1 Corinthians 6:20
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
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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.For ye are bought - Ye Christians are purchaseD; and by right of purchase should therefore be employed as he directs. This doctrine is often taught in the New Testament, and the argument is often urged that, therefore, Christians should be devoted to God; see 1 Corinthians 7:23; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 2:1; Revelation 5:9; see the note at Acts 20:28.

With a price - τίμῇ timē. A price is that which is paid for an article, and which, in the view of the seller, is a fair compensation, or a valuable consideration why he should part with it; that is the price paid is as valuable to him as the thing itself would be. It may not be the same thing either in quality or quantity, but it is that which to him is a sufficient consideration why he should part with his property. When an article is bought for a valuable consideration, it becomes wholly the property of the purchaser. He may keep it, direct it, dispose of it. Nothing else is to be allowed to control it without his consent - The language here is figurative. It does not mean that there was strictly a commercial transaction in the redemption of the church, a literal "quid pro quo," for the thing spoken of pertains to moral government, and not to commerce. It means:

(1) That Christians have been redeemed, or recovered to God;

(2) that this has been done by a "valuable consideration," or that which, in his view, was a full equivalent for the sufferings that they would have endured if they had suffered the penalty of the law;

(3) That this valuable consideration was the blood of Jesus, as an atoning sacrifice, an offering, a ransom, which "would accomplish the same great ends in maintaining the truth and honor of God, and the majesty of his law, as the eternal condemnation of the sinner would have done;" and which, therefore, may be called, figuratively, the price which was paid. For if the same ends of justice could be accomplished by his atonement which would have been by the death of the sinner himself, then it was consistent for God to pardon him.

(4) nothing else could or would have done this. There was no price which the sinner could pay, no atonement which he could make; and consequently, if Christ had not died, the sinner would have been the slave of sin, and the servant of the devil forever.

(5) as the Christian is thus purchased, ransomed, redeemed, he is bound to devote himself to God only, and to keep his commands, and to flee from a licentious life.

Glorify God - Honor God; live to him; see the Matthew 5:16 note; John 12:28; John 17:1 notes.

In your body ... - Let your entire person be subservient to the glory of God. Live to him; let your life tend to his honor. No stronger arguments could be adduced for purity of life, and they are such as all Christians must feel.

Remarks On 1 Corinthians 6

1. We see from this chapter 1 Corinthians 6:1-8. the evils of lawsuits, and of contentions among Christians. Every lawsuit between Christians is the means of greater or less dishonor to the cause of religion. The contention and strife; the time lost and the money wasted; the hard feelings engendered, and bitter speeches caused; the ruffled temper, and the lasting animosities that are produced, always injure the cause of religion, and often injure it for years. Probably no lawsuit was ever engaged in by a Christian that did not do some injury to the cause of Christ. Perhaps no lawsuit; was ever conducted between Christians that ever did any good to the cause of Christ.

2. A contentious spirit, a fondness for the agitation, the excitement, and the strife of courts, is inconsistent with the spirit of the gospel. Religion is supposed to be retiring, peaceful, and calm. It seeks the peace of all, and it never rejoices in contentions.

3. Christians should do nothing that will tend to injure the cause of religion in the eye of the world, 1 Corinthians 6:7-8. How much better is it that I should lose a few pounds, than that my Saviour should lose his honor! How much better that my purse should be empty of glittering dust, even by the injustice of others, than that a single gem should be taken from his diadem! And how much better even that I should lose all, than that "my" hand should be reached out to pluck away one jewel, by my misconduct, from his crown! Can silver, can gold, can diamonds be compared in value to the honor of Christ and of his cause?

4. Christians should seldom go to law, even with others; never, if they can avoid it. Every other means should be tried first, and the law should be resorted to only when all else fails. How few lawsuits there would be if man had no bad passions! How seldom is the law applied to from the simple love of justice; how seldom from pure benevolence; how seldom foe the glory of God! In nearly all cases that occur between men, a friendly reference to others would settle all the difficulty; always if there were a right spirit between the parties. Comparatively few suits at law will be approved of, when people come to die; and the man who has had the least to do with the law, will have the least, usually, to regret when he enters the eternal world.


20. bought with a price—Therefore Christ's blood is strictly a ransom paid to God's justice by the love of God in Christ for our redemption (Mt 20:28; Ac 20:28; Ga 3:13; Heb 9:12; 1Pe 1:18, 19; 2Pe 2:1; Re 5:9). While He thus took off our obligation to punishment, He laid upon us a new obligation to obedience (1Co 7:22, 23). If we accept Him as our Prophet to reveal God to us, and our Priest to atone for us, we must also accept Him as our King to rule over us as wholly His, presenting every token of our fealty (Isa 26:13).

in your body—as "in" a temple (compare Joh 13:32; Ro 12:1; Php 1:20).

and in your spirit, which are God's—not in the oldest manuscripts and versions, and not needed for the sense, as the context refers mainly to the "body" (1Co 6:16, 18, 19). The "spirit" is incidentally mentioned in 1Co 6:17, which perhaps gave rise to the interpolation, at first written in the Margin, afterwards inserted in the text.

