1 Corinthians 6:9
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
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(9) Know ye not that the unrighteous . . .?—The force of this question comes out more strikingly in the original, where the word rendered “unrighteous” is the same as “ye do wrong” of 1Corinthians 6:8. “You do wrong, apparently forgetting that no wrongdoers shall inherit God’s kingdom.”

Be not deceived.—There was great danger of their being led to think lightly of sins which were daily committed by those amongst whom they lived, hence these words of warning with which the sentence opens, as in 1Corinthians 15:33. The mention of gross sensual sins in connection with idolaters points to the fact that they were practically associated in the ritual of the heathen, which, of course, intensified the danger against which the Apostle warns the Corinthians. The prevalence of such scandalous crimes in the heathen world is constantly referred to in the Epistles to Gentile churches (Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:19-20; 1Timothy 1:9-10; Titus 1:12).

1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Know ye not — With all your boasted knowledge; that the unrighteous — That is, not only the unjust, but those destitute of true righteousness and holiness, comprehending the various classes of sinners afterward mentioned, the term unrighteous here including them all: shall not inherit the kingdom of God — Namely, the kingdom of eternal glory. And can you contentedly sacrifice this great and glorious hope which the gospel gives you, for the sake of those pleasures of sin which are but for a short season? Be not deceived — By a vain imagination that the Christian name and privileges will save you, while you continue in the practice of your vices. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, &c. — Idolatry is here placed between fornication and adultery, because these things generally accompanied it. Indeed, among the heathen idolatry was not only a great crime in itself, but was the parent of many other crimes. For the heathen were encouraged in the commission of fornication, adultery, sodomy, drunkenness, theft, &c., by the example of their gods. Nor effeminate — Who live in an easy, indolent way, taking up no cross, enduring no hardship. But how is this, that these good-natured, harmless people are ranked with idolaters and sodomites, those infamous degraders of human nature? We may learn hence, that we are never secure from the greatest sins, till we guard against those which are thought to be the least; nor indeed till we think no sin is little, since every one is a step toward hell. And such were some of you — Namely, in some kind or other; but ye are washed — Delivered from the guilt and power of those gross abominations. Ye are sanctified — Renewed in the spirit of your minds, dedicated to, and employed in the service of God; conformed, at least in a measure, to his image, and possessed of his divine nature, and this not before, but in consequence of your being justified. Or, Ye are regenerated and purified, as well as discharged, from the condemnation to which ye were justly obnoxious. See the nature of justification explained in the notes on Romans 3:21-22; and its fruits, on Romans 5:1-5. In the name of the Lord Jesus — Through his merits, or his sacrifice and intercession; and by the Spirit of our God — Creating you anew, and inspiring you with all those blessed graces which are the genuine fruits of his divine influences, Galatians 5:22-23. You ought therefore, as if he had said, to maintain the most grateful sense of these important blessings which God hath conferred upon you, to stand at the utmost distance from sin, and to be tender of the peace and honour of a society which God hath founded by his extraordinary interposition, and into which he hath been pleased in so wonderful a manner to bring even you, who were in a most infamous and deplorable state.

6:9-11 The Corinthians are warned against many great evils, of which they had formerly been guilty. There is much force in these inquiries, when we consider that they were addressed to a people puffed up with a fancy of their being above others in wisdom and knowledge. All unrighteousness is sin; all reigning sin, nay, every actual sin, committed with design, and not repented of, shuts out of the kingdom of heaven. Be not deceived. Men are very much inclined to flatter themselves that they may live in sin, yet die in Christ, and go to heaven. But we cannot hope to sow to the flesh, and reap everlasting life. They are reminded what a change the gospel and grace of God had made in them. The blood of Christ, and the washing of regeneration, can take away all guilt. Our justification is owing to the suffering and merit of Christ; our sanctification to the working of the Holy Spirit; but both go together. All who are made righteous in the sight of God, are made holy by the grace of God.Know ye not ... - The apostle introduces the declaration in this verse to show the evil of their course, and especially of the injustice which they did one to another, and their attempt to enforce and maintain the evil by an appeal to the pagan tribunals. He assures them, therefore, that the unjust could not be saved.

The unrighteous - The unjust ἄδικοι adikoi - such as he had just mentioned - they who did injustice to others, and attempted to do it under the sanction of the courts.

Shall not inherit - Shall not possess; shall not enter into. The kingdom of heaven is often represented as an "inheritance;" Matthew 19:29; Matthew 25:34; Mark 10:17; Luke 10:25; Luke 18:18; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 5:5.

