1 Corinthians 6:15
Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(15) Shall I then . . .?—Having shown the great dignity which attaches to our bodies as immortal members of Christ, the Apostle asks with indignant emphasis, “Shall I take them out from that high and holy membership, and make them members of an harlot?” The double act of taking them away from their glorious union with Christ, and joining them to a base body, is implied in the Greek.

1 Corinthians 6:15-18. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ — Mystically united to him, as well as your souls, if you are his true disciples, as you profess to be. Shall I then take the members of Christ — My body, which is united to him, with its members; and make them the members of a harlot — United to her, and used to gratify her sinful inclinations? Know ye not — Need I inform you; that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? But he that is joined unto the Lord — By faith and love; is one spirit with him. And shall he make himself one flesh with a harlot? Flee fornication — All unlawful commerce with women, with speed, with abhorrence, with all your might. Every sin that a man doeth — Every other sin, except gluttony and drunkenness, or every other sin that a man commits against his neighbour; is without the body — Terminates in an object out of himself, and does not so immediately pollute his body, though it does his soul. But he that committeth fornication — Or any kind of lewdness; sinneth against his own body — Pollutes, dishonours, and degrades it to a level with brute beasts; and perhaps infects and enfeebles, wastes and consumes it, which these vices have a manifest tendency to do. Inasmuch as the person who is addicted to gluttony and drunkenness sins against his own body, as well as a fornicator, and debilitates it by introducing into it many painful and deadly diseases: in this prohibition of fornication, those vices likewise are comprehended, being indeed the ordinary concomitants of it. And the way to flee whoredom, is to banish out of the mind all lascivious imaginations, and to avoid carefully the objects and occasions of committing that vice, and to maintain habitual temperance in the use of meat and drink.

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.Know ye not ... - This is the third argument against licentiousness. It is, that we as Christians are united to Christ (compare the notes at John 15:1 ff); and that it is abominable to take the members of Christ and subject them to pollution and sin. Christ was pure - wholly pure. We are professedly united to him. We are bound therefore to be pure, as he was. Shall that which is a part, as it were, of the pure and holy Saviour, be prostituted to impure and unholy embraces?

God forbid! - See the note at Romans 3:4. This expresses the deep abhorrence of the apostle at the thought. It needed not argument to show it. The whole world revolted at the idea; and language could scarcely express the abomination of the very thought.

Know ye not ... - This is designed to confirm and strengthen what he had just said.

He which is joined - Who is attached to; or who is connected with.

Is one body - That is, is to he regarded as one; is closely and intimately united. Similar expressions occur in Classic writers. See Grotius and Bloomfield.

For two, saith he ... - This Paul illustrates by a reference to the formation of the marriage connection in Ger. Romans 2:14. He cannot be understood as affirming that that passage had original reference to illicit connections; but be uses it for purposes of illustration. God had declared that the man and his wife became one; in a similar sense in unlawful connections the parties became one.

15. Resuming the thought in 1Co 6:13, "the body is for the Lord" (1Co 12:27; Eph 4:12, 15, 16; 5:30).

shall I then—such being the case.

take—spontaneously alienating them from Christ. For they cannot be at the same time "the members of an harlot," and "of Christ" [Bengel]. It is a fact no less certain than mysterious, that moral and spiritual ruin is caused by such sins; which human wisdom (when untaught by revelation) held to be actions as blameless as eating and drinking [Conybeare and Howson].

Christ is united to the person of the believer, and he is the Head of the church, which is his mystical body; so that the bodies of believers are in a sense the members of Christ, and should be used by us as the members of Christ, which we should not rend from him: but he that doth commit fornication, rends his body from Christ, and maketh it

the member of an harlot; for as the man and wife are one flesh by Divine ordination, Genesis 2:24, so the fornicater and the harlot are one flesh by an impure conjunction.

Know ye not that your bodies are the members, of Christ,.... The whole persons of God's elect were chosen in Christ, and given to him, and made one with him, their bodies as well as their souls; and both are redeemed by him, and, in union with him, are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones:

shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. Signifying, that it is a most absurd, indecent, abominable, and detestable thing, that the bodies of the saints, which are the members of Christ, should be joined in carnal copulation with an harlot.

{11} Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

(11) A declaration of the former argument by opposites, and the application of it.

