1 If any one of you has a complaint against someone, how can you dare to take it before non-Christian judges [to be decided], instead of before the saints [i.e., God's holy people]? 2 Or, do you not know that God's people will judge the world? [Note: Possibly this refers to Christians somehow assisting Christ on the judgment day]. And if the world is [to be] judged by you [at that time], are you not capable of judging small matters [now]? 3 Do you not know that we will judge [even] angels? [And if so], then how much more [must we judge] the things of this life! 4 So then, if you have cases [or, courts] for deciding matters of this life, do you appoint [as judges] those who have no standing in the church? [i.e., heathens]. [Note: This difficult passage may also be taken as a statement, using sarcasm, "you appoint as judges..."]. 5 I am saying this to make you ashamed. Can there not be found one wise person [there] among you who is able to decide [on a matter] between his [Christian] brothers? 6 But [instead], a brother goes to court against his brother, and that in front of an unbelieving [judge]!
7 Indeed, the fact that you have lawsuits with one another is [evidence of] a complete failure among you. Why should you not rather take the wrong? Why should you not rather accept being cheated? 8 But [instead], you yourselves do the wrong and cheat [others], and you do this to [Christian] brothers! 9 Or, do you not know that evil people will not possess God's kingdom? Do not be misled: neither will sexually immoral people, nor idolaters, nor those who are sexually unfaithful to their mates, nor homosexual perverts. [Note: The Greek uses two words here, denoting both the passive and active partners in male homosexual acts]. 10 And neither will thieves, nor greedy people, nor drunkards, nor abusive talkers, nor swindlers possess God's kingdom. 11 And some of you have practiced such things, but you were washed [i.e., from your sins. See Acts 22:16]; you were dedicated [i.e., set apart for God's service]; you were made right with God in the name [i.e., by the authority] of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Holy Spirit of our God.
12 "Everything is permissible for me [to do];" but not everything is profitable. [Note: The words in quote marks in this and the following verse are thought to have been commonly held views of that day, to which Paul gives an inspired reply]. "Everything is permissible for me [to do];" but I will not be ruled by anything. 13 "Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food;" but God will destroy both of them. Yet the body is not intended for sexual immorality, but is intended for the Lord's [honor and service]; and the Lord is for the body's [benefit]. 14 Now God has both raised up the Lord [Jesus], and will [also] raise us up [from the dead] through His power. 15 Do you not know that your [physical] bodies are parts of [the spiritual body of] Christ? So, shall I take away parts of Christ's [spiritual] body and join them to a prostitute's body? Certainly not! 16 Or, do you not know that the person who is joined to a prostitute is one body [with her, physically]? For God says [Gen. 2:24], "The two will become one flesh" [i.e., united in such a close relationship as to practically constitute one body]. 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit [with Him]. [Note: Just as the person who has sex with someone enters a close physical union with that person, so the person who becomes a Christian enters a close spiritual union with Christ].
18 Stay away from [any involvement in] sexual immorality. Every sin a person commits is outside [the realm] of his body; but the one who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. [Note: Possibly this means that sex, because it requires the deepest and most complete commitment of human involvement, becomes a unique sin when its true purpose and expression are violated]. 19 Or, do you not know that your [physical] body is a temple [i.e., sanctuary] for the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves, 20 for you were bought [by God] for a price. So, honor God with your [physical] body.