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11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
12 All things are lawful unto me; but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me; but I will not be brought under the power
13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy
11 extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but your past sins are washed away, and forgiven you, upon your receiving of the Gospel by baptism: but ye are sanctified", i. e. ye are members of Christ's church, which consists of saints, and have made some advances in the reformation of your lives" by the doctrine of Christ, confirmed to you by the extraordinary operations of the Holy 12 Ghost. But supposing fornication were in itself as lawful as eating promiscuously all sorts of meat, that are made for the belly, on purpose to be eaten; yet I would not so far indulge either custom, or my appetite, as to bring my body, thereby, 13 into any disadvantageous state of subjection. As in eating and drinking, though meat be made purposely for the belly, and the belly for meat; yet, because it may not be expedient P for me, I will not, in so evidently a lawful thing as that, go to the utmost bounds of my liberty; though there be no
11 'Hyiάoonte, "sanctified," i. e. have remission of your sins; so sanctified signifies, Heb. x. 10 and 18, compared. He that would perfectly comprehend, and be satisfied in the meaning of this place, let him read Heb. ix. 10, particularly
'Edxanтe, "ye are become just," i. e. are reformed in your lives. See it used, Rev. xxii. 11.
12 St. Paul having, upon occasion of injustice amongst them, particularly in the matter of the fornicator, warned them against that and other sins, that exclude men from salvation, he here reassumes his former argument about fornication; and, by his reasoning here, it looks as if some among them had pleaded, that fornication was lawful. To which he answers, that, granting it be so, yet the lawfulness of all wholesome food reaches not the case of fornication, and shows by several instances, (as particularly the degrading the body, and making what, in a Christian, is the member of Christ, the member of an harlot) that fornication, upon several accounts, might be so unsuitable to the state of a Christian man, that a Christian society might have reason to animadvert upon a fornicator, though fornication might pass for an indifferent action in another man. 13 "Expedient, and brought under power," in this verse, seems to refer to the two parts of the following verse: the first of them to eating, in the first part of the 13th verse, and the latter of them to fornication, in the latter part of the 13th verse. To make this the more intelligible, it may be fit to remark,
both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
danger, that I should thereby bring any lasting damage upon my belly, since God will speedily put an end both to belly and food. But the case of the body, in reference to women, is far different from that of the belly, in reference to meat. For the body is not made to be joined to a woman, much less to be joined to an harlot in fornication, as the belly is made for meat, and then to be put an end to, when that use ceases. But the body is for a much nobler purpose, and shall subsist, when the belly and food shall be destroyed. The body is for our Lord Christ, to be a member of him, as our Lord Christ has taken a body', that he might partake of our nature, and
that St. Paul seems here to obviate such a sort of reasoning as this, in behalf of the fornicator: "All sorts of meats are lawful to Christians, who are set free from the law of Moses; and why are they not so, in regard of women, who are at their own disposals? To which St. Paul replies, "Though my belly was made only for eating, and all sorts of meat were made to be eaten, and so are lawful for me, yet I will abstain from what is lawful, if it be not convenient for me, though my belly will be certain to receive no prejudice by it, which will affect it in the other world; since God will there put an end to the belly, and all use of food. But, as to the body of a Christian, the case is quite otherwise; that was not made for the enjoyment of women, but for a much nobler end, to be a member of Christ's body; and so shall last for ever, and not be destroyed, as the belly shall be. Therefore, supposing fornication to be lawful in itself, I will not so debase and subject my body, and do it that prejudice, as to take that, which is a member of Christ, and make it the member of an harlot; this ought to be had in detestation by all Christians." The context is so plain in the case, that interpreters allow St. Paul to discourse here, upon a supposition of the lawfulness of fornication. Nor will it appear at all strange that he does so, if we consider the argument he is upon. He is here convincing the Corinthians, that though fornication were to them an indifferent thing, and were not condemned in their country, more than eating any sort of meat: yet there might be reasons why a Christian society might punish it, in their own members, by church censures, and expulsion of the guilty. Conformably hereunto we see, in what follows here, that all the arguments used by St. Paul, against fornication, are brought from the incongruity it hath with the state of a Christian, as a Christian; but nothing is said against it as a fault in a man, as a man; uo plea used, that it is a sin, in all men, by the law of nature. A Christian society, without entering into that inquiry, or going so far as that, had reason to condemn and censure it, as not comporting with the dignity and principles of that religion, which was the foundation of their society.
“Woman." I have put in this, to make the apostle's sense understood the easier. For he arguing here, as he does, upon the supposition, that fornication is in itself lawful; fornication, in these words, must mean the supposed, lawful enjoyment of a woman: otherwise it will not answer the foregoing instance, of the belly and eating.
*"And the Lord for the body;" see Heb. ii. 5-18.
14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise us up, by
his own power.
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.
16 What! know ye not, that he, which is joined to an harlot, is one body? For two (saith he) shall be one flesh.
17 But he, that is joined unto the Lord, is one spirit.
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doth, is without the body: but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body.