1 Corinthians 6:15-17. That fornication is not an indifferent thing like the use of meats, but anti-Christian, Paul has already proved in 1 Corinthians 6:13-14, namely, from this, that the body belongs to Christ and is destined by God to be raised up again. How deserving of abhorrence fornication is on that account, he now brings home to the mind of his readers in a striking and concrete way. The immorality of fornication is certainly taken for granted in 1 Corinthians 6:15 f., yet not in such a manner as to make Paul guilty of a petitio principii (Baur in the theol. Jahrb. 1852, p. 538 f.), but on the ground of the proof of this immorality already given in 1 Corinthians 6:13-14 In 1 Corinthians 6:15 f. the apostle does not seek to prove it over again, but to teach the Corinthians to abhor the sin.

οὐκ οἴδατε κ.τ.λ[982]] He here takes up once more, and exhibits with greater fulness, the thought in 1 Corinthians 6:13, ΤῸ ΣῶΜΑ Τῷ ΚΥΡΊῼ, as the basis for the following warning: ἌΡΑς ΟὖΝ Κ.Τ.Λ[983]

μέλη Χριστοῦ] Inasmuch, that is to say, as Christ, as the Head of the Christian world, stands to it in the closest and most inward fellowship of organic life (see especially Ephesians 4:16), and forms, as it were, one moral Person with it; the bodies of the individual believers, who in fact belong to the Lord, and He to them for this world and that which is to come (1 Corinthians 6:13 f.), may be conceived as Christ’s members, just as from the same point of view the whole church of Christ is His collective organ, His body (Romans 12:5; Ephesians 1:23; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:19; 1 Corinthians 12:13, al[984]).

ἄρας] Shall I then take away, take off, the members of Christ, and, etc. Billroth sees in ἄρας simply minuteness of description, indicative of deliberation, as in לקח. But this is to confound it with λαβών. The Vulgate renders rightly: tollens; Luke 6:29; Luke 11:22; John 11:48; Plato, Pol. ix. p. 578 E, Tim. p. 76 B; Sophocles, Trach. 796; 1Ma 8:18. What is depicted is daring misappropriation. The plural τὰ μέλη denotes the category, for the matter “non quanta sit numero, sed qualis genere sit, spectatur,” Reisig, Conjec. in Aristoph. p. 58. Since the Christian’s body is among the members of Christ, the ΠΟΡΝΕΎΕΙΝ is a deed whereby a man takes away the members of Christ from Him whose property they are, and makes them a harlot’s members.

ΠΟΙΉΣΩ] future: Shall this case occur with me? shall I degrade myself to this? so far forget myself? Rückert and Osiander hold that it is the aorist subjunctive: should I, etc. (see Herm. a[985] Viger. p. 742). It is impossible to decide the point.

[982] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[983] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

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

[985] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

1 Corinthians 6:15-17 unfold in its repulsiveness, by vivid concrete presentment, the opposition between the two claimants for bodily service already contrasted: the rival of Christ is ἡ πόρνη! “Or (if what I have said is not sufficient) do you not know that your bodies are Christ’s limbs? Should I then take away the limbs of Christ and make them a harlot’s limbs? Far be it!”—Αἴρω is to remove, carry off, as in 1 Corinthians 5:2 (see parls.), Vg[974] tollens, implying “a voluntary and determined act” (Ed[975]); for the introductory aor[976] ptp[977], see Bn[978], §§ 132, 138. ποιήσω, either (deliberative) aor[979] sbj[980] or fut[981] ind[982]—“Am I to make, etc.?” or, “Am I going to make?” The former idiom suits an act of choice; this question the tempted Cor[983] Christian must put to himself: cf. the interrog. form of Romans 6:1; Romans 6:15 (-ωμεν).

[974] Latin Vulgate Translation.

[975] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.2

[976] aorist tense.

[977] participle

[978] E. Burton’s Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in the N.T. (1894).

[979] aorist tense.

[980] subjunctive mood.

[981] future tense.

[982] indicative mood.

