of man’s body, and the preservation of his life; yet they ought to use them lawfully, and to consider expedience in the use of them, and not too eagerly to contend for them, for

God shall destroy both the belly, and the use of meats as to the belly. In the resurrection, as men shall not marry, nor give in marriage, so they shall hunger and thirst no more. But God had not created

the body of a man for fornication, but for himself, that men by and with it might glorify his name, by doing his will. And

the Lord is for the body, as the Head of it, to guide and direct the use of the several members of it; and as the Saviour of it, to raise it up at the last day, as he further declareth in the next words. {see 1 Corinthians 6:14} Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats,.... All sort of food is appointed and provided to satisfy the appetite and stomach, to fill the belly, and nourish the body; and the belly, and all the parts through which the food passes, are purposely formed by God for the reception and digestion of the food, for its secretion, chylification, and nutrition by it, and the ejection of the excermentitious parts.

But God shall destroy both it and them: at death, and in the grave, when the one shall be consumed, and the other be needless and useless; and though that part of the body, with the rest, will be raised at the last day, since the body will be raised perfect, consisting of all its parts; yet there will be no appetite, no desire in the stomach after meats, no need of them to fill the belly, and so no use of these parts for such purposes as they now are; for the children of the resurrection will be like the angels, and stand in no need of eating and drinking.

Now the body is not for fornication. Though meats are appointed for the belly, and the belly for them, and this and the other sort of meats are of an indifferent kind, which may or may not be used; yet this cannot be said of fornication, which the Corinthians, and other Gentiles, took to be equally indifferent as meats; but the apostle shows there is not the same reason for the one as the other. The body was not originally made and appointed for fornication; this is quite besides the will of God, who has provided marriage as a remedy against it:

but for the Lord; for Jesus Christ, for whom a body was prepared in God's council and covenant; and for the sake of which, and after the exemplar of it in God's eternal mind, the body of man was first formed; and which was also made, as after the image, so for the glory of Christ, to be a member of his, to be redeemed by him, and to serve him in, in righteousness and holiness, and at last to be raised by him, and made like to his glorious body at the great day.

And the Lord for the body; he was preordained in the council of God, and provided in the covenant of grace, and sent in the fulness of time to be a Redeemer and Saviour of the body, as well as the soul; to be a sanctifier of it, and the raiser of it up from the dead in the resurrection; all which are so many arguments to dissuade from the sin of fornication.

{10} 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.

(10) Secondly, because they counted many things as indifferent which were of themselves unlawful, as fornication, which they numbered among mere natural and lawful desires, as well as food and drink. Therefore the apostle shows that they are utterly unlike: for foods, he says, were made for the necessary use of man's life which is not perpetual: for both foods, and all this manner of nourishing, are quickly abolished. But we must not so think of the uncleanness of fornication, for which the body is not made, but on the other hand is ordained to purity, as appears by this, that is consecrated to Christ, even as Christ also is given us by his Father to enliven our bodies with that power with which he also rose again.

1 Corinthians 6:13. Τῇ κοιλίᾳ] sc[962] ἔστι, belong to, inasmuch, that is to say, as they are destined to be received and digested by the belly (the ὑποδοχῆ τῶν σιτίων, Photius in Oecumenius). Comp Matthew 15:17.

ΤΟῖς ΒΡΏΜΑΣΙΝ] inasmuch as it is destined to receive and digest the food.

This reciprocal destination according to nature is the first element, which, in its relation to the second half of the verse, is intended to call attention to the fact, that the case of fornication is totally different from that of the use of food,—that the latter, being in accordance with its destination, belongs to the category of the adiaphora; while fornication, on the other hand, which is anti-Christian, is contrary to the relation of the body to Christ. The second element (which, however, is very closely connected with the first), by which this is made manifest, consists in what God will hereafter do on the one hand with the κοιλίᾳ and the ΒΡΏΜΑΣΙ, and on the other hand (1 Corinthians 6:14) in respect of the body’s relation as pertaining to Christ, which latter relation is imperishable, in contrast to the perishable nature of the things first mentioned.

Ὁ ΔῈ ΘΕῸςΚΑΤΑΡΓ.] i.e. God, however, will (at the Parousia) cause such a change to take place in the bodily constitution of man and in the world of sense generally, that neither the organs of digestion as such, nor the meats as such, will then be existent. To such passing away is this relation destined by God! With respect to the glorifying of the body here indicated, comp Matthew 22:30; 1 Corinthians 15:44; 1 Corinthians 15:51. Melanchthon aptly says: “Cibl et venter … sunt res periturae; … ideo sunt adiaphora;” and Bengel: “quae destruentur, per se liberum habent usum, Colossians 2:20 ff.” Comp Castalio, and among more modern expositors, Schulz, Krause, Billroth, Rückert, Schrader, Olshausen, de Wette, Osiander, Ewald, Maier, Neander, Hofmann.[966] Pott, Flatt, and Heydenreich (and see still earlier writers in Wolf) approximate to this view, but take ΤᾺ ΒΡΏΜΑΤΑΚΑΤΑΡΓ. as words of an opponent, the premisses of a conclusion as to the allowableness of fornication, which conclusion is impugned by Paul in the τὸ δὲ σῶμα Κ.Τ.Λ[967] which follows. But the apostle has not given the slightest hint of this passage being a dialogue; moreover, had it been so, he would have begun his reply in 1 Corinthians 6:13 with ἀλλά again (as in 1 Corinthians 6:12, according to this dialogistic view). Other interpreters, following Chrysostom and Theophylact, make the design of ὁ δὲ Θεὸς κ.τ.λ[968] to be a warning against excess. Comp Calvin, Grotius, Calovius, al[970] But this, although in harmony with the ἈΛΛΆ in 1 Corinthians 6:12, would stand in no logical relation to the Ὁ ΔῈ ΘΕῸς Κ.Τ.Λ[971] of 1 Corinthians 6:14, and thereby the inner connection of the whole address (see above) would be broken up.

