Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 6

‘Food is for the stomach; and the stomach is for food’

1 Corinthians 6:13

‘Food is for the stomach; and the stomach is for food.’ This is the sort of statement that a very greedy person might declare. There were some Christians in Corinth who liked their food too much (11:21). However, Paul’s real subject here is other kinds of wrong desires. Wrong desires can take control of a person’s life and they can ruin that person’s relationship with God.

So the meaning of the statement at the start of 1 Corinthians 6:13, is: ‘What I want is good for me.’ And Paul’s reply seems angry; it means: ‘What you want is wrong, and evil! God will certainly bring about the end of all that you desire!’ In particular, Paul mentions the wrong desire for sex. That is, the desire for sex when God’s law does not permit it. Of course we feel in our bodies a desire for such things, but that feeling is not good. It is not helpful to us. It will not improve our relationship with God. If we give in to that feeling, it will spoil our relationship with God.

We must not just do what we want. We must always ask ourselves what God wants. If we want the wrong things, we must ask God to help us. We need him to change our thoughts and desires so that they are more like his thoughts and desires.

At the end of the verse, Paul offers us a better statement to remember. ‘The body is for the Lord (Christ); and the Lord for the body.’ He means, ‘God knows what is best for us. So we must give ourselves completely to him. And we should use our bodies to do what he considers right and good.’

Next part: What Paul taught about the human body (1 Corinthians 6:14)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.