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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians


“Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”


Paul now introduces a false analogy that attempts to rationalize sexual (v. 13) freedom. In verses 13-17, Paul explains what he means by “expediency.” Verses 18-20 explain Christian freedom.

Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods,

Some believers in Corinth argued that there is a principle of adaptation in nature. Food adapts to the digestive organs, and the digestive organs assimilate food. This is a natural or normal function. Eating is the natural way one gets energy. Bodily energy comes from food; therefore, the body has to be sustained by food. The Corinthian argument was that sex was as natural as food assimilating into the body: “Fornication is as natural as eating.” The Greeks thought that the human body was evil and could be treated any way one wished, for it had no eternal future, so why not indulge the body with the prostitutes at the Temple of Aphrodite? Sex is as normal as eating.

but God will destroy both it and them.

Comparing the body’s assimilation of food and its “natural” propensity to sexual activity is a false analogy; there is no analogy between the body and sexual lust as there is between the body and digestive organs. The body was not designed for prostitution in God’s economy. God designed food and digestive organs for the present state, and they have no eternal consequence. They have no meaning in themselves beyond a bodily function. God will eventually render the body dead, so the adaptation of food to the body is only temporary.

Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord,

Rather, the link is between the Lord and the believer’s body. God designed the body for His glory. The body will last for eternity, not simply for time. There is no moral indifference concerning the body because God designed the body for an eternal purpose. It is a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit; thus, the entire body, the entire mental constitution, is involved with sex.

and the Lord for the body.

The Lord sustains the body in time. He is our source for life. The body has a high and lofty purpose.


God designed our bodies for His use.


Every Christian needs to realize that our bodies belong to the Lord, for we are under new management. The argument that “I am only human” does not wash. No matter what cultural trends may be popular, the Christian is to live in a cross-cultural manner. Rationalization of aberrant sexual behavior will not wash with God just because the Corinthians argued that it was as natural as eating. There is a much greater issue than liberty here, for sex is a matter of the whole person before God; it is more than biological.

Romans 12:1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.