καὶ ταύτην καὶ ταῦτα] Regarding the use of the double οὗτος for ἐκεῖνοςοὗτος, which is not common, see Bernhardy, p. 277. Comp Joshua 8:22; 1Ma 7:46; 1Ma 9:17.

τὸ δὲ σῶμα] Paul cannot name again here a single organ; the whole body is the organ of fleshly intercourse;[973] see 1 Corinthians 6:16.

τῇ πορνείᾳ] for fornication (conceived of as a personal power), for its disposal and use.

τῷ Κυρίῳ] inasmuch as the body is a member of Christ. See 1 Corinthians 6:15.

τῷ σώματι] inasmuch, namely, as Christ is destined (has it as His function) to rule and use the body as His member. “Quanta dignatio!” Bengel. It is a mistake to make the phrase refer to the raising up and glorifying of the body, which it is the part of Christ to effect (Ambrosiaster, Anselm Thomas, Grotius); for this would destroy the unity of mutual reference in the two clauses (comp above, τὰ βρώματα κ.τ.λ[975]], and, besides, the resurrection is brought forward afterwards as something separate from the preceding, and that, too, as the work to God (parallel to the ὁ δὲ Θεὸς Κ.Τ.Λ[976] in 1 Corinthians 6:13).

[962] c. scilicet.

[966] Several of them, however, fall into the mistake of making the date of the καταργ. to be at death, which καὶ ταῦτα alone shows to be inadmissible.

[967] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[968] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[970] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[971] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[973] Neither our text nor Luke 20:35 gives any support to the assumption that those partaking in the resurrection will be without sexual distinction. The doing away of the κοιλία refers simply to the cessation of the earthly process of nutrition; it does not affect the identity of the body, which Delitzsch (Psychol. p. 459), without warrant from Scripture, pronounces to be independent of the external continuance of distinction between the sexes. Such assertions lead to fantastic theories ὑπὲρ ὃ γέγραπται.

[975] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[976] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.1 Corinthians 6:13. The maxim “All things are lawful to me” has been guarded within its province; now it must be limited to its province: “Foods (are) for the belly, and the belly for its foods”.—τὰ βρώματα, the different kinds of food—about which Jewish law, ascetic practice (Romans 14:1 ff.), and the supposed defilement of the idolothyta (8., 1 Corinthians 10:25 ff.) caused many embarrassments. The Ap., adopting the profound principle of Jesus (Mark 7:15-23), cuts through these knotty questions at a stroke: the βρώματα axe morally indifferent; for they belong to the κοιλία, not the καρδία (cf. Romans 14:17). Food and the stomach are appropriated to each other; the main question about the former is whether or no it suits the latter.—A second reason for the moral indifference of matters of the table lies in their perishing nature; κοιλία and βρώματα play a large and troublesome part in the existing order, “but God will abolish both this and these”. For the somewhat rare antithetic repetition of οὗτος, cf. 1 Corinthians 7:7, also Joshua 8:22 (LXX). The nutritive system forms no part of the permanent self; it belongs to the passing σχῆμα τ. κόσμου τούτου (1 Corinthians 7:31), to the constitution of “flesh and blood” (1 Corinthians 15:50) and the σῶμα ψυχικόν; hence the indifference of foods (1 Corinthians 8:8): “quæ destruentur, per se liberum habent usum” (Bg[968]; cf. Colossians 2:20 f.).—“But the body” has relations more vital and influential than those concerned with its perishing sustenance—it “is not for fornication, out for the Lord and the Lord for the body”: the same double dat[969] clause of mutual appropriation links τὸ σῶμα with ὁ Κύριος as τὰ βρώματα; with ἡ κοιλία each is made for the other and requires the other. “The body”—regarded as a whole, in contrast with its temporary apparatus—is fashioned for the Lord’s use; to yield it to heretry is to traverse Christ’s rights in it anu disqualify oneself for a part in His resurrection (1 Corinthians 6:14). The Lord Jesus and πορνεία contested for the bodies of Christian men; loyal to Him they must renounce that, yielding to that they renounce Him. In Gr[970] philosophical ethics the distinction drawn in this ver. had no place; the two appetites concerned were treated on the same footing, as matters of physical function, the higher ethical considerations attaching to sexual passion being ignored. Hence the degradation of woman and the decay of family life, which brought Greek civilisation to a shameful end.

