1 Corinthians 6:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 6:13, NIV: You say, 'Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.' The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

1 Corinthians 6:13, ESV: “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

1 Corinthians 6:13, KJV: Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

1 Corinthians 6:13, NASB: Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, however God will do away with both of them. But the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.

1 Corinthians 6:13, NLT: You say, 'Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.' (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can't say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:13, CSB: "Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food," and God will do away with both of them. However, the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

What does 1 Corinthians 6:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

As he did in the previous verse, Paul seems to be quoting from a popular slogan of the day. This is a common problem, even in the modern church, where clichés and sayings worm their way into Christian thinking. Harmless though they may seem, expressions like "live and let live," or "God helps those who help themselves" are not found in Scripture. They can lead people in very unspiritual directions, in fact. Perhaps the slogans Paul refers to here are ones certain believers in the Corinthian church were using to justify participating in sexual immorality.

After all, such a person might argue, how is an appetite for sex any different than an appetite for food? Stomachs are for feeding, right? Shouldn't we treat sexual desire the same way and seek to be satisfied, just as we eat when we're hungry? Paul rejects this comparison. Once more, he calls the Christians in Corinth to live up to who they are in Christ instead of lowering themselves to a mere collection of appetites that must be fed.

First, what is the future reality for stomachs and food? They are temporary. God will "destroy" both. By this phrase, Paul seems to mean that we will all die physically and stop eating food. Feeding our stomachs is not the ultimate purpose of who we are. We do not "live to eat."

Second, Paul elevates the importance of the bodies we live in. The body is much more than just the stomach, and it is much more than just our sexual organs. The bodies of those who are in Christ serve a larger purpose, which is why they are not meant for sexual immorality.

This verse ends with a startling idea: a believer's body is meant for the Lord. Even more amazing, the Lord is meant for a believer's body. It is the place where He is with us. What we do with our bodies here and now matters far more than we may consider.