The kingdom of God - Cannot be saved; cannot enter into heaven; see the note at Matthew 3:2. This may refer either to the kingdom of God in heaven; or to the church on earth - most probably the former. But the sense is the same essentially, whichever is meant. The man who is not fit to enter into the one is not fit to enter into the other. The man who is fit to enter the kingdom of God on earth, shall also enter into that in heaven.

Be not deceived - A most important direction to be given to all. It implies:

(1) That they were in danger of being deceived:

(a) Their own hearts might have deceived them.

(b) They might be deceived by their false opinions on these subjects.

(c) They might be in danger of being deceived by their leaders, who perhaps held the opinion that some of the persons who practiced these things could be saved.

(2) it implies, that there was "no necessity" of their being deceived. They might know the truth. They might easily understand these matters. It might be plain to them that those who indulged in these things could not be saved.

(3) it implies that it was of high importance that they should not be deceived. For:

(a) The soul is of infinite value.

(b) To lose heaven - to be disappointed in regard to that, will be a tremendous loss.

(c) To inherit hell and its woes will be a tremendous curse. O how anxious should all be that they he not deceived, and that while they hope for life they do not sink down to everlasting death!


9. unrighteous—Translate, "Doers of wrong": referring to 1Co 6:8 (compare Ga 5:21).

kingdom of God—which is a kingdom of righteousness (Ro 14:17).

fornicators—alluding to 1Co 5:1-13; also below, 1Co 6:12-18.

effeminate—self-polluters, who submit to unnatural lusts.

That by the kingdom of God is here meant the kingdom of glory, the happiness of another life, is plain, because he speaketh in the future tense; this kingdom, he saith,

the unrighteous, that is, those who so live and die,

shall not inherit. If we take the term unrighteous here to be a generical term, the species, or some of the principal species, of which are afterwards enumerated, it signifieth here the same with notoriously wicked men. But if we take it to signify persons guilty of acts of injustice towards themselves or others, it cannot be here understood as a general term, relating to all those species of sinners after enumerated; for so idolaters cannot properly be called unrighteous, but ungodly men.

Be not deceived, ( saith the apostle), either by any false teachers, or by the many ill examples of such sinners that you daily have, nor by magistrates’ connivance at these sins.

Neither fornicators; neither such as, being single persons, commit uncleanness with others (for here the apostle distinguisheth these sinners from adulterers, whom he mentioneth afterward).

Nor idolaters; nor such as either worship the creature instead of God, or worship the true God before images.

Nor adulterers; nor such as, being married persons, break their marriage covenant, and commit uncleanness with such as are not their yokefellows.

Nor effeminate persons; nor persons that give up themselves to lasciviousness, burning continually in lusts.

Nor abusers of themselves with mankind; nor such as are guilty of the sin of Sodom, a sin not to be named amongst Christians or men.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?.... A way of speaking much like that in the Talmud, "know thou, that the world to come is not made but for the righteous?" (h) Without a righteousness there will be no entrance into the world of bliss and happiness hereafter; and this must be a better righteousness than what a sinful creature is capable of working out, and no other than the righteousness of Christ. It was a loss and want of righteousness that cast the angels down from heaven, and turned Adam out of paradise; and whoever of his posterity: are destitute of one, will fall short of enjoying the glory of God; for it is not agreeable to the holy nature of God, to his infinite justice and righteous law, to admit any into heaven without a righteousness: hence a judgment seat is erected, before which all must stand; and those that will be found without a righteousness, will be for ever excluded the kingdom of heaven; and could any unrighteous persons be received there, it would spoil the pleasure and happiness of the saints. Now this is said, partly to dissuade the Corinthians from going to law with each other before unrighteous persons, who have no right to the kingdom of God, and living and dying as they are, will have no share in it; and therefore since they are not to be fellow heirs and companions with them in another world, they should not bring their causes before them in this; and partly to reprove them for their injurious and unrighteous actions among themselves, their tricking and defrauding of one another, with other sins they were guilty of; which, if not repented of, would show, that notwithstanding their profession, they were destitute of the grace of God, were unfit to be in the kingdom of God, in a Gospel church state here below, and would be shut out of the kingdom of heaven hereafter.

Be not deceived imagining, that through your knowledge and profession you shall be saved, live as you will:

neither fornicators, such as are guilty of uncleanness with persons in a single state:

nor idolaters; who worship more gods than one, and not the true God; who do service to them that are not gods, and perform what the Jews call "strange service": and not only fall down to stocks and stones, but serve divers lusts and pleasures, the idols of their own hearts:

nor adulterers: such as have criminal conversation with persons in a married state:

nor effeminate; or "soft", or, as the Syriac renders it, "corrupters"; that is, of themselves, by voluntary pollution, such as are guilty of the sin of Onan, Genesis 38:8.

Nor abusers of themselves with mankind; sodomites.