[968] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

dative case.

[970] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.13. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats] This is a matter of comparatively trifling importance. Meat is a necessity for our present undeveloped life; in the world where hunger and thirst will be no more it will no longer be so. And therefore both it, and the organs formed to digest it will be no longer wanted.

Now the body is not for fornication] St Paul is led, by the importance he attaches to this point, to treat it first. The abominable licentiousness of heathen cities in general, and of Corinth in particular (see Dean Stanley’s note on 1 Corinthians 6:12) had led to a general conviction that the body was for fornication. St Paul contradicts this, and most emphatically proclaims that what was always permitted among heathens, and even in some cases enjoined as a religious rite, was distinctly in itself an unlawful act, not excusable on the plea of necessity, which he had admitted in the case of meats, nor, like them, a question of “nicely calculated less or more,” but contrary to the laws laid down by God for man, and calculated to deprive men of the blessings of the Resurrection.

but for the Lord] i.e. Jesus Christ. The body is not formed to serve a purely material end, but is the instrument of the spirit, and its end the glory of God, through Christ.

and the Lord for the body] Because from our point of view Christ came that we might serve and honour Him in our bodies. This sentence answers to ‘meats for the belly, and the belly for meats,’ above.1 Corinthians 6:13. Τὰ βρώματα, meats) viz. ἐστὶ. The conclusion drawn from the lawfulness of meats to that of lust has no weight.—καὶ ταὑτην καὶ ταῦτα, both it and them) Demonstrative, twice used concerning the present time; the it precedes, inasmuch as food is for [on account of] the belly.—καταργήσει) shall destroy; and that too, not merely in the same way as the body is destroyed at death;[49] from the antithesis of the belly and the body, it may be inferred, that there will be a difference of sexes even in the state similar to that of the angels.[50] Those things which shall be destroyed, considered in themselves, have their use unrestricted [free], Colossians 2:20, etc., Mark 7:18, [whatsoever thing from without entereth a man] cannot [defile him]. Now [δἐ, whereas] is here and in the following verse elegantly put instead of for; for a severer denunciation [“God shall destroy both it,” etc.] is subjoined to the concession [“meats for the belly,” etc.]; a joyful declaration [God will raise up us also, etc.], to the prohibition [the body is not for fornication]. He will raise up, directly corresponds from the antithetic side to, He will destroy.—τὸ δὲ σῶμα, now [but] the body) The body here is not opposed to the belly [alvo], but to meats.[51]—ΠΟΡΝΕΊᾼ, for fornication) an abstract noun.—τῷ Κυρίῳ, for the Lord) Christ. The body is His due, for He Himself assumed the body, and hath thereby sanctified us; and we are joined to Him by the resurrection of the body.—τῷ σώματι, for the body) How great honour!

[49] The destruction of meats and the belly will be a permanent destruction.—ED.

[50] For though the belly is to be for ever destroyed, not so the body.—ED.

[51] The Germ. Vers., however, thinks that the body is opposed to the belly [ventri], and it has on the margin these words: The body is much more noble than the belly.—E. B.Verse 13. - Meats for the belly, etc. The argument of the Corinthians about the indifference of eating "meats" which were merely ceremonially unclean was quite tenable. Things Levitically unclean might be essentially pure, and both food and the body which lives thereby are things "which perish in the using" (Colossians 2:22). Shall destroy; shall bring to nought. This would occur when the physical body becomes a spiritual body, like that of the angels of God (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52). How vile, then, is it to make a god of the belly - only to sleep and feed! Both it and them. There shall be no need for the belly when men "shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more" (Revelation 7:16); and the meat alluded to is "meat which perisheth" (Luke 15:16). Now the body is net for fornication, but for the Lord. The argument, therefore, which would class this sin as a matter of indifference, as was the Levitical distinction between different kinds of food, at once fell to the ground. Food was a necessity, and the stomach was formed for its assimilation. Fornication is not a venial but "a deadly sin." It is not a natural necessity, but a consuming evil. The body was created for higher ends - namely, to be a temple of God. "God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness" (1 Thessalonians 4:7). And the Lord for the body. Therefore our members ought to be used "as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Romans 5:13), and our bodies presented as a living, holy, reasonable, acceptable sacrifice to him (Romans 12:1). The end of our existence is "to serve God here and enjoy him forever hereafter." Meats for the belly, etc.

Paul is arguing against fornication. His argument is that there is a law of adaptation running through nature, illustrated by the mutual adaptation of food and the digestive organs; but this law is violated by the prostitution of the body to fornication, for which, in God's order, it was not adapted.

Shall destroy (καταργήσει)

Rev., better, shall bring to nought. See on Romans 3:3. The mutual physical adaptation is only temporary, as the body and its nourishment are alike perishable.

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