Paul just finished talking about our judgment of other believers in chapter 5, and it apparently reminds him of another issue in the Corinthian church. In 6:1-8 Paul asks whether we are we examples of unity and love, or not? Is what we claim about community just for show, or is it real? Paul seems to be talking about money and property issues here, rather than criminal cases that would be a matter for the state. What kind of testimony is it if you take another believer to court over their fence, their pets, or their noise? Mature believers should ask other mature believers to judge the case for them and agree to follow whatever is decided. After all, unbelievers are watching! We should be willing to be defrauded rather than let our behavior affect the way others view the church and our God.
In 6:9-11 we are reminded that we are called to live differently as Christians. The anger, pettiness, and selfishness that Paul just referred to rank right up there with other examples of unrighteousness. If we aren’t acting any differently than those who are unbelievers, then what does that say about us? If we truly have a relationship with Jesus Christ then we have been washed from our sin, we are separated from the world (sanctified), and we are declared righteous (justified)! We are to put the deeds of unrighteousness behind us.
In 6:12-20 the Net Bible views Paul as dealing with certain sayings and beliefs within the congregation. “All things are lawful for me.” “Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both.” “Every sin a person commits is outside of the body.” Although there is general agreement that the first statement is a quote, some think that only the first half of the second statement is a quote, and some don’t think that the third statement is a quote at all! Perhaps their rational went something like this: (1) the age of the law is over; (2) we can do anything that we want, even if it’s being with a prostitute; (3) the body was going to be destroyed anyway! Paul reminds them and us that what we do with the body does matter; behavior does matter! We (body, mind, and soul) are members of Christ, united with the Lord, and indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Think of it this way: what we do, He does. We are not our own! Jesus died for us! Flee sexual immorality! Glorify God with your body!