(h) T. Bab. Yebamot, fol 47. 1.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? {8} Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

(8) Now he prepares himself to pass over to the fourth treatise of this epistle, which concerns other matters, concerning this matter first, how men may well use a woman or not. And this question has three parts: fornication, matrimony, and a single life. As for fornication, he utterly condemns it. And marriage he commands to some, as a good and necessary remedy for them: to others he leaves is free. And others he dissuades from it, not as unlawful, but as inconvenient, and that not without exception. As for singleness of life (under which also I comprehend virginity) he enjoins it to no man: yet he persuades men to it, but not for itself, but for another respect, neither to all men, nor without exception. And being about to speak against fornication, he begins with a general reprehension of those vices, with which that rich and riotous city most abounded: warning and teaching them earnestly, that repentance is inseparable joined with forgiveness of sins, and sanctification with justification.

1 Corinthians 6:9. Ἤ οὐκ οἴδατε] See on 1 Corinthians 6:8. To supply an unexpressed thought here (“Do not regard the matter lightly,” Billroth; “This is a far greater ἥττημα,” Ruckert; that ἥττημα to the church “they could only fail to perceive, if they did not know,” etc., Hofmann) is just as arbitrary as to do so in 1 Corinthians 6:2.

ἄδικοι] the general conception (under which the preceding ἀδικεῖν and ἀποστ. are included): unrighteous, immoral. See the enumeration which follows.

Θεοῦ βασιλ.] the Θεοῦ coming close after ἄδικοι, and put first for emphasis (see the critical remarks). As to the truth itself, that ἀδικία excludes from the Messiah’s kingdom, see on Galatians 5:21; and as regards what is implied in the Messianic κληρονομία, on Galatians 3:18; Ephesians 1:11.

μὴ πλανᾶσθε] for that moral fundamental law was more easily, it is plain, flung to the winds in frivolous Corinth than anywhere else! Possibly, too, some might even say openly: φιλάνθρωπος ὢν ὁ Θεὸς καὶ ἀγαθὸς, οὐκ ἐπεξέρχεται τοῖς πλημμελήμασι· μὴ δὴ φοβηθῶμεν! Chrysostom. Hence: be not mistaken (πλανᾶσθε, passive, as also in 1 Corinthians 15:33; Galatians 6:7; Luke 21:8; Jam 1:16; comp the active form in 1 John 3:7), followed by the emphatic repetition of that fundamental law with a many-sided breaking up of the notion ἄδικοι into particulars, not, however, arranged systematically, or in couples, nor reducible, save by force, to any logical scheme;[931] in this enumeration, owing to the state of matters in the place, the sins of sensuality are most amply specified.

πόρνοι, fornicators in general; μοιχοί, adulterers, Hebrews 13:4.

εἰδωλολ.] see on v. 11.

μαλακοί] effeminates, commonly understood as qui muliebria patiuntur, but with no sufficient evidence from the usage of the language (the passages in Wetstein and Kypke, even Dion. Hal. vii. 2, do not prove the point); moreover, such catamites (molles) were called πόρνοι or κίναιδοι. One does not see, moreover, why precisely this sin should be mentioned twice over in different aspects. Rather therefore: effeminate luxurious livers. Comp Aristotle, Eth. vii. 7 : μαλακὸς καὶ τρυφῶν, Xen. Mem. ii. 1, 20, also μαλακῶς, iii. 11. 10 : τρυφὴ δὲ καὶ μαλθακία, Plato, Rep. p. 590 B.

ἀρσενοκοῖται] sodomites, who defile themselves with men (1 Timothy 1:10; Eusebius, Praep. evang. p. 276 D). Regarding the wide diffusion of this vice, see the passages in Wetstein; comp on Romans 1:27, and Hermann, Privatalterth. § 29. 17 ff.

