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At Liberty But Not Dominated: 1 Corinthians 6:12-14

February 19, 2023 Preacher: Bob DeWaay Series: 1 Corinthians

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:12-14

This section of 1 Corinthians has been subject to much discussion due to the use of slogans which some in Corinth used to distort the correct understanding of Christian liberty. In this sermon we unpack the issues and offer an explanation of their slogans and Paul’s modification of them which would correct errors and abuses. The first slogan is repeated twice in 1 Corinthians 6:12 and is “All things are lawful for me.” Most scholars see this as their slogan which they used to justify immoral behavior.

Paul gave two qualifiers, the first was that not all lawful things are beneficial and the second was that he would not be dominated by anything. In the sermon we point out that there are many things people choose to do which easily harm others and eventually put themselves into serious bondage. Clearly there were people in Corinth who had already produced both sinful outcomes. Another slogan found in this section has to do with food for the stomach.

Though there is dispute about how much of the statement was their slogan, it is clear that some in Corinth rejected bodily resurrection and future judgment. Given that fact, they would assume that whatever is done in the body doesn’t matter. Paul rejects any such claim by saying that “the body is not for immorality but for the Lord.” What we do in the body matters, there will be a future resurrection and we are accountable to the Lord.

The proof of the importance of the body is the truth that God raised up the Lord and will raise us up as well. Therefore we must live for Him. In our applications we cite passages that warn against using freedom for a “cover-up” for evil. We must live for the Lord by His grace and not use catchy slogans to avoid moral responsibility.