1 Corinthians 6:1–20: Holy Living in the Church

by Sep 9, 20190 comments

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After insisting upon the necessity of purging the evil person from the church’s midst, Paul now amplifies the importance of holy living in the church in 1 Corinthians 6. Paul puts the primary focus on the subjects of greed and sexual immorality, which receive extended treatment at the beginning and the end of the chapter, respectively. Additionally, Paul lists out several variations on these subjects in his vice list in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10. The heart of this chapter is in v. 11, where Paul reminds the church, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” All have been born unrighteous, but Christians are radically transformed. Here, Paul articulates the glory of the gospel for sinners: in Christ, you are not now what you were once.

Discussion Questions

1) Why were the Corinthians bringing their disputes to law before unrighteous judges rather than for arbitration by fellow believers? What is the actual result when we seek to win against fellow believers (1 Cor. 6:7)? Where do your own greedy desires trying to win against fellow believers? How might fellow believers help you settle your disputes?

2) Why can’t the unrighteous inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9)? Do people become unrighteous after committing these sins, or do people commit these sins because we are born unrighteous (cf. Rom. 5:12–21)? How does the doctrine of original sin affect the way we view ourselves and our need for a Savior?

3) How many of us have committed all the sins listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10? Even if we haven’t committed all these sins, how many of us were unrighteous? What does it mean to have been “washed”? “sanctified”? “justified”? What does 1 Corinthians 6:11 teach us about our new identity in Christ, through the Spirit of our God?

4) What kinds of things are adiaphora (indifferent) to the Christian life (1 Cor. 6:12)? What significance does food have for Christian living (1 Cor. 6:13)? Why is sexual immorality so different from food (1 Cor. 6:12–18)? What were our bodies actually created for, if not for sexual immorality (1 Cor. 6:19)? How, then ought we to live (1 Cor. 6:20)?