December 3

1 Corinthians 6:1 — 9:27

Does anyone of YOU that has a case against the other dare to go to court before unrighteous men, and not before the holy ones? 2 Or do YOU not know that the holy ones will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by YOU, are YOU unfit to try very trivial matters? 3 Do YOU not know that we shall judge angels? Why, then, not matters of this life? 4 If, then, YOU do have matters of this life to be tried, is it the men looked down upon in the congregation that YOU put in as judges? 5 I am speaking to move YOU to shame. Is it true that there is not one wise man among YOU that will be able to judge between his brothers, 6 but brother goes to court with brother, and that before unbelievers?

7 Really, then, it means altogether a defeat for YOU that YOU are having lawsuits with one another. Why do YOU not rather let yourselves be wronged? Why do YOU not rather let yourselves be defrauded? 8 To the contrary, YOU wrong and defraud, and YOUR brothers at that.

9 What! Do YOU not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men, 10 nor thieves, nor greedy persons, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit God’s kingdom. 11 And yet that is what some of YOU were. But YOU have been washed clean, but YOU have been sanctified, but YOU have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.

12 All things are lawful for me; but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful for me; but I will not let myself be brought under authority by anything. 13 Foods for the belly, and the belly for foods; but God will bring both it and them to nothing. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body. 14 But God both raised up the Lord and will raise us up out of [death] through his power.

15 Do YOU not know that YOUR bodies are members of Christ? Shall I, then, take the members of the Christ away and make them members of a harlot? Never may that happen! 16 What! Do YOU not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body? For, “The two,” says he, “will be one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee from fornication. Every other sin that a man may commit is outside his body, but he that practices fornication is sinning against his own body. 19 What! Do YOU not know that the body of YOU people is [the] temple of the holy spirit within YOU, which YOU have from God? Also, YOU do not belong to yourselves, 20 for YOU were bought with a price. By all means, glorify God in the body of YOU people.

Now concerning the things about which YOU wrote, it is well for a man not to touch a woman; 2 yet, because of prevalence of fornication, let each man have his own wife and each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to [his] wife her due; but let the wife also do likewise to [her] husband. 4 The wife does not exercise authority over her own body, but her husband does; likewise, also, the husband does not exercise authority over his own body, but his wife does. 5 Do not be depriving each other [of it], except by mutual consent for an appointed time, that YOU may devote time to prayer and may come together again, that Satan may not keep tempting YOU for YOUR lack of self-regulation. 6 However, I say this by way of concession, not in the way of a command. 7 But I wish all men were as I myself am. Nevertheless, each one has his own gift from God, one in this way, another in that way.

8 Now I say to the unmarried persons and the widows, it is well for them that they remain even as I am. 9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to be inflamed [with passion].

10 To the married people I give instructions, yet not I but the Lord, that a wife should not depart from her husband; 11 but if she should actually depart, let her remain unmarried or else make up again with her husband; and a husband should not leave his wife.

12 But to the others I say, yes, I, not the Lord: If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and yet she is agreeable to dwelling with him, let him not leave her; 13 and a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and yet he is agreeable to dwelling with her, let her not leave her husband. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in relation to [his] wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in relation to the brother; otherwise, YOUR children would really be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving one proceeds to depart, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not in servitude under such circumstances, but God has called YOU to peace. 16 For, wife, how do you know but that you will save [your] husband? Or, husband, how do you know but that you will save [your] wife?

17 Only, as Jehovah has given each one a portion, let each one so walk as God has called him. And thus I ordain in all the congregations. 18 Was any man called circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has any man been called in uncircumcision? Let him not get circumcised. 19 Circumcision does not mean a thing, and uncircumcision means not a thing, but observance of God’s commandments [does]. 20 In whatever state each one was called, let him remain in it. 21 Were you called when a slave? Do not let it worry you; but if you can also become free, rather seize the opportunity. 22 For anyone in [the] Lord that was called when a slave is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he that was called when a freeman is a slave of Christ. 23 YOU were bought with a price; stop becoming slaves of men. 24 In whatever condition each one was called, brothers, let him remain in it associated with God.

25 Now concerning virgins I have no command from the Lord, but I give my opinion as one who had mercy shown him by the Lord to be faithful. 26 Therefore I think this to be well in view of the necessity here with us, that it is well for a man to continue as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Stop seeking a release. Are you loosed from a wife? Stop seeking a wife. 28 But even if you did marry, you would commit no sin. And if a virgin [person] married, such one would commit no sin. However, those who do will have tribulation in their flesh. But I am sparing YOU.

