6:1 Dare 1a any of you, having a matter against another, go
to law b before the unjust, 2 and not before the saints?
(1) The third question is of civil judgments. Whether it is
lawful for one of the faithful to draw another of the
faithful before the judgment seat of an infidel? He
answers that is not lawful because it is an offence for
the faithful to do this, for it is not evil in itself that
a matter be brought before the judgment seat, even of an
(a) As if he said, "Have you become so impudent, that you
are not ashamed to make the Gospel a laughing stock to
(b) Before the unjust.
(2) He adds that he does not forbid that one neighbour may go
to law with another, if need so require, but yet under holy
6:23 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?
and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to
judge the smallest matters?
(3) He gathers by a comparison that the faithful cannot seek to
be judged by infidels, without great injury done to the
saints, seeing that God himself will make the saints judges
of the world, and of the devils, with his Son Christ. Much
more ought they to judge these light and final causes which
may be by equity, and good conscience determined.
6:44 If then ye have c judgments of things pertaining to
this life, set them to judge who are d least esteemed in
(4) The conclusion, in which he prescribes a remedy for this
wrong: that is, if they end their private affairs
between themselves by chosen arbiters out of the Church:
for which matter and purpose, the least of you, he says, is
sufficient. Therefore he does not condemn judgment seats,
but shows what is expedient for the circumstance of the
time, and that without any diminishing of the right of the
magistrate. For he does not speak of judgments, which are
practised between the faithful and the infidels, neither of
public judgments, but of controversies which may be ended
by private arbiters.
(c) Courts and places of judgments.
(d) Even the most abject among you.
6:55 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a
wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge
between his brethren?
(5) He applies the general proposition to a particular, always
calling them back to this, to take away from them the false
opinion of their own excellency from where all these
6:76 Now therefore there is utterly a e fault among you,
because ye go to law one with another. 7 Why do ye not
rather take wrong? why do ye not rather [suffer yourselves
to] be defrauded?
(6) Now he goes further also, and even though by granting them
private arbiters out of the congregation of the faithful,
he does not simply condemn, but rather establishes private
judgments, so that they are exercise without offence. Yet
he shows that if they were such as they ought to be, and as
it were to be wished, they should not need to use that
(e) A weakness of mind which is said to be in those that
allow themselves to be overcome by their lusts, and it
is a fault that differs greatly from temperance and
moderation: so that he nips those who could not endure
an injury done to them.
(7) This pertains chiefly to the other part of the
reprehension, that is, that they went to law even under
infidels, whereas they should rather have suffered any
loss, than to have given that offence. But yet this is
generally true, that we ought rather to depart from our
right, than try the uttermost of the law hastily, and upon
an affection to revenge an injury. But the Corinthians
cared for neither, and therefore he says that they must
repent, unless they will be shut out of the inheritance of
6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the
kingdom of God? 8 Be not deceived: neither fornicators,
nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers
of themselves with mankind,
(8) Now he prepares himself to pass over to the fourth treatise
of this epistle, which concerns other matters, concerning
this matter first, how men may well use a woman or not.
And this question has three parts: fornication, matrimony,
and a single life. As for fornication, he utterly condemns
it. And marriage he commands to some, as a good and
necessary remedy for them: to others he leaves is free.
And others he dissuades from it, not as unlawful, but as
inconvenient, and that not without exception. As for
singleness of life (under which also I comprehend
virginity) he enjoins it to no man: yet he persuades men
to it, but not for itself, but for another respect, neither
to all men, nor without exception. And being about to
speak against fornication, he begins with a general
reprehension of those vices, with which that rich and
riotous city most abounded: warning and teaching them
earnestly, that repentance is inseparable joined with
forgiveness of sins, and sanctification with justification.
6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are
sanctified, but ye are justified in the f name of the
Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
(f) In Jesus.
6:129g All things are lawful unto me, but all things are
not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not
be brought under the h power of any.
(9) Secondly, he shows that the Corinthians offend in small
matters. First, because they abused them. Next, because
they used indifferent things, without any discretion,
seeing the use of them ought to be brought to the rule of
charity. And that he does not use them correctly, who
immoderately abuses them, and so becomes a slave to them.
(g) Whatever: but this general word must be restrained to
things that are indifferent.
(h) He is in subjection to things that are indifferent,
whoever he is that thinks he may not be without
them. And this is a flattering type of slavery under a
pretence of liberty, which seizes upon such men.
6:1310 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.
(10) Secondly, because they counted many things as indifferent
which were of themselves unlawful, as fornication, which
they numbered among mere natural and lawful desires, as
well as food and drink. Therefore the apostle shows that
they are utterly unlike: for foods, he says, were made for
the necessary use of man's life which is not perpetual:
for both foods, and all this manner of nourishing, are
quickly abolished. But we must not so think of the
uncleanness of fornication, for which the body is not made,
but on the other hand is ordained to purity, as appears by
this, that is consecrated to Christ, even as Christ
also is given us by his Father to enliven our bodies with
that power with which he also rose again.
6:1511 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of
Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make
[them] the members of an harlot? God forbid.
(11) A declaration of the former argument by opposites, and
the application of it.
6:1612 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an
harlot is one body? for i two, saith he, shall be one
(12) A proof of the same argument: a harlot and Christ are
completely contrary, so are the flesh and the Spirit.
Therefore he that is one with a harlot (which is done by
sexual intercourse with their bodies) cannot be one with
Christ, which unity is pure and spiritual.
(i) Moses does not speak these words about fornication,
but about marriage: but seeing that fornication is the
corruption of marriage, and both of them are a carnal
and fleshly copulation, we cannot say that the apostle
abuses his testimony. Again, Moses does not have this
word "two", but it is very well expressed both here
and in (Mt 19:5), because he speaks only of man
and wife: whereupon the opinion of those that vouch it
to be lawful to have many wives is overthrown: for he
that companies with many, is broken as it were into
6:1813 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is
without the body; but he that committeth fornication
sinneth against his own body.
(13) Another argument why fornication is to be avoided, because
it defiles the body with a peculiar type of filthiness.
6:1914 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the
Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and
15 ye are not your own?
(14) The third argument: because a fornicator is sacrilegious,
because our bodies are consecrated to God.
(15) The fourth argument: because we are not our own men, to
give ourselves to any other, much less to Satan and the
flesh, seeing that God himself has bought us, and that
with a great price, to the end that both in body and soul,
we should serve to his glory.