For ye are bought with a price; what price this is that is here mentioned Peter tells us, both negatively and positively, 1 Peter 1:18,19: Forasmuh as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. So he argueth with them against this sin from their redemption, it being suitable to reason, that those who are redeemed out of any slavery or captivity, should be the servants of him who redeemed them, not of those tyrants from whom they are redeemed; such are our lusts and corruptions, from which we are redeemed, as well as from that curse and wrath, which is the consequent of them.

Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s; therefore, (saith the apostle), you who are redeemed with a price, and with such a price, are bound to glorify God, as by speaking well of his name, so by obeying his will, Matthew 5:16. And this you are bound to do, not with your bodies or your spirits only, but in or with your bodies and spirits also, that is, with your whole man; for both of them are God’s, by a manifold right, not that of creation and providence only, but that of redemption also: with which exhortation the apostle finisheth this discourse, and cometh to give them an answer to some questions about which they had wrote unto him.

For ye are bought with a price,.... Not with gold and silver, but with the precious blood of Christ, as the whole church, and all the elect of God are. This proves them to be the Lord's, not only his redeemed ones, being ransomed by a price from the bondage of the law, sin, Satan, and the world; but his espoused ones, and which is chiefly designed here; for one way of obtaining and espousing a wife among the Jews was by a price (p);

"a woman (they say) is obtained or espoused three ways; "by silver", by a writing, and by lying with; by silver, the house of Shammai say, by a penny, and the value of a penny; the house of Hillel say, by a "pruta", and the value of a "pruta": how much is a "pruta?" the eighth part of an Italian farthing.''

That is, be it ever so small a price, yet if given and taken on the account of espousals, it made them valid; and it was an ancient rite in marriage used among other nations (q) for husband and wife to buy each other: Christ, indeed, did not purchase his church to be his spouse, but because she was so; but then his purchasing of her with his blood more clearly demonstrated and confirmed his right unto her, as his spouse; he betrothed her to himself in eternity, in the everlasting covenant of grace; but she, with the rest of the individuals of human nature, fell into sin, and so, under the sentence of the law, into the hands of Satan, and the captivity of the world; to redeem her from whence, and by so doing to own and declare her his spouse, and his great love to her, he gave himself a ransom price for her; which lays her under the greatest obligation to preserve an inviolable chastity to him, and to love and honour him.

Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's; by "God" is here meant more especially the Lord Jesus Christ, by the price of whose blood the bodies and souls of his people are bought, which lays the obligation on them to glorify him in and with both; and contains a very considerable proof of the deity of Christ; who is "glorified", when all the perfections of the divine nature are ascribed to him; when the whole of salvation is attributed to him, and he is looked unto, received, trusted in and depended on as a Saviour, and praise and thanks are given unto him on that account; and when his Gospel is embraced and professed, and walked worthy of, and his ordinances submitted to, and his commandments kept in love to him: and he is to be glorified both in body and spirit; "in body", by an outward attendance on his worship, and a becoming external conversation; by confessing and speaking well of him; by acting for him, laying out and using time, strength, and substance, for his honour and interest; and by patient suffering for his name's sake: "in spirit", which is done when the heart or spirit is given up to him, and is engaged in his service, and when his glory lies near unto it; the reason enforcing all this, is because both are his; not only by creation, but by his Father's gift of both unto him; by his espousal of their whole persons to himself; and by his redemption of both soul and body from destruction: the Vulgate version reads, "bear" or "carry God in your body", and leaves out the next words, "and in your spirit", which are God's; and which also are left out in the Ethiopic and in the Alexandrian copy, and some others.

(p) Misn. Kiddushin, c. 1. sect. 1.((q) Servius, in Virgil. Georg. l. 1. lin. 31.

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 6:20. For (proof of the οὐκ ἐστὲ ἑαυτ.) ye were bought, i.e. redeemed from the curse of the law, Galatians 3:13; from the wrath of God, Ephesians 2:3; from the bond of the guilt of sin, Romans 3:19-21; and acquired as God’s property (Ephesians 2:19; Ephesians 1:14), for a price, which was paid to God for your reconciliation with Him, namely, the blood of Christ, Matthew 26:28; Romans 3:24 f.; 2 Corinthians 5:18 ff.; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18 f.; Revelation 5:9. We have the same conception in Acts 20:28, although there, as also in 1 Corinthians 7:23, and Titus 2:14, the church is represented as the property of Christ; but see John 17:9.