[931] Comp. Ernesti, Ursprung der Sünde, II. p. 29 f.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10. On ἤ οὐκ οἴδατε; see note to 1 Corinthians 6:2. The wrongers of their brethren are surely unaware of the fact that “wrong-doers (ἄδικοι) will not inherit God’s kingdom” (which nevertheless they profess to seek, 1 Corinthians 1:7 ff.)—an axiom of revelation, indeed of conscience, but the over-clever sometimes forget elementary moral principles; hence the μὴ πλανᾶσθε. Their conduct puts them on a level with the heathen (οἱ ἄδικοι, 1). Θεοῦ βασιλείαν (doubly anarthrous; see note on 1 Corinthians 2:5), “God’s kingdom”—the expression indicating the region and nature of the realm from which unrighteousness excludes; “the kingdom of God is righteousness” (Romans 14:17; cf. Matthew 5:10; Matthew 13:43, Luke 14:14, Revelation 1:18; Revelation 2:8 f., etc.). The deception taking place on this fundamental point springs from the frivolity of the Hellenic nature; it had a specific cause in the libertinism deduced from the gospel of Free Grace and the abrogation of the Mosaic Law (1 Corinthians 6:12 f., see notes; cf. Romans 6:1; Romans 6:15, Galatians 5:13).—In 1 Corinthians 6:9 b, 10 the general warning is carried into detail. Ten classes of sinners are distinguished, uncleanness and greed furnishing the prevailing categories (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11): “neither fornicators (the conspicuous sin of Cor.: 1 Corinthians 5:1, etc.; 1 Corinthians 7:2) … neither covetous men—no drunkards, no railers, no plunderers (see txtl. note) will inherit,” etc. Idolaters are ranged between fornicators and adulterers—an association belonging to the cultus of Aphrodité Pandemos at Cor[953] μαλακοί, soft, voluptuous, appears in this connexion to signify general addiction to sins of the flesh; lexical ground is wanting for the sense of pathici, suggested to some interpreters by the following word and by the use of molles in Latin. For ἀρσενοκοῖται (cl[954] παιδερασταί), whose sin of Sodom was widely and shamelessly practised by the Greeks; cf. Romans 1:24 ff., written from Cor[955] The three detached classes appended by οὐ to the οὔτε list were specified in 1 Corinthians 5:11; see notes.

[953] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[954] classical.

[955] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

9. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?] The Apostle in this verse sums up what he has been saying in this chapter and the last. First generally, the unjust, wrong-doers, shall not inherit the kingdom of God, that is, His final kingdom in the ‘restitution of all things,’ for which we daily pray. He then proceeds to particulars, and declares that all who lived for themselves, whether set upon sensual indulgence or upon gain, would deprive themselves of the inheritance obtained through faith in Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:9. ) Latin an [or; the second part of a disjunctive interrogation].—ἄδικοι, unrighteous) Comp. 1 Corinthians 5:8.—βασιλείαν Θεοῦ, the kingdom of God) In this kingdom righteousness flourishes.—οὐ κληρονομήσουσι, they shall not inherit) because they are not the sons of God.—μὴ πλανᾶσθε, be not deceived) by yourselves and others.—πόρνοιἅρπαγες, fornicators—extortioners) Scandalous crimes common at Corinth, 2 Corinthians 12:20-21; at Rome, Romans 13:13; in Galatia, Galatians 5:19-20 : at Ephesus, 1 Timothy 1:9-10 : and in Crete, Titus 1:12. This remark applies to the act of fornication, etc., and much more to the habit.—εἰδωλολάτραι, idolaters) Idolatry is placed between fornication and adultery, for, it usually had these crimes joined to it.—μαλακοὶ, effeminate) Even the hand in the deepest solitude ought to be chaste, a necessary warning to youth.

Verse 9. - Know ye not; rather, Or know ye not, as before. Are you defying God, or does your sin arise from mere ignorance? The unrighteous; better, that wrong doers, the verb being the same as "ye do wrong" in ver. 8. Perhaps the Corinthians thought that they would be saved by the mere fact of having been admitted into God's kingdom (the Christian Church in all its highest privileges) by baptism. St. Paul here lays down, as distinctly as St. James does, that faith without works is dead, and privileges without holiness are abrogated. The spirit of his warning is the same as that of Jeremiah 7:4, "Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord... are these;" or that of St. John the Baptist, "Say not unto yourselves, We be Abraham's sons." Christians have often been liable to the temptation of underrating the peril which results from the falling asunder of action from knowledge. There can be no greater danger than that of talking slightingly of "mere morality." Religion is not an outward service, but a spiritual life manifested by a holy living. Be not deceived. So our Lord says," Let no man deceive you" (Mark 13:5; comp. 1 John 3:7). St. Paul uses the warning very solemnly again in 1 Corinthians 15:33 and Galatians 6:7, and St. James in James 1:16. The self deception of merely verbal orthodoxy is the most dangerous of all. Neither fornicators. The first four classes of sinners were specially prevalent at Corinth, where, indeed, impurity formed part of the recognized cult of the local Aphrodite (comp. 2 Corinthians 12:21). Lists of these "works of the flesh," which were the all but universal curse and stain of heathendom, occur also in Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Timothy 1:10, etc.; Colossians 3:5-7. 1 Corinthians 6:9Kingdom of God

See on Luke 6:20.


The besetting sin of Corinth. Hence the numerous solemn and emphatic allusions to it in this epistle. See 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 6:15-18; 1 Corinthians 10:8.

Effeminate (μαλακοὶ)

Luxurious and dainty. The word was used in a darker and more horrible sense, to which there may be an allusion here.

Abusers, etc.

See on Romans 1:7.

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