[983] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

What is true of Christian men individually, that they are μέλη Χριστοῦ and parts of the σῶμα Χριστοῦ, is true specifically of the physical frame of each; similarly in 1 Corinthians 6:19 f. Paul applies to the Christian man’s body the glorious truth stated respecting the Christian society in 1 Corinthians 3:16 f. In the Hellenic view, the body was the perishing envelope of the man; in the Scriptural view, it is the abiding vehicle of his spirit. To devote the body to a harlot, one must first withdraw it from Christ’s possession: to do that, and for such a purpose—the bare statement shows the infamy of the proposal. The Biblical formula of deprecation, μὴ γένοιτο, is frequent also in Epictetus; cf. Odyssey, vii., 316, μὴ τοῦτο φίλον Διῒ πατρὶ γένοιτο.

15. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?] This solemn truth, that by our calling as Christians we are so closely united to Christ as to be ‘members of His Body, of His Flesh and of His Bones’ (Ephesians 5:30) is employed here to remind us of the restrictions placed upon our Christian liberty. Our body is Christ’s, nay it is, in a sense, a part of Christ Himself. It may not be used in violation of the laws imposed upon it from the beginning by God. Nor may it be used to the detriment of others, who equally, with ourselves, belong to Christ. And the sin here reproved leads to all kinds of misery and wretchedness, and that because (1 Corinthians 6:18) it is a violation of the eternal law of God impressed upon the human body.

1 Corinthians 6:15. Σώματα, bodies) whether regard is had to the whole or the parts.—ἄρας οὖν τὰ μέλη τοῦ Χριστοῦ ποιήσω πόρνης μέλη;) Some copies have ἄρα for ἄρας;[52] Paul often says ἌΡΑ ΟὖΝ, but in such places where the conclusion is subjoined, after a somewhat long discourse. ἌΡΑς is more suitable to this place, and they have it, whose testimony is of highest value, among whom is Irenæu[53]: and there is the utmost ἘΝΆΡΓΕΙΑ, graphic power, in this participle, depicting as it were the baseness of the thing: taking away, spontaneously alienating the members of Christ, shall I make them the members of a harlot? So the participle φέρων is often redundant, of which I have spoken, on Chrysost. de Sacerdot. p. 394, at the passage, ΦΈΡΩΝ ἙΑΥΤῸΝ ΚΑΤΕΚΡΉΜΝΙΣΕ, he took and threw himself down.—ποιήσω, shall I make?) For they cannot be at the same time the members of a harlot and of Christ.

[52] So ABCD (Λ), Orig. 1, 520c: ‘tollens’ in f. Vulg. Iren. Lucif.: ‘auferens’ in Cypr.: “an tollens” in g. Ἢ ἄρα is read by G.—ED.

[53] renæus (of Lyons, in Gaul: born about 130 A.D., and died about the end of the second century). The Editio Renati Massueti, Parisinæ, a. 1710.

Verse 15. - Members of Christ. We find the same metaphor in 1 Corinthians 12:12, 27; Ephesians 5:30. The Church is often alluded to as "the body of Christ" (Ephesians 1:23; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:19, etc.). Elsewhere the union between Christ and Christians is described by the metaphor of a tree and its branches; a building and the stones of which it is composed (Ephesians 2:21, 22). God forbid. An admirable idiom to express the real force of the original, which means, "May it never be!" (for the rationale of the Greek phrase, I may refer to my 'Brief Greek Syntax,' p. 135). It occurs in Romans 3:4, 6, 31; Romans 6:15; Romans 7:7, 13; Romans 9:14; Romans 11:1, 11; Galatians 2:17; Galatians 3:21. The formula, which involves the indignant rejection of some false conclusion, is characteristic of the second group of St. Paul's Epistles, but especially (as will be seen) of the Epistle to the Romans. 1 Corinthians 6:15Members of Christ

The body is not only for the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:13), adapted for Him: it is also united with Him. See Ephesians 4:16.

Members of a harlot

The union of man and woman, whether lawful or unlawful, confers a double personality. Fornication effects this result in an immoral way.

1 Corinthians 6:15 Interlinear
1 Corinthians 6:15 Parallel Texts

1 Corinthians 6:15 NIV
1 Corinthians 6:15 NLT
1 Corinthians 6:15 ESV
1 Corinthians 6:15 NASB
1 Corinthians 6:15 KJV

1 Corinthians 6:15 Bible Apps
1 Corinthians 6:15 Parallel
1 Corinthians 6:15 Biblia Paralela
1 Corinthians 6:15 Chinese Bible
1 Corinthians 6:15 French Bible
1 Corinthians 6:15 German Bible

Bible Hub

1 Corinthians 6:14
Top of Page
Top of Page