29 Moreover, this I say, brothers, the time left is reduced. Henceforth let those who have wives be as though they had none, 30 and also those who weep be as those who do not weep, and those who rejoice as those who do not rejoice, and those who buy as those not possessing, 31 and those making use of the world as those not using it to the full; for the scene of this world is changing. 32 Indeed, I want YOU to be free from anxiety. The unmarried man is anxious for the things of the Lord, how he may gain the Lord’s approval. 33 But the married man is anxious for the things of the world, how he may gain the approval of his wife, 34 and he is divided. Further, the unmarried woman, and the virgin, is anxious for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in her body and in her spirit. However, the married woman is anxious for the things of the world, how she may gain the approval of her husband. 35 But this I am saying for YOUR personal advantage, not that I may cast a noose upon YOU, but to move YOU to that which is becoming and that which means constant attendance upon the Lord without distraction.

36 But if anyone thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virginity, if that is past the bloom of youth, and this is the way it should take place, let him do what he wants; he does not sin. Let them marry. 37 But if anyone stands settled in his heart, having no necessity, but has authority over his own will and has made this decision in his own heart, to keep his own virginity, he will do well. 38 Consequently he also that gives his virginity in marriage does well, but he that does not give it in marriage will do better.

39 A wife is bound during all the time her husband is alive. But if her husband should fall asleep [in death], she is free to be married to whom she wants, only in [the] Lord. 40 But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my opinion. I certainly think I also have God’s spirit.

Now concerning foods offered to idols: we know we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If anyone thinks he has acquired knowledge of something, he does not yet know [it] just as he ought to know [it]. 3 But if anyone loves God, this one is known by him.

4 Now concerning the eating of foods offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no God but one. 5 For even though there are those who are called “gods,” whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many “gods” and many “lords,” 6 there is actually to us one God the Father, out of whom all things are, and we for him; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and we through him.

7 Nevertheless, there is not this knowledge in all persons; but some, being accustomed until now to the idol, eat food as something sacrificed to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 But food will not commend us to God; if we do not eat, we do not fall short, and, if we eat, we have no credit to ourselves. 9 But keep watching that this authority of YOURS does not somehow become a stumbling block to those who are weak. 10 For if anyone should see you, the one having knowledge, reclining at a meal in an idol temple, will not the conscience of that one who is weak be built up to the point of eating foods offered to idols? 11 Really, by your knowledge, the man that is weak is being ruined, [your] brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 But when YOU people thus sin against YOUR brothers and wound their conscience that is weak, YOU are sinning against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat flesh at all, that I may not make my brother stumble.

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not YOU my work in [the] Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, I most certainly am to YOU, for YOU are the seal confirming my apostleship in relation to [the] Lord.

3 My defense to those who examine me is as follows: 4 We have authority to eat and drink, do we not? 5 We have authority to lead about a sister as a wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas, do we not? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I that do not have authority to refrain from [secular] work? 7 Who is it that ever serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who shepherds a flock and does not eat some of the milk of the flock?

8 Am I speaking these things by human standards? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For in the law of Moses it is written: “You must not muzzle a bull when it is threshing out the grain.” Is it bulls God is caring for? 10 Or is it altogether for our sakes he says it? Really for our sakes it was written, because the man who plows ought to plow in hope and the man who threshes ought to do so in hope of being a partaker.

11 If we have sown spiritual things to YOU, is it something great if we shall reap things for the flesh from YOU? 12 If other men partake of this authority over YOU, do we not much more so? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this authority, but we are bearing all things, in order that we might not offer any hindrance to the good news about the Christ. 13 Do YOU not know that the men performing sacred duties eat the things of the temple, and those constantly attending at the altar have a portion for themselves with the altar? 14 In this way, too, the Lord ordained for those proclaiming the good news to live by means of the good news.

15 But I have not made use of a single one of these [provisions]. Indeed, I have not written these things that it should become so in my case, for it would be finer for me to die than—no man is going to make my reason for boasting void! 16 If, now, I am declaring the good news, it is no reason for me to boast, for necessity is laid upon me. Really, woe is me if I did not declare the good news! 17 If I perform this willingly, I have a reward; but if I do it against my will, all the same I have a stewardship entrusted to me. 18 What, then, is my reward? That while declaring the good news I may furnish the good news without cost, to the end that I may not abuse my authority in the good news.

19 For, though I am free from all persons, I have made myself the slave to all, that I may gain the most persons. 20 And so to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to those under law I became as under law, though I myself am not under law, that I might gain those under law. 21 To those without law I became as without law, although I am not without law toward God but under law toward Christ, that I might gain those without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to people of all sorts, that I might by all means save some. 23 But I do all things for the sake of the good news, that I may become a sharer of it with [others].

24 Do YOU not know that the runners in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that YOU may attain it. 25 Moreover, every man taking part in a contest exercises self-control in all things. Now they, of course, do it that they may get a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible one. 26 Therefore, the way I am running is not uncertainly; the way I am directing my blows is so as not to be striking the air; 27 but I pummel my body and lead it as a slave, that, after I have preached to others, I myself should not become disapproved somehow.