What does 1 Corinthians 6:13 mean?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 6:12–20 describes Paul's objections to those in the Corinthian church who had a casual attitude about sexual immorality. Beyond formal, literal laws, Paul insists the standard for Christian behavior must be whether a practice is helpful or enslaving. Sex is more than a mere bodily function; God designed it to unite two people into one body in marriage. That union with another person drags Christ, to whom we are also united, into the union with us. Our bodies will be resurrected and are meant even now to bring glory to God.
Chapter Summary:
First Corinthians 6 continues Paul's confrontations of the Corinthian Christians over issues in the church. Earlier passages discussed problems of division into factions, and tolerance of heinous sexual sin. Paul is also outraged that they would take one another to court in a lawsuit over minor issues. Instead of suing each other before unbelievers, they should settle trivial issues in the church. Second, Paul urges them to live up to their new identities in Christ instead of living down to the sexually immoral standards of the culture. This sets up discussions of marriage in chapter 7.
Chapter Context:
Paul confronts two major issues happening in the church at Corinth. First, he is outraged that one of them has brought a lawsuit against a brother in Christ over a minor dispute. It is absurd to think that Christians—those who will judge the world and angels—cannot even judge a small matter between themselves. Second, Paul warns his readers to run from sexual immorality. Sex creates a powerful bond intended only for marriage. Since our bodies belong to and are part of Christ, we have no right to bring Him into a one-body union with someone to whom we're not married.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
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