14 be our head. So that, as God has already raised him up, and given him all power, so he will raise us up likewise, who are his members, to the partaking in the nature of his glorious 15 body, and the power he is vested with in it. Know ye not, ye who are so knowing, that our bodies are the members of Christ? Will ye, then, take the members of Christ, and 16 make them the members of an harlot? What! know ye not,
that he who is joined to an harlot, is one body with her? 17 For two, saith God, shall be united into one flesh. But he, who is joined to the Lord, is one with him, by that one Spirit, that unites the members to the head, which is a nearer and stricter union, whereby what indignity is done to the 18 one, equally affects the other. Flee fornication: all other sins, that a man commits, debase only the soul; but are in
14 Aià Tñs duváμews aùlou, “To his power." The context and design of St. Paul in this place strongly incline one to take &à here to signify, as it does 2 Pet. i. 3, to, and not by. St. Paul is here making out to the Corinthian converts, that they have a power to judge. He tells them, that they shall judge the world, ver. 2, and that they shall judge angels, much more then things of this life, ver. 3. And for their not judging he blames them, and tells them, it is a lessening to them, not to exercise this power, ver. 7. And for it he gives a reason, in this verse, viz. That Christ is raised up into the power of God, and so shall they be. Unless it be taken in this sense, this verse seems to stand alone here. For what connexion has the mention of the resurrection, in the ordinary sense of this verse, with what the apostle is saying here, but raising us up with bodies to be members of his glorious body, and to partake in his power, in judging the world? This adds a great honour and dignity to our bodies, and is a reason, why we should not debase them into the members of an harlot. These words also give a reason of his saying, "He would not be brought under the power of any thing," ver. 12, viz. "Shall I, whose body is a member of Christ, and shall be raised to the power he has now in heaven, suffer my body to be a member, and under the power of an harlot? That I will never do, let fornication in itself be ever so lawful." If this be not the meaning of St. Paul here, I desire to know, to what purpose it is, that he so expressly declares, that the belly and meat shall be destroyed, and does so manifestly put an opposition between the body and the belly? ver. 13.
19 What! know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
that respect, as if they were done out of the body; the body is not debased, suffers no loss of its dignity by them: but he, who committeth fornication, sinneth against the end for which his body was made, degrading his body from the dignity and honour it was designed to; making that the member of an harlot, which was made to be a member of Christ. 19 What! know ye not', that your body is the temple of the
Holy Ghost, that is in you, which body you have from God, 20 and so it is not your own, to bestow on harlots? Besides, ye are bought with a price, viz. the precious blood of Christ and therefore, are not at your own disposal: but are bound to glorify God with both body and soul. For both body and soul are from him, and are God's.
19 t This question, "Know ye not ?" is repeated six times in this one chapter, which may seem to carry with it a just reproach to the Corinthians, who had got a new and better instructor than himself, in whom they so much gloried, and may not unfitly be thought to set on his irony, ch. iv. 10, where he tells them, they are wise.
CHAPTER VII. 1-40
THE chief business of the foregoing chapters, we have seen to be the lessening the false apostle's credit, and the extinguishing that faction. What follows, is in answer to some questions they had proposed to St. Paul. This section contains conjugal matters, wherein he dissuades from marriage those, who have the gift of continence. But, marriage being appointed as a remedy against fornication, those, who cannot forbear, should marry, and render to each other due benevolence. Next, he
teaches that converts ought not to forsake their unconverted mates, insomuch as Christianity changes nothing in men's civil estate, but leaves them under the same obligations they were tied by before. And last of all, he gives directions about marrying, or not marrying, their daughters.
1 Now concerning the things, whereof ye wrote unto me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence and likewise, also, the wife unto the husband.
4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise, also, the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud you not one the other, except it be with consent, for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer: and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
1 Concerning those things that ye have writ to me about, I answer, it is most convenient not to have to do with a woman. 2 But because every one cannot forbear, therefore, they that cannot contain should, both men and women, each have their own peculiar husband and wife, to avoid fornication. 3 And those that are married, for the same reason, are to regulate themselves by the disposition and exigency of their respective mates; and, therefore, let the husband render to the wife that benevolence, which is her due; and so, likewise, the wife to the husband, "vice versâ." For the wife has not the power or dominion over her own body, to refuse the husband, when he desires: but this power and right to her body is in the husband. And, on the other side, the husband has not the power and dominion over his own body, to refuse his wife, when she shows an inclination; but this power and 5 right to his body, when she has occasion, is in the wife". Do not, in this matter, be wanting, one to another, unless it be by mutual consent, for a short time, that you may wholly attend
3 Evora, “Benevolence,” signifies here that complaisance and compliance, which every married couple ought to have for each other, when either of them shows an inclination to conjugal enjoyments.
4 The woman (who in all other rights is inferior) has here the same power given her over the man's body, that the man has over hers. The reason whereof is plain because if she had not her man, when she had need of him, as well as the man his woman, when he had need of her, marriage would be no remedy against fornication.