τιμῆς] strengthens the ἠγοράσθ. as the opposite of acquiring without an equivalent. Comp 1 Corinthians 7:23. The common exposition (following the Vulgate): magno pretio, inserts without warrant what is not in the text (so, too, Pott, Flatt, Rückert, Osiander, Olshausen, Ewald).[1008] Comp Herod. vii. 119, and the passages in Wetstein; and see already Valla.

δοξάσατε δὴ κ.τ.λ[1010]] Do but glorify, etc. This is the moral obligation arising out of the two things grasped by faith as certainties, 1 Corinthians 6:19. Regarding the δή of urgency with imperatives, see on Acts 13:2ἘΝ Τῷ ΣΏΜ. ὙΜ.] not instrumental, nor as in Php 1:20 (comp Romans 12:1), but so expressed, because the exhortation proceeds upon the footing of the whole tenor of 1 Corinthians 6:19, in which the body is described as a temple; in your body, namely, practically by chastity, the opposite of which would be an ἀτιμάζειν τὸν Θεόν (Romans 2:23) in His own sanctuary!

[1008] How high a price it was (1 Peter 1:19) would suggest itself readily to the readers, but is not implied in the word itself.

[1010] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

20. ye are (lit. were) bought with a price] the “one sufficient Sacrifice, Oblation and Satisfaction made for the sins of the whole world” by the Death and Passion of our Saviour Christ. Cf. Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:19; 2 Peter 2:1; Revelation 5:9, &c.

and in your spirit, which are God’s] These words are not found in many of the best MSS. and versions, and they somewhat weaken the force of the argument, which is intended to assert the dignity of the body. They were perhaps inserted by some who, missing the point of the Apostle’s argument, thought that the worship of the spirit was unduly passed over.

1 Corinthians 6:20. Ἠγοράσθητε, ye are bought) You are entirely in the power of another. To sell is used for to alienate; to buy for to claim for one’s self, and here too with propriety; for the mention of a price is added.—τιμῆς, with a price) This word has thus much greater force, than if an epithet were added. So also 1 Corinthians 7:23.—δοξάσατε, glorify) An Epiphonema [an exclamation subjoined to a weighty argument.—Appen.] They are in error, who think that God should be only internally, or only externally worshipped.—ἐν τῷ σώματι ὑμῶν,[55] in your body) Romans 12:1; Php 1:20.

[55] The words which follow to the end of this clause, are declared by the margin of both Ed. as a reading not genuine; wherefore, also, in the German Vers., they are only within a parenthesis. Not. Crit. on this passage agrees to it: ὑμῶν, περὶ) a sure reading; the question here is about the use and abuse of the body.—E. B.

Rec. Text adds καὶ ἐν τῷ πνεύματι ὑμῶν ἅτινα ἐστὶν τοῦ Θεοῦ. Both Syr. Vers. alone of the oldest authorities support this reading. But ABC corrected later, D corr. lat., G Vulg. fg Iren. Cypr. Lucif. Memph. omit the words.—ED.

Verse 20. - Ye are bought with a price. That price is the blood of Christ, wherewith he purchased the Church (Acts 20:28; Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Revelation 5:9). This metaphor of ransom (1 Corinthians 7:23; 2 Peter 2:1) has its full and absolute applicability to man. The effect of Christ's death for us is that we are redeemed from slavery and prison, and the right of our possession is with Christ. Thus by various metaphors the effects of redemption are revealed to us on the human side. When we unduly press the metaphor, and ask from whom we were purchased, and to whom the price was paid, we build up scholastic systems which have only led to error, and respecting which the Church has never sanctioned any exclusive opinion. The thoughts touched upon in this verse are fully developed in the Epistle to the Romans. Glorify God; by behaving as his redeemed children, and therefore by keeping yourselves pure. In these few brief words St. Paul sums up all he has said, as he did in 1 Corinthians 5:13. In your body. The following words, "and in your spirit, which are God's," are a perfectly correct and harmless gloss, but are not found in the best manuscripts, and are foreign to the drift of the passage. Your body is a temple, and in that temple God must be honoured. (As Augustine says, "Dost thou wish to pray in a temple? pray in thyself. But first be a temple of God.") "Unchastity dishonours God, and that in his own temple (Romans 2:23)" (Meyer). In these clauses St. Paul has touched on three subjects which occupy important sections of the remainder of the Epistle, namely,

(1) the relation between the sexes (ch. 7.);

(2) the question of idol offerings (ch. 8.); and

(3) the doctrine of the resurrection (ch. 15.).

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